The Best Fall Weekend Trips to Take with a Significant Other
All relationships could benefit from a break in routine, and a weekend trip is the perfect way to do that this fall. Whether you and your partner are brand new to the let’s-travel-together stage or have been together for years and want to reconnect in an unfamiliar setting, these small towns, outdoor escapes, and fascinating cities will provide the perfect opportunity. From the Midwest to Europe, read on to discover our favorite fall weekend trips to spark some romance.
Mid-Atlantic: Sullivan Catskills, NY
Leave the stress of New York City behind with a 90-minute trip to the Sullivan Catskills, where you can reconnect with your significant other amidst pretty foliage, farm-to-table eats, and fun fall activities. The region is jam-packed with autumn festivals for couples who like to stay busy—there’s the end-of-September Oktoberfest at Roscoe Beer Co. (voted the best craft brewery in New York); the Wine Festival and Craft Beer Festival at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts; and the highly-anticipated first annual Catskills Wine and Food Festival (complete with celebrity chefs, live music, private tastings, and over 25 live cooking demonstrations) October 6-7. The area is also chock-full of outdoor activities, with plenty of places to hike and optimal leaf-peeping. For foodie couples, the local, family-owned Northern Farmhouse Pasta is a must-try, as is the Pickled Owl, an upscale gastropub that sources ingredients locally. Top off the meal with drinks at Abandoned Hard Cider, a historic barn cidery that reclaims apples from wild and abandoned orchards.
New England: Stowe, VT
See some of the most beautiful fall foliage in the country in the quaint mountain town of Stowe, Vermont. First, check out Moss Glen Falls to surround yourselves with water, rocks, and colorful trees—it’s a short hike, well worth it even for those who aren’t the outdoorsy types. After that, see firsthand why Vermont is an industry-leader in brews by following the Stowe Craft Beverage Trail. If you can’t hit every spot on the map, make sure Stowe Cider is at the top of your list—with its rotation of several seasonals, barrel-aged, and limited-edition picks, there’s a drink for everybody, plus live music every Saturday. Want a day filled with adventure? Sign up for the Arbortrek Zip Line Canopy Tour to ride along 4,500 feet of zip lines across the Green Mountains—thrilling and super scenic with that bird’s-eye view of the trees. After you’ve surrounded yourself with all the nature you can handle, settle in to the Stowe Mountain Lodge, which offers spacious rooms and suites with incredible views.
West Coast: Eastern Sierra, CA
Nature-loving couples will love all the outdoor wonders in the eastern Sierra, which stretches from Lone Pine in the south to the Nevada line in the north, including Mount Whitney and the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park. Canoe or kayak around the salty Mono Lake to best see the tufa towers—the spot’s unique limestone formations that add an otherworldliness to the lake. To continue on the nature path, drive half an hour to Mammoth Lakes and hike to the breathtaking Rainbow Falls, named for the spectacular rainbows reflected off the water in the sun. Since the hiking trail isn’t too shaded, early fall is the perfect time to make the trek without feeling overheated. And don’t leave the area without seeing the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains, about a two-hour drive from Mono Lake. It’s home to the oldest trees in the world, and open through mid-November. You’ll lose cell reception along the way, but that just makes it easier to simply enjoy one another’s company. After long days spent with Mother Earth, retreat to The Village Lodge in Mammoth Lakes, where you can cozy up by the fireplace or take an evening dip in one of the five hot tubs on the property.
Midwest: Hocking Hills, OH
Need a break from the Midwest’s cities and suburbs? Take your partner to Hocking Hills, home of the state park recognized as the best campsite in the country. If you’re not eager to pitch a tent, reserve a romantic cabin instead—there are plenty of cozy options equipped with fireplaces, hot tubs, AC, and more. Spend your days hiking the numerous trails, admiring Cedar Falls, and walking through the impressive Ash Cave, before stargazing the night away at John Glenn Astronomy Park, where you can experience the sky by telescope and see a nearly pristine view of it by eye. As for food, pack a picnic, or head to the nearby Historic Downtown Nelsonville for yummy dining options like Rhapsody, which prides itself on locally-sourced ingredients.
South: Asheville, NC
Asheville has one of the longest and most vibrant fall seasons in the nation, making it perfect for a leaf-peeping autumn adventure. Still, there’s a lot more than just pretty foliage in this cool city. Take an informative trolley tour downtown to learn about its history, or explore on your own by checking out the array of shops (especially the numerous craft galleries), breweries (New Belgium Brewing Company is top-rated), and good eats (like the renowned Plant Vegan Restaurant). Make your way to a farmer’s market like the North Asheville Tailgate Market, open Saturday mornings through November with over 40 vendors, to pick up some local bites for a picnic under the trees or some mid-hike munchies as you trek to the impressive Linnville Falls.
Canada: Victoria, BC
Spend a Canadian weekend with your partner in Victoria for the perfect combination of gorgeous views and well-deserved pampering. For the former, you can’t miss the Butchart Gardens, where golden maples emerge in the Japanese Garden, or the Inner Harbour, where you’ll enjoy a long waterfront stroll. As for the pampering, relax in the Boathouse Spa, which offers three heated outdoor mineral baths on the edge of the Salish Sea. Enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner at Il Terrazzo, voted Victoria’s best Italian restaurant, and explore the Cowichan Valley’s family-owned wineries on a guided tour through scenic landscapes.
A 45-minute train ride from Paris, French couples (or those visiting!) must travel to Reims for a weekend escape. Aside from the fact that there are jaw-dropping historical sites, monuments, and cathedrals everywhere—like Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims, Basilique Saint-Remi, and Palais du Tau, to name a few—the area embodies romance with its signature champagne. For the ultimate experience, book a tour to learn everything about the French bubbly, and make sure a tasting is included to sip it for yourselves. We recommend a Moët et Chandon and Taittinger tour, both must-see champagne houses. Bed down at Chateau Les Crayeres, a beautiful luxury property designed in classical French style.
Commute an hour and a half from London to arrive in the relaxing spa city of Bath for a true city getaway. The only place in Britain that offers natural thermal hot spring bathing, Bath is perfect for a couple’s wellness weekend. Visit the Thermae Bath Spa to experience the naturally-warm, open-air rooftop pool or the indoor Minerva Bath, complete with a lazy river. When you need a break from the water, head on down to the remarkable Bath Distillery, where you can learn to make gin and try one (or a few) of the more than 250 varieties offered at the spot’s Canary Gin Bar. Make time for a little bit of learning on this trip with a stop at the Roman Baths — we know, history might not sound sexy, but the wondrous beauty of these stone remains is well worth it. When it’s time to wind down for the night, grab a room in the elegant Bath Priory, just a short stroll from the city center.
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