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 ways in the northern hemisphere to take full advantage of this special time.
WALK AND SIT BACK IN AUSTIN
Scorching summer days in the Texas capital give way to perfect weather come autumn, a time of year a time of year for getting outdoors. You can easily stroll from the Hotel to Ziller Park, a sprawling 351-acre space along the shores of Lady Bird Lake, and cool off in Barton Springs pool, which maintains an average temperature of 70 degrees F year round.
At night, join filmgoers in the heart of downtown Austin at the newly opened Blue Starlite Drive-In, whose two screens showcase a variety of classics and newer releases. You can go beyond popcorn, soda and candy with purchases from restaurants that deliver right to their car window.
Alternatively, play your own soundtrack – thanks to the Hotel’s partnership with Taylor Guitars, you get to borrow an instrument and even schedule a lesson with a local musician.
And don’t miss drinks overlooking the lake at the Hotel’s redesigned lounge, part of a multimillion-dollar renovation completed last fall. In the Hotel’s backyard, take advantage of lawn games, including Jenga, ping-pong and cornhole, or simply find a patch of shade in one of the many Adirondack chairs or hammocks.
Four Seasons Hotel Austin
SIP AND SEE IN PRAGUE
Prepare your palate for a stay at Four Seasons Hotel Prague. Sip a variety of wines and Champagne aboard the Hotel’s charming wooden boat on the Vltava River. Surrounded by fairy-tale scenery, you’ll see Prague from a different angle.
For an authentic Czech experience, discover a local craft rooted in hundreds of years of tradition: glassblowing. The Hotel’s private car service can whisk you to the world-famous Rückl glass factory in Nizbor, a picturesque village in central Bohemia, only a 45-minute drive from Prague. There, you’ll meet craftsmen and witness the magic of glass engraving. You can even choose to cut or blow glass yourself.
Back at the Hotel, pamper yourself in the privacy of the Spa Suite with your choice of several steam baths.
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 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 featuring sights in the capital city and one to the Great Wall. On the capital city excursion, you’ll visit Drum Tower and the Sanlitun area, and take a rickshaw ride. On either tour, you proceed chiefly by limousine and enjoy a local lunch, returning to the Hotel in the end for a special seasonal dinner.
“As a native Beijinger, I strongly recommend climbing the renowned Xiangshan [Elephant Mountain] 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
UNWIND IN SANTA FE
For those who feel a need to engage with nature, Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe has an answer: Its new Adventure Center offers customized excursions for guests – led by a team of expert private guides – such as mountain biking, fly-fishing, hiking, horseback riding and hot-air balloon rides.
A three-hour guided hike through rugged canyons and mesa country, followed by a spa treatment to soothe sore muscles, comes highly recommended. “Guests get a unique opportunity to discover Tsankawi, a lesser-known part of Bandelier [National Monument],” says Hans Loehr, the Adventure Program’s lead guide. “With Santa Fe’s gorgeous fall weather and foliage, there is truly no better time to explore the city, as well as the region’s distinctive terrain, vast landscapes and this special New Mexico landmark.” And there’s no better time than after the hike for that spa treatment and a pre-drawn bath.
Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe
REVEL IN FALL COLOURS IN KYOTO
Kyoto is known for the vibrant colours of its leaves (koyo, in Japanese) – especially impressive during the last two weeks of November. For this special season, the team at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto has created a map highlighting the best places around the city to witness this natural beauty. Concierge team leader Kanako Morita recommends visiting Kyoto’s temples at night for a different kind of leaf-peeping experience. A few favourites are Kodaiji Temple, Entoku-in Temple and Kiyomizu-dera Temple, all in the Higashiyama area and only 15 to 20 minutes by foot from the Hotel.
“And last but not least,” Kanako says, “if you want to take in the beautiful autumn colours in a quiet and exclusive setting without any crowds, pay a visit to the Hotel’s own Shakusuien pond garden.”
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
EXPLORE THE ARTS IN BOGOTÁ
Year-round good weather means there’s never really a bad time to visit Colombia’s capital city, but autumn is the perfect time for unexpected journeys. “The best way to discover the magic of Bogotá is to live the experience like a local,” says Diego Macias, Leisure Sales Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogotá.
One aspect of the city locals love? Graffiti. For those intrigued by the thriving art scene, Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogotá offers an exclusive tour providing insights into the city’s creative underworld. Led by Camilo Lopez, Director of Vertigo Graffiti, guests will view some of the city’s most spectacular pieces and hear insider stories about them.
Back at the Hotel, put your palate to the test with an unforgettable coffee experience. In this private ritual, a barista guide will introduce you to coffee from Buenavista, Quindío, where the country’s most celebrated coffee is grown. You’ll explore various types of coffees and leave with the ability to identify specific aromas and flavors.
Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogota
YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS HERE
Where will you choose to spend your favourite season?