Where To Head This Fall To See The Fall Foliage

by Kerwin McKenzie on September 30, 2017

Before you know it, it will be the end of September and time for Fall or Autumn in the northern hemisphere as the British would say.



Autumn along the Thames - from www.instagram.com/djirich Autumn along the Thames – from www.instagram.com/djirich



As Fall arrives, the trees in the colder climates prepare for the colder months by shedding their leaves. But they don’t shed the green leaves of course. First they change color, the stems weakens and the leaves “Fall” to the ground. Which just creates a ton of work as then you have to rake them and get rid of them. One other thing is that the fruit harvest also starts. Apple picking is very popular in upstate New York and other northern states. Its quite amazing as the orchards open up and you can go pick your own fruits. Later in the season nearer to the end of October, you can pick pumpkins usually for Halloween. So lots to do.


Growing up in Jamaica, I saw none of this since its almost always green there and its a temperate climate so no need for the tress to shed their leaves.


But in the parts of North America and northwards to the pole, its a site to behold. As you fly over the land its pretty amazing to see all the different colors. In general if you end up in any of the following U.S. states and Canada and of course Europe you are golden: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Wow, we have a lot of cold states.


Early Fall Foliage in St. James's Park Early Fall Foliage in St. James’s Park



I sent out a note to some of you asking where do you go to see the Fall colors. And thank you for responding and sharing your ideas with us all. I’ve included your suggestions below as well as some of my own and given you information on which are the closest airports as well so this way you to can enjoy the beautiful Fall Foliage. If you have additional spots where you go to see the Fall Foliage, please leave a comment below and I’ll incorporate them. Here goes:

  • Canada – So you just have to head north of the U.S. to find Fall Foliage. You don’t even have to go far either. A trip to Toronto will suffice. Porter Airlines (PD) and Air Canada (AC) will get you to the both airports in Toronto (YTZ, YYZ). Most of the U.S. airlines will get you into Toronto-Pearson (YYZ).

    Fall Foliage - Toronto ON Canada in early October Fall Foliage – Toronto ON Canada in early October

  • Dutchess County, New York – Patricia says ” I own a beautiful B&B TheRedHookInn.com in the HEART of Dutchess County and the most beautiful fall foliage ever. We are surrounded by 3 COUNT EM’! mountain ranges and the mighty HUDSON RIVER…as well as 10 historic mansions primarily situated shoreside of the Hudson. I’m prejudiced..but with good cause!” She’s right, you can fly into Stewart-Newburgh Airport (SWF) and see what she means. Here’s a photo of Beacon, NY which is in Dutchess County.

    Fall Foliage - Beacon, NY Fall Foliage – Beacon, NY

  • Europe – During the Fall (Autumn), Europe offers some very amazing views of fall foliage. You can see this from pretty much every country. It does happen a bit earlier that the U.S. though. Usually in early September. Also, the more north you go the prettier are the colors and the earlier the change occurs. The key would be to head to the major European hubs and then head out to the countryside via train, bus or car.
  • Fairbanks, AK (FAI) – I visited Fairbanks in late September of 2006 and it’s a very beautiful place. The trees were already deep in their color change. Alaska in general is worth it for spotting Fall Foliage. The following airlines has service into the airport:
    • Alaska Airlines (AS) from Prudhoe Bay, AK (SCC) and Seattle, WA (SEA)
    • Condor (DE) from Frankfurt, Germany (FRA)
    • Delta Air Lines (DL) from Minneapolis, MN (MSP) and Seattle, WA (SEA)
    • Era Aviation (7H) Fall Foliage - Fairbanks, AK Fall Foliage – Fairbanks, AK


