Fall in Florida is bright, sunny and warm—with beaches to visit and trails to trek 365 days a year.
Not that we’re complaining!
But if you find yourself searching for classic signs of fall in Florida—the autumnal hues and dreamy foliage landscapes—you need not worry. The Sunshine State sees its own sort of transformation in the fall months, if only you know where to look! Read on as we take a virtual tour of some of our top places to see fall, Florida-style.
Pumpkin patches galore
Where there are pumpkins, scarecrows and corn mazes, fall isn’t far behind. Fortunately, the Sunshine State is chock-full of such activities to enjoy, each delivering the quintessential image of fall in its own unique way. Head out for some farm-inspired fun at golden hour, especially, when the landscape is awash in hazy yellows and oranges—so even if most of the trees are still lush and green, you can still take photos against a backdrop that is warm, cozy and effortlessly autumnal.
Kayaking with a view
One of the real treats of fall in Florida is that we can see the leaves change color (no matter how subtly) from the water—because the weather is still bright, balmy and perfect for some rowing!
Canoeing or kayaking through Central Florida’s aquatic corridors is a great way to immerse yourself in the changing season. One top destination would have to be the gorgeous Silver River in Ocala, a Central Florida favorite, where submerged cypress trees produce a majestic feeling as you meander past them in your vessel—and since they’re some of the better trees when it comes to displaying a change of color, you might just spy some orange leaves along the way! At the very least, the crisp, dry air of fall allows for more vivid blue skies and equally vibrant waterways—making fall a perfect time for the natural sightseer to see the sights in an all-new way. Another top spot to soak in? Wekiwa Springs in nearby Apopka!
For spooky thrills…
If you’re someone who craves the spooky side of Halloween, you can’t go wrong with exploring some of Central Florida’s famous abandoned towns. Kismet—which means “fate” or “destiny”—is one such former town located in Lake County, a town lost to a damaging citrus freeze that ended business almost overnight. Other antiquated sites can be found scattered throughout Central Florida, adding a thematic flair to your Halloween adventure—you can even check out the New Smyrna Beach Sugar Mill Ruins for a heaping dose of history and an old, spooky vibe. For a coastal journey to the past, try the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, whose cannons lend an old-world feel to your day trip.
North Florida gems
If you’re in search of true fall colors, one of your best bets is to explore the wooded stretches of North Florida. Chipley, over in Washington County, is one example of a small town that really comes to life when its trees take on traces of warm autumn colors. Another great option is the forests of Gainesville, where you’ll find the Morningside Nature Center and peaceful trails surrounded by slowly—but surely—shifting hues all around.
Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail
Volusia County residents will be happy to know that a fall-time treasure is right around the corner! The Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail was named by LeafQuest—a MapQuest program dedicated to finding the country’s best leaves—as one of the top places in Florida to see fall leaves. While you might need to wait until the late-season to see the colors really come to life, a relaxing drive around the Scenic Loop is always a worthwhile adventure. You’ll get the chance to spot beautiful flora and fauna, too, in the form of the animals who call the trees and waters on either side of you “home.”
Once you add these spots to your itinerary, fuel up with delicious fall fare—from pancakes to fritters and everything in between—and embark on your autumnal adventure! We hope today’s tour helps you see an all-new side of Florida along the way.