October Travel Deals: Autumn Leaves

Five great getaways that offer fun amid the foliage—at falling prices.

By: Alice Shapin

The Clifton Inn.

An Apple a Day

Where: Clifton Inn, Charlottesville, Va.; 434-971-1800.

What’s special: On 100 acres in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this elegant 18-room inn is gorgeous in autumn. Guests can stroll the grounds, sit dockside at the private lake, or sip a cocktail in the gazebo. The area offers lots to see and do: the University of Virginia, Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier, and vineyards. In fall, nearby Carter Mountain Orchard offers apples galore—plus incredible views.

The deal: The package Called An Apple a Day includes a night in one of the Albemarle rooms; a four-course, apple-inspired dinner for two with wine pairings (think apple-and-chestnut soup with a foie gras dumpling and dry-aged duck breast with crabapple purée and risotto); house-made apple-cider doughnuts delivered to your room in the morning; admission to Carter Mountain Orchard for apple-picking; a fall picnic (apples and cheese, cider, a map of picnic spots); and a jar of house-made apple butter. The price is $325, a 30-percent savings. When reserving, mention The Washingtonian to get this deal.

When: Valid in October.

Updating a Classic

Where: The Homestead, Hot Springs, Va.; 800-838-1766.

What’s special: A historic resort that has hosted presidents and princesses, the Homestead just underwent a $25-million transformation. The contemporary Lobby Bar is a new place to gather before and after dinner. The Mini Cascades, an 18-hole miniature-golf course, now complements the championship courses. A new adults-only spa garden features a geothermal mineral bath, a river reflexology bed, a sauna, and a whirlpool. Surrounded by the Allegheny Mountains, the area is ablaze with color in the fall. Guests can hike along the magnificent Cascades Gorge, go biking, or ride horseback along mountain bridle paths.

The deal: The Bed and Breakfast package includes accommodations and buffet breakfast for two (a $45 value). Mention The Washingtonian to also receive a chocolate replica of the hotel’s tower filled with chocolates (a $75 value) as well as a room upgrade (a $25 value). The package starts at $259 a night, a savings of $145.

When: Valid October 1 through December 20. Some blackout dates may apply.

Gettysburg Address

Where: Federal Pointe Inn, Gettysburg, Pa.; 717-420-5248.

What’s special: This boutique hotel, open since July, is in a former 1896 brick schoolhouse with 12-foot ceilings and hallways adorned with brass chandeliers and Civil War art. The inn has 18 guest rooms—with such touches as four-poster beds, pillow-top mattresses, and free wi-fi—plus a fitness center. Some rooms offer views of Gettysburg National Military Park. You also can enjoy hiking and biking trails as well as antiques shops, galleries, and restaurants.

The deal: Mention The Washingtonian at booking to get 20 percent off the room rate (which normally starts at $199), two free passes to the American Civil War Wax Museum (a $17 value), and a free bottle of wine. All guests can enjoy afternoon tea and scones daily. Washingtonian readers also can get 15 percent off any of the following: golf at the nearby Links at Gettysburg; dinner at the Dobbin House Tavern (a refurbished 1776 home that was a station on the Underground Railroad); a one-hour horseback tour for two with Confederate Trails of Gettysburg; and a 45-minute couples massage at the Gettysburg Day Spa.

When: Valid October and November (blackout dates November 21 through 25).

Falling in Love

Where: The Inn & Spa at Intercourse Village, Intercourse, Pa.; 800-664-0949.

What’s special: Guests enjoy a five-course breakfast—including treats such as muffins and baked peaches, stuffed French toast, quiche, and frittatas. Suites feature separate sitting areas with gas-burning fireplaces and flat-screen TVs. In the heart of Amish country, the inn is a base for exploring quaint shops, rich history, and beautiful fall scenery. You can take a balloon ride, tour covered bridges, or visit Lancaster Central Market, with its local produce and baked goods.

The deal: Stay two nights in either a Country Homestead Suite or a Grand Suite and get $20 off each night—rates normally start at $179 a night on weekdays, $199 weekends—and a $25 gift certificate toward any spa service. On the first night, you’ll also receive rose-petal turndown service, a bouquet of flowers, a nonalcoholic sparkling beverage, and Godiva chocolates (an $84 value in all). Mention The Washingtonian when booking.

When: Valid in October.

New in Annapolis

Where: Loews Annapolis Hotel, Annapolis, Md.; 410-263-7777.

What’s special: This hotel is an easy walk to the city’s shops and sights, including the US Naval Academy and City Dock. While the pet-friendly hotel is done up in a nautical style, the renovated lobby has a contemporary feel—guests check in at “pods” rather than a front desk. A new casual restaurant, West Kitchen & Tavern, honors the Chesapeake region with a raw bar and produce from local farms.

The deal: Mention The Washingtonian or use the online code LPRWAS at booking to get 20 percent off the room rate, 20 percent off dinner at West Kitchen & Tavern, and a City Shopping Card with discounts at local merchants. Rates start at $199 before discount.

When: Valid October 1 through March 31. Rooms must be booked by October 31.

Alice Shapin (alishapin@aol.com) is a contributor to the Great Getaways blog on Washingtonian.com.

This article appears in the October 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.