Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Fall TravelHotels & ResortsTravel Interest

Fall Getaways from Massachusetts to North Carolina

Pack your bags, queer travelers! We’re going on a fall getaway to enjoy the fall festivals, foliage, and events scheduled in U.S. towns and cities found in East Coast states.

It’s the first day of fall! So, embrace the season with this list of hotels where you can enjoy the autumn elements, including the colorful fall foliage. Make one of these hotels your home base for your fall getaway, which also allows LGBTQ+ travelers time to explore the local town’s fall festivities and more! 

The Red Lion Inn (Stockbridge, Massachusetts)

Offering up historic New England charm, cozy quarters, and a prime location for leaf peeping, The Red Lion Inn makes for the ideal fall Berkshires getaway. Beyond idyllic autumn accommodations, and experiences such as hot spiced cider on its famed porch, below are a few fall happenings that make the iconic hotel worth a visit this fall:

Pumpkin Challenge – Every year, the Red Lion Inn becomes home to the local agricultural fair’s prizewinning pumpkins. Sitting at thousands of pounds on the front steps of the hotel, participants are challenged to guess the weight of the massive produce. 

Ghost Tours – Known for its rich history, it is no surprise that Stockbridge is home to some famed local haunts… literally. Embark on tours of the Stockbridge Cemetery, one of the oldest in the country. For the bravest souls, head to “Haunted Hancock”, offering nighttime tours of nearby Hancock Shaker Village for ghostly sightings and spiritualist movement history.   

Hammett’s Hotel 
(Newport, Rhode Island)

Fall in Newport offers diminished crowds following the busy summer season, and no shortage of seasonal events to make for the perfect getaway to discover the coastal city. For a cozy getaway, stay seaside at Hammett’s Hotel, modeled after a ship’s quarters and located on the Wharf just steps from local shops, dining options, and the marina. Hammett’s offers not only a prime location in the heart of the city, but a portal to its art, dining, and history, with a gallery on-site as well as Giusto, a freestyle Italian restaurant connected to the hotel.  

Sarah Langley Gallery Exhibition – Named for the only female owner of the wharf in history and open to the public, The Sarah Langley Gallery collection is curated by Newport Curates and changes on a seasonal basis. We feature artists from around the world with ties to Newport, who work in dynamic and varied mediums.

Ghost Tours – Another historic city reportedly filled with lingering spirits, lantern-led ghost tours throughout the city are available throughout October and November through the area’s most haunted sites including the oldest tavern in America and Newport’s former jailhouse. 

Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival – Fort Adams State Park becomes home to this exciting festival on October 15th from 12 pm to 5 pm featuring local trucks and brews. 

The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad (New York City)

Opened in July 2022 and situated at Broadway and 28th street, The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad combines the brand’s legendary service with refined elegance. Conceived as a pillar of Manhattan’s renowned Floral District, the 250-key hotel offers expansive living spaces filled with bespoke furnishings and artwork alongside breathtaking views across the city’s most iconic sights. Located next to some of the most iconic spots in the city such as Madison Square Park, The Flatiron Building, the Empire State Building, Bryant Park, and the Highline, guests have easy access to any attraction at any end of Manhattan. 

The hotel boasts legendary restaurants and bars by Michelin-starred chef José Andrés, including Zaytinya, offering an innovative mezze menu inspired by Turkish, Greek, and Lebanese cuisines served up in a sleek and modern setting, The Bazaar, a new iteration of the high-end avant-garde dining destination opening later in 2022, and Nubeluz, a rooftop bar where guests can drink 500 feet in the air. The hotel also houses the signature 6,800 sq ft Ritz-Carlton Spa and Fitness Center, featuring eight treatment rooms, sauna & steam rooms, and exclusive treatment offerings in partnership with Augustinus Bader.

Madison Square Park – Just a three-minute walk from the hotel, guests can enjoy a crisp stroll through this charming public square to watch the leaves change, peak at the dog park, or enjoy a quick lunch at Shake Shack’s flagship location.

