There is something about autumn that is so inviting. The crisp air and the darkening days in which we welcome mugs of hot chocolate and the wearing of cosy jumpers and bobble hats is a favourite time of year. There’s the promise of the Christmas festivities ahead, but before that, there’s pumpkin picking, Halloween and Bonfire Night to enjoy. However, the best thing about autumn by far, are the colours.
The trees become a kaleidoscope of colour, with red and golden hues illuminating the countryside. This is the perfect time to get out and about and enjoy the outdoors. Here are just five of the best places around the world to go ‘leaf peeping’ during autumn.
Fall in New England is spectacular - and the ultimate holiday destination to visit to witness the changing seasons. You can really take your pick where to holiday on the east coast in autumn, as each place is as colourful as the next, but Vermont is up there with the most impressive, as three-quarters of it is covered in forest. The vibrant colours are even more so due to the abundance of sugar maple trees, which produce brighter tones. A road trip is the best way to see everything Vermont has to offer, but get out of the car and go exploring for yourself.
Stowe, a mountain resort town nestled beside Vermont’s highest peak, makes a great base for a ski holiday in the winter, but comes alive in the autumn. The Gondola SkyRide affords gorgeous vistas over the area, which is lit up in golds, oranges, yellows and reds, so a ride is definitely recommended. Also, ‘The Sound of Music’ fans will be in for a treat as it is also home to Trapp Family Lodge - the real Von Trapp family! There are tours of the lodge and gardens, and you can even enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride around the grounds to really enjoy the views.
Known for deep blankets of snow and festive fun, Finland actually has fiery autumn landscapes, thanks to the huge forests and vast wilderness that covers the national parks. The autumn, known locally as ‘ruska’, looks especially beautiful on the fells of Lapland, which is just as popular in the autumn as it is in the festive season. It’s no surprise that hiking, cycling and other outdoor activities are especially popular during the autumn to make the most of the time of year. Hike up one of the many mountains to appreciate the panoramic views across the landscapes, or for a different vibe, hop on a river cruise to see the pretty colours reflected in the clear waters.
During the autumn, the forests become thick with blueberries and lingonberries, which you are allowed to pick under the ‘every man’s right’ law, which lets people forage for a selection of fruits of the forests to take home to their kitchens. It is a wonderful way to get together a fruity supper for when you get back to your apartment.
Once you’ve had your fill of the golden trees, autumn provides a great opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis. Finland is one of the best places in the world to catch the Northern Lights - so make sure you take your camera to capture the magic of the sky above as the sun sets.
With hot and humid summers and cold and snowy winters, Québec is an ideal destination to visit in the autumn if you prefer a more comfortable climate. There are plenty of towns that offer pretty autumnal views, but Québec City is a good base to enjoy them from, as there’s plenty to do in this historic city. There are walking routes, urban parks where you can wander to make the most of the autumn foliage, and places such as the Plains of Abraham where you’ll often find concerts and events being staged. Autumn's colours fire the landscape to provide a simply stunning backdrop to this elegant city. The landscape in the lead picture at the top of this blog is of a Canadian landscape as autumn sets in.
You must make time for a wander around the streets of Old Québec, as it's like journeying back in time. The walled city is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, where walking the narrow cobblestone streets, with their 17th century shops and houses, gives you a real feel for the city’s French Canadian identity. There are lots of churches, squares and parks to explore in Old Québec, which is split into Old Upper Town (Haute Ville) and Old Lower Town (Basse Ville). Château Frontenac, which overlooks the St. Lawrence River, is an enchanting castle hotel that will make you feel like you’ve stepped straight into a fairy tale, especially when it lights up by night.
Famed for the beautiful pink cherry blossom trees that arrive in spring, Japan's trees are just as dazzling in the autumn. As pretty as the cherry trees are, they only bloom for a few days and it is quite difficult to predict when they will arrive, the autumn colours are ablaze from mid-October to mid-December, depending on the weather and location, so there is plenty of time to enjoy them.
Kyoto is one of the most colourful destinations in Japan, where the bright red leaves seem to be everywhere, so it’s definitely a picturesque destination for leaf-peeping - or momijigari as the locals call it. There are so many places to go leaf peeping in this area, but Kyoto's ancient temples make for pretty impressive accents to the changing colours of the leaves. The architecture of the more than 1,600 temples and shrines are undeniably magnificent, and you can walk around many of them to get a real feel for the Japanese culture. The city is a fusion of old and new, so there is everything, from chic cocktail bars to ancient shops selling traditional products in the Nishijin Textile District.
Once the warm summer days have faded there’s no need to think the holiday season is over. If you would like to have an autumnal adventure for your next holiday, for RCI members it is easy to book one using the RCI Resort Directory. Click the button below to choose your next getaway.
If you are a timeshare owner but are not yet a member of RCI, what are you waiting for? To become part of the holiday exchange community that lets you use your timeshare to see more of the world, click Join RCI below and sign up in a few simple steps.