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Dream Destinations for an
Adventurous Autumn Getaway

We loved our trip to Jackson Hole so much, we think we’ll make an autumn adventure into a yearly tradition! As our home of Southern California is even now still stuck in summer mode (from what I hear), it really is the perfect time to get out of town and go experience the crisp weather and beautiful colors of the season. I’m not yet sure where we’ll go next year, but I managed to narrow it down to the top 10 contenders. Enjoy my list, compiled here in no particular order—and don’t forget to weigh in on where you’d go for a fabulous fall escape.
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1 Twin Farms
Barnard, Vermont
twinfarms
(802) 234-9999

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The most discerning travel writers in the United States seem to be in agreement: Twin Farms is a blast! This all-inclusive, boutique luxury resort provides a romantic, decadent escape like no other. Their bespoke services cater to your every whim. Champagne and a cheese plate by the lake? Done. Freshly baked chocolate chips cookies delivered to your cottage? Just call! The local, organic menu is designed by the chef daily, with fantastic wine selects for every course. Tucked away in the Vermont countryside, I can imagine how beautiful it would be in the New England fall, with so many great outdoor adventures to choose from. Children are not allowed, and with only twenty available suites on this sprawling estate, the romance factor is high.

2 The Little Nell
Aspen, Colorado
thelittlenell
(970) 315-3006

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I have yet to visit Aspen, and even though I’m no skiier I’ve long had my eye on the Little Nell. This renowned luxury resort holds both a Forbes 5 Star rating and a AAA 5 Diamond award, and is known for providing the quintessential Aspen experience. I love the modern mountain look of their signature suites, and I know the location could not possibly be better! The hotel is in the heart of downtown Aspen, steps from the town’s main ski gondola, and yet provides an intimate experience with just 92 rooms. I hear great things about all the bars and restaurants on site, but it’d also be the perfect spot from which to explore the Aspen food scene. Plus, I have my eye on their private helicopter tour and European lunch adventure—apparently the best way to see the fall colors!

3 The Post Ranch Inn
Big Sur, California
postranchinn
(831) 667-2200

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Beautiful cliffside Big Sur is just a quick road trip from my home in Santa Barbara, and I love to dart up there and stay at the Post Ranch Inn. The ultra modern accommodations here blend in with the gorgeous natural surroundings, with views of the ocean or the mountains, and even the option to stay in a luxe tree house. With just 39 rooms available, it’s one of the California coast’s most exclusive beachside getaways favorited by the Hollywood elite. The food and wine here is stellar, and an adults-only scene makes it great for a couple’s retreat. Big Sur is known for its cool weather and rolling fog, and there are plenty of ways to unwind and experience the wild landscape.

4 Mandarin Oriental Munich
Munich, Germany
mandarinoriental
+49 89 29098875

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Glenn and I have yet to go to Oktoberfest, and I think it could be quite the adventure! I haven’t spent too much time in Munich and would definitely be curious to explore this old German city. Luckily one of my favorite global hotels, Mandarin Oriental, is situated in the heart of Munich’s historic core, offering a chic way to experience it. I can totally imagine Glenn and I cozying up on the rooftop patio before sunset, overlooking all of the steep red roofs and sipping on delicious local beer. And it’s good to know I can always count on the MO spa to spruce me up after a day of enjoying the festivities.

5 Calistoga Ranch Inn
Napa, California
calistogaranch
(855) 942-4220

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Napa is absolutely beautiful in the fall. It’s harvest time in this gorgeous wine region, and everyone is celebrating as the grapes are crushed and the leaves turn yellow and brown—a rare sight for California! For a truly secluded Napa escape, I’ve found you can hardly do better than the Calistoga Ranch Inn. This intimate luxury resort is located at the end of a long winding road, nestled in a private canyon on 157 acres. Activities here are more on the artistic side, including painting and photography, wine blending workshops, and cooking explorations, while adventures include hot air ballooning and horseback riding. Of course Glenn and I always take advantage of the hotel’s private winery tours, followed by a fabulous evening dinner by the fire. When in Napa…

6 Le Domaine D’Ablon
Normandy, France
domainedablon
+33 (0)1 47 20 44 99

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Just 90 minutes from Paris, this super exclusive luxury hotel in Normandy offers an idyllic French country retreat. Surrounded by lush gardens and orchards, the picturesque property sits in the heart of Normandy’s Auge region. This area is a foodie’s paradise tucked between lush farmlands and the dramatic ocean cliffs. The hotel’s concierge service helps you enjoy the land with luxury experiences like horseback riding on the beach, visiting a traditional cider press, or securing a seat at one of the fabulous restaurants in the area. Cooking classes, gardening, and photography are also lovely ways to explore the local culture. In the autumn, you’ll adore the richly-colored landscape and the appearance of your favorite seasonal delights on your plate.

7 Castlemartyr Resort
County Cork, Ireland
castlemartyrresort
+353 21 421 9000

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There’s a certain fairytale romance about the Irish countryside, and hardly a better place to experience it than the luxurious Castlemartyr resort. This spectacular converted castle has played host to A-list celebrities like Kim and Kanye, Brad and Angelina, Bruce Springsteen and even Bill Clinton. Nestled in the woods, the resort offers plenty of adventures: horseback riding and fishing, carriage rides and archery, 18-holes of golf or visits to some of the world’s most famous whiskey distilleries. Lounging in the beautiful spa, with its glass-enclosed pool overlooking the manicured gardens, is not a bad way to spend the day either.

8 The Belmond Royal Scotsman
Edinburgh, Scotland
belmond
1-800-524-2420

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I can hardly think of a more glamorous way to see the Scottish Highlands than aboard a luxury hotel on wheels. The Belmond Royal Scotsman embarks from Edinburgh and takes you on an adventure through a majestic landscape, dotted with ancient castles, beautiful gardens, and famous distilleries. Daytime stops provide opportunities to explore and see the sights, while a luxe living space awaits with tea, cocktails, elegant candlelit dinners and your own cozy suite to retreat to. With just 36 guests, this is an intimate and unique experience that will surely leave you with a fabulous new friend or two.

9 Villa Feltrinelli
Gargnano, Italy
villafeltrinelli
+39 0365 79 8000

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This exclusive grand hotel on the shores of Lake Garda is calling me back to Northern Italy. The converted palatial villa built in 1892 has a romantic, feminine vibe, with ornate, yet chic interiors that exude tons of charm. Opened as a 5-Star hotel in 2001, the Villa Feltrinelli is known for its impeccable service, boasting a staff-to-guest ratio of 2:1. With under 20 rooms available on an 8-acre private property between the mountains and the lake, it’s the perfect place to get away from the city bustle. An exceptional Michelin-starred restaurant makes it easy to hang around the resort, however this gorgeous region offers plenty to explore, from vineyards and historic towns to antique markets and secret gardens.

10 Blackberry Farm
Walland, Tennessee
blackberryfarm
(800) 557-8864

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Totally secluded on 4,200 acres in the Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee, Blackberry Farm is a unique, under-the-radar luxury getaway that foodies love. Outdoor activities like fly fishing, horseback riding, hiking and paddle boarding are plentiful, but the real draw here is the farmstead lifestyle. Blackberry is a village unto itself, employing artisans such as an on-site baker, butcher, cheesemaker, brewer, distiller, farmer, forager and preserve maker. Guests rave about the meals here, served in a beautiful red barn and striking a delicious balance between heritage cooking and haute cuisine. Through classes and workshops, the resort offers every opportunity for you to get in on its culinary secrets.

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