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From peeping pretty leaves to sipping apple cider, the change of season means new and exciting places to explore and things to see.

As the crisp, cool air creeps in around the country, fall calendars are heating up with loads of festive events and activities. And thanks to colorful backdrops filled with changing leaves, there’s never been a better time to plan a seasonal escape to some of these picturesque settings across the U.S.

Here are some of the best cities to visit, and places to stay, this autumn.

 

1. Philadelphia

Philly folks are serious about spooky season, hosting frightfully fun events like Halloween Nights at the Eastern State Penitentiary, Scarecrows in the Village at Peddler’s Village, and Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchards. Plus, you can learn about the eerie past of the city’s historic sites as you listen to ghost stories on a candlelit walking tour. Located near Rittenhouse Square, our Club Quarters Hotel serves as a convenient starting point for exploring the city’s many scary and not-so-scary sights.

 

To see the fall foliage, visit Fairmount Park, which is home to miles of trails for off-road cycling, horseback riding, and hiking, as well as plenty of spots to view the changing colors including the Discovery Center, a 37-acre reservoir-turned-habitat that’s surrounded by trees and teeming with wildlife.

 

2. Chicago

The fall season brings a robust lineup of food and drink festivals to Chicago, including one of the city’s signature culinary eventsChicago Gourmet. The fest takes place at Harris Theater’s Rooftop Terrace in Millennium Park, just a short walk from our Club Quarters Hotel, Central Loop. Plus, you’ll find pops of colorful foliage everywhere—from the city’s lakefront parks to its leaf-strewn neighborhood streets.

 

Held each October, Open House Chicago is one of the largest architecture events in the world. The free public event provides a behind-the-scenes look at some of the greatest spaces and places in the city, including private residences and other areas not normally open to the public.

 

3. Boston

With lots of leaf-peepers flocking to New England to catch a glimpse of the fall foliage, Boston serves as a popular launchpad for those looking to explore other areas of the region, including the Berkshires. Located about two hours from Boston, the Berkshires boast flaming-red maple leaves, which usually peak around late September through mid-October.

 

Inside the city, head to Boston Public Market to see locally produced food, including giant pumpkins, from New England farmers, fishers, specialty bakers, coffee bean roasters, and candy makers. Our Club Quarters Hotel, near Faneuil Hall, is a short walk to and from the market.

 

4. San Francisco

The Northern California city makes a perfect jumping-off point for exploring the greater Bay Area, where you’ll find farmland ripe with apple picking, pumpkin patches, and wine tastings. And while it might not be known for its fall foliage, San Francisco and the surrounding area does offer some good spots for leaf peeping—you just need to know where to look. Visit the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park where you’ll find evergreens mixed with yellow ginkgo trees and red maple leaves, which match the color of the city’s famous bridge this time of year.

 

And in October, be sure to head to the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival where you can see heavyweight pumpkins (we’re talking 2,000 pounds!), harvest-inspired crafts, pie-eating and costume contests, and more. If you’re looking for spookier vibes, take a tour of Alcatraz after dark. The former prison is easily accessible from our Club Quarters Hotel located in the Embarcadero area.

 

5. Houston

You might not experience fall season’s cool temps in Houston, like you might in other parts of the country, but that can actually be a good thing. Because the weather in Houston is usually pleasantly mild, and not unbearably hot, you can enjoy outdoor activities like tailgating and patio dining this time of year without bundling up. And even though it’s not New England, Houston does offer leaf-peeping opportunities, including places that are a short drive from Club Quarters Hotel. Just a five-minute drive from the hotel is Buffalo Bayou Park, which boasts classic autumn colors, while the Memorial Park Conservancy, located 10 minutes from the hotel, features trails for walking, running, and cycling, along with picnic areas for nicer weather. 

 

And if you’re traveling with kids, check out ArBOretum at the Houston Arboretum. The annual event features fun fall activities including live animals, pumpkin decorating, and a trick-or-treat nature trail.

 

Ready to plan your fall escape? Book now at select Club Quarters Hotels and get up to 15% off your stay throughout the season with our Rewarding Escape offer. Plus, get automatically enrolled in CQ Rewards to receive one complimentary night after two stays when you book this offer.

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If you’re planning a trip to The City of Brotherly Love, we’ve created a Philadelphia visitors guide packed with plenty of things to do during your stay. 

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