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Taste Of The Kentucky Derby

Chucrhill Downs, Run for the Roses, Chow Wagon, Pegasus Pins and Thunder Over Louisville are the tall tale signs that THE KENTUCKY DERBY is here. And in Louisville the Derby is a big deal. It’s almost in a since a national holiday and being a fellow Kentuckian I have experience this phenomenon  more than once. So Ladies get your Best & Biggest Hat ready. It’s time to go to the races!

1. Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan PieDerby Pie

Derby pie is a pastry created in the Melrose Inn of Prospect, Kentucky, USA, by George Kern with the help of his parents. It is often associated with the Kentucky Derby. The pie is a chocolate and walnut tart in a pie shell usually with a pastry dough crust. It is also commonly made with pecans, chocolate chips and Kentucky bourbon. Popular additions are butterscotch, caramel, and other types of nuts.

The name “Derby Pie” is a registered trademark of Kern’s Kitchen, which registered the name in 1968. The company uses the name in the form “DERBY-PIE®” in official literature and advertisements. The company has filed several lawsuits over the years to protect its commercial rights. Because of this, others who make similar pies have had to alter their recipes slightly and/or use a different name (such as “Pegasus Pie”, a reference to the Pegasus Parade at the Kentucky Derby Festival and May Day Pie, in reference to the First Saturday in May, the day of the Kentucky Derby).

Recipe & Photo is courtesy of MyRecipes.Com

Ingredients

  • 1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon or water $
  • 4 large eggs $
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted $
  • 2 teaspoons cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.
  2. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly onto bottom of piecrust; set aside.
  3. Combine corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk about one-fourth hot mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot mixture, whisking constantly. Pour filling into prepared piecrust.
  5. Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until set; cool on wire rack.

2. Mint JulepMint Julep

The mint julep is a mixed alcoholic drink, or cocktail, associated with the cuisine of the Southern United States. It is traditionally made with four ingredients: mint leaf, bourbon, sugar, and water. Traditionally, spearmint is the mint of choice used in Southern states, and in Kentucky in particular. In the use of sugar and mint, it is similar to the mojito. Traditionally, mint juleps were often served in silver or pewter cups, and held only by the bottom and top edges of the cup. This allows frost to form on the outside of the cup. Traditional hand placement may have arisen as a way to reduce the heat transferred from the hand to the silver or pewter cup. Today, mint juleps are most commonly served in a tall old-fashioned glass, Collins glass, or highball glass with a straw.

Recipe & Photo is courtesy of KentuckyDerby.Com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Early Times Kentucky Whisky
  • Silver Julep Cups

Instructions

  1. Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

3. Kentucky Buttermilk Piebuttermilk pie

Buttermilk pie is a custard-like pie. Traditional of the United Kingdom, it almost unknown today but is now a traditional pie of the southern United States and is well known in Texas. It is similar to, and sometimes confused with, chess pie but it does not include cornmeal. The basic filling consists of a mixture of sugar, butter, eggs, buttermilk and wheat flour. Variations on the recipe may include flavorings such as vanilla or lemon zest. Buttermilk pies are made with a pie crust. The filling is poured into the crust and baked until the mixture sets. The pie is best eaten at room temperature after being allowed to cool, but may be eaten either warm from the oven or after being chilled.

Recipe & Photo courtesy of Sweet Tea And Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbs. self rising flour
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 Tbs. KY bourbon
  • 1 deep dish pie shell

Instructions

  1. Mix together butter and sugar. Add flour, eggs, and buttermilk and mix well. Add vanilla and bourbon. 
  2. Place the pie shell on a cookie sheet and pour the mixture into shell. Place on the center rack of the oven set at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Decrease the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. Remove and cool before slicing.

4. The Hot Browhot brown

A Hot Brown Sandwich is a hot sandwich originally created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, by Fred K. Schmidt in 1926. It is a variation of traditional Welsh rarebit and was one of two signature sandwiches created by chefs at the Brown Hotel shortly after its founding in 1923. It was created to serve as an alternative to ham and egg late-night suppers.

Recipe & Photo is courtesy of Brown Hotel

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Whole Butter
  • 2 oz. All Purpose Flour
  • 16 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, Plus 1 Tablespoon for Garnish
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 14 oz. Sliced Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 2 Slices of Texas Toast (Crust Trimmed)
  • 4 slices of Crispy Bacon
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, Sliced in Half
  • Paprika
  • Parsley

Instructions

  1. In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.
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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.

Jacksonville Sea + Sky Spectacular

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.

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.

5 Fall Date Ideas To Rev Up The Romance

FALL IN LOVE
WITH FALL

With summer winding down, it’s time to start thinking ahead to cooler temperatures, especially when it comes to love. Not sure what to do or where to go with your guy? Between outdoor adventures and season-specific outings, fall can be a lot more fun than you think.

Go apple picking

There’s no better way to eat seasonal and local than by heading to the closest apple farm to pick your own fruit. Not only will you be enjoying the fresh air, but you can gather enough goodies to go home and try your hand at baking a pie together. The crisp, fall air is energizing and apple picking is something you can only do in the fall, which makes it special. Check out PickYourOwn.org to find a farm near you.

Hit up a state fair

Cotton candy and rides and games, oh my! What could be better than a day spent arm in arm with your man while you take in the action at a local state fair? Greasy food, silly rides and the chance for him to win you a stuffed animal all combine for a laid back but ultra-fun day for two. Fall is prime time for fairs, so do a quick search here to find the closest one to you.

Head out on a hike

A fall hike is a great way to get to know someone better or boost your bond with someone you’ve been seeing for a while. Whether you’re six months into a relationship or six years, a brisk walk through some gorgeous trails makes for a romantic (and athletic) afternoon. Local Hikesprovides a comprehensive list of hiking trails near metropolitan areas making it easy to find one near you. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the fall colors.

Stay in and get cozy

Too blustery out for a hike or trip to the fair? There’s nothing more romantic than staying in and cuddling up under a blanket together for a cozy night in. Stock up on your favorite snacks, choose some movies you both want to watch, light some candles, open a bottle of wine and spend the afternoon or evening relaxing in the warmth of your living room.

Take a day trip

Whether it’s to hike further afield, check out a cute town you’ve never been to, or simply do something different for a day, taking a mini road trip is a fun fall date that goes beyond your usual activities. The best reason to get out of town in the fall? To see the fall foliage! Check out where to head to see the bursts of yellow, red and orange with a handy fall foliage map.

© Copyright 2003 – 2012, SheKnows LLC, A Division of AtomicOnline LLC, All Rights Reserved

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

© Copyright 2003 – 2012, SheKnows LLC