Ahhh. Autumn. Fall scenery might be my absolute favorite thing to look forward to (that and apple cider!), and there are plenty of amazing places around the world where you can find it. For this post, I thought I would ask some fellow travel bloggers their preferred destinations for leaf peeping. I got back some wonderful answers and have a whole new list of places to see when I want to spot some fall foliage.
Fall scenery around the world
Here are some incredible spots around the world for fall scenery–grab your camera and let’s explore!
New York City, New York, USA
I had to start us out with New York City! Known for being the setting of almost every deliciously-fall movie, New York has so many parks to explore, festivals to attend, and pumpkin-spiced everything to enjoy. Of course, you can’t miss Central Park for its iconic statues, winding pathways, and intense colors. I recommend heading here in mid-to-late October when the trees have turned their stunning reds, yellows, and oranges.
If Central Park is not your thing, head to Brooklyn to check out Prospect Park instead. Not only is it a little less busy, but it offers some quieter trails deep in the park that will take you through a canopy of brilliant colors. Grab a coffee and sit by the Prospect Park Lake for a glimpse of some gliding swans and shy turtles. There’s so many places to check out within New York for fall colors, including the Botanic Gardens, Greenwood Cemetery, and more!
Alex from Alex on the Map
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
The historic city of New Haven, Connecticut, is one of the best places for fall foliage. Nicknamed the “Elm City” for its Elm trees, New Haven is filled with trees with changing leaves during the autumn season. Take a walk around the Ivy League college, Yale University’s campus, and through the nearby New Haven Town Green to catch a glimpse of the leaves falling.
Yale looks even more studious and stately with autumn leaves floating around, and you’ll see students shuffling from class to class. It’s best to keep warm by grabbing a pumpkin spiced coffee from one of the many coffee shops around the Yale campus as you wander around to the downtown The Shops at Yale shopping district. Then, head outside the main city center to Lighthouse Point Park. You’ll be able to take a walk along the beach and admire the 1847 brick lighthouse surrounded by fall colors.
Lyndsay from Purposely Lost
Seoul, South Korea
There is always something melancholic to the red in yellow leaves that trees shed in fall. It’s as if the falling leaves represent the flow of time and the transition from old to new and contrasting the ancient with the modern like no other city, the South Korean capital of Seoul is one of the best places to see fall scenery around the world.
When wandering through Seoul in fall, one may notice that the colorful leaves are what connect centuries-old structures with the tallest skyscrapers. It does not matter whether you pay a visit to the ancient Gyeongbukgung royal palace clothed in a traditional hanbok or go for a walk around Seokchon Lake with the city’s tallest building in the background, the autumn scenery gives off a beautifully melancholic vibe to every place in Seoul.
Having spent quite some time in the city, I personally recommend visiting Seoul in late October or even as late as November, when trees still shed plenty of colorful leaves but temperatures are already low. Take a stroll through the beautiful fall streets while enjoying hot tteokbokki or fish cake from Noryangin Fish Market in your thick winter coat for the coziest experience.
Arabela from The Spicy Travel Girl
London, United Kingdom
The popular bustling city of London is a great place to visit in autumn as there are plenty of spots where beautiful fall scenery can be spotted. To start off with, head over to Kynance Mews, one of the most popular photo spots in London, where you’ll see tons of houses covered in red leaves. The famous entrance gate is also very photogenic due to its beautiful display of red foliage. Kynance Mews is located in South Kensington, which also has tons of restaurants and museums.
I also recommend visiting St. Dunstan in the East, a former church that turned into a stunning public garden. Beautiful orange leaves decorate this place in the fall, and there are also tons of benches around for you to relax with a book! The vibe in this garden is very eerie and mysterious, which definitely adds to its appeal.
You’ll also find plenty of beautiful fall scenery in Hyde Park, Richmond Park, Hampstead Heath, and Kyoto Gardens, which has a gorgeous pond with fish inside too!
Jiayi from The Diary of a Nomad
Visiting Austria’s capital in September and October means you get to see all the wonderful Viennese palace gardens in a golden fall glow. Of course, there are also less people around than in the busy summer months.
Fall in Vienna coincides with the wine harvest. This is the time to try “Sturm” (fermented grape juice still containing the yeast) at one of the wine taverns (called a Heuriger) in the city. Or grab the opportunity to visit some nearby vineyards which will be covered in beautiful fall colors.
September and October are generally harvest festival time in Austria. At least one big Erntedank (harvest thanksgiving) festival is held in a Viennese park during this time. The colorful fresh produce and traditional Austrian music and dance make these a highlight of fall in Vienna.
If it’s just autumn scenery you’re looking for in Vienna, Schönbrunn Palace is probably the best place to find it. The palace and gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While entry is charged to some garden attractions, the bigger park area is open to the public free of charge. Take your time to explore every corner dressed in fall colors. Walking up the hill to the Gloriette from where you have a sweeping view of the landscaped gardens in front of the palace is especially recommended.
