Fall paints verdant landscapes with rich shades of red, gold and orange that are so perfect you’ll want to pack your bags and hit the road to see them in person. Of course, many of these destinations are parks and mountains. But many hotels have expansive grounds with vibrant fall foliage that reminds us why it’s not just pumpkin spice latte season.
If you are looking for a fall getaway, Forbes travel guide found places from Boston to Yosemite that showcase the fall colors. Here are some of the best luxury hotels for fall foliage.
Cliff House Maine, Cape Neddick
Perched atop Bald Head Cliff, this 70-acre hideaway offers a glimpse of the brilliant foliage of New England and the rocky coast of southern Maine. Soak up the view from your glass-enclosed patio, preferably after you’ve had your fill of fresh lobster. When the sky darkens, shift your gaze upwards and take part in the free Thursday stargazing sessions at Cliff House with astronomer Edward Gleason of the University of Southern Maine.
The Inn on Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina
The expansive 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate is a fall sight. Stroll through the gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to spot unusual trees like Golden Rain (which sports undertones of yellow and chartreuse) and Katsura (with a sweet scent similar to cotton candy) as well as hundreds of moms in autumnal tones. Then, settle into an Adirondack chair on the hostel’s terrace at the top of the hill for more vistas.
Twin farms, Barnard, Vermont
Escape to this secluded retreat among the tree-covered mountains of Vermont to see the splendor of the season. Spanning 300 acres, the adults-only playground lets you hike or bike six trails; canoe, kayak or paddle board at Copper Pond; or try archery and ax throwing. Take a break for a meal at the recently converted Lift Shack, which seats four and offers some of the most impressive views on the grounds.
Point, Saranac Lake, New York
Stroll through forests of sugar maple, white birch, and white pine in this upstate New York paradise to admire the magnificent fall foliage. Then, experience more of the great outdoors as you electric bike through the property to Fish Creek State Park for a four-mile lakefront getaway. Or try geocaching, a popular Point activity that’s essentially a high-tech scavenger hunt using Garmin GPS devices.
Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts
Packed with high peaks and stunning river valleys, the Berkshires are one of the best places in the state to spot the leaves. The 110 acres of pristine forests of this golden age mansion are perfect for scenic drives, but hop in one of the BMW House cars for a fall foliage ride. You will receive picturesque and colorful route maps, a basket prepared by Blantyre’s Café Boulud and suggestions for picnic spots.
Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection, Washington, Connecticut
This modern English country house has unveiled a new look for its centenary in 2020, but you’ll want to come for the bucolic setting. The 35-room inn is surrounded by 58 acres of manicured gardens, lush green forests, rolling hills, streams and ponds. Snuggle up in the warmth of the flames of the nighttime bonfire with comfort food such as grilled three-cheese sandwiches and English s’mores.
Lodge Whiteface, Lake Placid, New York
Comprised of over 6 million acres, the Adirondacks have one of the longest and best fall foliage seasons in the country. Take a front row seat in this rustic mountain getaway with wooden architecture and touches like wooden chandeliers and nature-inspired artwork. When you’re not looking at the leaves, take a dip in the heated indoor and outdoor pool, visit the catch and release pond, or hike High Falls Gorge, Whiteface Landing, Catamount Mountain, or Whiteface Mountain.
In autumn, bright yellow and orange hues cover the Tetons. Witness the colorful spectacle of this alpine lodge, where most rooms have mountain views and balconies. The hotel can arrange a wildlife tour and nature walk for a foliage tour in Grand Teton National Park (you will hear the echoes of male elk during a rut) or you can accompany a nature photographer who will guide you on a Jackson Wildlife Tour. Hole and the park.
While tourists flock to Lake Tahoe in winter and summer, locals head there in the fall, when it’s less crowded and teeming with fall foliage. Use the hotel as a base for exploring – embark on a 3.7 km hike or bike ride to Sawmill Lake, take in the scenery on a horseback ride, watch kokanee salmon swim upstream at Taylor Creek or go out on the lake for kayaking or paddleboarding.
White Barn Inn, Auberge Resorts Collection, Kennebunkport, Maine
This charming hideaway celebrates the season with a fall festival October 7-11 with fall-themed cocktail and pie-making classes, Oktoberfest meals, and a 500-pound pumpkin showcase at the The White Barn Inn restaurant. If you’d rather focus on leaf gazing, do it from above – a 55-mile helicopter tour of the Maine coast offers bird’s-eye views of colorful treetops, vast forests and beaches. sand.
Sitting next to the Public Garden, this new hotel provides a prime perch for seeing America’s first public botanical garden decked out in the colors of the season. Summon the autumnal ambiance by staying in one of the Newbury’s cozy suites with fireplace, many of which overlook the famous green space. Pick a wood, like New England maple or fragrant cherry, and your fireplace butler will have it crackling in no time.
Sundance Hill Station, Sundance, Utah
Spanning 5,000 acres of wilderness at the foot of towering Mount Timpanogos – one of Utah’s most popular mountain hiking spots – Sundance is begging to be explored. Travel the grounds to see aspens, oaks, maples, poplars, douglas, and white firs transform for the season. Or take in the scenery while taking part in an outdoor adventure, such as zipline tours, mountain biking, fly fishing, or horseback riding.
Nestled at the base of Aspen Mountain, the St. Regis Aspen Resort is surrounded by views of the Rocky Mountains and changing Colorado foliage. Hike the best trails in Aspen or face Maroon Lake and the 14,000-foot peaks of the Maroon Bells – one of North America’s most photographed destinations – covered in golden aspen leaves. Then warm up with cocktails and bites at Dante, New York’s iconic bar that’s taking over Chefs Club for a one-year residency (reopening in late November).
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Avon, Colorado
Nestled among pine trees, this mid-mountain getaway brings the startling vibrancy of fall to your doorstep. Immerse yourself in natural beauty as you cycle down Mount Vail, hike Colorado’s tallest mountains, or drift over the Rockies in a hot air balloon. Or simply head to the hotel’s Daniel’s Grill / Fireside Bar or the WYLD Terrace for al fresco drinks, clean air and more alluring views.
Castle Hill Inn, Newport, Rhode Island
Occupying its own 40-acre verdant peninsula, the historic mansion offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Narragansett Bay. It’s a romantic destination dotted with roaring fireplaces, cozy rooms, and paths to the beach and lighthouse. One of its main features is its rolling lawn by the sea. Roll a lobster in the green space and admire the fall scenery.
Central Park is a fall oasis with around 18,000 trees, including American elms, black cherries, red maples and ginkgo trees. See the vivid hues of yellow, orange and red of the park from the Atrium Suite at the Midtown Manhattan hotel. The 1,200-square-foot suite’s living room is inside a glass dome-shaped atrium, which also allows views of the city. When you want to see the park up close, it’s only a few blocks away.
Castle of the Sureau, Oakhurst, California
Bursting with Old World charm, the intimate getaway features 10 suites and a two-bedroom villa on its nine lush acres. Explore the boutique hotel’s natural park, complete with wooden swings, a gazebo and a pond. It’s just 20 minutes from Yosemite and offers a national park excursion that includes two nights at the property, a daily breakfast, and a packed picnic on your fall outing.