Blog Archives

#LovingLifeList

This year the Porters are embarking on a new journey. The #LovingLifeList … 2014 Edition. Every month we will explore something new. Something Different. Something we have never done before. All while doing it TOGETHER! To be continued …

Ready. Set. EXPLORE!

LovingLifeList

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January Jackpot @ Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens

It’s the January Jackpot!  In the month of January, 2013, come to the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays and take advantage of special money-saving deals!

  • $2 Tuesdays – Pay only $2 for general Zoo admission when you bring in the $2 coupon printed from below.
    Valid January 8, 15, 22, 29.
  • WACKY Wednesdays – Spin our prize wheel for the chance to win 15-67% off general admission, free carousel or train rides, free giraffe feedings, free drinks, gift shop discounts, or our Grand Prize: 75% off general admission, free train rides, 25% off any Zoo food outlet, and 25% off at any Zoo gift shop!
    One spin per family. Prize winner will be given a coupon redeemable at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens location specified. Valid January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.
  • $3 Thursdays – Pay only $3 for general Zoo admission when you bring in the $3 coupon printed from below.
    Valid January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31.
  • $5 Fridays – Pay only $5 general Zoo admission when you bring in the $5 coupon printed from below.
    Valid January 4, 11, 18, 25.

Each coupon is valid only on the dates indicated for up to two adults and all the children in a family. The discount cannot be combined with any other discount or offer, including Zoo Value Tickets, and can only be used once per transaction. 

For more info visit http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org

Thanksgiving Miami Style

Welcome To Miami

South Beach

Port Of Miami

Crandon Park  Beach ~ Key Biscayne, FL

Venetian Pool ~ Coral Gables, FL

Dolphin Mall

American Airlines Arena ~ Home of Miami Heat

The “U” & Miami Orange Bowl Stadium

Sun Life Stadium ~ Home of Miami Dolphins

Shake Shack ~ Miami, FL

Ordered: Double ShackBurger, Shack Stack Burger, Fries,

Key Lime Pie Oh My! Concrete & Vice Crispy Treat Concrete =)

Joe’s Stone Crab ~ Miami, FL

Ordered: Stone Crabs, Lobster Roll, Conch Fritters & Key Lime Pie =)

Sarussi Cafe’ ~ Miami, FL

Ordered: Sarussi Man Vs. Food Cubano Sandwich w/ Extra Sauce =)

The Greater Jacksonville Fair

The fair is incomparable to any other event in the area. This isn’t just Jacksonville’s offering to the annual fairs that roll through every county, this is The Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair. It’s greater, in that it dwarfs any of the other county fairs in both size and extent. I’m not sure precisely how it compares in size to other fairs, but it is the biggest I’ve ever attended. Of course, that perception is relative too. Because in Hoboken or Minneapolis, an agricultural fair may not be that big of a deal, but in the Deep South, a fair is part of our folk history. In fact this one has been around longer than anyone reading this, I would dare bet.
Of course there are the spectacles that everyone goes there for, the rides that spin and teeter and rise far above the earth. Few things can give you that anxious and excited feeling that rides at the fair provide. People that adore the scariest roller coasters and travel the country to try the rides are still scared of the fair rides, and therein lays precisely their thrill. They are thoroughly inspected and tested on hapless, toothless carnies before you are allowed to get on board, but the knowledge that it is at least slightly more likely for these road-weary portable machines to jeopardize your life than it is a permanent fixture at a theme park provides a portion of that thrill. Real terror. Couple that with Iron Maiden blaring through the speaker and the cryptic look in the eyes of the man controlling your fate with a lever, and you have a perfect autumn scare.
In the midway you can test your skills against the taunting carnies and win your sweetheart a framed velvet portrait of the Guns N’ Roses logo or a 80% likeness Winnie the Pooh doll for your sweetheart, or dare to try one of the many other spectacular spectacles along the walk around the fair. Whether you want to get upside down or just see the county’s finest hog, the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair has plenty to offer for all ages and is a true cultural experience. Read on for details about the shows and the exhibitions (not to mention the food).

General Admission
Admission tickets may be purchased on-line at any time before and during the Fair or at the gate.

Adults $8.00
Children 6-12 $5.00
5 and younger Free
Senior 65 and over $5.00

Ride tickets are available, and different rides require different numbers of tickets, but wristbands for unlimited rides usually cost between $20 and $25 dollars depending on the day. Go to JacksonvilleFair.Com for more details.

