Crunchy leaves, cozy sweaters and warm apple cider — fall means different things to everyone, but one of the best things about the season for travelers is the stunning fall foliage. Starting at the end of September, landscapes all over the country come alive with radiant colors. It’s a perfect excuse to take a trip to the great outdoors and stay in a gorgeous cabin, lodge or hotel. But just as timing is important, some locations are better than others for leaf-peeping. We’ve scouted some of the best places to see fall foliage, and listed them in order of when they’re expected to see this natural wonder. Book your stay at one of these handpicked Fine Hotels + Resorts® and The Hotel Collection properties through American Express Travel and make your getaway even more memorable with benefits like a $100 experience credit, unique to each property, and room upgrade, when available.1 1 Certain room categories are not eligible for upgrade.
Teton Village, WY
Live out your wildest country dreams at Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa, which is set against the backdrop of Grand Teton, Yellowstone National Park and Wyoming’s breathtaking wilderness. Explore the seemingly endless network of connected hiking trails that link Teton Village with Grand Teton National Park and get to know the glorious American West with the changing fall colors. You can catch your breath later at SpaTerre’s oxygen bar or restore yourself in one of the eucalyptus-infused steam rooms. Then get off your feet the next day with a horseback ride or private wildlife safari. With room upgrade at check-in, when available, retiring to the rustic luxury of this classic alpine lodge will feel well earned.
The high mountains meet high comforts at The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection in Utah. This 3,500-acre private resort and working ranch is set along Alexander Creek and the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail — perfect for history buffs and nature lovers alike! Spend your days exploring the Wasatch Mountain Range and return to the resort feeling like you never left nature, because you didn’t! The Earth Suites are built into the hillside and the building is an extension of the land, with a living grass roof. Dine on the terrace at Yuta, using your $100 experience credit, and savor the refined mountain cuisine and the views of Alexander Canyon. Then plunge into the heated outdoor pool overlooking the creek to soak up every moment of fall magic.
Nestled in the center of a charming New England town, the historic Woodstock Inn & Resort is a stone’s throw from the many parks and trails that make Vermont a nature-lover’s paradise. Outdoor adventures abound year round, but fall is an ideal time to visit Woodstock, one of the best places for fall foliage. Just over the Ottauquechee River from the inn lies the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, where you can take in the vibrant fall colors. Or learn how to handle birds of prey at the New England Falconry Center. Afterwards, relax among the handcrafted furnishings at the inn and enjoy a meal at the award-winning Red Rooster. You’ll feel even more connected to nature with a treatment inspired by Vermont’s seasons at The Spa at the Woodstock Inn & Resort, which you can apply your $100 experience credit toward.
Perched on 22 acres of parkland, nineteenth-century Italianate mansion Wheatleigh provides an ideal vantage point from which to view Massachusetts’ fall foliage. From the hotel’s original Tiffany windows to the stunning glass-enclosed Portico, there are multiple places to enjoy the scenery without even leaving the hotel. But do so and you’ll be well rewarded. Take advantage of the château-like property’s surroundings with a stroll through the nearby Berkshire Botanical Garden, or tour the historic site of The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home. Then take in a performance at the nearby Tanglewood Music Center, and unwind afterwards with some cocktails at The Lounge, using your $125 experience credit.
Be mesmerized by a reflection of the fall leaves in Quonochontaug Pond from Weekapaug Inn, a historic retreat on the Rhode Island shoreline. Admire the seasonal colors from this serene seaside escape as they contrast with the blue water of the Atlantic Ocean. Leaf-peepers can also become seal spotters if a trip to the back deck is timed right, as seals often swim down to the saltwater pond from the Cape. Get on the water yourself with one of the complimentary kayaks, paddleboards, sail boats or pedal boats available at the private beach. Then enjoy some farm-to-table dining at The Restaurant using your $100 experience credit. With wildlife refuges, state parks and beaches as your surroundings, there’s no shortage of outdoor enjoyment to be had.
St. Michaels, MD
Take an East Coast fall road trip and immerse yourself in nature at Inn at Perry Cabin, Maryland’s charming 19th-century river retreat. A private boat can take you to and from the hotel, where you’ll have views of either the garden or the water. It’s part of their Skip the Bridge program and available each weekend through October 29. Tee off at the 18-hole golf course with views of Chesapeake Bay, take tennis lessons on one of the three courts, or simply relax in the tranquil environment and enjoy the fabulous fall colors around you. Just down the river is the quaint town of St. Michaels, and you’ll have plenty of time to explore with guaranteed 4pm check-out.
Hot Springs, VA
The Omni Homestead Resort is a stately retreat which has seen 23 heads of US government and numerous international leaders stay in its sprawling residence since 1766. Set on 2,300 acres in the Allegheny Mountains, this iconic resort is surrounded by nature and steeped in Southern elegance and charm. Discover the incredible flora and fauna of Virginia on the Cascades Gorge Hike, led by a resort naturalist, and enjoy an array of outdoor adventures, from horseback riding to archery, or a peaceful stroll in the Serenity Garden. There’s plenty to do here with the brilliant fall foliage as your backdrop. Enjoy room upgrade on arrival, when available1, and admire the views from your expansive open balcony or sun porch. 1 Certain room categories are not eligible for upgrade.
Lavish architecture meets awe-inspiring landscapes at Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, Autograph Collection in North Carolina. Nestled between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Pisgah National Forest, the hotel is your luxurious getaway from which you can explore stunning wilderness and quaint village life. Watch the leaves fall among the amazing Biltmore Estate, George W. Vanderbilt’s iconic French Renaissance château, and wander through the River Arts District, or get out into serious nature on one of the many nearby hiking trails. All that adventuring can take it out of you, so rest up in your soaking tub back at your room or suite, or with some live music in the Red Stag Lounge. Don’t forget to use your $100 experience credit toward enjoying a massage or other treatment at The Poseidon Spa.