It's game time, leaf peepers! We are in the midst of peak leaf-peeping season, and you don't even need to be a binocular-bearing botanist to enjoy fall magic taking shape in the form of beautiful changing leaves across the country. From the White Mountains of New England to the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest -- we found plenty of foliage-friendly hotels that give guests a front row seat on the chlorophyll breakdown action. So, if you're stumped on where to spy purple dogwoods, red sumacs, and orange maples -- look no further, leaf ogler. We branched out to find some of the best lookin' treetops in the land!
The Salish Lodge & Spa offers breathtaking views of mother nature’s artwork. Thousands of leaf oglers swarm the Lodge every October to snap images of the bright orange Cascades and gushing waterfalls. The hotel is about 40-minute drive from Seattle — so bring along that Starbucks pumpkin latte. Most of the property’s 84 rooms have wood-burning fireplaces and peek-a-boo bathrooms with two-person tubs. Stone fireplaces, stacked firewood, and cashmere throws make this hotel super snuggle-worthy for couples looking for a romantic fall escape.
Stowe Mountain Lodge is nestled at the base of Vermont’s highest peak, making it a top spot for viewing New England’s infamous changing leaves. Aside from being a leaf peeper paradise, the quaint town is packed with fall-tastic activities like pumpkin picking, hiking, and farmers’ market shopping. The Lodge offers rustic elegance throughout the property — from the impressive lobby with floor-to-ceiling windows to the bright, contemporary rooms. This property also has a lot in the way of amenities, particularly for the area: an inviting spa, big outdoor pool with mountain views, acclaimed restaurant, state-of-the-art fitness center, 18-hole golf course, and great children’s program.
This 96-room lodge in Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont has become a destination unto itself, not just for its excellent amenities and impressive foliage views, but for its rich history. The charming property is still run by the famed Trapp family, whose story was told in the movie The Sound of Music, and original memorabilia from past generations is displayed throughout. So if leaf admiring is your “Favorite Thing,” feel free to “Climb Every Mountain” here before bidding adieu (“So Long, Farewell…”) to the fall scenery.
Maine isn’t just lighthouses and lobster rolls — it’s got a woodsy interior that reveals a spectacular color wheel before the doldrums of winter set in. For leaf lovers looking for a cozy landing pad, Hidden Pond is a favorite among tree huggers. Spread over 60 acres, it’s located smack in Kennebunkport — with easy access to the Main Turnpike (if your foliage hunt leads you more north). Each of Hidden Pond’s 36 suite-like bungalows and two-bedroom cottages have their own personality, but they are all bright, homey, and sophisticated, characterized by pops of color and lodge-like touches (such as stone fireplaces adorned with antlers, and lamps made from tree branches).
The Sassy Moose Inn in Wilson, Wyoming may be heavy on the kitschy decor, but the jaw-dropping views of Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort are truly stunning. The five rooms at the bed-and-breakfast vary in style: The Cowboy Room is large with sparse log cabin decor, a small tube TV, and soaking tub, while the Wildflower Room is tight with low ceilings, a flat-screen TV, and simple, minimal furniture. The views of the wooded Tetons are the big bonus (and, of course, the occasional moose sighting). It’s a nice, casual option for anyone seeking to be surrounded by the great outdoors.
Located in the heart of Lake Placid, this hotel offers beautiful views of both Mirror Lake and the surrounding trees. Mere moments from all of Main Street’s offerings, this 133-room resort manages to feel both central and secluded at the same time. Most rooms offer scenic lake views (don’t miss the stunning sunrises), as well as modern amenities and noteworthy bathrooms compared to neighboring properties. Downtown Lake Placid is within walking distance and offers plenty of shopping, restaurants, and cafes — and the Olympic Center, site of the 1980 Olympics, is just four blocks away.