2012 Georgia vs. Florida Football Classic

Welcome to Jacksonville!

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing the most current information that residents and out of town visitors will need to enjoy the Georgia/Florida weekend festivities in a safe and secure manner.

To this end, we are coordinating with the City of Jacksonville, the University of Florida, and the University of Georgia to provide the information you need to make the most of the weekend. All event information related to participant safety, road closures, and traffic can be found on this website or theGeorgia/Florida website.

FOLLOW OUR GAME DAY TRAFFIC ALERTS ON TWITTER @JSOPIO #FLvsGA

Assistant Chief of Special Events Leonard Propper discusses 2012 Georgia vs. Florida traffic patterns and public safety tips at a news conference held on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012:

Assistant Chief Leonard Propper discusses Georgia vs. Florida game day traffic patterns, parking and shuttle services with Bruce Hamilton and Staci Spanos, co-hosts of WJXT’s “The Morning Show”. Aired on Wednesday, October 24, 2012

 


Pre-Game Information

For residents who live or work downtown:

  • There will be no parking on the south side of Bay Street from Ocean Street to Liberty Street starting on Friday, Oct. 26 at 6 a.m. throughout Saturday, Oct. 27.
  • Campers will be allowed into the lots at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24. (For more information click here)
  • Be aware of the extra traffic and delays around EverBank Field and The Jacksonville Landing as guests arrive.

Road Closures

Road Closures from Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 thru Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 –

  • Hogan Street from Water Street to the St. Johns River will be closed Thursday, Oct. 25, from 8 a.m. thru 11 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28.
  • Pearl Street from Water Street to the St. Johns River will be closed Thursday, Oct. 25, from 8 a.m. thru 11 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28.
  • Sister Cities Plaza from Hogan Street to the cul-de-sac will be closed Thursday, Oct. 25, from 8 a.m. thru 11 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28.
  • Coastline Drive from the Jacksonville Landing to Newnan Street will be closed Thursday, Oct. 25, from 8 a.m. thru 11 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28.
Road Closures from Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 thru Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 –
  • A. Phillip Randolph Blvd. from Duval Street to Adams Street will be closed Friday, Oct. 26, from 8 a.m. thru 2 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Road Closures from Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 thru Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 –
  • Independent Drive from Hogan Street east to Laura Street will be closed Friday, Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. thru 11 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28. Please note: Independent Drive to Laura Street will remain open to southbound traffic going to the Main Street Bridge.
 Traffic Patterns
  • Lane indicators will be working Friday, Oct. 26 at 6 a.m. thru 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. During this time there will be two lanes going east and two lanes going west between Liberty Street and Ocean Street.
  • On Saturday, Oct. 27 at 9 a.m. the lane indicators will shift to pre-game pattern this includes three eastbound lanes and one westbound lane from Ocean Street to the sports complex area.
  • Sign boards will be up on major roadways throughout the city with parking information.
  • The Mathews Bridge will be open on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Game Day – Game Starts at 3:30 p.m.

Parking Tips
  • People without pre-paid parking passes need to use general parking. Based on history, we anticipate that general public parking in the sports complex area will fill up five hours prior to kick-off. Private lots near the stadium area go just as fast.
  • There will be no parking on the south side of Bay Street from Ocean Street to Liberty Street starting on Friday, Oct. 26 at 6 a.m. throughout Saturday, Oct. 27.
  • Arrive early. The stadium gates open at 1:30 p.m. After 1:30 p.m. the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s focus will shift to pedestrian traffic, vehicle traffic to the stadium should expect delays.
  • Additional Parking Information (as of Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012)
MAPS
Game Day Transportation Services
The JTA Shuttle is available from various locations within Jacksonville on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 hour post-game. You may view the schedule atwww.jtafla.com

  • Florida State College of Jacksonville’s downtown campus, 101 W. State St., will have 2,000 free parking spaces available. There will be a shuttle bus offered, which will run for four hours before kick-off and for two hours after the game ends. Please visit www.jtafla.com for shuttle bus pricing.
  • There will be free parking at the Convention Center Parking Lot on Bay Street (located across from the Prime Osborne Convention Center, 1000 Water St.) with round-trip shuttle bus services. Please visit www.jtafla.com for shuttle bus pricing. Just like at Florida State College of Jacksonville’s downtown campus, these shuttles will also run for four hours before kick-off and for two hours after the game ends.
  • Attendees heading downtown for the game can also park at the Kings Avenue Parking Garage and take the Skyway to Central Station. Then walk from Central Station to the Jacksonville Landing and take a bus to the stadium.

