Blazing red and orange leaves are some of the best reasons to travel in fall, and this year we wanted to find some unexpected foliage spots. So, of course, we turned to Instagram. After all, what other platform draws users who love to take beautiful photographs in the most picturesque parts of the world? We tapped into a few avid photographers' feeds to bring you seven places to view vibrant foliage. Get ready to charge up your smartphone and hit the road...
F.W. Kent Park: Oxford, IA -- @yosemitelover13
We usually focus on the coasts for foliage trips, but this photo reminds us that there are plenty of lush spots in the rest of the country, too. For this gorgeous view, enter F.W. Kent Park -- just a 30-minute drive from Iowa City -- from the south side, right off of the U.S. 6 highway. You can drop the car off at the parking lot at the bottom of the 27-acre park, and don't forget to snap a pic on High Truss Bridge.
Portland Japanese Garden: Portland, OR -- @aheinonen
Want to see leaves without driving out to the country? In Portland, Oregon, lots of red, orange, and yellow hues can be seen in the trees of the Portland Japanese Garden. Head to Strolling Pond, one of the five gardens there, to see this picturesque bridge and the reflections underneath it. Admission is $9.50.
Peter Michael Winery: Calistoga, CA -- @petermichaelwinery
Don't forget that vineyards are home to rows upon rows of color-changing leaves, too. Peter Michael Winery, crowning a volcanic ridge of Mount St. Helena, boasts sweeping views of Sonoma County. Unfortunately, tours are currently only offered to "active members" on its mailing list (and wine professionals), but there's no shortage of wineries in the area if you can't get in.
Route 2: Between Lancaster and Jefferson, NH-- @ngreenler
If you were going from Lincoln to Jericho Mountain State Park, best known for its summer ATV festivals, a small detour would take you through this beautiful stretch of highway.
Inyo National Forest -- June Lake, CA @ewoerlen
In Eastern Sierra Nevada, June Lake Loop, pictured, is one of the most popular routes in Inyo National Forest, just off the 395 highway. Visitors can either drive by or take the side trails by foot (and, of course, the rest of the park is great for exploration, too). Note: In response to the drought in California, campfires, smoking, and fireworks are banned.
Fort Tryton Park: New York, NY -- @walksofnewyork
For those who've had enough of the same old Central Park shots, try heading north, all the way to Fort Tryton Park. Head south from The Cloisters -- an offshoot museum of of the Metropolitan Museum -- on the foot path between the highway and in-park roads for a mix of dense trees and elevated Hudson River views. Plenty of benches along the way invite you slow down and soak it all in.
Bonus: As we were putting this story together, we couldn't help but notice the myriad spots in Kyoto that Instagrammers can't seem to get enough of. Here are just two of them.
Kiyomizu-dera Temple: Kyoto, Japan -- @deomartin
Tenryu-ji Temple: Kyoto, Japan -- @ragbaby1986