September 6, 2011

 Labor Day has come and gone, which means one thing for Bostonians: fall vacation! As tradition in Boston, the weeks after Labor Day we spring into fall, pack away the bikinis in exchange for the leather boots, and prepare for the dreaded Daylight Savings Time -- the ultimate sign that winter is soon to follow. While we still have a few weeks left of evening light, it's time to start planning some fall trips in Boston, and beyond.

In Boston, XV Beacon in the Back Bay is one of our favorite fall haunts. Aside from the pumpkin spice martinis at Mooo and the fireplaces in every guestroom, the hotel is hosting a Fall in Fifteen promotion. You'll receive 15% off two nights or more, and an upgrade on the day of arrival (based on availability). The promo is good from Sept. 23-Nov. 30 and rates start at $365 a night.

While you might mourn the loss of summer, keep the silver lining in sight: fall brews. You a take of the Harpoon Brewery starting mid-September and taste test the fall beers. If the mood strikes, head to Vermont for fall foliage and unique brews. The Trapp Family Lodge, an Austrian-inspired 96-room hotel owned by the von Trapp Family (made famous in "The Sound of Music"), is hosting its second annual brew fest on Saturday, Oct. 1. The all day festival includes introductions to the Trapp Lager brews, as well as traditional Austrian festivities and children's activities (get ready for some serious sing-alongs). Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for guests ages 12-20. Children under 12 are admitted free. Stay the night and treat yourself to lunch the next day at the Trapp Family's own Austrian deli, home of what might be the best pastrami sandwich in New England.

For something a little closer to home, the White Mountain Hotel in North Conway is also hosting a Fall Foliage promotion. Located only a 2 1/2 hour drive from Boston, North Conway offers some of the best fall foliage north of Boston. Packages include two nights deluxe accommodations, one order off the dinner menu, and two full breakfasts. Rates start at $185 per person for midweek and $245 per person for weekends.

For the luxury traveler, a trip to the Adirondocks in New York might be just the escape you need. The Lake Placid Lodge has a brand new teaching kitchen and is hosting a gastro getaway weekend Oct. 20-23, featuring Top Chef Masters winner Floyd Cardoz. Organized for budding chefs and novices, the weekend is geared to foodies and fall-foliage seekers. The weekend includes a tasting menu by Chef Cardoz, beer tastings, and hands-on "behind the bar classes". While you're here, spend time leaf peeping on a guided hike with Maggie, the hotel dog, and finish your night making Smores by the fire. The 3-days at Lake Placid Lodge will cost you $2,550 including accommodations, food and all weekend activities.

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