The Water Taxi stops at various locations on the riverbank. These locations include: The Jacksonville Landing, Friendship Fountain, The Crowne Plaza, The Wyndam and the Jacksonville Municipal Marina.

The water taxi schedule is as follows:
Thursday, Oct. 25 – 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 26 – 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Saturday, Oct. 27 – 9 a.m. – Midnight
Sunday, Oct. 28 – 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Rates: Between $3-$5 per person, one way.
For more information go to www.jaxwatertaxi.com or call (904) 733-7782.

Safety

The safety of all game day participants is the utmost concern of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. To this end, JSO would like to stress the following safety measures.

  • Jacksonville does have an open container law for underage drinkers, and this will be enforced.
  • Stay with your friends, stay in a group.
  • Do not buy tickets in the street. Counterfeit tickets do exist, and people found with counterfeit tickets will be ejected from the game and face possible arrest. (It is legal to buy tickets from a scalper. However, you do so at your own risk.)
  • Above all else, USE COMMON SENSE throughout the weekend

Sideline Safety Zone Information

The intent of the Sideline Safety Zone is to provide a friendly and safe environment to those students seeking assistance.

The Sideline Safety Zone will be clearly marked and will be staffed by volunteers from each university as well as the City of Jacksonville. Services include access to trolleys and taxis, medical attention, water, snacks, phones and general information. The student safety hotline (904) 630-SAFE (7233) will be available during the hours of operation. Visit the Sideline Safety Zone for further information.


 EverBank Field
  • No purses or bags larger than 12 x 12 x 12 inches
  • No cameras with lenses longer than six inches
  • No coolers or containers including cans, cups and bottles
  • No strollers or umbrellas
  • No pets (except special services)
  • No food or beverage from outside the stadium
  • No seat cushions
  • No video or audio recorders
  • No whistles, noise makers, air horns or laser pointers
  • No poles or sticks
  • No knives, guns or any type of weapons or explosives
  • No smoking (except in designated areas)
  • No promotional items or any other items deemed unacceptable by Stadium Management.
  • No Re-Entry

You cannot check items at the gates or in the stadium. Fans will be asked to either take prohibited items back to their car or dispose of prohibited items at the entrance of the stadium. EverBank Field and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office are NOT responsible for items left behind, lost, stolen or damaged. Possession of prohibited items is grounds for ejection from the stadium. Game tickets will be forfeited. No re-entry allowed.  Click here for complete information on stadium rules and regulations

Whether you are a resident of Jacksonville or an out of town vistor, please enjoy Jacksonville, the Florida/Georgia Football Classic, and all of the exciting venues Jacksonville has to offer.


Social Media

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the City of Jacksonville’s Special Events Office will tweet traffic updates on Saturday, Oct. 27. Follow JSOPIO and FLvsGa on twitter for more information. #FLvsGA

Biketoberfest – Daytona Beach

Event Happens: Oct 18, 2012 – Oct 21, 2012

Why have a regular ol’ Octoberfest when you can experience Biketoberfest® in Daytona Beach. This is a roaring good time throughout Central East Florida, as bikers come from near and far to participate. There’s nothing like being on the road, enjoying the freedom and feeling that Florida sun. Ride the Loop, meet your fellow riders and enjoy fun events all four days. Even if you’re not on a bike, you won’t want to miss the glorious sound and vision of gleaming motorcycles by the thousands and the characters who ride them.

Events will be happening throughout Daytona Beach, but Riverfront Park on South Beach Street will be hopping with vendors and food. DJ Ronnie will be keeping the music going from 10 am – 7 pm. Hourly giveaways and Beach Street Riverfront Beauties serving drinks spice up the action at the park.

For more information including helpful ride maps and a full schedule, visit Biketoberfest.org. Find your Central East Florida lodging near Daytona Beach by clicking here.

