Posts tagged ‘fall foliage’

14 Fall Vacation Destinations You’ll Never Forget

Paris, fallAutumn is one of the best times of year to take a vacation. The kids are back in school, the temperatures are very comfortable (and sometimes still very warm), and the tourists are also largely gone from many of the most popular vacation destinations across the globe. If you’re thinking about planning a fall vacation, here are twelve fall vacation destination ideas that you can read more about right on this blog:

The Philippines

Active volcanoes, spectacular marine life, and some of the best tropical views and beaches on the planet make the Philippines a growing vacation destination. Underwater wrecks and diverse sea life, as well as one of the biggest coral reefs on the planet make this South Pacific vacation destination perfect for this fall.

Paris

When the summertime temperatures give a slight reprieve in Paris, it also coincides with grape harvest time in the French countryside. In the city, fall is one of the most active times of year for festivals. The brilliant fall foliage only adds to the beauty of this city.

The Netherlands

For such a small country, The Netherlands has an immense tourism industry. Between Belgium and Germany, The Netherlands experiences some of its most comfortable temperatures in the fall season. Visit some of the popular destinations in the city like the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, or the Floating Flower Garden. A trip to the country also wouldn’t be complete without a trip to historic (and sometimes notorious) Amsterdam.

Zion National Park

A lot of people don’t know this, but the best time of year to see the southwest USA is in the autumn. Like the rest of the country, there is some foliage, along with much cooler, drier temperatures. Days are still warm, but not as hot and unbearable as in the summer months. Nights are cool and comfortable, but sometimes can get into the near freezing range. Zion National Park explodes with color in the autumn, as the birches lining the Virgin River invite you into the difficult water hike, The Narrows. It’s not for the novice hiker, and you’ll need some special equipment, but it’s entirely worth the bother. This is one fall vacation  you’d never forget.

Disney World Fall Vacation

The kids are back in school, so this is the time to really get to the park if you want shorter lines and comfortable temperatures! Sure, they just got back in school, but this time of year is great for a vacation (maybe you want to pull them out for a long weekend?). The only downside is that it’s hurricane season, too, so along with the comfortable weather once in a while comes a tropical storm or hurricane. Luckily, Orlando is far inland, so you won’t have to deal with coastal flooding.

Napa Valley

Napa is best seen in the fall months. The area experiences great fall foliage, as well as the annual wine harvest. Along with the harvest, many wineries have parties to kick off the season. Grape leaves turn to orange-red hues, contrasted by vibrant purples.

Southern California

The Southern California region is known for its year-round warm weather, palm trees, and laid back attitude. So why is autumn the best time of year to visit Southern California? The temperatures see their peak in late summer in California, but the air still stays very warm into October. While the area may not see fall foliage, it also doesn’t see nearly as many tourists. That means less lines, less traffic, and lower prices on hotels. Check out cities like Palm Springs, Irvine, Santa Monica, and San Diego for warm weather and views all to yourself.

Germany

Just as the wine flows in the autumn in Paris and Napa, the beer starts to flow from taps everywhere in the fall during Oktoberfest. This celebration is an age old tradition where you can sample some of the best beer Germany has to offer, as well as the culture of the German people. Head to the city of Trier to see the historic sites, to the capital of Berlin to check out the fall foliage, or base your entire trip along the best festivals.

New Zealand

While the Northern Hemisphere experiences its end phase of warm weather and sun during the fall, the Southern Hemisphere countries like New Zealand and Australia are experiencing rebirth in the form of spring. This is the perfect time of year to see beautiful floral blooms and fresh snowcapped mountains in cities like Auckland, or in the beautiful National Parks of New Zealand.

New England

When you think of fall foliage, one place probably comes to mind for U.S residents: the northeast, specifically New England. If you think it’s all a bunch of hype and the colors aren’t as spectacular as people say, you’re wrong. Vermont, New Hampshire, and also Western Massachustts, Upstate New York, and Maine experience tremendous fall color. The rest of the New England states, too, experience beautiful foliage just a few weeks later than the northern states.

