Travel to These 6 Stunning Spots to Get all the Fall Feels
Apple picking, leaf peeping, and wine tasting in the West will help get you in the autumnal spirit.
There’s nothing like a great autumn road trip to get you in the spirit of the season. From apple picking to wine tasting and leaf peeping, these adventures will set the mood for fall. And they’re all situated in the West.
Located in central Utah in the Fishlake National Forest lies what’s known to be the world’s largest living organism—a 106-acre stand of aspen trees. The aspens, called Pando, operate on a single root system and are the biggest aspen “clone” ever identified, the single most massive living organism known on Earth. In autumn, the oranges and yellows of the leaves put on a spectacular show, making this area well worth a visit on any Utah road trip, just like the five national parks that reside within the stunning state.
Mammoth Lakes, California
While most people associate leaf peeping with the East Coast, the West is not to be slept on for fans of autumnal color. Varieties of native oak, maple, aspen, and alder put on a spectacle this time of year, particularly in our parklands. With golden light kissing the pristine mountain landscapes and quiet, wide open spaces, it’s easy to see why photographers like Ansel Adams (and our own staff photog, Thomas J. Story) have obsessed over this region of the Eastern Sierra. Whether you head out for a loop around the dog-friendly Convict Lake or simply stop in for some comfort food at one of Mammoth’s unsung gems, it’s bound to be a great time.
Nestled in the folded foothills of the Sierra Nevada, autumn lingers as if it knows a good thing when it sees one. Here are the blue skies, the tawny hills, the grapevines tinged fierce red. Once beautiful but sleepy, this town has become an up-and-comer, with hip restaurants, boutique hotels like the nearby Holbrooke and the National Exchange, and a U-pick apple orchard from the likes of the Streicher sisters cropping up this fall. You can read more about their spot, the Orchard at Apple Lane here.
Apple picking is right up there with pumpkin patches and fall hiking as a quintessential fall activity. And there’s no better place to be than at a u-pick orchard in Wenatchee, the self-proclaimed apple capital of the world. Appropriately, this town situated in the heart of Washington’s apple country has some of the best apple growing conditions in the U.S.
Santa Ynez, California
Now that the hustle of the harvest is over, things in wine country slow down in the most wonderful way. With six superlative towns, top-flight wines, and the coolest culinary scene on the coast, all against a backdrop of rolling hills, the Santa Ynez Valley is the ultimate Central Coast California getaway. And it gets even more gorgeous in the fall, when the vineyards transition to the most stunning shades of red and orange. Who said that leaf peeping had to be relegated to the forest?
This charming spot in Southern California pops off during apple season, when travelers come from far and wide to get a taste of the homemade cider, apple pies, and freshly picked apples. Though the many orchards in this old mining town nestled amongst the Cuyamaca Mountains in San Diego County are certainly a seasonal draw, there are also some great wineries and hiking to do in the area, too.