As the sun sets on summer, the true golden season of California commences: Autumn! The Golden State is a picturesque place to kick off autumn. Vibrantly hued foliage, crisp apples, and the buzz of wine harvest welcome the new season. These are some of the best ways to soak in autumn’s splendor around the Golden State.
The autumnal displays of gold, orange, and red leaves can be tricky to locate around California, but you just have to know where to look. From the golden leaves of Lassen Volcanic National Park to the crimson hues of Big Bear Lake, California is full of changing foliage. Traversing the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is the best place for a spectacular leaf-peeping excursion. However, the season’s tones can be found decorating the terrains of wine country, the capital, and along the coast. For real-time updates, check out the California Fall Color Map, which can help you plan your foliage-finding adventures wisely.
The sweet smell of ripe, juicy apples awaits at orchards all over the Golden State. Put on a sweater, grab a basket, and join the harvest at one of the charming pick-your-own farms scattered around California. Sweeten an already-idyllic visit to the orchard with some decadent apple treats; homemade apple pies, apple turnovers, cider doughnuts, and apple popsicles are just the start of the apple-themed delicacies in abundance during the autumn harvest. It’s best to head to the orchard in early autumn when there are still heaps of apples on the trees to ensure your fall bounty.
As grape varietals begin ripening on the vine, California’s wine harvest is set into motion. This is an exhilarating time of year for winemakers and wine lovers alike. The rush to pick grapes at peak ripeness, the distinct aromas of fermentation, and the buzz of activity as wineries transform grapes into wine make harvest season the best time to visit wine regions. Immerse yourself in the terrains of Napa, Sonoma, and Paso Robles on tours that show off winemaking in action. Autumn is the perfect time to taste wine while soaking in the beauty of the vineyards awash in golden leaves.