It’s that time of year. Devout leaf peepers are getting ready to bask in the gold, crimson and scarlet extravaganza that takes over much of America every autumn. For this year’s fall vacations, ditch the crowds and experience an intimate escorted tour that not only captures leafy fireworks but also delivers unparalleled hospitality at America’s greatest estates and grandest hotels, along with plenty of small-town pleasures along the way.
You’ll be traveling along one of the prettiest roads in the United States: the Blue Ridge Parkway, a ribbon of highways and byways surrounded by rugged mountains and wildlife that peaks over 6,000 feet. Designed to appeal to aficionados of art, architecture, history and the finer things in life, this weeklong itinerary for fall vacation explores the homes of presidents, captains of industry, literary giants and famous country crooners.
Against a backdrop of autumnal splendor, rejuvenate at the historic Omni Homestead Resort, a storied hotel in Hot Springs, Virginia, celebrating its 250th birthday. Spend time during this fall vacation in artsy Asheville, where you’ll take a private candlelight tour of the largest home in the country—George Vanderbilt’s antiques-filled Biltmore Estate. Stroll through gardens designed by America’s father of landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, then soak up downtown Asheville, which is renowned for its art deco architecture, craft breweries and lively arts scene. You’ll have the time of your life during an elegant, Southern-inspired dinner at the Lake Lure Inn, where parts of Dirty Dancing were filmed.