There are certainly reasons to avoid leaf peeping in its usual incarnation. You could easily overdose on quaintness while choosing the plumpest pumpkin or dearest antique. If you shy away from scores of children wielding candied apples while running wild through cornstalk mazes, you may want to skip the season altogether. Understood.
But you’d be missing some glorious sights, whether you go simply for the visual treat or allow the colors to enhance a trip with an entirely non-related agenda. Don’t allow the scarecrows to chase you away. Indulge. Here are some places we wouldn’t mind visiting during the autumn months. We may even enjoy a crisp apple or some pumpkin ice cream along the way.
1. Take the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway up the Hotake Mountains, near Nagano, Japan. From both the double-decker gondolas and the observation deck, you’ll enjoy a glorious view.
2. Explore the monasteries of Echmiadzin, Armenia. Perhaps sight a few khachkars, outdoor stone slabs carved with detailed motifs, which can still be found although many have been destroyed.
3. Drive the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway through the beautiful Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. This National Scenic Byway, which runs through Virginia and North Carolina, is bordered with deciduous trees, such as oak, dogwood, hickory, buckeye and ash.
4. Skip Paris in the springtime and visit in autumn. The fall foliage in Jardin du Luxembourg easily rivals its colorful May blooms.
5. For more lovely landscapes in autumn, don’t miss the Butchart Gardens, just north of Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. You’ll find a serenity impossible to locate in a corn maze.
Where will you take in the fall foliage this year?
— written by Jodi Thompson