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(Courtesy of Killington Resort)

Leafing through a bounty of choices

Email|Print| Text size + By Richard P. Carpenter
Globe Correspondent / September 11, 2005

The crowds are fewer, the air is crisper, the landscape is dappled with color, and both the temperatures and the prices are often moderate, so traveling in the fall makes sense. Consider, for instance, these autumnal offers:

Vermont's Killington Resort has foliage package deals from $28 per person per night, including lodging and a round-trip ride on its K-1 Gondola, which takes you to 4,241-foot Killington Peak for views of five states and a bit of Canada. Dates are Sept. 1-18, Monday through Thursday, and Sept. 22-Oct. 9, daily.

Visit www.killington.com and click on ''Vacation Packages," then ''View All Featured Packages" or call 800-324-6819.

The Arabella, a 160-foot passenger cruise yacht, which offers excursions between Newport, R.I., Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cuttyhunk, will have its fourth annual Autumn Wine Tasting Cruise Sept. 22-27. Rates for the five-night sailing range from $999-$1,699 per person and include pre- or post-accommodations for one night at one of the Historic Inns of Newport properties, nightly wine tastings, a complimentary sunset cruise through Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay aboard Madeleine or Rum Runner, all daytime meals, and a genuine New England clambake on Cuttyhunk.

Call 800-395-1343 or visit www.atlanticstars.com.

New York's Hudson River Valley will soon be filled with reds and golds and one of the best ways to take in the views is on horseback. Cross Country International offers two trips. The first, for Oct. 10-13 or Oct. 17-20, features three nights at the Porter House Inn in Millbrook, including daily breakfast and three days of foliage trail riding, along with a private guide, horse, tack, and tax. The cost is $895 per person, sharing. A longer getaway, Oct. 31-Nov. 4, offers four nights at the Porter House Inn and four days of riding, including an all-day trip to the Mohonk Mountain House, a well-known 19th-century lakeside retreat. That trip is $1,545 per person.

Call 800-828-8768 or visit www.equestrianvacations.com.

New England doesn't have a monopoly on foliage. In Colorado, from mid-September to mid-October, changing leaves on aspen, cottonwood, and scrub oak trees paint a multihued landscape.

Log on to www.colorado.com/fallfoliage for vacation-planning information, including lodging, attractions and activities.

New York's Adirondacks region appeals to many travelers, including campers. The Lake George Schroon Valley Resort in Warrensburg offers a Discover Lake George Package available through Oct. 9 at considerable savings over individual summer costs. The packages include tickets for two on the Minne-Ha-Ha paddlewheel cruise, tickets for two to Fort William Henry, two commuter mugs, a bag of firewood, a 10-percent-off dining coupon; coffee, pastry, a gift bag, and late checkout. Two nights of camping, $106.40; two nights in a two-room camping cabin, $161.66; and two nights in a 30-foot trailer rental, $206.16.

Call 800-958-2267 or visit www.lakegeorgecamping.com.

Businesses throughout New Hampshire's Mount Washington Valley are participating in a Harvest to Holiday promotion, with area lodging properties presenting packages that include a canvas tote brimming with coupons and gifts from the retailers. Package prices vary.

Call 800-367-3364 or visit www.mtwashingtonvalley.org/lodging.cfm and click on Harvest to Holidays.

For poker pals Buoyed in part by those televised tournaments, poker is enjoying a renaissance. In Chicago, the House of Blues Hotel has a Full House package that begins at $325 a night per person and includes accommodations in a suite, a snack platter, a private hourlong instruction session by a ''poker coach," a full poker set, a private full bar with a bartender in the suite for three hours, a 3 a.m. turndown, and late checkout. And try your poker face on this, all you high rollers: The hotel has a more elaborate package for $5,000 per person per night.

Call 877-569-3742 or visit www.loewshotels.com/hotels/chicago.

Hey, empty nesters The kids are off to college and parents find that for the first time in a couple of decades or more, they are home alone. They can celebrate their new status in Anguilla with the Arawak Beach Inn's seven-night Empty Nest package for $999. The offer, valid through Dec. 16, gets you a bottle of champagne upon arrival, a 50-minute massage for two, two dinners, daily breakfast, a souvenir book about Anguilla and round-trip airport or ferry dock transfers.

Call 877-4-ARAWAK (427-2925) or visit www.arawakbeach.com.

A ducky 80th The newly restored Peabody Hotel in Memphis, perhaps best known for its twice-daily parade of ducks to the lobby fountain, is celebrating its 80th anniversary with special events and menus and an 80th Anniversary Package. Included are a night's lodging, welcome champagne in the Corner Bar and dinner in Chez Philippe, tickets to the Peabody Place Museum, complimentary valet parking, and a couple of souvenirs. (If you want to see Graceland, you are on your own.) The package, available through Dec. 31, costs $280.

Call 800-42-DUCKS or visit www.peabodymemphis.com.

Ireland for $570 A self-drive package from CIE Tours International starts at $570, including air fare from Boston. The price, based on a six-night stay, includes accommodations at a choice of more than 1,700 bed-and-breakfast homes with private bath facilities and daily breakfast, a rental car with standard shift (or an automatic for extra), service charges, all local taxes, a discount booklet, and an Ireland guidebook. Hotel and castle packages are also available.

Call 800-CIE-TOUR or visit www.cietours.com.

The single supplement A recent column on the dreaded single supplement -- the extra fee that solo travelers often must pay -- has brought a couple of responses. One reader says the way to avoid any extra charge is to eschew most packages, tours, and cruises and instead travel independently. ''If you book your own room you pay the cost of the room, that is all; if you book your own seat on a tour bus or small boat, you pay only for your seat. Granted, you have to research and make the plans yourself and be independent, but even if a group of friends want to travel together but have some privacy in their own rooms, a little independence goes a long way."

Another reader writes, ''As a single traveler I get that the resorts will not make as much profit from me as from two travelers. So therefore I should have to pay some premium. I am willing to pay the profit they would earn on the second $1,000 trip. For that profit to be $600, or 150 percent margin based on [a] $400 cost, is outrageous."

When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Richard P. Carpenter can be reached at carpenter@globe.com.

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