Out of the USA’s 63 national parks, there are two in particular out east that not only offer beautiful landscapes, but also charming boutique hotels nearby that are HAP-worthy with a mix of Mother Nature. Lucky for those living in or traveling to these areas, though, they’re both spectacular, and vastly different. Travel writer Kelsey Ogletree shares what to see in both Acadia National Park and Shenandoah National Park, along with where to rest your head at night.
Spanning nearly 50,000 acres in coastal Maine, Acadia is at its most beautiful in fall, drawing 3.5 million visitors annually to its brilliant woodlands and rocky beaches. Walk across a bridge to see Bar Island, check out wildlife displays at Dorr Museum, and go full leaf-peeper along the 27-mile Park Loop Road.
New this summer, this waterfront, naturally socially distanced glamping spot has 63 safari-style tents outfitted in West Elm just 35 minutes from the park.
Built in 1884, this historic property only 5 minutes from Acadia is fresh off a total renovation that added stand-alone cottages and four new spots to dine and imbibe.
The foliage from September-November at Virginia’s Shenandoah—75 miles from Washington, D.C.—is a sight for sore eyes. Take a drive along Skyline Drive, which has 70 overlooks to take in the view and grab the perfect IG shot. Then lace up your shoes: More than 500 miles of hiking trails span from 1 mile to 9-plus miles roundtrip.
Also a three Michelin starred restaurant, the hotel—20 minutes from the park—has 23 opulent guest rooms, a conservatory, and Patty O’s, chef Patrick O’Connell’s first new restaurant in 40 years.
This historic property an hour east of the park, in Charlottesville, revealed a new look this summer that includes an impressive tennis facility, infinity pool, and new restaurant from chef Jean-Georges.