Fall is a glorious time to visit the Rocky Mountains region. From September through October, the state’s lush green foliage becomes a multi-hued canvas of oranges, reds and yellows, a natural splendor that helped Colorado earn its nickname as the “Colorful State.” Crisp, mild temperatures also make it a joy to experience the great outdoors, starting with these five, fabulous, Forbes Travel Guide-approved escapes.
The St. Regis Aspen Resort
Locals will tell you it’s impossible to predict exactly when Aspen’s namesake trees will change color, but everyone says a good bet is the third week of September. Regardless of when you book your vacation in this charming, posh town, your trip is sure to be memorable should you book your stay at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star resort. In addition to The St. Regis’ legendary butler service, the hotel offers a little something for everyone. For lovers of lounging, 15,000 square feet of tranquil space can be found at the resort’s signature Four-Star Remède Spa. Shopaholics will appreciate the St. Regis’ location just steps away from the city’s historic town center, the epicenter of the city’s best shopping. Foodies can indulge in a meal created at the Four-Star Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE, while outdoor enthusiasts need only take their pick of activities, from hiking to biking and paragliding.
This fall, book a room during “leaf season” to take advantage of the complimentary Fall in Love with Aspen promotion, which includes access to a resort Lexus vehicle for getting around the forest; use of the resort’s GoPro cameras for capturing the natural beauty; and a tour of Ashcroft mining area, the most historic spot for leaf peeping in Aspen. Another reason to hit Aspen in the fall? The 37th annual Aspen Filmfest, which will run from September 25 to 30.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Avon
Looking to take a family trip to Colorado in style? Located within the gates of the exclusive Beaver Creek enclave is the majestic Four-Star beauty. One of our favorite Colorado resorts (see proof here), this family- and pooch-friendly, American-style lodge is the ideal vacation spot for groups who want an outdoorsy holiday with options for end-of-day pampering. Parents needing some personal R&R can enroll their kids in the Ritz Kids program, which immerses children in full- and half-day activities, ranging from treasure hunts to outdoor yoga. After that, it’s all about your choice of relaxation, be it a tailored massage in the hotel’s 21,000-square-foot, Four-Star spa, a round at Red Sky Golf Club, or some sightseeing amongst the trees behind the resort.
A notable deal to book this fall is the Bachelors Lil’ Campers package, where young guests literally have a campsite erected for them inside the room. Geared towards kids ages five through 12, the promotion comes with a five-foot by five-foot teepee, a survivor kit (scavenger hunt booklet, lantern and head lamp) and a s’mores package that can be enjoyed by the whole family around a fire pit. Through October 10, everyone can also partake in stargazing hikes where you learn about the cosmos through a 60-minute guided trek under the glow of the Milky Way.
The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs
Created to bring the opulence and splendor of European resorts to the Colorado Rockies, Five-Star The Broadmoor is a sprawling, 3,000-acre luxury playground with endless possibilities. From a Five-Star, 43,000-square-foot spa and indoor and outdoor pools, to Five-Star dining at the Penrose Room, 54-hole award-winning golf and the new Wilderness Experience (a fishing camp, new restaurants, fresh lodging), The Broadmoor invites sophisticates and world travelers to experience the majesty of picturesque Colorado Springs.
This fall, you can book the Grand Memories package, which includes horseback riding, golf and a fly-fishing lesson, $100 resort credit and more. While you’re busy making all of your new memories, don’t miss the The Broadmoor Soaring Adventure, a zip-lining experience above the newly re-opened Seven Falls, a series of historic waterfalls that cascade 181 feet from the end of a spectacular 1,250-foot natural box canyon.
The Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge, Telluride
There’s a reason why Tom Cruise chose Telluride as the site of his nearly 300-acre, 10,000-square-foot Colorado hideaway ranch. The vistas, which overlook San Juan Mountains towering at 14,000 square feet, are simply breathtaking. It’s here that you’ll find The Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge, a private residence club with ownership opportunities that offers two- and three-bedroom residences with fully equipped kitchens, living and dining spaces — perfect for a family or multi-family getaway in the mountains.
From September 4 to the 7, the town comes alive for the annual Telluride Film Festival, which draws film industry insiders, cinema enthusiasts and Hollywood’s elite. Two weeks after that, Telluride will host its first annual Telluride Festival of Cars & Colors (September 24 through the 27), an event that promises high-end vehicle restorations, exotic vehicles and road rallies. If you can’t make it during those big weekends, don’t worry; now through October 18, Fairmont Heritage Place offers a Free Fall package, which includes a third night free when you book two.
St. Julien Hotel & Spa, Boulder
For the fitness-minded foodie who wants to enjoy boutique luxury surrounded by Boulder’s magnificent Flatiron Mountains, Four-Star St. Julien is for you. During the day, borrow one of the hotel bikes to explore the 200-plus mile trails around the area. Or, if time permits, rent a car and be at the historic Rocky Mountain National Park within an hour. To relax, let the team at the 10,000 square-foot Four-Star Spa at St. Julien pamper you. Boulder also happens to be Colorado’s most notable food city, so once you’ve worked up an appetite with facials and pointing out red-rock formations, you can spend the evenings exploring the local food scene at restaurants such as casual, farm-to-table The Kitchen or the highly acclaimed Frasca, a spot that features the cuisine of Friuli, Italy as interpreted by chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson.
For beer lovers, St. Julien offers the Boulder Brew package one weekend of the month (September 26-27 and October 9-10 are next up). Included in this promotion is a one-night stay, an Avery Brewery welcome amenity (two pint glasses and an assortment of Avery Beer stocked in the mini fridge), a $50 daily food and beverage credit and transportation to and from the brewery for the tour and tasting.