Jacksonville, FL Breast Cancer Awareness Month Events

ONGOING

“Pink” Parties, during October, Bellezza Salon, Shoppes at Ponte Vedra, Florida A1A, Ponte Vedra Beach. Includes pink champagne, light hors d’oeuvres, a make-up refresher, dry styling and pink feather or hair extensions. $25, all proceeds to go toward Baptist Beaches Hospital and Mayo Clinic breast cancer research. (904) 280-4247 or bellezzasalonandboutique.com.

Free haircuts and styles to breast cancer survivors, by appointment during October, JC Penney salons. For each free cut and style, $1 will go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. For locations and appointments, go to jcpenney.com and click on JCP Salon, under store services.

THURSDAY (Oct. 11th)

Pink Ribbon Golf Classic, shotgun start, 8:30 a.m., Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. Includes a light breakfast, the tournament, awards luncheon and gifts. All proceeds to benefit Baptist Beaches Hospitals and Mayo Clinic breast cancer research. $100 a player, $75 cocktail party. (904) 997-3015 or pinkribbonjax.org.

Public Forum on “What Everyone Should Know About Breast Health,” 5:30-9 p.m., Omni Jacksonville Hotel, 245 W. Water St. Includes a panel of experts with the latest information on breast cancer. Reserve by Monday. (904) 244-6069.

FRIDAY (Oct. 12th)

Public Forum on Breast and Prostate Cancer Awareness, 6-8:30 p.m., Scan Design Jacksonville, 8206 Philips Highway, Suite 17. Features a wine and cheese reception, guest presenters pathologist Shahla Masood and urologist Ali Kasraeian and a question/answer period. Free. (904) 244-4387 or 731-7877.

Upbeat Pink: A Musical Tribute to Breast Cancer Survivorship, 7:30 p.m., University of North Florida’s Lazzara Performance Hall. Theme is “A Night on Broadway” featuring the UNF Wind Symphony and UNF Chorale Ensembles with songs from Broadway musicals by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Rodgers & Hammerstein. Free. (904) 953-0707.

Give Cancer the Boot benefit concert, 7:30 p.m., Savannah Civic Center, Liberty and Montgomery streets, Savannah, Ga. Features Chase Rick and Old Southern Moonshine Revival. $15. (912) 651-6556.

SATURDAY (Oct. 13th)

Think Pink in October Motorcycle Ride to benefit breast cancer patients, registration, 8-9:30 a.m.; ride, 9:45 a.m; Adamec Harley-Davidson, 8909 Baymeadows Road. Ride is police-escorted. Helmets recommended. Registration, (904) 493-1931 or thinkpinkinoctober.com.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K, presented by the American Cancer Society, 9 a.m., Best Bet of Orange Park, 455 Park Ave.; Treaty Oak Park, 1123 Prudential Drive. Participants are encouraged to “Put On Your Pink Bra.” (800) 227-2345 or putonyourpinkbra.com.

TUESDAY (Oct. 16th)

Candid Conversations About Breast Cancer, 6-7 p.m., Mary Virginia Terry Cancer Center, 2 Shircliff Way; park free on second floor of DePaul garage. Group meets the third Tuesday of each month. (904) 308-5490.

WEDNESDAY (Oct. 17th)

Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, 6 p.m., Mary Virginia Terry Cancer Center, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2 Shircliff Way. Plastic surgeon Michael Fallucco will provide education and former patients will share their experiences. (904) 262-3372

OCT. 19

“Hope Squared,” as part of San Marco Square Goes Pink for Breast Cancer to benefit the Donna Foundation, Oct. 19-20, San Marco Square. Merchants with pink balloon decorations donate a percentage of their sales. (904) 645-6200 or email ksavage@burdetteketchum.com.

OCT. 20

Susan G. Komen North Florida Race for the Cure, 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Metropolitan Park. Includes a 5K and a 2K run/walk. Registration, komennorthflorida.org.

Breast Cancer Survivors Breakfast and Art Show, 8:30-11 a.m., Balis Community Center, 1513 Lasalle St. Includes music, dance, songs and poetry featuring local artists and entertainers. $20, in advance only. (904) 228-5672 or jaacafestival.com.

Victory in Pink, 6-9 p.m., St. Johns Town Center, between Pottery Barn Kids and Ted’s Montana Grill. Includes fashion shows and education, makeovers, face painting, live entertainment for adults and kids, massages and free food samples. Mobile Mammography Unit will be on site 10 a.m.-6 p.m., call for an appointment. (904) 308-5490.