Bryant Park Fall Festival – The fourth annual Bryant Park Fall Festival will be taking place from September 16th to 23rd this year and will be showcasing free performances and talks from New York City’s premier ballet, modern dance, opera, rock, soul, and jazz institutions. Just a 10-minute drive or 15-minute walk from the hotel guests can explore a new area of the city and enjoy time outside in the early Autumn air.

The Highline – A 1.5-mile elevated park and greenway forged from a former railway that weaves through and above Chelsea’s art gallery district. A 15-minute drive or 17-minute walk from the hotel, guests can see the fall foliage in full effect throughout the season.

Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa (Bedford, Pennsylvania)

Located in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, a premier destination for leaf-peeping, the award-winning Omni Bedford Springs Resort is the ideal destination for reconnecting with friends and family amidst beautiful scenery. From the world-class Springs Eternal Spa to the magnificently restored golf course and relaxing indoor and outdoor pools, the resort offers a luxurious and restorative experience nestled in the quaint town of Bedford, Pennsylvania.

During the fall, Omni Bedford Springs Resort offers a wide array of outdoor activities to fully experience the beautiful foliage in Bedford, Pennsylvania. Guests can mountain bike or hike to scenic areas of the property, take a romantic carriage ride to view the vibrant colors of fall, embark on a horseback ride through the Allegheny Mountains, play a round of golf, or even ride on the wild side with a guided Off-Road Vehicle tour that will take guests on some of the more remote trails. After a day of outdoor activities, guests can unwind with a signature treatment at the Springs Eternal Spa or relax by the firepit with cocktails and lawn games under the stars.

Hotel Du Pont (Wilmington, Delaware)

Opened in 1913, HOTEL DU PONT is dedicated to delivering timeless luxury with a modern and sophisticated sensibility. Located in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, in the heart of the picturesque Brandywine Valley, the 12-story Italian Renaissance landmark building boasts 217 guest rooms and spacious suites. The hotel is also home to Le Cavalier at the Green Room, a modern French brasserie from Chef Tyler Akin.

Discover gorgeous, Instagram-worthy pops of color as you drive through Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley National Scenic Byway, and along the way explore some of the country’s best-kept secrets as you make stops at museumsrestaurants, and gardens, experiencing 300 years of American history and natural beauty. The attractions are all near one another, making this an easy and ideal fall journey.

Delaware Saengerbund Oktoberfest – Munich comes to Newark every fall during the Delaware Saengerbund Oktoberfest, a beloved event that attracts people from throughout Greater Wilmington for the bratwurst, weisswurst, potato pancakes, pretzels, and especially that German potato salad, made fresh every day in the Delaware Saengerbund kitchen. Held the third weekend in September (the same time as it is in Munich), you’ll find women in dirndl and men in lederhosen, entertainment all weekend long, and of course, beer, both from Germany and from local craft brewers.

St. Hedwig Polish Festival – When fall arrives in Wilmington, the pierogies and polka cannot be far behind. There’s a carnival-like atmosphere to the St. Hedwig Polish Festival at the end of September, with rides for the kids and games to play between plates of traditional Polish foods, including golabki (stuffed cabbage), kotlet schabowy (pork loin), kielbasa and the intensely craveable plaki (potato pancakes).

Wilmington Beer Week – Wilmington has a long and storied history with beer and breweries, and Wilmington Beer Week continues the tradition with a week of sudsy celebrations that take place downtown and throughout the Greater Wilmington area. There are tap takeovers from some of the region’s most beloved craft breweries, beer trivia nights, restaurant events, and more in early November.

Omni Homestead Resort (Hot Springs, Virginia)

Located across more than 2,000 acres of scenic Virginia landscape and visited by 23 U.S. Presidents, the iconic Omni Homestead Resort provides timeless comforts and access to an array of exciting activities throughout the fall season. From the full-service spa featuring natural hot springs to one of the best golf courses in the country built in 1892, the resort offers an over 250-year tradition of genuine hospitality and elegant charm.  

