Fall Getaways

By+Linda Jenkins - Manager, Leisure Travel, CTA,

One of the most wonderful times during the year to travel is the fall.  Not only are you blessed with beautiful foliage in most places, more comfortable temperatures and fewer tourists, but the best benefit is special travel bargains!  Once the children are back in school and summer activities are completed, many travelers are looking for that long weekend to enjoy the fall colors, take that cruise to Hawaii, or enjoy all that Europe and Asia have to offer once the tourist season is over.

One of the most beautiful options is the Rocky Mountaineer train that travels through western Canada; the length varies with the itinerary. Try to visualize yourself in a domed railroad car, with plush seats and plenty of glass observation area, enjoying those incomparable views of mountain peaks and lush valleys all the way to Vancouver. Or, pick up a car in Boston and drive to Cape Cod for a couple of days and spend some time beachcombing and relaxing at one of the historic inns on the island before you head off to the mountains of Vermont or New Hampshire to enjoy the changing colors of the leaves. Or maybe a visit to a city like New York or San Francisco—getting theater tickets, a coveted table at a famous restaurant and visiting museums is so much easier without the crowds.

Fall is a perfect time for cruising too!  From the East Coast and the New England-Canada itineraries to the Mediterranean, so many options! You can visit New York, Boston, Bar Harbor, Maine, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Montreal all without having to pack and unpack at all!  The cruises from Spain or Italy thru the Mediterranean will offer Rome, Barcelona, Nice, Florence, Sorrento, Venice, Athens, and Istanbul. Lots of combinations of these destinations will provide the cruise experience you have been dreaming about.

You might also consider taking an escorted tour of our National Parks. Think of it!  Zion, Yosemite, Glacier, Yellowstone! So interesting when you are traveling with a naturalist or guide, they are able to share detailed information on how our parks were developed and by whom, with all the fun, personal stories that make this a memorable travel experience. 

How about a visit to our historically important cities like Boston, Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Washington, D.C. and Williamsburg?  So much to do and see and full of our interesting United States history.

There are escorted trips all over the world that offer special pricing during the fall and winter months. It is the easy way to travel.  You will have only two responsibilities, one, show up on time for scheduled activities, two, relax and enjoy the trip knowing someone else is responsible for your arrangements. No trying to find hotels, parking spaces, restaurants and attractions -- your time will be filled with new friends and experiences.

Now if you prefer more local fare, the absolute best way to find out what is happening in an area is to call or check the website of the local county or city tourism and visitors office.  They will have lists of activities, festivals, sights, shopping venues and restaurants so you can determine the best time for your visit.  For instance, in the Fort Wayne area, some of the special celebrations each year are the Johnny Appleseed Festival, The Three Rivers Festival or the Antique Car Auction in Auburn.  Of course Wisconsin has Door County, a gem of an area with lots of interesting things to do.  Milwaukee and Cleveland celebrate German Oktoberfest each autumn. Oh, and how about the pumpkin festival in Circleville, Ohio. There are plenty of options if you have a specific interest, like antiques or historic sites, or even vintage farm equipment.

For the fall, my personal choice for a traveling option is Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley, California.  Harvest time is a very special event in wine country and it is so much fun! There are festivals and celebrations of the new wines, the weather is lovely, and food never tastes so good!  You can spend your day traveling from vineyard to vineyard sampling wines and special delicacies along the way.  There is even a train that will provide transportation for those who will want more than a sip!  And as lovely as that always is, my new favorite is the Central Valley of California, the Santa Barbara area.  My children have a friend who owns a vineyard in Paso Robles, Venteux. It is small and very hands-on from bottling to labeling; it is a family affair in which they love to include visitors. They produce a delicious and noteworthy selection of wines. It is a close knit community of vintners who enjoy sharing their visitors. I have an evening planned for some guests who will be staying at the guest house at Venteux this fall.  All the local vintners and organic growers are bringing their specialties for a dinner and wine tasting on the terrace. What a way to end a day in wine country.

So whether you have 2 days or 2 weeks, there are so many options for you to consider! If you need more information or resources, please feel free to call.  After all, we’re in the business of making memories!!