OCT. 23

Breast Cancer Presentation, noon, St. Vincent’s Southside, 4201 Belfort Road, auditorium, A, B and C. Includes a speaker on a multidisciplinary approach to screening and diagnosing breast cancer. Reservations, (904) 308-6155.

 OCT. 31

Breast Cancer Treatment and Recover, noon-1 p.m., Jewish Family and Community Services, 6261 Dupont Station Court E. Speakers are radiologist oncologist Scot Ackerman, therapist Dawn Sweeten and breast cancer survivor Donna Deegan with an interactive discussion. Free, reservations required. (904) 394-5782.

Daytona Beach Blues Festival

By October, the hottest of the summer weather has passed and it’s a natural time to bring on the blues in Daytona. Nationally acclaimed and up-and-coming blues talent will be playing all weekend at Jackie Robinson Ballpark (105 E. Orange Ave.) in downtown Daytona Beach. From the funky sounds of Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots to the trance blues Otis Taylor, 16 blues acts will entertain blues lovers from all over.

Not only is this a great music festival with great acts, but it’s also a good cause. Proceeds benefit women’s and children’s health at Halifax Health. To purchase tickets online and see the full schedule of performers, please visit AnnualDaytonaBluesFestival.com.

Visit annualdaytonabluesfestival.com for more info.

Best Day Trips Outside of Jacksonville, Florida

Remember Janet Jackson’s infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ when she performed with Justin Timberlake during the 2005 Super Bowl halftime show? Jacksonville was put on the map when it hosted that year’s Super Bowl. Located on the St. John’s River in northeast Florida, Jacksonville is an interesting city with much to offer. If you are looking for best day trips outside of Jacksonville, here are some destinations, all less than an hour’s drive away.

St Augustine, Florida
Any history buff will be thrilled to visit St Augustine! A forty-five minutes drive from Jacksonville, St Augustine is the oldest European settlement in America. The preservation of the city’s history is impressive, with restored buildings dating back as far as the early 1600s. You can see this fascinating city on a trolley or horse-drawn carriage, or you can take a walking tour. St George Street, the main thoroughfare, is lined with quaint shops, restaurants, museums and historic buildings. A few blocks away is the Castillo de San Marcos, the star-shaped Spanish fort built in the mid-1600s. The oldest masonry fortification in North America, the Castillo has withstood sieges and hurricanes over the years. Re-enactors in period costumes demonstrate the historic weapons by firing the Spanish cannons during special events and on the weekends throughout the year. Check their website for time and schedule. Other attractions include the Lightner Museum, the Fountain of Youth Archaeological ParkFlagler College (formerly Ponce de Leon Hotel) and the Casa Monica Hotel.

Fernandina Beach, Florida
Located on beautiful Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach is less than an hour’s drive northeast of Jacksonville. Like St Augustine, Fernandina Beach has its share of history, which dates back 4,000 years, when the ancient Timucuan Indians lived there. Eight flags have been flown in this town (including those of Spain, France, England, various insurgent groups, the United States and the Confederacy), reflecting its colorful past. A 50-block area of the quaint downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. No doubt the white sand beaches are a big draw to this charming town. Another favorite event is the three-day Shrimp Festival, which takes place the first weekend in May.

Cumberland Island, Georgia
If you like nature, camping and hiking, a visit to the Cumberland Island National Seashore in nearby Georgia is a must. The island is accessible only by boat. You can take the ferry from St Marys, Georgia or Fernandina Beach, Florida. As you explore the island, you will find Dungeness, the ruins of the Carnegie home. You can tour Plum Orchard, the 1898 mansion built by Lucy Carnegie for her son. The mansion was donated to the park service in 1971.
A short hike to the seashore will reward you with a magnificent 17-miles of hard-packed sand beaches and dunes. The wildlife you encounter along the way include wild horses, armadillos, turtles and a vast array of birds.

For those looking seeking more action, there is always Daytona Beach and Orlando, but you would be looking at more than an hour’s drive away.

Sources
http://www.nfl.com
http://www.nps.gov
http://www.ameliaisland.com/
http://www.augustine.com/

Copyright © 2012 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved. | Yahoo! Travel.

11 Best Places For Fall Foliage

LEAF PEEPING
AT ITS BEST!

Does the crisp, cool air of autumn remind you that summer is gone? Is the call of fall colors awakening the leaf peeper in you? Don’t wait a moment longer. Take a fall color drive before all the leaves have drifted to the ground.

