The Northeast U.S. is world-famous for its fall foliage. Luckily, there are some outstanding small inns and hotels where you can take in the falling leaves, hike, bike, climb rocks, boat, golf, fish, dine nicely and so on. Our list includes four multiple-award winners, along with top suites, or cabins in some cases, and some guidance into best viewing times. That said, turning leaves are weather dependent so it’s important to call and check as you hone in on your travel dates.
The Point, Saranac Lake, New York
Luxury travel agency Andrew Harper describes The Point, a Forbes 5-star winner, this way: “Evocative property formerly owned by the Rockefeller family, on Upper Saran Lake, 45 minutes from Lake Placid. Eleven all different accommodations are housed within an imposing log structure and three annexes. Most feature stone fireplaces, custom furnishings and luxurious baths.”
Sentinel (825 sq. ft.) is a suite on the upper floor of what was originally the stables and garage (pictured above), with views in every direction. A king-size bed with silver birch tree trunk posts seems to grow from the floor; there is a working stone fireplace. In the breakfast/sitting room, chairs, reading lamps and a sofa are in front of a second stone fireplace, and a door leads out to a private deck with chaise lounges. Wilderness luxury meets Park Avenue with a black and white marble bathroom with a double soaking tub, a separate waterfall shower and ceiling-high mirrors.
Weatherwatch (at 850 sq. ft.) is the former living room of the Guest House (pictured above). A giant, chiseled-stone fireplace faces a wall of windows framing the glittering lake. There is a beamed cathedral ceiling. In the bathroom, original black slate sinks were once used by William Rockefeller to develop photographs. You get a walk-in closet and a private stone patio. Unlike Sentinel, bedroom and living area of Weatherwatch are shared, so not a true suite.
Best time for fall foliage is mid to late October, and the nearest GA access point is Adirondack Regional Airport (SLK) with a 6,573 ft. runway 20 minutes away.
The White Barn Inn, Kennebunk Beach, Maine
A Forbes 5-star, AAA 5-Diamond winner, The White Barn Inn & Spa is 26 antique decorated rooms, suites and waterfront cottages. The inn’s restaurant is housed in two restored 19th-century barns.
For romantic getaways, The Loft Suite (620 sq. ft.) has its own private entrance, a gas burning fireplace and deep Jacuzzi tub for two, plus separate walk-in steam shower and private deck. The suite is on two levels, so if you have mobility issues, you may want to pass.
For families, Loon Cottage, with cathedral ceilings, provides 2 water view bedrooms, each with its own entrance, plus two full baths, two wood-burning fireplaces and can sleep up to four. There is also a private patio.
For turning foliage, the first few weeks of October are usually best. Sanford Seacoast Airport is 25 minutes away with a 6,389 ft. runway, operating 24 hours.
Wheatleigh, Lenox, MA
Another Forbes 5-star, AAA 5-diamond winner, Wheatleigh offers 19 rooms and suites, and is part of The Leading Hotels of the World. Andrew Harper says, “Exquisitely restored 19th-century Italianate palazzo amid 22 acres of parkland. Among the 19 lodgings, the five Junior Suites offer baths with soaking tubs and separate showers, and balconies with views of the serene, wooded landscape. Contemporary and traditional furnishings accent the Great Hall and lounge.”
The Aviary is a two-story suite with a private covered terrace. The downstairs living room features windows on all sides. A glass enclosed circular stair leads to a second floor sleeping room. Bathroom features limestone and glass, the wet room combines a soaking tub and shower area at 573 sq. ft. It is the only suite which features separate bedroom and living areas.
Fall foliage generally crosses the middle of October, and Pittsfield Municipal Airport is 15 minutes away with a 5,791 ft. runway.
Twin Farms, Barnard, VT
If you want to soak, sip some hot cider and check out turning leaves, Twin Farms has a healthy selection of accommodations. A Relais & Chateau, Forbes 5-star property, Harper says, the inn is “an intimate country retreat amid 300 acres of meadows and woodlands in an unspoiled valley. Hand painted murals, rich maple and pine woodwork, and American folk art adorn rustically elegant lounges. Twenty distinctive lodgings feature king-size feather beds and sitting areas with fireplaces that open onto screened porches.”
The 3,000 sq. ft. Chalet (above) includes a hot tub on the porch, two fireplaces, including a floor to ceiling fieldstone fireplace on the main floor. The 1,000 sq. ft. Birch and Lilac have two fireplaces and a shared hot tub, with lovely lake views, spectacular with the turning leaves. Maple, also 1,000 sq. ft., has a deep soaking tub with 270-degree views of the leaves, and is worth consideration. If you are into bathtubs, also take a look at 1,165 sq. ft Perch (below).
Fall foliage is from now until mid-October and the nearest port is Lebanon Airport with a 5,496 ft. runway.