Surrounded by the picturesque Allegheny Mountains, The Omni Homestead Resort is a premier Virginia destination for leaf peeping. Typically reaching peak fall foliage during the first week of October, Hot Springs, Virginia creates the perfect environment for outdoor fall pursuits every member of the family can enjoy. Guests can learn more about fall foliage and the stunning landscape surrounding the resort from a professional naturalist on the Cascades Gorge Hike, bike on miles of trails that wind through the vibrant terrain or take a leisurely horseback ride through the property’s expansive grounds.

The Omni Grove Park Inn (Asheville, North Carolina)

 Set in the idyllic Blue Ridge Mountains and just minutes from downtown Asheville, N.C., The Omni Grove Park Inn is an award-winning, 513-room resort originally opened in 1913. The Omni Grove Park Inn provides a one-of-a-kind destination for modern-day travelers while preserving its rich history as an escape for U.S. Presidents such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Home to the world-class Spa at Omni Grove Park Inn, the 43,000 square feet of subterranean space is an experience like no other, offering an array of unique treatments incorporating indigenous elements. The Inn also focuses on local ingredients and chef-driven menus in its four signature restaurants, each offering panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Lasting from late September to the end of October, Asheville, N.C. has one of the longest leaf-peeping seasons in the country. Throughout the season, The Omni Grove Park Inn offers stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains covered in vibrant fall colors. Enjoy panoramic views from Sunset Terrace, one of the property’s award-winning restaurants, or play a round of golf on the Donald-Ross-designed championship course. For a scenic drive, cruise down the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway, a winding stretch of road that showcases the beautiful fall hues of the Shenandoah Valley.

Cabin on the Cascades (Boone, North Carolina)

Located a two-hour drive north of Asheville and Charlotte, Boone is perfect for a fall getaway and offers several options of cozy accommodations for out-of-towners. Cabin on the Cascades is an ideal place to stay for nine to 12 of your closest family members and or your friends. This luxury cabin-style house has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, a hot tub, a balcony, a private yard, and a fireplace and outdoor firepit to snuggle up nearby when things get a little chilly during your glamping getaway.

Depending on the time of the year, visitors have a variety of outdoor activities to stay busy, including kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, hiking, ice skating, snowboarding, golf, and much more. Antiquing, shopping, paddling boating sledding, horseback riding, sledding, and birdwatching are just a few leisurely activities available to people visiting Boone or exploring the surrounding area. For more options on where to stay, travelers should consider checking out Firefly Luxury RentalsAppalachian A-Frame on Airbnb, and Explore Boone’s list of hotels and cabins

Here’s a short list of fun things to do this fall in Boone:

Ghost Train – Every Friday and Saturday from September 23 through October 29, 2022, Tweetsie Railroad transforms from the Wild West into a haunted park that includes a Haunted House, Freaky Forest, and yes, a nighttime Ghost Train ride! Kids can dress up in their Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating on Main Street, watch a Black Light Puppet Show, or enjoy the rides at the Creepy Carnival. Click here for more information.

Valle Country Fair – Travelers may want to consider this large church bazaar on October 15th during the peak of the fall color season. Valle Country Fair is an authentic harvest-season community celebration that revolves around quality handmade crafts, home-cooked food, and music. Admission is free and all proceeds from the Fair go to help people in need. 

Alien Expo and Celebration Carnival – For vacationers who enjoy delving into the mysteries of life beyond the stars, you may want to head to Mystery Hill for the Alien Expo and Celebration Carnival on September 23 through October 31. In addition to games, activities, and special surprises, the acclaimed archaeologist and lover of stars, Dr. Rozwell will be the main guest this year. Located in Blowing Rock (just outside of Boone), Mystery Hill has a variety of ongoing on-site activities including the Bull Riding Challenge, Farmyard, Tomahawk Hill (think axe throwing but with a tomahawk), and the mysterious Natural Gravitational Anomaly, where visitors can watch a ball roll upward and watch water flow uphill. 

Vacationer Staff

Vacationer Magazine's writing staff works hard to bring you all the latest LGBTQ travel articles to help inspire and inform.

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