October and November are the perfect months for short family weekend getaways. Kids (and parents!) are ready for a break from the busy back-to-school schedule, and hotels and resorts are less crowded and keen to offer fall discounts. Where to go to combine fun autumn activities with discounted lodging? We’ve checked out almost a dozen family trip ideas in the past few months in order to pass along our favorites to you. Below is a round up of our top five picks across the country for a fall family getaway:
1. Omni Mount Washington, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire:
Not only do Omni Resorts go all-out for kids, but the Omni Mount Washington embraces Halloween with its very own ghost: be on the lookout for the widowed bride of the resort’s original owner, said to haunt the hotel. Supernatural happenings aside, the Mount Washington location offers outdoor activities perfect for fall. Families can hike or bike right from the resort, or take a day trip to explore the Mt. Washington Cog Railway or Crawford Notch State Park. Then introduce the kids to the fun of ‘leaf peeping’ along New Hampshire’s winding highways.
2. Northstar California, North Lake Tahoe, CA:
Beat the skiers to Tahoe with a trip to Northstar before the snow flies. (You might even get the added bonus of an early snowfall.) There’s plenty for families to do at Northstar in the fall, from biking and hiking to riding the gondola for views. Roller skating is available on the ice rink, and the village shops are sporting pre-season sales. We love the discounts to be found in the village condos or the homes for rent near the golf course. The beauty of Lake Tahoe is only minutes away, offering more hiking even if it’s too cold for a plunge.
3. House on Metolius, Sisters, Oregon:
House on Metolius is a fly fishing and hiking oasis tucked into the woods outside of Camp Sherman, OR (approximately 45 minutes from Bend). Families can choose between a cabin or lodge room stay, and explore this 200 acre property full of meadows, mountains, and wildlife. The Metolius River cuts right through the resort, allowing for no-hassle fishing and play. Hiking is nearby, as is kayaking on Suttle Lake. Mostly though, families will enjoy cozying up by the fireplace for some downtime.
4. WilloughVale Inn and Cottages, Lake Willoughby, Vermont:
This lake-side resort also offers both cabins and lodge rooms, and complimentary canoe rentals every day. Kids will enjoy the nearby Montshire Museum of Science, and parents will feel relaxed in the gorgeous fall foliage as they stop with the family at the many farmer’s markets and roadside stands. Fall discounts are available, and the dining ranges from gourmet farm-to-table to family diner style.
5. Blue Iguana Inn, Ojai CA:
It may not exactly feel like fall in Ojai, a desert retreat 90 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, but your family will feel as though you’ve gotten away from it all. Kids will love the lush garden grounds of the Blue Iguana, and the novelty of taking a dip in the outdoor pool and hot tub even in November. Parents will enjoy the art scene in town (there are plenty of galleries to haunt) and kids will be occupied by the large playground and many area hikes through botanical gardens. Visit a working olive oil factory or just hang out at the inn between meals in award-winning restaurants that still hold kid-appeal.
Photo credit: KimberlyKV.