Travel & Leisure
updated 12/5/2011 10:49:11 AM ET 2011-12-05T15:49:11

There’s an excitement in the air each fall, when summer’s heat gives way to refreshingly brisk breezes, ushering in jacket-and-scarf weather. Most spectacularly, it’s time for the natural spectacle of leaves shedding their green for fiery reds, oranges, and yellows.

Fall foliage season, which unfolds from September through November, amps up the beauty of any landscape—and inspires people to travel, whether road tripping or hiking on leaf-strewn paths. (It’s also inspired that questionable nickname: leaf-peepers.) When you find yourself in a prime foliage spot, have your camera at the ready because you’ll want to take those breathtaking scenes back home with you.

It’s a natural impulse, so when we asked Travel + Leisure readers to submit their best nature photographs, we weren’t surprised that they uploaded a plethora of foliage shots. We’ve picked out our favorite images, which showcase a range of destinations and each bring a little extra something to this ever-popular photography subject.

One striking image comes from across the Atlantic: Windsor, England. The photographer captures the lovely autumn colors adorning soon-to-be-shedding trees as well as the choice backdrop of Windsor Castle, a stately structure dating back to the 11th century, when William the Conqueror began its construction.

Back stateside, in Massachusetts, one reader focused on a road flanked by golden trees on either side; many leaves lie on either side of the road as well and still retain their vibrant color. The road seems to belong to some enchanting, long-forgotten fairy tale. A photo from New Hampshire’s North Conway doubles the viewing pleasure by showing multicolored trees reflected in a lake.

If the photos we had to leaf through (pun entirely intended) are any indication of the reality, then it’s not hard to find a magical foliage setting. In fact, New England is having an especially brilliant season this year thanks to an early September chill and heavy rains.

So what are you waiting for? It’s prime viewing time. Grab your camera and go capture your memories—these photos will give you ideas for how to compose your own.

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