Each year the transition from summer to fall has many looking forward to new opportunities for fall travel, chances, and experiences, and this sensation of new beginnings is often mirrored in the changing weather conditions and transformative color patterns found in the fall foliage of the country’s smaller towns. Thankfully, Travel + Leisure has published an acclaimed list of the seven best towns to visit so that you can ring in the new season in the best way and in the best places.
As always, it’s advised that you research and look to local travel guidelines and CDC recommendations prior to booking any accommodations in these unprecedented times so that you may keep yourself and those you care about as safe and responsible as possible.
Set between the Taconic and Green Mountain Ranges of southwestern Vermont, the town of Manchester is a quintessential destination for anyone who wants to experience fall travel by enjoying the colorful vibrancy that comes with the changing fall foliage, and according to the Vermont Foliage Forecaster, the best time to observe them in Manchester is around mid-October. The town takes pride in its offering of premier cultural events and world-class recreational activities that can be experienced in a dreamlike environment that is conducive to someone who needs to unplug, restore, and recharge. The town abounds with accommodations to best serve your autumnal vacation as there are plenty of quaint cottages, boutique hotels, and charming inns that can be booked ahead of your stay, such as the Kimpton Taconic Hotel, located in the middle of the village.
Due to the area’s close proximity to the Taconic Mountain Range, some of the best views of the fall foliage can be seen while on a rewarding hike (or drive) up Mount Equinox, the tallest mountain in not just the state of Vermont but the entire Taconic Range at an elevation of 3840 feet. Mount Equinox protectively stands watch over the idyllic village, and it can be accessed by car or on foot. If hiking the 6.8 mile (round trip) trek, it’s suggested that you are among the more intermediate or advanced hikers, but no matter the skill level, all reaching the summit agree that the views from the top can’t be beat.
In summation, there are countless activities to engage in if you are spending an autumnal escape in the town of Manchester such as a round of two of vivacious gaming at Pastime Pinball, a perusing of the shelves of the cozy, acclaimed inn-turned-independent bookstore known as the Northshire Bookstore, or discovering new aspects of presidential history while visiting the stately 1905 mansion, the Hildene, which was once the home of the only surviving son of President Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd. Take the trip to Manchester, Vermont this fall and fall in love with New England, nature, and the fall season all over again in the perfect location for doing just that.
The astoundingly small town of Torrey stands watch at 6,800 feet above sea level as the chief gateway to the Capitol Reef National Park. Especially in the autumn months (particularly November), the population of fewer than 200 residents regularly enjoy the cool temperatures while observing the astoundingly panoramic view of the Cathedral Valley, Boulder Mountain, and the Henry Mountains that is seen in the background of the quaint town.
Other than being a beneficial home-base for fall travel to those looking to explore, trek, and enjoy the offerings of the nearby National Park, the town itself has been known over the past 25 years for keeping a vibrant art scene alive and well in the area. This is most notably seen in the Torrey Chamber Music Festival, bi-monthly gallery showings by local artisans, and the Wayne County County Fair. If you’re stopping by the town before the end of the year, be sure to try and attend the highly-anticipated Wayne County Farmers’ Market, which is held on Saturdays for the best offerings in food, commerce, and community that the town has to offer.
Be sure to check out the full published list, which can be read at Travel + Leisure, as it includes the towns ofBardstown, Kentucky; Cambria, California; Cape May, New Jersey; Cashiers, North Carolina; and Gretna, Louisiana.
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