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10 Destinations for a quick fall getaway

Nina Spitzer is a SheKnows.com columnist and a freelance writer living in sunny Cave Creek, Arizona.

One last fling before winter sets in

How about a quick fall getaway before there's frost on the pumpkin? Go someplace special with someone special and enjoy the colors of the season. Here are ten interesting destinations to choose from.

White Mountains

1. The Northeast

Hart's Location, NH

Get lost in the beauty of New Hampshire autumn at The Notchland Inn. Find any reason you can to leave the kids with Grandma and run off to this 1860's granite mansion tucked away in the White Mountains. The Notchland Inn is located on a 400-acre estate, of which 8,000 feet front the Saco River. Whether reserving a deluxe room, suite, or cottage, the accommodations are exquisite (all, but one, have wood-burning fireplaces.) A variety of accommodations and packages are available. Particularly interesting is the October 31st "Inn-to-Inn Trek for Treats" package, which includes a Halloween treat walking tour of local inns, Halloween riddle contest, costume contest, and for those who can handle it, an evening walk in the woods for some gravesite gazing. If you're looking to escape to a scenic mountain retreat that has beauty, elegance and tranquility, then this is it!

2. The Southeast

Williamsburg, VA

A getaway to Williamsburg is really a getaway into the past without a time capsule. Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area is a living, working city and the place to be for Southern hospitality autumn style. Skilled tradesmen dressed in period clothing will take you back to yester-year. The Williamsburg Lodge is decorated in historic colors and furnishings taking you back to the ambience of an old southern family home. The lodge is offering an Autumn Getaway starting at $149/night (2 night minimum). Arrive Sunday through Tuesday and receive a $100 credit towards restaurants, taverns, a round of golf, spa services and shopping.

Blue Ridge Mountains3. The South

Blue Ridge, GA

I call this one the "Pamper Me" package because every one of the Serenity in the Mountains packages includes a massage! Other "pamperings" available are pedicures, manicures, body scrubs and facials. Can it get any better than this? This small spa hotel in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia isn't a resort, but rather a quiet destination where you can leave all else behind to be pampered in a peaceful setting. Some of the packages offered are The Romantic Getaway, His & Hers Getaway, Girlfriends Getaway, Fall Rejuvenation, and if you love it so much that you want to move there… The Real Estate Package! All packages include a two-night stay, wine, cheese, and chocolate-covered strawberries in your suite upon arrival, continental breakfast, and of course a massage! The Romantic Getaway massage is a 90-minute couples massage by firelight. Gotta love it!

4. Central

Urbana, OH

Who doesn't like a castle? Why not escape with your royal family or Prince Charming to an autumn getaway that includes castles! You can stay at the quaint Patrick House in Urbana, Ohio where only a short drive away in West Liberty, are the two Piatt Castles. These two privately owned mansions are both museums displaying family antiques, Native American artifacts, war relics and more. While in the area, be sure to visit the breathtaking and colorful Ohio Caverns, which have been carved in limestone some 400 million years old. For your stay, the quaint Patrick House is lovely as well as kid-friendly. The rates begin at a reasonable $90 per night and include breakfast. This is an autumn getaway definitely made for a king… and his queen!

5. Midwest

Black Hills, SD

Maybe you want an autumn getaway, but don't want to leave Fido behind. Head for the hills… and take Fido with you! Anise's BnB4Pets is a Black Hills retreat that caters to both pets and their humans, and is only a short distance away from historic downtown Hot Springs. Two nights for two, including breakfast, ranges from $286 to $420. Check out the three-hour Wild Horse Sanctuary guided tour where you can experience the old West! You'll see wild horse herds running free, North American ceremonial sites, petroglyphs and the Crazy Horse movie set. You'll also learn about the wild horses, pioneers and Native American history. Of course, pets are welcome. A few of many other exciting day trips include Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park. Take Fido along or leave him behind to play with the other critters at the B & B.

