Top 10 Places Around the World to See the Best Foliage
Fall is a pretty magical time of year. True, it's not to everybody's taste. For every person that gets their chicken soup for the soul out in the backyard smelling bonfires, someone else is pining for summer or already looking forward to snow season.
But no matter if hot toddies and snuggly sweaters are your thing or not, there's no doubt that a glorious red and orange backdrop will make any adventure more memorable—and no one can deny that jumping into a huge pile of leaves is probably the best feeling. Ever.
If you're looking to notch up some seriously cool destinations under your belt and create some killer memories in the process, why not try something a little different to the norm when the seasons change and follow the foliage this fall. And if you think you have to head to New England, think again! We're going to tell you about some of the best places in the world to get your fall fix.
Best Fall Foliage in America and Canada—Stay Stateside (and North a Bit)
Adirondack Mountains, New York State
The Adirondacks boast one of the longest foliage seasons on the east coast, so grab your hiking boots (and your camping equipment if you're feeling hardy), and explore the lesser-known parts of New York State. (No Martinis here!) The locals’ top tip to enjoy fall is to head out to one of the lakes and see the stunning vistas reflected on the water.
Million Dollar Highway Route 550, Colorado
We all know how awesome Colorado is; you probably wouldn't need much arm-twisting to head there for a trip. But in between the snow sports and mountain climbing, there's a road trip that's a must-do—the Million Dollar Highway. True, it's only 25-miles long, but for those 25 miles, we're not kidding when we say there are some points where you take your life into your own hands. However, if you can brave hairpin bends and winding mountain roads, the views are incredible.
Northern New Mexico
Northern New Mexico has long been a little gem of outdoor pursuits—from hitting the slopes in the Taos Ski Valley to whitewater rafting on the Rio Grande (and even a spot of llama trekking!), there is a wealth of reasons to head to NM this fall. Not least because you can enjoy some dazzling scenery while you hurtle along doing whatever the activity of choice is that day.
Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec, Canada
One of the more difficult places to journey to on our list, the Gaspe Peninsula is definitely worth the effort. If you like a good hike, you need to add the Gaspe Peninsula to your bucket list. And if you're not so much a fan of walking, you can still enjoy the changing colors from a sea excursion, kayak, or bike tour.
Best Fall Foliage in Europe—Feeling Fancy? Go Continental
Lake District, UK
The Lake District is undeniably the most beautiful area in England—most particularly fall (or autumn as you'll need to call it; otherwise they'll think that you've taken a tumble.) Yes, it's very wet. And if you take part in the multitude of watersports and lake activities on offer, you are likely to get even wetter. But nothing beats a day in the fresh air, followed by a beer and some hearty English food.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
If you're looking for adventure, get on a plane and hotfoot it to Slovenia—in particular, Lake Bled. With a mind-blowing mountain backdrop, you can discover precisely why this is one of the most special places to visit in Europe while paragliding, canoeing, rafting, and hiking.
Bran Castle, Transylvania
It's fall in Eastern Europe, where else should you head to than Transylvania? Although Count Dracula isn't real, Bran Castle has earned a bit of a rep as being the castle from the book, given that it's the only castle that looks like Mr. Dracula's palatial abode. With the Bucegi Mountains and Piatra Craiului National Park on your doorstep, both renowned for their stunning leafy displays, you can spend your days exploring before heading back to try and get some sleep—you're not scared, are you?
Duoro Valley, Portugal
One for the wine lovers (and let's face it, who doesn't love wine?), this is a slightly more laid back kind of trip; well, you can't go hurtling down mountains everywhere you go. But you'll still be able to get your hands dirty—or rather, your feet, if you book your trip during harvest time (which incidentally falls in fall!) This isn't a boy's holiday, but would certainly win you brownie points if you took a special someone here.
Best Fall Foliage in Australasia and the Middle East—for When You Really Want to Get Far, Far Away
Not somewhere you can pop to for the weekend, but Japan is always going to be an adventure! If you like to wander off the beaten track, feel a million miles away from home, or immerse yourself in new cultures and traditions, Japan is probably already on your Top 10 list of places to visit before you die. But now that you know that it has one of the most brilliant displays of fall foliage to enjoy while you're there, you may be inclined to pass up the hot chocolate and marshmallows of the season for something a little more exotic.
South Island, New Zealand
If you have a trip planned to Australasia (we wish!), try and coordinate your stay so that you get to experience New Zealand's South Island during their fall time—remember, that's March-June down there. (Bonus prize for major fall fans—you could always enjoy fall in the southern hemisphere and then head back home to the north just in time for ours to start). We don't have enough time to go into all the activities you can do there, so suffice to say: It's New Zealand!
Have you been to any of these places? Or do you have any insider knowledge on the best places to experience fall? We'd love to hear about it.