Cape Cod

Sure, Cape Cod does reside within New England, but unless you’ve been to the Cape during the summer, you have no idea what it’s like to fight Cape Cod bridge traffic on the busy Sagamore and Bourne Bridges, as well as on the congested highways of Route 28 and Route 6. There are nothing but positives for planning a fall vacation to Cape Cod. No annoying tourists, no fighting over a spot at the beach, and you might not even have to pay to go to the beach. Also, no waits at the best restaurants, and there’s still warm ocean temperatures, especially on Nantucket Sound throughout September and into early October sometimes. One other huge plus is the rates are nearly cut in half (sometimes more) after Labor Day and even more after Columbus Day. The Cape doesn’t experience fall foliage as colorfully as destinations in northern New England, but the color is still there and still impressive to see.

India

Post monsoon season in October-November is a great time to head to India. Drier air means less bugs, and a more comfortable trip for you. Check out the post on taking an India Sabbatical on this blog (link in the header for this section) for travel tips, recommendations, and places to see during any time of year.

Quebec

The fall foliage doesn’t stop at the Canadian border, it keeps on moving north through New England and into the province of Quebec. In the heart of the province, you can find historic Quebec City, which is one of the most European inspired cities west of Europe itself. Fall temperatures are comfortable in the city, and the autumn foliage provides a stunning backdrop to the buildings along the St. Lawrence River.

Yosemite National Park

What is already an impressive National Park in Northern California becomes even more splendid in the fall. With a drop in temperature comes a change in leaf color, as well as a change in the shades of grass, the hue of the sunsets, and the amount of tourists in the park (that’s a theme of this post, and a definite benefit to traveling in the fall!). The park is open until late October, so get your vacation in before then. The park has been known to have brutal snowstorms even in late October that can shut down the park entirely. Plan your trip in September, and then plan to head to Napa on the way back to enjoy wine country. After that, don’t forget about San Francisco, which experiences its highest temperatures in the month of September.

Out looking for leaves this autumn? Leaf peepers, stop by this page for the best fall foliage spots in the United States collected onto one page!

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August 6, 2010 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

Fall Foliage Sightseeing in New England

One of the major reasons to visit New England is for its brilliant fall foliage and the sightseeing that comes along with it in these cool autumn months. Sort of like a distraction from the rough oncoming winter, fall brings about a beautiful change in leaf color throughout the entire six states, and throughout the country. While color does change all over the United States and throughout the northern hemisphere during the fall months, New England and the northeast of the USA has some particularly colorful displays of color.

Each area of New England has its own peak leaf change time. Much of the six states experience peak fall foliage during the 2nd and 3rd week of October, but higher elevations will peak much sooner. Along the coast and further to the south, foliage will peak later. Outside of New England, it isn’t unusual in the southern states for the most attractive autumn color to come about throughout November.

Here are five places you can visit in the United States to experience some brilliant fall color, as well as take up some of the local history and culture while you’re there.

1. Boston. The city of Boston has beautiful fall foliage displays. Unlike many other cities throughout the country, Boston has plenty of trees lining the streets and along the Charles River. Just outside the city, you can find great walking trails in the Blue Hills, complete with some spectacular overlooks of the city and harbor.

2. Killington. My personal favorite place to see autumn foliage, Killington is one of New England’s biggest ski resorts, but an underestimated place to see some beautiful sites in the fall.

3. The Berkshires. The western edge of Massachusetts has some incredible, isolated towns and peaks to peep more leaves. Towns like Lenox, Lee, and Williamstown are just a few miles from both Vermont and New York, making it an interesting vacation or weekend getaway.

4. Kancamagus Highway. The North Conway region of New Hampshire is probably the busiest part of the state during leaf peeping season, and its busiest highway is the scenic backroad highway, the Kancamagus. If you can, try to avoid the weekends and visit a few hours before sunset or an hour or two after sunrise for the best views.

5. Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire. The Monadnock region of New Hampshire is fairly isolated, and that’s the best part. Nearby is the town of Hancock, NH, one of the prettiest towns in New England, along with plenty of deserted backroads to travel and enjoy. If you’re looking for a more commercial route with plenty of stores, towns and rest stops, this isn’t it. For that experience, you might want to head to the middle of New Hampshire or to some of the more traveled coastal towns of New England.

Also, be sure to check out lensmaster Jazzodog‘s lens on fall foliage in New England, where users have voted on and submitted their ideas for the best places to visit and see foliage in the six states.

September 20, 2009 at 12:39 am 2 comments


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