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A New Leaf

Ayesha Khan | September 5, 2014 | Articles

The Ozarks are arguably the best spot in the Midwest for taking in nature’s beauty, and the best resort destination in yonder hills is most certainly the 246-room Big Cedar Lodge, which, coincidentally, just launched an extension to its wilderness Disneyland. Perched on a cliff, the Top of the Rock extension overlooks the Ozarks and stunning Table Rock Lake, and features a wine cellar, bar, two restaurants and a beautiful “lost canyon” cave that rises four stories and incorporates a roaring waterfall. Back at the main lodge, carriage rides, trail rides, Segway tours, cooking and painting classes, and sunset cruises will keep you plenty busy. There is also a fully equipped spa to melt away any soreness associated with your chockablock activity schedule. For a truly Wild West experience, be sure to book yourself on one of the campfire wagon rides, where in-house cowboys will tell stories and sing to you as you roast marshmallows and sip sarsaparilla around the fire. Overnight rates from $149 for standard rooms and $305 for cabins, @bigcedarlodge

If going to France’s Provence isn’t on the cards for you this fall, The French Manor Inn and Spa is just like the real thing, but closer to home. There are 19 individually designed room and suite choices spread out over the manor, carriage house, La Maisonneuve and Le Spa Foret. The dining room features a stunning 40-foot vaulted ceiling offset by two massive fireplaces and award-winning French cuisine (it’s the type of place where you have to wear a jacket for dinner). One of the most unique experiences to be had at this property is Spa ForĂȘt. Located atop Huckleberry Mountain and nestled among ancient trees, Spa ForĂȘt is a completely green concept, from its construction, plumbing and saltwater pool to its all-natural spa products. Nearby attractions include the sweeping Pocono Mountains, with hiking trails, quaint antiques villages and even a sizable outlet mall. Overnight rates from $190, @frenchmanor

Of course there is no rule that fall’s best foliage destinations must be inland. Sweeping ocean vistas appeal in every season, especially in oh-so-classy Newport, R.I., home to America’s finest mansions. Much like the mansions, each of the 20 rooms at The Chanler at Cliff Walk is designed in reference to a historical period, from Gothic to Renaissance, and some even feature their own outdoor hot tubs. There are two dining options: The more formal Spiced Pear and The Cliff Walk Terrace, arguably the best ocean-view alfresco resto ever (the design is adorable; the food amazing; and it even has throws on the chairs for if you get cold!). And when you’re done ogling the palaces of America’s aristocracy, there’s plenty to do in Newport. You can hop aboard a Prohibition era rum bootlegger’s boat, tour the servants’ quarters of a Newport estate (a la Downton Abbey) and top it all off with sundown cocktails at the chic rooftop of the Grace Vanderbilt hotel. Ask about the Fall in Love package, starting at $539, to really sweep that special someone off his or her feet! Overnight rates from $485, @thechanlerhotel

Just over five picturesque hours away from ATL by car is the quaint village of Fearrington, N.C. Here, the local folks count the months until fall, when a host of seasonal events such as Books and Beer (where local authors meet guests every Thursday in the village’s oh-so-cute beer garden) and Cooks and Books (where the finest chefs from around the country descend upon Fearrington to launch their cookbooks, cook a memorable meal and chat with guests) arrive. A Relais & Chateaux property, The Fearrington House Inn features 32 rooms and suites, all of which come with adorable amenities such as Southern brekkie, English high tea and port, and housemade truffles at turndown. Local craft beers, made with fall ingredients from the House’s own garden, will also be on offer starting later this month. Overnight rates from $325, @fearringtonnc

In recent years the small seaside town of Portland has flourished into quite the destination, featuring locavore restos, eco-friendly boutiques (one of which recycles old skateboards and Barbie dolls into jewelry and dresses) and farmers markets. Most of what’s cool in town can be found along Congress Street, where local bohemians and artsy types are happy to mingle with visiting tourists. As for where to stay, the adorable island of Chebeague is just 25 minutes by water taxi from downtown, and its namesake inn is the perfect place to nosh on fresh seafood chowder while boat-watching by day, and cozying up to the fieldstone fireplace while sipping hot apple cider by night in one of their 21 rooms. A few words to the wise: Be sure to book the rooms with a private bathroom (because who wants to share the one down the hall?), and the hotel shutters in mid-October. Overnight rates from $305 for rooms with private baths, @chebeagueinn

