With the resumption of school and people settling into their normal work/home routines, most families refrain from consideration of travel until the approach of the holiday season. However, that autumnal restraint may overlook wonderful travel deals that can be unearthed during this upcoming, “slow season” in the travel industry. As the owner of Mia Brazilia, I often enjoy this time of the year to take business trips. The weather, irregardless of destination, tends to be milder than either summer or winter. Furthermore, the abundance of discount rates on both airline and hotel expenses are always enticing. Like any other savvy traveler, I have developed several “favorite” fall destinations over the years traveling on behalf of Mia Brazilia. The following five, inviting destinations for a fall getaway will surely leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized:
1.) Telluride, Colorado
- A perennial favorite of both my husband and I, Telluride offers a bucolic setting for a ski and outdoor recreation village…….without the overwhelming crowds of Aspen or Park City. Situated in a glacial box canyon, the laid-back atmosphere that prevails in Telluride immediately welcomes you. During the fall, the crowds are minimal as the Summer Festival season has come to a close and the ski season has not revved up fully until early December. However, there is plenty to do and see in the autumn, from taking one of myriad challenging hikes into the San Juan Mountains outlying the village to enjoying river rafting, mountain biking, hang gliding, and rock climbing. After working up a sweat, take time to stroll through the beguiling, historic downtown district to imbibe at one of Telluride’s fine dining restaurants or breweries. With a convenient airport to accommodate flights originating from both the West Coast, South, and East Coast and a free shuttle service around town called the Galloping Goose, transportation to Telluride is a snap, in spite of its remote location in the Colorado Western Range. The best part of visiting Telluride in the fall: catching the riotous, golden fall foliage emanating from the aspen trees that hug the mountains draping the town in its welcome embrace.
2.) Jackson Hole, Wyoming
- Like Telluride, Jackson Hole offers a menagerie of choices for the outdoor enthusiast. Ideally situated near both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, Jackson offers a fall paradise for visitors looking for autumn festivals, art galleries of Western and modern vintage, and first-rate restaurants. Yet, during your visit, you can escape the catered amenities of the community for the awe-inspiring vastness and beauty of the wilderness by renting a car to travel through both national parks. After the crush of RV’s, campers, and cars of the summer tourist season dissipates, the fall season in Jackson affords a wonderful opportunity for unimpeded, wildlife sightings of bears, elk, and even wolves as the animals are more willing to resurface in preparation for the upcoming winter. Hotel rates drop dramatically during this shoulder season for Jackson in comparison to the high seasons of summer and winter. One of my favorite stop-offs in Jackson when visiting as a representative for Mia Brazilia is the famed Snake River Brewery, the oldest brewery in the entire state of Wyoming. The alluring choices of brews and inviting atmosphere will satisfy even the most-hardened traveler.
3.) Sedona, Arizona
- One of the hidden gems of the American Southwest, Sedona is an artist paradise with dozens of galleries stretching from the fabled Oak Creek Canyon to Red Rock Canyon. Famous for its picturesque reddish-orange mesas and buttes that provide a watchful eye over the village below, Sedona is a shopper’s paradise with multiple plazas invited the customer to visit. After finishing my business for Mia Brazilia, I always make sure to rent a Jeep and go off-roading to one of the many beautiful vistas or trailheads outside Sedona. The fall colors in Sedona are no less exhilarating than Telluride or Jackson and the comfortable temperatures allow you to experience this dramatic landscape without inhibition. After working up a sweat hiking or biking, I love to chose one of the myriad health spas that are situated in Sedona for a relaxing massage or scrub. Sedona is well-known for their red-clay scrubs, taken not surprisingly from the rich, reddish soil that provides the town its recognizable color. You will feel re-born after coming out of one of these uniquely-Sedona health spa treatments! Top off the fall day of activity and leisure with a visit to one of the many exemplary restaurants. Sip from one of the local wines from the heated vista of Cress on Oak Creek at the L’Auberge de Sedona as you enjoy a one-of-a-kind Southwest sunset.
- The so-called “Garden Island” of the Hawaiian island chain, Kauai is my favorite island in the state of Hawaii and the perfect fall escape destination. Great autumn rates on air travel and accommodation between September and November will leave you with more money left over to spend on entertainment and discovery. Whenever I am in Kauai on behalf of Mia Brazilia, I always opt for the sublime northern coast of Kauai, set against the sun-splashed, tropical mountain cliffs that provide a memorable backdrop to the resorts along the coastline. Outdoor excursions abound with the nearby Na Pali coastline a favorite trekking destination of mine. Na Pali was the setting for the Jurassic Park movie franchise and can alternatively be visited by helicopter or airplane if you wish to view the natural wonderland by air, instead of by foot. The Princeville area of Kauai affords all of the requisite spa, shopping, and fine dining options that one comes to expect from a visit to Hawaii. One of the coolest, fall excursions that I took while in Kauai was an adult-only catamaran to the Na Pali coast at sunset. When the sun descended on Na Pali and illuminated the jagged cliffs in shades of crimson and orange, the experience was almost ethereal and other-worldly. I highly recommend splurging on a sunset cruise!
5.) San Francisco
- One of America’s quintessential, “bucket list” cities, San Francisco has been a delightful host for me on many occasions during the fall season while on business for Mia Brazilia. With its rich, vibrant neighborhoods, funky art, and innovative cuisines, San Francisco stimulates and checks-off on all of your sensory requirements. With temperate weather and usually-sunny fall days, the city invites you to take relaxing strolls through its maze of districts from the Marina to Nob Hill. The kaleidoscope of diverse architecture grabs the eye immediately and encourages further exploration. Be sure to jump on a cable car and experience a unique, San Francisco transportation alternative. Jump aboard one of the many boat tours that cruise through the harbor, passing Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. For wine connoisseurs, be sure to set aside one day for a trip to the nearby Napa Valley to savor the famed wines of the region. For the intrepid nature traveler, a stop-off at Muir Woods or Point Reyes National Seashore is mandatory.
The autumn season is the perfect time to plan a fall getaway trip with hotel and air travel rates significantly lower than during the summer tourist season. Telluride, Jackson Hole, Sedona, Kauai, and San Francisco are five, idyllic fall destinations that will assuredly leave you refreshed and restored in preparation for the upcoming holiday season. Take the plunge!