Many families still think of vacations as expensive luxuries that are simply out of their price range.
Growing up in my family, my parents treated us to one trip to Disney World then decided that was enough to last a lifetime.
But there are all sorts of fun and affordable ways to see the world (or at least the rest of our country) with your family.
One of the best is a "leaf peeping" trip to admire the changing colors of autumn leaves close to nature.
If you're on the lookout for fall foliage in America, you can't beat these 19 destinations:
1. Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
There are more than 50 waterfalls in this region, and nearby Mount Hood turns beautiful autumn colors in the fall - but it's still warm enough for biking, hiking, and picture taking.
2. Green Mountain, Vermont
The huge variety of trees surrounding this mountain gives it a mix of warm colors, and the foliage spreads for miles and miles through Groton State Forest.
3. Berkshires, Massachusetts
Rustic farms, natural scenery, and the open space of Bash-Bish Falls state park make this region a popular destination for fall tourists.
4. Upper Peninsula, Michigan
If you can brave the cold weather way up north, this tiny region on the coast of Lake Superior is worth a visit. Along with the gorgeous trees, there are almost 100 waterfalls to see.
5. Black Hills, South Dakota
The colors are more muted here, but if golden Aspen trees strike your fancy, this is one of the best places to see them. The nearby Spearfish Canyon National Forest is a much-loved spot for leafers from across the country.
6. Leavenworth, Washington
This unusual town is built is built in Bavarian style, making it a tourist hotspot. While the quirky shops and restaurants are entertaining enough, walking through Leavenworth is even more enchanting under warm-colored fall foliage.
7. Franklin, Tennessee
This small town is perfect for a late season trip, because colors there take until early November to really stand out. The historic Main Street is worth a visit any time of year.
8. Door County, Wisconsin
Lighthouses and vintage farmhouses along Highway 57 make this prime real estate for Instagram pictures, but if your tastes are less modern, you can also tour apple orchards and beautifully preserved little towns.
9. Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
There are more than a million acres of beautiful wilderness to explore in this forest, but it's still close to luxuries like hot springs and spas.
10. Stowe, Vermont
Called "Fall's Color Capital," Stowe earns its title thanks to the huge variety of colorful trees on display.
While there's plenty to do in the surrounding area, touring the gorgeous town under the brightly colored leaves is its own reward.
11. New Hampshire's Lake District
While the coast is dotted with inns and scenic views, locals say colors are the best further inland, around the lakes. The elevation also makes the colors stick around for longer than usual, so this is a great destination into November.
12. Litchfield Hills, Connecticut
View this post on Instagram
Checked out a cool waterfall in Connecticut with my frands on Saturday. This is my first ever waterfall photo and I'm happy with how it came out. 🤗 Love that cotton candy water . . . . . . . . #connecticutwhoknew #waterfalls #waterfallwednesday #waterfall_wednesday #wadsworthfalls #wadsworthfallsstatepark #ctdeep #connecticutstate_photos #connecticutpictures #naturalconnecticut #scenesofnewengland #newenglandpictures #newengland_photography #igersnewengland #ignewengland #igersusa #fallfoliage #longexposure #longexpo #longexposure_shots #longexposureoftheday #fallfoliage #foliage #ipulledoverforthis
The small state advertises "Instagrammable Connecticut" to draw in tourists, and it’s hard to be disappointed by the beautiful colors in the state’s western region. Look out for Kent, which was named the #1 Fall Foliage Town by Yankee Magazine.
13. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Not many roads attract tourists, but this winding trail offers incredible views of the Great Smoky Mountains as you drive over a sea of red, gold, and orange leaves.
14. Adirondacks, New York
This mountain range is the largest wilderness region in the east, and you’ll get your fill of fall colors hiking the 170-mile Olympic Trail. Stunning views of Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain make this destination the complete package.
15. Aspen, Colorado
The city’s namesake trees, which turn bright gold in the fall, are on full display, and the colors stick around even longer at 12,000 feet above sea level.
16. Zion National Park, Utah
A desert isn’t what most people think of while planning a leaf peeping vacation, but the trees and brush in this popular national park change color too.Hike along the Emerald Pools trail to take in waterfalls, along with the brightly colored trees.
17. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
While the colorful trees may draw you to Cape Cod, there’s no shortage of things to do there. You can tour the cranberry bogs, visit the local lighthouses, or travel back in time at the Pilgrim Plantation in nearby Plymouth.
18. Bar Harbor, Maine
You can see all of nature’s splendor while driving down the Acadia Byway. This region is great for boaters, bikers, and hikers, especially around Cadillac Mountain and in Acadia National Park.
19. Catskills Mountains, New York
There are rolling landscapes to explore and just about every fall color to take in. And when you're tired of the outdoors, Oktoberfest is waiting for you!