Here's A Map That Shows When Fall Leaves Will Be At Their Most Amazing Where You Live

You can talk all day about the food, fashion, and Fall Boyfriends, but let's never kid ourselves about where the real heart of autumnal magic lives: in the leaves (I swear, I did not mean for that to sound quite so much like the opening line of a children's book BUT I'm also not sorry that it does.) Now we have a map that shows us when exactly the fall foliage across the country will be at its peak fall-iness. No, you're not a word. This is a much-needed and sincerely welcome thing. There is nothing sadder (okay) than finally scheduling a hike to revel in all the abundant seasonal splendor only to realize that you should've gone the weekend before and now, instead of being surrounded by glowing, brightly-hued nuggets of fire-toned beauty, you're staring at rapidly-dying leaves on soon-to-be-barren trees, trudging silently back to you car, contemplating your mortality. Not fun for anyone, so pretty much better check this map.

For the record, you can throw the word "basic" at me until forever, but there is not one cell of my entire being that will cease loving fall shamelessly and eternally. There's nothing not to like. Nothing. And trust me, I'm particularly skilled at hating things even if my only motivation is a disdain for the other people who like them. But a hoard of a million girls in Uggs clutching pumpkin spice lattes could not put the tiniest dint in my affection for warm layers, unshaven legs, bonfires, clear blue skies, and savory calorie-bombs consumed while getting drunk with my family. I will not give the Lame Fall Fangirls the satisfaction of alienating me from my lifelong fondness for this most excellent season.

Images: Getty Images; Smoky Mountains