The best hotels for enjoying the fall foliage in the Northeast

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  • Although COVID-19 continues to sweep the nation, many travelers in New England and the Northeast are seeking getaways to enjoy the annual foliage display.
  • Autumn is a stunning time of year in this part of the country as the trees explode with colorful pops of pumpkin, crimson, and gold.
  • We selected hotels ranging from $95 to $329 in prime areas for leap-peeping that prioritize social distancing and enhanced cleaning protocols to protect the health and safety of guests.

Crisp autumn days have arrived and if you live in New England or the Mid-Atlantic states, you know that fall is the season for leaf-peeping. The leaves turn vivid shades of scarlet, yellow, and orange, offering a kaleidoscope of changing colors.

If you're craving a getaway that reminds you of nature's restorative power, we rounded-up hotels immersed in leafy landscapes across the Northeast region. Having lived and traveled in the Northeast my entire life, I used my own extensive knowledge of the area and carefully curated the below list of hotels based on the following criteria:

  1. While located throughout the Northeast, all are in areas with ample fall foliage for prime leaf-peeping opportunities.
  2. You don't just have to take my word that these hotels, inns, and resorts are great. All are well-rated and reviewed on trusted traveler sites such as Trip Advisor and, with a minimum of 4 out of 5 stars on the former and an 8.2 out of 10 on the latter.
  3. All of the hotels make it easy to engage in outdoor recreation such as hiking, biking, and kayaking, which is extra appealing for those seeking social distancing getaways.
  4. Every hotel is a well-appointed stay, but I also looked for properties with extra touches and above-and-beyond amenities that stand out from the pack, from hotels with unique themed rooms to those with in-room fireplaces and exceptional views. 
  5. I choose affordable properties to suit a range of price points, from $95 to $329.

Additionally, we've noted the best times to book your trip for prime foliage, according to the Farmers' Almanac predictions for the 2020 season.

Looking for more fall vacation ideas?

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  • The best Airbnbs in New England

And, if you're wondering if it's safe to travel right now, we talked to experts about the risks, as well as the best precautions to take. Additionally, each hotel on this list is committed to rigorous new cleaning protocols in an effort to mitigate the risks associated with contracting COVID-19. We outlined these measures below, which include extra efforts to sanitize room keys, providing complimentary masks, and contactless check-in, to mention a few.

However, it is important to note that there is no vaccine for the novel coronavirus, and therefore there is never a guarantee of safety. We recommend following CDC, WHO, and other reputable organizations' safety guidelines, and to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, and maintain social distancing. Also, consider your own level of risk, and whether you're traveling from or to a hotspot, so as not to increase the rate of infection.

Additionally, be sure to research the individual state's travel restrictions before you book. Since the situation is constantly evolving, it's wise to read up on hotel cancellation policies in case your plans may need to change.

These are the best hotels for fall foliage vacations, sorted by price from low to high.

The Roxbury, Contemporary Catskill Lodging – Roxbury, New York

Book The Roxbury starting at $95 per night

The Catskill Mountains in New York offer outdoor options like biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking and zip-lining, with phenomenal leaf-peeping to sweeten the deal.

The Roxbury Motel and the Roxbury at Stratton Falls are just down the road from each other and under the same ownership. Their design-forward rooms are highly thematic and imaginative, with no two rooms quite the same. There are 43 rooms and suites, and 36 have exterior access doors, meaning most guests will not need to come in contact with anyone else in enclosed spaces. Some rooms are spread over two levels for added space, while others have screened-in porches for a relaxing way to enjoy the scenery.

Book "Genie's Bottle," inspired by the television show "I Dream of Jeannie," and you'll enjoy a shimmery silver sofa, spherical bathroom with glittery mosaic tiles, and a Japanese soaking tub. For extra whimsy, "Cinderella's Gown" has an 18-foot ball gown doubling as a bed canopy and an enormous morphing pumpkin. In other words, these rooms are far from crash pads.

