8 Best Places for Fall Foliage - United Hub

The best 8 places for fall foliage

By The Hub team

Labor Day is over and autumn is on the horizon. So once there's a chill in the air — and rather than drinking rum punch under a palm tree, you're in the mood to sip warm cider beneath a majestic golden maple — where should you go to enjoy autumn in all its glory? Here are eight islands known for their fall colors.

Mount Desert Island, Maine

Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park in Maine

Home to Acadia National Park, Maine's Mount Desert Island becomes a spectacular patchwork of autumn colors in early- to mid-October. Temperatures might be a bit brisk (in the 40s and 50s), but the fresh air is perfect for a hike to the summit of 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain. Prefer to sightsee by car? Drive the 27-mile Park Loop Road to check out the beauty of Sand Beach, the views from Otter Cliff and the crystalline waters of Jordan Pond, where your can enjoy lobster rolls and chowder in the Jordan Pond House restaurant.

Honshu Island, Japan

Autumn colors surround Lake Kawaguchiko near Mount FujiAutumn colors surround Lake Kawaguchiko near Mount FujiShutterstock

Japanese red maples — need we say more? The temples of the ancient city of Kyoto on Japan's main island of Honshu are even more stunning when surrounded by the intense crimson hues of its native fall foliage. Colors tend to peak in early to mid-November and there's an array of top leaf-viewing spots from which to choose: Honen-in Temple, Ginkaku-ji Temple and Nanzen-ji Temple as well as Sento-Gosho Garden and the mountain village of Takao. Crowds swell on weekends, so plan to visit midweek.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Peep fall leaves on Mackican from late September to late OctoberPeep fall leaves on Mackican from late September to late OctoberShutterstock

Travel back more than a century in time as you celebrate fall on this car-free Michigan island that's located where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron and is home to the legendary Grand Hotel, built in 1887, and hundreds of horse-drawn carriages. Peak foliage occurs from late September to late October (ferries run until Oct. 31) and it's the perfect time to rent a bike and ride the 8-mile trail that circles the island to experience its many charms: Victorian mansions along East Bluff; late-blooming dahlias in the Grand Hotel's flower beds; the rocky, postcard-perfect shorelines; and the golden maples and red oaks around Fort Mackinac.

The British Isles

Stockghyll, located in England's Lake District, is lovely in the fallStockghyll, located in England's Lake District, is lovely in the fallShutterstock

Take your pick of England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales — but we especially love the fall colors in England's Lake District. Rolling hills, tidy villages and meandering back roads set the scene as native trees and plants that include oak, beech, birch and heather color the landscape with painterly shades of red, yellow, orange and purple. From Derwent Water to Windermere, there are fireplaces galore to get cozy in front of and ample pints of local craft beer to down. Foliage tends to peak in early October, but if you can't make it then, November 5 is Bonfire Night (aka Guy Fawkes Night — a four-century-old tradition), when fireworks and bonfires provide a color show of another sort.

Prince Edward Island, Canada

Fall foliage on Prince Edward IslandFall foliage on Prince Edward IslandShutterstock

Anne of Green Gables may be the fictional redheaded heroine of this island in Canada's Eastern provinces, but from mid-September to late October, fiery red maples and brilliant yellow birches are the stars. In autumn, Prince Edward Island is a haven of relaxation, offering walking, hiking and biking trails as well as a rich harvest of local fruits, vegetables and seafood. If oysters, mussels, lobster and other tasty ocean treats are your favorites, time your visit to coincide with the annual PEI International Shellfish Festival in mid-September as the leaves are just beginning to change.

San Juan Islands, Washington

Fall colors surround the lighthouse on San Juan Island in WashingtonFall colors surround the lighthouse on San Juan Island in WashingtonShutterstock

Catch a ferry from Anacortes across Puget Sound to one of these rugged Washington State islands — San Juan, Orcas and Lopez being the main three — and you'll feel instantly relaxed. And with summer crowds a distant memory, the pace is laid-back and temperatures range from the mid-60s in September to around 50 in November. Discover the region's flavors during farm tours, beer tastings and harvest dinners with special “Savor the San Juans" events throughout fall. As for the foliage, Garry oaks and big leaf maples add splashes of color to the velvety forests of firs, hemlocks and cedars.

New York, New York

The lake in Manhattan's Central Park is a prime leaf-peeping spotThe lake in Manhattan's Central Park is a prime leaf-peeping spotShutterstock

Yes, the island of Manhattan is mostly asphalt and concrete, and yet the nature-blessed oases it does have — Central Park, Riverside Park, the Cloisters — put on a pretty amazing autumnal show from mid-October to mid-November. You can jog through a “shower" of gently falling leaves on the Mall in Central Park or pose for a selfie by the Bow Bridge with its backdrop of golden branches. Riverside Park's walking trails are enveloped in a canopy of color and the medieval sculptures and gardens of Upper Manhattan's Cloisters become even more inviting. Frank Sinatra chose to record Autumn in New York for a reason.

Assateague Island, Maryland and Virginia

Assateague Island's wild poniesAssateague Island's wild poniesShutterstock

Why settle for fall colors when you can see magnificent wild horses, too? Assateague Island, located on the Eastern Shore and divided equally between Maryland and Virginia, is home to both. Its coastal groundcover turns vivid yellow and deep red by late October and early November (but be careful to avoid the poison ivy!) and the 300 horses, also referred to as ponies, freely roam the island's state and national parks in small groups. You can get within a safe viewing distance (40 feet or more) several ways: wildlife cruises, kayak tours, bike rides or leisurely drives around the island. Just remember, these horses are feral and should not be approached or petted.


This article was written by Donna Heiderstadt from Islands and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

United works with partners to send food to USDA food bank

By The Hub team, July 23, 2020

In collaboration with food-logistics company Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI), United moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. This new program was created to provide critical support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A variety of fresh fruits were transported from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guam (GUM) on United's newly introduced, non-stop cargo-only flight – a route added to meet cargo demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The fresh food was repacked in 10-pound cases in Los Angeles, prepared for departure at CFI's LAX location, and flown to GUM by the United team. Through this beneficial partnership between United and CFI, the perishable goods were kept cool during every step of the process and distributed as part of the food bank program in Guam.

"Everyone on our team has worked relentlessly during the pandemic to get critical goods to where they are needed most. Establishing a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights have allowed us to keep the supply chain moving even while passenger flight capacity has been reduced," said Regional Senior Manager of Cargo Sales, Marco Vezjak. "Knowing that we are able to help during these difficult times – in this case the Guam community – is our biggest reward and greatest motivation to keep moving forward."

United is proud to play a role in maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access the supplies they need. Since March 19, United has operated over 4,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 130 million pounds of cargo.

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