Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Foliage

Every autumn, nature puts on a brilliant show of color in many parts of the United States. From bright yellows to vibrant reds, the leaves transform, showing their rich and vibrant hues. From the Northeast United States, to the Southeast and Midwest United States, the foliage season begins in early September in the northern regions and ends in southern locations in late October or early November. Every year, people flock to these areas to take in the fall foliage, to catch a glimpse of natures splendor.

So, the question is where to go and when to go to be able to see all the colors of the Fall.

The peak color time changes every year based on rain, temperatures, etc, so it's important to follow the foliage reports online. The Foliage Network is the best site for that. There you will find foliage reports by region (Northeast, Southeast and Midwest) starting early September until the middle of November. Every 4 or 5 days they post an update on the foliage colors.

Then, if you are traveling in early October (before that there will be very little colors to see) you will have to go to the Northeast, more specifically Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire.

Two years ago I went on a Foliage Cruise on Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas (a great ship!) out of Boston and the first stop was the charming city of Portland, Maine. From there we drove to Acadia National Park where we took a three hours bike ride. It was an amazing experience. The fall splendor exploded right in front of me!  I just took my camera and emerge in that fantastic place.

If you go after the middle of October, a nice destination is Shenandoah National Park, located in the Blue Ridge section of the Appalachian Mountains in Northern Virginia.  
A two hours drive from Washington DC, the 105 miles scenic drive in Shenandoah, called Skyline Drive has beautiful views of peaks, valleys and gaps. A lot of colors to be seen on this day trip.

At the end of October, early November, North Carolina's Asheville is the best place to be for the Fall colors. 
Asheville is a two hours drive from Charlotte or a three hours drive from Atlanta, and is a beautiful little town with a great cultural life (they even have their own film festival in early November) and where you also can visit George Vanderbilt's Biltmore, the 250-room French ch√Ęteau (I would call it a castle, but that just me). I have never seen anything like this in the US. A must see!

But back to Fall and its colors... Asheville has romantics B&Bs that will give you cozy accommodations and a wonderful breakfast. With your rented car you can just drive around Asheville beautiful surroundings and be mesmerized by all the colors that appear during this time of the year.

Fall is a magic time for me. Not only the colors, but the smells, the pumpkin bread and pie, apple cider... every year I try to go somewhere where I can fully appreciate this season and I always return to Florida inspired to one day live in a place where I will be able to see this season in my backyard! 

You can check more fall pics at my art website:

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