Linda from Travel Tyrol
Ouray, Colorado, USA
For a fall getaway, Ouray can’t be beat. This quaint mountain town has been dubbed the Switzerland of America for its picturesque setting. It is full of historical charm, hiking opportunities and geothermal activity. We fell in love with it on our Colorado road trip and it quickly became one of our favourite Western Colorado destinations.
One of the best things to do in Ouray is to embark on the Perimeter hike. This six mile trail explores the mountains surrounding Ouray. There are four waterfalls, five bridges and a birds eye view of the town. Plus, wonderful views of the fall scenery.
Hot Springs are never far off in Ouray. We would recommend Orvis Hot Springs, which has ten natural pools ranging in temperature from 65 to 112 degrees. The clothing optional pools are outside in a natural mountain setting.
If you are up for a drive, head 30 minutes north to the Dallas Divide. It is one of the best places to see the autumn colors. This 8,983-foot mountain pass explodes with colors and is a photographers dream. Don’t miss it!
Oksana and Max from Drink Tea & Travel
New Hampshire, USA
New Hampshire is a world-famous destination for fall foliage, and with good reason. The stunning landscape of the White Mountains creates a spectacular backdrop for nature’s colorful display. New Hampshire has plenty of opportunities to immerse within nature and experience the foliage upfront, or enjoy landscape vistas with a colorful patchwork pattern of foliage.
New Hampshire’s small towns, like North Conway or Meredith, provide a great backdrop for foliage display and a good place to stay in the region. Both towns have good access to the White Mountains, Franconia Notch and the Kancamagus Highway, which are two of the best destinations to see the fall scenery in New Hampshire.
The drive on New Hampshire’s highways even provide spectacular views–especially I-93 as it cuts through Franconia Notch, within the White Mountain National Forest. To get a bird’s-eye view of the mountains take the gondola at Cannon Mountain or chance a trip up Mount Washington via the cog railway for a truly unique experience.
The season for foliage lasts several weeks, almost a month some years, in New Hampshire and usually peaks around mid-October.
Jamie from Travel Addict
There’s no denying that the turning of leaves is a key component of autumn’s splendor, but what about whole trees that change color? In Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada this is exactly what happens to the Park’s incredible alpine larches. Found only between the elevations of 5900 feet (1800m) and 7800 feet (2400m), Banff’s alpine larches turn bright golden yellow in the fall for a couple spectacular weeks. Known locally as “larch madness,” the changing trees draw crowds of delighted onlookers every year by being the only conifers that shed their golden needles while their trunks turn dark black for the winter.
While Banff National Park is by far the most famous venue for larch madness, there are many hikes to see golden larches throughout the Canadian Rockies. Generally, the larches start their incredible display during the third week of September and it lasts until early October. By mid-October, most of the needles will have fallen and access roads to some of Banff’s more popular sites will be closed so plan accordingly. Banff’s golden larches may only last a short time, but their splendor will stay with you for years to come.
Thea from Zen Travellers
One of the very best places to see fall foliage in the world is New England, USA, and no place does it better than the state of Vermont. Located in the northeastern section of the United States and home to the Green Mountains, the picturesque landscapes of a rainbow of fall colors is as far as the eye can see. Couple this with covered bridges, apple and pumpkin picking, and local maple syrup and you have a fall experience like no other.
As one of our family’s favorite places to visit, especially in September and October when fall scenery is optimal, Vermont is a great place to enjoy a long weekend. We love to experience the many festivals and Oktoberfests throughout the state.
For a picturesque New England town that is also a great starting place for your foliage vacation is Woodstock, Vermont. A quintessential New England town that includes a covered bridge, there is much to enjoy in terms of shopping, dining, and apple picking. If you visit Woodstock, be sure to visit Billings Farm and Quechee Gorge.
In addition to Woodstock, many of Vermont’s ski resorts offer fall festivals in September and October. A trip up the chairlifts or gondolas is usually offered as a way for guests to get a spectacular birds-eye view of the fall colors on the mountains. You can also take in the views while hiking or mountain biking. Fall festivals and Oktoberfest events at the ski resorts usually include entertainment, food and activities for kids. Some of the resorts allow lodging on site.
While many of the Vermont ski resorts host events in October, like Sugarbush and Okemo resorts, a few to check out in September include Burke Mountain and Mount Snow. Vermont is definitely one of the best spots in the world to enjoy fall.
Keri from Bon Voyage With Kids
The Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
The Black Hills in South Dakota is the best part of the state to visit for hiking and outdoor activities, especially in the fall. There are tons of hikes and scenic drives to enjoy the fall foliage and see tons of new things while you’re there. Along the Needles Highway, you’ll be able to see glowing yellow aspens among the spire rock formations, which is so pretty. You’ll be able to see other colors and trees in different areas of the Black Hills, too.
Some of the best things to do to see the colors in the fall are the hike Cathedral Spires trail, hike the Sylvan Lake Loop Trail, hike to Black Elk Peak, drive the Needles Highway, drive Iron Mountain Road (or combine them into the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway loop), and visit Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore.
