Best Fall Foliage Hotspots Around the World

Best Fall Foliage Hotspots Around the World

The changing of the seasons is a grand experience, but too often we get caught up in the shift between Summer and Winter, and often lose slight of the little things, like the color of leaves. Fall is truly a stunning season around the world, filled with lively festivals and fresh food from local harvests, but the shift in the leaves is one of the most captivating. Most people thing of fall foliage trips as a uniquely North American event, but there are hot spots around the world that are well worth visiting.

1. New England

White Mountain National Park, New Hampshire
White Mountain National Park, New Hampshire

That being said we have to mention New England. From Connecticut up to Maine, the winding roads and forests will transform in an arrange of yellow, orange, red and brown as the fall season passes us by. The season is set to start in late September with yellow hues and transition to a deep crimson by mid-October. Check out the New England Peak Fall Foliage Map to plan your weekend getaway.

2. Bavaria

Autumn leaves around Neuschwanstein
Autumn leaves around Neuschwanstein

While Bavaraia is most known for the world famous Oktoberfest in Munich, this rural region of Germany offers stunning views of fall foliage. Escape from the city for a bit to explore the local towns (all of which also celebrate their own Oktoberfests) and hike along scenic trails beneath an array of fall leaves. If you’re looking for a comfortable day trip, travel from Munich to Neuschwanstein to see the fall colors wrapped around this fairy tale castle.

3. Kyoto

Tourist boat traveling through Arashiyama
Tourist boat traveling through Arashiyama

Japan’s gardens, forests, and trees truly experience the four seasons throughout the year, from the enchanting cherry blossoms to snow-covered canopies. Fall is no different, offering a rich blend of orange and red across the country. One of the best spots is Kyoto, home to dozens of historic temples and gardens that come to life with rich fall colors each year. I visited in early December and still go experience the majesty of the fall colors. Feel the breadth of it with a Japan tour from Tokyo to Kyoto.

4. Yosemite National Park

Autumn leaves below Half Dome
Autumn leaves below Half Dome

Yosemite is a masterpiece all throughout the year, but fall offers that perfect gap between ice roads and heavy, summer crowds. Plus, the numerous hikes and trails transform with fall colors. Travel on a Yosemite tour to enjoy an intimate and thorough tour of this beloved national park.

5. Alberta

Icefields Parkway road trip
Icefields Parkway road trip

Much further north in the Canadian Rockies is a treasure trove of hiking trails and scenic drives for fall enthusiasts. Like Yosemite, the Rockies are stunning all throughout the year, but the shift from summer to winter offers a comfortable and enchanting season for hiking, day trips, and lake cruises. Take a drive along the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper for enchanting views of yellow and orange valleys.

6. Cape Breton

Cape Breton's coast lined with fall colors
Cape Breton’s coast lined with fall colors

And on the opposite side of the country you’ll find a hidden gem of Nova Scotia: Cape Breton Island. This charming and rural island offers some of the most beautiful coastline, bays, and hiking trails in Eastern Canada, make it a perfect place to get out the hiking boots and explore the fall colors.

This October you can also experience Celtic Colours 2017, a 9-day long festival celebrating Celtic music and heritage across Cape Breton.

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John Gray

A poet by heart and an editor by trade, I have traveled across the world in pursuit of my studies and to criss-cross destinations off my bucket list. While a student at the University of Iowa, I traveled to Cuba, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, where I lived for 6 months. I am currently planning a return trip to see the Great Barrier Reef and Western Australia.

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