Fall Colors of the Bay: Where to See the Leaves Change | 2021
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 2021
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.
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.
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.