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Leaves of Splendor

Fall foliage near and far



The Talimena Scenic Drive

 

Leaf peeping is a major tourism draw in New England around this time of year … but unless you also want some fresh lobster, there are other options around the country to see breathtakingly beautiful examples of nature’s colorful handiwork. Just hop in the car and head to some of my favorite spots for autumn appreciation.

 


 

Drive for Beauty

 

Looking for spectacular autumn scenery in Oklahoma? The state’s premier foliage route, the Talimena Scenic Drive, glows with color – bronze, gold and russet, punctuated with the rich purple of gum trees, scarlet of sugar maples and sumac and deep green pines.

One of the nation’s first designated Scenic Byways, this 54-mile drive stretches from Talihina in Oklahoma to Mena, Arkansas. Plan a minimum of two hours, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself taking longer. Traffic on the winding two-lane road is heavy during peak leaf-watching season, and with dozens of overlooks, multiple stops are a must. Take a picnic, since there’s only one restaurant on the route, and there are no gas stations and scarce bathrooms – so plan ahead!

Just across the state line in Arkansas, the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge sits in a state park near the end of the route. With a spectacular view, good food and comfortable lodging, it provides a great stopping place. Stop at the Talimena Scenic Drive Visitor Center, 201 First in Talihina, for information before you hit the byway.

With fewer scenic overlooks but considerably less traffic, Highway 259 from Big Cedar to Broken Bow offers just as much color. Beavers Bend State Park is a great destination and its Folk Festival, Nov 9-11, is a major area event.

Peak color is difficult to predict, since it depends on a variety of factors, but late October through mid-November is a good guess. Check online for updates at talimenascenicdrive.com.

 


 

Nature’s Drama in Ashland, Oregon

 

Each autumn, around the same time as Ashland’s famed Shakespeare Festival, the trees of this southern Oregon town perform their multi-chromatic version of high drama. Lithia Park and the surrounding areas open a splendid treasure chest of gold and red leaves, giving travelers another reason to visit the already thriving cultural and culinary hub.

 


 

Striking Gold in Colorado

 

On a scale of one to epic, Aspen’s rugged beauty is off the charts on its least pleasant day. But from mid-September into October, when the aspens’ chalky trunks begin their annual shimmering dance of gold and yellow, one could spend a week among the trees without even visiting the beautiful mountain town of the same name. Nowhere are the visual riches more evident than on a drive up beautiful Castle Creek.

 


 

Riding the Rails

 

For those seeking a thoroughly memorable sensory experience, this fall trip hits all the buttons. See gorgeous mountain scenery, feel the rocking of the train’s cars on the rails, hear the clacking of the wheels and the shrill sound of the whistle, smell fresh-baked rolls and taste a cooked-from-scratch meal, all in one day’s great outing: Take a trip on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.

Co-owned by the states of New Mexico and Colorado, the Cumbres and Toltec is the nation’s highest and longest narrow-gauge railroad. Running from Chama, New Mexico, to Antonito, Colorado, it hops back and forth, crossing the state line a total of 11 times on one trip.

Although peak foliage time is unpredictable, mid-September to mid-October should provide good color. One advantage for viewers is that the rails span several thousand feet in elevation during the journey, so the trees won’t all turn at once. Check online at cumbrestoltec.com for an up-to-date prediction.

You can depart from either end of the line, enjoy a tasty lunch mid-trip in Osier and bus back to where you started. On the trip, sit back, relax and take in spectacular views and mountainsides glowing with brilliant yellow aspens – after all, Mother Nature is an extremely talented artist.

 

 

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September 2018

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
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This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
Telephone: 405-840-1817
Contact Name: James Timberlake
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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
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Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
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A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
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Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
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Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
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Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
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Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

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