Driving Time from Poughkeepsie: 13 hours 20 minutes
Weekend Rates: from $469 per night
To extend your foliage follies to Halloween and beyond, head for The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds on Georgia’s Lake Oconee, where hardwood-clad hills surround the state’s second-largest lake. Lake Oconee provides endless opportunities for boating, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking, not to mention hiking, biking, and horseback riding against a colorful leafy backdrop. Guests can also enjoy five championship golf courses, designed by leading architects like Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio.
After a day of leaf peeping, head back to The Ritz’s relaxed, rustic sensibility. Draped in beds of ivy and edged by towering pines, the five-story main building has water views on three sides. The 251 rooms and suites were recently redecorated and refurbished and have private terraces for enjoying the colorful fall displays. Interior design schemes feature antique-style furnishings, rich pecan wood, and custom hand-embroidered fabrics.
Commune with nature at the recently renovated, 27,600-square-foot spa, which provides more than 90 wellness treatments, many featuring local ingredients like pine, fir, and extract gleaned from gemstones such as smithsonite and malachite. Six dining venues are on-site, ranging from the uncomplicated menu of Georgia’s Bistro to the sweeping views of Gaby’s by the Lake, a perfect spot to view the autumn sunset.
|The Linger Longer Trail runs four miles past creeks and ponds with peeks at Lake Oconee and several fishing stops along the way.
|Drive Route 44 to Eatonton (about 30 minutes away), crossing Lake Oconee and ending at the Georgia Writers Museum.
|Sunset over Lake Oconee glows with fall colors.
Celebrate fall at the family-friendly Great Pumpkin Festival, held every Saturday in October, featuring hayrides, pumpkin carving, and gooey s’mores by the lake. Or, give pumpkin a decidedly more adult spin with pumpkin-pie martinis and pumpkin ale at one of The Ritz’s on-site restaurants.