The Best Places to See Fall Foliage - Full-Time Travel

The Best Places to See Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage

Tracking Down the Season's Most Colorful Destinations

There’s something about crisp fall days that makes us want to pack our coziest sweaters and hit the road for a getaway. And while there are plenty of places to explore this time of year, no autumnal trip is complete without the picturesque colors of turning leaves. Whether you’re in the mood for a city vacation, a camping trip or a peaceful drive along charming roads, there’s a foliage-filled destination for you.

Tokyo, Japan

This iconic city has plenty to offer when it comes to incredible food, vibrant culture and, of course, spring’s stunning cherry blossoms. But don’t overlook fall in Japan, when "koyo" —colorful leaves—blanket the country in fiery hues. Come mid-November, visitors can head to Koishikawa Korakuen Garden and Ueno Park to catch a glimpse of the foliage at its peak, all without leaving the heart of this captivating city

Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Sure, New England has long reigned as the go-to destination for leaf-peeping in the U.S. But Michigan just may knock the East Coast from the top spot, thanks to lush forests complemented by stunning shorelines along the Great Lakes. With over seven million acres of tree coverage, it’s no wonder the UP was voted the best destination for fall foliage by USA Today readers last year. Book your trip before it’s too late—foliage in the region tends to peak in early to mid-October!

Denali National Park, Alaska


Come for North America’s tallest mountain—stay for the reds, golds and yellows of the surrounding landscape. Between the busy summer season and winter’s deep freeze, Denali National Park briefly becomes a fall wonderland alight with color. And with over 200 species of animals and excellent views of the Northern Lights, adventurers can enjoy more than just leaf peeping. Be sure to plan your visit before the end of October to beat the snow.

Tuscany, Italy

Let’s be honest: There’s no bad time to visit Tuscany. But autumn, after the summer crowds clear out and the leaves begin to turn, is certainly a contender for the ideal time to experience this enchanting destination. Time your visit to one of the region’s most storied traditions, "la vendemmia", or the grape harvest, as you snack on chestnuts and sip to-die-for wine. And no fall visit is complete without a stop in the Casentino Valley, where visitors can discover one of Italy’s largest national parks, filled with stunning foliage and historic castles dotting the rolling hills.

Black Forest, Germany

With its iconic fairytale history and towering evergreens, Germany’s Black Forest looms large in the imagination—and even larger in real life. Natural wonders meet quintessentially German charm (just check out the world’s largest cuckoo clock) for an undeniably magical experience, made all the more stunning by woodlands bursting with fall colors. Wander along forest trails and take in the magnificent views, then cap off your trip with a relaxing retreat at one of the area’s world-renowned thermal spas.

The Great Smoky Mountains

The Tennessee-North Carolina border is home to America’s most visited national park—and come fall, it’s where you’ll find some of the most awe-inspiring foliage you’re likely to see in the U.S. This UNESCO World Heritage site offers plenty of trails for experienced backpackers or leisurely hikers, all teeming with diverse wildlife and over 100 types of trees. For a less strenuous approach, cruise up winding roads for sweeping views of the park’s forests splashed with color. Time your visit with the leaves’ peak in early to mid-November for optimal leaf peeping.

The Great Smoky Mountains


A fall foliage roundup isn’t complete without a New England classic. Imagine crisp mountain air, maple-flavored everything and a scenic drive along the Kancamagus Highway with endless swaths of vibrant treetops. New Hampshire’s White Mountains are an autumn dream, filled with ample opportunities for outdoor adventure, from horseback riding to moose-spotting to kayaking through serene lakes. Stay at an idyllic inn or a grand resort for an utterly romantic fall escape.

There's more to Greece than the white and blue buildings and the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. If you're planning a visit, check out these places below!

