California is the land of beaches, sunshine, and palm trees—but contrary to popular belief, we also enjoy our fair share of the stunning foliage that is so characteristic of this season. Because the Bay Area encompasses many micro-climates, we have easy access to many areas that boast colors every bit as vibrant as those you might see in New England this time of year.
Ready to peep some lovely fall colors? Here are three great nearby spots:
This exquisite Gilded Age mansion is a must-see in the fall. Boasting 16 acres of formal gardens and enveloped by an estate of 650+ acres, Filoli offers a spectacular show this time of year with red Japanese maples, rust-colored copper beeches, and a number of trees boasting vibrant yellow hues, including gingko, weeping cherry, and Camperdown elm. Once you’ve wandered the autumnal grounds, take a tour of the mansion and explore extravagant rooms fit for royalty.
This sprawling nature preserve in Cupertino provides 25 miles of hiking trails that meander across golden meadows and through groves of trees laden with the colors of the season. Keep an eye out for colorful persimmon, oak, and maple trees, and you might even glimpse species of wildlife known to roam Rancho San Antonio, including wild turkeys, red-tailed hawks, quail, or brush rabbits. Other highlights in the park include a working farm, and a staging area often enjoyed by model airplane and drone enthusiasts.
Nestled alongside Downtown Los Gatos, this 152-acre park is home to a variety of trees known for their rich foliage. Species of oak, cottonwood, alder, and sycamore can be spotted in colorful hues throughout the park, and many of these throw dazzling reflections across the mirror-like waters of Vasona Reservoir. If you’d like a scenic yet leisurely stroll, follow Los Gatos Creek Trail which wraps around the lake and cuts straight through the park—perfect for long, cool walks.
In the Bay Area, our weather is so mild that peak colors for many communities often span the whole month of November—so get out there and enjoy the natural beauty of this season while you still can! And if you know of any other local spots with beautiful foliage, I’d love to hear all about them. 🙂