By Astrid Medina
A Fall is the coziest time of the year as people bring out their comfy sweaters into their luggage while planning their getaway to witness the fall foliage. Nothing beats staying in a warm wooden cabin drinking a pumpkin spice latte while viewing the landscape of red, orange and yellow in the mountains. Tourists take advantage during the months of September to November to find the best, luxurious destinations to travel to get the full fall experience. Let's fly into the best luxury fall destinations in the United States filled with fall festivities and outdoor excitement.
Aspen comes to life during fall when valley trees turn bright yellow and orange with the sun shining on the snow-capped mountains. Despite Aspen being quieter during the fall season, its fall foliage attracts tourists to experience their favorite fall festivities.
The most photographed peaks in North America, The Maroon Bells are wine-colored peaks that tower 14,000 ft. reflecting over Maroon Lake. The peaks have six scenic hiking trails to capture perfect shots of Aspen’s wilderness, offer several camping grounds and bike paths.
The Little Nell is a 5-star luxury hotel located in the heart of downtown Aspen where it captivates Aspen’s fall colors in its backdoors. The hotel offers a two-hour helicopter ride to a private fly-fishing ranch while hovering over the fall foliage. To look at the fall colors on land, they offer off-road tours up the Aspen Mountains reaching to about 11,212 ft. “The Aspen of Aspen” hotel will exceed your autumn adventure expectations.
From mid-June to mid-October, Aspen’s Farmers Market is open on Saturday mornings from 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. where local vendors sell Colorado produce such as fruits, vegetables, meats and jams. This Saturday local tradition started in 1998 and continues to grow as guests enjoy live music while having a bite to eat at the market’s food court.
Ashland cultivates the Pacific Northwest, not only with its Shakespeare culture but, with its elegance during the fall season. For outdoor lovers, October is a perfect month to visit since colorful leaves illuminates throughout the city, especially in its parks.
Lithia Park is worth the stroll if one wants to see the beautiful reds, oranges and golds. The park is centrally located in downtown just south of the plaza with 100-acres of activities to do. It has miles of different hiking and bike trails, tennis courts, playgrounds and wooden bridges to cross over.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is a well-known festival founded in 1935 by Angus Bowmer. The festival performs Shakespeare’s plays from March to October bringing in an annual audience of 400,000. This three-stage theater is the oldest theater company in the United States that brings a touch of England to Ashland.
What’s fall without drinking some good old beer? Caldera Brewing Company is the first craft brewery in the West Coast to brew and can its own beer. Its separate facility, Caldera Brewery and Restaurant was awarded by TripAdvisor with a certificate of excellence in 2017 due to its variety menu options and 45 beers on tap. One can find Oregon’s largest beer bottle and can collection on display when walking into the restaurant.
Napa Valley, California
Vineyards are taken over by the fall foliage as reds and yellows sweep through Napa Valley as harvest season is in full effect from September to October. The aroma of grapes fills the air bringing in wine-lovers for the ultimate fall winetasting experience. Despite Napa being in its busiest season, there’s a lot of ventures in the wine country.
The best time to visit Napa Valley is during the fall season when wineries are harvesting their grapes. Tourists can enjoy a delicious sip of fresh wine by visiting 1 out of 400 different wineries across Napa. Andretti Winery is a perfect winery for first-time visitors to Napa who offer a great variety of different wines for their guests. The winery established in 1996 by race car driver Mario Andretti representing Italy’s laidback lifestyle and hospitality. The staff welcomes their visitors with open arms as they offer different wines to taste.
Don’t forget to take part during the harvest season since most festivities only occur during this time. Tourists can reserve their spot for the Great Grape Stomp in Conn Creek Winery in St. Helena occurring every year in October. Those can enjoy dancing to live music, eat the Valley’s cuisines and drink Conn Creek wine.
The Napa Valley Film Festival is hosted every year in November bringing together film, wine and food for the past 19 years. The film festival features different film categories while showing screenings of top-chefs and the best places to explore in Napa Valley.
Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee and North Carolina
The Great Smoky Mountains is the most visited national park in the United States with over 11 million visitors in 2018. What attracts tourists most to this national park is during its fall season when the great lands of green tran
sform into bright reds, yellows and oranges extending for miles. The best time to witness the vibrant colors of autumn is at its peak during the first week of November.
One can’t stay a weekend at the Great Smoky Mountains without staying in a cozy cabin in front of a warm fireplace. Cabin of the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg Falls offer over 400 luxury cabins for tourists to stay in the mountaintops. Tourists can sit on the porch to breathe in the fresh nature air while gazing at the beautiful fall foliage. There are different cabin packages to choose from to pet friendly cabins to romantic and honeymoon cabin packages.
There are a variety of different fall festivals to choose from that will meet your needs. Octoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg is a German-style festival that features traditional German music by a live band and performance of folk dances. Guests sip on imported beers and take a bite on some delicious bratwurst. Fall Harvest on the Island takes place in Pigeon Forge filled with over 80 attractions, restaurants and shops. The 23-acre island is decorated with fall-themed décor and has a 200-foot observation wheel where tourists can witness the autumn colors.
For wilderness lovers, they can zip through the fall foliage by taking a zip line ride through the Smoky Mountains. Zip line adventures are offered in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Townsend and Sevierville. Hiking is a popular outdoor activity that wilderness lovers take on especially in the Smokies where there are over 800 miles of hiking trails. Gregory Bald Trail is a great 8-mile hike to witness mountain views and the changing autumn leaves. The trail has views of Cades Cove filled with wildlife viewing. One can capture the fall landscape in popular photography spots such as in Clingman’s Dome. This is the highest point in the Smoky Mountains with breathing taking views from behind and in front of the camera. When one reaches to 6,643 feet of the summit, witness panoramic views that allows for amazing photo opportunities.
There’s always something going on in the big apple that attracts millions of tourists each year. Fall is one season tourists take advantage to fly into New York to see the autumn leaves. New York’s coziest season will have everyone bring out their sweaters and sip on a good old cup of joe.
The NYC food and wine festival occurs every year in October featuring Food Network’s well-known chefs as they host walk-around tastings, late night parties and wine tastings. The festival is a four-day event with different food categories to choose from per day. Food-lovers do not want to miss out on this savory event.
For a spooktacular time in the big apple, The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze is a Halloween event that begins on select dates from September to the last week of November. There are more than 7,000 glowing pumpkins all hand-carved by over 1,000 professional volunteer artists. In the pumpkin planetarium one can step in to view the star show then visit the museum of pumpkin art to see classic paintings. Also, be on the lookout for the headless horseman galloping by. This is the Hudson Valley’s most spooky fall event.
Take a stroll through Central Park to see the beauty of the fall foliage as the park illuminates with yellows and oranges. There are several locations in the 840-acre park that Central Park Conservancy have located to witness the fall bliss. The Pool is located south of the north woods where it’s surrounded by red maple and hickory tress and home to some wildlife such as turtles. With the vibrant trees surrounding the pool, it’s a perfect spot for pictures. The Ramble is a 36-acre forest consisting of walking paths through the red oak and black cherry trees. Take a walk over the rustic bridges to see crimson color in the trees join the yellows and oranges. It’s a popular home for wildlife birds with over 230 species.
New York is known for their endless cuisine options when looking for a bite to eat. During the autumn season there are exceptional places to wine and dine. Park Avenue is located in the Upper East side of Manhattan serving American style cuisines. The restaurant changes its menu with the season in order for guests to enjoy each season’s delicacy. For one of their appetizers they have a carnival squash and ricotta with pears, guanciale and burnt honey. As for one of their main dishes they have a red wattle pork schnitzel with pear mustard, dates and autumn chicories. Finally, for dessert a pumpkin and maple swiss roll with hazelnut praline glaze and cassis sauce will finish this autumn course meal. During the fall season, this restaurant is best known as Park Avenue Autumn.