Peak foliage dates for New York: September 28 to October 28

Trip Advisor Ranking: 1 out of 1 in Roxbury Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Pros: Tree-laden private nature trails lead to waterfalls. 

Cons: If you prefer simple or traditional decor, you may suffer from sensory overload.

COVID-19 status and policies: This hotel is open with new guidelines in places including: 

  • Leaving rooms empty for 24-48 hours between guests.
  • Throw pillows, bed shams, and other extraneous design elements have been removed.
  • Hospital-grade cleaning with the ProKlean disinfecting system.
  • Guests are provided with wipes, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant spray.
  • Complimentary customizable breakfast bags have replaced the morning buffet.
  • See more info here.

The Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa – Saratoga, New York

Book the Gideon Putnam Resort starting at $109 per night

Saratoga is a small town in Upstate New York with a big arts and culture scene. Summer sees large crowds who visit in high season for famed horse-racing, leaving autumn as a quieter option to explore.

The serene Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa is located inside Saratoga Spa State Park, which includes a pleasant maze of hiking paths, tennis courts, and seasonal swimming pools, plus natural mineral springs. For added indulgence, The Roosevelt Baths & Spa is right nearby.

The hotel's in-park location provides an idyllic backdrop for reconnecting with nature just minutes from the town center. Rocking chairs on the front porch give the hotel a Norman Rockwell feel and rooms were recently refreshed with new carpet, paint, and blinds, as well as renovations to the bathrooms. They're decked out with stately wood furniture, high-speed internet, and bottled Saratoga mineral water.

Peak foliage dates for New York: September 28 to October 28

Trip Advisor Ranking: 22 out of 35 hotels in Saratoga Rating: 8.2 out of 10

Pros: The courteous staff works hard to make guests feel at home and the in-park location is a major perk.

Cons: Some may find the hotel's Grande Dame style stuffy.

COVID-19 status and policies: The hotel is open with a new Rest Assured commitment that is a comprehensive plan to bolster hygienic practices and exceed best-practice guidelines issued by the CDC including:

  • Operating with reduced guest capacity.
  • The removal of communal objects, such as throw pillows.
  • Bulk amenities replaced with single-serve.
  • See more info here.

The Stowehof – Stowe, Vermont

Book The Stowehof starting at $138 per night

Ringed by Alpine scenery, Stowe looks like a page straight from a fairy tale. Though it's known for downhill skiing, it also shines for its glimpses of Mother Nature's autumn show. Cycle or walk the 5.3-mile Stowe Recreation Path and you'll see that Stowe's Northern latitude offers colorful leaves galore.

The Stowehof resembles a Swiss chalet and is a lovely base for exploring the area. The hotel is set on 26 acres with mountain views, a sauna, tennis courts, fire pits, and a rotating art exhibit in the lobby.

Rooms are individually decorated with traditional rustic furnishings that add a hint of nostalgia. Some even offer clawfoot tubs, separate dressing areas, or Green Mountain vistas. 

Peak foliage dates for northern Vermont: September 24 to October 10

Trip Advisor Ranking: 9 out of 25 hotels in Stowe Rating: 8.4 out of 10

Pros: The hotel offers good value in what is considered a pricey part of Vermont. 

Cons: It's located outside of Stowe village, so you'll have to drive to reach town.

COVID-19 status and policies: The Stowehof is open with new enhanced cleaning protocols including:

  • Guest rooms and public spaces are sterilized with a fog machine utilizing an organic broad-spectrum disinfectant.
  • Guest rooms are left empty for at least 24 hours after check-out.
  • Countertops, front desk, and other high-touch areas are wiped after each interaction.
  • Daily housekeeping and complimentary breakfast is unavailable.
  • See more info here.

