We’ve found five easy big-city escapes, whether your perfect fall weekend involves hiking among changing foliage colors or joining in the wine harvest.
Easy Getaway from NYC and Boston: Litchfield County, CT
Stay: The Falls Village Inn
You can really get off the grid here: cell phone reception is almost non-existent. Recently redesigned, the four guestrooms and suites have botanical prints, crisp linen upholstery, and bathrooms with black-and-white tiles. The dining room showcases the work of local artists and the casual table coverings are brown butcher paper. Food is sourced locally, including hamburgers made from the grass-fed beef of nearby Whippoorwill Farm. Walk it off on the Appalachian Trail, which is right outside the door. Doubles from $199/night.
Related: America’s Best Fall Color Drives
Easy Getaway from San Francisco: California Wine Country
Stay: Auberge on the Vineyard, Sonoma
The crush season is going on now, so reserve your spot at this historic 7-guestroom inn to be there just as the grapes are being harvested—and to participate in an on-site workshop on pruning, blending, and barrel tasting. Take in views of the Alexander Valley vineyards from the inn’s expansive verandah and enjoy a three-course breakfast, served at 9 a.m. each day, with fresh fruit and hot entrees such as Quiche Lorraine or pain perdu. Doubles from $165/night (September and October).
Easy Getaway from Denver: Rocky Mountains
Stay: Hotel Aspen, Colorado
See the trees turn bright yellow at this newly remodeled hotel right on Main Street in downtown. With 45 guestrooms, Hotel Aspen has plenty of perks including a heated outdoor pool, a firepit, free WiFi, free airport transportation, and complimentary breakfast each day—including made-to-order buttermilk waffles and applewood smoked bacon. Time your visit to the first week of October to catch the Aspen Film Festival. Doubles from $179/night.
Easy Getaway from Miami: Florida Beach
Stay: Boca Raton Resort & Club, Boca Raton
Fall is the time for great values in Florida—before the prime winter season begins. And the room to book is at this full-service resort, complete with seven pools, 30 tennis courts, plus the Palazzo Spa with 44 private treatment rooms. A shuttle leaves every 15 minutes for the 1/2 mile stretch of private beach nearby, where you can participate in family activities such as sand castle building contests, kite flying on the beach, beach volleyball, and ocean inner tube races. Doubles from $199/night (October 1–December 19).
Easy Getaway from D.C. and Philadelphia: Chesapeake Bay
Stay: Tides Inn, Virginia
Embrace the outdoors: explore the surrounding tributaries with one of the resort’s kayaks; partake in a leisurely game of croquet; or check out the 18-hole golf course and marina. You can also learn Oyster Roasting with resort’s executive chef or take a mixology class where you’ll pick your own herbs for some of the cocktails, and end the day with s’mores on the terrace or at the beach. The “Wild About Virginia Wine” package includes a picnic lunch and a map for a self-guiding bike tour of four nearby wineries. Doubles from $240/night (based on a two-night stay through October 31).