📍Kokkinopilos. Preveza
📍Verliga Dragon lake, Thessaly
📍Ithaca island, lonian Sea
📍Aoos springs lake, Epirus
📍Lake Prespes, Macedonia
📍Balda di Stringa waterfalls, Epirus
📍Meteora, Thessaly
📍Pelion, Thessaly
📍Lake Zorika, Epirus
📍Mt Lakmos
📍Crete island, Aegean Sea
📍Gistova Dragon lake, Macedonia

Reel: @farawayfarers

Swim or kayak through the limestone cliffs of the Twin Lagoon, a must-visit destination for those traveling to Coron, Palawan, Philippines. It is called "twin" lagoon because it consists of two lagoons separated by a limestone cliff, with one lagoon on top of the other. The water in the inner lagoon is warm and clear, with a stunning turquoise color that makes it popular for swimming and snorkeling.

Reel: @travelifejournal

Take a dip in a series of seven saltwater lagoons located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The Lagoons of Baltinache are known for their beautiful turquoise waters and unique geological formations. The high concentration of minerals in the water gives it a unique buoyancy that makes swimming in the lagoons a unique experience.

Reel: @everchanginghorizon

Watching the sun rise above the clouds at Haleakalā National Park is one of the most memorable experiences you could have. Haleakalā is a Hawaiian name that means “House of the Sun” and is an awesome place to watch the clear night sky and stars fade away as the sun lights up the sky and the earth.

Reel: @girlchill_sunset

Just 1 hour from Shanghai by train, Cherry Blossom Valley is a popular tourist destination, particularly in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The valley is named after the thousands of cherry blossom trees that cover the area and create a stunning display of pink and white flowers. The trees were originally planted in the 1980s by a group of Japanese experts who were invited to China to help with reforestation efforts. The best time to visit is typically in late March or early April. Get there early to beat the crowds!

Reel: @cyncynti

New Zealand is unbelievable. See it for yourself:

1. Fiordland National Park
2. A classic backcountry hut trip
3. Blue Pools walk
4. Hooker Lake
5. Milford Sound
6. Lake Pukaki

Reel: @kylekotajarvi

Surrounded by lush greenery, towering karst mountains, and the river flowing through, the Detian Waterfall is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of the close relationship between China and Vietnam. It is the largest waterfall in Asia and the fourth largest cross-border waterfall in the world.

Reel: @sophoebelous

Escape to a serene and peaceful oasis away from the bustling city of Marrakech at Le Jardin Secret—a beautiful and historic garden where visitors can escape the noise and chaos and enjoy the beauty of nature. The garden was originally built in the 16th century and is home to many different species of plants, including exotic flowers, citrus trees, and palm trees.

Reel: @hypermiggzz

For a magical moment and bucket list travel experience, visit the end point of the annual monarch butterfly migration. Starting in August, the monarchs travel 2,800 miles south from Canada, making a temporary home amid the towering trees of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, where the two most popular sanctuaries to view them are el Rosario in the state of Michoacan and Piedra Herrada in Estado de México. Standing in silence while thousands of delicate wings beat in unison is something you'll never forget.

Reel: @juliiathompson

There's just something beautiful about snow covered landscapes like this popular attraction in southwestern Utah. Known for its unique geology, @brycecanyonnps_gov consists of a series of natural amphitheaters, called "hoodoos," formed by erosion of the rock layers.

Photo: @nathanleeallen

As we experience a couple more weeks of winter, we can't help but dream of tropical destinations like Hawaii. The warm water, sunny skies, and consistent waves make it an ideal destination for surfers. Hawaii has a vibrant surf culture and community and is also a beautiful place to explore outside of the water, with lush green mountains, stunning beaches, and unique cultural experiences.

Reel: @christopherballadarez

1. @sequoiakingsnps, California
2. @canyonlandsnps, Utah
3. @olympic_nps, Washington
4. @whitesandsnps, New Mexico
5. Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
6. Knik Glacier, Alaska

Reel: @nathanleeallen

Imagine getting caught in the rain while kayaking at one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Known for its stunning turquoise-colored lake, surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise is home to diverse wildlife, including grizzly bears, elk, and moose.

Reel: @reneeroaming