Photos of the Week:  9/27/2018:  Best Autumn colors and their locations:




Door County, Wisconsin 
Door County is one of the Midwest’s best fall foliage destinations. Follow Highway 57 down the Lakeside of the peninsula enjoying bits of New England with picturesque lighthouses and white-frame buildings along with bursts of scarlet, gold, russet and vermilion that line highways and form canopies over country lanes. Peak colors usually arrive about the second week of October, lingering well into the third week during a good season.  You’ll find numerous charming towns as well as apple orchards to pick-a-peck along the way.  Photo by Bradley P Johnson




Bar Harbor, Maine 
Bar Harbor is frequently found among lists of the best places in the U.S. for fall foliage, with the especially jaw-dropping hues of autumn found along the 40-mile stretch of the Acadia Byway, where visitors can enjoy magnificent wild coastlines along with an array of colors in Acadia National Park. On Mount Desert Island, leaves start to turn in September, though peak time is typically mid-October, and can be anywhere from the first to the third week of the month. Hit the trails by foot or on bicycle, and be prepared for an abundance of color, particularly atop the summit of Cadillac Mountain.  Photo by



New Hampshire’s Lakes Region 
New Hampshire is one of the best places on earth to view the brilliant reds and golds of autumn. The best colors can be found inland, away from the coast, and at higher elevations, like the Lakes Region which is made up of Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake, Lake Ossipee, Mirror Lake, NewfoundLake and Lake Winnisquam. The area is protected from the harsh coastal winds and doesn’t rise more than 600 feet above sea level, providing the very best chance for a long leaf season, typically from late September through late October. Heading out on a kayak or canoe on any one of the lakes here brings some of the most breathtaking views with red maples along the water’s edge reflected into the water.  Photo by:  Sakeeb 



Vermont’s Green Mountains 
Vermont’s Green Mountains are also well-known as being a mecca for serious leaf peepers in the Eastern U.S. Drivng the highways and byways that wind through mountains and valleys you’ll see glorious hues of violet-red pin cheery and yellow alder leaves as well as blazing orange and red maple trees. The most brilliant autumn foliage tends to occur with a long stretch of warm, sunny days combined with cold overnight temperatures.  Driving the Green Mountain Byway from Waterbury to Stowe, you’ll pass peaceful meadows, farms and charming villages, ending with the state’s highest colorful peak at Mount Mansfield.  Photo by:



Western Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills 
Litchfield Hills in Western Connecticut is a picture-postcard New England destination, set at the foot of the Berkshire Mountains. Driving Route 7 along the Housatonic River from New Milford to Cornwall you’ll see a vivid palette of autumn colors with the explosion of maple, aspen, beech and birch trees dotting the landscape, in addition to crossing two of the state’s picturesque covered bridges. Along the way, you’ll come to the village of Kent, awarded the #1 Fall Foliage Town in New England by Yankee Magazine, it offers a number of interesting antique shops, art galleries and outstanding eateries. Kent Falls State Park is home to the state’s highest waterfall, with a scenic trail leading to its summit.  Photo by:



The Berkshires in Massachusetts
Leaf peeping throughout the Berkshires usually begins around the first of October, and is well known for the most magnificent displays in the state. Winding roads are lined with reds, golds and sometimes deep scarlet hues, along with farms, lakes and meadows as well as a backdrop of mountain summits. Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway in the southern Berkshires is a popular 35-mile stretch, and at Bash-Bish Falls State Park you’ll find amazing three-state views of a landscape dotted with crimson and gold.  Photo by:  Billdamon



Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia 
The Blue Ridge Parkway offers one of the most scenic drives in the country, but it’s at its very best during the autumn months, particularly from the end of September through the end of October. Winding through Southern Virginia, into North Carolina and culminating at the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, visitors will be treated to scarlet sourwoods, orange sassafras, golden poplars and maples in just about every crimson hue on the spectrum – all on display before a lush, emerald canvas of southern Appalachian conifers. A great way to kick off this spectacular road trip is to attend the Virginia Fall Foliage Festival, held during the first two weekends of October in the quaint community of Waynesboro located at the beginning of the parkway.  Photo by:  Forest



West Virginia 
With more than three-quarters of West Virginia forested, you’ll find no shortage of picturesque fall color throughout the state, with a wide range of red, orange, yellow and brown hues. Mid- to late-October is usually the best time to experience it. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, located just an hour from Washington, DC in the Eastern Panhandle, is one of the most ideal destinations for autumn foliage. Hiking the numerous trails provides the best views, with the less than one mile Jefferson Rock hike offering especially incredible vistas overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Photo by:



Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains
The magnificent fall foliage show put on in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee begins in early October, with the transformation starting in the higher elevations, working its way down to the lower elevations as late as mid-November. Gatlinburg, a small town in the middle of the Smoky Mountains, offers a great destination for leaf enthusiasts to base their stay with miles and miles of landscapes ablaze, including at the highest point in the state, Clingman’s Dome as well as Newfound Gap Road where visitors can view a brilliant tapestry of colors from 1,400 feet above sea level. The 11-mile loop around Cades Cove, winds past beautiful foliage surrounded by streams, waterfalls and more gorgeous vistas.  Photo by:



Michigan’s Upper Peninsula 
This spectacular finger of land jutting into Lake Superior offers a kaleidoscope of vibrant red, orange and gold hues across the state’s northernmost point, with the peak season typically occurring during the last two weeks of September into the first two weeks of October. An array of fall’s gorgeous hues blanket the hills and ridges, forming colorful tunnels across winding two-lane roads. Some of the best views can be found in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, along with nearly 100 waterfalls, including Bond Falls, one of the most splendid of all.  Photo by:



Adirondacks, New York 
The Adirondack Mountains are the largest natural wilderness region in the Eastern U.S., offering a wonderful, tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city as well as a stunning array fall foliage. The 170-mile Olympic Trail connecting Lake Ontario to Lake Champlain offers the best of the best with oak, maple, birch and beech trees exploding with brilliant orange, fiery red and golden yellow hues among the forested landscape. Peak colors arrive in higher elevations about mid-September, while lower lands around the lakes are usually at their best during the first two weeks of October.  Photo by:



Black Hills of South Dakota
The Black Hills region of South Dakota, in the state’s southwestern corner, is blanketed with color in the fall, from bright golden Aspens, elm, ash and oaks to the fiery reds of sumac and maple trees.  There are a number of impressive scenic drives that pass some of the area’s best fall foliage, including Spearfish Canyon State & National Forest Service Scenic Byway, located just 15 miles west of the famed Wild West town of Deadwood. It offers beautiful forest views and all the colors of its spruce, aspen, pine, oak, and birch trees, winding its way through limestone cliffs and waterfalls.  Photo by:




Taos, New Mexico 
Taos truly exemplifies the state’s nickname, ”The Land of Enchantment,” and autumn is one of the best times of the year to experience its beauty. With so many artists calling Taos home, galleries are filled with paintings that reflect the surrounding mountains in the fall. Some of the very best southwestern autumn foliage can be viewed along the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway loop from Taos to Eagle Nest and Angel Fire. Aspens here range from luminous yellows to dark orange as well as golden and red cottonwoods. While gazing at the brilliant colors, be sure and keep an eye out for eagles, black bear and elk.  Photo by:



Aspen, Colorado
Colorado is well known for its gorgeous display of Aspens that blanket mountains across the state with incredible hues of golden bronze and dazzling yellow, and there are few better places to experience it than from the posh mountain town of Aspen on the road to Independence Pass, the highest paved pass in North America, peaking at more than 12,000 feet above sea level. Jagged mountain peaks soar into bright blue skies above a beautiful array of fall colors. If the drive is too harrowing for your nerves, you can take a shuttle from Aspen to Maroon Bells to view the spectacular autumn scenery with rocky peaks reflecting into Maroon Lake. Definitely not a bad alternative!  Photo by:



McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway, Oregon
This sensational route passing from the western Cascades through the largest lava flow in the Pacific Northwest to the high desert climate of the eastern Cascades, is filled with a wide array of colors. Due to significant changes in environment, you’ll have a chance to view yellowing big leaf maples against a green backdrop of Douglas firs, golden aspen near ponderosa pine and red vine maples set side-by-side dark lava fields.  Photo by:



Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
The 80-mile Columbia Gorge, cutting into the Cascade Mountains to form a natural border between Washington and Oregon, is a beautiful sight anytime of the year. But in the fall, when cottonwoods, Oregon ash, firs and big-leaf maples begin to display their colors, it’s especially breathtaking. Take a scenic drive along the Columbia River to view the golden and bronze hues, along with hundreds of waterfalls, hike the miles and miles of trails, or hit the water in a kayak, canoe or boat. The second week of September through mid-October is when colors typically peak.  Photo by :



