The air is starting to become a little bit crisper and cooler in parts of the U.S., which means the leaves are on the brink of turning into a spectacular display of color and pumpkin spice is everywhere!
To get into an autumn state of mind, IHG Hotels & Resorts is sharing time-honored fall tradition trips to take, from pumpkin patches to leaf-peeping.
The pick of the patch
Dubbed one of America’s best pumpkin patches by outlets such as HuffPost and Travel Channel makes The Great Pumpkin Farm a seasonal bucket list add for family fun. Every weekend during fall, starting September 17 thru Halloween, there is a plethora of activities from pumpkin picking, hayrides, apple cider donuts... and did we mention a pie-eating contest?! There are also Halloween-themed attractions like making scarecrows, wrapping mummies, and zombie train rides.
This annual event is just outside of Buffalo, so out-of-towners can book a convenient stay at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Buffalo-Airport and be in Clarence, New York in under 30 minutes. To make a weekend of it, the hotel is also close to the majestic, natural wonder of the world, Niagara Falls, as well as the Niagara Wine Trail, where there are 20 unique wineries to taste from.
Fall breeze & autumn leaves
With extreme elevations and more than 100 species of deciduous trees – the Blue Ridge Mountains have one of the longest and most vibrant leaf seasons. Relax and refresh in the natural beauty the mountains offer with a stay at the new Candlewood Suites Asheville Downtown – just minutes away from the Biltmore Estate and Blue Ridge Parkway. And stay up-to-date with the best autumn hikes and drives with Explore Asheville’s weekly fall color map. A stay here also puts you within 40 minutes of Sky Top Orchard, an apple farm where you can not only pick apples but shoot them through an apple cannon. You can also take in the sights of the mountaintop farm via a hayride while snacking on cider donuts!
Head north to Canada and it doesn’t get more special than fall in the Rocky Mountain town of Canmore, Alberta. For a few weeks of the year, the larch trees transform to a golden hue and can be experienced up close by way of a hiking trail or along the Bow River. For a completely different perspective from above the clouds, take in a helicopter tour. If you want to experience the magic longer, a stay at Holiday Inn Canmore puts you just five minutes from the gates of Banff National Park, offering dramatic mountain views against Lake Louise. For more places to experience fall foliage at its finest, IHG Hotels & Resorts has rounded-up must-visit spots from the Smoky Mountains to the Adirondacks here.
The original escape rooms – nothing beats a great corn maze and to get lost in one of the best there is, head to Vermont. Nicknamed the “Green Mountain State,” in the fall, it is anything but with a canopy of colors against a backdrop of mountain views that is best viewed driving along Route 100, the Green Mountain Byway, historic Route 7A, Skyline Drive and more. Book your stay at the Kimpton Taconic Hotel and kick off your road trip through this tailor-made-for-autumn state at Equinox Valley Nursery. Starting mid-September, the nursery transforms into a Halloween fantasy. Here you can get lost in a creative corn maze with characters that pop up along the way. Afterward treat yourself to apple cider and pumpkin bread while taking in spectacular foliage views of the Green Mountains. In the nearby towns of Stowe and Jeffersonville, there’s a Cold Hollow Cider Mill and even a Maple Outlet where you can learn how to make maple syrup. Looking for more fall fun? The hotel has a list of nearby fall activities, so all you have to do is focus on spending the day soaking in those famous bursts of orange, gold and red.
If you’ve got it, haunt it
Named America’s most haunted city, New Orleans is home to more haunted hotels than any other city in America. So, where better to stay than one of the city’s most storied buildings? Crowne Plaza New Orleans French Quarter has a history going back to 1852 – a time when the city was plagued by yellow fever earning it the grim title, “City of The Dead.” The hotel was originally an A. Schwartz & Son department store, later becoming a Woolworth’s. It continued in this capacity until the 1990s, though the building itself underwent significant renovations. While it wasn’t until the new millennium that the property was transformed into the Crowne Plaza New Orleans French Quarter, hotel guests report encountering ominous energies, mysterious orbs, and apparitions in the historic Alexa Tower – part of the oldest section of the hotel. Not surprising for a city famous for its mystical arts, Voodoo queens, pirates, and yes, even professed vampires. If you’re on the hunt for a good haunt this season, book a stay in the Alexa Tower and venture out for a Haunted History Tour with New Orleans’ original ghost tour company.
If you’re down for the haunted history tour without the ghostly hotel guests, check out voco St. James Hotel. The hotel is on Magazine Street – home to Ghost Manor – where you can enjoy an evening of singing skeletons. For more historic hotel stays from IHG Hotels & Resorts with ghostly guests, click here.
Apple of your eye
Demarest Farms in Hillsdale, New Jersey, is just an hour outside of New York City and opens for apple picking in early September. What makes this apple-picking farm so special is its Halloween Light Show. The spooktacular event is a vehicle-guided tour through 32 acres of Halloween light displays. Before the show, make sure to stop by the farm’s market, where you can purchase fresh apple cider donuts and other delicious baked goods to snack on. Or enjoy a make-your-own s’mores and hot coco set-up by the farm’s fire pits. For a nearby stay, check into Holiday Inn Express Ramsey-Mahwah. Just 15 minutes from Demarest Farms, the hotel’s location offers convenience for those making a weekend trip.
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