Are you a “leaf peeper?” Who isn’t when faced with the vibrant shades of autumn. And, while New England is first to come to mind for the vivid colors of native maple, oak, dogwood and other trees, USTOA members offer travelers a chance to “branch” out to new leaf peeping locations around the world. From Japan to the Canadian Maritimes, below are just a few itineraries to help you celebrate the changing of the seasons.
The wonders of Japan are set against the colorful backdrop of fall during Ritz Tours’ “Jewels of Japan” itinerary. The eight-night journey includes trips to the Imperial Palace, Mt. Fuji, the Todadaji Temple and much more. Guests also will wet their appetites with a visit to the Kuromon Ichiba Market, a Kaseiki dinner, as well as a Kobe beef dinner. The bullet train ride to Kyoto also provides travelers with the ultimate leaf peeping experience as they pass through Japan’s red, orange, and yellow countryside. Available on select dates in October and November 2018 from $2,900 per person land only. www.ritztours.com
Credit: Ritz Tours
Japan’s cities, mountains, and gardens are in full fall splendor during Alexander+Roberts’ “From Japan’s Inland Seas to Alps” itinerary. The 11-day trip takes an intimate group on a journey to see what the Japanese call “Momiji” or autumn foliage throughout the country. Travelers also will meet locals anxious to share their lives and traditions. Available for departures on October 4 and 28, 2018 from $7,399 per person, double occupancy. Guests can save $300 when paying in-full at time of booking. www.alexanderroberts.com
EF Go Ahead Tours’ “Fall Foliage Tour: The Canadian Maritimes” trip visits Canada’s eastern provinces’ rural scenery and rugged coastal landscapes with visits to Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Highlands National Park and the Cabot Trail, New Brunswick’s the Bay of Fundy, Prince Edward Island’s Anne of Green Gables Museum and more. Maritime leaf peepers also will learn how maple sugar is processed during a visit to a local sugar shack. Available in October 2018, and September through October 2019 from $2,399 per person. www.goaheadtours.com
Glide through the waters of Canada and New England for a spectacular views of autumn leaves on Holland America Line’s “Colors of Canada and New England” itinerary. During the 10-day trip guests can relax and sip a kir royale on their suite’s private verandah, watch for whales from the deck, hike among 200-year-old stands of jewel-hued birches and maples, and more. Available on September 23, 2018 from $1,629 per person not including port fees and taxes. www.hollandamerica.com
Wine and autumn leaves mix for an unforgettable river cruise experience during AmaWaterways’ wine cruises in Europe. With multiple departure dates in November 2018, guests can save $750 per person on a number of itineraries on the Danube and Rhine rivers. Travelers will enjoy the fruits of vintners’ labor from renowned wine regions like Austria’s Wachau Valley and France’s celebrated Bordeaux region. Call 1-800-626-0126 or visit www.amawaterways.com for more information on applicable departures.
The Great Lakes also get all dressed up for fall during Premier World Discovery’s “Fall Colors & Lighthouses of the Great Lakes” itinerary. The nine-day mid-west tour features a Wisconsin Dells Boat Cruise to see the leaves from the water, and a trip to Door County on the western side of Lake Michigan with more than 250 miles of painted shoreline. Guests also will get to tour Chicago, the Old Mackinac Lighthouse, Lambeau Field, and more. Available departures include September 20 and 27, 2018 from $2,295 per person based on double occupancy. www.premierworlddiscovery.com
Credit: Premier World Discovery
Globus’ nine-day, “Classic Fall Foliage” itinerary takes leaf peepers on a tour of New England with stops like the top of Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbor, ME, Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, and a sightseeing tour of Boston, MA with a local tour guide. Guests also will visit Maine’s Acadia National Park, one of America’s most-visited national parks, for a carriage ride through the foliage before enjoying a local treat at the historic Jordan Pond Restaurant located inside the park. Available in September and October 2018 from $2,529 (includes a special promo of $300 off per couple). www.globusjourneys.com
Credit: YMT Vacations
From the battlefields of Gettysburg to a sightseeing cruise through the Franconia Notch State Park, YMT Vacations’ “Autumn Leaves Tour” itinerary takes travelers on a journey to discover America’s history. A drive through Adirondack Park in the White and the Green Mountains, and stops at Lake Placid and the magnificent Flume Gorge in New Hampshire round out this 14-day trip. Available departures throughout September 2018 from $1,499 after a $250 instant rebate per person. www.ymtvacations.com
Credit: Intrepid Travel
Intrepid Travel’s “Fall Colors of New England USA” is specially designed to showcase the famous leaves with an active immersive trip through the region’s mountains and forests. Travelers’ shoes will walk through the ‘Green Mountain State’ of Vermont, New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest and Boston’s historic Freedom Trail. Available departure dates include September 10 and 24, 2018, and October 8, 2018 from $3,095 per person. www.intrepidtravel.com
Insight Vacations’ “New England’s Fall Foliage” tour takes guests through a four-state leaf-peeping adventure. During the seven-night itinerary, see brilliant colors at North Conway, NH, Quechee Gorge, VT, and more. Guests also will visit the iconic Maine shoreline, and walk to red-brick Freedom Trail in Boston. Available from $2, 795 per person double occupancy with an early payment discount from 5-10% on departures from September 14 to October 16, 2018. www.insightvacations.com
The Northeast’s colors are on full display during Collette’s eight-day “Colors of New England Tour.” With more than 30 available for departures throughout fall 2018, foliage-focused travelers can watch apples being transformed to cider, tour a farm and see how maple sugaring works, cruise Lake Winnipesaukee, and more set against a gorgeous autumn backdrop. This trip through New England is available from $2,699 per person. www.gocollette.com
Spend nine days immersed in brilliant colors during Gate 1’s “Classic New England Fall Foliage” itinerary. Travelers will spend time in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine exploring historical and nature sites. Tour guests get the chance to see a working cranberry farm, see Vermont’s deepest gorge for breathtaking fall views, and more. Available for departures from September through October 2018 from $1,749 per person. www.gate1travel.com
Join Tauck’s “Grand New England” itinerary to enjoy the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the rocky coast of Maine all dressed in fall splendor. Travelers also will get the chance to join a hands-on lobstering experience in Maine, enjoy a private lunch at Edith Wharton’s Berkshire Mountains home, The Mount and take a private schooner cruise in Bar Harbor, Maine among other stops. This 12-day tour is available for select departures throughout the fall from $5,290 per person double occupancy, plus airfare. www.tauck.com
Mayflower Cruises & Tours’ “Autumn in New England and Cape Cod” takes travelers on an eight-day trip through some of the most scenic call locals in the Northeast. During the trip, guests will enjoy a traditional lobster bake in Cape Cod, visit Quechee Gorge State Park, Vermont’s “Little Grand Canyon,” enjoy a guided tour of the seaport town of Newport, Rhode Island, and more. Available on select departure dates in September and October 2018 from $2,799 per person with $249 round trip airfare from anywhere in the contiguous U.S. www.mayflowercruisesandtours.com
A city tour of Boston, scenic drive along the Mohawk Trail, a stop at Acadia National Park and more await guests on Trafalgar’s “Autumn Colors” itinerary. Travelers will enjoy the picture-perfect maple and cedar forests of New England, the rocky Atlantic headlands of Maine, and the streets of Boston lined with fall foliage. Available from September 20 to October 20, 2018 from $2,550 per person. www.trafalgar.com
Editor’s Note: Information was correct at time of writing. All tours/packages subject to availability. Prices may vary from time of writing, based on currency fluctuations.