Top USA Resorts to Love in the Autumn

Choose a Romantic Resort that's Glorious in the Fall

••• Mohonk Mountain House

"To everything, there is a season," goes the saying, and in fall you can find many a lofty resort at its peak. While summer is prime time for a beach resort, fall is when a resort blessed by a woodland setting comes into its own. And the greater the variety of trees, the more varied and resplendent the fall foliage surrounding the resort will be. In drawing up this list, the romance quotient was a factor along with the view. Acres of grounds to stroll, gourmet dining, and amenities such as a fireplace or spa elevate each resort on this list to a great place to celebrate fall.

  • 01 of 11

    There's no more glorious season to spend at this resort than in the fall when the forest surrounding Mohonk Mountain House explodes into color. This Victorian-style castle, located in a scenic wilderness area of more than 2,200 acres just two hours north of New York City, impels guests to explore the great outdoors. Hikes, rock climbing, and mountain biking appeal to active couples. Those who want to focus on romance this fall can go on a carriage ride or take a nature walk. Trails are interspersed with romantic gazeboes that overlook the magnificent foliage that wraps around the resort like an exquisite shawl of many colors.

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    A four-seasons resort in a picture-perfect town, pretty Mirror Lake Inn overlooks the lake of the same name and the high peaks of the Adirondack mountains beyond. Many couples come to Lake Placid earlier in the year to take advantage of lakeside activities (the inn has a small beach). Others come later, for the skiing on nearby Gore and Whiteface mountains, which once drew Olympic competitors. Yet fall is perhaps the most beautiful season here when a riot of colors carpets the mountains.

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    The Equinox is a classic fall New England resort in pretty Manchester Village in the Green Mountain State. With 1,300 verdant acres bordered by Mount Equinox, the views from the resort are splendid. In fall, guests hike, bike, kayak, ride horses, fly-fish, and play tennis. Equinox’s Avanyu Spa is first-rate; so are fitness facilities, including a lap pool. Scenic Gleneagles Golf Course is sister to Scotland’s famed links. There's even an Archery School. And if you arrange through the resort to access its Off-Road Driving School, you can charge up fall's vividly hued hills in a steel-frame Land Rover.

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    Arguably America's best all-round resort, the Greenbrier is located on 6,500 glorious acres in West Virginia's Allegheny Mountains. Come fall, they explode into color. But that's not the only thing that makes the Greenbrier so romantic in fall. Its stately architecture and unique decor, 40,000-square-foot spa and indoor pool, exceptional service and dining all lure lovers. In fact, the Greenbrier resort offers a total of 50 recreational activities (including romantic horse-drawn carriage rides) — enough to keep a couple thrilled to be here from fall through winter. Our favorite accommodations at the resort are the Spring Row Guest Houses, private quarters each with a separate living room with fireplace and wet bar.

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  • 05 of 11

    A dream dipped in chocolate, the newly renovated and expanded Hotel Hershey is a luxurious fall getaway for couples who can appreciate a historic, award-winning resort that is a charming throwback to an era when small pleasures were the goal, not an afterthought. The Hotel Hershey’s Circular Dining Room was designed specifically so every view offers glimpses of the well-maintained gardens and rolling landscape, an exceptionally romantic tableau in fall. The best part? With kids in school, you're less likely to have your fall getaway interrupted by young guests than if you visited in summer or during the holidays or winter recess.

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    High up in New Hampshire's White Mountains, this resort boasts scenic views of painted hills in every direction in fall. A confection of a place, the white-turreted, red-roofed Mount Washington Resort hasn't lost her looks despite her 1902 birthdate, when she first began welcoming guests. In fall, there's golf, tennis, and indoor and outdoor pools. The concierge can provide hikers with a trail map. Like to bike? The hotel will properly fit you for one. The hotel's Princess package includes an afternoon horse-and-carriage ride. Schedule yours for close to sunset, bundle up, and revel in the beauty of the mountains in fall.

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    Located in the scenic and peaceful Lower Connecticut River Valley, the Old Lyme Inn offers classic country charm in fall. Just 100 miles from New York and Boston, the pet-friendly resort is surrounded by lush woodlands, much of it preserved. The nearby Eightmile River Watershed, some 150 miles of pristine rivers and streams flowing through rural land, is a testament to the locals' commitment to their environment.

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    This resort, high up in New York state's six-million-acre Adirondack mountains — which cover more ground than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky, and Everglades National Parks combined — stands on a private island on Lake George. A historic hotel that originally opened in 1883, the Sagamore guarantees glorious fall foliage views from every angle. Couples can enjoy a long, romantic dinner or unwind in the casual and unpretentious Mr. Brown's Pub, where TV's Rachel Ray once waited tables. Fall's a perfect time for kayaking on the lake, sailing, hiking, golfing, playing tennis, or simply wandering along the shore, hand in hand. But dress warmly; it gets cold early this far north.

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  • 09 of 11

    The American Club resort in Destination Kohler, 55 miles north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the first Midwestern resort to receive a Five Diamond Award from AAA. The resort is known for its bathrooms — every guest room boasts a Kohler whirlpool and some have even more elaborate fixtures. Come fall, you'll want to emerge after your ablutions to experience the surrounding fall foliage. The nearby Kettle Moraine State Forest boasts some of the Midwest’s best leaf-peeping. Along its 115-mile Scenic Drive, couples can pause to hike, bike, and tour historical sites.

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    Located just six miles outside of Wilmington, the Inn at Montchanin is a resort lover's paradise. It features the one of the most comfortable, spacious, and romantic suites I've reviewed. Although the property is not large, does have its own house horticulturist and four greenhouses. The resort is just six miles from magnificent Longwood Gardens, which has a full calendar of fall events that include concerts, a giant pumpkin weigh-off, and a progressive dinner that takes full advantage of the fall harvest.

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    High atop a hill overlooking Asheville, North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains beyond, the Omni Grove Park Inn has welcomed resort guests since 1913. Heart-soaring views from its rooms and restaurants make this resort a top pick for a fall getaway. More to love: The resort is decorated with the largest collection of genuine Arts and Crafts furnishings in the world and it also features an extensive spa with a grotto-like underground swimming pool.