For great fall color, head to Carson City, Nev., Quincy, Calif., and Springdale, Utah.
STAY A few miles outside Zion National Park, rooms at the Cliffrose Lodge come with canyon or river views. From $139. (800) 243-8824, www.cliffroselodge.com.
EAT At Oscar's Cafe an order of pork ribs with garlic-bourbon barbecue sauce ($24) easily feeds two. (435) 772-3232.
PLAY A free shuttle connects town and the park ($12 entry fee). Hop off at Big Bend to see autumn-hued maples and cot¬ tonwoods (above). (435) 772-3256.
CARSON CITY, NEV.
STAY The Bliss Bungalow sits on a maple tree–lined street two blocks from the Governor's Mansion. From $115. (775) 883-6129, www.blissbungalow.com.
EAT You can save at Adele's by dining outside on the leafy veranda. Try a thin-crust pizza (from $10). (775) 882-3353.
PLAY Drive past aspens and silver maples on a scenic loop: Follow Highway 88 to 89, then connect with 395 at Topaz Lake before heading back to town.
STAY In the heart of this Sierra town, Ada's Place offers cottages surrounded by a garden awash in fall color. From $100. (530) 283-1954, www.adasplace.com.
EAT Pangaea Cafe marks the season with sweet potato home fries in a maple-cayenne sauce ($6). (530) 283-0426.
PLAY Hot-air balloons, live music, and beer tastings at the Mountain Harvest Festival. October 13. $25. (530) 283-3402, www.plumasarts.org.
Photography by Theo Allofs/Zefa/Corbis
This article was first published in September 2007. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.