Sep. 18, 2013 at 11:05 AM ET
Whether you’re looking to take a trip Southern California, the Midwest, or New England, we’ve got the perfect fall foliage getaway for you.
Michigan’s Gold Coast
Stay: Chateau Chantal, Traverse City
Michigan’s northeastern shores have charming coves, towering sand dunes, tiny fishing towns, orchards, and vineyards. Peak season for this area is typically early-mid October, but you can sign up for weekly fall color report on michigan.org. Drive along Grand Traverse Bay where you’ll find fiery-hued maples and oak leaves that stand out against green pine, fir, and spruce trees. The 11-room Chateau Chantal inn and vineyard sits on a 65-acre estate on Old Mission Peninsula. Not only do they serve amazing breakfasts, but they also have their own own tasting room and winery where they produce Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and other varietals. Doubles from $190/night. chateauchantal.com
Montana (Whitefish Lake and Glacier National Park)
Stay: Lodge at Whitefish Lake
The colors are typically on display in Montana late September through early October, but the Farmers' Almanac expects Montana’s larch and aspen trees to turn bright yellow to gold even later this year sometime around October 5-21. Built in 2005, the Lodge at Whitefish Lake was designed to appeal to couples and families who enjoy national parks, and want to do so in high style. The look is modern rustic: dark woods, leather, and stone; there’s a full-size stuffed grizzly bear that dominates the reception area. Doubles from $155/night. lodgeatwhitefishlake.com
Stay: Briarcliff Motel
The hilly Berkshires stretch from western Massachusetts to the Connecticut border and are filled with winding country roads and charming villages. The peak fall foliage season is usually around Columbus Day weekend. Owners Richard and Clare Proctor transformed the Briarcliff Motel from what had once been a typical roadside motel into a spare, comfortable, design-centric, cheerful, and affordable spot in Great Barrington. The property sits on six acres of grounds and woodland, overlooking majestic Monument Mountain, which is great for hiking–the trail starts across the street. In the mornings, enjoy homemade granola, farm yoghurt, fruit, homemade scones & muffins, locally roasted coffee, and teas. Doubles from $140/night. thebriarcliffmotel.com
Southern California (San Bernardino National Forest)
Stay: Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa
Just an hour and a half from downtown L.A., Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa is the perfect retreat to catch the peak season for foliage in San Bernardino National Forest from late September and October. Take a chartered boat tour on Lake Arrowhead to check out the gold and red hues of the surrounding pacific dogwood and California black oak trees or take advantage of the guided lakeside walking tours on Sunday mornings. Afterward, make s’mores by the fireplace in the resort’s lobby or watch the sunset from the resort’s private beach. Doubles from $189/night. laresort.com
Stay: Aloft Asheville
This artsy mountain retreat of Asheville is expected to see peak foliage around the fourth week of October this year. The clubby new Aloft Asheville Downtown has aCrayola-bright lounge where guests can lounge and have a classic martini or an Appalachian Bird Dogs (blackberry whiskey and blueberry Red Bull). Set right in town within easy walking distance to the area’s great restaurants and the Asheville Art Museum, the hotel has a rooftop pool deck where you can get beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Nearby, Wicked Weed Brewing has brought the number of microbreweries in town to 13. Doubles from $219/night.
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