Every fall, I always have this itching need for some relaxation. I don’t know about you, but it’s definitely a season suited for a bit of laid-back time. Know that there’s always a retreat that’s perfect for you, whether you’re seeking a tranquil escape in nature, a luxurious pampering experience, or an active adventure, and you can find them on this list.
1. Albemarle Estate at Trump Winery – Charlottesville, VA
Immerse yourself in the beautiful fall foliage of Virginia wine country at Albemarle Estate at Trump Winery. Complimentary bicycles are available to explore the expansive estate.
Experience the magic of fall in Charlottesville, VA, with endless nearby hiking trails. Just minutes from Carter Mountain Apple Orchard and pumpkin patch, you can pick your own fruit, sample cider, and hot apple donuts.
2. Tiverton and Little Compton – Newport, RI
Tiverton and Little Compton, in Newport County, offer excellent leaf-peeping destinations, and the leafy canopied Tiverton Four Corners and Little Compton Historical District are especially charming when the leaves turn, usually in mid-to-late October.
The Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown and its seven miles of hiking trails are fantastic any time of year, but they’re an especially wonderful place to enjoy the crisp fall air and colors of the season. Rail Explorers lets you take in the sights of autumn by rail bike as you pedal along an old rail corridor underneath vivid foliage overlooking the Ocean.
In Newport, take a ride along Ocean Drive or walk the famous Cliff Walk for wonderful views of fall along the coastline and the Newport Mansions.
3. The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa – Manchester Village, VT
The beauty of Fall in Vermont is the ultimate bucket-list item for sightseeing and outdoor adventures. With forests covering the surrounding Green Mountains and the highest percentage of vibrant maple trees anywhere, The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa is the perfect getaway to experience the explosion of color once the leaves start to turn.
With everything from boating and fly fishing to off-roading excursions and tree-top adventures, The Equinox has Fall activities abounding at a picture-perfect convenient location in Manchester with elegant accommodations and fantastic on-site dining.
4. The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa – Denver, CO
Known as ‘the Grand Dame of Denver,’ The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa is the Mile High City’s most elegant and iconic landmark, centrally located in the heart of downtown. In fall, the historic hotel charms guests – as it has for more than 130 years – with its historic heritage fused with modern-day amenities.
Partake in the cozy tradition of Afternoon Tea and warm up with tea topped with Devonshire cream, shipped directly from England. Indulge at one of six on-site food and beverage venues – including the fine dining restaurant Palace Arms, offering a seasonal menu of fall favorites.
In the evenings, enjoy live piano or jazz in the atrium’s upscale ambiance that exudes grace and grandeur. Beyond the hotel, leaf peepers can rejoice. Denver offers one of the longest periods of fall colors of any city in the country, as the glowing gold leaves of the aspen tree send visitors rushing to the mountains to find the most beautiful fall foliage.
5. The Preserve Sporting Club & Residences – Richmond, RI
Located in Richmond, Rhode Island, restauranters and foodies can dine at the renowned The Preserve’s Hobbit Houses, lined with hundreds of pumpkins; there is truly nothing like it or more Instagrammable in New England. Friends and family can also reserve a time to explore the legendary homes of the Shire folk and share their mythical experiences on social media.
In addition, guests can book a day filled with adventure – with an equestrian exploration, clay shooting, a nature hike, and more – then stay at the all-new (opened 2021) Hilltop Lodge, boasting rustic residential-style accommodations, designed to provide a luxurious respite amongst nature.
6. Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa – Jackson Hole, WY
In Jackson Hole, crisp mornings, fresh air, pops of sparkling colors, and grazing wildlife help bring out the autumn magic with an unrivaled wow factor. Steps away from two of America’s most treasured national parks – Grand Teton and Yellowstone – fall itineraries in Jackson Hole are filled with endless outdoor activities.
From wildlife safaris, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, and horseback riding to scenic river floats and gondola rides, Jackson Hole is a place to experience enchanted autumn with the most picture-perfect fall foliage backdrops and stunning mountain vistas.
