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Fall Foliage Getaways

A few years ago, my wife turned to me and said she really wanted to go somewhere to see the leaves change color.

At the time, I didn’t get the whole appeal of a fall foliage vacation, especially because we had “beautiful” leaves to rake in our back yard.

Nevertheless, that fall we packed our bags and flew to Vermont for a long weekend of hiking and day trips.

As usual, my wife was right and we had a terrific vacation. 

Now that fall foliage season is back, I find myself once again researching autumn getaways.

Here are some of the best options this season.

New England and fall foliage vacations go hand-in-hand. This time of year, the area’s rolling hills are the perfect orange, red and yellow backdrop. 

  • Of course, Vermont is the heavy hitter in this category. With that in mind, head to the town of Ludlow for fresh mountain air with this Vermont vacation. For $79 (regularly $169), guests stay overnight at the Pointe at Castle Hill Resort & Spa and receive a $25 credit toward a five-minute massage and a $25 credit toward a gourmet three-course prix fixe dinner for two.
  • Another New England fall foliage hot spot, Maine is a terrific destination almost any time of year, but especially during autumn. This year, retreat to the quaint town of Brunswick with this $129 autumn Maine escape (regularly $265). This deal includes an overnight stay at the charming New Maine Inn, breakfast for two at the inn’s tavern and two free welcome cocktails.
  • Wine connoisseurs know New York’s Finger Lakes region for its vineyards, but it’s also a spectacular fall foliage destination. For an upscale vacation, indulge in this 4-star Finger Lakes getaway for $149 (regularly $269). This deal includes an overnight stay at the Woodcliff Hotel and Spa and a $100 credit, which can be applied toward the hotel’s full-service spa or restaurant featuring an award-winning wine list.

When it comes to fall foliage, Michigan is the Vermont of the Midwest. The state is overflowing with woodland getaways, perfect for the season. 

  • Few places in the Midwest embrace the season more than car-free Mackinac Island. With this Mackinac Island autumn vacation, stay at Mission Point Resort for $69 a night (current rates at similar hotels on the island top $230). Guests also receive a recreation pass, which saves 50% on resort activities including golf and bike rentals.
  • Here’s another intriguing option: a 1,500-acre resort in the woods of northwest Michigan for $149 a night (normally $320 in peak season). This Michigan fall colors deal includes an overnight stay at the Crystal Mountain Resort, just 30 minutes from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park (America’s Most Beautiful Place, according to "Good Morning America"). Plus, the deal comes with a $100 credit for use at the hotel’s award-winning spa, golf or resort activities.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Chicago
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
See more Tips from
Josh Gershenson