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Best Places to Experience Fall in Southern California 


Here in Southern California we may not experience fall quite like the rest of the country, but that doesn’t mean we are completely absent of slightly cooler weather and the changing color of leaves. As the days become shorter, trees respond to the decreasing amount of light by producing less chlorophyll. The green color disappears and the yellow and orange colors become visible in the leaves as part of their fall splendor. So grab your coat and your camera – we’ve gathered up a list of the best places to experience fall in Southern California!

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Descanso Gardens
1418 Descanso Drive
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 949-4200

The Descanso Gardens is a gorgeous place to visit any time during the year, however during the fall it becomes a fall foliage wonderland. The fall colors along with the gorgeous scenery, Buckeye trees, roses, gingko and Camellias show their splendor by beginning to bloom will make for the perfect So Cal Fall day.

Malibu Creek State Park
1925 Las Virgenes Road
Calabasas, CA 91302
(818) 880-0367

Just 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles, Malibu Creek State Park has over 4,000 acres to experience fall. The park features hiking, fishing, bird watching and horseback riding opportunities. There are 15 miles of gorgeous streamside trail through oak and sycamore woodlands and chaparral-covered slopes. THE PARK IS OPEN, BUT THE CAMPGROUND IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. SEE WEBSITE FOR DETAILS. 

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Gardens
301 North Baldwin Avenue
Arcadia, CA 91006
Phone: (626) 821-3234

The LA County Arboretum & Botanic Gardens is a 127 acre natural and historic park with plant collections including rare and endangered species from all over the world. You will be able to see several tree species with dazzling fall color displays from late October through November.

Whittier Narrows Recreational Facility
750 South Santa Anita Avenue
South El Monte, CA  91733
Phone: (626) 575-5526

Whittier Narrows is a 1,492-acre park located in the City of South El Monte and is one of Los Angeles County’s largest and most popular recreation areas. With nearly every ecosystem naturally represented at the Whittier Narrows Recreational Facility there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the fall weather.

25225 Highway 243 (Nature Center)
Idyllwild, CA 92549

Nestled in the San Jacinto mountains in the Inland Empire, Idyllwild is set among tall pines, sweet smelling cedars and large legendary rock formations. The town has kept it’s locally owned shops and restaurants in a small town atmosphere and spending a day in the peace in quiet is the perfect alternative to a bustling LA city day. Idyllwidld is perfect for day trips and weekend hikes.

Oak Glen
12261 Oak Glen Rd, Yucaipa, CA 92399
(909) 797-7534

Nestled in the apple growing foothills of historic Oak Glen, you’ll find farms and orchards to help you create a perfect day trip to experience fall in So Cal. Many farms in the mile-high destination offer apple and pumpkin picking through Thanksgiving.

Julian Pie Company
2225 Main Street
Julian, CA 92036

Julian is a historic gold mining town located approximately one hour east of San Diego. It is a quaint mountain retreat with four distinct seasons: Spring brings the blossoming of many flowers including daffodils and lilacs; Summer is perfect for hiking and star-gazing; fall is famous for the apple harvest and fall colors; while winter brings snowfall and bright, crisp days. Specialty shops line the historic streets, and there are tons of picnic areas.

Big Bear Lake

From mid October to early November, Big Bear Lake transforms in a fall wonderland of gold, crimson, amber and yellow. Thousands of evergreen trees help bring out the brilliance of fall colors of other trees like aspens, cottonwoods, and oaks. The ground is covered with rust-colored ferns, and Big Bear Village is brilliant with vibrant red maples. Some of the best spots include, Mill Creek Road, The Pine Knot Trail and Castle Rock Trail. The location that stands out the most for amazing fall foliage is The Aspen Grove.

Lake Arrowhead

Lake Arrowhead Village, Dockside
PO Box 50 Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352
Phone: (909) 336-6992

Lake Arrowhead is a scenic mountain resort within the San Bernardino National Forest. Although there are plenty of opportunities to experience fall in and around Lake Arrowhead, may we suggest a tour of the Lake aboard the trust Queen Paddleboat? It’s a must if you’ll be visiting, the tour is approximately one hour long and floats along the perimeter of the lake, perfect for viewing fall colors.



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