Leavenworth, Washington 
Leavenworth, a Bavarian-style town located on the eastern slopes of Washington’s Cascade Mountains, is one of the best destinations in the state for fall color. There are a number of autumn foliage routes that start here, including Highway 2, which stretches all the way to the Greater Seattle area, with vivid-yellow trees reflected in Lake Wenatchee, just north of town. Heading south on Highway 97, you’ll find the forests of Blewett Pass covered with brilliant red huckleberry bushes, aspens and cottonwoods. Leavenworth is also the host of the Autumn Leaf Festival over the last weekend of September. Color here can be good as soon as late September, although it normally reaches its peak during the first two weeks of October.  Photo by:  jc. winkler



                                Salt Lake City, Utah.                                                                                                                                        Salt Lake City is located right next to the Wasatch Mountains.  In 2002 Salt Lake City was host to the 2002 Winter Olympics.  The Wasatch Mountains sit so close to Salt Lake City, that it is hard to imagine that these beautiful mountains sit so close to such a big city of almost 2 million people.  The mountain are filled with an oak-type forest mixed with the beautiful quaking aspen as you get a little higher.  The oak trees usually provide the oranges and the red colors, and then the aspen trees provide a beautiful yellow image at the top of the mountains as they mix with the pine trees, that remain green forever.  Utah will have their fall colors start, usually in mid September and go into Mid October.  Photo by:  Lanny Cottrell (123Photogo)



zion canyon in fall
Zion Canyon National Park in Autumn.   This is one National Park that is probably the most famous for looking at color in the fall.  With the red rocks and the variety of trees this National Park has, the colors are more spectacular than any other park in the world.  This particular park also gets a rather large amount of moisture for being in a desert part of the world, as a fairly large river goes through the park.  Thus the trees and foliage here are well nourished and provide the incredible nourishment needed to provide the color for this valley.  If you want a truly spectacular fall collection for your portfolio, Zions canyon is a must.  And this time of year, the crowds have diminished quite a bit. 





The most scenic drives through Europe in the fall:


AMERICA OFTEN SEEMS to have a monopoly on dramatic fall road trips, but Europe boasts many scenic drives to rival those of New England. Autumn lovers can see the russet foliage of redwoods and oaks in England’s forests world-famous leaves of Portugal’s vineyards. Other European routes pass romantic castles, whisky distilleries, and world-famous art. Here are eight of the most scenic drives through Europe to take this fall.


1. Via Regina, Lake Como, Italy

Most people think of Lake Como as a summer destination, best for swimming, renting boats, and eating gelato. But it’s worth delaying your Italian holiday until the fall, which transforms the lakeside landscape into a stunning array of red and golden colors, sublimely reflected in the water. The best way to see it is by driving Lake Como’s ancient Roman Via Regina, which hugs the west coastline and passes elegant villas encroached by orange foliage.  Photo: Rostislav Glinsky/Shutterstock



2. Transfagarasan, Romania

The 56-mile Transfagarasan road in Transylvania was named the best road in the world by Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson for its serpentine bends and steep descents. As a bonus for fall lovers, the valley becomes a golden paradise come September. The mountain route crosses the Fagaras Mountains in Romania, joining the village of Bascov with Cartisoara. With one section reaching over 7,000 feet, it’s a route to be done in early fall, before snowfall closes it.
After passing the village of Capataneni, look up to see Poenari Castle sitting dramatically on a desolate cliff top. This was once the property of Vlad the Impaler, who became Bram Stoker’s inspiration for Count Dracula. The fortress-like castle is likely to send a shiver down your spine as you pass. To the north, after driving through the tunnel running under Paltinu Ridge, you reach the highest point of the Transfagarasan. Here, you can stop off at glacial Balea Lake and enjoy the scenery. This is also the location of Romania’s Hotel of Ice, which gets rebuilt every year using ice from the lake, but you’d need to visit between December and April to see it — too late for the autumn colors.    Photo: Lucian BOLCA/Shutterstock




3. Romantic Road, Germany

It’s hard to pick a better time than fall to visit the famous Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. The white fairytale castle rising up out of a forest of red, orange, and yellow trees is magnificent. It’s one of the highlights of the aptly named Romantic Road, a route established in postwar times in a bid by Germany to foster tourism. As it turns out, that road was an excellent idea.
The route begins in the historic city of Wurzburg where you can stop at the lavish Baroque Wurzburg Residence. Early September also sees the city come alive for a festival of street music. The route continues through several historic towns, such as spa center Bad Mergentheim; Landsberg am Lech, whose walls date to the 15th century; and Wies, where you can visit the UNESCO-designated Wieskirche. All the way along you have panoramic views of fall-hued forests and the snowy Alps, and right towards the end, you reach the magical Neuschwanstein Castle.  Photo: Feel good studio/Shutterstock




