Temperatures are dipping fast; everywhere in the northern hemisphere there is a riot of colors as foliage turns auburn and trees get ready for winter. If you are in love with the exquisite beauty of fall colors, here are some spectacular places around the globe that are worth a visit, this year and every year.
Vermont, New England
While talking about autumn travel destinations New England is an essential first. The natural beauty of its endless woodlands is therapeutic with the drama of the foliage changing color creating waves of oranges, yellows and reds against the dark soil. When you have had enough of gaping at leaves, there are many other things to do like mountain trail walks, trekking and biking. There is just one hiccup this season; Hurricane Irene did its bit in making more than 300 roads in Vermont unsafe. The Vermont Agency of Transportation web site has updated information on current road conditions and printable maps showing road closures.
Catskills and Adirondack Mountains, New York
Beautiful river gorges, sheer plummeting cliffs and stretches of sweeping landscapes characterize the Catskills and Adriondack mountains. The walls of the river gorges are thickly carpeted with maple, oak and birch. The leaves of these trees attain their deepest shades of fire by the end of September and stay brilliant till mid-October. This magical spectacle of nature changing its garments takes your breath away due to the sheer scale of these mountains.
Their nearness to New York City makes it easily accessible for city-dwellers in love with fall foliage. An unfortunate circumstance; Hurricane Irene helped close hundreds of roads in the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park and the Catskill Mountains south of Albany. While some closures remain in effect in the Catskills, Route 73 through the Adirondacks re-opened on Sept. 12. On a brighter note, lodging, attractions and restaurants in the Adriondack Park region are still sanding strong and receiving visitors with open arms.
The region of Bavaria, in south eastern Germany, is famous for beautiful castles nestling in the hillsides. The rich hues of autumnal trees provide a sharp contrast to the evergreens higher up and the gray of the castles simply makes you forget breathing. Tiny villages down in the valleys with tall steeples marking the spot are simple yet exquisite with the hills as a backdrop and festivities galore. Oktoberfest, the annual festival known for its beer, sausages and music is held here in late September and early October. The colors of autumn and flavors of local culinary delights make for one deadly combination.
Sakura, the cherry blossoms of Japan, are widely famous all year round as these trees flower and shed sporadically. However, autumn is special as the trees are even more beautiful with their delicately hued white pink blossoms against the more robust colours of fiery leaves of deciduous trees. Around the country, one can see illuminated displays at temples and parks which bring a contrasting appearance to the foliage in the evenings. Be it day or night, a visit to Japan in the fall is a must-do.