6. The Southwest

Santa Fe, NM

With an average of 300 sunny days a year, you simply can't go wrong with Santa Fe with its art, culture, performing arts, history, and fantastic scenery too! It offers something for everyone, including hiking, art gallery hopping, white water rafting, horseback riding, fly-fishing, hot air ballooning and more. A great stay for your getaway is at La Posada de Santa Fe where the luxurious adobe-style architecture and Native American décor won't let you forget you're in the Southwest. A variety of packages are available and the "Holidays on Us" program is a great deal with a third night free if you book during an autumn/winter holiday. The cool weather of autumn will invite you for a stroll through the historic Plaza for some early holiday shopping in the eclectic shops or a tour of museums. Be sure to not miss the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

If art is your thing, then Santa Fe, as the second largest art market in the nation, is sure to please. Canyon Road, with its line-up of art galleries one after the other, will keep you busy all day. You're an early riser? Then, ask the hotel desk for a wake-up call so you can enjoy the panorama of autumn from a hot air balloon. After your balloon ride, consider a scenic drive to Bandelier National Monument for some amazing Native American ruins.

Gateway, CO 7. The West

Gateway, CO

Having trouble convincing your sweetie you both need an autumn getaway? Then, tell him this one is for him! One of the packages offered by Colorado's Gateway Canyons Resort is a "Motor Heads Package." The $55 per person package includes one night and admission for two into the world-class Gateway Colorado Auto Museum as well as itineraries for road trips. Best of all…The 40+ automobile museum is located right on the resort property! Sign up for a massage or facial or read a book poolside in the shadow of the red Unaweep Canyons walls while he ogles the antique cars. Afterwards, you can both drink in the beauty of the red canyon by kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, or taking an off road tour.

Not into cars? Consider the Fall Unlimited package that combines one night of lodging with unlimited horseback riding from Summit School Ranch, mountain biking, disc golf, archery and fly fishing all starting at $150.00 per person. There's also the Canyon Colors package for seeing the beautiful gold of the old-growth cottonwoods and the reds of the scrub oak for rates starting at $474 per person for two nights. These are only a few of a long string of packages offered by the resort. The scenery at this destination is sure to take your breath away, no matter which you choose.

8. The Pacific Coast

Napa Valley, CA

Quick! Hop on the train! What train? The Napa Valley Wine Train, of course! The wine train is a rolling restaurant that combines lunch or dinner with a 3 hour, 36-mile round-trip journey through Napa's wine country to the village of St. Helena and back. All kinds of packages are available. For example, at The Vinter's Lunch ($154/person), a special Guest Vintner, Executive Chef Kelly Macdonald and Wine Director Ryan Graham team together to create a splendid four-course gourmet lunch paired with the day's wine selection and all served upon the wine train.

A few other of its many interesting wine train events include the Murder Mystery, Appellation Dinner, and the Moonlight Escape. Still, you need a place to stay for this wine lover's getaway. Consider the "Wine Train and Tasting" package that combines the wine train with a stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Napa, a wine train lunch for two, and tour of Domaine Chandon or Grgich Hills wineries from $225 per night. A Napa weekend is romantic, but add a tour on the wine train and you're "all aboard" for enough autumn getaway memories to last a lifetime.

Vancouver in the Fall9. Canada

Vancouver

Canada is gorgeous in autumn! It's a big country and one destination you may want to explore on your getaway is Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula. Beautiful country roads will take you to the charming and elegant Wintercott Country House where the rates are a comfortable $95 per night (Canadian). The best part is you are only minutes away from the amazing Butchart Gardens where, in autumn, the Japanese Garden comes alive with the reds, coppers, and golds of leaves and dozens of varieties of chrysanthemums. If you still have time, visit a winery, Christmas tree farm, cider tasting or a farm store. Anywhere you go will be a taste of autumn Canadian style.

10. Mexico

Playa del Carmen

Autumn is a reminder that winter is on its way. You've decided you want one more taste of warmth before the cold of winter sets in. A getaway to the Yucatan may be thing for you. Hop a plane and head for Playa del Carmen a secluded Mexican town about 45 minutes from the Cancun airport. Beautiful Playa Palmas Beach Hotel will set you up with all the white beach, swaying palms, and crystal turquoise warm Caribbean water you could possibly want. A relaxing hammock? No problema, senorita! Playa Palmas rooms start at $99 and offer the third night free. Scuba diving snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, para-sailing, deep-sea fishing and visiting Mayan Ruins are all available, that is… If you can tear yourself out of your relaxing hammock!

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