Fantastic Fall: Six places to see autumnal color at its best

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As the air turns crisp and cold and the trees begin one last push to beauty before their leaves fall, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the forest. Business Optimizer considers some of the best destinations where leaf-peepers can enjoy the fall color this year.

The colors of New England

New England is renowned for its startling treescapes of bright oranges, reds and gold. Admiring the riot of color rising up wooded hillsides and breathing in crisp autumnal air is a beautiful way to enjoy this season. Conde Nast Traveler recommends enjoying fall in the green mountain state. It says, “New England leaf peeping is at its finest in Vermont, where wilderness covers 75 percent of the land. Surrounded by more maple trees than anywhere else in the region, you’ll find the brightest of yellows, oranges, and reds on nearly every highway and country road.”

Read its fifteen top picks here.

Close to the Arctic Circle, Finland

The Finns call it “ruska” – one last reminder to enjoy nature before winter arrives and covers the land in snow. The Guardian explains, “It’s the time when silver birches turn gold, the forest floor becomes thick with jewel-coloured blueberries and lingonberries and mountain ash is heavy with scarlet berries – all this is set against a backdrop of evergreen firs… The midnight sky joins in too, illuminated with the greens and reds of the northern lights.”

Finn Air recommends Pallas-Yllästunturi national park, where a mountain bike route runs along the Aakenus hill. Or, for canoeing, the Muonio area’s rivers and lakes is excellent.

The Scottish Highlands

Autumn is an atmospheric time to enjoy the wild beauty of the Scottish Highlands. A day tromping through the heathered hills and colorful woodlands is the perfect excuse to spend the evening curled up in front of a roaring fire with a glass of single malt. Visit Scotland says, “Take a wander to be transported into your very own fairy tale with the crunch and crackle of leaves under your feet. Watch as the sunlight burns through the trees, piercing in and around the blaze of red, orange, yellow and brown leaves.”

Forestry Scotland offers some suggestions for autumnal walks here.

London’s parks

The British capital offers a chance to enjoy fall color without disappearing into the wilderness. Enjoy all the comforts and delights of a city break, while admiring the beautiful autumnal hues around the city. London is blessed with a startling number of green spaces – from the well-manicured lawns and avenues of the royal parks and grand National Trust properties to lesser known gems such as the Chelsea Apothecary Garden and the gardens of the Horniman museum.

The Japanese Alps

Japan’s scenic treescapes are legendary: from the spring cherry blossoms to the incredible lake and forest views around Mount Fuji. So it’s little wonder that the island nation is a hot destination for fall leaf-peepers. Honshu province is a special favorite. The Guardian says, “In central Honshu, three hours’ drive north-east of Nagoya, is one of the most beguiling places in the Japanese Alps (also called the Hida mountains). The mountain slopes are covered with forests of larch and beech that blaze scarlet and orange in the autumn. Wisps of smoke hang in the still air above Yakedake volcano, and the glass surface of Taisho Pond perfectly reflects the trees and snow-dusted mountains. There are well-signposted walking trails, and the climb offers spectacular views across the valleys.”

Lake Bled, Slovenia

With the chance of swirling autumnal mists rising hovering over its waters as the jewel-colored hillsides rise beyond, Mystical Lake Bled makes Wanderlust’s top picks for fall color. It says, “Overlooked by a Romanesque castle and home to a small island complete with a fairytale church, Lake Bled is picture-perfect at any time of the year. But in autumn, when the trees framing the lake turn all manner of rustic shades, the lake is truly breathtaking.”

For longer breaks, Lake Bled tourism recommends exploring the nearby mountains of the Julian Alps or the Karavanke range. Plus, summer sledding, rafting, canyoning, riding, hot air ballooning, kayaking, stand-up paddling, diving and other water sports, tennis, beach volleyball are possible until mid-October.

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