Hotel Northampton – Northampton, Massachusettes

Book Hotel Northampton starting at $140 per night

The Pioneer Valley is nestled in the rolling hills of Western Massachusetts, a prime location for leaf-peeping. In the center of the valley sits Northampton, a compact college town with a laidback vibe. To immerse yourself in the foliage, rent a bike at Northampton Bicycle and cycle the 11-mile Norwottuck Rail Trail to Amherst. In autumn, it's fringed with a canopy of colorful fall leaves and lined with farm stands selling fresh apple cider doughnuts. 

The historic Hotel Northampton has 106 guest rooms, inviting public spaces, and gracious hospitality. Guest rooms offer flat-screen televisions, complimentary Wi-Fi, plush terry robes, and Gilchrist and Soames bath products. The decor is pure Americana with floral curtains, vintage wood furniture, and two-poster headboards.

Bob Dylan, Stephen King, John F. Kennedy, and Franklin Roosevelt have all rested their heads on the hotel's comfy pillows, so you know you're in good company.

Peak foliage dates for inland Massachuessettes: October 5 to 21

Trip Advisor Ranking: 2 out of 5 hotels in Northampton Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Pros: The hotel is walking distance from most everything in town, including the terrific Smith College Museum of Art.

Cons: Bathrooms are on the small side.

COVID-19 status and policies: This hotel is open with new upgraded cleaning measures that include:

  • Hand sanitizing dispensers positioned throughout the hotel.
  • All high-touch spaces, including door handles, handrails, and restrooms, are sanitized frequently.
  • Clear signage to promote social distancing.
  • See more info here.

Harraseeket Inn – Freeport, Maine

Book the Harraseeket Inn starting at $178 per night.

The Harraseeket Inn offers distinct accommodations in Freeport, which sits on the shores of Casco Bay, and is just minutes from trendy Portland. This tidy town has been home to L.L. Bean for over a century, but there's more to do than shop.

Admirers of the great outdoors will appreciate the beauty of Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park, or a hike on the Casco Bay Trail to watch the resident osprey fly through the colorful treetops.

Rooms at this hotel are spacious with antique furnishings, fireplaces, and Whirlpool tubs. Some feature Chilton wood furniture, a family-owned Maine furniture business that blends Shaker simplicity with spare Scandinavian style. For visitors seeking extra space and privacy, nine duplex townhouses are available along a tree-lined path and feature full kitchens and multiple bedrooms.

The inn's Broad Arrow Tavern serves traditional New England-style cuisine is particularly mouth-watering. Don't miss their award-winning Maine lobster stew or the plump bacon-wrapped scallops.

Peak foliage dates for coastal Maine: October 5 to 21

Trip Advisor Ranking: 1 out of 11 hotels in Freeport Rating: 9.0 out of 10

Pros: You can take Amtrak's Downeaster train to Freeport, stroll over to the Harraseeket Inn, and walk to all attractions, making Freeport an excellent car-free getaway.

Cons: Some guests who stay in the townhouses complain about the walk to the main inn.

COVID-19 status and policies: The hotel is open with some new social distancing and cleanliness measures being taken that include:

  • Contactless check-in.
  • No housekeeping or turndown service unless requested.
  • Sanitizing stations throughout the property.
  • See more info here.

Hampton Terrace Inn – Lenox, Massachusetts

Book Hampton Terrace Inn starting at $199 per night

Located in a mansion built in 1897, Hampton Terrace Inn evokes the elegance of the Gilded Age when families with surnames like Morgan and Vanderbilt owned magnificent Berkshire estates they humbly called cottages.

This property's 14 upscale rooms and suites are spread over three buildings, so physical distancing is easy to maintain. Currently, only nine rooms are being utilized, ensuring even more personal space.

Period decor such as a 1929 Steinway grand piano, merge with modern nods like excellent Wi-Fi, Jacuzzi tubs, HD TVs, and a Tesla charging station. Fresh floral arrangements in every room are an additional bonus.

