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15 East Coast Destinations for a Family-Friendly Getaway this Fall

ICYMI: Autumn on the East Coast equals the perfect time to escape somewhere beautiful with your family. Why? For starters, the weather is perfection—it’s crisp, but not cold, and still oh so cozy. Second, off-season rates are in full effect, which means you won’t need to shell out major bucks. And lastly, many of the hottest summer spots are far less crowded this time of year, so you can actually visit monuments and beaches without being hit in the face with a selfie stick, which is always a plus. 

But with all of that being said, finding a location that strikes the perfect balance between adult-friendly and kid-friendly can still be quite an undertaking. Fortunately, below you’ll find a roundup of hotels and trip ideas we’re certain will please all parties this fall, whether it’s taking a scenic road trip through North Carolina or escaping to a quaint cabin just outside of Manhattan.

Reporter: Dylan Essertier

Photo:Jon Tyson
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New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival

Laconia, New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a pumpkin-lover’s paradise in October thanks to the annual Pumpkin Festival, which boasts a 34’ tower of Jack-o-Lanterns, 60+ food vendors, live musical performances, and even pumpkin bowling.
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Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains

Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Between its beautiful setting and unique safari-inspired canvas tents, Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains has emerged as one of America’s top glamping experiences. Before you book, be sure to check out their acoustic campfire series lineup, which features a fabulous mix of emerging and up-and-coming artists who perform nightly on the campgrounds. Seriously, has family fun ever sounded so good?
Photo:Wes Hicks
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Blue Ridge Parkway Roadtrip

North Carolina & Virginia
The Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles long (for reference: that’s almost like driving from NYC to Toronto!) and spreads across both North Carolina and Virginia. The good news? If you put in the time (ideally seven days) to do this trip right, you’re going to get to experience waterfall hikes, apple orchards, and unpolluted skies filled with million-star views.
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Eastwind Hotel & Barlearn more

    There’s no place to get cozy this autumn quite like the Eastwind Hotel & Bar. Stay at this renovated bunker with Scandinavian sensibility for its sweeping views of the Windham Mountain. Oh, and serious bonus points for the hotel’s cozy fire pit which you and your family can curl up around during the chillier autumn months. Did somebody say s’mores?
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    The Adirondack Balloon Festival

    Glen Falls, New York
    Hot air balloonists from around the world have gathered in the Lake George Area during fall for over 40 years to celebrate The Adirondack Balloon Festival. This year promises to be one of the most spectacular events yet, with the chance to enjoy live music, a craft fair (featuring over 40+ vendors), as well as watch the flight of up to 100 hot air balloons soar into the sky together. Consider your IG feed set.
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    Lokal A-Framelearn more

    For a peaceful respite away from New York City, hole up at Lokal A-Frame, a cabin built in the 1960s that sits on 2.5 acres of property in Dorchester, New Jersey. To really hit peak relaxation, be sure to make use of the property’s wood-fired hot tub. #CozyVibes
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    Winvian Farmlearn more

    Situated in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut, Winvian Farm is a legendary New England property with a central manor house that dates back to 1775. There’s also 18 individually-designed resort cottages on the property, as well as plenty of beautiful grounds to wander (including Winvian’s very own organic garden).
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    Blackberry Mountainlearn more

    Does your family love the great outdoors just as much as they love a great workout? Head to Tennessee's famed Blackberry Mountain, a Relais & Châteaux property that encourages guests to embrace the natural surroundings during their stay by going on hikes, mountain biking, rock climbing, and participating in the inclusive wellness activities which range from outdoor yoga on a platform that seems to float above the mountains to sound bathing.
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    The Catskills Roadtrip

    New York
    For a woodsy sojourn, pack up your bags and hit one of the many Catskill scenic driving routes, which include everything from the chance to explore the charms of Phoenicia to winding through the Shawangunk Mountains, which span 94,000 acres and include the stunning Minnewaska State Park Preserve and Mohonk Preserve.
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    Vermont Cabinlearn more

    If you’ve ever been intrigued by the idea of living in a tiny cabin, take a trip to Wardsboro, Vermont, this fall. Located on 1.5 acres of forest, the adorable three-bedroom Vermont Cabin is perfect for a family escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Best of all, its cool mid-century aesthetic is a design lover’s dream.
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    Rent an RV with Outdoorsy

    Outdoorsy is basically the AirBnB of RVs thanks to its peer-to-peer RV rental system. With millions of RVs to choose from, it’s a great option to hit the open road in a way that suits your particular tastes and accommodation needs.
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    The Grand Barn at The Mohicanslearn more

    The Grand Barn is completely surrounded by forest, which means come fall the entire property glows with brilliant hues of fiery red, yellow, and orange. But the 75 acres are not the only thing memorable about this property, considering the accommodations are all tiny luxury cabins.
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    Tides Beach Clublearn more

    Unlike the peak summer months, a visit to Tides Beach Club in the fall promises to be blissfully crowd-free. Go for the unobstructed views of Goose Rocks Beach and groovy design aesthetic (including two suites designed by interiors guru Jonathan Adler).
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    Acadia National Park Roadtrip

    Maine
    If your idea of a good trip includes rugged coastlines and iconic lighthouses, then look no further than a road trip to Maine’s Acadia National Park. During your adventure, be sure to stop at Cadillac Mountain, which is the highest point on the East Coast (towering in at 1,530 feet) and embark on one of the half-mile hikes that will lead you and the family to stunning summit views. Also noteworthy? A stop at Acadia’s Thunder Hole, Otter Cliff, and Echo Lake. Word to the wise: bring a camera and make sure everyone is wearing comfy shoes.
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    $162 avg. room rate
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    Jekyll Island Club Resortlearn more

    With 157 guest rooms in four historic buildings (including 40 oceanfront suites) as well as year-round swimming, you’d be hard-pressed not to have an incredible and relaxing fall escape at this iconic Georgian resort located on Jekyll Island.
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