Autumn “is a second spring where every leaf is a flower,” wrote French philosopher Albert Camus.
He was onto something. With the change from summer to fall, particular ways of enjoying the outdoors are at their best. Here are six opportunities around the northern hemisphere to take full advantage of this special time.
GO ON A JACKSON HOLE SAFARI
Africa is a spectacular place to spot awe-inspiring wildlife, but it’s not the only one.
At Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, guests can board a luxury SUV equipped with high-end optics for a four-hour expedition through Grand Teton National Park, the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the National Elk Refuge.
Led by a dedicated naturalist team, you’ll travel into remote areas of the Teton Mountain Range, land of elk, moose, mule deer, bison, bears, wolves, bighorn sheep, bald eagles, river otters, trumpeter swans, owls and other rare birds. “Seeing rutting bull elk bugling and sparring surrounded by golden foliage is a truly magical experience,” says the Resort’s Chief Concierge Hope Maloney. “Not to mention, the sound is unlike anything I’ve ever heard – instant goose bumps!”
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, feast on gourmet food prepared by the Resort’s chefs. The autumnal foliage creates an unbeatable setting, especially the brilliant yellow aspen trees.
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole
SIP AND SEE IN PRAGUE
If wine is more to your taste, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy during a stay at Four Seasons Hotel Prague. Partake in a tour of Salabka, a private winery in the Troja residential district dating back to the 13th century and founded by Emperor Charles IV.
“It’s quite the experience to meet the winemakers and hear their stories,” says Chief Concierge Petr Zezula. “In my opinion, you can recognize the winemaker’s personality in the wine.”
Guests can even join Salabka’s master winemakers in harvesting the grapes and, weather permitting, enjoy a plein-air lunch on the vineyard grounds, admiring the views of Prague.
Four Seasons Hotel Prague
TAKE A CITYWIDE TOUR IN BEIJING
Autumn is the best time to explore Beijing, with comfortably cool weather for climbing suburban mountains or spending time people-watching in an outdoor café. The city’s countless attractions include Ditan Park, the Confucian Temple, the Guozijian Museum and, of course, the Great Wall.
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing offers two full-day tours led by private guides – one to the Great Wall and the other to sights in the capital city. On either tour, guests will proceed by limousine, and enjoy a local lunch before heading back to the Hotel for a special seasonal dinner. If you choose to visit the Great Wall, you’ll also explore Jinhai Lake. Those who opt for the capital city excursion will experience a rickshaw tour in addition to visiting Drum Tower and the Sanlitun area.
“As a native Beijinger, I strongly recommend climbing the renowned Xiangshan or hiking the Great Wall,” says Chief Concierge Peter Tang. “Both afford the most spectacular views of Shantung maples, smoke trees and pine trees.”
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing
WALK THROUGH TIME IN D.C.
History buffs visiting Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C., will find much to explore in the city’s charming Georgetown neighbourhood, including Colonial-era, tree-lined lanes such as Olive Street and Dumbarton Street.
“After spending time exploring the residential streets, I recommend guests make their way to Grace Street, which is about a 15 minute walk west of the hotel,” says Chief Concierge Julie Saunders. “This little enclave exudes charm with its historic buildings and cobblestone streets. It’s the perfect place to grab a warm coffee and a quick bite. Plus, Georgetown’s design district, Cady’s Alley, is just a stone’s throw away.”
Admirers of autumn leaves should head to the C&O Canal, whose streets are lined with beds of coloured foliage and large, prominent trees. And Georgetown University’s landscaped grounds come with stunning views of the Potomac.
Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC
HAVE A GARDEN PARTY IN KYOTO
The 800-year-old Imperial Garden at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto offers guests a respite from the bustling city, one with a long history. The garden’s pond is mentioned in the 12th-century epic poem “Tale of Heike.”
Children and adults can play a family-friendly game of “Find the Tree,” during which guests are given leaf samples to match. Or, bring a piece of Kyoto home with you, says Guest Ambassador Chiharu Tokunaga. “We prepare a white canvas and colored leaves for you to create your own craft while enjoying the surroundings.”
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
SAIL AWAY IN BUDAPEST
Those craving a new perspective would be wise to head to Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest. Ushered in by limousine, you can embark on a skippered, three-hour jaunt on Lake Balaton, less than 2 hours from Budapest. The largest lake in Central Europe, it has hosted the continent’s oldest round-the-lake sailing competition since 1934.
Your sailboat, however – the only luxury sailing service on the lake – will be in no such hurry. Your goal will be to indulge in refreshments like sparkling wine and fresh fruit while soaking up the views.
“The colour of the leaves are turning and the Northern shore of the lake looks like a painting this time of the year,” says Chief Concierge Peter Buday. “The boating experience can also easily be combined with a visit to the world famous Herend Porcelain Manufactory, only a 35-minute drive away from the lake, or with a little bit of wine tasting.”
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest
Your Journey Begins Here
Where will you choose to spend your favorite season?