Check out a cornucopia of the latest Western happenings: Maui's new Marine Mammal Discovery Center, a scale for weighing luggage, and a vacation rental Web site.
Ah, fall. The weather's warm with a hint of the cool to come, the trees are showing their fiery colors—and the kids are back in school, so popular travel spots offer seclusion and quiet. These destinations are rich in autumn adventure and fun, and they're surprisingly easy on the wallet.
TAHOE CITY, CALIF.
STAY Mother Nature's Inn is an easy walk from popular Commons Beach Park. Pet friendly. From $55.* (800) 558-4278, www.mothernaturesinn.com .
EAT At the Firesign Cafe, line up with the locals for eggs Benedict topped with the tastiest hollandaise sauce around. $9. (530) 583-0871.
PLAY Rent a bike from Cyclepaths Mountain and pedal around the Lake Tahoe area. Four-hour rental, $21. (530) 581-1171, www.cyclepaths.com .
P.S. Six miles north of town in Carnelian Bay, admire restored wooden boats at the International Boat Show, September 15 and 16. $5. (650) 345-8163.
STAY The intimate Historic Taos Inn offers fireplaces in most rooms and live jazz and flamenco at its Adobe Bar. From $70.* (888) 518-8267, www.taosinn.com .
EAT Delights such as wild halibut (above) make Joseph's Table one of the priciest spots in town, but the three-course lunch is a steal at $16. (505) 751-4512.
PLAY Admission is free at the Taos Fall Arts Festival in the town's convention center, September 29 to October 16. (505) 758-5015, www.taosfallarts.com .
P.S. One $20 ticket gets you into all five local museums; the Millicent Rogers is known for American Indian art. (505) 758-2462, www.taosfallarts.com .
STAY The 1925 Ashland Springs Hotel recalls its past with terrazzo floors and other original decor. From $109.* (541) 488-1700, www.ashlandspringshotel.com .
EAT Pick up some sandwiches at Greenleaf Restaurant ($7–$10, 541-482-2808) and then claim a grassy spot at Lithia Park in the center of town.
PLAY If an Oregon Shakespeare Festival play sells out, standing-room ducats go on sale at the box office for $15. (541) 482-4331, www.osfashland.org .
P.S. You won't want to miss the festival's Green Shows, free song-and-dance events held in the courtyard 45 minutes before every evening performance.
*Ask about the discount for AAA members.
Photography courtesy Ashland Springs Hotel/David Gibb
This article was first published in September 2006. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.