Megan from Red Around the World
Armenia is amazing all year round, however, it’s particularly gorgeous and stunning during autumn when the mountainous country starts turning a burnt, fire-orange and red. Armenia in autumn means that you have a wide selection of places to visit in a short amount of time so that you don’t miss the moment when nature is harmonically and slowly getting ready for winter.
The selection of sights is many but some of the best places to visit in Armenia in autumn are Garni, Jermuk, and Dilijan.
Garni is an extremely popular destination in Armenia. Garni village is not only beautiful in autumn but also you can visit Armenia’s only pagan temple, Garni Temple. The temple dating back to 1 AD is located on the edge of a gorge surrounded by mesmerizing mountains. The village is located 40 minutes away from Yerevan by car in the Kotayk region.
Jermuk is a legendary, natural mineral water spa town that is a fantastic place to visit in fall because of the waterfall and soothing nature around it. Armenia’s spa town is also perfect to walk around in and photograph the ever-changing colors. They go from a yellowish-hue to a burnt, rust color in a matter of moments so you don’t want to miss it.
Dilijan is referred to as the “green lungs” of Armenia and during autumn, it turns many shades of warm colors. This town is home to Dilijan National Park and there are many lakes and monasteries to visit there, along with some of Armenia’s most famous hikes. The town is also renowned for its unique architecture and local Tavush dishes.
Megan from Absolute Armenia
One of the best places to visit in fall is the state of Virginia. Virginia turns an array of magical colors during autumn and you’ll find everything from reds to yellows and more. The best place to visit in Virginia in autumn is Skyline Drive which is the Blue Ridge Parkway or Skyline Drive.
These Virginia roads will make your draw drop as you pass by all of the colorful hues. Shenandoah is one of the national parks in Virginia and it is definitely a place worth visiting in autumn. You can head there on a day trip from Charlottesville, or even Richmond if you’re okay with being in for a long day. Shenandoah has some of the best hikes near Charlottesville and you can even check out the many Virginia waterfall hikes such as Crabtree Falls or Falling Springs Falls.
Virginia is a can’t-miss destination if you’re wanting to see some of the world’s best autumn foliage. The greatest thing about Virginia during this time of year is its prime location–it is reachable as a weekend trip from many places along the east coast and it is a fantastic day trip or weekend trip from Washington DC, too.
Megan from Virginia Travel Tips
Adelaide Hills, Australia
Many people think of Australia as a hot, dry place full of evergreen eucalypts but there are some wonderful pockets of fall color. One of the best places to see a burst of red, orange and yellow is the Adelaide Hills in South Australia.
Dotted with European style villages, the cooler Adelaide Hills weather is perfect for big deciduous trees. One of the best places in the hills to see them is the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens, 20 minutes from the city centre.
Through April and May the gardens see thousands of visitors who come to walk around the lake which is framed by hillsides of colorful trees. Best of all, there are lots of gardens to walk through where you can kick through a deep carpet of fallen leaves.
The Adelaide Hills is also a world-class cool climate wine region. There are over 50 wineries to visit, many have spectacular cellar door locations where you can see the vines turn golden yellow and sip on a beautiful red!
Natalie and Steve from Curious Campers
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Boston is perfect for exploring during fall, with the soft reds and oranges of the leaves and the cold weather just nipping at your nose it is stuff to write home about. With the weather being fairly dry and only just slightly cold it is the perfect place to snuggle up and watch the leaves fall.
We were lucky enough to visit Boston just as the weather was changing from the warm temperatures of September to the slight chill in the air of October. While Boston is quite a busy and bustling state it actually has some amazing places to go to see the bright greenery change to the soft warm colors of fall.
You don’t have to go far or even leave the city to explore the beautiful colors of fall. There are a number of parks and public gardens in which you can stroll through or sit on a bench with a steamy cup of hot chocolate to enjoy the colors.
One of our favorite things was to follow the Freedom Trail and see both the historic sights of the city along with the stunning color of fall. Along the way, you can also see a number of unique places to stop for a drink, something to eat or even a little shopping spree. Much like Central Park in New York you can walk into one of the parks in Boston and forget that you are even in the city.
Helen and Cora from Inside Our Suitcase
Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, USA
The Great Smoky Mountains is one of the most beautiful places in the world for fall foliage. The Smokies is the perfect travel destination for adventure seekers, families, and budget travelers. The Smokies is one of the best places to visit during the fall, not only because of the beauty but for all of the activities.
You can take flight through the sky with zip lines, see wildlife during hikes, ride a mountain coaster, take in views from the tram, go on a ghost tour, and enjoy festivals.
The Dollywood harvest festival gets into the season by decorating the park with autumn scenery. The Wears Valley Fall Festival is a fun, family-friendly event that has games, rides, fair food, and music. You can’t forget about Octoberfest at Ober, which is a play on the original Oktoberfest in Germany. Enjoy bratwurst, schnitzel, and all the beer you can handle.
