8 Autumn Getaways We Love
Fall’s crisp air, bright colors and special events make it a great time of year to plan a getaway. Revel in the best of the season at one of these picture-perfect destinations.
Lake Oconee: Vibrant Autumn Leaves and Lakeside Treats
September through November
Leave the pressures of daily life behind with a retreat to Georgia’s Lake Oconee, where the beauty of the season is on full display. Enjoy a hike through the 15 miles of trails that surround the area’s wetlands, or take to the lake in a kayak or canoe for a more expansive view of the surrounding autumn leaves. After a day of exploration, head back to The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee for s’mores at the resort’s cozy lakeside bonfire.
Berlin: Fall Fun at Oktoberfest in Germany
September 22 through October 15
For nearly a month every fall, life in Berlin revolves around dining, drinking and dancing. Take to the Oktoberfest tents to sample some of the country’s finest beer and food, set to a soundtrack of traditional Bavarian brass bands, and meander through Tiergarten Park’s winding tree-lined paths and sprawling green spaces to the lakeside beer garden at Café am Neuen See. When you’ve had your fill of sausage and beer, retreat back to the Curtain Club for a creative cocktail by Arnd Heissen, who was recently voted Mixologist of the Year.
Dallas: A Botanical Extravaganza at Pumpkin Village
September 23 through November 22
The Dallas Arboretum is a year-round beauty, to be sure, but the grounds really come to life in the fall, as more than 4,000 chrysanthemums bloom next to nearly 100,000 pumpkins. Spread out over an acre of lush land that feels like a stark contrast to urban Dallas, the arboretum’s Pumpkin Village features artful arrangements of pumpkins and gourds, and the cooler fall temperatures make it a perfect time for a picnic in the garden.
Hong Kong: Celebrate China’s Mid-Autumn Festival
An homage to the moon, China’s Mid-Autumn Festival dates back to the 7th century and is considered by locals to be one of the most important festivals of the year. The modern-day iteration features neighborhood carnivals, lantern exhibits and the fire dragon dance, a three-night performance of fire and smoke that wends its way through the streets of Tai Hung. Set against the backdrop of Hong Kong’s bustling streets and festive markets, it’s a true feast for the senses.
Bangalore: Food and Fireworks at the Diwali Festival of Lights
Originally a farming fête meant to honor the last harvest of the year before winter, Diwali has morphed into a national festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. The five-day celebration includes food and fireworks, and the city streets are lined with houses and shops decorated with small oil lamps. Explore the city’s culture by day with stops at the Bangalore Palace and the Bull Temple, then indulge in a traditional northwestern Indian feast at Riwaz before setting out for an evening stroll along the sparkling city streets.
Kyoto: Japanese Traditions at Jidai Matsuri
Celebrate the city’s rich heritage at this annual parade that marks the anniversary of the founding of Kyoto. Set against the backdrop of changing leaves, nearly 2,000 participants dressed in traditional garb take to the streets, giving spectators a glimpse into the history and culture that has shaped the city into what it is today. Further your exploration of the region’s past with a tour of the 1,200-year-old Kiyomizu temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s made even more stunning by the surrounding autumn leaves.
New York City: Halloween’s Costumes and Candy
As the summer heat dies down, New York City comes alive — and Halloween night is no exception. Take part in the revelry of the annual Village Halloween Parade, then retreat to the neighborhood’s quiet brownstone-lined streets for Jack-O-Lantern gazing and trick-or-treating for the kids, before finishing your evening with a nightcap in the fabled Star Lounge.
Geneva: Swiss Chocolates at the Fête de L’Escalade
This weekend-long celebration of the Genevans’ defense of their city in 1602 brings locals out in droves, as nearly 1,000 people don traditional costumes and march the streets of Old Town Geneva. Legend has it that the intruders were kept at bay by a pot of boiling soup, and today the occasion is marked by enjoying a pot of chocolate stuffed with sweets. Take part in the revelry by booking the Chocolate Lover’s Package at the The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva, which overlooks the bright blue water of Lake Geneva and offers easy access to the city’s stunning natural landscape.
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