Autumn in always sunny Sun Valley, Idaho, sees few tourists. Days are warm, nights are cool―and rates drop at the area's otherwise pricey hotels and restaurants.
Just ask the lucky locals―fall is the perfect time to visit.
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Heirloom apple cider
What better way to celebrate fall than by sipping hard cider and popping artisanal cheese, surrounded by ocean views and 1,000 young apple trees? Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse presses, ferments, and bottles on-site, while you get to sample its full line―made from traditional bittersweet heirloom apples―sitting at long wood tables milled from local trees. Try the dry, earthy Wild English cider, made from wild yeasts. 2487 Mount St. Michael Rd., Saanichton, B.C. 250-544-4824.
Alaska in fall glows with autumn leaves and the aurora borealis.
The weather is likely to be cooler and wetter than it is in summer, and some attractions are closed for the season.
But there’s still a lot to do and see here--great outdoors experiences, fascinating towns, amazing wildlife.
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Pour a glass in Oregon's Willamette Valley wine country
With luxe inns and tons of tasting rooms, Willamette is ready for prime time. You can get lost on the backcountry roads but always find a good glass of Pinot around the bend. And now, with great hotels and tasting rooms mustering in towns like Carlton, you can experience the valley’s off-the-beaten-path vibe yet have the comforts of a soft bed close by.
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Thomas J. Story
Go wine tasting in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley
This achingly beautiful wine country is in full-throttle mode, with new wineries and different kinds of grapes going in all the time―nearly 60 varietals, planted all over the benchlands, hillsides, and valley floor. Add to this the Okanagan's pristine lakes, orchards, and wide range of non-wine-related things for the whole family to do (from riding the century-old Kettle Valley steam train to biking and hiking), and you have a wine-country experience like no other.
The pears have arrived. They join the apples, half of which still hang from their branches, poised for plucking.
Fruit stand after fruit stand is filled with dozens of varieties, as well as local honey, melons, and squash. It's just two hours from Seattle to the heart of Washington's harvest―the largest slice of fresh fruit in the state―yet it's a world apart.