Situated in the center of the Berkshires, the town of Lenox offers a wealth of autumn possibilities, including hiking nearby Pleasant Valley's miles of trails bordered by streams and a hummingbird garden. It is also home to The Mount, literary great Edith Wharton's legendary residence. Wharton's house is currently closed, but the leafy grounds are open to enjoy.

Peak foliage dates for inland Massachussetts: October 5 to 21

Trip Advisor Ranking: 1 out of 17 hotels in Lenox Rating: Not rated

Pros: The warm and welcoming owners live onsite and their personal touch is everywhere. The inn is just a short walk from town.

Cons: A few guests disliked out-of-date decorative accents, such as patterned wallpaper.

COVID-19 status and policies: This hotel is open and some of the safety measures the inn has implemented include:

  • Individually wrapped toiletries.
  • Linens sanitized in a high-temperature wash.
  • Rooms left empty at least 24 hours between guests.
  • Contactless check-in.
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for any staff member with symptoms.
  • Daily housekeeping services and breakfast have been halted. A welcome basket with snacks and masks is given at check-in.
  • Reservations may be changed or canceled with 24 hours advance notice with no penalty.
  • See more info here.

Hotel Fauchère – Milford, Pennsylvania

Book Hotel Fauchère starting at $225 per night

As the birthplace of the American conservation movement, Milford's abundance of pristine woodlands and waterfalls is well known. Located only 90 minutes from both New York City and Philadelphia, it's an easy weekend trip.

There are dozens of hikes to choose from or rent a canoe and paddle down the Delaware River; the brilliant red, amber, and rust leaves are stunning when reflected in the water.

Hotel Fauchère is in the heart of the quaint village and an excellent spot to post up in the fall. This 16-room Relais & Châteaux property is suited to city folk who crave country but don't want to sacrifice creature comforts. Room amenities include high-speed wireless Internet, Nespresso coffee machines, Frette bath and bed linens, Carrara marble, and Pennsylvania bluestone accents in the bathrooms.

The public spaces feature works by prominent artists including contemporary photographer Christopher Makos' iconic image of Andy Warhol kissing John Lennon. And, an enclosed garden and conservatory bring fall foliage right to the doorstep. The wide porch is a good spot for a light bite or a glass of wine, with plenty of room between you and other patrons.

Peak foliage dates for Pennsylvania: October 5 to 21

Trip Advisor Ranking: 2 out of 6 hotels in Milford Rating: 9.0 out of 10

Pros: A delectable continental breakfast, featuring home-baked pastry, is included in the rate. The staff goes out of its way to please.

Cons: Rooms on the second floor require a walk up a steep staircase.

COVID-19 status and policies: The hotel is open and the owner is also the town's mayor and he has been at the forefront of developing a comprehensive sanitation plan to keep residents, guests, and staff safe. The hotel has enlisted the guidance of an infectious disease doctor to advise on appropriate steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 including:

  • Wearing masks in public areas is require for staff and guests.
  • High-touch surfaces are being cleaned frequently.
  • Guest rooms are aired out with the windows open prior to cleaning and new industry cleaning and sanitizing protocols have been implemented.
  • Protective barriers have been installed between the booths in Bar Louis and protective curtains in the Delmonico Room and 403 Broad.
  • Ongoing training for all staff members.
  • See more info here.

Hanover Inn – Hanover, New Hampshire

Book the Hanover Inn starting at $253 per night

Home to Dartmouth College, Hanover is the quintessential Ivy League town. Located on the banks of the Connecticut River with the Appalachian Trail cutting right through, there are recreational opportunities on land and water. Outdoor lovers should consider a hike to Velvet Rocks or renting a kayak to paddle downriver.

The Hanover Inn overlooks the town green and campus, an excellent position to glimpse the changing leaves and soak up the college's youthful energy. There are 108 cozy rooms that include strategically-placed Dartmouth memorabilia and splashes of green, which is Dartmouth's school color. Traditional New Hampshire-crafted furniture gives the hotel a nice sense of place.

