While New England may be the most renowned region around the world for fall foliage, destinations across the globe share the natural striking beauty of autumn and its yellow, gold, and crimson leaves. States like New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts are top picks, but there are many other destinations for planning an unforgettable holiday filled with beautiful color along with tasty seasonal fruits, veggies, hot cider and more.
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The Lakes Region of New Hampshire, United States (Hotel Prices & Photos)
New Hampshire is exceptional when it comes to showcasing the vibrant reds and golds of autumn. The best colors can be found inland and at higher elevations, like the Lakes Region which includes Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake, Lake Ossipee, Mirror Lake, NewfoundLake and Lake Winnisquam. It’s protected from the harsh coastal winds and doesn’t rise more than 600 feet above sea level, offering the very best opportunity for a long leaf season, typically from late September through late October. Heading out on a kayak or canoe on any one of the lakes here brings some of the most jaw-dropping views with red maples along the water’s edge reflected into the water.
Bavaria, Germany (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Southern Germany boasts some of Europe’s most breathtaking scenery with its endless Alpine forests that pop with brilliant color against snow-dusted mountains in autumn. Bavaria is like the Vermont of Europe when it comes to the amount of deciduous trees, with every turn like walking into a different Bob Ross painting. This is the season for Oktoberfest too, along with lots of wine festivals for indulging in the results of the grape harvest as well as being ideal for hiking through the Alps and taking horse-drawn carriage rides.
The Berkshires, Massachusetts (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts provides great leaf-peeping along with a host of museums to explore like the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, home to one of America’s largest collections of modern art. The striking fall foliage can best be experienced by taking a scenic drive along the winding roads lined with reds, golds and occasionally dark scarlet hues, passing sparkling lakes, lush meadows and tranquil farms along the way. The 35-mile stretch known as Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway in the southern Berkshires may be one of the best, including a stop at Bash-Bish Falls State Park to take in the jaw-dropping three-state views with the landscape blanketed in crimson and gold.
Piedmont, Italy (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Do you really need an excuse to visit Italy? Autumn, and particularly October, is peak season for food and wine with truffles and mushrooms, chestnuts and chocolate all enjoying their own festivals during this time – and, it’s also vineyard harvest season. Piedmont is home to majestic fall scenery and also offers an outstanding food and wine culture. This Northwest region is hemmed in by the Alps and hosts hundreds of roads and trails to explore the surrounding peaks set ablaze with color.
Kyoto, Japan (Hotel Prices & Photos)
While Japan is most famous for its spring cherry blossoms, the autumn foliage in Kyoto may be even more spectacular, peaking from late October through mid-November. And, unlike those elusive cherry blossoms that put on a brief two-week display, you’ll have at least two months to view the wonderment of the vibrant red and oranges, especially those stunning red maple leaves that create a fantasy-like scene. In between leaf-peeping, munch on the country’s fall favorite, roasted chestnuts, often served with tasty desserts.
Nova Scotia, Canada (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Located in the Canadian Maritimes, Nova Scotia is filled with color in autumn. A drive on Highway 2 brings gorgeous scenery that includes serene river views, quaint farmhouses and vivid red blueberry fields along with the usual colorful foliage. The province also plays host to numerous Oktoberfest and craft brew festivals during the season along with some of the most mouthwatering fresh seafood you’ll ever taste.
The Green Mountains of Vermont (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The Green Mountains of Vermont are another one of New England’s best regions for autumn foliage as a mecca for serious leaf peepers. Take a drive on the highways and byways that meander through mountains and valleys to marvel at glorious hues of violet-red pin cheery and yellow alder leaves as well as blazing orange and red maple trees. The most brilliant foliage occurs during a long stretch of warm, sunny days combined with chilly overnight temperatures. The Green Mountain Byway from Waterbury to Stowe is one of the top drives, passing lush meadows, farms and charming villages, ending with the state’s highest peak at Mount Mansfield.
Wicklow National Park, Ireland (Hotel Prices & Photos)
While Ireland may be famous for its green, fall is a wonderful time to view an array of colors, from frequent bright blue skies to golden tree-covered mountains. The Wicklow Mountains are especially breathtaking during the fall season, offering multiple scenic hiking trails for viewing the scenery, like the fabulous trek from Lough Tay to Lough Dan. You can also visit some of the Emerald Isles top historic sites like Glendalough, one of the most important monastic sites in the entire country, founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century.
The Scottish Highlands, Scotland (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Scotland is famous for its soaring mountains, with plenty of color to be found in the Highlands, including in and around the village known as the Bridge of Orchy. You’ll be in the heart of those some of the region’s most impressive scenery that includes castles that seem to magically appear out of the mist – and vanish just as quickly. At Loch Tulla, a small isle is transformed into a brilliant array of color that’s reflected in the tranquil waters. West Highland Way which links Milngavie, just outside Glasgow, to Fort William in the Highlands, passing through the Bridge of Orchy, offers a wide variety of hikes to take in the gorgeous hues.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park spans 100 miles, with the hues of autumn foliage varying dramatically, and the color changing depending not on just the day, but the water. color can change depending on the hour. Your best bet is around late September through mid-September, with the earlier of that period offering a big celebration of apples, including apple butter tasting and plenty of hard cider.