Fall is finally upon us, and if the pots of stew, return to hot coffee and the plethora of sweater advertisements didn’t give it away, surely the changing of the leaves will. While this color show happens in many places each year, there are some truly ideal locales where you can catch the fall foliage in all its seasonal glory. From day trips to vacation destinations, leaf-peepers should head to these spots now before it’s too late.
When the aspen trees start to turn, it’s a sign that ski season is nigh. But before folks hit the slopes, they can marvel at the stunning sight of thousands of gold-, red- and orange-topped trees. The best part? You can take advantage of the Eagle Bahn Gondola and ride up the mountain to see the visage from above. Complete your journey to this quaint ski town by booking a room at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Four Seasons Resort Vail. Here, you can float in the heated pool or bask in the bubbles of the hot tub while taking in the crisp glory of fall. Head inside for a toasty nightcap at Remedy Bar.
Greenville, South Carolina
The South is great for a lot of things: food, culture, music and, in autumn, a spectacular leaf show. This season, head to Greenville to see the range of red, green, yellow, orange and pinkish hues displayed by the state’s beloved maples, hickories, oaks, dogwoods, poplars and sourwoods. If you want one of the best views, book a room at Hotel Domestique for amazing vistas of the tree-covered Blue Ridge Mountains. This quaint property was founded by world-renowned cyclist George Hincapie and offers visitors a country-home vibe while reflecting world-inspired luxury. (You can take it all in on a rented bike, of course.) The hotel may be a little outside of town, but the quick 30-minute trek is worth it. In no time at all, you’ll be surrounded by nature and near Caesars Head State Park, another great vantage point for the changing of the seasons.
The fall foliage is just one of so many reasons to visit Northern Vermont. In fact, you could go just about anywhere in the state and be amazed by the untapped beauty of the color-swapping maples, birches and beeches. To fully appreciate this event, and relax at the same time, stay at Stowe Mountain Lodge. Here you can take advantage of not only an eco-luxe lodge vibe, but also participate in a host of activities (hiking, gondola riding, zip-lining) that use the leaves as a magnificent backdrop. The Four-Star escape’s spa even offers treatments that embrace the local flora like the Sacred Nature scrub.
The East Coast is known for its spectacular fall foliage, and Massachusetts really excels in this department. Head to this historic city to check out the maples, oaks and elms while also taking in the crisp fall air. Visit the famous Boston Common, the tree-filled Boston Esplanade or the urban wild of the Back Bay Fens for even more colors. Book the special Fall into Foliage package at Loews Hotel Boston, for a unique setup that includes a self-guided walking tour of Beacon Hill, a guidebook and map of the city and a special welcome amenity of maple-themed snacks to nibble on after you have indulged in all those gorgeous leaves.
Hudson Valley, New York
Nothing could be finer over the next few weeks than heading upstate for a long weekend. The air is crisp and clean, the trees take center stage and the smells of the season waft around every corner. For a no-fuss way to look at the fall foliage, consider taking the train up to Tarrytown from New York City to stay at the Four-Star Castle Hotel & Spa. Here you find yourself in a charming, fairytale setting that’s situated on one of the highest peaks in town.
The hamlet itself proves quite endearing, too. And if you can pull yourself away from your luxurious accommodations or the vegetation-rich vistas, have fun shopping about. When it’s time to recharge after the walking, consider steeping yourself in the changing colors at another Four-Star treasure, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, where you can get one of the best meals (and gorgeous views) in the whole state.