The fall season offers an unlimited selection of vacation options. From bright yellow aspens in Colorado to crimson reds in Vermont, fall foliage alone is a reason enough for a quick getaway. In addition, many destinations are cheaper and quite uncrowded during the fall months. Play golf in Arizona, relax on a beach in Florida, or take a dream vacation to Hawaii - the choice is yours.
Estimating the best time to go in various areas is no easy task and if you have set your mind to seeing the brightest of colors, you will have to monitor the weather before you go. In Vermont, the season generally runs from late September through the third week of October. Columbus weekend is usually a good bet, but your should book your room well in advance. Doubles start from around $200 per night. Woodstock Inn, the Basin Harbor Club, Windham Hill Inn and the Pitcher Inn are all great choices. Combine a fall foliage trip with a visit to a farm, driving tour and wildlife watching.
In late September, visit Colorado Springs to view bright yellows and golds of the aspens. Fly to directly to Colorado Springs or Denver which is 1.5 hours away. Stay at the family-friendly Broadmoor Hotel.
Maine fall foliage peaks during the early part of October. Acadia National Park will be awash with bright colors and much less crowded than during the summer.
Golf Getaways for Fall
Fall is the best time to finally take that golf vacation you have been waiting for. During the fall months, look for golf deals in some of the most popular golf destinations, including Arizona, Hawaii and Florida. And remember to bring along a friend to split the cost of the room.
In Arizona, stay at Arizona Biltmore in September before room rates jump from $205 to $340 per night in the first week of October. Similarly, room rates at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort stay low through the end of September and increase in the first days of October.
Since airfare is a considerable expense when traveling to Hawaii and you probably know as well as we do that redeeming frequent flier miles for a ticket to Hawaii is nearly impossible, take advantage of lower airline ticket prices through the beginning of November. Prices generally go up 30% in mid-November, so go before then and save on your vacation.
At Doral in Florida, room rates and tee times at Red, Gold and Silver Courses are 40% lower in September than in October. Check the weather before you go and enjoy a last minute golf trip for less.
Small Town Escapes
Small towns are particularly charming in the fall, especially during the week when you can have them all to yourself. Shop for antiques, visit a local farmer's market and relax in a coffee shop.
While you may be inclined not to go anywhere near Martha's Vineyard in the summer, fall is the perfect time to visit. There is little or no waiting for the ferries and good deals at local accommodations. Try the Colonial Inn in Edgartown which has doubles starting at $145 per night in the fall.
Taos, New Mexico, is home to a number of events and festivals in the fall, including Oktoberfest, Taos Mountain Film Festival and Taos Fall Arts Festival. La Posada de Taos offers doubles starting at $124 through October 31.
If shopping is on the top of your list, visit Manchester, Vermont, which is home to factory outlet malls and antique shops. During the day, play golf, go on a scenic drive and walk in the woods. At night, get a table at the historic Marsh Tavern at the Equinox which serves hearty soups as well as locally-grown vegetable and meat dishes.
The luxurious Spa at Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans is an extensive facility measuring 25,000 square feet in size. Decorated in a style reminescent of the 19th century New Orleans, the spa offers a menu of relaxing and rejuvenating treatments. The spa has 22 treatment rooms, a full-service fitness center, saunas, steam rooms, resistance pool, movement studio, relaxation rooms and a beauty salon. And if you thought that it wasn't possible to loose weight on vacation while surrounded with New Orleans' tempting restaurants, order a healthy meal at the Spa Cafe. Guests can hire a certified personal trainer seven days a week at the fitness center. Try the Marie Laveau Voodoo Love Massage which begins with a soothing bath in a hydrotherapy tub and concludes with a relaxing Swedish massage (from $150 for 70 minutes).