While Mother Nature shows off her autumnal assets, these getaways add to the seasonal spectacle with lots of colorful goodies:
Enjoy autumn’s spectacle in Camden, Maine, where the historic waterfront lends an equally brilliant palette to the show. The Hartstone Inn, a gorgeous bed and breakfast known for its romantic touches – fluffy featherbeds and fine linens, candlelight and fresh flowers, gas fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs – is offering a “Whatever Floats Your Boat” package for $202 in addition to your room charge.
Set sail from picturesque Camden Harbor and along beautiful Penobscot Bay for a two-hour adventure aboard the Schooner Surprise or take an eco tour on the Lively Lady Too lobster boat. You’ll board with one of the inn’s famous Maine lobster roll picnic pails, which includes twin Maine lobster rolls, fresh dill and Maine potato salad and the Pine Tree State’s signature treat, the cream-filled chocolate Whoopie pie.
Post-sail, look forward to the inn’s five-course gourmet dinner for two, featuring fresh seafood and dishes made with local ingredients and reflecting the season. The package also includes two nights’ lodging and multi-course breakfasts. Add a relaxing spa treatment at the onsite Hideaway Spa; the menu includes scrubs and massages, including the inn’s trademark massage that includes a warm lavender foot soak.
Get a bird’s eye view of the magnificent color Pisgah National Forest puts out by signing up for Biltmore Estates’ Architectural Tour. Located near the Blue Ridge Parkway – a key destination for leaf peepers – this 250-room chateau in Asheville, NC, built in the late 19th century by George Vanderbilt offers a panoramic view of the forest from its roof. This daily 60-minute guided tour not only shows off the fall foliage, it also nips into areas not on the regular house visit.
Combine the tour with the Biltmore’s two-night Fall Celebration package (from $1,318), Oct. 26-28, and indulge in seasonal bounty to your heart’s – and stomach’s – content. The package includes a gourmet breakfast buffet and an exclusive dinner at Antler Hill Village Barn with a fresh-from-the-grill menu, wine, beer and live music. Also included: accommodations, estate daytime admission, audio guides to Biltmore House, pumpkin carving event and pumpkin lighting ceremony on Saturday, a Halloween candy bar in the lobby and more.
Also reflecting the seasonal palette are the Biltmore’s wines, and free tours and tastings are offered daily at the winery, formerly the estate’s dairy milking parlor. Pinot noir, merlot, Sangiovese, syrah, zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc – oenophiles will find collections of award-winning wines worthy of Vanderbilt himself.
IF YOU GO
Hartstone Inn, Camden, Maine: www.HartstoneInn.com
Biltmore Estates, Asheville, NC: www.Biltmore.com. Tickets for the Architecture Tour are $17/person (in addition to Estate admission); advance reservations are required.