In addition, the annual Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival brings the best of Western, nature, and landscape artists to local galleries and venues during over 50 art events.
Experience it all while staying at Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa, the epitome of classic mountain elegance and laid-back style, located just one mile from Grand Teton National Park. Featuring expansive rooms and suites with breathtaking views and cozy fireplaces, modern mountain cuisine and custom-crafted cocktails at Spur Restaurant & Bar, a serene 12,000 sq. ft. sanctuary at SpaTerre, state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs, and awe-inspiring views of the sprawling valley as far as eyes can see. This Teton Village lodge is the ultimate retreat for relaxed autumn luxury.
7. Hotel Terra Jackson Hole – Jackson Hole, WY
Right next door, Hotel Terra Jackson Hole offers the best boutique luxury experience in all of Jackson Hole. This mountainside retreat brings modern conveniences and upscale amenities to adventure-seekers looking for an elevated mountain experience of a lifetime. Featuring stylishly furnished accommodations with huge windows providing unobstructed views of the surrounding natural beauty, an intimate and rustic on-site Il Villaggio Osteria Italian restaurant, a state-of-the-art fitness center, an outdoor infinity pool, a rooftop Chill Spa offering 100% organic and natural treatments, and an outdoor hot tub overlooking the charming Teton Village and providing expansive views of the valley. Hotel Terra is the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable fall alpine adventure.
8. Bryce Canyon Country – Utah
Fall paints the hoodoos and cliff faces in the high desert of Bryce Canyon Country in Utah with an enchanting palette, transforming the landscape into a mesmerizing wonderland that beckons travelers from far and wide.
Despite being known as a desert region, Bryce Canyon Country is home to immense forests, where the brilliant yellows of the quaking aspens flutter in brilliant contrast to the red-orange hoodoos, bright blue sky, and rich green needles of the ancient bristlecone pines.
Take a drive on the “fall color loop,” an incredibly scenic drive along Highway 143 that goes past Panguitch Lake, Duck Creek Village, and Navajo Lake, all of which will be nearing peak color change around mid-September.
The 2-million-acre Dixie National Forest runs through Bryce Canyon Country, inviting visitors to hike, bike, ATV, or horseback ride through the colorful and immense trail systems. Sweetening the allure of fall travel in 2023, Bryce Canyon Country is in the direct path of the upcoming annular solar eclipse on October 14th, a phenomenon that has not been observable in the U.S. since 2012.
Unlike 11 years ago, when the annular eclipse was in the afternoon, the upcoming eclipse will pass over Bryce Canyon in the morning, allowing for truly stunning images of the eclipse over the hoodoos. Fall in Bryce Canyon Country promises an unforgettable journey where nature’s artistry and celestial wonders converge.
9. The Crescent Hotel – Fort Worth, TX
For those looking to escape the cold weather brought by fall but still bask in the beauty of the season, The Crescent Hotel, Fort Worth, is a new luxurious destination offering relaxation, beauty, exclusive culinary experiences, and enjoyable [Texas] fall temperatures.
Located in the heart of the city’s vibrant Cultural District, the new hotel (opening this fall) is just steps away from the neighborhood’s world-class museums and a quick drive from downtown and the famous Fort Worth Stockyards.
After guests spend the day exploring the city while enjoying the mild temperatures and changing leaves that north Texas has to offer in the fall, they are welcomed back to The Crescent Hotel to continue indulging in its many stunning amenities, including dining at Emilia’s, a Coastal Mediterranean-inspired restaurant with an exclusive fine dining experience available and lounge at the Circle Bar, all of which feature seasonal dishes and beverages that will lend to the fall feeling.
Wellness and relaxation are at the forefront of the hotel’s offerings, with access to the on-site Canyon Ranch Wellness Club that will leave guests feeling refreshed and ready to take on the holiday season.
10. The Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio – San Antonio, TX
Embrace the enchanting colors of autumn at The Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio, a perfect fall escape for those seeking vibrant foliage and picturesque beauty.
