Autumn is a much-anticipated time of the year; it’s when the once verdant green trees burst into beautiful hues of red, orange, and gold. Days normally get shorter, and the morning air becomes crisper. Once, the popular French philosopher and author Albert Camus wrote: ''Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.'' And this is true when one travels across different places, especially in the United States. Many would expect to go to places like the Midwest to marvel at the wonderful fall foliage. There are plenty of things to do during this time. An autumn break might just include unwinding amid colorful trees and taking beautiful pictures. While there are many popular places to visit, we have compiled a list of 10 hidden fall gem destinations in the US below.
10 Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon
Every year many fall lovers visit Oregon for its vibrant autumn foliage-think leaves with stunning red, orange, and yellow colors. There are undoubtedly many parks to visit during the fall, but Portland Japanese Garden is a unique place to immerse in the beautiful colors amidst nature. The Portland Japanese Garden sprawls about 5.5 acres of a unique space influenced by traditional Japanese culture. Enjoy a peaceful autumn getaway by spending two hours here, strolling around the gardens burst with fall colors. The park has many art exhibitions, and a cultural village kitted out with a tea house and a gift shop.
9 Blackstone Valley, Rhode Island
Fall lovers would really enjoy their time in Rhode Island, where they will get to experience the crisp weather, attend plenty of farm festivals, and tuck into many of the famous pumpkin-based dishes. And to spend a pleasant autumn break, simply take Route 95 to Blackstone Valley around mid-October to see its breathtaking colorful foliage. Here, visitors can combine a history lesson (as the region is known to be the birthplace of America’s Industrial Revolution) with a train tour to admire the colorful leaves. The train usually takes off at Woonsocket’s Depot Square train station, heading to Putnam, where visitors will have the chance to celebrate the annual pumpkin festival.
8 Lost Maples State Natural Area, Texas
Though Texas is not a typical fall destination, there are some hidden places that deserve our attention when Bigtooth Maple and Red Oak trees turn into striking orange and red colors. To see these fiery autumn colors, head to Maples State Natural Area, right in the dense woodlands. The best time to visit this attraction is around October or early November. Consider camping here to enjoy the sublime season to the maximum. There are several primitive camping sites perfect for spending an intimate time with loved ones.
7 June Lake Loop, California
Looking for a serene setting to take in the awe-inspiring view of the gorgeous golden and red aspen trees? Then think about visiting June Lake Loop, which is tucked beautifully on the south edge of the Mono Basin, the eastern side of California. Around the middle of October, this beautiful sanctuary becomes a favorite place for photographers, where they can take stunning pictures of the glistening lake, bright yellow aspen trees, and a jagged mountain in the backdrop. In addition, adventure seekers will be able to hike the stunning rugged terrains.
6 Boise, Idaho
Another enticing autumn destination to visit is Boise, which literally means ‘wooded.’ Locally called the 'City of Trees, Boise becomes a real feast for the eyes in early October. During this time, its urban landscape turns into an incredible autumn scenery with the trees that dot the streets. Take a scenic drive from western Boise on the Payette Scenic Byway, which meanders over 100 miles north to New Meadows. On the way, take in the spectacular views of the Payette River fringed by trees turned into a kaleidoscope of colors.
5 Anchorage, Alaska
There is something magical about Anchorage; perhaps it is about the wilderness filled with wildlife or its glowing northern light. Known as the gateway to Alaska adventure, Anchorage has many reasons to visit, especially during autumn. From mid-September, watch its landscape transform from lush green to vibrant shades of copper, gold, and crimson. The splendid landscape is a real paradise for passionate photographers. This time of the year, one can see the sheer contrast between the white mountain tops and the colorful leaves and berries. One of the best ways to marvel at this magical scenery is by hiking the rugged trails. Thunderbird Falls is a recommended place to see the birch forest turn into a kaleidoscope of colors.
4 Banner Elk, North Carolina
Looking for a quaint town to spend an autumn break in North Carolina? Imagine being able to bask in the spectacular view of the vivid yellow, orange, and crimson leaves. Think about being able to relish some good wines paired with local chocolates and delicacies. Then imagine all these good things happening in the gorgeous town of Banner Elk. This charming town is a must-visit in North Carolina for adventurous spirits, where they can find plenty of outdoor activities such as mountain biking, golfing, and bird watching.
3 Leavenworth, Washington
Get ready to be enchanted by the fiery autumn colors by heading east from Seattle towards the small city of Leavenworth. Known for its charming Bavarian-style houses and enchanting landscape decked out with mountains, Leavenworth is the place to be for leaf peeping. This sublime destination offers various festivals, such as the Autumn Leaf Festival, which usually includes fun games, food, and music. For sure, many visitors come here for its much-anticipated Oktoberfest, where there is live music from German bands and German beer to try.
2 Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Tucked away in the western part of Wyoming, Jackson Hole is a travel destination for all seasons but is particularly appreciated for its winter. Known for being a world-class ski resort, Jackson Hole is also a wonderful place to enjoy serene autumn moments with family. Around mid-September, this attraction changes into some dramatic fall landscape thanks to the Grand Teton National Park. Visit the park and encounter beautiful creatures such as moose, elks, and sheep.
1 Bar Harbor, Maine
The quaint seaside town of Bar Harbor is a much-sought-after summer destination in Maine, where many tourists disembark the cruise ships to explore the unspoiled cove and beaches. But when the temperature starts to drop in mid-October, this is when one can enjoy a rather peaceful setting and the breathtaking fall foliage. The best spot to view groves of aspen turn gold or oak trees turn red is by hiking in the Acadia National Park. The park has plenty of activities, such as horseback riding, birding, and climbing.