Fall travel guide

Explore beaches, back roads, vineyards, and more during the West's golden season

The West's best fall travel experiences

It's the absolute best time to be outdoors, when some of our unique landscapes come brilliantly alive

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Or go mild in the desert
Photo by Michael Grimm / Getty Images; written by Sara Dickerman, Peter Fish, Kelly Mickle, Loren Mooney, and Cristina Tudino

Or go mild in the desert

Does your taste tend more toward poolside R&R than to rock climbing? Head to Palm Springs.

The two pools at the Mediterranean-inspired Korakia Pensione (pictured) not only are open 24 hours but are heated as warm as 100° for cool desert nights. Black-and-white movies are projected on the courtyard wall. From $169; korakia.com

In fall, you can cruise the midcentury modern architecture by bike (Korakia lends two-wheelers to guests). The app Palm Springs Modern: Mid-Century Architecture Tours ($4.95) includes more than 80 landmarks in its three tours.

The Riviera Palm Springs’ Circa 59 restaurant highlights local fall ingredients. Its red leather banquettes, oversize chandeliers, and vintage photos will take you back to the resort’s roots as a Rat Pack hot spot. $$$; psriviera.com

Yes, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is touristy. But its rotating glass-walled cable cars are the perfect “mild” way to “hike” up 6,000 feet, from desert cactus to alpine trees, in just 10 minutes. $24 round-trip; snowshoe rental $18/day; pstramway.com

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