17. Ketchum, ID
Why go: Each fall, the official Trailing of the Sheep Festival—now in its 23rd year—celebrates the 150-plus-year tradition of moving sheep from high mountain summer pastures to traditional winter grazing and lambing areas in the south. It’s a wholly unique event (taking place Oct. 9–13) and includes public events from Championship Sheepdog Trials to the 1,500-strong Big Sheep Parade.
Where to stay: The Sun Valley Resort is typically thought of as a ski destination. It was the nation’s first, built in 1936, but it’s location in the Idaho mountains, with sweeping views of the Sawtooth Mountains, is the perfect place to observe the change of seasons. Take a gondola ride up Bald Mountain for aerial views of the changing leaves—or see them up close while hiking or biking on Sun Valley’s 30 miles of paved, car-free paths.
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