Best Fall Foliage: Vermont or … Arizona?

Brad Tuttle

It’s a leaf-peeping smackdown. A magazine promoting tourism in Arizona (yes, Arizona) is boasting that its foliage season is better than Vermont‘s. Regional travel magazines are designed to promote the destinations they cover, so they shouldn’t be expected to be the most objective sources of information out there. On occasion, these publications are known to resort to inflated language and exaggerate a bit to pump up excitement and interest in the local attractions and scenery. Even so, Arizona Highways magazine seemed to have crossed a line with its new “Autumn in Arizona” issue, which features the words “Why It’s Better Here Than It Is in Vermont” on the cover. Bragging is acceptable, even expected, by such publications. But slighting another state’s world-famous natural wonders? In Vermont, which is nearly as famous for its easygoing, mild-mannered locals as it is for spectacular fall foliage season, such an insult could not go unnoticed. Vermonters are accustomed to some bickering with their “Live Free or Die” neighbors in New Hampshire. But Arizona? The folks at Vermont Life magazine responded by creating a mock cover with the words “Gorges in Vermont & Why Queechee Gorge Is Grander Than the Grand Canyon.” (MORE: State vs. State: Hot Summer for States Stealing Businesses, Workers, Tax Revenues) Despite the very public spat, which managed to get the attention of the Associated Press, no one is particularly outraged. Arizona Highways editor Robert Stieve described the kerfuffle as “a tongue-in-cheek, all-in-good-fun autumn smack down,” and immediately backed down from what seemed to be claims of Arizona’s fall foliage supremacy. “We position Vermont as the gold standard when it comes to fall leaves,” he wrote in response to the Vermont Life cover. “The comparison we make in the magazine isn’t about quality of fall color, but rather the length of our respective fall seasons. Because of geography, we’re blessed in Arizona with an autumn that runs from early September on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to early December in the southern parts of our state.” This isn’t the



via Business Feeds

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