Aren’t we fortunate that this great land of ours offers marvelous leaf peeping opportunities nationwide? Here are 11 amazing autumn leaf peeping destinations to tease your interest. Surely, you’ll find many more on your own.

1. Vermont
Is there a best place to view the fall foliage in Vermont? Cruising Vermont is sure to bombard the eyes with colors of the season. A variety of elevations and deciduous trees paint an explosion of color upon hillsides throughout the state. Specially flashy are the reds of the sugar maples and the state tree. Farmhouses and barns dot the hillsides, adding interest to the overwhelming dazzle of color. Country stores lure visitors in for freshly picked apples, maple syrup, local cheeses and interesting antiques. How about a bird’s eye view of leaf peeping colors from Killington’s gondola sky ride? Enjoy a picnic or restaurant lunch at the top of the mountain while gazing out upon views of five states and Canada too. Use the Vermont foliage forecaster map for the ‘when’ and ‘where’ of the best colors.

Vermont Autumn Color Hotlines: 1- 800-828-3239

2. Michigan
Michigan is a leaf peeper’s paradise where the annual blaze of colors pop and crackle over every inch of the state. Vibrant colors paint the state from top to bottom and from elevations high and low. The drape of color begins in the Upper Peninsula and makes its way down the state as temperatures and elevations drop. The show is amazing, sending locals and visitors alike on endless fall color tours. With over 30 varieties of trees, the colors of autumn in the Hiawatha National Forest would please any artist’s palette. Located on Michigan’s upper peninsula, the 880,000 acre park touches the shores of Lakes Michigan, Superior and Huron, giving it over 100 miles of shoreline. If that isn’t enough, Michigan’s many interior lakes also add to the magical beauty of the fall colors.

Michigan Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-644-3255

3. Colorado
If solid gold is your thing, then head to Colorado where the 14-karat gold of the quaking aspens will take your breath away. With over 2.7 million acres, Colorado has more aspens than any other state. Drive the back roads from Ouray to Telluride for a golden display of aspens and colorful wildflowers. Other excellent places to leaf peep Colorado’s gold are Cottonwood Canyon, Green Mountain Falls, Estes Park and, of course, Aspen, where Maroon Bells and the reflections of the aspens in Maroon Lake are spectacular.

If you’re brave, take the switchback road to the Twin Lakes Reservoir for majestic aspen views from the highest paved mountain pass in the country. If you don’t mind driving a few more hours through beautiful Colorado autumn, drive southwest of Crested Butte along County Highway 12 and across Kebler Pass, to see one of the largest stands of aspens on Earth. The views are breathtaking with mountains and valleys draped in golden aspens under a brilliant sky of blue.

4. Central Park, New York City
Central Park is wonderful anytime of year, but truly shows its colors in autumn. The reflection of reds, oranges and brown shimmering in its lakes with a backdrop of New York City’s towering glass buildings gives Central Park a charm all on its own. Bundle up and rent a rowboat for a view of the fall colors from the lake. Get your fill of leaf peeping combined with a lakeside brunch at The Tavern on the Green. Stroll the many meandering paths under umbrellas of autumn colors while gathering handfuls of leaves. Toss your scarf around your neck and enjoy New York City at its finest.

New York Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-225-5697

5. Pennsylvania
If you like mixing your autumn colors with water, then Pennsylvania is the place to go. The Delaware Water Gap area is lovely at fall foliage time. Drive US-209 along the Delaware River from I-80 to Milford to see the many colors of autumn shimmering on the surface of the river. Located in Northeast Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains is Bushkill Falls, also known as the “Niagara Falls of Pennsylvania.” A small admission charge and some hiking through a network of trails, bridges, and crunching autumn leaves can take you to any of its eight waterfalls, including the 100 foot high Main Falls. Maybe leaf peeping of the color palette from the air is more your style. Than hop into a hot air balloon at the Mid-October Timber and Balloon Festival at the Shawnee Mountain Ski Area.

Pennsylvania Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-325-5467

6. New York
Autumn in New York State’s Adirondacks will keep leaf peeper’s binoculars and cameras busy with color opportunities. Start off with six million acres of forest, lakes, and quaint towns at a variety of elevations. Add in 14 National Scenic Byways sprinkled with autumn fairs and festivals with many historic sites along the way. You won’t have to look too hard for a pumpkin stand or some apples to take home for baking. Enjoy the fall foliage from your car, bike, and canoe, on horseback or hiking along a quiet trail. Just take it slow and enjoy.

