There’s no time like the present to plan a last-minute trip that centers around nature, fall foliage views, and autumnal activities. Here are a few weekend getaways to take to see the leaves ablaze in color before the trees go bare for winter.
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Located in New Haven County, the town of Wallingford is known for its quaint bed and breakfasts, family-run restaurants, and proximity to The CT Wine Trail. It’s also one of the prettiest places to access on a leisurely drive along The Merritt Parkway, where you can see the red, orange, and gold colors of the landscape in their prime.
Where to Stay: The Victorian Inn is a charming turn-of-the-century B&B that dates back to 1890 and features five reasonably priced (and distinctly different) suites all with their own private bathroom, Ashley Manor bath amenities, antique furnishings, and personal touches. Relax in the library, music room or parlor with a glass of wine and a book and definitely don’t leave without trying their 3-course breakfast, which is served daily by the home’s proprietors Karl and Sharlene Kieslich, who couldn’t be any nicer or more knowledgeable of the area.
Where to Eat: For a cozy neighborhood spot with great food and drinks, try The Library wine bar and... bistro, which is within walking distance of the inn. The calamari and dirty martinis are a must order. It’s also next to several other popular places on North Main Street such as Michael’s Trattoria, Gaetano's Tavern, and J Christian’s, an upscale American restaurant in a renovated 1920’s bank.
What to Do: Find fall faster on one of CT’s top foliage drives, spend a day wine tasting at Gouveia Vineyards and Paradise Hills Vineyard, catch a show at the Oakdale Theater, scour vintage finds at the Redwood Flea Market, or visit the Paul Mellon Arts Center to see their featured exhibits and artists. Wallingford is also less than an hour away from the two largest casinos in CT (Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods), and close by tons of other historic attractions like The Essex Steam Train, The Good Speed Opera House, or The Harriet Beecher or Mark Twain House.
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Located off of Route 17 in the Catskills, the Village of Monticello is mid-way between New York City and Binghamton. Its an ideal family fun destination to explore given its cultural, sporting, and fall-friendly attractions.
Where to Stay: If you’re bringing your whole family, or simply want a more rustic experience, rent one of these private cabins in the middle of the woods, where you can warm up in the jacuzzi or next to a fire pit. If you’re looking for a more luxurious or romantic date night, however, book a room at the legendary Hotel Fauchere. Located just 30 minutes outside of Monticello, its where Robert Frost, Mae West, Babe Ruth, and three US presidents have all stayed. They’re also known for their iconic Delmonico Room restaurant, as well as Bar Louis and the Patisserie Fauchere.
Where to Eat: A cozy Catskills getaway is the perfect time to fire up the grill and actually make an amazing home-cooked meal, but if you’re itching for dinner and a night out, try Ciao Bella or SOL...AIA Restaurant in town.
What to Do: Take the kids go karting at The Monticello Motor Club, or spend an adults-only #SundayFunday there off-roading and racing sports cars with their pros. The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is another great place to check out since it’s located in the home of the 1969 Woodstock festival. You can tour the museum to learn more about the famous festival, watch a musical performance, or bring the kiddos to “Saturdays at the Woods” where they can hone their artistic skills. The Catskill Distilling Company is another place to check off on your weekend itinerary.
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Depending on where you are in the Northeast, Vermont can be a short journey or a long one, but it’s definitely a place that’s well worth a visit either way, especially to get an up-close glimpse of native sugar maple trees. Two of the most popular areas to explore (for the picturesque drive and because they have the most to offer) would be Stowe and Burlington.
Where to Stay: If you’re in Burlington, definitely spend a night or two at Hotel Vermont. This adorable boutique gem can only be described as modern-meets-outdoorsy, in the best way possible. Many of the suites have fireplaces, but all of the rooms have flannel bathrobes and blankets.
If you’re in Stowe, then check into Stoweflake Resort, a charming property that’s situated on 60 acres of beautiful natural landscape. They also have an AAA Four Diamond Spa on location, which includes an aqua solarium, several mineral soaking pools, waterfalls, and 10,000 square-foot meditative garden with over 120 treatments offered.
Where to... Eat: Hen of the Wood in Waterbury (next to Stowe) or Burlington for their seasonal farm-to-table dishes and outstanding wine selection in an intimate atmosphere. You can also pop into The Farmhouse Tap & Grill when in Burlington for gastropub eats and craft beers.
What to Do: Stop for apples, cider, or pumpkins at a pick-your-own farm, stock up on local goods at a Vermont general store, satisfy your sweet tooth at the original Ben & Jerry’s factory or Lake Champlain Chocolates factory, reminisce about The Sound Of Music when you sample a classic Austrian lager at the von Trapp Brewery (which was started by the youngest son Johannes von Trapp), or take a take a gondola sky ride to see the seasonal sights from the top of Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s highest mountain.