The Most Beautiful Places for Leaf Peeping This Fall


Jason is an adventure travel writer with a passion for exploring the world's most beautiful and remote destinations.

Autumn is such a magical time of year. The heat of the summer melts away, and the crisp air of the fall brings vibrant colors, cozy fabrics, and a peaceful atmosphere. 

Leaf peeping is a fancy name for staring at the beautiful colors of fall leaves. When hillsides and forests become fiery with reds and golds, who wouldn’t want to go walking in nature to marvel?

New England is one of the most famous places in the world for leaf peeping, but it’s not the only place offering extraordinary views in autumn. 

Here are five unusual places to go leaf peeping this fall if you want to see the most breathtaking fall scenery this planet has to offer.

Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade, Serbia

The Balkans is a truly stunning place to visit in the fall. The weather cools down, and the foliage changes color, making it the perfect place for hiking, cycling, or just exploring local villages. 

“I love the Balkans during fall; the colors are out of this world. If you get a chance, visit the Belgrade Food Show – it takes place in October, and the traditional street food is incredible.” – SJ Begonja from Chasing the Donkey

Plenty of places reach their peak during the fall, but one of the most beautiful places for leaf peeping is Kalemegdan. With picturesque scenery, vibrant colors, and street vendors selling roasted chestnuts, it’s the perfect place to spend the fall months. 

Cádiz, Spain

Cádiz, Spain

You probably don’t think about Spain when you picture lighting a fire, roasting chestnuts, and enjoying a steaming hot bowl of stew in the fall, but the charming villages of Spain really do have all that and more. 

The white-washed villages of Cádiz and Málaga are perfect spots for leaf peeping. Not to mention the historic architecture of Guadalajara and the quaint medieval towns dotted throughout the region. 

“Did you know that many Spanish regions have fiestas to celebrate the arrival of chestnuts? Magosta in Cantabria and Castanyasa in Catalonia are two of my favorite places to visit in the fall.” – Timon D. van Basten from TravelSpain24

While you’re leaf peeping in Spain, you could also go on a scavenger hunt for mushrooms. You will need a permit or an official guide, but the mycological center of Soria offers courses on tracking down and cooking mushrooms. 

Getting to wander around this quaint little village in the fall is something straight out of a spooky fairytale. 

New South Wales, Australia

New South Wales, Australia

Autumn hits New South Wales from March to May, and it becomes a vista of burnished valleys, gold vines, and sweeping carpets of red maple leaves. 

If you’re looking for vibrant fall colors, you really can’t beat NSW. The climate is much cooler in the autumn, and the trees of the Blue Mountains are ablaze with color. From Japanese maples to dawn redwoods, you’ll never want to leave the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. 

“If you’re visiting New South Wales, make sure to go to the tree-lined streets of Mount Wilson. In the fall, the elm trees are covered in pink cherries, and the heritage-listed gardens are beautiful to see.” – Rosalind Cuthbertson from Frequent Traveller 

The small village of Leura is another great place for leaf peeping this fall. The Everglades Gardens have huge trees, fields blanketed in autumn leaves, and incredible views of the Jamison Valley. 

The Mayfield Garden Autumn Festival is hosted in Oberon every year, just an hour’s drive west of the Blue Mountains. Inside the Hawkins’ Family Garden, there’s a box hedge maze, a lake for rowing, and the breathtaking colors of the deciduous trees. 

Black Forest, Germany

What leaf peeping list would be complete without a trip to the Black Forest in Germany? This hiker’s paradise covers 6,000 square kilometers and is blanketed in every fall shade you can think of. 

Most hikers go to the Black Forest waterfall hunting, so pack a decent pair of hiking boots and waterproofs if that’s also on your agenda. 

“After a day’s hike, the charming villages dotted throughout the forest are perfect for grabbing a hot drink and sitting by a roaring fire. And if you’re in need of civilization, Baden-Baden is a spa town with thermal baths that are a must-try.” – Jackson Groves from Journey Era

If you want a luxury retreat when you visit the Black Forest, Traube Tonbach is the place to go. Hidden in the foothills of the forest, it’s got a sauna, steam bath, swimming pools, and even ice igloos.

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan

Japan is world-famous for its pink cherry blossoms in the spring, but that really isn’t a patch on the awe-inspiring beauty of Japan in the fall. The leaves begin to change in October, and from November to December, the streets are carpeted in vibrant shades of red and orange. 

“The weather is cool and comfortable during fall in Japan, and the temples and gardens of Kyoto are stunning. I particularly love the seasonal illumination at Kodaiji Temple.” – Roberto Benardout from Nature Roamer 

The Arashiyama bamboo forest is the place to go to see the crimson maple leaves that are renowned in this region. Don’t forget your camera – the photo ops are endless!

While you’re leaf peeping in Japan, you can stay in a 17th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site called Nijo-jo Castle. The courtyard is centered around a cherry tree, making it the perfect spot for nature lovers. 

Happy Leaf Peeping!

Sure, summer has the hot weather and beach trips, but nothing really beats the beauty and peace of the fall. No matter where you are in the world, there are stunning places to go leaf peeping. 

From the crimson red maple leaves of Kyoto to the sweeping valleys of New South Wales, nature is truly beautiful in the autumntime.

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