Fall Leaves in the Smoky Mountains

It’s the most beautiful time of the year for many travelers. If you want to get in on the season, I’ve got some suggestions for you. First of all — WHEN to go. It isn’t the same week throughout the US. And it isn’t the same week from year to year. I found this WAY COOL Fall Foliage Prediction Map to help you know when the projected Peak Foliage is for any given area in the US for 2021. You can access it at https://smokymountains.com/fall-foliage-map/. By clicking on each week listed at the bottom of the map, you can see when the peak foliage will be — Rocky Mountains are earlier than the Eastern seaboard, which is earlier than the Midwest. I live in the Rocky Mountains and the leaves are just about peak season in the higher elevations (Park City).

Using the information you get from the map, you can use your points to have a getaway for a few days and enjoy the beauty during peak season. Summit Watch and Mountainside in Park City, Utah have some availability through the end of the month at very inexpensive rates — only 70 Destination Points per night at Mountainside, and 50 DP’s at Summit Watch — you can’t beat that deal!!! Unfortunately, the MVC Resorts in Colorado are not available for September or October this year, but it’s a good time to reserve them for NEXT year while you are thinking about it.

For other areas to view the leaves, you might consider going to Acadia National Park in Maine. According to the interactive map, the peak for this area is mid-October. The closest Marriott hotels to this National Park would be in Bangor, Maine — the Residence Inn (Category 5) would take 40k/night Bonvoy or the Courtyard (Cat 4) would take 30k/night. There is also a Fairfield Inn (Cat 3) that is only 20k per night. Bangor is about 50 miles from Acadia National Park, so you could drive there and back easily.

Another area you might consider is the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee or the Portland Coast in Oregon. The leaves are projected to peak in mid to late October. Options to stay close to the Smoky Mountains would be a Couryard (Cat 5) or Fairfield Inn (Cat 5) in Gatlinburg for 35-40k Bonvoy points/night. Or a Courtyard or Springhill Suites (Cat 5 for both) for 35-40k points per night.

If you can’t arrange to enjoy the leaves this year — just plan ahead. Book Colorado or Utah using Destination Points now. It’s a great time to travel to those locations.

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