Have you seen truly spectacular fall colors? We're collecting ideas to share with readers and would love to hear your foliage favorites in the comments below. And, if you've got pictures, you can share them in our gallery!
From Japan to New Hampshire, readers have already shared their favorites in the World's Best Fall Foliage photo gallery. Here are some dazzling destinations for the best of fall foliage:
New England's foliage inspired plenty of comments, including clarelouise44's preferred spot: "Baxter State Park near Millinocket, Maine is my favorite place for fall foliage. There is a 20 mile circuit drive through the park and the trees line the road." Reader annawhi provides an irresistible description of Vermont's Mad River Valley, saying, "While there are few places in the Valley that can't boast beauty during the colorful fall, the Waitsfield Common Road in Waitsfield with its glorious old maples lining each side of the road feels like a warm embrace as one drives through." And retasker says, " You definitely need to drive the Kancamagus Hwy in NH. The views there with the reds, yellows, greens and every shade between certainly match any you listed."
Pennsylvania is another popular favorite. Deeyo comments, "I have traveled quite a bit but there is NO more beautiful fall foliage than in north central Pennsylvania. It is stunning and you really should try and find out just how stunning. State College area I am talking about and [the] region around it."
In Missouri, dbuckenmyer says "Southeast Missouri around Arcadia Valley in the St. Francis Mountains is spectacular, as there is such a varied amount of trees that just about every color of leaf is represented." On the West Coast, ShellD has this recommendation: "Hwy 2 Cascade Mountains in WA state has red vine maples in the higher elevation of Stevens Pass and yellows and oranges in the lower elevations near the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, WA." And tomail points out a gem in Canada: "You missed probably the best (and I have seen about 4 of the above) and that is Algonquin Park, Ontario Canada."
In Europe, the Alps provide the perfect combination of trees, altitude, and weather. GrandSwiss writes: "I think you clearly missed the Upper Engadine Valley in Switzerland. Not only in fall, the lake plateau is just astonishing."
JSanders suggests combining your Japan leaf peeping with long soaks in hot springs: "It is hard to beat enjoying Japan's autumn colors while soaking in Kami no yu forest hot spring in the village of Hirayu Onsen, an hour further up in the Hida mountains from Takayama in Gifu Prefecture, itself a blaze of autumn color. This is a very simple outdoor spring deep in the forest, an enjoyable 20 minute walk from the bus station. On the other hand, soaking in Seninburo, a 1,000-person (never that many there!) outdoor bath in the village of Kawayu Onsen, in the Kii mountains of Wakayama prefecture. Here the hot springs bubble up through the bottom of the river, and from Nov. to until the end of February they move the river gravel around and create this wonderful huge bath in the river. At night the naturally heated water sends columns of wispy mist towards the clear, dark sky."
And though it's not a destination suggestion, I thought I'd include this lovely meditation from Babybaby on just what draws us outside to admire the colors of fall: "Brilliant reds certainly make for eye-catching spectacle, but a landscape of muted colors conveys a melancholy beauty that has a special emotional tug. Does nature go gentle into the good night of winter, or does it rage against the dying of the light? And how do we humans feel about death, of which autumn inevitably reminds us? From the cold fire of the Adirondacks in September to the fading golden glow of Central Park in November, I find something poetic about all of autumn."
What favorite fall foliage destinations do you think stand out? Join the fall foliage patrol by leaving a comment or posting a photo of your favorites.