4. New Forest, England

Fall in New Forest in the south of England means wild ponies grazing in glades of golden bracken with stately oaks and redwoods in various hues of red and orange lining long drives. There’s no real designated route here, so you could just meander at random down country lanes passing thatched cottages and little villages. A rough itinerary could be to start from Lymington and wind around the villages of South Baddesley and East Boldre until you reach the outskirts of Brockenhurst. There, you can take the well-known drives of Rhinewood and Bolderwood Arboretum, where you’ll drive past the tallest trees in New Forest and maybe even spot the oldest oak.   Look out for the beloved free roaming ponies, deer, and pigs snuffling acorns. Finish up your drive with some traditional British pub grub at the Oak Inn near Lyndhurst. If the sun’s out, enjoy a pint in the garden — but, if the weather’s more typical of the fall season, there’s a welcoming open fire inside.    Photo: Helen Hotson/Shutterstock




5. N222, Douro Valley, Portugal

Portugal’s N222 takes visitors through the core of the country’s port-wine-making region in an electrifying series of twisting curves. It begins in Peso de Regua, where you can visit the Douro Museum of port-making, and then snakes along the River Douro, which breathes life into the Douro Valley, to the town of Pinhão.
It’s best to be a passenger on this drive, preferably with a passionate driver who will enjoy the road’s 93 bends while you get distracted by views of terraced vineyards with leaves turning golden. In fact, the area has UNESCO status because of the positive impact the tradition of viticulture has had on the cultural landscape. Stop off for a boat cruise down the river; there are several options, from one-hour trips from Pinhão on a traditional Rabelo boat to full-day tours during which you’ll stop at vineyards complete with port tastings.    Photo: patrik-polasek/Shutterstock




6. B500, Black Forest, Germany

The Schwarzwaldhochstrasse, also known as the B500, takes visitors through the dramatic scenery of the Black Forest. The 40-mile route begins in the town of Baden-Baden, then whisks drivers up to altitudes over 3,000 feet. You’re treated to panoramic views, such as from the peak of Bühlerhöhe, before finishing in the town of Freudenstadt. In autumn, the characteristic black firs explode with fiery foliage, transforming the dark, shrouded roads through the forest.
Spend a little time in Baden-Baden, an elegant spa town of pastel-colored and half-timbered houses, and fill up before venturing into the forest at Schneider’s Weinstube & Vinothek, which offers beer and typical meats in rich sauces.   Photo: Funny Solution Studio/Shutterstock 




7. Umbria, Italy

This region of Italy combines art cities, medieval walled hilltop towns, excellent food and wine, and superlative scenery. In fall, the neat rows of vineyards trailing down hillsides become a spectacular array of vibrant reds and yellows, creating a patchwork landscape when viewed from a distance. Try driving a scenic route beginning in Spoleto, where you can already get distracted by a fresco cycle of Filippo Lippi in the 12th-century cathedral. Continuing through the Monti Martani, you can then stop in Bevagna to see its Romanesque churches and eat at acclaimed restaurant Redibis.
You can finally meander slowly towards Assisi where you can join pilgrims heading to the Basilica of San Francesco with a fresco cycle by Giotto. With cultural appetites satisfied, treat your taste buds to a cheese and meat platter and excellent wine at Bibenda.   Photo: OlgaMerolla/Shutterstock




8. North Coast 500, Scotland

Called “Scotland’s Route 66” by Visit Scotland, the North Coast 500 takes drivers along country roads that meander around the west, north, and east coasts of Scotland. It passes dramatic ruined castles, such as Ardvreck Castle, and desolate beaches of clean white sand like at Durness on the north coast. The route can be done as a circle, beginning and ending in the city of Inverness. Starting from there, it heads west to Applecross on the coast, where you can stop at the nearby Applecross Smokehouse for artisan-made smoked salmon, patés, and sea trout. The road then follows the west coast northwards to Durness, one of the most northwesterly points in Scotland. It then runs along the north coast to John o’Groats, the most northerly point in Scotland, before returning to Inverness.
In September, the glens are washed with a golden sun when it’s not raining, and the many lochs reflect the burnt amber bracken and ochre moors. Scotland also has another special autumn hue: the dusty purple of heather, which lasts into October. On your way, you might want to stop at one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, Glen Ord Distillery.      Photo: condruzmf/Shutterstock















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