      Fall Foliage - Fairbanks, AK Highway Fall Foliage – Fairbanks, AK Highway

  • Hudson River, New York – Sheila says “A train ride up the Hudson river towards West Point from New York City is absolutely amazing.” I agree with Sheila that upstate New York is pretty amazing when it comes to Fall Foliage. The train she references here is Metro North which you can take from Grand Central Station in Manhattan. More information on Metro North at http://www.mta.info/mnr. You can fly into any of the five New York area airports on a slew of carriers: Islip-MacArthur, NY (ISP), LaGuardia, NY (LGA), New York-JFK, NY (JFK), Newark-Liberty, NJ (EWR) and White Plains, Ny (HPN). You can even fly in Stewart Newburgh on JetBlue (B6) as well. You’ll be sure to see foliage on your way in. There used to be a Fall Foliage train at the end of October, but I can only find information back to 2009, so they may have discontinued it.
  • Portland, Maine – Andy says “I love going to Portland, Maine”.  There’s no doubt this area is in the heart of Fall Foliage. I’ve actually been in this area during Fall and its truly amazing. But how does one get here? The airport to use is the Portland, Maine Airport (PWM) which has service from the following carriers:
    • American Airlines (AA) from Charlotte, NC (CLT), Philadelphia, PA (PHL) and Washington-Reagan National, D.C. (DCA)
    • Delta Air Lines (DL) from Atlanta, GA (ATL) and New York-LaGuardia, NY (LGA)
    • JetBlue (B6) from New York-JFK, NY (JFK)
    • Southwest Airlines (WN) from Baltimore, MD (BWI) and Orlando, FL (MCO)
    • United Airlines (UA) from Chicago-O’Hare, IL (ORD), Newark-Liberty, NJ (EWR) and Washington-Dulles, VA (IAD)
  • New England – John says “Anywhere in New England” and Penelope says “I know this is very “general” but somewhere in New England”
  • Smoky Mountains or New England – Lisa says “Smoky Mountains or the New England states.” The Smoky Mountains are gorgeous mountains between Tennessee and North Carolina and in the Fall they get all the cool colors. You can fly Greenville/Spartanburg, SC (GSP), Chattanooga, TN (CHA), Knoxville, TN (TYS), into American’s hub in Charlotte, NC (CLT) or Delta’s hub in Atlanta, GA (ATL). From any of these cities just rent a car and head towards the mountains.
  • Upper Peninsula, Michigan – Carolyn says “my favorite place to see the fall colors is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The best time is about mid September. The foliage is spectacular. The Traverse City area in Michigan is another great place in the fall. Lovely little city on the bay. There are more than 30 wineries close by most with free tastings. It’s a fun place to spend a weekend. I am from Michigan so I may be a little biased.”
  • Vermont – Dena from twitter says “Leafpeepers will tell you Stowe is amazing. Hikers will enjoy the view from Stowe Pinnacle.” She also has an article at http://www.danahfreeman.com/top-5-thing-to-do-this-fall-in-vermont/ to help you decide.
    Being in the northeastern U.S., this entire state will give you great Fall Foliage to enjoy. You can fly into Burlington (BTV) with service on American Airlines (AA), Delta Air Lines (DL), JetBlue (B6), Porter Airlines (PD) and United Airlines (UA). The other airport to try is Rutland (RUT) with service on Cape Air (9K) from Boston, MA (BOS).
  • Yellowstone Park, Montana – Ray says “I’ve lived in Montana for 30 yrs, so , I have to say that Yellowstone park is hard to beat for fall colors and just being outdoors.”
    Most of Yellowstone is in Wyoming, but much of it on on the border with Idaho and Montana. This year is a great time to visit since the National Park Service is celebrating 100 years of service. There are several airports that will take you within the vicinity, then you have to rent a car and drive. Of course you will get a great view while flying in which is the best part I think. Here’s a page to help you get to the Park https://www.nps.gov/features/yell/interactivemap/transpto.htm. And here are the closest airports:

    • West Yellowstone, MT (WYS) – seasonal service on Delta Air Lines (DL) from Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)
    • Cody, WY (COD) – Delta Air Lines (DL) from Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) and United Airlines (UA) from Denver, CO (DEN).
    • Jackson Hole, WY (JAC)
      • American Airlines (AA) from Chicago-O’Hare, IL (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) and Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
      • Delta Air Lines (DL) from Atlanta, GA (ATL), Los Angeles, CA (LAX), Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP), New York-JFK, NY (JFK), Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) and Seattle, WA (SEA)
      • United Airlines (UA) from Chicago-O’Hare, IL (ORD), Denver, CO (DEN), Houston-Intercontinental, TX (IAH), Los Angeles, CA (LAX),Newark-Liberty, NJ (EWR) and San Francisco, CA (SFO)
    • Bozeman, MT (BZN)
      • Alaska Airlines (AS) from Portland, OR (PDX) and Seattle, WA (SEA)
      • American Airlines (AA) from Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW)
      • Delta Air Lines (DL) from Atlanta, GA (ATL), Los Angeles, CA (LAX), Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP), Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) and Seattle, WA (SEA)
      • Frontier Airlines (F9) from Denver, CO (DEN)
      • United Airlines (UA) from Chicago-O’Hare, IL (ORD), Denver, CO (DEN), Houston-Intercontinental, TX (IAH), Los Angeles, CA (LAX), Newark-Liberty, NJ (EWR) and San Francisco, CA (SFO)
    • Billings, MT (BIL)
      • Alaska Airlines (AS) from Portland, OR (PDX) and Seattle, WA (SEA)
      • Cape Air (9K) from Glasgow, MT (GGW), Glendive, MT (GDV), Havre City, MT (HVR), Sidney, MT (SDY) and Wolf Point, MT (OLF)
      • Delta Air Lines (DL) from Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP) and  Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)
      • United Airlines (UA) from Denver, CO (DEN)
    • Idaho Falls, ID (IDA)
      • Delta Air Lines (DL) from Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP) and  Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)
      • United Airlines (UA) from Denver, CO (DEN)
If you are looking for other ideas in search of the Fall Foliage, try these links:



Anything to add, just leave a comment below?



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Where to see the Fall Foliage Where to see the Fall Foliage

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar noel September 6, 2016 at 6:20 pm

Those all sound like wonderful places to visit during the fall season. l would definitely love to visit Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons for autumn and all the change of color along with the spectacular national park visits.


avatar Suzanne Fluhr September 7, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Air crews who see over vast distances from the air are a good choice for people to ask about their favorite places to see colorful fall foliage. I know about New England and Pennsylvania for fall foliage, but I’d love to check out some of your other suggestions.


avatar Dana Freeman October 8, 2016 at 1:21 am

Thanks for giving Vermont a nod. If you are planning on visiting, know that Columbus Day weekend is historically peak weekend.


avatar Kerwin McKenzie October 8, 2016 at 1:51 am

Sure thing Dana. And thanks for that added tip for the readers.



avatar Sherry Cox October 20, 2017 at 9:57 pm

Did a Vermont fall drive one year! It is absolutely beautiful. Flew into Burlington, rented a car and just started driving. You won’t be sorry!


avatar Carol-Ann Marshall October 31, 2017 at 12:23 am

Kerwin, one of the most beautiful places to see the fall colours in Canada, is north of Sault Ste. Marie in northern Ontario. The Agawa Canyon railway takes you through some of the most spectacular scenery you have ever seen. Worth checking out. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/canada/agawa-canyon-ontario/


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