New York Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-225-5697

7. Virginia
Be sure to have a camera in hand when you leaf peep along Skyline Drive of the Shenandoah National Park. Stop at one of the many overlooks to photograph the panorama of autumn colors. Mountains, ridges and meadows are ablaze with golds, purples, crimsons, browns, and oranges. Among vegetation contributing to this display are hickories, birches, maples, dogwoods and sumac saplings. The purple asters, yellow goldenrods, golden ferns and bright red Virginia creeper vines are other park plants adding to the display. For a slower pace, hike one of the many beautiful trails and listen to the crunch of the leaves beneath your feet. Then, stay the night at one of the park’s three lodges for more of the same the next day. Many fall festivals are to be found in the area during the autumn season.

West Virginia Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-225-5982

8. Missouri
Do you long for the quieter days of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn? Then, the Mark Twain National Forest and Ozark National Scenic Riverways is where you want to be this autumn. Viewing a rainbow of fall colors from the vantage point of a canoe on one of the Ozarks’ 350 miles of floatable rivers and streams can take you back in time. You may even glimpse a bald eagle, osprey, wild turkey, beaver, or possibly even a bobcat as your canoe quietly slips through the water. Doing your leaf peeping from one of many scenic hiking trails is a good alternative if canoeing is not your cup-o-tea. Mark Twain National Forest, with its 1.5 million acres spanning 29 counties, will not leave you bored.

Missouri Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-898-8895

9. Utah
The striking sandstone canyons, high plateaus, rock towers and mesas of Southern Utah’s Zion National Park are amazing all by themselves. Add in the colors of Mother Nature’s autumn artwork and you’ll be glad you have your digital camera along. Zion’s changes in elevations and plant life offer a variety of color from early October to mid November. Expect to see aspens in Zion’s high country, hardwoods on the east side, and the riparian trees at the bottom of the canyon. The riparian areas offer the greatest variety of color in deciduous trees, ferns, wildflowers and mosses all splendid in their varying shades of red, yellow and orange.

10. Texas
Drive 71 miles west of San Antonio and you’ll find the Lost Maples State Natural Area, designated a National Natural Landmark, alongside the Sabinal River. Here, the diversity of deciduous trees creates a kaleidoscope of color, especially beautifully reflected in the park’s creeks, ponds, and two small lakes. Sprinkle in the textures of its limestone cliffs, and deep canyons for even more of a scenic lure. The dazzling shows of color, especially from the big tooth maples, entice multitudes of visitors during the November peak fall color season. Eleven miles of hiking trails within the 2,208-acre provide lots of opportunities for relaxing hikes and lots of leaf peeping.

11. Quebec
Anywhere in Quebec is unbelievable when it comes to autumn colors, but you needn’t go far beyond Montreal Island to be dazzled. The number one leaf peeper locations for a stunning stroll among the colors, however, is Mount Royal Park on Montreal Island. There, a background of the city’s skyscrapers is framed by color, color, and more color. It doesn’t stop there, as other colorful Montreal strolls are Angrignon, Maisonneuve and Jean-Drapeau parks. An extra special treat is the Chinese Lantern Festival at the Botanical Garden, which runs every evening until November 1st. With Halloween creeping closer, you may want to take your leaf peeping to Mount Royal’s two large and spooky graveyards, Notre-Dame-des-Neiges and Mount Royal cemeteries, where you can invite along a friendly ghost or two on your autumn leaf viewing experience.

Quebec Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-363-7777

Do your autumn research!
These suggestions only scrath the surface of leaf peeping possiblities. Decide how far you want to drive, how much time you have, and how much your budget can handle. Quickly do a little research, then hop in the car and go! Those leaves won’t be there forever!

The Best Places to View Fall Foliage
Leaf-Lookers’ Guide to Fall Colors
U.S. Forest Service offers a toll-free number — (800) 354-4595

Other great Autumn color hotlines

Maine: 1-800-533-9595
Massachusetts: 1-800-277-6277
Minnesota: 1-800-657-3700
Montana: 1-800-847-4868
New Hampshire: 1-800-258-3608
North Carolina: 1-800-847-4862
Tennessee: 1-800-697-4200

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