The Smokies are phenomenal with fall scenery that’ll take your breath away. To get a real appreciation of what this park has to offer, head to Clingman’s Dome for panoramic views of the national park. If you want to get off the beaten path and hike like a local head to these trails, Greenbrier, Foothills Parkway East, or West. You’ll get all the views, without the crowds. How could you go wrong with exploring the Great Smoky Mountains in the fall?
Cee and Mea from Itz a Family Thing
Portland, Maine, USA
Portland, Maine is a must-visit if you’re in New England, but this is especially true in the fall. Portland has it all: iconic coastal Maine charm, a beautiful city center, ocean views galore, and of course fresh lobster and whoopie pies! Those ocean views coupled with fall foliage in particular are breathtaking, and you should definitely take advantage of the various outlooks into the Casco Bay, the rocky peninsula on which Portland sits.
The Old Port area and Commercial Street are great for exploring, shopping, and dining, but for the best foliage views we recommend checking out Portland’s various parks and lighthouses. The Eastern Promenade is a former rail corridor turned city park, and has abundant grassy areas and tree cover to explore, and the Portland Head Light, Bug Light, and Portland Observatory offer beautiful autumn views as well as a peek into the area’s history. Fun fact: the Portland Head Light is thought to be the most-photographed lighthouse in the whole country!
Lastly, if you have a bit more time in the area, Acadia National Park is only about a three-hour drive from Portland, and absolutely worth a visit for dreamy fall views.
Tegan and Alex from Why Not Walk
Napa Valley, California, USA
Napa Valley is one of the best places in California to view fall colors. Not only do the trees in the region sport blazing yellow, orange, and red colors, but the vineyards turn equally colorful, making for beautiful views everywhere in the valley.
There are many ways to experience the beauty of fall in Napa Valley. Drive the Silverado Trail or Highway 29 up and down the valley to see the colors by the roadways. Tour area wineries that are known for their gorgeous grounds. Or walk the trails in area regional and state parks.
Walking Yountville’s main street is one of the best things to do in Napa Valley any time of year, because it is a beautiful street lined with mature trees, vineyards, and upscale stores and restaurants. But in the fall, when the trees and vines change color, it is a gorgeous stroll. Stop to view the art installations and revel in the colors all around you.
While in the valley, enjoy the tastes of the season at the many famous restaurants. From butternut squash pizza and pasta to pumpkin spice latte, you will enjoy all the fall offerings in Napa Valley!
Dhara from Roadtripping California
Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Besides being a beautiful time of year, an excellent reason to visit Lake Tahoe during the fall season is the crowds are much thinner, and there are far fewer people jostling to get into the region’s attractions and restaurants. You’ll love the many varied activities and things to do at Lake Tahoe in fall, especially if you enjoy being outdoors. The weather is mild enough to go hiking and mountain biking, and the beautiful leaves are magnificent to see. A couple of places to hike among the fall foliage is at Page Meadows and Spooner lake. Golden aspen leaves shimmer in the sun, and you’ll easily spot them as you drive along the highway heading to Truckee (Highway 267) and on the south side of the lake (Highway 88).
If you are comfortable swimming in cold water, the lake is excellent for water activities right up to the middle of October. September’s weather is balmy during the day, with clear, bright skies, but it can get quite cold at night. A trip to Tahoe in autumn is great for fabulous festivals, such as Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival or the Sample the Sierra festival, which is usually in September. Sierra festival focuses on local food and wine straight off the farms and vineyards. If you’re visiting with kids, go in October for the Fall Fish Fest as that’s the time of year when the salmon migrate to spawn in Taylor Creek.
Christina from Travel2Next
Eastern Sierra, California, USA
The Eastern Sierra along California’s Highway 395 is one of the best places in California to experience fall colors. The colors peak at a different time each year, but you can generally expect to see bright yellow and orange hillsides from mid-October through the end of the month. Mono County Tourism updates their website with the latest information to see which area is peaking.
There are so many hikes where you can see fall colors or if you’re looking for a more leisurely trip where you can drive and see fall colors, you have that option too. June Lake Loop, Lake Sabrina, Convict Lake, and Lundy Canyon are some of the best places to see fall colors.
You can do this trip on a weekend or spend a week exploring the different areas that make up the Eastern Sierra.
October is also a great month for hiking and backpacking since the weather is cooler and there are fewer crowds. The days are mild and the nights will be chilly, so if you’re camping, bring a sleeping bag and sleeping bag that will be warm enough. During the day you can also stand up paddleboard and kayak on the variety of lakes around the area.
Jenny from Campsite Vibes
Prague is beautiful any time of year, but if you like earthy colors, fall is the best time to come. The forests surrounding Prague turn to all shades of yellow, orange, brown and green. Since Prague has a lot of parks too, you can enjoy the lovely autumn scenery within the city as well.
