Fall ushers in the colorful change of foliage, cooler nights and less crowded destinations, making it the perfect season for a getaway to a beautiful lake.
Travelers can escape into nature while kayaking below the vibrant leaves, explore local fall festivals or curl up next to a fire with the ingredients for the perfect s’more. Lakes across the United States offer unique activities worthy of a weekend or weeklong excursion, from watching salmon spawn in Lake Tahoe to picking apples near Lake Champlain.
Below is a curated list of lakes across the country to consider for an autumnal escape. The list is tailored to help travelers find the most scenic lakes with colorful foliage views, along with a variety of nearby activities and appealing accommodations. Once you arrive, consider taking a Lyft to avoid the hassles of traffic or finding parking near the lake or the local town square. Through Hilton Honors’ partnership with Lyft, the ridesharing service, members of Hilton Honors – Hilton’s free-to-join guest loyalty program – can pair their Honors account with Lyft to accumulate Points for every mile they ride, then use them to fund their next getaway or other activities, ranging from concerts to exclusive culinary experiences.
Lake Bemidji, Minnesota
DoubleTree by Hilton Bemidji is located on the beautiful south shores of Lake Bemidji, about 40 miles northeast of Lake Itasca, which is the source of the Mississippi River. Guests can relax in their rooms and take in beautiful lakeside views. Canoes and kayaks are available to rent, or guests can enjoy fishing walleye or muskellunge (more commonly known as musky) on Lake Bemidji or on the more than 400 other area lakes. Guests can also admire nature’s magnificent fall colors at Lake Bemidji State Park, which is the northern starting point for the Paul Bunyan State Trail.
Photo: DoubleTree by Hilton Bemidji
Lake Placid, New York
At the historical Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton, guests enter a beautiful Gilded Age lobby, resplendent with historical charm and sweeping views. The iconic hotel offers a blend of mountain and lake views paired with the sophisticated amenities of an urban resort. While staying at Hotel Saranac, guests can discover all of the outdoor activities the Adirondack region is known for, including boating, hiking, swimming, golfing, fishing and skiing. Guests can also enjoy some delicious bites at the Campfire Adirondack Grill + Bar or an intimate evening at the crackling fire pit overlooking Lake Placid and the Adirondacks. Changing fall colors in the Adirondacks is world-renowned, and guests will marvel at the reflection of the brilliant red, gold and orange leaves during a boat tour around Lake Placid.
Photo: Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton
Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
Hampton Inn & Suites Tahoe-Truckee offers guests a place to explore all that Lake Tahoe has to offer. Just a 10-mile drive to the King’s Beach entry point to the lake, guests are also minutes away from hiking and biking trails, white-water rafting at Tahoe Whitewater Tours, championship golf at Old Greenwood (a Jack Nicklaus signature course) and shopping at Bespoke, a store full of work by independent artists. Lake Tahoe is far less crowded in the fall, which is the only time of year to see salmon spawn and to experience the colorful landscape of Hope Valley.
Photo: Hampton Inn & Suites Tahoe-Truckee
Lake Hamilton, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Home2 Suites by Hilton Hot Springs offers access to Lake Hamilton, one of Arkansas’ most popular lakes, with a sandy beach, boating, fishing and lake cruises. Visitors can take in the fall foliage around the lake or while hiking through Hot Springs National Park. With an ideal location overlooking Lake Hamilton, the hotel places guests close to ideal fall activities, including hiking the Ouachita Mountains or exploring the historical Bathhouse Row (also known as “The American Spa” because of its abundance of thermal pools).
Photo: Home2 Suites by Hilton Hot Springs
Lake Powell, Arizona
Hampton Inn & Suites Page - Lake Powell is a short distance from Lake Powell and is close to many of the area’s natural wonders, including Horseshoe Bend, a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River, the same river that flows through the Grand Canyon, and Antelope Canyon, a scenic sandstone formation on Navajo land. Fall at Lake Powell is perfect for couples, families and those looking for a quiet retreat. The lake water is warm enough for swimming, but the nights are cool enough to enjoy a campfire under the stars.
Photo: Hampton Inn & Suites Page-Lake Powell
Lake Champlain, Vermont
Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain is a waterfront hotel on the shores of Lake Champlain. It is located within walking distance of downtown Burlington and the historical Church Street Marketplace, an open-air pedestrian shopping and dining mall with year-round entertainment, such as live music and festivals. Autumn is when Lake Champlain comes alive with activities, from apple and pumpkin picking at local farms to playing golf in mild weather to enjoying the famous foliage, which makes this lake the perfect fall destination.
Photo: Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain