There’s something undeniably cozy about waking up on a chilly morning, your breath fogging in the air, your hands and cheeks flushing the moment you step outside. Come October and November, northern Idaho reliably delivers this weather: Daytime temps hover in the 40s and 50s, nighttime lows in the 30s and even 20s. Pack your favorite sweater (and puffer!), and make for Sandpoint, a charming town nestled amidst some of the state’s best fall foliage. Marvel at the yellows and oranges of the birches, maples, and tamaracks on the Idaho portion of the International Selkirk Loop, which runs from Priest River to Sandpoint and all the way up to the Canadian border. Want to take in the scenery at a slower pace? Stroll the 1.5-mile Pend Oreille Bay Trail, a newly opened path tracing the lake’s northwest shore, offering beautiful views of the mountain-fringed lake. End the day on a sweet note at the Pie Hut. Inside, the shop’s handwritten menu and kitschy décor belie the serious pie-craft at work. Tasting Table named the Pie Hut the top pie shop in Idaho. But don’t take our word for it: Order a slice of their famed huckleberry pie, and taste for yourself.
Washoe County, Nevada
Want to savor autumnal pleasures sans crowds? Look to northern Nevada’s Washoe County. Here, in the town of Sparks, Andelin Family Farm hosts an epic Harvest Festival (September 29–October 30 this year), complete with hay rides, a u-pick pumpkin patch, and—no joke—a corn cannon! Visitors can wander the corn maze, then pet mini Nubian goats and KuneKune pigs. After all the farm fun, refuel with a snack at Reno’s Höma’ge, where toothsome pies—classic pumpkin, walnut turtle fudge, raspberry rhubarb, and much more—sit serenely in a glass case. Treats of another sort await inside the striking, porticoed Levy Mansion. The 1906 property now houses Sundance Books and Music, which entices with a rare books room and well-placed reading chairs. Complete your getaway with a jaunt to Washoe Lake State Park, where—in October and November—the willows and cottonwoods glow gold against the deep-blue Sierra peaks behind them.