For a more urban fall escape that still allows for plenty of frolicking among the fallen leaves (especially in the Public Garden, the first botanical garden in the country, where perpetuating the 130-year-old tradition of taking a swan boat ride will never get old), head to XV Beacon. As one of the city’s classiest boutique hotels, where 63 rooms feature working fireplaces and the award-winning resto, Mooo serves the best steak in town (as the name would suggest), you’d be remiss not to stop by. While the fall air is still crisp, be sure to visit Boston’s hippest rooftop bar at the Revere Hotel, where cabanas and sweeping views perfectly complement the well-curated cocktail list. Overnight rates from $495, @xvbeaconhotel

As the birch-covered hills slope down into gently rolling meadows of green, the smell of maple and wood smoke pervades small New England towns with quaint red brick and white steepled churches. Sugar maples take on a crimson red as orange pumpkins are stacked up outside every town store. The best place to enjoy this idyllic fall scene is in one of the 20 unique rooms at Twin Farms in Barnard, where literally everything, from the spa and activities to fine wines and farm-to-table dinners are included in the rate. There are even fun fall picnics, barbecues and campfires (complete with s’mores of course). Activities in nearby towns include visits to a local brewery, a jigsaw puzzle shop, art galleries and local jewelry-makers. Overnight rates from $1,450 per couple per night, all-inclusive, @twinfarms

Ever been told that the journey is just as important as the destination? Well, this is certainly true for anyplace you’ll get to after traversing the expanses of the Skyline Drive, with its 75 jaw-dropping overlooks to the sweeping Shenandoah Valley. If you were looking for a fall photo op, this would be it, but leave plenty of space on the Cloud for your unforgettable stay at The Inn at Little Washington. Each of the inn’s 24 sumptuous rooms and suites were designed by British stage and set designer Joyce Evans (which is precisely why you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re in a period film). Speaking of periods past, (and if you’re particularly fond of American presidents) be sure to visit James Madison’s Montpelier and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estates. Oenophiles will be happy to know that this is also one of the finest wine regions in the country, with many of the local wines featuring the restaurant’s award-winning 14,000-bottle wine cellar. Overnight rates from $460

There’s no denying that our neighbors to the north know how to do fall foliage (after all, their leaves start to turn before ours, and they have a red maple leaf on their flag!). One of the best parts of the country is the province of Quebec. Manoir Hovey, located just over an hour from Montreal is an all-inclusive experience featuring fine dining for dinner, freshly baked French breakfast and an array of activities centered on Lake Massawippi (which the property overlooks), like pontoon boat tours of the frondescence. Aside from the 40 rooms, there is even a three-bedroom cabin, in case you want to escape with a group of besties. Meanwhile in the city of Montreal, be sure to hit up trendy bars such as Le Lab and La Distillerie, stroll along the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal (the Notre-Dame basilica is a must-see) and do some serious impulse-shopping at boutique-lined streets such as Sherbrooke, Saint Denis and Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Overnight rates from $187 per person, all-inclusive, @manoirhoveyqc

For the antithesis to a quaint fall getaway, hop on New York City’s express Metro-North train at Grand Central Station bound for Beacon (75 minutes away). Here, art galleries (among them Dia:Beacon, one of the country’s most important contemporary art museums), coffee houses, artisan shops (handblown glass is a big thing here) and restaurants all compete for your attention. The coolest place to stay in town is The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls (named so for the pint-size waterfall it overlooks). It features 23 slick, contemporary rooms and two very hip dining options: the patio, which offers more pared-down cuisine; and Swift, which offers a finer (but still not too stuffy) dining alternative. The hotel’s 2EM lounge is definitely the spot to see and be seen in this Hudson-side artist haven and features a bevy of signature cocktails and local craft beers if you’re so inclined. Overnight rates from $209, @rndhousebeacon


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