10 Family-Friendly Resorts for Fall Foliage Trips Across America

You don’t have to plan a far-flung leaf peeping trip to experience striking fall foliage displays. Experience vibrant autumn colors in charming retreats across the country.

Mirror Lake Inn

Mirror Lake Inn, Lake Placid, NY (image courtesy Mirror Lake Inn)

The shorter days of fall afford an ideal time to plan a quick weekend escape to reconnect with loved ones ahead of the whirlwind holiday season. Plus, the brilliant fall foliage more than makes up for the limited daylight hours. So, grab your fleece, a pumpkin-spice latte and strap on your hiking boots to shuffle through the falling leaves at these 10 kid-friendly resorts across the county that are perfect for a spectacular foliage trip.

Mirror Lake Inn

Mirror Lake Inn, Lake Placid, NY (image courtesy Mirror Lake Inn)

Mirror Lake Inn, Lake Placid, NY

Think luxury and family travel don’t go together? Think again. Lake Placid’s Mirror Lake Inn has married a high-end atmosphere and kid-approved perks since the 1930s. Anchoring one end of Lake Placid’s historic Olympic Village, the inn sits (as its name implies) on the shore and hill overlooking Mirror Lake. During the peak fall foliage season, sugar maples on the surrounding Adirondack Mountains blaze brilliant orange hues.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, PA (image courtesy Nemacolin)

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, PA

Nestled in the Laurel Highlands region of the Allegheny Mountains, about an hour south of Pittsburgh, sits Nemacolin Woodlands Resort – a sprawling complex with five different lodging options from family townhouses to an ultra-luxury French chateau. Gaze out your window to admire the changing colors of the leaves layering the mountain’s trees or get an even closer look with a guided horseback trail ride or exhilarating glide on their dueling zip line.

Ranch Rudolf

Ranch Rudolf, Traverse City, MI (image courtesy Ranch Rudolf)

Ranch Rudolf, Traverse City, MI

Immerse yourself and your travel companions in brilliant fall colors, and get back to nature with this hidden gem in the Boardman River Valley south of Traverse City. At nearly 200 acres, the guest ranch is guarded by the colorful canopy of the Pere Marquette State Forest. The family-friendly resort offers horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking and miles of hiking trails, including a section of the National Park Service’s North Country National Scenic Trail that winds all the way from New York to North Dakota.

Lakewoods Resort

Lakewoods Resort, Cable, WI (image courtesy Lakewoods)

Lakewoods Resort, Cable, WI

Wisconsin’s north woods contains the venerable Lakewoods Resort. Its location in the heart of the 850,000 acre Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest makes it impossible to miss autumn’s vibrant colors, as well as the fragrant fall scents and sounds of the forest. Activities include fishing, boating, biking, golf and more.

Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate

Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC (image courtesy Village Hotel)

Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC

With many easily accessible entrances to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville serves as an ideal home base for experiencing fall colors. The Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate opened in December 2015, and is a great option for families thanks to its relaxed setting, easy access to the Biltmore House, dubbed America’s largest home, and plentiful outdoor pursuits on the Biltmore’s 8,000-acre back yard and striking surrounding fall foliage.

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, Pigeon Forge, TN (image courtesy of Dollywood)

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, Pigeon Forge, TN

Taking full advantage of its Great Smoky Mountains setting, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort welcomes guests with airy, three-story windows to take in sweeping views of the surrounding fall foliage displays. DreamMore’s grounds contain plenty of open spaces to enjoy the Smoky Mountain fresh air as well as storytelling spots, rocking chair-lined porches and even stargazing areas that are also suitable for leaf peeping. Plus, DreamMore guests receive exclusive benefits at Dollywood’s theme park and the National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration, which showcases crafts from local artisans and free concerts and runs through the end of October.

Los Poblanos

Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, Albuquerque, NM (image courtesy of Los Poblanos)

Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, Albuquerque, NM

The southwestern high desert of Albuquerque, New Mexico may not immediately come to mind when thinking of fall foliage, but Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm is full of surprises. With its long arboreal entryway and abundance of trees throughout the property grounds, Los Poblanos is a sight to behold in the fall. Offering ballooning, paddling and biking packages, there’s plenty of activities for the family to enjoy. Best of all, booking the “Little Farmers Package” entitles kids to milk and cookie deliveries to your room and gift bags filled with goodies such as stickers and crayons.

Sundance Mountain Resort

Sundance Mountain Resort, Sundance, UT (image courtesy of Sundance Resort)

Sundance Mountain Resort, Sundance, UT

Robert Redford’s 5,000 acre Sundance Mountain Resort at the base of Mount Timpanogos is dedicated to blending recreation, art and nature. The scenic retreat offers children’s art classes in beading, pottery and printmaking, as well as a kid-specific spa menu. What’s more, Halloween lift rides allow families to ride high above the foliage, along with holiday-inspired scenes and costume-clad lift operators and actors.

Camp Richardson

Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina, Lake Tahoe, CA (image courtesy of Camp Richardson)

Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina, Lake Tahoe, CA

Located on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina offers cabins and hotel rooms along azure shores and is conveniently located nearby top hiking and biking trails, allowing families to immerse themselves in striking fall colors. The resort’s Mountain Sports Center can outfit you and your crew with bikes, and direct you to the area’s alpine lakes and waterfalls. Or, you and the kiddos can enjoy strolls along the beach or boating in Emerald Bay.

Double Eagle Resort & Spa

Double Eagle Resort & Spa, June Lake, CA (image courtesy of Double Eagle)

Double Eagle Resort & Spa, June Lake, CA

Described as “The Switzerland of California,” Double Eagle Resort & Spa is a scant 12 miles from Yosemite National Park’s eastern entrance at the base of Carson Peak. The property contains four alpine lakes perfect for fishing and plenty of space for family hikes and horseback rides. While the kids explore the outdoors, mom can relax with a treatment at the full-service Creekside Spa.

A version of this article originally appeared on U.S. News & World Report. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.