As autumn’s vibrant palette sweeps across the Northern Hemisphere, discerning travelers look for the ultimate destinations that offer more than just pretty foliage. Here’s Pursuitist curated list of five must-visit locales this fall, catering to those with a refined sense of wanderlust. We’ll delve into luxury accommodations, exquisite dining experiences, and curated activities for an unforgettable autumnal journey.
Asheville, North Carolina – A Symphony of Colors
In Asheville, the hues of autumn are nothing short of a visual symphony. Beyond the well-known Blue Ridge Parkway, venture to the Craggy Gardens for a less crowded, but equally mesmerizing, palette of fall colors.
Stay: Biltmore Estate
This Vanderbilt mansion turned luxury estate offers more than just a room—it’s a deep dive into American history with a side of opulence. Choose their Legacy of the Land package to explore the breathtaking fall foliage in a private tour of the expansive estate, complete with a personalized picnic setup.
From rare Spanish wines to a rotating menu of seasonal tapas, Cúrate offers an epicurean journey that mirrors the diversity of Asheville itself.
For those with an eye for fine art, the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center offers a blend of history and contemporary exhibitions.
Sedona, Arizona – Cosmic Connection
A spiritual sojourn awaits in Sedona. Consider a guided meditation at the Chapel of the Holy Cross—a monumental chapel built directly into the red rocks.
Stay: Enchantment Resort
Avail of their Mii Amo spa packages and immerse yourself in activities from tennis to stargazing, all while surrounded by the canyon’s grandeur.
Dine: Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill
Chef Lisa Dahl propels Latin cuisine to another level, with menu highlights like chimichurri-topped steaks and Pisco Sour cocktails.
The Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village offers a curated selection of Southwestern art and handcrafted goods that defy the usual tourist kitsch.
Acadia National Park, Maine – The Canvas of New England
Acadia’s landscape is a living canvas. For the oceanic angle, take a boating tour along the coast, offering another vantage point for foliage.
Stay: The Claremont Hotel
Their suite rooms offer antique furnishings, and the private balconies are perfect for basking in the fall colors.
Dine: Jordan Pond House Restaurant
Pair your popovers with homemade jam and afternoon tea for a quintessential New England experience.
Get an Acadia Annual Pass. It grants a full year’s access, enabling multiple visits during different stages of the fall foliage cycle.
Maui, Hawaii – The Eternal Summer
In Maui, fall is a summer encore. Indulge in a private helicopter ride to explore hidden waterfalls and remote landscapes.
Stay: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
The ‘Unforgettable Experiences’ package offers personalized itineraries that might include a private dinner under the stars.
Dine: Mama’s Fish House
Try the Opakapaka, a snapper caught in local waters and adorned with flavors like macadamia nut and lime.
Maui’s “upcountry” is an under-the-radar haven of organic farms and distilleries—perfect for a day trip.
Banff National Park, Canada – Untamed Elegance
Banff offers the rare combination of wild beauty and refined luxury. Icefields Parkway is a scenic route that becomes even more stunning with the fall foliage backdrop.
Stay: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Upgrade to the Fairmont Gold experience, where your stay is enhanced with a private lounge and complimentary canapés.
Dine: Eden at The Rimrock Resort Hotel
The nine-course Chef’s Tasting Menu with wine pairings is more than a meal—it’s a gastronomic storyline.
Make reservations for the Banff Upper Hot Springs. It offers relaxation and remarkable views, particularly enchanting in the autumn twilight.
These wonderful fall destinations are far from ordinary, designed for the sophisticated traveler looking to capture the unique spirit of autumn. The season provides a wealth of opportunities—from vivid foliage that elevates natural beauty to high art, to climates that make any outdoor excursion enjoyable. Add to this a selection of cultural and recreational pursuits that break from the everyday, and you have all the ingredients for an unparalleled fall experience. Whether you’re venturing into new territories or revisiting cherished spots, the autumn stage is set. All that’s missing is you to complete the picture. Time to embark on your next great pursuit.