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Top 10 Scenic Spots in California for Fall Foliage

The fall season transforms cities and states into breath-taking canvasses of orange, yellow, and red. And in California, the fall foliage holds that kind of power that excites and relaxes everyone at the same time. So, if you’re planning for some scenic adventures during this season, here are the best places for fall foliage along this western part of the country.

Mono County

Without a doubt, Mono County tops the list of most beautiful fall destinations in California. Hit the road and follow the June Lake Loop that is surrounded by glowing backdrops of scenic canyons and mountain peaks. Don’t forget to stopover Silver Lake and Gull Lake―two of the most spectacular spots that are often likened to a beautiful painting.

Napa Valley

What’s better than taking a wine tour while enjoying the wide stretches of autumn colors? From late September to November, the entire Napa Valley is bursting with all sorts of offerings―wine, food, music, and views. Breathe in the fragrance of fermented grapes and let your eyes wander around the picturesque landscapes covered with fall hues.

Sonoma County

Another popular wine region that is best visited during the fall is Sonoma County. At this time of the year, wines are abundant, hence it’s highly recommended to schedule your wine tours during fall. Here, the rural roads are fringed with vividly-colored nature backgrounds. Opt for wineries that offer outdoor patios so you can totally revel in your tasty wine together with the colorful fall foliage.

Yosemite National Park

One of the best times to visit Yosemite National Park is during the fall, where the mild weather complements the changing colors. There are lots of outdoor activities in this scenic natural park. Go camping, hiking, or rock climbing and relish the calming vibes surrounding you. So if you want a unique experience during autumn, this place will not disappoint.

Lake Tahoe

See the peeking fall colors enclosing Lake Tahoe. During this season, the cobalt blue lake matches the vibrant fall scenery. This is such a perfect view, whether you go hiking or picnicking with your family and friends. Other outdoor activities you can do while exploring Lake Tahoe from September to October are parasailing and hot air ballooning.

Oak Glen

Old-fashioned vibes and gorgeous views―these two features become visible as soon as autumn sets in Oak Glen. This laidback area in San Bernardino County is filled not just with oak groves but also berry ranches and apple farms. All the extensive plantations bring out the vibrancy of fall foliage.

Pinnacles National Park

When autumn drapes the horizon of Pinnacles National Park, everything becomes more magical. This national park goes into a dramatic change as fall foliage takes over the entire surroundings. Have a more personal encounter with nature as you hike around the mountainous areas. 

Plumas County

Get dazzled by the fall colors abounding Plumas County. This region has everything you need for a perfect autumn getaway, from alpine lakes to waterfalls to mountain peaks. While you are here, don’t miss Lake Basin’s Recreation Area as well as the town of Quincy. This little town is loaded with hotels and restaurants that make your fall road trip more fun and convenient.


This small town located north of San Diego is definitely worth visiting during the fall season. Julian does not just offer beautiful fall scenery but also amazing stretches of apple orchards. Hence, this elevated town becomes a highlighted spot because of the exciting range of fall outdoor events, particularly apple picking. From August to September, take the entire family to the best apple picking town in California.

Santa Ynez Valley

Completing the list is another famous wine region in California―Santa Ynez Valley. Plan a picturesque wine excursion, rent a bike, and enjoy a hearty meal. It’s hard to beat the beautiful fall landscape peeping through the extensive expanses of vineyards. Truly, a beautiful fall weekend trip!

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