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Fall Foliage Find: Douthat State Park, VA

Douthat State Park

Looking for a fall nature adventure that lands somewhere between "glamping" and actual camping? Look no further than Douthat State Park. Nestled in the Allegheny mountains of central Virginia, a four-and-a-half hour drive from Washington, DC, the 4,490-acre pet-friendly park offers charming cabins and plentiful hikes for the beginner leaf-peeper.

I cannot stress the "beginner" part enough. When we went last weekend, our party consisted of four couples, each lodging in a cabin outfitted with a full kitchen, working fireplaces, central heat and a/c, and clean simple bathrooms (with phenomenal hot water and pressure). The majority of our pre-hike-planning included a map-scan for the dirtiest sounding trail (our choice, Blue Suck Falls) and a very detailed après-walk drinking plan.

Must-pack necessities for the weekend: boardgames, whiskey, family dog, s'mores ingredients, food for the grill, hiking shoes (maybe).

Cabins range from $75 to $102 per night during this fall season, and include parking and park fees. Our cheapest cabin (#6) featured a queen bed and small communal space, while the more palatial options (#9 and #11) have capacious living rooms to enjoy the hearth. Larger groups should consider renting one of the property's three lodges (where, unfortunately, dogs are not allowed).

Charlotte Savino is Travel + Leisure's Listings Editor.

Photo courtesy of the author.

Vacationist: Italy, Mexico, Mauritius, and Hawaii

Furore Inn Resort Furore, Italy

Are you an Amalfi veteran? Or will Vacationist take you to Italy's picturesque coast for the first time? Either way, don't miss this week's irresistible discount at the Furore Inn (shown above). Looking for something even more secluded? Vacationist has great deals on an exclusive villa in Puerto Vallarta, spectacular sunsets on the west coast of Mauritius, and a luxury hideaway on Hawaii's Kohala Coast. All are available for up to 37% off -- only from Vacationist.

Still not a Vacationist member? Click here for access to these and other great deals.

Furore Inn Resort – up to 37% off
Furore, Italy
This tranquil property is actually a collection of terraces, flowering gardens, and pools clinging to cliffs 600 feet above the Tyrrhenian Sea. The 22-room boutique hotel is classically Italian, from the upholstered headboards and glazed Vietri tile floors to the waistcoated servers in the formal restaurant. (6 days)

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Vacationist: California, Italy, Costa Rica and a South African Safari

Paradise Point Resort & Spa

You, dear T+L readers, can’t seem to get enough of California, Italy, and Costa Rica, which is why this week’s Vacationist deals are sure to impress. Relax amid palm trees mere minutes from San Diego; venture to a Roman-style palazzo on the Italian island of Ischia; or swim in an infinity pool overlooking the Gulf of Nicoya—all for up to 60% off. Plus, we’re throwing in deals at Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve in South Africa, in case you’re looking for something more exotic. Still not a Vacationist member? Click here for access to these and other great deals.

Paradise Point Resort & Spa – up to 37% off
San Diego, California
Fresh off an $8 million renovation, Paradise Point offers travelers a getaway on a private 44-acre island (shown above)—though it's conveniently only minutes from downtown San Diego and is adjacent to SeaWorld. (4 days)

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JetBlue 1-Day Pop-Up Sale: Flights from $29

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JetBlue is at it again with another flash sale -- this time, aimed at spur-of-the-moment travelers. For today only, the airline is offering flights starting at just $29 each way. Here are just a few of the great bargains they're offering:

Boston > NYC: $29
Los Angeles > Boston: $119
Richmond, VA > Orlando: $49
NYC > San Juan, PR: $109
Buffalo > Ft. Myers, FL: $89
Chicago > NYC: $79
NYC > Houston: $114
Las Vegas > Boston: $139

There are plenty more, so take a look at the official JetBlue Pop-Up Deal sale page. Special fares are available for flights booked for travel between October 12, 2010 and December 15, 2010 (with blackout days from November 23 through November 30). To take advantage of these prices you must book today by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.

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Joshua Pramis is an online associate editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of JetBlue Airways.

