Controversial opinion: Summer kind of sucks.
It’s no more than a sweaty three-month torture designed to make us all the more thankful for the bliss awaiting us when Fall rolls around. It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold, and nothing’s more beautiful than autumnal colors roaring into season for one last hurrah before the winter.
If you were sensible, you saved all your hard-earned cash to splash on an epic foliage frolic. Think forest cabins, badly executed log fires, and crisp mornings spent ambling down country lanes. In other words, a Hallmark movie.
Don your finest flannel. These are the best leaf-peeping lookouts in the world.
Our top picks: Luxury Leaf-Peeping Lookouts
The Omni Grove Park Inn
Asheville, North Carolina
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The Omni Grove Park Inn is spectacular enough in itself, but dropping it slap bang in the middle of North Carolina’s corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and you’ve got an autumnal wonderland. Even Obama thinks so.
Gazing out over Asheville, one of the country’s best small cities, guests are treated to high-end service built over the course of a century, a subterranean spa, a world-class golf course, and the most over-the-top fireplace you’ve ever seen.
When you can pry yourself away from the hotel, a drive along the leaf-strewn Blue Ridge Parkway awaits, followed by a bimble through Asheville’s phenomenal breweries, eateries, and independent shops.
Mount Fuji, Japan
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If you’re feeling like taking advantage of Japan’s slowly relaxing entry requirements, the Hoshinoya Fuji is ready to blow your leaf-seeking mind. Japan might be renowned for its Spring blossoms, but an October trip will prove how criminally overlooked its fall season is.
Minimalist cabins beautifully built into the shoulder of a red-wooded hillside take glamping to a new level while staggering views of the iconic Mount Fuji dominate the serene balcony lookouts. Meandering forest trails top off a naturalistic yet sophisticated stay.
Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden
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The Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden looks breathtaking in any season, but the warm mass of orange, red, and yellow transfers the Bavarian Alpine landscape into nothing short of an expressionist painting.
Kempinski’s trademark high-end standard is on full show here, from its immaculate guestrooms to the world-class spa. If you feel yourself getting a little lazy (is there such a thing on vacation?), give the activity concierge team a call, and they’ll ensure you make the most of the epic alpine setting on your doorstep.
Our Other Top Picks
The seasons turning replace a TV in this stunning treehouse
Enjoy the Autumnal colors of Scotland in these Loch Lomand Cabins
Is anything more Fall than a converted barn in Upstate New York?
Tuscany, turning seasons, tortellini. Are there three better words?
If you go down to the PA woods, you’re sure of a luxurious surprise