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Best Ways to Escape the City This Weekend

By: Sarah Marcantonio

Fall means change—in the weather, the leaves, the wardrobe. So how about a change of scenery? Here are a few quick and easy getaways from various cities that are perfect for a weekend escape. Because sometimes the most potent change you can make is the air you’re breathing.  


The leaves have started turning in Central Park—have you planned your break from the boroughs? This year, consider heading north to Twin Farms, nestled deep in the most bucolic swath of Vermont woods. A five-hour drive from the city (or 90 minutes from Burlington airport), the inn promises an adults-only weekend of canoeing, hiking, farm-to-table dinners—all of it included in the rate. Or just sit on the porch of your plush cottage and watch the foliage do its thing. 


The whole country is getting a little sick of news from the capital these days, so we feel for you Washingtonians. A two-hour drive up to the shores of Chesapeake Bay will bring you to The Inn at Perry Cabin—and to a simpler, more charming time. Set sail on one of the hotel’s three yachts, then warm up with a bowl of cream of crab soup at the Purser’s Pub. Americana at its best.


The Clam Shack may be closed for the season, but you know that there is still incredibly good eating to be had in Kennebunkport in the fall. That’s why you’re checking in to the White Barn Inn & Spa for the weekend, why you’ve already booked a table at the Bistro for a foie gras–topped burger, and why you packed a smart little outfit for the tasting menu at the Restaurant (hello, dashi-marinated lobster tail and parsley-crusted lamb loin!). The only unknown: what recipes you’re going to learn at the executive chef’s cooking class. 


Need a break from the endless swirl of Pacific Standard Time and the rest of this fall’s arts calendar? Head two hours east to Palm Springs and the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, where your cultural obligations extend no further than the two championship golf courses and the Agua Serena Spa for a desert hot stone massage. Well, if you insist, there is the Golf Cart Parade on October 29, Palm Desert’s campy answer to the Tournament of Roses.  


Is it a staycation if you’re just crossing the bridge? We think so—especially if it involves a caviar facial and a second helping of caramelized banana bread at brunch. Berkeley’s Claremont Club promises Hollywood Regency–style digs, an expansive spa, even a Champagne sabering ceremony in the evenings. Through January, you can book two nights and get the third free, so go ahead and take Monday off—and wave sympathetically to all those poor commuters heading back to work. 


Gee, did anyone notice that it was hot this summer? Luckily, you don’t have to worry about your flight taking off if you’re headed to Sedona—just hop in the car, turn the AC up, and drive two hours north on I-17. And the temps? Say hello to lows in the blissful mid-50s. That’s the perfect weather for enjoying the wonders of Sedona Rouge, like hiking through the red rocks at Thunder Mountain and Coconino National Forest, followed by a bowl of chorizo-flecked mussels at REDS.