Fall travel guide

Explore beaches, back roads, vineyards, and more during the West's golden season

The West's best fall travel experiences

It's the absolute best time to be outdoors, when some of our unique landscapes come brilliantly alive

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Expert bird-watching tips
Photo by colinhayes.com; written by Sara Dickerman, Peter Fish, Kelly Mickle, Loren Mooney, and Cristina Tudino

Expert bird-watching tips

Alvaro Jaramillo, the founder of Alvaro’s Adventures: Birding & Nature Tours, based in Northern California, has tips for you.

Q: What’s unique about fall bird migrations in the West?

A: The topography of the mountains, valleys, and ocean drives birds into more concentrated migrations. When bad weather starts to hit the higher elevations, the birds become restricted to smaller slivers of nicer climates in the valleys. 

Q: Can you share some birding etiquette?

A: There’s no dress code; you don’t have to wear earth-tone colors. You don’t have to be quiet all the time, either. Binoculars always come in handy, but you don’t necessarily need them with some of these larger migrations.

Q: Is there a better time of day to go? 

A: Late afternoon when the sun isn’t straight overhead.

Q: Which books do you recommend?

A: I like books better than apps because screens are too small and a pain to see in the sun. The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America is the easiest book to use.

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