From late September to November Mother Nature puts on one of her greatest shows. Before the stark cold winter sets in, landscapes around the world become ablaze with a spectacular display of orange, red, yellow, gold and brown. Here are 22 amazing locations where you can witness some of the best displays of rich autumn colours:
Autumn is one of the best times of year to visit New England, where fall foliage is legendary. The picturesque New England town of Stowe is nestled at base of Vermont’s highest peak and is the perfect place to see the beautiful hues of red and orange while enjoying outdoor activities like hiking, cycling and horse riding.
The hilly state of Saarland in Germany is covered in forests which transform into colourful canopies of orange and gold from late September. Bärlauch-Buchenwald, near the city of Saarbrücken, is the perfect place to witness this magical autumnal display.
The Adirondack Region of New York is blessed with one of the longest fall foliage seasons in America. Hikers will love exploring the lakes and woods that are bursting with colour. When you’re not looking at the amazing autumn colours, you can go apple picking, find your way through a corn maze, or go whitewater rafting on the Hudson River.
Take a walk along the nature trails in Riverwood Conservancy and you’ll be amazed by the spectacular autumn foliage of vibrant yellows, oranges and reds. The Conservancy is located in central Mississauga, Canada and is home to diverse wildlife including White-tailed Deer and Cooper’s Hawk. It’s a nature lovers paradise and a great place to experience autumn foliage.
The Pembrokeshire coastline is not your run-of-the-mill autumn scene. There are no colourful maples or fiery red forests, but during autumn the grassy coastal paths become a carpet of browns, reds, oranges and yellows. It’s also an excellent spot to watch migratory birds.
If you’re looking for scenic autumn drives then Grafton County in New Hampshire is a great location. The New England county is home to the White Mountain National Forest which is one of the best places in the US to experience superb autumnal colours and enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, hiking and cycling. It’s a great autumn holiday destination for families who love the outdoors.
Although the east coast of America is famous for it’s fabulous fall colours, the west coast of the country also has some great spots for witnessing the change of seasons. One of these places is Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle. The Japanese Garden has free entry, and is a serene setting for appreciating the red and golden hues of autumn before winter arrives.
Gloucestershire forms part of the Cotswold Hills and is a wonderful place to watch the trees show off their superb autumnal colours, especially in the Forest of Dean. When you’re not appreciating the beauty of autumn you can explore the city of Gloucester, or appreciate the beauty of Stroud.
Autumn in Worcester County, Massachusetts means hay rides, pumpkin carving, corn mazes, and apple-picking but it’s also a great time for enjoying the resplendent autumn colours of New England. The colourful, thick forests are the perfect place for outdoor activities like hiking and biking.
The picturesque region of Piedmont is located in the north-west of Italy, along the French border. During the autumn months the hillside vineyards and orchards change into beautiful hues of oranges, reds and browns. When you’re not enjoying the colourful display from ‘Mother Nature’ you can eat truffles, or sample the wine Piedmont is famous for like Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Dolcetto and Moscato D’Asti.
One of the best places for an autumn holiday is New Brunswick, Canada. The invigorating autumn air is perfect for outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, cycling and fishing. Autumn is also an optimal whale-watching season along the beautiful New Brunswick coast.
Kyoto is not only a beautiful place in the spring when the cherry blossom trees are blooming, it’s also a fantastic place to see the beauty of muted autumn colours. The city has many beautiful gardens and tea houses where you can appreciate the beauty of the season. A favourite with visitors to the city is the peaceful Katsura Imperial Villa and Gardens.
The beautiful Swiss Canton of Berne has miles of hiking trails and scenic drives that take visitors past picturesque towns and villages and through wooded slopes, against the backdrop of stunning autumn foliage. The best time to see Switzerland’s autumn colours is from the end of September until the end of October. Switzerland is truly a country for all seasons.
As the name suggests, Maple City was founded on land that was covered in several hundred acres of maple timber. Every year the town and the surrounding area becomes a multicoloured autumn masterpiece as the maples turn every shade of red, orange and yellow imaginable. Maple City is also a great base from which to explore the Leelenau Peninsula wineries.
This beautiful valley lies between two mountain ranges in Extremadura, Spain. During the spring, nature creates a stunning display of blossoming cherry trees, but the display of colour is equally spectacular in autumn when the leaves of the trees in Valle del Jerte change into wonderful hues of orange and yellow. The unspoilt landscape of Valle del Jerte is the perfect place to go walking.
Styria is located in the south-east of Austria and is a great region to enjoy an autumn hiking, cycling or mountain biking tour. When you’re not experiencing the beauty of autumn in the outdoors, you can enjoy performing arts in the city of Graz. In October Graz hosts the Styrian Autumn Festival, which is a celebration of avant-garde theater, opera, dance, jazz, film, and other performing arts.
Another fabulous New England spot to witness an explosion of autumn colours is York County, Maine. Walk through plantations and wooded regions, or enjoy the autumn colours from a kayak on a lake. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the crisp autumn air.
Located in the western part of Germany, the Rhineland-Palatinate is home the beautiful Rhine Valley. When you’re not taking photos of the spectacular autumn foliage, you can enjoy the wine from Germany’s top wine-growing region.Located in the heart of England is the city of Nottingham. Although it’s better known for its association with the legend of Robin Hood, it’s also a fabulous autumn holiday destination. The city makes a great base from which you can explore The Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, which has majestic oaks that turn beautiful shades of yellow and orange. The Purelands Japanese Garden is another great place to see the autumn colours, with bright red and orange maple and cherry trees.
One of the most spectacular regions to experience the glorious American fall colours is the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. Here you’ll find a seemly endless variety of shapes, colours and textures. Not only will you get to enjoy a spectacular display of autumn foliage, you’ll also get to enjoy an amazing variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, cycling, and white water rafting.
Autumn is the ideal time of year to visit Loch Dunmore, in Perthshire, Scotland. From late September to early November the water of the loch reflects the magnificent colours of the surrounding trees. There is a superb 1 mile walking trail around the loch, so pack your walking shoes and enjoy the fresh autumn air.
In the autumn Upstate New York puts on a resplendent show of autumn colours, and one of the best places to enjoy the beauty of the changing leaves is in Lewis County. The eastern part of the county is in the Adirondack Park, where along with the explosion of colour, you can also enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities.
For more ideas on the best places to visit this autumn, check out our range of autumn holiday guides.