The Most Beautiful Places to Travel to See Fall Foliage

Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.


Fall colors are pretty much magical to look at. We all love the luscious green color, but it can feel like a green blanket or tunnel after a while if there aren’t colorful flowers to break it up. The fall season is where the leaves turn bright shades of yellow, orange, and red, making adventuring outdoors even more incredible than it already was.

There’s no shortage of places to view fall colors. Find a place with lots of trees and you’re almost guaranteed to be greeted by bright colors in the autumn. The places below are a step above the rest, giving you backdrops that are truly unforgettable.

Kyoto, Japan

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Japan may be more well-known for its cherry blossoms, but it really should be your number one pick for fall foliage travels. The most popular place to view the fall colors is the Diago Ji Temple where you can see dramatic colors and the gorgeous temple overlooking the water at the same time.

New England, USA

America is known for its vast open spaces and wilderness, so it’s not a surprise that you can see some massively amazing fall colors almost anywhere you go. To see some of the best the USA has to offer, you need to go to New England. Vermont is the most popular for these autumn views, but anywhere in the region with lots of woods and trails will never disappoint.

Tuscany, Italy

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Everyone goes in the summer, but holy crap Tuscany in the fall is way more magical. There’s also the added bonus of it being less crowded this time of year as well. Explore the region and see its many rolling hills change colors then visit the local wineries to get amazing views of the sunsets as well. The whole landscape looks like the surface of the sun, and it’s just plain incredible.

Denali National Park, Alaska

Photo by Getty / Noppawat Tom Charoensinphon

Alaska is one of the few places on earth that can take your breath away in each season. Denali National Park is just as beautiful for different reasons no matter the time of year, although it’s most colorful in the fall. The backdrop of the blue and grey mountains gives a great contrast to the reds, oranges, yellows, and greens to give you a one-of-a-kind view.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia, USA

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I have explored this area of Virginia many times and I can personally vouch for its awesomeness in the fall. The Blue Ridge Parkway is (not surprisingly) very blue during most of the year. That is, until you get to autumn. The hazy blue backdrop of the mountains with the bright colors takes this scenic drive to the next level. My advice? Stop at every viewpoint you can. You can never get enough.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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While there aren’t many hours of daylight during the fall in the Netherlands, spending as much time outside in this city during this season is completely worth it. Biking or walking around the city makes the iconic waterways even prettier with the fall colors reflecting off the water.

Highlands, Scotland

There are few places that are more gorgeous than the Scottish highlands. Medieval architecture, small villages, trees, lakes, mountains, and the surrounding countryside all turn varying shades of red and orange in the fall. Couple that with all of this being reflected in the lochs and you’ve got one hell of a view.

American Southwest

Photo by Christian Murdock/The Gazette

Fall really is amazing in the United States and that’s why I’ve added it to my list twice. The American Southwest is typically varying shades of brown and green. It’s a different type of wilderness than the east coast but it’s nothing out of the ordinary, until autumn arrives. Everything turned bright yellow and orange. Offset that with the brown cabins, grey mountains, and blue rivers and you’ve got a great place to sit back and enjoy the view.

Bavaria, Germany

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If fall were a fairy tale season, it would be set in Bavaria, Germany. Don’t forget to enjoy more events than Octoberfest because fall in this region is insanely beautiful. The best and most iconic views can be found at Neuschwanstein Castle where the white stone makes the surrounding bright leaves pop in color.

Jiuzhaigou National Park, China

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Everything about this national park is vibrant and full of life. The waterfalls are striking, the lakes are a bright blue, and the fall colors are like an explosion. It does get crowded, but the best views are from the bridge on the Five Flower Lake. Even with the crowds, it’s well worth the view and the resulting pictures.

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

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I feel like Croatia has so much to offer, but no one ever talks about it enough. From castles to beaches, islands, and music festivals, there’s truly something for everyone, especially nature lovers. Venture inland for crystal clear lakes and massive waterfalls explode out of the fall foliage here. It’s amazing no matter the season, but fall is where these lakes truly shine.


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