Being from Southern California, I never really understood how (or why) people would plan vacations around fall foliage. Not that it’s not beautiful—I’ve seen When Harry Met Sally—but just… how? How does one plan a trip with a climax that relies on leaves, which don’t have brains, making decisions about when to wither and die?
Well, now I live in New York. I’ve been to Sleepy Hollow and the little upstate towns. I get it. Fall is next level! It’s when the East Coast knows she’s looking good, and the air is no longer humid with eau-de-summer-gärbagé-rat parfum. I also learned that there are entire teams of nature lovers and science folk figuring out where, and when, the leaves will get their new ‘do across the United States. The 2021 FFPM actually just dropped, baby—that’s the Fall Foliage Prediction Map (try to keep up, Brad):
The interactive map is released by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year to coax the Hocus Pocus-loving, pumpkin-spiced-cider babes out of their caves with promises of cooler air and amber leaves, and it’s one-half of the blueprint for planning a fall leaf-peeping escape. The other half is figuring out where to stay.
Now, I’m not saying the East Coast is the only coast for seeing the best fall leaves in the United States (we’ve all seen Twilight; we know Washington slaps), but, damn. Places such as Boston and upstate NY really understood the assignment. But there are also charming Airbnb rentals with autumnal vibes in incredible places including Northern California, the South, and across the Midwest. Here are our favorites for plopping you amongst the changing tides of fall. Brace yourself for treehouses on treehouses on treehouses...
The Best Places to See Fall Leaves on the East Coast
Again, not to say that the East Coast wins at fall foliage… but have you ever seen the Berkshires? Place goes bananas for fall. The following ~abodes~ will take you lakefront, mountainside, and in an 18th-century cottage; they’ll position you in a prime Boston locale, perfect for strolling through the city’s parks; as well as a Tudor style hideaway in Bedford, worthy of Snow White and her seven jabronis.
The treehouse chalet; sleeps up to 8, $374/night at Airbnb
Berkshires Waterfront Lakehouse; sleeps up to 6, $252/night at Airbnb
Kingston, New York
1735 Stone Colonial; sleeps up to 3, $184/night Airbnb
Queen Anne Brookline Bed and Breakfast; sleeps up to 2, $155/night at Airbnb
Bedford, New York
Tudor Cottage; sleeps up to 3, $350/night at Airbnb
Idyllic Vermont Getaway; sleeps up to 2, $298/night at Airbnb
The Best Places to See Fall Leaves in the Midwest
There are so many dreamy, mid-century homes you can rent by famous architects on Airbnb, especially by our favorite Midwesterner, Daddy Frank Lloyd Wright. (The home he designed below was also recently renovated and restored to its former glory, and is stocked with all kinds of era-appropriate furnishings, books, and films.) And if you can’t swing a stay there, don’t sweat it—there are endless woodsy, treehouse-feeling homes to build your nest in.
The Roundabout Cabin Near Portsmouth; sleeps 4, $151/night at Airbnb
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Eppstein House; sleeps 4, $495/night at Airbnb
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Unique Mid-Century Modern in a Great Neighborhood; sleeps 2, $179/night at Airbnb
The Best Places to See Fall Leaves in the South and Northwest
If you’re in the South or on the West Coast this fall, you, too, get to have some leaf action. It’s all about cabins with benefits, man. We’re talking hot tubs, pool tables, and homes stocked with board games; A-frames amongst the trees, and Colorado carriage houses.
Trailside Treehouse; sleeps up to 8, $267/night at Airbnb
Cozy and Rustic Cabin in the Woods; sleeps up to 3, $124/night at Airbnb
2 Bdrm Cabin; sleeps up to 6, $144/night at Airbnb
West Pearl Carriage House; sleeps up to 2, $59/night at Airbnb
Tree Top Studio; sleeps up to 3, $170/night at Airbnb
A-Frame Cabin; sleeps up to 4, $211/night at Airbnb
Happy slug trails.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.