Fall can be a beautiful season with its changing foliage, autumnal sunsets, and cooler temperatures which is exactly why its the perfect time for autumn getaways. The experience of seeing your typically hot or cold city turn into a crisp brown and maroon cinnamon paradise can put even the grumpiest of us in the pumpkin spice spirit. But there are some places in the US that really like to show off and we have found the top destinations with the most beautiful fall sights.
Katy Trail, Missouri The 225-mile Katy Trail runs along the Missouri River for much of the way and cuts right through the state’s wine country. In the 1800s, this area is also where German immigrants settled, bringing their traditions along with them. There are plenty of adorable B&Bs situated along the trail if you need a rest from a long day of biking or hiking through the dense forests and limestone bluffs.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Dutch Country, better known as Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is an idyllic place to visit during the harvest season. There are apple orchards ripe for the picking, corn mazes that hearken back to a simpler time and farmers markets bursting with homemade baked goods and fresh produce. And just 30 minutes northeast, you’ll find “Antiques Capital, U.S.A.” in Adamstown, home to over 3,000 antique dealers, traditional Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine and, of course, that Amish charm.
Boston, Massachusetts In the fall, Boston is the destination for crisp weather, history and excitement. Hop across the Charles River to explore Cambridge and sit in Harvard Yard for excellent people watching, then recharge in one of the many independent coffee shops, expand your mind in the 84-year-old Harvard Book Store and finally, grab a cleverly named, famous burger from Mr. Bartley’s. We recommend The Big Papi with a side of sweet potato fries.
Mackinac Island, Michigan Located in Lake Huron, this island resort is not only a National Historic Landmark, but it is also a portal back in time to when Victorian architecture was prominent and the only modes of transportation were foot, bicycle or horse. Mackinac Island is known for its opulent fall foliage in October, and it is also famous for its fudge. In fact, many of the island’s confectioners have been making fudge for more than a century.
Want to skip the family reunion and opt for a first-class Thanksgiving destination? We’ve compiled the top places that will make you glad you ditched the traditional Thanksgiving experience.
St. Regis Aspen Resort, Colorado At the St. Regis Aspen Resort, you can expect Thanksgiving-themed food and afternoon spent on the slopes or at the spa. At sundown, guests congregate by the front entrance for the ceremonial sundown champagne sabering while there are nightcaps and roasted s’mores at Shadow Mountain Lodge from 9 p.m. until midnight.
MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas Las Vegas’s the Park turns into a winter wonderland on the Monday before Thanksgiving, when its first-ever tree lighting ceremony will feature a 60-foot-tall Silver Tip Fir tree adorned with 3,000 holiday ornaments and 13,000 lights, plus 16-foot-tall Ornament Tunnels. After visiting Santa, listening to carolers, and taking a spin on the ice skating rink, guests can pop over to MGM Grand across the street to watch football at TAP with Turkey Sliders or a T-Day Plate with all the fixings, a special Thanksgiving day menu at Michael Mina Pub, or delicacies like oyster foie gras at Iron Chef Masaharu Moritmoto’s spot Morimoto.
Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Hawaii A Hawaiian paradise for Disney-lovers of all ages, Aulani has plenty of special Thanksgiving offerings for those fleeing the mainland. Give thanks with seaside dining at Aulani’s restaurant Ama Ama, celebrate with a Hawaiian-style Harvest Feast, live music, and characters in the Kaiona Ballroom, indulge in a Thanksgiving buffet at Makahiki—including oysters, crab claws, green tip mussels, and a poke station—or just grab a quick turkey-lunch to-go before finding your inner kid at the resort’s Rainbow Reef snorkeling experience, one of its two water slides, on the lazy river, or by exploring its awe-inspiring collection (the island’s second largest) of original cultural artifacts.
Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee Located on 4,200 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, luxury retreat Blackberry Farm is an ideal place to spend the holidays, with a staggering list of events and offerings for the long weekend. There’s a welcome reception, a performance by composer Jonathan Wolff (best known for the Seinfeld theme song), family bingo, family trivia, a Turkey Trot 5K, a turkey fry tradition of peanut soup and angel biscuits for lunch on the lawn, teen game night, flag football, and, of course, special Thanksgiving dinners in the Barn and in the Dogwood, featuring Blackberry Farm’s renowned gourmet cuisine.
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Rancho Santa Fe, California
Located half an hour north of San Diego, Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa is throwing their first-ever 5K Turkey Trot this year, beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Later in the day, guests can enjoy a feast over live music at the resort’s signature restaurant Veladora, where executive chef Jarrod Moiles has prepared a buffet with both classic favorites and gourmet alternatives, including roasted pumpkin bisque, chilled seafood, mac and cheese with herb bread crumbs, slow roasted turkey breast, chorizo, and herb stuffing.
Click here for several more amazing Thanksgiving getaways.