Nestled along the tranquil Riverwalk, this newly renovated riverside retreat offers a serene setting to witness the breathtaking transformation of nature’s canvas. Immerse yourself in the charm of San Antonio’s historic streets adorned with fall hues while enjoying the hotel’s cozy accommodations and warm hospitality.
Stroll through the nearby parks or savor seasonal delights at their on-site restaurant and riverwalk bar, Zocca. The Westin Riverwalk promises an unforgettable fall foliage travel experience amidst the splendor of the season.
11. The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas – Dallas, TX
Located on famed McKinney Avenue in downtown Dallas, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is a destination for Texas locals and visitors alike, exemplifying genuine hospitality, elegant design, and thoughtful gestures in a sophisticated and bold setting.
Texas’ first and Dallas’ only five-star property beguiles visitors with legendary service, locally inspired amenities, and exclusive experiences.
In the fall, the city trades its signature heat for crisp air and patio-friendly temperatures. Cozy up alfresco at Fearing’s Restaurant and sip custom cocktails under the illustrious oaks while enjoying celebrity Chef Dean Fearing’s famed southwestern cuisine.
For your fill of autumnal activities, scope out the city’s fall colors, cheer on your team at a lively football game, or check out the Autumn at the Arboretum Festival or the State Fair of Texas – both fall favorites for locals.
12. Spruce Point Inn – Boothbay Harbor, ME
Fall is undoubtedly the most beautiful season to visit Maine. From the crisp, clean air to the vibrant foliage, the conditions are perfect whether you’re looking to adventure outdoors or simply relax with a view; there’s no better place to take it all in than Spruce Point Inn in Booth Bay Harbor.
A true gem among resorts, Spruce Point Inn stands apart with its prominent oceanfront setting, acres of mature woodlands, endless gardens and trails, and three on-property dining options.
If you’re lucky enough to time your visit for October, don’t forget to check out Boothbay’s Annual Fall Foliage Festival, featuring live music, vendors, and loads of delicious fall food!
13. Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park – Gatlinburg, TN
As the only resort that resides within the borders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park is the perfect place for travelers to get an up close and personal view of the dazzling fall colors mingling with the fog plumes of the Smokies from the comfort of their suite window.
During the day, there are a plethora of hiking trails within the resort and beyond for those who wish to hear the crunch of fallen leaves beneath their feet. Located only 15 minutes from the resort is Dolly Parton’s iconic theme park, Dollywood, which is celebrating its fall Harvest Festival from Sept. 20-Oct. 30 this year.
14. The Madison Hotel – Washington, D.C.
Escaping into nature may be the most well-known way to view fall foliage; however, it may be intimidating for those who love big cities. The best of both worlds can be experienced at The Madison Hotel in D.C.!
Just around the corner from everything the District has to offer, The Madison is a luxe, boutique-style hotel that allows guests to rest in capital comfort after a city-wide leaf-peeping tour. With no shortage of parks and attractions showered in hues of red and yellow as the leaves change color, guests can admire the changing colors at The National Mall, The Capitol Building, Tidal Basin, and more.
In the evenings, guests can enjoy fall-themed cocktails such as the Basil Bourbon Smash and locally inspired dishes at The Madison’s swanky cocktail lounge, Lady Madison.
15. Park City – Utah
Recognized as ‘America’s favorite mountain town,’ Park City, Utah, is the perfect destination for travelers to experience beautifully vibrant leaf-peeping alongside crisp mountain air, exciting seasonal events, and ample outdoor recreation.
With over 400 miles of open trails, Park City extends a variety of activities on land, like horseback riding, hiking, and biking, as it is an IMBA-certified Gold Level mountain biking destination.
Blue Ribbon fly fishing along the Provo River or nearby reservoirs provides an immersive experience for guests as they are surrounded by panoramic views of the Wasatch Mountains that radiate green, yellow, orange, and red hues of lush foliage.