Stromovka is Prague’s largest park. You can walk it for hours and still see something new. If you stick to the city center, you can enjoy lovely parks especially in the Vinohrady district. Havlíčkovy sady park even features a vineyard. Big gingko trees turn bright yellow and make the grass look like a yellow carpet. Riegrovy sady park between Vinohrady and Žižkov offers a view of the distant Prague Castle, which looks even more charming with the autumn colors framing it.
In fall, too, it’s highly recommendable to walk up or to take a funicular up to the Petřín Tower, Prague’s small version of the Eiffel Tower. The views are wonderful, and the hill is densely covered in greenery.
While I hope you’ll experience a beautiful Indian summer while in Prague, I have you covered with a complete list of Prague indoor activities in case the weather gets nasty.
Veronika from Travel Geekery
One of Europe’s most visited capital cities, Budapest is a great place to explore year-round. However, it’s in the fall months that Budapest shows off its real beauty. With the city spread either side of the River Danube there is a lot to see. Historical buildings, monuments, castles, bridges stretching across the river and many parks.
For the best place to see all the beautiful fall colors of Budapest head up to Buda Castle on the West of the River Danube. This side of the city, Buda, is much hillier than the flatter Pest that makes up the majority of Budapest and where you’ll find most of the hotels and restaurants. However, from a vantage point by the castle above the river you can enjoy the changing colors the season typically brings. A rainbow of autumnal shades spreads out along the river, yellows and oranges mixed with the greens and browns that decorate this beautiful city. On the other side of the castle you’ll find many parks in the less affluent residential area, heavy with trees and yet more of the spectacular color range.
Further down the river, close to the Hungarian Parliament building, is Margaret Island. Accessible by bridge from either side of the river, the island is popular with runners and walkers who enjoy the paths leading through the wooded areas. In the centre is the Musical Fountain, with its choreographed water displays timed to classical and popular music.
For sunset, make sure to climb up to the Liberty Statue overlooking the city. Not only is it a great spot from which to appreciate Budapest, but when the sun goes down you can marvel at the reddish-orange glow reflecting on the buildings to match that of the changing colors of the foliage.
Stuart from Just Travelling Through
The Alsace region in France is world-famous for its wine route and it’s fairy tale towns. People flock to the area to see these amazing towns and taste the amazing blends of foods all year round. It is a stunning place that gets better the more you visit it and every season brings you something new, fresh and amazing.
There are so many amazing things to do in the Alsace. Fall in the Alsace is a perfect time to visit. After you have had your fill of the delicious delights the towns have to offer you can take a drive through the Vosges mountains. Every few meters the colors in the trees and on the ground change. Late in the afternoon with the sun setting and the last rays popping through the trees will give you an everlasting memory of a magnificent area in France that is already unforgettable.
Bec Wyld from Wyld Family Travel
Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons in Finnish Lapland and worth a visit during this colorful time of the year. Not only the trees start changing their colors, but the bushes and scrubs too. The blueberry and lingonberry fields slowly turn to a red carpet, while other plants decorate the landscape in a variety of different colors. It’s a perfect time for hiking, exploring the fells, and enjoying the Lappish wilderness with a unique appearance.
As the majority of Lapland is north from the Arctic Circle, the first signs of the changing season appear already in August around Inari on the far north, while the southern part near the Bothnian Bay is at least a month behind. The colorful fall season lasts for approximately 4-8 weeks, until the first frosts. Late September is usually the best month to visit Lapland for the fall scenery.
Don’t miss out on the beautiful fall in Lapland!
Katalin from Our Life, Our Travel
Isle of Skye, Scotland
Scotland is one of the best places in Europe to visit in fall, and the Isle of Skye is one of the prettiest places in Scotland! The scenery is spectacular at any time of year, but add in the colors of the fall scenery, combined with the backdrop of the sea and the Scottish Highlands and the entire thing is just magical.
There are so many options for your Isle of Skye itinerary–breathtaking waterfalls (including the famous Fairy Pools), mountains to hike, whiskey tastings and distillery tours and beautiful castles you can explore inside and out.
Fall is by far the best time to visit Skye–the crowds from summer have gone, but the days are still warm enough and there’s enough sunlight to make the most of them. You’ll be able to get closer to the main attractions–some of them you might even have all to yourself!
It’s easy to get to Skye- there’s a road bridge or a ferry. Both are open throughout fall. We chose to arrive by ferry and leave by road! Most restaurants, cafes and bars remain open in fall, so after a day exploring you can relax and unwind.
Kat from Wandering Bird
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Salt Lake City, Utah is a great place to visit in fall to see the fall foliage. Not only will you see the beautiful yellows and reds of the leaves, but it will also be a lot cooler and more comfortable in Salt Lake City. Most people do not spend a lot of time in Salt Lake City when they visit Utah but it’s worth staying in Salt Lake City for a few days to check out the incredible hikes near the city.
One of my favorite places to go hiking is Cottonwood Canyon. This is a beautiful place to visit anytime of year but in the fall it is especially beautiful with all the changes in the colors and the bright red, oranges and yellows found here.
