Chasing Autumn: 12 Places to Embrace the Beauty of Change

The greatest season is here and although we’re quickly approaching it’s end, there’s still time to strap on your big boots, your hoodie, and your beanie and head into the world to watch the remaining leaves fall while sipping warm cider around a fire pit. For some of you, it may be as easy as going up the road. For the rest of us, we have to travel and autumn is a beautiful time to travel, as the changing colors on the trees and cooler weather make many of the world’s destinations even more appealing.

Here is a list of some of my favorite places to see in my favorite season and why they’re dope!

1. New England, USA:
– Why: The stunning fall foliage in states like Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine is famous worldwide. I remember the pictures on the wall in my elementary school of vermont and I remember staring at them, fantasizing about drinking hot chocolate while walking through those fields. When I was able, I did just that. The vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves create a picturesque landscape. You can also enjoy apple picking, pumpkin festivals, and crisp, cool weather.

Copyright. Boston Globe.

2. Kyoto, Japan:
– Why: Kyoto’s temples and gardens look magical with the backdrop of red and golden foliage. For the picture-takers, this is a dream come true! The city is also known for its annual “Momiji” or maple leaf viewing, making it a perfect destination for autumn adventurers. And the food, the onsens, the hot sakes. Go!

Photo: Luciano Mortula/DreamstimeKyoto’s Kiyomizudera temple in autumn

3. Bavaria, Germany:
– Why: Bavaria’s landscapes are transformed into a golden wonderland during autumn. The region’s colorful forests, charming villages, cute houses, and Oktoberfest celebrations make it an excellent autumn destination. Bring your stretchy pants because you’ll definitely get your fill of good meats and beers.

4. Tuscany, Italy:
– Why: Tuscany’s vineyards and rolling hills become even more enchanting during the fall harvest season. You can savor delicious wines, get into truffle hunting, and explore the region’s historic towns. I highly recommend a stop through Poggio A Caiano! Tell them I said “hello.”

5. Quebec City, Canada:
– Why: The historic architecture and cobblestone streets of Old Quebec are enhanced by the vivid fall foliage. You can also experience the city’s vibrant culture and delicious seasonal cuisine. Watch the maple turn into candy on ice, walk along the water, grab some poutine, and you’ll quickly see why this is one of my favorite cities in the world.

6. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA:
– Why: The Blue Ridge Mountains are a haven for leaf peepers during the autumn months. This is up the street from where I grew up, and I can honestly say that taking a ride through these mountains was one of my favorite parts of childhood. The park has numerous hiking trails and scenic drives with breathtaking views of colorful foliage.

7. Patagonia, Chile and Argentina:
– Why: Patagonia’s rugged wilderness and stunning landscapes are even more captivating during the autumn season. And even more majestic if you get the change to see them while horseback riding. It’s truly gorgeous all year, but you can avoid the summer crowds and enjoy the changing colors of the forests and serene lakes.

8. Scotland, United Kingdom:
– Why: Scotland’s dramatic landscapes, including the Scottish Highlands, are breathtaking in autumn. The misty lochs, ancient castles, and the chance to spot the Northern Lights make it an appealing destination. According to Ancestry DNA, I’m 10% Scottish, so if you find yourself over there, tell my folks I’ll be home soon.

Eilean Donan Castle against autumn leaves in Highlands of Scotland

9. Istanbul, Turkey:
– Why: Istanbul’s mild autumn weather is perfect for exploring its rich history and culture. Absolutely one of the most beautiful cities in the world with its iconic landmarks like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, Istanbul is best in autumn to avoid crowds and really get some time in with all of it.

10. Napa Valley, California, USA:
– Why: This one’s for the winos. Napa Valley’s vineyards come alive during the grape harvest season. You can enjoy wine tasting, fine dining, and hot air balloon rides while surrounded by the colors of autumn. What beauty! What a time!

11. The Cotswolds, England:
– Why: Get out of London for a bit. The charming villages of the Cotswolds are even more picturesque when surrounded by the changing leaves. It’s an ideal destination for leisurely walks and exploring traditional English cottages.

12. Prague, Czech Republic:
– Why: Prague’s architecture and historic sites are beautiful year-round, but the city takes on a special charm in the fall. You can explore the city’s rich history while enjoying pleasant weather and fewer tourists.

Grab some soup, pour a hot toddy, and sit in front of a huge picture window and fall in love with autumn all over again!

Darnell Lamont Walker, a self-professed traveling foodie, has been found sitting at tables eating baby goat sweetbreads, drinking tequila, and laughing loudly with strangers. The writer, filmmaker, artist, and sometimes photographer puts happiness above all.