Fall Escapes For Savvy Travelers
As the temperature cools, resort deals heat up, making fall the smart season for savvy travelers to plan a getaway. We lean towards off-peak travel to find travel deals, and to avoid crowds. Here are a few ideas for a fall shoulder-season adventure that stand up to any high-season vacation at far better value.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain (Paradise Valley, Ariz.): Desert activities are far more pleasant when the summer heat subsides. Perched above the Sonoran’s Paradise Valley, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain offers guided hikes and biking up Camelback Mountain, exceptional local dining at elements, and spa services at the award-winning Sanctuary Spa. After taking a break for the summer, Mixology 101 returns to Sanctuary’s jade bar just in time for fall travelers, offering weekly instruction on cocktail crafting, Saturdays at noon, for $35 per guest. Shoulder season rates start at $529 per night, a nice break from high season’s $679.
Whiteface Lodge (Lake Placid, N.Y.): Foliage is the star fall attraction at Whiteface Lodge, tucked high in the woodlands of the Adirondack Park. Cocktails by a fire pit in a private Lean To, or warm, homemade cookies at turndown in front of the guest’s own in-suite cast-iron fireplace, are the perfect cap to an autumn day spent on an outdoor adventure with an ADK Guide – one of Whiteface Lodge's adventure concierges. Apple Cider treatments give a seasonal twist to the resort’s spa menu. Fall rates start at $282 per night, down from $448 in high season.
1000 Islands Harbor Hotel (Clayton, N.Y.): Fall travelers to this charming riverside town, steeped in Gilded Age romance, can stroll its shop- and gallery-lined streets unimpeded by summer’s crowds. Boating adventures, including island-hopping cruises on the St. Lawrence River, are still available through the fall, and the seasonal calendar is packed with events, from the annual Clayton Jazz Festival to the family-friendly Punkin Chunkin. Fall rates at the riverfront 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel start at $139 per night, compared to $379 during the summer.
Sea Crest Beach Hotel (North Falmouth, Mass.): No bridge back-ups mean fall travelers spend more of their hard-earned vacation time on Cape Cod vs. getting to it. And they’re rewarded for their good sense with far-less-crowded beaches, vibrant foliage, and plenty of seasonal fun. Sea Crest Beach Hotel offers step-out access to a private stretch of Old Silver Beach on Buzzard’s Bay and is just a short drive from Falmouth Village, with its October scarecrow competition, and festivals at Cape Cod Fairgrounds, ranging from the 47th Annual Scallop Festival to the Cape Cod Brew Fest. Fall guests enjoy it all at a fraction of the summer nightly rate: $99 compared to $320.
Harbor View Hotel (Edgartown, Mass.): Scallop season and a bowl of steaming hot clam chowder might be reason alone for foodies to delay a Martha’s Vineyard getaway till the cooler days of fall. And then there’s the annual Food & Wine Festival to seal the deal. Celebrating its 125th year of hospitality, the historic Harbor View Hotel offers an ideal Edgartown location for shoulder season visitors, within a short stroll of museums, galleries and the Edgartown Lighthouse, which welcomes visitors through early October. The month-long Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby, spanning mid-September to mid-October, is another draw. Fall rates start at $119 per night, down from summer’s $519.
Kelley House (Edgartown, Mass.): The Harbor View Hotel’s sister inn, Kelley House, first opened its doors in 1742, making this Vineyard hotel one of the nation’s oldest and most historic. Fall is a great time for guests to grab one of Kelley House’s custom three-speed cruisers for a short jaunt to an uncrowded beach, or a bicycle tour of the island via miles of trails and country roads. Nightly rates start at $108 in the fall, compared to $369 in high season.
Harborview Nantucket (Nantucket, Mass.): Nantucket’s charms don’t leave with the high-season tourists; its cobblestoned streets have much to offer visitors who linger beyond the last summer ferry. The distinctive private cottages of Harborview Nantucket provide a cozy fall escape just steps from the harbor and town – the perfect location for foodies and festival-goers drawn to autumn events such as Nantucket Fall Restaurant Week, the island’s annual Cranberry Festival (Oct. 8), Nantucket Grown Food Festival, and Nantucket Arts Festival. Fall rates start at $550 compared to $995 in high season.
Boston’s thriving Seaport District is home to two brand new hotels ideal for fall travelers. Boston is at its most beautiful in the fall. Foliage tours are popular through the area’s parks or along the city’s Freedom Trail. Strolls along the Harborwalk are a must-do in the cooler months to experience the new side of Seaport – the innovation district – bursting with iconic museums and variety of dining and shopping options. Faneuil Hall Marketplace is just a few short minutes away.
Element Boston Seaport, part of Starwood’s eco-wise Element brand, is located in the heart of Boston’s thriving Seaport District. Element Boston Seaport embodies Element Hotels’ commitment to balanced living with design features and amenities, ideal for extended stays, which enhance guests’ wellbeing while providing tools they need to be productive and active on the road. Much more than a “green” hotel, Element Boston Seaport motivates guests to go and do. Spacious guestrooms, built green from the ground up, are stylish, sustainable and designed for comfort, providing guests with space to live their life while away from home. Healthy options abound from the complimentary healthy RISE breakfast (refreshing smoothies, wholesome granola, egg white omelets, fresh fruit, gourmet coffee, pastries and more) to the Restore Gourmet Pantry, the self-serve, one-stop-shop, open 24/7 stocked with healthy grab-and-go options. The day comes to an end with the RELAX evening wine reception, where guests can unwind and connect as they enjoy a glass from the rolling salon bar (stocked with premium wines and beers.) Element guests enjoy an active lifestyle, which is why Element Boston Seaport has a natural saline swimming pool, a spacious fitness center, and the popular Bikes to Borrow program, which offers guests complimentary bikes along with a local trail map for exploring the Seaport District. Fall rates start at $146 per night.
Aloft Boston Seaport, also located in Boston’s thriving Seaport District, is part of Starwood’s Aloft brand – an innovation incubator for today’s savvy traveler. Always ahead of the curve when it comes to piloting new technologies, the hotel just launched Voice Activated Rooms this week, providing travelers with an entirely new way to interact with their hotel room. The hotel features relaxed spaces for gathering and is renowned for its buzzing social scene, including W: XYZ Bar that serves up signature cocktails, surprise DJ sets and live music from emerging talent. Aloft Hotels has put a spotlight on up-and-coming artists since the brand’s inception with the introduction of “Live At Aloft Hotels,” the signature ongoing music series offered at every hotel worldwide. The popular, no-cover acoustic sets showcase emerging talent with live, intimate performances in W: XYZ Bar for both guests and music-loving locals. Fall rates start at $136 per night.