A nice easy hike in Cottonwood is Donut Falls. The unique Donut Falls is a popular attraction so the trail can be quite busy. This is a very easy, three-mile trail round trip to a cool waterfall! It is mostly flat, and worth it at the end. The scenery here is absolutely beautiful. The falls itself are so unique and a must-see.
Nicole from American Southwest Obsessed
Yosemite National Park, California, USA
The majestic Yosemite National Park is located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Known for its iconic landmarks such as Half Dome, El Capitan and Yosemite Valley, it’s also a popular destination for tourists in the fall. While Yosemite’s peak tourist season is summer and spring, fall brings lesser crowds, beautiful bright colors, and cooler weather.
One of the best ways to access the autumn foliage in Yosemite is to visit the best hiking trails in Yosemite that are lined with big black oak trees, multicolored dogwood trees, and deciduous trees with hued leaves that are vibrant shades of golden yellow and amber orange. A popular hiking trail that’s home to each of these types of trees is the hike to Mirror Lake from Happy Isles. The hiking difficulty is rated easy, and the duration of the hike is about 3.4 miles round trip. The hike winds through a mystical forest on a flat trail, and then arrives at an empty lake (depending on the year) for a loop around. Throughout the hike, you’ll find diversified trees of distinct shades of rich greens, yellows and oranges.
Similarly, if you plan to hike this trail during the fall, the park’s temperatures do begin to drop during this time of year. I recommend packing a jacket, a hat for those who get cold easily, and your camera to capture those mighty vivid trees and wilder ambiance.
Ciara from Wellness Travel Diaries
Missouri is located in the central United States and is one of the best places to visit for fall scenery. Much of the southern area of the state is dominated by rolling hills and endless seas of trees that will explode into color just as soon as autumn rolls around. Missouri also has an abundance of state parks that are filled with well-maintained trails for hikes that will keep you surrounded in breathtaking color for as long as you care to hike.
The major city of St. Louis is built right into the surrounding landscape which means if you’re looking for a bit of nightlife or a dinner out on the town but you don’t want to miss the colors, then Missouri has you covered. Forest Park is positioned right in the middle of the city and at a whopping 1,300 acres is nearly double the size of Central Park in New York City. If you find yourself in the Midwest United States in the fall, don’t miss the opportunity to stop by Missouri for some of the best fall colors around.
Jess from Unearth the Voyage
Plitvice National Park, Croatia
One of the most impressive places to visit for fall foliage is Plitvice National Park in the heart of Croatia. Autumn is fantastic when most of the tourists and even locals have left and the park is relatively quiet. But this is exactly the perfect time to visit when the autumn colors create a vivid burst of drama in the landscape with stunning yellows, oranges, and reds blanketing the landscape and the impressive waterfalls that Plitvice is known for.
You’ll enjoy walking through the elevated boardwalks over water features, ponds and those amazing falls with gorgeous autumn colors highlighting the seasonal transition. Also, if you take the lovely boat ride to the end, the fall colors will really dazzle and create so many wonderful photo opportunities for you to capture while the boat glides smoothly over the lake. Croatia is a wonderful experience and Plitvice National Park in fall time is magical.
Noel from Travel Photo Discovery
The Peak District, United Kingdom
One of the best places in England to see autumn colors has to be in the UK’s first National Park, the Peak District. From September to November, the entire National Park changes from lush greens to golden auburn, warm oranges and deep reds. The best way to enjoy these changing colors is to take part in some of the most popular walks in the Peak District. During this time, you’ll be able to traverse the trails without any crowds, and have plenty of time to stop and photograph the countryside.
The best place to base yourself on a fall visit is in Castleton village. Close to Mam Tor mountain and only half an hour from Sheffield city, Castleton, is a great place to traverse the rolling hills and take in the vistas. The village is also home to Peveril Castle, an 11th century Norman fortress which has panoramic views of the whole of the Hope Valley.
Roshni from The Wanderlust Within
If you’re looking for an offbeat fall destination, Poznan is the perfect option. This Polish city is still considered an undiscovered destination and most of the time, it feels like you’re the only traveler there, yet there are dozens of things to do in Poznan, so you will never be bored.
Some of the city’s must-see places are the gorgeous, colorful Old Town, the impressive Imperial Castle, and the 10th-century Poznan Cathedral, but there is so much more to experience in Poznan. Cozy cafes, mouthwatering hearty Polish food, stunning architecture, fascinating museums, and open-air markets–can you see why this city is such a gem?
Last but not least, Poznan’s parks and gardens cover about 25 percent of the city, so imagine what that means if you’re visiting in fall. From Citadel Park to the Botanical Gardens (which are free to visit) to Frédéric Chopin Park, there’s no shortage of beautiful spots to enjoy some amazing fall scenery colors.
