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The Best Places to See Fall Foliage In the Bay Area

As long-time Bay Area residents know, the weather here is so mild that much of the region stays quite green year-round. But if the beautiful colors of fall foliage are what you’re looking for, there are still places to see leaves of red, gold, and brown. The Bay Area may not have seasons as distinct as those in New England, but the beautiful colors of autumn never forget to visit the region. Be sure to check out these five spots for some of the most vivid color displays the Bay Area has to offer.

San Francisco Botanical Garden

Courtesy of San Francisco Botanical Garden

Located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, this 55-acre garden is packed with magnificent autumnal sights. From the golden gingko trees to the purple-red dogwoods to the Japanese maple leaves, San Francisco Botanical Garden is the perfect place to spot colors of all kinds on a wide variety of trees. Currently out of the area? You can check out the Garden’s social media pages to see how the colors are changing from day to day. 

Filoli Gardens - Woodside


At this renowned garden in Woodside, you’ll be surrounded by flowers and trees as far as the eye can see. Autumn is a great time of year to visit, as many flowers are still in bloom, and lots of trees are changing color. In addition to pretty colors, autumn also represents the arrival of the fall fruit harvest. You can participate in orchard walks that allow visitors to sample from trees being weighed down with pounds of ripe fruit. The orchard walk is also an immersive way to experience the different colors on display in all corners of the garden.

Rancho San Antonio Preserve - San Jose

Photo Courtesy of Santa Clara County Parks

Trek into the wilderness of this open space preserve, where the changing colors of the maples, oaks, and persimmon trees are a sight to behold, all just a short drive from San Jose. Pay attention and you might see some fauna too, as deer, goats, and a variety of bird species populate the area. There are many hiking trails of varying difficulty levels that run through the preserve, so you can enjoy some exercise while admiring the colors of your surroundings.

Tilden Regional Park - Berkeley

Brazilian House in Tilden Regional Park / Photo by Daderot / CC0

At this park nestled in the hills near Berkeley, you’ll witness autumn colors at their finest, as the botanical garden is home to cottonwood and dogwood trees. Don’t forget to pack your camera -- you won’t want to miss the rainbow of colors that are on display during this time of year. After admiring the fall foliage, be sure to check out Tilden Little Farm, which is geared toward your little ones. Children can see some farm animals up close before taking a kid-friendly train ride around the park.


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