Is there anything more nostalgic than fall? When that first crisp day arrives, thoughts of apples, bonfires, and cozy sweaters float on Autumn breezes. The world waves goodbye to summer and starts painting in bright reds, warm golds, and vibrant yellows. Celebrate the changing of seasons in any one of our six top spots for fall colors and take part in an autumn encounter you won’t soon forget.
“If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour.”
New Hampshire/New England, USA
Travel along the dramatic Franconia Notch mountain pass through the dazzling crimson and orange hues of the famed Kancamagus Scenic Byway and soak in the utterly glorious fall colors on one of the most scenic roads in America. This spectacular section of Route 112 is unspoiled by industry and boasts 34.5 miles of untouched natural beauty. Few places in the world offer such a stunning display of autumn colors, with people traveling from all over to enjoy and photograph this sublime landscape.
More spectacular fall foliage awaits in Crawford Notch State Park and photo ops abound at Silver Cascade waterfall, which twists, turns and cascades 4000 feet down the side of Mount Jackson.
Warm fall days in Paris might lead you to apply for expat status, they’re that marvelous. The light in Paris is famous for its hues and shadows; pair the cast of the city’s soft mornings and dreamy sunsets with the vibrant colors of fall and prepare to be in awe. The yellow, umber, sienna, and crimson only add to the magic of the city; making autumn one of our favorite seasons to visit.
Imagine sunny and crisp mornings on café terraces, wrapped in a favorite scarf and the scent of espresso and pastries. Spend afternoons soaking up the autumn atmosphere and local life of Parisians as you stroll through historic neighborhoods bursting in color. Explore small shops, patisseries, boulangeries, fromageries, and chocolatiers, all tiny, offering heated beverages and seasonal favorites.
The Dolomites, Italy
The breathtaking landscape of the Dolomites is always spectacular, but autumn in the area is something out of this world. The fall colors and light truly make it a photographer’s dream. The larch trees of the region turn honey yellow and the fall light casts both shadows and buttery hues over crags and rock formations. To walk among the magnificent mountains and distinctive limestone peaks, travel to the Ampezzo Valley and the famous ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
With over a thousand years of history, Cortina d’Ampezzo offers access to beautiful lakes, larch forests, and quiet fall mountain meadows. For the best views of the gorgeous foliage and mountains, as well as the surrounding landscapes, take a thrilling cable car ride to the summit of one of the peaks for breathtaking 360-degree views.
Autumn is an incredible time to visit the Scottish Highlands. The landscape is, if possible, even more magical with the deep hues of evergreen pines creating a backdrop for the blazing colors of changing trees and grasses.
Seeming as if the rolling hills caught fire, the color spreads with the deer-grass on the moors as it turns a deep russet red. Trees burst into shades of amber and bronze. The dark spires of craggy rocks cast purple shadows across the land as the light turns flaxen with the season.
German Wine Route, Germany
The oldest scenic route in the country, the German Wine Route, or Deutsche Weinstrasse, offers travelers an enchanting trip. The route provides quintessential wineland scenery: lush vine-covered hillsides, rambling forests, and picturesque, quaint German villages. Traveling the route is incredible in the fall as the changing of the leaves lends sweeps of warm fall colors to the landscape and local wine festivals abound.
During the autumn months, the area is busy busy with wine and harvest festivals. Each hamlet has its own celebration with local food and wines. While the area is famous for Sket, a white sparkling wine, don’t miss the Federweißer. A sweet, young wine with a rapid fermentation process, Federweißer is only available September through late October. Enjoy this cloudy and refreshing drink with local chestnuts as you take in the storybook timber-frame buildings and cobbled squares famous to the area.
While the pink cherry blossoms of Japan are known the world over, the fall foliage of Kyoto may be more stunning. The best place to immerse yourself in the colors of Autumn is on the city’s western fringe, in the historic and scenic district of Arashiyama.
Renowned for its dramatically changing seasonal landscapes, fall travelers will find the area’s maples bursting with splashes of scarlet and rose. The district is also celebrated for its walkable bamboo forests. Visitors can stroll among the towering aisles of green stalks as they sway with the fall wind, offering the careful listener a symphony of fluttering leaves that only accentuates the fall landscape. Initially built for nobility, the famous Togetsukyo Bridge is the best place to take in and appreciate the gorgeous surroundings.
Fall months are always full of amazing experiences, no matter your destination. From the changing oaks of the east coast of the USA to the wine festivals of Germany, autumn is truly one of our favorite seasons for travel.
Where is your favorite place to see the changing seasons?