BABCOCK STATE PARK
Clifftop, West Virginia
Let other tourists watch Maine’s Acadia National Forest turn from green to red and gold this autumn. The real fall connoisseur turns to the spectacular woods of West Virginia’s New River Gorge, dotted with waterfalls, a fully functional old-fashioned grist mill, and outlook points taking in miles of rolling, rainbow-hued hills.
Japanese-American Fujitaro Kubota began working on a traditional East Asian garden among the woods of Seattle’s Rainer Beach neighborhood in 1927. Since then, the 20-acre landscape has become a haven for experiencing the tranquility of the outdoors. The garden is designed for easy strolling, and contains a curated collection of artistically manicured environments, equally appealing in the sunshine or in Seattle’s well-known fog and drizzle. The grounds are planted only with native species but carefully sculpted with bridges, streams, waterfalls, and rock outcroppings to amplify nature’s beauty, which is at its most breathtaking in autumn, when each tree tries to outdo its neighbor’s colorful display.
DURANGO-SILVERTON NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD
The San Juan silver mines financed the train, but it’s gold that makes riders’ hearts soar every autumn — along with vibrant pink, red, and yellow visible outside the vintage locomotive windows on a 3.5-hour fall foliage ride.