The exquisite changing foliage colors from green to orange, red, brown and yellow, signify the beginning of fall with pumpkin season, sweater weather and coffee drinks by the cozy fire.
If you want to catch a glimpse of this natural phenomenon, it’s always a good idea to start your search in New England – the quintessential spot for turning leaves and crisp air. We also found Pacific Northwest options, mid-west marvels and a few places down south that might have not been on your leaf-peeping radar.
Above: One Dalton Street, Boston
Autumn in Boston
The Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston has curated Seasons in the Town & Country – a guide with highlights of scenic destinations in Boston and New England throughout prime autumn leaf viewing season, with a dedicated Autumn Insiders’ Guide expertly assembled by the hotel team.
As the third and final of three seasonal offerings throughout the year, this autumn guide includes a personalized picnic for two with a bottle of wine that you can take for an adventure in some of the unknown locations in the city and surrounding countryside. Designed by the culinary team at the hotel and packaged to enjoy while exploring by bike on foot or in the car for longer distances, the Autumn Picnic Menu includes a selection of salads, sandwiches or wraps with a variety of seasonal sides.
Above: Leaf Peeping in the Catskill Mountains
Consider Delaware County
If you have never paid a visit to the Great Western Catskills , this might be a good time to not overlook the area. Here you’ll find lush mountains for hiking filled with patches of bight foliage and vast farmlands featuring apple orchards and pumpkin patches.
The Hamden Inn & Lounge in Hamden, NY offers a backyard garden for guests to enjoy delicious farm-to-table dishes and craft cocktails during their visit to the property. The inn is also just a short drive away from the stunning Bramley Mountain Trail, which is ideal for autumn views over the cliffs and abandoned bluestone quarry.
Roxbury, NY is also the spot where you can board the Delaware & Ulster Railroad for a 24-mile round trip from Arkville, NY featuring rural hamlets, farmlands, and historic sites set against the background of the changing leaves along the Catskill mountains. Passengers can finish their day of fall exploration at the iconic Roxbury Motel, which is known for its uniquely-themed guest rooms.
Both properties also offer nearby access to plenty of kayaking and hiking routes, along with the Rosemary Horse Sanctuary. One last autumn must-do in the area is a day trip to Echo Orchard, which is open for pumpkin picking every day through Halloween.
Above: The Estate at Kingsmill Resort, Virginia
Virginia is for Fall
In the middle of the Eastern Seaboard, Williamsburg, Virginia might be known for battlefields, a theme park and historic towns, but it’s also a treasure trove of autumn colors and fun events — from arts and culture to harvest festivals.
One of the best-kept secrets is Kingsmill Resort, the only AAA Four Diamond resort in the area and the only resort on the James River. The 2900-acre gated property features a massive indoor pool, a luxury spa, two championship golf courses and miles of hiking and biking trails. This is also a great family destination with three-bedroom condo-style accommodations with large living rooms, kitchens, dining areas, laundry facilities, and working fireplaces for those chilly nights.
Above: Kingsmill Resort Firepit at Sunset
Go Leaf Peeping
From the Colonial Parkway to Waller Mill Park and the Island Loop around Jamestown Island, there’s plenty of places to see the leaves changing leaf colors and also wildflowers from goldenrod, asters, tickseeds, and thoroughworts, Late October through early November is usually the best time for viewing, but it depends on the weather so check Virginia’s fall foliage updates.
Take a Hike
Start on the scenic four-mile walking path that winds its way through Kingsmill before winding through many trails of forests, wetlands, and fields Then head to The Greensprings Greenway Interpretative Trail, which links history and nature over more than five miles (with several loop options) in Jamestown Settlement. You can also explore the dozen short trails of the coastal estuary at York River State Park.
Listen to Music
Enjoy a free six-week concert series, Rhythms on the Riverwalk, every Thursday from Sept. 9 to Oct. 14 on Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown. Local favorites play everything from jazz and big band to country music. Pack a picnic to enjoy supper and a serenade on the waterfront.
Sample Seasonal Treats
Feast on produce, prepared foods, and farm products grown or made in Virginia by 40 vendors at the Williamsburg Farmers Market in Merchants’ Square every Saturday morning through December. Or shop for produce, baked goods, and arts and crafts at Yorktown Market Days at Riverwalk Landing.
