Autumn is getting into full swing. Football games pack our local high schools on Friday night and fill the weekend airwaves. Strip malls are decking out their finest vacant spaces with Halloween costume shops, and pumpkin displays bring a rich orange hue to our supermarket produce section. The national weather forecast shows trends of dipping temperatures, although with the weather we’ve been getting in this part of the world, you’d think the calendar suddenly shifted into reverse.
Yes, fall has arrived all around the country. Along the country roads of New England and the riverbanks of the Midwest, the rich colors of fall foliage will soon arrive. Friends and families around the country are planning their quintessentially autumn excursion – drives to the countryside to take in the brightly colored leaves – a treat for our eyes!
Being here in Southern California, it’s hard not to feel left out of this ritual. But believe it or not, we have several areas within a few hours drive that can rival the finest autumn scenic indulgences from anywhere around the country. Here are a few that we fancy —
Julian. Northeast of San Diego, blazing fall colors come to Julian during the beginning of November, appropriately late for our temperate climate. Try driving along Highway 78 from Ramona to Julian. The leaves on the cottonwood trees provide an unexpected autumn explosion of color.
Idyllwild is a small mountain town near the Palm Springs. Idyllwild is a huge hiking, camping, fishing, and sightseeing retreat. In fall, the maple trees turn a brilliant shade of red, while the cottonwoods dazzle us with a golden-yellow splendor.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are perfect for a weekend getaway. Home to the giant Sequoia trees, both lie on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. If the world’s largest trees don’t wow you, the fall foliage will, with their crisp colors such as bright yellow or orange.