Or from My Path in the World
If you’re looking for incredible places for autumn scenery then head to Toronto! Fall in Ontario is pretty epic but you don’t have to even leave the city of Toronto to find brilliant fall colors. Some great places in Toronto to catch sight of fall colors include the Toronto Islands, where you can wander the lake and tree-lined boardwalk, frolic in the fallen leaves in front of Osgoode Hall, or take a hike surrounded by bright autumn colors in Rouge National Urban Park.
And for those looking for a bit more of a moody atmosphere, wander the pathways of Mount Pleasant Cemetery under a canopy of maple trees. While fall officially begins in late September, the best time to visit Toronto for the fall colors is usually mid-to-late October. So, grab your sweaters and warm apple cider and enjoy Toronto this fall.
Stephanie from The World As I See It
Altyn Arashan, Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is a country of mountains and therefore a great place to see the fall foliage in all its glory. One of the best places in Kyrgyzstan to see this event is the valley of Altyn Arashan. The forested mountain slopes turn into a colorful spectacle every year.
Altyn Arashan is located near Karakol. A small town on the shores of lake issyk kul that serves as the gateway to many treks in the surrounding mountains. One of these treks is the seven-kilometer trail to the Altyn Arashan valley. It is a beautiful hike any time of the year, but fall makes it particularly colorful.
If you are not into hiking you can also reach altyn arashan on an adventurous journey by a four wheel drive jeep. It’s a bumpy ride or challenging hike, but once you reach the final mountain ridge where the valley opens up before you, you know it is worth all the effort.
Altyn Arashan is not only famous for its fall scenery and sweeping views on the mountains, but also for its hot springs. The lodges all have their own pools to warm up your muscles after a day of hiking. Facilities are basic, but the experience is memorable nevertheless.
Ellis from Backpack Adventures
Door County, Wisconsin, USA
Whether you are looking to book a family getaway or planning, friends reunion, or a romantic vacation for two, Door County in Wisconsin will welcome you with open arms to experience its five state parks’ beauty in the fall season. When you plan to go with your family on vacation to Door County, the best time of the year is the fall season. As you visit one of the five state parks, you can go for a leaf-peeping. During the fall season, colorful leaves from trees fall, thus, painting the nearby grounds with color.
After you finish your mini hikes in national parks, it’s time to pamper yourself with great views and hospitality of some of the best luxury resorts in Wisconsin. You can easily book a cabin or a room in Glidden Lodge Beach Resort, where you get to experience the cold breeze coming straight from the sea in its balconies during the fall season. For an avid reader, these balconies are no less than heaven with a scenic panoramic view.
On the other hand, Door County entertains crowds of stargazers throughout the year as it was given a dark-sky designation in 2017. As a result, you can watch one of the eeriest and the enchanting ballet dance of light in the night sky, also known as northern lights, if you timed your vacation correctly. Moreover, this is the one county that contains a 300 miles-long shoreline. So basically you can park your car anywhere on the side and can set up your camp for the stargazing.
Paulina from Paulina on the Road
Central Europe is one of the best places for vast forests, city parks, and cozy autumn vibes. One small city that’s still a country capital is picturesque Bratislava in Slovakia. Combine a city stay with walks in the woods full of castle ruins and history.
From the comfort of your accommodation, you can walk through the city to the viewpoint of the Slavín memorial. From there, you can see Bratislava’s castle skirted by the red roofs of the old town and its belfries firmly to the south. The memorial is dedicated to the Soviet troops that liberated Bratislava during World War II.
From Bratislava’s castle, you can also find beautiful views of the tree-lined Danube River down below spanned by the UFO Bridge. This used to be the outer boundary of the Roman Empire and has been inhabited for thousands of years by many civilizations. Upstream to the northwest lie the castle ruins of Devín at the confluence of the Morava river and at the foot of Bratislava’s highest mountain. Atop this mountain–Devínska Kobyla–lies an abandoned Cold War-era missile base, good for urban exploring.
A stay in the old town (staré mesto) isn’t super pricey for a European capital. There are a variety of hotels and Airbnbs to get home after time outside. Inside the city, it’s never a long walk to a hip café where you can get a hot beverage to warm up again. In late autumn, the first Christmas market stalls appear in the city’s squares. Make sure to pack for both hot and sunny autumn days as well as breezy or wet ones.
Iris from Mind of a Hitchhiker
Cape Breton Island, Canada
One of the best places to see fall foliage in Canada is Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. This area is breathtaking year-round, but it becomes even more spectacular during the fall as the leaves of old-growth trees turn into an incredible color show ranging from fiery red and crimson to golden-yellow.
Cape Breton is most famous for the Cabot Trail, a world-famous scenic drive. Although the trail is just under 300km in length, you’ll want to take at least three days to travel through it. There are so many places to stop along the Cabot trail, along with endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. It’s a paradise for hikers, as there are over 26 trails within Cape Breton Highlands National Park that are perfect for seeing the fall scenery. Be sure to hike the Skyline trail at sunset for an unforgettable view.
