What better way to spend a cool, crisp, fall day than leaf-peeping in the great outdoors? From California to Maine, here are 12 hotels that promise spectacular views, in addition to terrific eats and a dreamy bed (so you can properly fuel up and rest up).
Stowe Mountain Lodge in Stowe, VT
While peak season for this New England favorite is winter, consider visiting in the fall, before the holiday crowds pack the place. The accommodations are super spacious – even the studios feature private patios, kitchenettes, and separate soaking tubs and showers. If hitting the slopes isn't your thing, there's plenty of other activities for thrill seekers, like ziplining and rock climbing (all set up by the on-site Adventure Center).
Cliff House in Neddick, Maine
Set on the rocky bluffs of coastal Maine, this iconic resort – it recently underwent a sweeping, glamorous renovation – has stunning, heart-stopping views of the Atlantic Ocean. But the scenery doesn't stop there. Cliff House is also cradled bypine, birch and maple trees, so take some time to stroll through and take in the colors. Afterwards, fuel up with freshly-caught seafood at The Tiller or Nubb's Lobster Shack.
The Suttle Lodge in Sisters, OR
From the team who brought you the Ace Hotel Portland comes this low-key, incredibly cozy lodge nestled in the Deschutes National Forest. Whether you book a room in the lodge or a private cabin, you'll get to enjoy the best of the outdoors ( kayaking, fishing, and swimming) and quality bites and sips courtesy of Portland talents Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene's and Tusk and Sean Hoard formerly of Teardrop Cocktail lounge.
Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel, CA
Encompassing 500 acres in the Santa Lucia Mountains, this luxury resort by Joie de Vivre Hotels has something for every type of traveler, from the spa junkie to fitness buff to the epicurean. No matter where you find yourself at the resort, whether it's poolside or teeing off at the Pete Dye-designed golf course, you're guaranteed some pretty breathtaking views.
21c Museum Hotel Bentonville in Bentonville, AR
Tucked away in the densely-forested Ozark Mountains, this hip, 104-room boutique hotel marries design-forward accommodations with a contemporary art museum. Take advantage of the complimentary bike rentals, and enjoy a self-guided foliage tour on one of the local trails. And back at the hotel's restaurant, Hive, tuck into chef and Arkansas native Matthew McClure's refined spins on Southern staples like pimento cheese, pork chops, and hominy grits.
Paws Up in Greenough, MT
If you're into spending time in the great outdoors 24/7, then look no further than Paws Up – which many credit with pioneering the glamping trend. The tents are so plushly appointed (think signature beds, clawfoot tubs, even air conditioning and butlers), it's easy to forget that you're not in a hotel. And with 37,000-acres of postcard-perfect Montana wilderness surrounding you, a bad view is impossible.
Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, CA
Everything here, from the rooms to the spa to the restaurant, maintains an indoor-outdoor feel, so you constantly feel connected to nature. When the sun sets, grab a blanket and sit around by the fire pit with a bottle of wine (naturally) and the famous s'mores. (The graham crackers and marshmallows are house made.)
Scribner's Catskill Lodge in Hunter, NY
Originally opened in 1966, this sleekly-renovated 38-room lodge in the Catskills now features a clean, minimalist aesthetic with white-washed ceilings and walls, vintage rugs, and custom-designed wood furniture. And the highly anticipated restaurant, helmed by chefs Matt Ricke and Adam Volk (from Brooklyn restaurants Esme and Exley) will open soon with an innovative menu drawing inspiration from Alpine cuisine.
Inn at Little Washington in Washington, VA
Favored by Presidents and celebrities, this posh, discreet inn is perched in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in an equally discreet town—Washington's population is under 160. Here, chef and owner Patrick O'Connell turns out sophisticated, yet playful cuisine, like his beloved "Tin of Sin." A little blue tin filled with American Osetra Caviar, Peekytoe Crab, and Cucumber Rillette that arrives with toasted brioche. It's equal parts whimsical and decadent, much like the inn itself.
The Westin Poinsett in Greenville, SC
While there's no shortage of reasons to check out this charming South Carolina town any time of year – there's terrific restaurants, bike trails and plenty of Southern hospitality to spare – a visit in the fall is a must. And when you do come, make this historic downtown hotel your home base. It's situated on a picturesque, tree-lined street, offering up a kaleidoscopic, fiery display of colors, along with all the nostalgia of small town America.
Manor Vail Lodge in Vail, CO
While most people associate Vail with skiing, this cozy lodge by Destination Hotels proves how striking and colorful Colorado can be in the autumn months. To make the most of your surroundings, hike to the top of Vail Mountain. (North Trail is a local favorite.) Then rest easy and make yourself at home in the roomy accommodations, kitted out with fireplaces, kitchens, and private balconies.
Mere steps away from the University of Michigan, this chicly-designed hotel – it's part of a collection of boutique properties in college towns across the country – offers convenient access to both the campus and the city's top restaurants and shops. Plus, you'll be hard pressed to find a better college town for prime leaf-peeping this time of year.