Goodbye, sweltering hot summer days. Hello, crisp-aired autumn nights. In preparation for sipping pumpkin spice lattes and breaking out our best sweaters, we’ve curated a selection of boutique hotels and destinations in the U.S. that embrace the essence of fall.
Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina
The Great Smoky Mountains — nicknamed “The Smokies” from its omnipresent fog — present some of the USA’s most entrancing fall foliage colors from Tennessee to North Carolina. Plan a day trip to visit the charming small town of Waynesville, North Carolina, for its celebrated Apple Harvest Festival on Oct. 21, 2023.
Where to stay: Nestled amid the Great Smoky Mountains, the Historic Tapoco Lodge is the coziest mountain retreat ensconced by 120 acres of Nantahala National Forest’s pristine wilderness and the scenic Chenoah River.
Catskill Mountains, Upstate New York
With close proximity to New York City, the Catskill Mountains have long been a sought-after summer and fall getaway for New York residents. Aside from the prime leaf peeping, there are countless breweries and cideries — including Catskill Brewery, Arrowood Farms, and West Kill Brewery — that are sure to get you into the fall spirit.
Where to stay: When city dwellers need an escape from the hustle and bustle, they head to the Catskill Mountains’ Urban Cowboy Lodge: a mountain home drenched in country chic decor imbued with worn-in leather trappings and standalone claw foot bathtubs overlooking the picturesque fall scenery.
If leaf peeping is the utmost important fall activity, then Louisville, Kentucky is the place for you. Vibrant auburn-red, burnt-orange, and dusty-yellow foliage drenches scenic parks — including Cherokee Park and Iroquois Park — making this an attractive destination for autumn enthusiasts each year.
Where to stay: A new 122-key, design-centric boutique stay in Louisville’s hip NuLu neighborhood, Hotel Genevieve by Bunkhouse Hotels is the area’s chicest hotel with punchy-colored interiors and bespoke artworks paying homage to the city’s rich bourbon and horse culture.
Autumn is the Pacific Northwest’s peak season for sweater-weather embracers. Oregon’s darling mountain town, Bend, hosts its annual Bend Fall Festival from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 for pumpkin carving and vendor hopping through its Harvest Market. Cider should be consumed at the trendy Bend Cider Company along the Bend Ale Trail.
Where to stay: With panoramic views of the Three Sisters peaks and Oregon’s lush conifer tree landscape, Juniper Preserve’s 89 guest rooms dressed in refined, earth-toned decor provide a cozy respite from the cool temperatures.
Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia
Fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains is best experienced via a scenic road trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Stop at the Humpback Gap Overlook to snap a picture with autumn foliage in the background; then, mark down the Mabry Mill — a rustic blacksmith shop and eatery at milepost 176 — for American comfort classics, including fresh blackberry cobbler served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Where to stay: A majestic year-round retreat immersed in 12,000 thickly wooded acres, Primland, Auberge Resorts Collection is a luxurious mountain getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains — where guests can snuggle into the one-of-a-kind Tree House accommodations drenched in aromatic red cedar within the literal embrace of a towering oak tree.
Russian River Valley, California
Mystical forests and deep burgundy wineries paired with sun-glazed days and cooler nights make Northern California’s Russian River Valley an idyllic fall destination. From Nov. 4-5th, Visit Mine + Farm is hosting a fall-themed relaxation weekend with Cannescape, the first travel-centric cannabis dining company.
Where to stay: A dreamy, wellness-focused resort nestled in the enchanting redwood trees, Dawn Ranch’s 81 renovated cabins and cottages reflect a rustic yet modern design: pine tree-colored tiled bathrooms and honey-golden stained wood adorn each stylish space.
Small-town charm and fall foliage galore are what one can expect when visiting Vermont during autumn. Given its prime location in the USA’s New England region, there’s a medley of fall activities to participate in: HarvestFest Week at Stratton Mountain from Oct. 5 through 9 provides scenic gondola rides, live music, and some of the state’s best chili tastings.
Where to stay: Set on 300 acres of bucolic Vermont countryside, Twin Farms is a modern farmhouse estate with 10 romantic cottages equipped with cushy amenities, such as private jacuzzis overlooking the pristine rural terrain.
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
Few places are the essence of fall more than the Berkshires region in Massachusetts: prime leaf peeping along U.S. Route 7, apple picking at Bartlett’s Orchard, and artisanal cider donuts from Hilltop Orchards fulfill our enchanting autumn dreams.
Where to stay: Housed in a historic Georgian-style home from 1792, the Inn at Kenmore Hall is a fashionable boutique stay amidst the Berkshires’ natural surroundings and old-American towns like Hancock Shaker Village.
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