Fall or Autumn, whatever you call it, there’s no denying it’s the most beautiful visual season of them all, with the leaves changing into a kaleidoscope of colours. My autumn bucket list destinations include some of the world’s most scenic places to witness the illumination of colours.
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- It’s out of the high season, just after the summer. Kids are back to school and most people have already taken a trip in the summer, so you can be sure to find less tourists wherever you go
- Given that it’s shoulder season, you’ll be able to pick up a great deal on flights and hotels
- The beauty of autumn foliage
My autumn bucket list destinations begin here…
The autumn months in the Netherlands span from September to November and are some of the most beautiful months the city sees, in which the canals and cobble-stone streets are filled with golden leaves.
Autumn bucket list item in Amsterdam
Take a canal cruise to see the vibrant Autumn colours on the trees. If boats aren’t for you, just take a stroll instead.
Bavaria, located in the south of Germany, is a sight of rich reds, oranges and yellows during the autumn months.
Autumn bucket list item in Bavaria
It’s got to be Neuschwanstein Castle in Southern Bavaria. Perched on a rugged hill surrounded by greenery, this 19th century Romanesque Revival Palace is just what you would expect to come out of a Disney movie. You can enjoy a 35-minute guided tour inside the palace, however the beauty lies within the grounds, which you can roam freely without any charge.
Related: The Best Castle Tours in Ireland
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is a beauty at the best of times, but the autumn colours bring it to life with golden leaves falling onto the paths below.
Autumn bucket list item in Belfast
Take an hour’s drive from Belfast City and get lost in Glenarif Forest Park in the Glen of Antrim, where you can hike around the most beautiful waterfalls and lakes.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Because it’s in the Southern Hemisphere, the season of autumn runs through the months of March, April and May.
Autumn bucket list item in Kruger National Park
Autumn is a great time to go on safari at Kruger National Park with warm crisp temperatures during the day and less tourists around. It’s also easier to spot the Big 5 during autumn.
Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan sees autumn lasting from mid-October to mid-December, peaking in late November. Autumn is the best time to visit one of the many temples and shrines as they often hold seasonal events.
Autumn bucket list item in Kyoto
Take a stroll down the Philosopher’s Path, a 1.5km pathway leading from Ginkakuji Temple to Nanzenji and explore the nearby temples, shrines and cafes along the way.
New England, US
New England is famously known for it’s stunning foliage during autumn (or fall as it’s known in the United States). So much so, that the locals of the region have dubbed the many tourists who flock there in the autumn as ‘leaf peepers’.
Autumn bucket list item in New England
Get your designated driver at the ready and go vineyard hopping around no less than 14 vineyards dotted along the New England Coastal Wine Trail.
Scottish Highlands, Scotland
The Scottish Highlands are brought to life with autumnal foliage and wildlife during the months of September, October and November. Almost one fifth of Scotland is covered in trees, so you can only imagine the multicoloured landscape during autumn.
Autumn bucket list item in Scottish Highlands
Visit the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which is more famously known as the bridge from the Harry Potter movies. You can make your way there yourself or take a small group tour.
Wicklow Mountains, Ireland
While the Wicklow Mountains are stunning all year round, autumn brings a specific golden hue to the mountains.
Autumn bucket list item for Wicklow Mountains
Bring a picnic up to Ireland’s highest waterfall, Powerscourt Waterfall, standing at 121 meters high, or visit the monastery and lakes at Glendalough.
Visiting Yosemite National Park in the fall allows you to witness the natural beauty the valley has to offer.
Autumn bucket list item in Yosemite
With so much to do in Yosemite National Park, I couldn’t stick to just one item. Take a hike up Half Dome if you’re an experienced hiker. Or watch the waterfalls cascade over the cliff from the base of Yosemite Valley for hours.