Autumn in the Southeast U.S.

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    Linn Cove Viaduct and Grandfather Mountain

    Linn Cove Viaduct and fall colours
    Linn Cove Viaduct and fall colors. Getty Images/Yves Marcoux

    The colorful fall season combines brilliant scenic vistas with great weather and hundreds of outdoor festivals throughout the southeastern region of the United States. Enjoy these photos and information pages of stunning fall destinations as you plan your next autumn trip or reflect on a memorable past visit.

    The award-winning Linn Cove Viaduct the last section of the Blue Ridge Parkway to be completed, offers scenic views of the surrounding mountains. It crosses the southern slope of majestic Grandfather Mountain, one of the most popular attractions in the North Carolina High Country.

    Grandfather Mountain, designated by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve, offers spectacular views, abundant nature, many hiking trails, special events and naturalist programs. For brave visitors, the Grandfather Mountain Mile High Swinging Bridge, a 228-foot suspension bridge that spans an 80-foot chasm at an elevation of more than one mile above sea level, is an area highlight.

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    Shenandoah National Park

    Beautiful sunset in the Appalachian mountains of Shenandoah National Park
    Beautiful sunset in the Appalachian mountains of Shenandoah National Park. Getty Images/Pierre Leclerc Photography

    Located only 75 miles from Washington, D.C., Shenandoah National Park is a wonderful fall destination. Wind your way along picturesque Skyline Drive, hike along one of the many great trails and enjoy spending the night at a mountain lodge, cabin or campground. (Lodging and food services, campgrounds, and visitor centers are closed from December through March.)

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    Elk Knob State Park in North Carolina

    Hiking trail at Elk Knob State Park
    Hiking trail at Elk Knob State Park. Wikimedia Commons/bobistraveling

    One of the newer parks added to the North Carolina state parks system, Elk Knob State Park is located northeast of Boone, North Carolina. A challenging hike on a 2.5 mile trail offers beautiful visits from the summit.

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    Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Getty Images/Chris Murray

    America's most visited national park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park attracts autumn visitors for several weeks as the changing colors progress from the higher elevations to the lower levels. Known as a hikers' paradise, the park is home to about 100 species of trees, usually producing an exceptional mountainscape of fall color during the season.

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    Virginia's Shenandoah Valley

    Autumn in Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
    Autumn in Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. Getty Images/Betty Wiley

    Quaint main street towns, historic sites, fall festivals and stunning fall colors delight visitors in Virginia's idyllic Shenandoah Valley.

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    Mountains of North Carolina

    View of autumn landscape from Blue Ridge Parkway
    View of autumn landscape from Blue Ridge Parkway. Getty Images/Walter Bibikow

    A tranquil scene in the mountains of North Carolina is punctuated with shades of autumn on the hills and against the backdrop of colorful fall foliage.​

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    George Washington National Forests

    The George Washington National Forest includes lands located in Virginia and West Virginia. Mount Rogers, the tallest mountain peak in Virginia at 5,729 feet, is located here. In 1995, the George Washington National Forest and Jefferson National Forest were combined into the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Together, these two forests encompass almost 1.8 million acres of public land stretching from Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.

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    Chattanooga, Tennessee

    Chattanooga, United States
    Getty Images/Rachelle Yingling/EyeEm

    Enjoy fall color boat cruises, train rides, scenic byway drives, hikes and more during an autumn visit to beautiful Tennessee.

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    Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park

    Glade Creek Grist Mill, Babcock State Park
    Glade Creek Grist Mill, Babcock State Park. Getty Images/Nancy A. Harris

    Located in south central West Virginia, adjacent to the New River Gorge National River, Babcock State Park encompasses over 4,000 acres of natural beauty and scenic views. Recreational activities include fishing, hiking, lake activities, horseback riding, naturalist programs and more. On-site camping and cabins are open seasonally from about mid-April until the end of October, weather permitting.

    Pictured above, the Glade Creek Grist Mill, completed in 1976, is a working living monument to West Virginia's more than 500 mills of yesteryear. It incorporates various parts from three defunct mills in the state, one dating back to 1890. Park visitors may purchase freshly ground Glade Creek Grist Mill buckwheat flour and cornmeal.

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    Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park

    Popular for fishing, hiking, boating, camping and golf, Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park is located on the southern border of Kentucky. The lake, which extends into Tennessee, covers about 30,000 acres of clean, clear surface water with more than 600 miles of shoreline.

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    Cataloochee Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    Cataloochee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennesse
    Cataloochee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennesse. Getty Images/John Elk

    Surrounded by the steep and rugged 6000-foot peaks of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Cataloochee Valley is one of the most scenic areas of the park. Visitors are able to explore history, hiking and camping (including a horse camp), fishing (license required), and incredible wildlife watching (including bear, deer, turkeys, and elk).