Article by Taylor Gorski – September 2021
Gorski’s piece details five places where Californians can journey to see the glory and majesty of fall foliage. If you hail from a locale with brilliant autumn color, you may become jaded to the beauty in your backyard. If you are in a desert climate like many Californians are, you’ll appreciate the chance to see the trees and they dress in their “fall best.”
The transition from summer to fall welcomes in cooler days, feelings of comfort and the stunning scene of changing leaves. While most California locals don’t experience a true “fall” season, there’s a select few west-coast destinations we can easily travel to in order to get the most out of fall. With tones ranging from bright yellow to burnt orange, you truly have to see it to believe it. Whether you’re hopping on a quick flight or planning a road trip to these destinations, pack your plaid coat, get ready to sip your warm cider and prepare to experience the best autumn views that aren’t on the east coast.
1) Snowmass, CO
Where to Stay: Limelight Hotel Snowmass, Viceroy Snowmass
Where to Eat: The Edge at the Timberline Condominiums, The Stew Pot, The Crepe Shack [by Mawa’s Kitchen]
What to Do: Explore the Lost Forest, go rafting on the Roaring Fork River, downhill mountain bike on the Snowmass’ IMBA Gold-Level ride center and attend the Snowmass Balloon Festival.
Californians can experience a true fall by heading directly to colorful Colorado. Only about a two-hour flight from LAX to ASE (Aspen/Pitkin County Airport), you’re able to maximize your time here—even if you just have a weekend to explore! Snowmass is a mountain paradise where you can catch a glistening glimpse of fall if you plan it right. Head here from mid-September to early October to see the golden tones of the changing leaves. With the crisp mountain air, you’re transported to a magical fall escape filled with hiking, biking, reimagined hotels and great restaurants. Don’t miss out on the famous Maroon Bells hike, which is one of the most photographed mountains in all of North America, and visiting at this time of year is a must. While summer and winter are both popular times to visit this charming mountain town, autumn offers a secret season where the crowds are at a minimum. Not to mention, Aspen is only a 20-minute bus ride away—and the public transportation here is fast, clean and so convenient.
You can read about numbers two through five on Locale Magazine’s website.