There might be a lot of people out there who are not ready for summer to end, but it’s not all bad news. It’s time for sweater weather, hot apple cider, and best of all, seeing the leaves change from the lush greens of summer to the bright golds, oranges, and reds of autumn, so we’ve rounded up the best golf courses to play in the fall foliage around the country.
Over the next few months, each state will experience its own, unique view of fall. Bundle up, grab a camera, pack your clubs and visit any of these gorgeous spots in the United States – from Vermont to Colorado – to view fall colors at their best.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Spanning both sides of the continental divide, Rocky Mountain National Park glows with quaking aspens, their gold and copper canopies contrasting elegantly with their silvery trunks. Aspens thrive at elevations between 7,000 and 9,500 feet, so head to the lush valleys of Hollowell Park, Beaver Meadows, and Glacier Gorge, which are also home to pumpkin-orange cottonwoods.
Where to play when visiting Rocky Mountain National Park
While visiting take in a round of golf. There are two beautiful courses in Estes Park, which are surrounded by spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains and frequently visited by wildlife.
Estes Park 18-Hole Golf Course, ranked as the sixth most beautiful golf course in the U.S. in The Golf Book of Lists, offers complete practice facilities, including a driving range, putting green, chipping area, as well as club rental, motorized golf carts, award-winning restaurant and pro-shop. The course is located on the southeast side of Estes Park, approximately 60 miles northwest of Denver, Colo. Course is open from mid-April through October.
The Ozarks is a mountain region that covers swaths of Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma with a surrealistically thick blanket of trees dotted with serene lakes. And come fall, those otherworldly vibes get even more surreal when those colors start popping off. For a greatest hits moment, hit up the unbelievably scenic Talimena, a 54-mile stretch of road that manages to be the most scenic drive in two states.
Where to play when visiting The Ozarks
Adding to an amazing list of world-class golf courses, Big Cedar Lodge recently introduced Ozarks National, Missouri’s first and only golf course designed by architect duo Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The 18-hole layout features challenging carries and a variety of visually appealing approach shots that are highlighted by the native habitat. The course also includes interesting features, such as a 400-foot wooden beam and plank bridge, which connects the tee box and fairway of the 13th hole that stands 60-feet above a flowing creek.
Minnesota’s North Shore
One of the most stunning stretches of road in America, Minnesota’s North Shore is a dream in all seasons, spanning the shores of Lake Superior from the town of Duluth all the way to the base of Minnesota’s tallest waterfall. Here, the colors shift into a rainbow that reflects off the choppy waters of Superior and sway collectively in seas of trees along 150 winding, often soaring miles of adventure. Be sure to stop often. Possibly overnight. The beer scene here is one of America’s overlooked, especially when the fall offerings drop.
Where to play when visiting Minnesota’s North Shore
Set between the North Shore and the Sawtooth Mountain Range, Superior National Golf Course pairs untamed beauty with unparalleled play – now enhanced by a $4.6 million renovation. Renowned golf architect Jeffrey Brauer refined the signature challenges of the River and Canyon courses with “Ohio’s Best” white sand for the newly built bunkers, five new sets of tees, wider fairways, new efficient irrigation and drainage, and immaculate, larger greens.
It’s no wonder Stowe is called “Fall’s Color Capital.” With so many plants turning varying shades of yellow, red, orange, and brown from September through mid-October, it’s a spectacular place to hike and ride. Even if the weather gets chilly, you can take a scenic drive down the Mount Mansfield Auto Toll Road.
Where to play when visiting Stowe, Vermont
The Stowe Country Club, located in the heart the Stowe Village, occupies what was once a turn-of-the-century dairy farm and has evolved into a splendid course showcasing beautiful undulating fairways and manicured greens. As a challenging and rewarding test of skill, Stowe Country Club golf course offers 360-degree views of the mountains, and offers weekly and seasonal memberships.
While most people associate leaf peeping with the Northeast, people in the Southwest deserts can also enjoy some changing seasonal colors. The Southwestern landscape of New Mexico is a must-see in the fall, especially by driving around one of America’s most scenic drives: The Enchanted Circle. This 83-mile drive connects the towns of Taos, Eagle Nest, Red River, and Questa — and it contains some spectacular views.
Where to play when visiting Taos, New Mexico
Golf at Angel Fire Resort is surrounded by the majestic southern Rocky Mountains in Angel Fire, New Mexico. The front nine incorporates a longer-playing layout that meanders through two unspoiled canyons of aspen, spruce, and pine, while the back nine offers links-style play with smaller greens and plenty of bunkers. The signature hole, #6, places the golfer on the tee box 200 vertical feet above the green, 239 yards away, surrounded by groves of aspen trees and towering pine.