Hot air balloon rides can be arranged for an aerial view of the mountains. As a central location to all of the exciting experiences taking place in Park City this fall, travelers are encouraged to stay with Westgate Park City Resort & Spa, which sits at the base of Canyons Village at Park City Mountain, dazzling guests with its stunning and sprawling mountain-scape views.
Park City is an ideal destination to visit no matter the time of year, but little do most know, the fall season delivers some tremendous perks – such as lower rates and a higher return on experiences that will certainly ‘peak’ every type of traveler’s interest.
With exciting fall events like the artistically-driven Park City Song Summit (Sept. 7-9, 2023), the Park City Wine Festival (Oct. 5-8) for the culinary connoisseur and the Howl-O-Ween (Oct. 31) celebration for families and their four-legged friends, visitors and locals alike continuously fall in love with Park City time and time again.
16. Asheville, North Carolina
Expanding across North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway is part of the National Park Service known as America’s Favorite Scenic Drive. The 469-mile ribbon of road weaves around the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains peaks connecting Shenandoah National Park (Virginia) and Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina).
As the Parkway approaches Asheville, it offers breathtaking views of some of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi River and access to the area’s best hiking trails. Tucked within Asheville, North Carolina’s historic Biltmore Village lives Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville – a Kessler Collection boutique property just steps away from the famous Biltmore Estate.
The Tudor-inspired luxurious hotel hides away along the richness of the Blue Ridge Mountains, making it the perfect destination for an outdoor adventure to see autumn unfold before your eyes. For a more breathtaking view, travelers can take a drive down the extraordinary Blue Ridge Parkway for a chance to see vibrant autumn hues lining the road.
17. Tenaya at Yosemite – Fishcamp, California
Granting its guests immediate access to Yosemite National Park and Sierra National Forest, Tenaya at Yosemite is a premiere eco-resort that makes any trip to the High Sierras a true outdoors adventure.
With fewer crowds and crisper temperatures in the fall, guests can fully immerse themselves in Northern California’s Yosemite Valley during this season at Tenaya. With a network of scenic trails right from the resort that lead through remote alpine woods and alongside cascading waterfalls, the vibrant fall foliage will further enhance the already captivating views from Tenaya at Yosemite.
For biking enthusiasts, Tenaya provides convenient e-bike and mountain bike rentals to explore the colorful trails of the Sierra National Forest. Anglers will appreciate the increased fish activity in Yosemite’s pristine rivers and lakes, with fall offering a greater chance of successful catches compared to the busy summer months.
After a day of adventure, guests can relax by one of Tenaya’s outdoor firepits, indulging in the simple pleasure of s’mores while marveling at the clear night sky filled with thousands of celestial bodies, thanks to the fall’s dryer weather and Tenaya’s remote location free from light pollution.
With accessible nature, excellent amenities, and breathtaking vistas, Tenaya at Yosemite beckons visitors to embrace the beauty of fall in this remarkable destination.
18. The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake – Lake Erie, Ohio
Fall at The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake presents a distinct and captivating experience for discerning travelers seeking a lakeside getaway. Alongside Lake Erie, the Lodge at Geneva showcases the season’s tapestry of colors as visitors enjoy morning walks or bike rides along the shoreline, embraced by the cool air that permeates the surrounding forests adorned with vibrant orange, red, and yellow leaves.
Thrilling zipline excursions with on-site Lake Erie Canopy Tours offer breathtaking views of the vibrant foliage above the sparkling lake. Beyond the lakeshore, The Lodge at Geneva invites guests on an enchanting Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Tour, unveiling the region’s 19 historic covered bridges.
Each bridge exudes its own allure and invites exploration amidst the dynamic range of fall foliage surrounding them, creating picturesque opportunities at every turn. Alternatively, indulge in a delightful Ohio Wine Shuttle experience, where guests can sample the renowned vineyards that produce Ohio’s iconic wines.
On October 15, The Lodge at Geneva becomes the backdrop for the Wine and Wheels car show, a grand celebration of the region’s finest wines. Immerse yourself in the ambiance of over 100 historic hot rod cars while enjoying the property’s curated selection of exceptional wines.
