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Where To Enjoy Fall Colors In And Around Boston

Picture of Casey Campbell
Updated: 9 February 2017
It’s the time of year again. Come September, Boston swells with college students, pumpkin spice coffee flows into Dunkin Donuts cups, and the Patriots occupy Gillette Stadium every week. For many, the end of summer is a sad transition, but it also means that the leaves start to change colors. This transformation by Mother Nature is something that tourists come from miles to see, and here is our list of the best places to enjoy the turn of seasons.

Jamaica Pond

Located in Jamaica Plain, this 68-acre pond is a popular sanctuary for locals. The 1.5 mile footpath is perfect for a stroll, jogging, or dog walking. It’s also a popular spot for canoeing and kayaking, meaning you can get a whole new view of Autumn from the water.

Footpath at Jamaica Pond|©Jason Eppink/Flickr
Footpath at Jamaica Pond | ©Jason Eppink/Flickr

Boston Esplanade

The Esplanade is one of the most popular park areas of Boston for year-round use, from Fourth of July celebrations to kayaking on the Charles River. But when Autumn comes around it’s the perfect footpath for a closer glimpse at the leaves of Fall. Better yet, free concerts at the Esplanade continue through the season, meaning you can enjoy the area past its peak summer months.

The Esplanade|©Jill Clardy/Flickr
The Esplanade | ©Jill Clardy/Flickr

Commonwealth Avenue

A walk down the center of Commonwealth Avenue may be the perfect place to see Fall’s leaves. The trees encapsulate the pathway so as you walk there’s nothing but red, orange, and yellow all around. The mile-long stretch is the perfect length for a morning stroll with your coffee.

Commonwealth Avenue|©clry2/Flickr
Commonwealth Avenue | ©clry2/Flickr

Arnold Arboretum

The Arnold Arboretum is already the perfect place to enjoy nature, and it gets even better come Fall. They even release a seasonal guide so you can walk yourself through the various plant life of Autumn. Keep an eye on their website for updates on color changes, so you know when is best to visit.

Arnold Arboretum|©Bill Ilott/Flickr
Arnold Arboretum | ©Bill Ilott/Flickr

Boston Public Garden and Boston Common

These two places are the oldest public parks in the United States, so it’s natural that this is a prime spot to relax in the Fall. Grab a blanket and have a picnic by the pond while the weather is still warm enough. Since the summer crowds have died down, it’s the perfect time of year to see the famous ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ sculpture and take a ride on the Swan Boats.

Boston Public Garden|©Rizka/Flickr
Boston Public Garden | ©Rizka/Flickr

Back Bay Fens

Instead of exclusively visiting the Fenway neighborhood for a Red Sox game, take advantage of one of the largest parts of Boston’s Emerald Necklace. This area was created when the Charles River was damned in 1910 creating a freshwater marshland, and also contains the oldest remaining “Victory Garden” planted during World War II.

Back Bay Fens|©Andrea Monari/Flickr
Back Bay Fens | ©Andrea Monari/Flickr

Blue Hills

This spot is a bit out of the city, but well worth the trek. The Blue Hills Reservation stretches 7,000 acres and is filled with 125 miles of hiking trails. Not only is Fall the perfect time for witnessing the changing color of leaves, but the summer rush of hikers dies down, which significantly liberates the trails from crowds. The best part of this hike is the rewarding view of Boston at the end.

View of Boston from Great Blue Hill|©Rebecca Kennison/WikiCommons
View of Boston from Great Blue Hill | ©Rebecca Kennison/WikiCommons