Best leaf-peeping drive: Travel past farmland surrounded by shining lake waters and mountain vistas. Follow route 2 along the islands in the middle of Lake Champlain from Alburg to South Hero. Or start your trip by taking the ferry in either direction from Plattsburgh, New York to Grand Isle, Vermont.
What else to do: Enjoy a stroll on one of the longest beaches on Lake Champlain at Alburgh Dunes State Park, or venture back 480 million years in time at the Chazy Fossil Reef and Fisk Quarry Preserve, a site first quarried in 1664 by the French. Picnic at the serene grounds of St. Anne's Shrine, once site of Samuel Champlain's explorations in 1609.
Best leaf-peeping drive: Bands of dramatic rock cliffs line the Cheat River Gorge and offer spectacular panoramas and overlooks, while winding backroads boast eye-catching color. Head southeast of Morgantown off Interstate 68 to Coopers Rock State Forest. Or drive farther south to follow route 7 past Kingwood or along the backcountry on route 50 to Aurora.
What else to do: Hiking trails of every level of difficulty crisscross the park. The best overlook is on the short path from the Overlook Trading Post. Other easy hikes include Reservoir Loop and Virgin Hemlock Trail through a hemlock grove that's more than 300 years old. For a more relaxed pursuit, visit Forks of Cheat Winery and Distillery for a sample of local wines and apple pie moonshine.
Where to stay: The Chestnut Boutique Hotel in downtown Morgantown features locally crafted furniture, individually decorated rooms and a rooftop bar. Its central location makes it walkable to nearby restaurants and shops.