While there's plenty to do outdoors, complimentary Wi-Fi and morning newspapers make it easy for guests to stay connected if they want, too.

Peak foliage dates for inland New Hampshire: September 28 to October 9

Trip Advisor Ranking: 1 out of 2 hotels in Hanover Rating: 9.4 out of 10

Pros: The on-site restaurant, Pine, wins rave reviews.

Cons: Some rooms are dark and could benefit from additional windows.

COVID-19 status and policies: The hotel is open with enhanced cleaning measures that include:

  • Contactless check-in.
  • Strategic placement of furniture to promote social distancing.
  • Enhanced cleaning of public areas.
  • Increased focus on disinfecting in guest rooms, including all high touch areas.
  • Reduced paper and other non-necessary amenities in guest rooms.
  • See more info here.


The Sagamore Resort – Bolton Landing, New York

Book The Sagamore Resort starting at $299 per night

The Sagamore is on the shores of Lake George, which is known as the Queen of American Lakes. This southern section of the Adirondacks is under four hours from New York City and Boston, so it's an easy driving vacation for many East Coasters. This area is a particularly excellent spot to enjoy the tranquil beauty of the lake and the mountains, and in autumn, the tall trees explode in striking bursts of crimson color.

Originally opened in 1883, The Sagamore's white-clapboard-with-green-shutters exterior is an American classic. In its early years, it was a favored summer vacation spot of industrialist tycoons and robber barons.

Today, the hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with 390 rooms merging modern conveniences and more rustic Adirondack decor. Some rooms feature expansive lake views and the property is sprawling, so there's plenty of room to roam. In addition to the historic main hotel, there are seven lodge buildings with spacious suites for those who want even more privacy.

Peak foliage dates for New York: September 28 to October 28

Trip Advisor Ranking: 3 out of 8 hotels in Bolton Landing Rating: Not rated

Pros: The Sagamore benefits from magnificent lake views and beautiful grounds. The friendly staff bring this large resort to a human scale.

Cons: Some guests complain that rooms in the main building are outdated.

COVID-19 status and policies: The hotel is open and new cleaning and safety measures include:

  • Hand sanitizer stations dispersed throughout the grounds.
  • Signage reminding guests to wear masks.
  • Rigorous additional cleaning of high-touch spaces.
  • Housekeeping services are suspended. 
  • See more info here.

Four Chimneys Inn – Bennington, Vermont

Book Four Chimneys Inn starting at $329 per night

Four Chimneys Inn is a charming New England oasis set on nearly a dozen acres just a short walk from town. There are 11 guest rooms, each individually appointed with wood-burning fireplaces, glassed-in porches, hardwood floors, and jetted bathtubs. The feel is upscale without being ostentatious.

A hearty meal is served every morning and included in the room rate, helping to justify the higher price point. Select your breakfast choice the night before and feast in the morning at a private table placed at least six feet from other diners.

Bennington sits in Southern Vermont, a state known for maple syrup, covered bridges, and stunning autumn leaves. The town is also home to the Bennington Museum with the largest public collection of works by Grandma Moses. Not to be missed is the adjacent George Aiken Wildflower Trail, which showcases native wildflowers nestled in a backdrop of colorful leaves.

Peak foliage dates for southern Vermont: October 5 to 14

Trip Advisor Ranking: 1 out of 9 B&Bs in Bennington Rating: 9.6 out of 10

Pros: Four Chimneys Inn benefits from the personal touch of the dedicated owners and innkeeper.

Cons: More expensive than many other great hotels for seeing fall foliage.

COVID-19 status and policies: This hotel is open. Additional cleaning measures include:

  • Disinfectant wipes are available to clean your keys, phones, and other personal items.
  • Surfaces in the common areas are wiped down very frequently.
  • A grab-and-go breakfast option is available.
  • No one, including housekeeping, will enter your room for the duration of your stay.
  • See more info here.

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