- Fall Vacations
Plan your leaf-peeping trip around one of these inns with spectacular views of fall colors.
Ashby Inn, Paris, VA
America's Best Hotels for Fall Colors
Ashby Inn, Paris, VA
About 20 miles from Skyline Drive—one of the country’s best foliage routes—you’ll pull over at the Ashby. Built in 1829, the inn welcomed Stonewall Jackson during the Civil War and retains a refined country look. Ten rooms are decorated with 19th-century furniture, Oriental carpets, and four-poster beds. And the restaurant is a destination in itself, serving farm fare like roasted beet soup and braised rabbit. Doubles from $160.
Room to Book: The Settle Room has a wood-burning fireplace and a private porch with Adirondack chairs overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Get Outdoors: Put on your hiking boots and walk under the foliage umbrella of Sky Meadows State Park, a half mile away.
Chebeague Island is a short ferry ride from the hipster scene in Portland, ME, but it still moves to a 19th-century tempo. So you can take your time walking among the brilliant fall colors and, when the evening turns cool, cozy up to the fireplace of the Chebeague Island Inn.
That crispness in the air is a sure sign it’s time for the annual pageant of vivid reds, oranges, and yellows that inspires leaf-peepers to explore the towns and byways of New England, the Midwest, the mid-Atlantic, and the Northwest. But what makes a fall foliage pilgrimage truly memorable is where you choose to stay. We searched the country for properties that put you in the thick of things—and discovered that the best hotels for fall colors are as varied as the colors themselves.
You could wake up to a view of the Green Mountains and a breakfast with local maple syrup in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Or opt for Colorado, where a fall getaway means experiencing the golden splendor of Aspen trees from the minimalist aerie of a Bauhaus-inspired, largely glass-walled hotel.
Related: America's Best Fall Foliage Drives
Whatever their aesthetic, these are places where the breakfasts are homemade and the views are vibrant with fall colors. Of course, some rooms are better than others, so we’ve singled out which rooms savvy travelers will want to book. At North Carolina’s Applewood Manor, for instance, the York Imperial room stands out for its country charm (sleigh bed, gas log fireplace) and private balcony for enjoying the foliage that brightens up the misty Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Blue Ridge lends itself to exploring by car—the parkway was a WPA project built to blend in with the spectacular landscape—but these inns can also be convenient bases for hiking, antiquing, canoeing, even wine tastings at local vineyards, where it also happens to be harvest season.
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So when exactly should you head out for a leaf-peeping trip? Anytime from mid-September to early November; generally, the further north you are, the sooner the leaves turn. State tourism boards and this handy interactive foliage map are your best resources for monitoring the local progression of color. But don’t delay. Wherever you’re headed, you can never book too early. Fall colors mark the year’s busiest time for many of these inns—and you’ve got a room to request.