Autumn’s bright colors inspire people around the world to take to the outdoors, spending a few days exploring this beautiful world, enjoying exciting road trips, admiring the stunning fall foliage. While places like New England are among the top destinations that come to mind, there are a number of cities and towns that are blanketed in all shades of red and yellow.
Here are some of the best destinations to visit this fall, places that aren’t just famous for their natural beauty, but also popular for their harvest festivals, farmers’ markets and seasonal treats.
Kyoto might be most famous for its cherry blossoms and spring viewing, but its leaf viewing traditions are as complex and intriguing as its cherry blossom customs. One of the best spots for leaf viewing, better known as Koyo, is the island of Honshu, where these leaves cover temple roofs, highlighting the city’s imperial history. The scenery looks even more beautiful under moonlight as the light pierces through heavy branches, showcasing fall leaves in the most beautiful of colors.
The Lake District of England is a place of incredible beauty that feels even more spectacular during the months of autumn. The place is full of enchanting lakes that are surrounded by ruby colored hills. Cumbria also hosts a number of woodlands such as Grizedale Forest Park that present the vivid colors of fall through copper beech trees and green pines. Enjoy long walks in the region with a loved one, but don’t forget to stop by one of the pubs for a glass of local ale.
The Jiuzhaigou Valley is home to some of the most diverse landscapes of China. Its natural beauty has always attracted visitors from all over the world, and all that greenery makes the place feel even more beautiful during the fall season. Come autumn, Jiuzhaigou Valley shimmers in a myriad of colors thanks to its prayer flags, emerald lakes and orange leaves, transporting you to a land of dreams. Those old-world Tibetan villages also offer an exciting insight into the region’s culture.
Aspen, Colorado, USA
When an entire town is named after a tree, you know you’re in for something special. Aspen transforms into a beautiful shade of yellow during the fall season and its cityscapes bask under the sun’s golden glow, making the place feel even more stunning. The craggy mountain peaks act as the perfect backdrop to those golden tones, offering countless ooh-and-aah moments. Aspen’s fall season is short. It kicks into life by the second week of September and is at its beautiful best towards the end of the month. You need to be in the resort town before the first week of October, for there will be more leaves on the ground than on the trees after that point.
We’d love to shortlist one destination to see in New York, but it’s just impossible to restrict a trip to New York to a single destination during the fall season. NYC is a must-see. Central Park comes of its own during the season, and the meadow by Belvedere Castle feels particularly beautiful. NYC also presents a number of fall festivals and seasonal food kiosks, and there’s always so much to see and do, no matter when you’re planning to visit New York. And then there’s Catskills, 6000 sq. miles of natural beauty that hosts 35 mountain peaks soaring to heights of 3500 feet and 6 major river systems. Catskills’ beautiful woodlands transform into shades of orange, red and yellow, and the idyllic villages dotting these woodlands also present all kinds of farmers’ markets, craft fairs and harvest festivals.
Prague feels particularly amazing during the fall season. It sees a lesser number of visitors and the lower angle of the sun during the fall season allows the cityscapes bask in its golden glow, making the atmosphere feel incredibly romantic. The warm weather also bodes well for travelers, pushing people outdoors, bringing those old-world plazas and hippy cafes to life. Take a Castle Hill walking tour just before dusk to enjoy unparalleled views of the most iconic attractions of the city. The city’s public parks are an equally exciting option as the fall foliage presents flashes of orange, crimson and copper, tantalizing your eyes, reminding you just how beautiful nature truly is.
Bruges is another city that transforms into a haven for travelers during fall. Its tree-lined canals are the perfect places to see all shades of red, yellow and orange dancing in the shimmering water. Crimson and golden vines cover the city’s ancient cobblestone streets, historic buildings and church spires, making them feel even more romantic under the fading afternoon sun. Spend your afternoons feasting on handmade chocolate, a local delicacy, and your evenings exploring the city’s open-air markets or admiring the fall foliage.
New England might be the best fall destination on the planet, but Edinburgh certainly gives it a run for its money by treating your eyes to all shades of red, yellow, gold, crimson, bronze and copper. One of the top places in the city to enjoy fall foliage is the Royal Botanical Garden, 70 acres of natural beauty that also offers fantastic views of the city skyline and the Edinburgh Castle. For something more adventurous yet equally beautiful, walk up to Arthur’s Seat, home to a 2000-year-old fort and the highest point of Holyrood Park.
While fall comes early to the resort towns located around Denver, the city only starts enjoying the fall season towards the middle of October. But once fall makes its way to the city, Denver truly transforms into one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet. The Cherry Creek Bike Trail and the High Line Canal aren’t just pleasurable biking and walking spots, they are also among the best vantage points to see the city basking in its fall colors. Fall further brings a number of beer festivals such as the Denver Oktoberfest, Great American Beer Festival and Denver Beer Fest to the city, giving you an excuse to try out 3500 beers from more than 700 breweries.
Europe is particularly striking during the fall season. Just about every destination is basking in fall beauty, and the woodland areas take on a new life, reveling in fall’s glittery glow. Oslo is a haven for nature lovers, the perfect place for inspired walks and foraging expeditions. It is home to a number of beautiful parks that are the perfect places to spend your evenings. Enjoy the colorful scenes of the Vigeland Sculpture Park and the Akershus Fortress or simply wander into the Oslomarka Forest to see some of the most vibrant fall colors in the continent.
Autumn’s crisp air, cool temperature and bright colors inspire you to travel and the best destinations to visit this fall have an abundance of festivals, natural beauty, stunning landscapes, and happy people, ensuring that you have a great time enjoying fall’s vivid colors.
Also do check out Bookmundi’s list of the Top 10 Hauntingly Beautiful Landscapes on Earth – places on earth that look like as if they could be something out of a science-fiction movie and The Ultimate Travel Bucket List: 10 Things to Do Before You Die that features some of the most amazing sights and places on the planet that truly looks and make us feel special.