As savvy travelers know all too well, fall is the season for scheduling a rejuvenating weekend excursion. Summer crowds have started to dwindle, the ski bunnies have yet to hit the slopes, and the raucous kiddos have (finally) gone back to school, leaving you to enjoy your peace and quiet in, well, peace and quiet. (Not to mention that prices tend to plummet around now.)
Are you the type of person who prefers clipping into a road bike to conquer a countryside path and greeting the dawn with a mountaintop yoga session before digging into a garden-fresh gourmet breakfast? These seven amazing vacation destinations are tailor-made for all types of active trip-takers with an appetite. Take your pick because it's time be OOO.
Tucked away in the majestic Catskills, this Scandinavian-inspired hillside hideaway is the ideal blend of chic, design-forward bliss and rustic outdoorsiness. With 19 picture-perfect rooms, including three cozy “Lushna” cabins—their version of glamping, albeit with lush linens and to-die-for private bathrooms—this former hunting and fishing lodge was recently converted into your new favorite boutique hotel and onsite craft cocktail bar.
But don’t let the streamlined design, delicious drinks, and crackling fireplace keep you inside. A quick jaunt in any direction will deliver you to some of the East Coast’s most beautiful mountains, valleys, and streams, primed for everything from biking, hiking, tubing, and fly fishing to downhill and cross-country skiing. The adorable town of Windham is also home to a whole host of locavore-inclined restaurants. Pack your boots and your slippers—this is where hygge meets health.(From $159; eastwindny.com)
Little known fact: If you’re anywhere near the Pacific Northwest, this gorgeous lakeside escape is practically in your backyard. A short drive from Spokane and you’re surrounded by soaring pine trees broken up by the bluest, most serene waters, green landscaped fields, and this fully-loaded getaway, teeming with old-school charm.
If you can drag yourself out of your ridiculously spacious room (his and her closets, soaking tubs, gas fireplaces, open-air balconies with stunning views), you’ll want to spend your time bouncing between blood-pumping activities like zip-lining, parasailing, fishing, jet skiing, hiking, swimming, and the resort’s world-class golf course, marked by a famous floating green.
Afterwards, fuel up at Beverly’s, a five-star restaurant with farm-fresh Northwest cuisine, incredible panoramic views, and one of the region’s largest wine collections. Speaking of wine, the resort is also a stone’s throw from Idaho’s burgeoning wine country. Looks like you’ve got some exploring to do.
For something a tick more tropical, head south of the border to this peaceful oceanfront refuge. Los Cabos is far enough away from the tequila-shooting spring breakers in Cabo San Lucas to provide some real R&R while still buzzy enough that excellent, chef-driven restaurants and dazzling beaches abound.
The fitness center is massive and modern, there are 13 different pools (including one with a swim-up bar), and if you’re looking for a unique experience, try out the tranquil Jasha Spa’s Temazcal, a guided sweat lodge-style meditation inspired by pre-Hispanic healing practices.
You can also partake in outdoorsy adventures like biking, boating, fly-fishing, hiking, horseback riding, scuba diving, surfing, whale watching, water skiing, golf, and visits to nearby gardens and a nature preserve. And don’t forget to hit up Café des Artistes for tasty high-end, locally inspired Mexican fare with a skillful French touch.
Picture waking up in the belly of a Colorado mountain range, sipping coffee on the porch of a luxe yurt-style cabin (complete with WiFi, rustic-chic decor, and a comfy queen bed, of course) surrounded by piñon trees, rolling hills, and crisp blue skies.
Then add in an endless roster of adrenaline-fueled thrills at your fingertips, like epic white water rafting, angling, Jeep tours, mountain biking, climbing, hiking, and zip lining. Plus some much-needed farm-to-table sustenance, including tons of local craft beer, at any number of area restaurants, and maybe even an in-room massage to wind things down. Heaven on earth? Pretty much.(Glamping from $179, Cabins from $355; royalgorgecabins.com)
This masterpiece of a country inn has been delighting nature-starved vacationers in one form or another since its humble beginnings as a quaint tavern back in 1793. Since then, it was overseen by Laurance and Mary Rockefeller (yes, those Rockefellers) before being totally born anew in the 1970s and has undergone continual transformation ever since.
Today, the whole place just oozes with New England-style, from the airy, strikingly modern spa, pro golf course, and giant—we’re talking 42,000-square-feet—athletic center to its renowned all-day restaurant The Red Rooster, which sources many of its ingredients from nearby Kelly Way Gardens, a majestic hillside oasis that also offers tours and dinners.
In terms of activities, expect to take advantage of the rugged Vermont beauty that surrounds you with some hiking, mountain biking, birding, downhill and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, tennis, swimming, fly fishing and, believe it or not, courses in falconry.
It’s a tad on the pricier side, sure, but all that access, plus an undeniably friendly and accommodating staff (and a downstairs game room with vintage pinball!) make the extra bucks well worth it.
Southern Utah’s sun-soaked, rust-hued cliffs and canyons are breathtaking, to the say the least, and this health and wellness-focused St. George resort is the perfect place to take it all in.
Work up a sweat and then get in on some excellent, super-clean eating at Canyon Breeze Restaurant. Guided morning hikes through the sandstone-covered landscape kick things off followed by biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, paddle boarding, rappelling, yoga, meditation, and more.
End the day with a relaxing sunset kayak or some post-hike pampering at Sagestone Spa and Salon. And if you can’t get enough of Canyon Breeze’s delicious and nutritious cuisine, you can even bring the serenity home by signing up for a healthy cooking class led by the wellness team.(From $185; redmountainresort.com)
This one-of-a-kind desert retreat combines timeless Southwestern design (think: adobe walls, frescos, patterned tiling, wood-burning fireplaces) with a foodie-approved restaurant that makes ample use of the expansive onsite farm.
If that’s not enough, resident peacocks can be spotted strolling through the 25-acre lavender fields, beehives (and thus fresh honey) abound, and cruiser bikes are yours for the taking. Guests also have access to organic cooking classes, “meet the farmer” sessions, yoga classes, guided bird walks, and even terrarium workshops. All that for less than $200 a night.