As the seasons change from summer to winter, it suddenly seems as though the entire world is on fall foliage lookout. Although it happens every year, there's something so magical about the way green leaves transform into the most delightful shades of burnt orange, tart yellow, rich tan, and thousands of variations in between. If you're lucky enough to live in a city that experiences all four seasons, beautiful fall foliage may be sitting right outside your front door. However, for those who live in more moderate climates, the best views of changing leaves call for a vacation.
We tapped Lonely Planet Eastern U.S. Destination Editor Trisha Ping for insights and did a bit of our own research to determine the best fall vacations to take this year. The good news is, many striking fall foliage destinations are just a road trip away (no matter where you call home). Yes, even Angelenos who are used to perennially mild weather and palm trees can hop in the car to find breathtaking views of colorful trees just a few hours outside the city. You just have to know where to look. Fill up your tank and set your GPS, these are the best fall vacations for a quick trip to see the leaves change.