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Fall Colors of the Bay: Where to See the Leaves Change | 2023

Updated for 2023: It’s not Vermont, but there are plenty of places to see the leaves change in the Bay Area
By - posted 9/29/2023 No Comment

The Bay Area may not be renowned for its fall colors, but with a bit of planning, you can still see the beautiful leaves change. Updated for 2023

San Francisco Botanical Garden

San Francisco | While the color of the leaves in San Francisco will never be confused for Vermont in the fall, that doesn’t mean there isn’t gorgeous fall foliage to be found. San Francisco’s own Botanical Garden is a great place to do some leaf-peeping since their 55-acre garden features plants from around the world. The Garden is one of the most beautiful spots in the city when its Moon View Garden and Temperate Asia Garden begin to turn. Be sure to check out the bright gold Ginko trees and deep purplish-red Dogwoods. The fall peak typically lasts about 2 weeks, often in November. Follow the Garden on social media (Instagram | Facebook) to see how the leaves are changing on a daily basis. 


Filoli Winery and Gardens

Peninsula: Woodside | The vast woodside estate has gorgeous gardens that feature flora from China, Japan, England, Spain as well as other countries. Come late November through early December, you’ll see gorgeous autumnal colors from Japanese maples, cherries, Virginia creepers, hawthorns, fruit trees, viburnums, ginkgos and other rare plants spread out throughout the gardens.


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Henry W. Coe State Park

South Bay: East of Morgan Hill | Take a stroll in the state park in October to see the Bigleaf Maples turn bright yellow and the Black Oak trees turn shades of red. You’ll want to explore the forests on the north-facing slopes which have many deciduous trees.

Wine Country & North Bay

National Geographic named Sonoma County the best place in the country to see changing fall foliage for its stunning autumn colors on both leaves and vines. They suggest a scenic drive through Sonoma Valley along Arnold Drive which is lined with colorful Oak and Maple trees. Then continue through the Russian River Valley, to see fiery orange, yellow and red vineyards.  

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park (Calistoga) and Annadel State Park (Santa Rosa) both have Bigleaf Maples and Black Oaks too which when the temperatures cool, the leaves turn, creating a dramatic and colorful display.

Find more great places to see fall colors in the Bay at parks.ca.gov. It’s always a good idea to call the state park to check on conditions in the park before heading out.

Other Fall Activities