Year-round warm weather sounds nice in theory, but those who live in four-season regions would miss the beautiful season of fall. A few months of cool sweater weather, pumpkin carving, holiday parties and fall comfort foods make it much easier to cope with the freezing temperatures of winter. Of course, we can’t forget the reason everyone fell in love with fall in the first place: the changing leaves. Fall foliage transforms neighborhoods and the countryside with vibrant shades of warm orange, red, yellow and gold hues. But even if you live in a four-season climate, you might not be seeing the best that fall has to offer. These five destinations provide views of fall foliage that you’ve only seen in pictures.
Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
Take in stunning sights by the bay. With trails that let you immerse yourself in nature, Chesapeake Bay is the perfect place to admire changing leaves. Cross the four-mile-long Chesapeake Bay Bridge into Delmarva Peninsula, where you’ll discover farms, beaches and fishing villages, as well as delicious seafood.
Lake Placid, New York
Many towns feature fall foliage, but not all combine the beautiful colors of fall with magnificent mountains. Lake Placid is home to the Adirondack Mountains, which feature a multitude of trees that includes birch, aspen and beech, creating a more interesting landscape.
Minneapolis is unique in that it’s a good-size city with lakes, trails, bike paths and many trees close to downtown. Many of the towns and suburbs, such as Stillwater, provide an incredible display of color, too. Whether you prefer the urban scene or small-town charm, you’ll find satisfaction by traveling to the Midwest.
Named for the many Aspen trees that reside there, Aspen, Colorado, is beautiful every season of the year. In fall it is especially awe-inspiring, with rich shades of yellow and gold contrasting against the white bark of each Aspen tree. Lace up your hiking boots and hit one of the many scenic trails.
Napa Valley, California
If your love of wine is as strong as your love for fall, head to Napa Valley to make the most of your trip. Unlike other regions, Napa Valley lets you enjoy mild summer weather during the day and cooler fall-like temps when the sun goes down. Follow the Silverado Trail for an afternoon of wine tasting and take in the eye-catching crimson and golden hues along the way.