What’s your favorite season? Correct answer: all of them! Every season has its unique beauty and perks. However, fall has a special place in our hearts as coziest season of them all. Depending on where you live, fall is resplendent with earthy colors of gold, red and orange, and Mother Nature invites us to soak it all in. This year, we want to appreciate the Japanese art of koyo, or leaf viewing. It could involve simply taking a trip to the nearest mountains in proximity, but since Los Angeles (and all of California) is experiencing a serious drought, we might just hop on a plane. Here’s our bucket list of fall foliage escapes around the world!

Clos Luce, Loire ValleyPhoto Credit: Wikimedia/Nadègevillain

Loire Valley

Paris, South of France. Been there, done that… and would do it again in a heartbeat. How about the Loire Valley- a gorgeous region known for its superb wines. Many Europeans consider the area one of the best fall escapes. Book yourself an affordable Gîtes de France or Airbnb, grab a lover (or bestie), and bring a picnic basket to fill with crisp white Sancerre, bread and cheese. You’ll visit dreamy, fairy tale chateaux (castles) like Chenonceau and Chateau du Clos Lucé (pictured below). There you can see the former stomping grounds of nobility (called the “Valley of the Kings”) as well as lovely, picturesque gardens. These look particularly enchanted when the leaves turn colors. In Nantes, follow the spirit of Joan of Arc: Rent a bike. Live the simple life amid the splendor.

Lake Elmore, Vermont
Photo Credit: Vermont Tourism


Vermont is pretty high up there when it comes to the gold standard of fall travel. Trees explode in rich hues at every turn. There are rustic farms to visit and hiking trails galore. Try the Robert Frost Wayside Trail, named after the famous American poet. Be sure to rent a car and get off the highways and onto the small roads to explore antique shops, historic towns, orchards, and the state’s famous covered bridges. Scenic drives offer unforgettable nature vistas. Let’s not forget Woodstock!

Blenheim Palace, CotswoldsPhoto Credit: Cotswolds


That’s a mouthful. And worth saying. The first thing you need to know is that Kate Moss got married here! Picture perfect Cotswolds in England starts around Oxford and extends to Gloucestershire. It’s a luscious country escape with trees in full fall bloom, boasting castles such Bleinheim Palace (see above), manors, rolling hills, and adorable historic towns. Get into the spirit of the crisp, cool season at cozy tea shops and country pubs with hearty, delicious food. Check out the Batsford Arboretum exploding in salmon pinks, popping reds, gold and dark purple.

Eikando Temple, KyotoPhoto Credit: Eikando Temple


Japan in the fall? Yes, and not for cherry blossoms or shopping but for the above mentioned leaf viewing tradition. The main season for koyo in Kyoto is mid to late November. Gorgeous views abound at Tofukuji Temple from Tsutenkyo Bridge and the temple grounds of Eikando. Several places even offer so-called evening illuminations, e.g. Shorenin Temple, Nanzenji Temple and Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. There are so many locations to choose from, from busy places with thousands of revelers to small, quiet enclaves. Be sure to also take in Gion, the famous geisha quarter!

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