Where to see the fall colours

Beth Watson, 09.10.18 ~ updated 01.10.20
Alternative Destinations: 5 min read

Whether it’s “leaf-peeping” in the US or momijigari (red-leaf hunting) in Japan, getting outside to see the fall foliage has got to be one of the best things about October. So wrap up warm and get your walking boots on, we’re going to show you the best places to see the autumn leaves around the world.

Where to see the best fall foliage in North America

1. Woodstock, Vermont, United States

Fall colours blog

Woodstock is set to be one of the best destinations to see Fall foliage in 2020. The historic town is also considered to be the best "quintessential New England villages", so amongst the stunning woodland scenes and lush foliage, visitors can also expect to find classic American charm in the quaint and vibrant town. As well as photographing the beautiful landscape, be sure to also explore the town's independant shops, boutiques, and restaurants — an absolute must is the the Vermont Flannel Co (it is the season for comfy fleece-wear, after all).

How to get to Woodstock, Vermont

Fly to Burlington International Airport (BTV), on airlines including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Frontier Airlines.

Why just visit Woodstock?

New England is a region in the northeastern U.S. which comprises six states: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. If you’re after Fall colour, the region is, without doubt, the place to head to. Woodstock is just one stop on long list of incredible spots in New England that you MUST visit during Fall.

Typically, leaves start turning around mid-to-late September, and peak around mid-October.

New England road trip?

Why limit yourself to one destination, when you can experience all that New England has to offer, in a single trip? Time will be tight — you don’t have long to see the stunning Fall displays at their peak. So, instead of hiring a car for your road trip, why not take to the skies, and jump between New England’s stunning destinations by plane — while also experiencing the stunning views from the sky. Alternative Airlines makes it easy to book flights on regional and doemstic airlines. Simply use our search bar to search for flights between your chosen New England destinations, and use our multi-destination tool to manage your flight bookings.

Airlines that operate flights across New England: Cape Air, New England Airlines, American Eagle, and Delta Connection.

2. Lincoln, New Hampshire, United States

Lincoln New Hampshire Fall Blog

“Leaf peeping” is so popular in New Hampshire that the local tourist board even releases a foliage tracker to help visitors work out the perfect time to catch the fall foliage. New Hampshire has the reputation for being the best place to see the autumn leaves around the world. To truly experience the New Hampshire fall, journey to the White Mountain National Forest which offers more than 800,000 acres of fall leaves to explore.

How to get to Lincoln, New Hampshire

The closest airport to the White Mountain National Forest is Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS). Fly there with Air Canada Express, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, JetBlue, Spirit and United Express.

Where to see the fall foliage in Europe

3. Westonbirt Arboretum- Tetbury, United Kingdom

Westonbirt-Arboretum-Fall-Colours Photo credit: Dan Freeman

Planted during Victorian times, when “plant hunters” would bring back plants from all over the world to gardens in the UK, Westonbirt Arboretum is a beautiful garden with over 2500 different species of tree and the perfect place to visit in autumn. After taking in the fall foliage, we recommend spending a few days in this part of the UK exploring nearby historical towns and cities such as Tetbury and Bath.

How to get to Westonbirt Arboretum

Westonbirt is best accessed by car from Bristol Airport (BRS). Fly there with easyjet, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines and TUI Airways.

4. The Dark Hedges, Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Dark-Hedges-Ballmoney-in-Fall Photo credit: Trevor Cole

Want to see where Game of Thrones was shot and enjoy the fall colours? The Dark Hedges in Ballymoney is the place for you. The avenue was made famous by its appearance in the first two seasons of Game of Thrones and also looks incredible during autumn! Northern Ireland is a beautiful place to visit in autumn and, now this unique lane is closed to traffic, it's perfect for a walk to see the fall foliage.

How to get to The Dark Hedges

Ballymoney is just a 45 minute drive from Belfast International Airport (BFS). Fly there with Jet2, Thomas Cook Airlines, easyjet and Norwegian.

Top Tip: To see as many seasonal displays as you can, fly from England to Ireland with a domestic UK airline, including Loganair and easyJet. The flight only takes an hour and a half, so whether you have a week or a weekend, this is the fastest way to pack-in as much as possible!

5. Naturpark Sennes-Prags, the Dolomites, San Vigilio, Italy

Naturpark-Fanes-Sennes-Prags-in-Fall Photo credit: Eberhard Grossgasteiger

One of our favourite places to visit in autumn, Naturpark Fanes-Sennes-Prags in the Italian Dolomites offers stunning views of fiery red trees against the range’s iconic “Pale Mountains.” Although visitors flock to the region in winter to make the most of the slopes, a fall trip is perfect time for hiking or cycling around this breathtaking mountain range.

How to get to Naturpark Fanes-Sennes-Prags

The Dolomites are best accessed by car or airport transfer from Venice Airport (VCE). Fly there with Air Transat, Alitalia, British Airways, easyjet, Norwegian, SunExpress. For information on how to book your bike onto your flight, visit our FAQ page on Flying With a Bike.

Where to see the autumn leaves in Oceania

6. Lake Pukaki, Christchurch, New Zealand

Okay, so it’s not technically fall in New Zealand until March. But we couldn’t leave out the beautiful Lake Pukaki in New Zealand. Lake Pukaki’s wild landscape comes alive with fall colours just when the Northern Hemisphere is getting ready for Spring. Book an your trip now and get to experience two autumnal seasons in one year!

How to get to Lake Pukaki

To get to Lake Pukaki, fly to Christchurch Airport (CHC) with Cathay Pacific and Air New Zealand. From the airport, Lake Pukaki is just a three and a half hour drive or a five hour bus.

Where to see the fall foliage in Asia

7. Ryōanji Temple, Kyoto, Japan

As mentioned before, people in Japan love admiring the fall colours so much that they even have a special word for it, "momjigari," which roughly translates as red-leaf hunting. If you fancy yourself a red-leaf hunter, we recommend the Ryōan-ji temple in Kyoto and its extensive gardens built in the 15th Century. Japan really is the best country to visit in autumn, as their fall season tends to last much longer than those countries in the West.

How to get to Ryōan-ji temple

The nearest airport to Kyoto is Osaka International Airport (ITM) (sometimes known as Itami Airport). Book your flights to Kyoto with Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and JetStar.
Find flights to all of these destinations and more with Alternative Airlines.

Where do you think is the best place to see the fall foliage? Follow us and send us your snaps of the autumn leaves!

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