If you want to see fall colors in Cape Breton, the first two weeks of October are the best time as this is when fall hits its peak. It’s also a great time to visit if you want to partake in the Celtic Colors International Festival, a unique celebration of Cape Breton Island’s living traditional culture.
Lora from Explore with Lora
Hudson Valley, New York, USA
The Hudson Valley in New York is a wide strip of land either side of the Hudson River between New York City and the state capital Albany. There are plenty of places to see amazing fall colors. You can take a scenic drive, go on one of the many great hikes in the valley or visit some of the historic homes to see the color. If you like hiking, there are stunning vistas of the woods, lakes and valleys from the Minneswaka Lake Loop and High Peterskill trails in Minnewaska State Park including Table Rock and Bonticou Crag Trails in Mohonk Preserve and the challenging Breakneck Ridge Trail in the Hudson Highlands.
For a less energetic way to enjoy the autumn scenery, several historic mansions dating from the gilded age are open for visits. The grounds, often with access to, or views of, the river, are especially beautiful in the fall. Top picks include Staatsburgh State Historic Site and Clermont Mansion. Or you can just hop in your car, get off the highways and drive around the backroads and you will be surrounded by the reds, oranges and yellows that make this area one of the best places in the world to see fall foliage.
James from Travel Collecting
Durmitor National Park, Montenegro
Durmitor National Park, Montenegro, is a beautiful place to visit in the Autumn. From the vast snow-capped mountains in the distance to glacial lakes with autumnal forests reflecting in the water. When I did a weeklong roadtrip in Montenegro, I visited in late November. The downside was a lot of rain on some days–though I personally enjoy a moody atmosphere–and I’d advise checking with your accommodation or the tourist board for the best route if you’re driving in case of road closures.
Tara Canyon, the largest canyon in Europe, is definitely worth a visit. In good weather, you can go hiking along one of the amazing trails in Montenegro–Durmitor is in fact a massif consisting of over 50 peaks over 2000m so expect incredible views! A guide is recommended and some trails may be closed in the off-season. On the bright side, the roads are much quieter meaning you can stop often to enjoy the scenery.
I also recommend visiting the Black Lake, which is not the best place for fall colours since it’s surrounded by pine trees, but still incredibly stunning. The historical cities, Lake Skadar National Park and coastal roads of Montenegro are also stunning in the fall, and it’s a great way to make the most of this country without the summer crowds!
Cass from Cass the Hag
Heidelberg is situated along the Neckar River in Southwest Germany. It is just an hour train ride from Frankfurt, home to the busiest train station in Europe. Located in a valley, surrounded by dense forest, Heidelberg is a magnificent place to photograph fall scenery. Highlights include Heidelberg Castle, its Baroque Old Town and the Philosopher’s Walk.
The Philosopher’s Walk is a path that begins on the northern banks of the Neckar River. Follow it up the mountain for dramatic views of colorful October foliage, Heidelberg’s Old Town and Heidelberg Castle perched above the city across the Neckar River. The path’s beauty and solitude has inspired romantic artists and famous German poets like Joseph von Eichendorff and Friedrich von Eichendorff.
Heidelberg Castle draws around 1 million visitors per year. The castle ruins date to 1214, but significant damage was caused by lighting in 1764. The castle is considered one of the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps.
Heidelberg University was founded in 1386 and is Germany’s oldest university. Being a college town of 160,000 people, there are many hip bars for a late night drink. Enjoy the fun ambiance over tasty brews and delicious cuisine. Two of the best dishes to enjoy in Germany are pork knuckle and schnitzel!
Alex from Wanderlust Marriage
Poconos, Pennsylvania, USA
Pennsylvania is one of the best states in America for peeping leaves in the autumn. The northeast region of the state is home to the Poconos Mountains, where the colors are especially brilliant. Due to the weather patterns, this region delivers bright red, yellow and orange hues starting in late September to early November.
One of the best places to see fall foliage in the Poconos is Lake Wallenpaupack. This man-made reservoir is the second largest lake in Pennsylvania and has 52 miles of coastline. Every stretch is more beautiful than the next and the lake reflects the autumn colors for incredible photographs.
Another exquisite place for the fall leaves is Ricketts Glen State Park. It features 22 named waterfalls that make a perfect backdrop to the foliage. If you hike the Falls Trail system you can see all of them over a moderate 3.2 mile hike through the colorful forest.
Another great natural attraction in the Poconos is Bushkill Falls and it’s wonderful in the autumn. It’s known as “the Niagara of Pennsylvania” and features five hiking trails through even more majestic waterfalls. The park is private and they charge an entry fee, but it’s worth every bit for the views and experience of the colors of the Poconos.
Wherever you go in the Poconos, you won’t be far from gorgeous lakes, trails and fall scenery.
Derek from Robe Trotting
Have you ever made it to any of these places with beautiful fall scenery around the world? Share your favorite places in the comments below!
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Want some more information on the best places to visit around the world? Check out these articles:
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- Best Trails in the World for Beginning Hikers
- 10 Best Places to Travel in June