With international tourist bans, state by state quarantine mandates, and even differing COVID-19 restrictions by zip code, traveling this fall is a bit complicated, to say the least. Yet, if done safely, it can also offer some much-needed respite—vacations, after all, are scientifically proven to improve mental health.
But where to go, exactly? Most people, nowadays, prefer to hit the road: while flights and train travel plummeted over the past few months, statistics show car travel in fact increased over last year. So that was kept top of mind when picking the following getaways, all of which are in driving distance from one, or multiple, metropolitan areas. There's a chic new boutique hotel a short distance from New York City, or a serene spot in the Los Angeles neighbor of Los Feliz. And of course, plenty of cabins, because what is fall without some rustic, remote leaf-peeping in the wilderness? Below, our suggestions—and if you do decide to venture out, please do so safely by testing before you leave and always, always, wearing a mask.If You’re In New York: The MakerPhoto: By Francine Zaslow
With an interior style that somehow seamlessly combines industrial, Art Deco, and Belle Époque, The Maker hotel in downtown Hudson, New York, delighted the design world when it debuted in August. (Although originally open only for weekend stays, from October 15, mid-week booking is finally available.) The 11-room property is intimate but somehow sprawling: it stretches over three historic buildings: a 19th-century carriage house, a Georgian mansion, and a Greek Revival building.
There’s plenty of charming shops in Hudson, but you may not want to leave The Maker: there’s a cocktail lounge perfect for sipping martinis, a café inspired by the eateries of Vienna, and a farm-to-table restaurant in a glass conservatory. Plus, the bath products in each room are excellent: the hotel is owned by the co-founders of beauty company Fresh.If You’re in Los Angeles: CaraPhoto: Courtesy of Cara
This month Cara, a new boutique hotel, opened in Los Feliz. It’s the embodiment of California cool minimalism: formerly a 1950s-era motel, the updated space is adorned in light oak herringbone and cream limestone floors, fresh white linens, and the occasional black accent.
Since this California, the whole thing has an open air-concept: smack-dab in the middle of it all is a courtyard with a serenity pool, and rooms either have a patio or balcony. Olive and palm trees dot the property. There’s coffee from local artisan shop Maru, and the wine has an extensive biodynamic wine list. In short: the whole thing is just so L.A.If You’re In New England or Mid-Atlantic: EastwindPhoto: By Lawrence Braun
The chicest destination in the Catskills, a region within driving distance of Boston, Philadelphia, or New York, is Eastwind. The glamping site (or, as they like to call it “almost-camping" site), known for its loft-style suites and A-frame cabins that allow guests to live out naturalist fantasies, just added several new lodging structures to their grounds this fall. Amenities include fire pits (just make sure to ask for a BBQ kit), a sauna, hammocks, and a salon full-service bar that delivers upon command. In every room, you’ll find Frette linens, Faribult wool blankets, hooded Pendleton robes, Zenology bath products, and panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains and beyond. But the whole point of going is there is the great outdoors: in the fall you can hike and fly-fish, whereas winter is perfect for snowshoeing or skiing.If You’re Out West: The Lodge at Blue SkyPhoto: Courtesy of Auberge Resorts
Want to really, really get away from it all? Go to The Lodge at Blue Sky. Set upon 3,500 acres (yes, you read that right, its in the thousands) this Utah resort opened quietly last summer and, like so many, had to shut down in March due to COVID-19.
However, now Blue Sky is back and better than ever. A place that embraces its vastness, the activities list is almost endless: you can go for hikes (there are so many options that the ranch has its own trail list), e-bikes, horseback rides (Western or English style), shoot sporting clays, axe-throwing, or fly-fishing, where afterwards, the guides will set up a gourmet picnic complete with caviar, smoked salmon, cheese, and charcuterie.
You can even make this into a Wild-West adventure: owner Auberge Resorts partnered with travel concierge company Rotten Tomato to create road-trip itineraries between their properties. So if you like, you can tack on a camping trip to Moab and another stay at Aspen's Hotel Jerome.If You’re, Well, Anywhere: Getaway HousePhoto: By April Greer
Getaway House offers a impressive collection of chic, sleek tiny cabins in rural areas outside several American cities: New York, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Portland, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and more. They come with a certain standard of amenities to enjoy a comfortable stay. Every cabin has air conditioning, heat, a two-burner stove, drinking water, a hot shower, and a queen bed. But the point is to embrace a vacation with the bare essentials, so bring your own food, board games, or hammock. It’s an opportunity to completely unplug so that you yourself can recharge—which is why, perhaps, a phone lockbox is included in every home.