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If you want to witness a fantastic array of autumn colors, there’s no better way to do it than by boat. Not sure where to hop aboard for the best views? Check out this list of five fall boating destinations that will give you and your family a genuine appreciation for nature’s beauty.

1. Bar Harbour, Maine. The town of Bar Harbour sits at the entrance to Acadia National Park. During the fall season, this area offers simply spectacular views of the New England autumn scenery along the coast. You can make a reservation for overnight dockage at one of the many public or private marinas on Maine’s Frenchman Bay.

2. Columbia River, Oregon. Many of the Oregon State Parks and Natural Areas in the Mt. Hood area provides access to the Columbia River, or are situated near a lake or reservoir. This means that there are plenty of opportunities to experience the stunning Pacific Coast fall colors by boat.

3. Lake Jocassee, South Carolina. For true outdoor lovers, there are boat-in campsites at Devils Fork State Park, on the shores of Lake Jocassee. Visitors trailering their boats can launch at the Devil’s Fork remote ramp to spend a day on the water while taking in brilliant displays of orange, red, and yellow foliage.

4. Lake Placid, New York. Anyone who has been to the Adirondack Mountains during September and October will likely agree that Lake Placid area is one of the best fall boating destinations in the U.S. There are three marinas situated on Lake Placid, along with a free public boat launch, so access is easy and convenient.

5. Mackinac Island, Michigan. You can cruise through the waters of Lake Huron this fall by using the Mackinac Island State Harbor as your home base until the end of the season on October 15th. In addition to the brightly-colored leaves, you can marvel at century-old lighthouses on the Straits of Mackinac.

Now that you have a list of five great fall boating destinations to visit, pick one and start planning a weekend getaway on the water — just don’t forget to pack your thermos of hot apple cider and your wool sweater!

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