Where to see the fall colours in 2018

Beth Watson, 09.10.18
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 fall foliage in Europe

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. Fly there with easyjet, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines and TUI Airways.

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. 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.

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. Fly there with Jet2, Thomas Cook Airlines, easyjet and Norwegian.

Where to see the best fall foliage in North America

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. Fly there with Air Canada Express, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, JetBlue, Spirit and United Express.

Boardman Tree Farm, Oregon, United States

Boardman-Tree-Farm-Oregon-in-Fall Photo Credit: David Kovalenko

The Boardman Tree Farm in Oregon in the US is an incredible 25,000 acre plot of identical poplar trees and truly one of the best places to see the fall colours. Unfortunately, portions of the forest are being sold off to make space for farmland so 2018 may be the last fall at this pristine woodland. Even more reason to go this year!

How to get to the Boardman Tree Farm

To get to the Boardman Tree Farm, fly to Portland International Airport and rent a car to drive along the I-84. Fly there with American Eagle, Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Southwest.

Where to see the autumn leaves in Oceania

Lake Pukaki, Christchurch, New Zealand

Lake-Pukaki-New-Zealand-in-Fall

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 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

Ryōanji Temple, Kyoto, Japan

Kyoan-Ji-Temple-Kyoto-in-Fall

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 (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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