If you love oysters and wine, check out the Virginia Living Museum’s 9th annual Oyster Roast on Nov. 13, with all-you-can-eat local Virginia oysters, fried seafood, chowder, craft beers, live music and raffles.
Above: Grande Lakes Orlando ••|••Photo by Lisa Wilk
Orlando Farm Weekends
The Grande Lakes Orlando, home to The Ritz-Carlton Orlando and JW Marriott Orlando, is bringing back its coveted “Fall on the Farm” weekends, every Saturday and Sunday between 10am-3pm throughout the month of October. This festive family-friendly seasonal experience takes place on Whisper Creek Farm, an 18,000 square-foot farm located on-property, open year-round for tours and culinary programming.
Fall-themed events and activities include pumpkin picking and carving with the resort’s Olympic World Champion culinary artist and carver Victor Dagatan. You can also take a hayride around the corn maze and discovering local wildlife at a falconry school with the property’s very own Master Falconer. Grande Lakes Orlando’s Director of Fly Fishing, Captain Mark Benson, will be sharing fishing facts, while showing guests how to properly set up a fishing line and how to lure in fish. Or schedule a photography session with The Photography Concierge to capture the perfect fall family portrait.
Whisper Creek Farm also produces an array of homemade goods such as honey, beer, jams, BBQ sauces and popcorn, all available for purchase at the famers’ market. Farm and garden tours are available and animal-loving guests can enjoy watching Whisper Creek Farm’s ducks, quail, and chickens.
Above: Grand View Lodge
Spread over 750 acres, Grand View Lodge, in is an iconic lakeside retreat in Nisswa, Minnesota, a popular leaf-peeping locale in the Midwest. With a boutique hotel, North, and a variety of private, luxury lodging options like cabins and villas, each room type offers great views nestled right in the middle of the trees of changing colors. Guests can also enjoy access to 2,500 feet of sandy beaches with nightly bonfires along two glacier-formed lakes and miles of hiking and biking paths through forests to get up close and personal with autumn, as well as several tennis courts, an indoor pool with waterslide, 54 holes of championship golf and the award-winning Glacial Waters Spa.
Above: Jackson Hole Aspens and Maples
Fall in Jackson Hole, Wyoming holds not just the fantastic scenery but it’s also the greatest chance of seeing wildlife at Grand Teton National Park with summer tourists gone and winter crowds yet to arrive. The luxury Snake River Sporting Club was just transformed from a seasonal retreat to a four-season destination, now offering every outdoor activity. The big news is coming this fall, the property is unveiling a renovation to the 26,000-sq-ft clubhouse, featuring an infinity-edge pool with refreshed lounging and outdoor dining areas. Travelers love this spot as it’s only 25 minutes from the park’s entrance and downtown Jackson, a major selling point compared to other luxury ranches.
Head Down South
Tucked away in the soaring 32-story Memphis Pyramid along the Mississippi River, Big Cypress Lodge in Memphis, TN is a top destination for a family fall trip. The lodge offers a “city glamping” experience by bringing the outdoors in with 103 rustic-elegant guest rooms and suites that resemble vintage cabins with screened-in “porches” and electric fireplaces, a 535,000 square-foot Cypress Swamp featuring aquariums teeming with fish and alligators, and two culinary outlets offering outdoor seating and panoramic views of the Memphis skyline.
Above: Big Cyprus Lodge Duck Cabin
Other reasons to visit include: The first-ever Wahlburgers Wild restaurant is slated to open this Fall on the ground floor of the Pyramid offering a signature wild game menu. Cozy City Glamping includes the hotel’s Fly-Fishing Lodges, Treehouse Rooms and Duck Cabins with handcrafted wood furnishings, luxury soaking tubs, electric fireplaces and screened-in porches with rocking chairs that overlook the Cypress Swamp. Quirky Adventures include underwater-themed bowling alley, archery range, the country’s tallest freestanding elevator (dubbed the Sky-High Ride) and the Ducks Unlimited Waterfowling Heritage Center Museum, where visitors can learn about the incredible local wildlife found along the Mississippi Flyway. Discover Downtown live music on Beale Street and a variety of festivals for Fall including the 26th Annual Covington-Tipton County Heritage Festival, Mempho Music Festival, and the Craft Food & Wine Festival.
Above: Suncadia Fall Colors
Make Your Way Out West
While leaves change to vibrant colors and the temperature drops, The Pacific Northwest is a prime spot for fall leaf viewing.
Five Bucket List Adventures