Fall at The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake is an enchanting experience where lakeside charm meets the captivating beauty of autumn foliage, creating amazing escapes amidst nature’s vibrant transformation.
19. Nova Guides – Vail, Colorado
Discover the magical fall foliage of the Colorado Rockies on an ATV tour above Vail with Nova Guides. As the high-altitude white fir trees transform to golden yellow before winter, guests can embark on an exhilarating ATV ride with stunning vistas and adrenaline rushes.
Cruising through the OHV trails, riders will be surrounded by panoramic Rockies views from up to 12,500 feet. Accompanied by expert guides, guests will traverse beautiful alpine meadows, encounter rushing brooks, and conquer mountain passes while enjoying the captivating sight of the golden-hued white fir trees.
Wildlife sightings, including moose, elk, and owls, further enhance the experience. Ideal for a day trip from Aspen or Denver, Nova Guides’ ATV tours are renowned as one of Colorado’s most captivating adventure excursions, making it the perfect way to elevate fall travel to new heights.
20. Peaks of Otter Lodge – Bedford, Virginia
Experience the splendor of fall foliage in western Virginia at Peaks of Otter Lodge. This charming property, nestled in the Appalachian woods, offers a range of accommodations, including main lodge rooms and private cabins overlooking Abbott Lake.
Surrounded by the iconic “Peaks of Otter” mountains, guests can easily access trails for mountain hikes. During autumn, the forested scenery around Peaks of Otter Lodge undergoes a breathtaking transformation, showcasing nature’s vibrant color palette.
Guided hikes or independent exploration allow guests to immerse themselves in the captivating beauty of the Virginia Highlands. The property provides the Sharp Top Mountain Shuttle for a convenient adventure, whisking guests to the 4,000-foot summit with sweeping views of the Peaks of Otter landscape.
Scenic drives along the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway offer a relaxed option to enjoy the captivating autumn vistas. Peaks of Otter Lodge is the ideal base to discover the renowned fall foliage of western Virginia.
21. Pine Lodge at Whitefish River – Whitefish, Montana
With its idyllic location, a wealth of outdoor adventures, and proximity to Glacier National Park, the Pine Lodge on the Whitefish River promises guests an unforgettable autumn getaway in Whitefish, Montana.
Situated in scenic Flathead Valley, the Pine Lodge is surrounded by majestic mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and the serene Whitefish River, upon which guests can explore the picturesque waters with a free kayak or paddleboard rental.
Alternatively, they can embark on a scenic bike ride along the renowned Going-to-the-Sun Road, taking in panoramic views of mountains and valleys adorned with vibrant autumn foliage.
In late September and early October, visitors can immerse themselves in the festive spirit of the Great Northwest Oktoberfest in Whitefish and join in exhilarating activities like stein-holding and keg-hurling, and partake in a traditional Volksmarch, embracing the German-inspired celebrations that honor the season.
Beyond the lodge’s charms, The Pine Lodge on the Whitefish River offers convenient access to the awe-inspiring Glacier National Park. Here, untouched by human structures, nature unveils its most remarkable fall displays, creating an unparalleled sensory experience.
22. Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa – Saratoga Springs, New York
Step into a world of autumn colors at the Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa as fall sets in upon upstate New York. The hotel itself is within Saratoga State Park and exudes historic charm with its picturesque trails from the property, rejuvenating spa treatments in the healing waters of the springs, and delectable seasonal cuisine served on-site.
For off-site outings, the Gideon Putnam is perfectly situated between the Adirondack and Catskill Mountain Ranges, treating guests to a symphony of vibrant hues as surrounding foliage transforms into a breathtaking canvas of reds, oranges, and golds. With its idyllic setting and timeless elegance, a visit to the Gideon Putnam Hotel in the fall is a truly enchanting experience in the heart of nature’s seasonal masterpiece.
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Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, FOX, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more. When she’s not traveling, she can be found at hockey arenas all over BC cheering on her two young sons.