Fall is the perfect season to travel!
This is perhaps the ideal time of year to tour the world, discover new places, enjoy the great outdoors, and feed our cultural and historical appetites. There are fantastic places around the world to enjoy the beautiful change of seasons. In the fall, international travelers can expect nicer weather, less crowds (and hence shorter queues), and reduced hotel and flight expenses. Read on for our recommendations for some incredible fall spots to visit, whether you’re going this season or planning a trip next year.
Here are our picks, 7 places you should see during fall:
Aspen, Colorado, USA
Local aspen trees turn an intense, bright yellow when the season changes to fall, creating an amazing fall scene when set against Aspen, Colorado’s snowcapped mountains and clear blue skies. Over 100 miles of hiking routes, the most of which are snow-free until November, are available to explore this beacon of spectacular natural landscape.
Although aspen may appear to be an easy choice, obvious isn’t always a negative thing. In addition, several of the city’s hotels are giving season-specific incentives, making this fall a particularly appealing time to come.
Don’t forget to stop near the Maroon Bells for some of the best foliage views. The pair of mountains, which are about 10 miles west of Aspen, are among the most photographed in the state. Professional photographers have been known to arrive on the shores of Maroon Lake well before sunrise in order to capture the perfect autumn snap.
With a view of the castle Festung Marienberg in the distance, fall color ignites this gorgeous scene on Bavaria’s river Main. Autumn festivals, and fairs bring Bavaria to life in the fall, when an already beautiful part of Germany comes alive. Autumn is also a perfect season to enjoy the splendor of Bavaria’s outdoors, with plenty of gorgeous hiking paths, walking trails, and mountain biking activities.
With unending Alpine woods that flash with vibrant color against mountains powdered with snow in the fall, southern Germany has some of Europe’s most stunning scenery. When it comes to colorful trees, Bavaria is Europe’s Vermont, with every turn feeling like strolling into a different Bob Ross picture. Numerous wine festivals are held during this season, which is also great for trekking in the Alps and horse-drawn carriage trips. There will be fewer crowds when visiting the around 25 historic castles and palaces, including the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, Linderhof Palace, Nuremberg Castle, and Burghausen Castle.
At every turn, Japan revels in natural beauty and celebrates the earth’s richness. Nowhere is this regard for the natural world more visible than in Kyoto, where the changing hues of the season may be seen on elaborate bridges or in painting landscapes framed in shrine and temple windows during the autumn season. Many temples have fall colors that are illuminated at night to enhance the beauty of the brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges. The autumn colors are exceptionally vibrant at Kyoto Botanical Gardens.
From mid-October to mid-December, Japan’s fall foliage is at its peak, with maple trees turning a vibrant red and the iconic Japanese gingko trees becoming a dazzling yellow. Baked sweet potatoes, Japanese chestnuts, sanma salmon, and matsutake mushrooms are just a few of the delectable seasonal goodies available this time of year.
Traveling to Bordeaux in the fall is a sensory overload. The harvest season is great for touring the city’s stylish open-air markets and attending vibrant wine-tasting festivals.
The lovely city of Bordeaux, nestled in the heart of France’s most prominent wine region, welcomes visitors with exquisite art galleries, bold neoclassical architecture, stunning boulevards, and wonderful wine. Autumn in Bordeaux is also full of wonderful events. There will be plenty of festivals to keep you entertained here in the fall, from the Bordeaux Opera Season (November) to the adjacent Jurade de Saint Emilion.
You can also visit Fontainebleau, France while you’re at it. This woodland area south of Paris is a magical bouldering spot that everyone should see at least once in their lives. It has enough rock climbing to keep you busy for a lifetime, and you can spend hours roaming through the woods and playing on the amazing sandstone boulders. You can view the magnificence of the fall foliage during this season.
Vermont’s huge tree canopies —more than 80% of the state is forested— transform into an eye-popping tapestry of marigold, ochre, and burgundy hues in the autumn. When you add in the area’s farmhouse-dotted landscape, artisanal cheeses and microbrews, and general bucolic vibe, it’s easy to see why road-tripping through the state is at the top of most people’s autumn bucket lists. But there’s a better way to observe the leaves: on a bike, where you won’t be compelled to see the scenery in blurs of color and can burn off all those fresh apple cider doughnuts.
The weekend tours for tourists are popular in the area. Usually, the tour covers nine to 52 miles every day, with opportunities for significant climbs totaling 4,969 feet of elevation gain and plenty of pauses to enjoy Vermont favorites like Fable Farm cider, Thistle Hill Farm’s nutty Tarentaise cheese, and Long Trail Brewing Co.’s seasonal Harvest brown ale. Your private base at night is a quaint six-person cabin in the beautiful village of Woodstock. If you’re not into biking, leaf-peeping while hiking a segment of the Appalachian Trail between Pomfret and West Hartford to kayaking on the 750-acre Chittenden Reservoir with local firm Appalachian Trail Adventures are just a few of the ways to slow down and enjoy the colors. And if you’re lucky, you might see some mesmerizing wild animals!
Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Despite the cold, the Highlands are one of the most beautiful spots in Europe for seeing stunning autumn colors, in a country already known for its breathtaking nature. The rivers and lochs mirror the copper and gold-covered slopes, while Knock Hill, near Loch Tummel and the Pass of Killiecrankie, in Perthshire, often known as Big Trees Country, offers some of the best views. You can enjoy particularly wonderful scenery from the summit of the Highlands to the north by hiking the Knock Hill through mixed forests to heathery overlooks.
Perthshire is also home to the world’s tallest hedge, which reaches at nearly 100 feet. Early in the autumn, the leaves begin to turn, and by the start of November, they are in their full beauty. Autumn is also one of the greatest times of year to see the country’s diverse and abundant wildlife. From September through November, you can hear the roaring and clattering antlers of red deer stags as they gather in the sheltering glens for the annual rut, battling for females.
New York City, USA
The greatest time to visit New York is from late September until the end of fall, when the temperature ranges from 50 to 75 degrees and the air is dry and crisp. In the fall, the weather in New York City is mostly sunny with little humidity.
New York sunsets are nicer and more vivid in the fall and it is perhaps the finest time of year for photographers and sunset enthusiasts to experience New York’s stunning sunsets. The finest spot to watch mesmerizing New York City sunsets is probably a rooftop bar at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
New Yorkers enjoy spending time in Central Park in any season, but more people photograph there in the fall than in any other. During this lovely season, Central Park turns gold and red. Although there is no bad season to visit, the fall is one of the finest times to go because it is less busy and the park is more colorful.
Biking through the park, jogging, taking photos, picnicking beneath the leaves, and simply walking about on a wonderful weekend day are all great things to do in Central Park during the fall. The iconic “Mall,” where you can see fall leaves in full bloom, is one of the most beautiful sites in Central Park throughout the fall season.