(Updated September 2020) Summer has come to a close, and the promise of cooler, crisper weather is in the air. Now is the perfect time to plan a fall getaway to witness the colorful changes that the season brings. Use this ultimate fall vacation destinations guide to choose a fall foliage viewing destination that is sure to take your breath away.
1. Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire is widely known as an iconic destination for fall foliage aficionados, but Omni Mount Washington Resort is a destination of its own. Don’t just take our word for it though, Travel & Leisure, among others, include it on their “best of” fall foliage lists.
The grand Omni Mount Washington Resort has been a top leaf-peeping destination for over 100 years. Even if you’ve experienced the resort before, recent additions make it worth another visit. The new gondola provides a 12-minute scenic commute to the new Rosebrook Lodge complete with restaurant and bar. Near the summit of Bretton Woods, the Rosebook Lodge is the perfect setting to enjoy a cocktail and view the peaceful surroundings (and take a selfie or two).
2. Asheville, North Carolina
The Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina, are home to “America’s favorite drive”, the Blue Ridge Parkway. Winding along the highest ridge tops of the Southern Appalachians, the parkway offers stunning views of mountains and access to Asheville’s best hiking trails. Two of the most notable places to take in the breathtaking sights are Mount Mitchell, the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River, and Mount Pisgah, Asheville’s most iconic peak.
Nestled amidst the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Omni Grove Park Inn has been a pillar of Asheville for over 100 years. While The Omni Grove Park Inn is a serene setting year-round, the fall is particularly stunning at this mountainside retreat. You can sit at Edison’s restaurant to take in the views with a cocktail in hand or book a day at the spa and enjoy the sights from the spa terrace.
3. Hot Springs, Virginia
You may have heard that Virginia is for lovers, but we say Virginia is for lovers of fall. As we enter into October, lush foliage across the mountains, highways, city centers and numerous state parks all turn to glorious shades of red, yellow and orange.
Located in Hot Springs, Virginia, across more than 2,000 acres of scenic landscape, The Omni Homestead Resort is a peaceful destination where you can choose to leaf-peep or enjoy a plethora of activities among the foliage in the brisk fall air. Go on a 3-mile Cascades Gorge Hike through a series of beautiful waterfalls, Allegheny Mountain Gorge Trail or saddle up for a memorable horseback ride through the wooded forest. No matter your preference, there are endless outdoor activities that put you in the center of a gorgeous fall setting.
4. Washington D.C.
For many, fall rivals spring as their favorite time of year in D.C., and for good reason. With temperatures in the upper 50s to 70s, it’s the ideal time to get outside and enjoy the nation’s capital, magnificent in the vibrant yellow, red and orange colors of fall.
Located in one of the District’s premier residential neighborhoods, Omni Shoreham Hotel sits on 11 lush acres that are perfect for admiring the seasonal colors. Not only does this resort-like hotel provide stunning fall views, but it also offers a personal taste of politics, culture, art and music authentic to the area.
If you want to explore the city after enjoying the landscape, the hotel is just steps away from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, which is home to more than 1,500 animals across 300 different species. The Metro is also conveniently across the street from the hotel to take you anywhere you want to go throughout the city.
5. Toronto, Canada
Fall is a great time to explore Toronto. The cooler temps will draw you outside to explore the sights and see Toronto’s abundant greenery gradually ignite into shades of scarlet, gold, orange and yellow.
Built in 1903, The King Edward Hotel was the first luxury hotel in Toronto. The hotel is conveniently located in the financial, entertainment and shopping districts. This provides easy access to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Sony Centre, The Distillery District and the St. Lawrence Market. So, no matter which direction you walk, you’re bound to find something to pique your interest.
6. Boston, Massachusetts
Many tourists think it’s necessary to drive north of Boston to see the blazing displays of fall foliage, but you can enjoy many of the same brilliant colors without leaving the city. Boston is at its most beautiful in the fall. And as the leaves go through their many changing hues, the city’s parks ignite into a kaleidoscopic display.
Take a leisurely stroll amid the changing leaves along the tree-filled Boston Esplanade, a long, linear park along the Charles River. Or, explore the Boston Common, the first public park in the nation established in 1634. Another great option is the Arnold Arboretum, which houses a collection of almost 5,000 different species of deciduous trees that put on a fiery display throughout most of the month of October. And don’t forget the city’s Freedom Trail, which now doubles as a foliage tour. You’ll never run out of places to see, all within the city.
Omni Parker House has been a part of Boston’s rich history and culture since 1855. Nestled in the heart of downtown, Omni Parker House sits conveniently along the Freedom Trail, at the foot of Beacon Hill and Quincy Market. In other words, you’re in the middle of it all. What better place to be?
It won’t be long until we feel the excitement of the fall season, catching the first hints of a cool breeze. But when is the perfect time to plan a trip for optimum leaf-peeping? As a rule of thumb, any time from mid-September to early November is best. Keep in mind that the farther north the leaves are, the sooner they will turn. So, no need to wait! Choose your perfect destination and plan a fall getaway you’ll never forget.