Departures is published by Meredith Corp. and owned by American Express. While American Express Card Member benefits are highlighted in this publication, including through the links indicated below, the content of this article was independently written by the editorial staff at Meredith. Other Departures content paid for by American Express is explicitly marked as such.
This fall, after months of staying at home, many travelers might be looking to get away...really far away. And while many trips to other parts of the world are still on hold, there are plenty of hotels in the U.S. where you can enjoy a luxurious vacation with a few other guests in sight. Better yet, they’re within driving distance of most major cities. Here are 10 isolated hotels you can take a road trip to this fall.
Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont
There are only 20 private individually designed accommodations at Twin Farms, meaning only 40 guests are on the property at any time. And that American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property is both stunning and sprawling. The hotel is perched amongst lush Vermont mountains, so guests can go hiking, cycling, canoeing, or picnicking all on their own. Book a cottage where you can relax in a private hot tub complete with a fireplace and take in the museum-quality art. All meals, which are designed for you, can be enjoyed in your guest room as well. And all of this is just five hours from New York City and two hours from Boston.
Shandaken Inn in Shandaken, New York
Having recently opened their doors in February 2020, following an extensive renovation and reimagination, the Shandaken Inn is a modern-day bed and breakfast in the heart of the Catskills (under two hours from New York City) offering 15 unique and artfully furnished guestrooms. Guests can take in the beautiful surroundings of the Catskills by enjoying a hike or playing tennis without leaving behind modern conveniences. They’re also happy to coordinate hiking trails and fly-fishing for guests upon request.
L’Auberge de Sedona in Sedona, Arizona
Sedona (just over two hours away from Phoenix) is known for its healing vibes, and what better time than now for a healing escape? L’Auberge de Sedona’s Intuitive Vortex Package is centered around the resort’s Vortex Treehouse and the various vortices through meditation, hike, and massage. There’s also golfing, mountain biking, and horseback riding available to get outside at this American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property with no one else around. Plus, all of the cottages have private decks with incredible views.
Canoe Bay in Chetek, Wisconsin
Surrounded by enchanting woodlands of Wisconsin, Canoe Bay is a romantic lakeside hideaway two hours east of Minneapolis and six hours northwest from Chicago. Perfect for outdoor and indoor lovers, travelers can enjoy scenic hiking routes, kayaking, fishing, or cozying up by the fire and soaking in the indoor jacuzzis. Stay in a private cottage or tiny house on the 300-acre secluded property to really experience a sense of escape. As far as meals go, breakfast and lunch are always delivered to you, and dinner can be as well upon request.
The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana
Nestled in Montana’s pristine valleys and an hour-and-a-half from Missoula, the all-inclusive The Ranch at Rock Creek and American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property offers luxury experiences for all — from flow and stretch yoga, to horseback riding and wildlife viewing. The ranch also has great activities for children, including sledding, ropes courses, and geocaching (treasure hunting). There are 10 glamping cabins available for those who really want to be in nature. Or, book one of the nine private luxury homes on the expansive grounds. Every stay at the ranch is fully customizable, so you can stay completely secluded if you wish.
Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands, North Carolina
Perched atop a plateau in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Old Edwards Inn, and Spa is a European-style Relais & Châteaux retreat two-and-a-half hours from Atlanta. At this luxurious mountain getaway, guests can enjoy doing as much or as little as they want. Play 18-hole golf with dramatic mountain vistas, hike or go on a zip-lining at the Highlands Aerial Park. Meanwhile, many of the cottages and suites have expansive private outdoor space as well to relax.
The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia
Only a 45 minute drive from Atlanta, guests are transported into a tranquil lake-side luxury retreat at this American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, home to three stand-alone incredible lake-side cottages. These can be your home-away-from-home, and you don't even need to leave the cottages. The crown jewel is the Lake House, which comes with four bedrooms, a private plunge pool, and a huge kitchen (you can book a private chef experience). The hotel will even deliver groceries to your door so that you can enjoy a private meal with just your loved ones.
Château du Sureau in Oakhurst, California
Located in Yosemite National Park, there's no shortage of fresh air at this European-inspired chateau perched in the woodlands. You’ll feel as if you escape to the French countryside, although you only need to drive three-and-a-half hours from San Francisco or four hours from Los Angeles. There are only 10 rooms available in the castle-like hotel, each one inspired by the South of France and designed to enhance total relaxation.
Dunton Hot Springs in Dolores, Colorado
Dunton Hot Springs is literally a ghost town. The five-star American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property is a restored 19th-century former mining town, which lends itself brilliantly for a private, remote retreat without the hassle of any crowds. Nestled in the San Juan Mountains, you can bunker down in one of the 13 private cabins in the woods and rejuvenate in the hot springs while you take in the natural surroundings (and fresh air). Only 44 guests are on the property at any time, and you have the option to rent out the entire town filled with historic buildings.
Montage Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina
Nestled in a lush, 20,000-acre coastal nature preserve, family-friendly resort Montage Palmetto Bluff is a secluded retreat between Hilton Head Island and Savannah. The American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property offers one to two-bedroom cottages with private entry and residences up to 4,200-square feet, so can really get away. Plus, with outdoor pursuits like kayaking with friendly Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and fishing on the May River, biking through miles of lush, maritime forest, and horseback riding help you keep busy while keeping your distance. It’s so private, Justin Bieber opted to use the resort to host his recent wedding.