Chic New England may be famous for spectacular fall foliage, but it's not the only US region whose trees put on a seasonal show. Fiery autumn leaves are also a feature further south in Virginia and beyond to the richly wooded Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks.
Linking these beautiful backdrops is the famous Blue Ridge Parkway: routinely voted America's favourite drive. This 469-mile trail runs through the Appalachian Highlands and connects these two national parks via pioneer history, epic vistas and charming small towns such as Charlottesville, Virginia, which was home to three former US presidents (Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe).
Start the adventure in Washington DC, whose National Mall and Reflecting Pool are ablaze with colour at this time of year, then weave your way south on the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way to Atlanta.
Bon Voyage's suggested, tailor-made America's Favourite Drive itinerary costs from £2,225 per person and includes flights (from London, Manchester or Glasgow) into Washington and home from Atlanta, 13 nights' accommodation in cosy and characterful inns or B&Bs, car hire and a personalised road book with detailed directions and travel tips. Call 0800 316 0194 or visit www.bon-voyage.co.uk
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Click here This Summer marks 50 years since the release of ‘Easy Rider’, the cult American road-trip movie starring Dennis Hopper and the late Peter Fonda. Departing 18 September, there’s still time to join a special guided tour that follows the route taken by the lead characters on their motorbike adventure from LA to New Orleans.
TRAVEL DEPARTMENT EXPANDS ITS RANGE OF GUIDED HOLIDAYS, INCLUDING NEW DESTINATIONS AND DEPARTURES FROM ACROSS THE UNITED KINGDOM
Dublin-based escorted tour operator, Travel Department (020 7099 9665; www.traveldepartment.co.uk) has launched its new programme of great value, guided group holidays for 2020, including a brand-new tour of Japan and an expanded range of tours departing from London, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Bristol.
The programme spans over 140 exciting destinations across Europe and the rest of the world, with each holiday led by expert local guides. Tours vary from city breaks to week-long tours through the likes of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Croatia, or further afield to India, China, Russia and Vietnam, with the option to bolt on an extension to any group itinerary.
Calling all would-be Knights and Princesses, the world’s first LEGOLAND in Billund, Denmark, has opened LEGOLAND Castle Hotel. The new castle inspired property provides a true fairy tale experience with 142 specially themed rooms fit for a princess or a knight; for aspiring wizards and even fiery dragons. The huge Castle-like hotel also features a restaurant for 300 diners, an indoor play area and a large outdoor playground. Prices start from £318 per night for a family room which sleeps up to five people on a B&B basis.
New Drive for Sustainability as Son Penya Petit Hotel & Spa in Mallorca Offers Guests use of its Brand New Electric BMW i3 Series Cars
Surrounded by ancient olive groves, almond and carob trees and set in more than 200km of rolling countryside, near San Llorenç on Mallorca’s east coast, Son Penya Petit Hotel & Spa, is a former Finca with 20 beautifully appointed stone-built rooms and suites, eight of them having private pools.
The hotel owners, the Balaguer family, are passionate about sustainability and new for 2019 have installed solar panels to generate over 50% of the hotel’s electrical demands.
With Ramblers Walking Holidays’ (01707 331133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) offering some great value week long breaks - from under a £1000/person, why not look ahead to a late summer escape, walking and soaking up some European sunshine hours, without the crowds and with lovely warm temperatures.
Ranging from hidden away islands ambles in Greece to alpine adventures in Austria, and graded to suit most levels of fitness and ability, they offer an excellent way to enjoy the sunshine with temperatures ideal for exploring some of Europe’s best walking trails under the guidance of one of the company’s expert leaders.
Step on board Aranui 5 – the ‘Freighter to Paradise’ – for an island-hopping adventure to the most remote shores of French Polynesia
The islands of the South Pacific conjure up images of adventure and mystery, unspoilt beauty and wild shores that are intoxicating and inspiring in equal measure. None more so than the enchanting Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia, and there is no better way to reach them than on board the passenger-freighter Aranui 5 – one of the most original and unforgettable voyages in the world.
Grecian Chic: Choose from two stylish new boutique adult only hotels on Lefkada or Meganissi with Simpson Travel
Luxury specialist tour operator Simpson Travel (0208 003 6557, www.simpsontravel.com) has added two new properties to its portfolio of stylish adult-only hotels in the Ionian islands. Take advantage of the BA flight into Preveza and enjoy an indulgent week at the newly opened Katouna Suites in Lefkada or the exclusive four-suite Keromoussi on the spectacular island of Meganissi, both of which are featured exclusively by Simpson Travel.
Looking for a winter sun break with a difference? For those in search of an alternative adventure this autumn and winter save £500pp and join sailing holiday experts Rubicon 3 for a choice of coastal and ocean voyages in sunnier climes. Setting a course south there are two-week options available to the Azores, Madeira, Morocco and the Canaries.
Given that it's the middle of summer, Christmas may be the last thing on your mind - but a little forward planning is essential to bag the very best festive breaks. With only 436 passengers, spaces are limited on the American Queen's special Christmas sailing on the Mississippi.