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Autumn can be ideal for road trips. Bursting foliage, cool temperatures and far less traffic than a summer trek (as well as off-peak rates) make fall a great time to go exploring. But don’t choose just any old route; take one of these scenic drives that bring the season to life in all its colorful glory.

Seven Lakes Drive, New York

Witness nature’s stunning fall transformation on this 18-mile route, about an hour’s drive from Manhattan. You’ll pass seven lakes (with the colorful leaves reflecting off their surfaces), see the majestic peaks of Bear Mountain State Park and have access to 200 miles of hiking trails in Harriman State Park. Late September to early October is usually prime time for breathtaking foliage. To enjoy a light bite and great lemonade, take a side trip to the Art Cafe in Nyack.

Chuckanut Drive Scenic Byway, Washington

In October, this byway becomes a wonderland of color. Beginning at milepost 1, the route crosses farmlands and hugs the coast of the Salish Sea before ending in the port town of Bellingham. Along the way, watch the sunset at The Oyster Bar, wander the shops in Historic Fairhaven District and hike into the Chuckanut Mountains.

Hocking Hills Scenic Byway, Ohio

This 26-mile drive passes through a remarkable landscape full of towering cliffs and scenic rock formations. Keep an eye out for some of the 266 bird species that live in the Hocking State Forest, such as great horned owls and sharp-shinned hawks. Must-stops include Airplane Rock and Old Man’s Cave. Colors most often peak in October.

Whitewater Way, North Carolina

This drive packs a whole lot of nature into a mere nine miles. You’ll have access to beautiful waterfalls, including Whitewater Falls (the route’s namesake). Tumbling down 411 feet, this waterfall—the highest one east of the Rockies—is breathtaking against a backdrop of fall leaves. The best time to go is mid-October, when fall flowers bloom in the Nantahala National Forest and trees are adorned in gold and crimson.

Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, New Mexico

You won’t want to miss a moment of this 83-mile loop, which passes through the artist mecca of Taos. Gawk at vast canyons and high alpine mountains, with golden aspens bursting below snow-capped peaks. Must-see detours include the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and Taos Pueblo. September and early October are ideal times to go.