‘Tis the season for slurping hot chocolate and watching Mother Nature swap her summer wardrobe for more autumnal shades. So here are the best destinations for watching the leaves change colour, according to travellers like you.*
Keene, New Hampshire, USA
The Adirondacks region of New York
A New Hampshire ‘Tree City’, Keene is travellers’ number one destination for admiring the autumn leaves. Plan your visit between mid-September and mid-October and head to Adirondack Park for the most vibrant displays. Then head to the Courtyard Keene Downtown for somewhere to warm up and upload your leafy selfies.
Bedford, Pennsylvania, USA
Get ready for the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival
The Bedford Fall Foliage Festival attracts over 70,000 visitors every year, a fairly impressive feat for a town with less than 4,000 residents. Despite the festival spanning the first two weeks of October, the Bedford leaves don’t reach their peak colour until late October, and many visitors prefer an extended visit. Planning a longer trip? Book into the Omni Bedford Springs Resort.
Armidale, New South Wales, Australia
Autumn comes to Armidale, Australia
Don’t worry if you’re not able to organise a last-minute trip to see the leaves change in September, save up for March (Australia’s autumn) and visit the Armidale Autumn Festival. This historic town has long corridors of jewel-coloured trees for leisurely walks and cycle rides. Check into the Moore Park Inn for free cycle hire and local insights.
Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA
Hike the Pine Cobble trail in Williamstown
The Berkshire Mountain region offers impressive views of the fall foliage and plenty of winding country lanes. Visit during the first few weeks of October for the best views hike the Pine Cobble trail. It only takes an hour and gives a view of the stunning Purple Valley. Finish your visit at the exceedingly pretty Berkshire Hills Country Inn.
Bright, Victoria, Australia
Bright, living up to its name in Victoria
Situated in Victoria’s Alpine High Country, the Bright Autumn Festival attracts visitors from all over the state. Through March and April cars can be seen crawling down Delaney Avenue while their drivers check out the beautiful ruby, bronze and magenta leaves. But if you’re looking for a more stationary spot to admire the foliage, try the Bright Pine Valley Tourist Park.
Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada
The Agawa Canyon Tour Train
The Agawa Canyon Tour Train was recently voted as one of the best ways to see Canada’s technicolour foliage. This one-day rail excursion takes visitors through the Agawa Canyon Park and includes a stop for visitors to enjoy the canyon’s hiking trails. The nearest town to the Agawa is Sault Ste Marie, and the Quality Inn & Suites Bay Front is only a few minutes’ walk from the tour’s starting point.
North Conway, New Hampshire, USA
The Kancamagus in North Conway
A New England resort town, North Conway is a short drive from the White Mountains and Mount Washington Valley and the best time of year to visit is during October. Take a drive through the Kancamagus Scenic Byway – over 36 miles of gorgeous autumnal scenery – and spend a few nights at the romantic Cabernet Inn.
Maggie Valley, North Carolina, USA
Leafy vistas at Maggie Valley, North Carolina
Maggie Valley is based in the Smoky Mountains and through late-October and early-November visitors are guaranteed wide-ranging views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park autumn leaves extravaganza. Complete the forest fantasy and go full lumberjack at the Misty Mountain Ranch.
Jackson, New Hampshire, USA
The invasion of the pumpkin people
Jackson is a New Hampshire mountain town with almost as many autumnal traditions as residents. The flashy fall foliage peaks in early October but if you extend your visit into late October you’ll see Jackson’s annual Halloween invasion of the pumpkin people. Embrace that small town charm and check into the Whitney’s Inn.
Lincoln, New Hampshire, USA
Magnificent New Hampshire forest
At the other end of the Kancamagus Highway, leaf peepers will find the New Hampshire town of Lincoln. Explore the magnificent forest either on foot or by soaring overhead via the Alpine Zipline. Lincoln residents take their leaf changes very seriously and local hotels like the Wilderness Inn are an ideal base for exploring.
*These destinations were the most highly rated in for ‘autumn leaves’ by Booking.com customers.