Vacationist: Antigua, Venice & Two Great Deals in Mexico

Playa Viva, Mexico

Autumn is officially here. Not ready to say goodbye to summer? With these great deals from Vacationist, you can still soak up the sun at two hot spots in Mexico. Rates are 20% to 30% less than those found on other sites. If a Caribbean island is more your style, nights at St. James's Club Resort & Villas on Antigua are as low as $207. Prefer Europe? The best of Venice awaits at just $289 per night.

Playa Viva - up to 30% off
Julucucha, Mexico (near Zihuatanejo)
This isn't your typical Mexican beach resort. For one thing, it's tiny: just five rooms (30 more are planned) in thatched casitas designed to maximize sea breezes (shown, above). Homey touches like health-conscious meals served family-style are mixed with amenities including yoga, spa massages, and Wi-Fi. Committed to sustainability, the resort is 100 percent solar, recycles gray water, and has restored its 200 acres to promote local biodiversity. (1 day)

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Vacationist: Florence, Tuscany, Las Vegas, Dallas

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On the heels of T+L’s September smart guide, Italy: Five Ways, Vacationist delivers affordable rates at two hotels in Tuscany—including nights for less than $150 at the Marignolle Relais & Charme in Florence, the no. 1 city in Europe according to this year’s World’s Best Awards. But if a stateside trip is more your scene, stellar offers in Vegas and Dallas will surely pique your interest. Start packing now.

Marignolle Relais & Charme - up to 25% off
Florence, Italy
Though it's just two miles south of Florence's city center, this genteel family estate is set amid the woodlands, vines, and olive groves that herald the start of the Chianti region. Owners Paola and Claudio Bulleri, who turned their classic tile-roofed villa into an exclusive inn in the '70s, still live on the property in a separate cottage. (5 days)

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Vacationist: Fall Getaways in Paris, San Diego, Costa Rica

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The appeal of a September getaway never gets old: Savvy travelers know to book shoulder season trips for fewer crowds, still-warm weather, and of course, impressive deals. And believe it or not, that’s true even of Paris. (For more on the City of Lights, see Travel + Leisure’s September cover story, Paris Secrets.) Here a few of this season’s best hotel rates—including 20% off in Paris—courtesy of Vacationist:

InterContinental Paris Le Grand – up to 20% off
Paris, France
This majestic Neoclassical property, inaugurated in 1862 by Empress Eugénie, was reopened in 2003 after an 18-month renovation. It features a central, light-filled winter garden and 470 Napoleon III-style guest rooms; 82 rooms and suites offer direct views of the Opéra Garnier. (4 days left)

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Capri, Geneva, NY Most Expensive for Hotels as Prices Rise

201009-b-capri-3jpgReutersCapri, Geneva and New York top the list for the most expensive hotel rooms, according to a global survey that showed hotel rates rising for the first time in three years as the global economy picks up.

Hotel provider Hotels.com's bi-annual hotel price index, released on Tuesday, found that although average hotel room rates are at low levels seen six years ago, there are hints of a recovery. (...)

Overall, prices rose about 2 percent in the second quarter of 2010 from a year ago, the first increase since the end of 2007, as business travelers and tourists started packing their bags again and heading out. (Photo courtesy of Capri Tourism)

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Sleepbox: Is This the Future of Airport Napping?

After seeing a post we recently published on a ridiculously tiny airplane seat design, one of our Twitter followers pointed out a different scaled down design, this one for the weary traveler: the Sleepbox.

Designed by Arch Group, a Russian architect firm, the Sleepbox takes the Japanese capsule hotel concept—which, quite frankly, gives me claustrophobic panic attacks just thinking about—mixes in some serious Fifth Element–reminiscent design, and gives you a (tiny) space that could actually be tolerable (and affordable) in a pinch, though definitely for short stays only.

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Airfares from U.S. to Europe Much Higher than Vice Versa

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USA Today |  Americans flying to Europe this fall may pay hundreds of dollars more than their counterparts traveling the opposite way over the Atlantic.

Round-trip fares from several U.S. cities to European hot spots like Paris, London and Amsterdam are up to 66% higher than the price for trips originating overseas, says Tom Parsons, founder of Bestfares.com, who scouted fares from the last week of October through March 31.

"Between the same cities, (for the) same seats, same days of week ... one country gets an advantage over the other," says Parsons, who found similar pricing at most of the major carriers including Continental, Delta and United, as well as international airlines such as KLM. "Because we're Americans, we pay more." Photo credit: Courtesy of Virgin Atlantic.

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