There’s nothing quite like taking in sweeping views of red, orange and yellow across a picturesque natural landscape, or feeling the cool breeze blow as leaves swirl around you in the heart of an urban park. Make this fall one to remember and explore the changing of the seasons—from east to west, there’s no shortage of breathtaking destinations just waiting to be explored.
Beautiful Banff Awaits
Autumn in the Canadian Rockies might just be the ultimate time to visit. The mountains are splashed in color from crimson maples and bright yellow larches, crisp temperatures are perfect for outdoor activities and golden light brightens fall days.
To see the changing landscapes at a leisurely pace, saddle up for a guided trail ride. The area’s top outfitter, Banff Trail Riders, has a branch at Fairmont Banff Springs (behind the tennis courts). Turn your ride into a full-day adventure by adding a cowboy cookout at a mountain cabin or outpost. More adventurous riders can book a backcountry expedition with overnight camping.
A Bird’s-eye View
To appreciate the majestic sweep of the Rockies, book a sight-seeing helicopter. Led by experienced pilots and knowledgeable guides, an aerial tour offers a unique perspective on glaciers, alpine lakes and waterfalls. A quick trip in an alpine gondola in Banff or Lake Louise takes you to memorable hiking, guided walks, cafés and stunning vistas.
There are few better places to savor the best of autumn than Québec, a place where the autumnal colors are the destination themselves. Here, fall colors change quickly, as early as September, which is why it’s best to track their path to peak color with Bonjour Québec’s fall foliage map.
Fairmont Le Château Montebello is the perfect place to begin your adventure. Located midway between Ottawa and Montréal, the hotel is ideally situated for short jaunts and day trips.
Wolves and Foxes and Apples, Oh My!
Minutes from the hotel, Omega Park is a 2,200-acre space dedicated to North American wildlife, and home to foxes, deer, elk and wolves. Stroll the First Nations Trail to admire the fall colors amid totems by Native American artist Denis Charette.
An Urban Fall
Granville Street’s exciting entertainment district is just steps from the Hotel Belmont Vancouver MGallery lobby. Whether you glance south to False Creek or gaze north to the Pacific Ocean and the mountains, the fall colors in this forested Pacific Northwest city beckon you to explore.
By the Beautiful Sea
The world’s longest, uninterrupted waterfront path runs a stunning 17 miles through the prettiest parts of Vancouver. Explore the entire loop with a rental bike. You could wind your way southeast around False Creek, perhaps stopping at the waterside Granville Island Public Market. Don’t miss Lee’s Doughnuts, no longer a local secret since Seth Rogan and David Chang visited the Granville Island bakery for “Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner” on Netflix.
Vancouver Gardens and Parks
Irresistible autumn landscapes are everywhere throughout the city. You’ll find a golden sweep of trees on the Laburnum Walk at VanDusen Botanical Garden (book your tickets in advance) or vivid red leaves floating down from Queen Elizabeth Park. For the uniquely delicate glow of Japanese maples turning to burnished fall hues, visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, tucked away in a historic courtyard of Chinatown.
Fall for Washington, D.C.
Fall is one of the most memorable times to experience the US capital. The cherry trees around the Tidal Basin turn brilliant shades of orange and gold, while nearby maples paint crimson swathes across the landscape.
Book a stay at Sofitel Washington D.C. because it’s within walking distance of the city’s grand monuments and museums. Each evening, return to Opaline Bar & Brasserie for a glass of champagne or order one of the cocktails de saison to sip in the elegant bar. Perhaps you might prefer the sidewalk café, where you can experience the joie de vivre of passersby ambling past in the brisk autumn evening.
Exploring Capital Beauty
One of the best places to see the fall colors in Washington, D.C. is at the U.S. National Arboretum. Spread across more than 450 acres, the many different species of trees showcase their fall foliage from early October through early December. Along with the trees’ fiery fall colors, look for the cold-weather camellias and changing shades of the miniature bonsai. Download the official USNA app to enhance your visit.
New England in the Fall
Historic attractions, vibrant culture and an innovative culinary scene make Boston a popular year-round destination. In the fall, flame-colored foliage complements the historic, red brick townhouses of Beacon Hill.
Explore Emerald Necklace Gems
Boston has been a pioneer of urban green spaces since the establishment of the nation’s first public park, Boston Common, in 1634. The Common’s mature elms, oaks and red maples provide an autumn canopy of yellow and russet hues. The adjacent Boston Public Garden, a 10-minute walk from Back Bay landmarks, including Fairmont Copley Plaza, is a prime showcase for seasonal flora.
In the 1870s, Frederick Law Olmsted linked Boston’s historic parks to a string of new green spaces when he designed the Emerald Necklace. Home to more than 15,000 plants from around the world, Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum is one of its jewels. From a towering silver maple to petite ornamental Japanese specimens, the 141-strong maple collection erupts into fiery red, orange and amber hues come October.