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Slipping into autumn mode

Email|Print| Text size + By Richard P. Carpenter
Globe Correspondent / August 27, 2006

Time for summer to slip away. In a couple of weeks, those long and lazy days on the beach or at the lake will be sunny memories. Fortunately, the fall travel season has delights of its own: mostly balmy weather, lower prices, smaller crowds. Those are all reasons I am waiting till late September to scratch Mount Rushmore off my life list of places that must be seen.

Samples of what's in store:

The Sagamore, a private island resort on Lake George in New York's Adirondack Mountains, has put together a Land, Air and Lake Getaway , Sept. 5-Oct. 7, Monday through Friday, that includes two nights ' accommodations, a complimentary shuttle to Prospect Mountain , cider and cookies on arrival, and a luncheon lake cruise on the resort's 72-foot yacht or a two-hour sightseeing train ride on the Upper Hudson River Railroad . Prices start at $245 a person; for $225 extra, guests get a hot air balloon flight with champagne.

Call 800-358-3585 or visit www.thesagamore.com.

Book two or more nights at the Benjamin F. Packard House in Bath, Maine , Sept. 5-30 and receive a Special September Secret Discount upon arrival. Guests draw a ``secret" card for 5 to 50 percent off the total bill before taxes. Before the discount, rates range from $130-$170 a night.

Visit www.mainecoast.com/packardhouse or call 866-361-6004 . For specials across the nation and in Europe, visit www.bedandbreakfast.com and click on September Secrets (on the left).

Here's an opportunity to fall asleep in school and not get in trouble. The Lebanon Schoolhouse Bed & Breakfast in Dolores , Colo., was a Greek Revival-style schoolhouse constructed in 1907 and restored as a B&B in the 1980s. The original merry-go-round remains on the schoolyard grounds and old-fashioned phones and the school's grandfather clock are in the common areas. Rates are $85-$115.

Call 970-882-4461 or visit www.lebanonschoolhouse.com .

At this writing, you'll have to hand over $1.28 US to get one euro, but the price of air fares and accommodations are often lower in fall. Bargain-hunters can look for specials at websites like Go-today.com and British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. For example, a recent Virgin-Atlantic offer for a three-night London Fling began at $949 for Aug. 23 departures and $499 for Nov. 1 departures. Purchases of such offers sometimes must be made within a couple of weeks or less .

Visit www.go-today.com, www.ba.com, and www.virgin-atlantic.com .

Bike Riders has a variety of rides through the splendor of autumnal New England. For instance, a Cultural Renaissance trip goes to Vermont and the Berkshires of Massachusetts, taking in art centers, museums, and galleries as well as the scenery. The price of $2,280 includes lodging, all breakfasts, all dinners but one, and picnic lunches. Departure dates are Sept. 24-29 and Oct. 1-6 and 8-13.

Call 800-473-7040 or visit www.bikeriderstours.com .

In the Canadian Rockies of Alberta, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise will present fitness instructor Charlene Prickett 's Fall High Adventure program , available as a four- or seven-night, fully-inclusive vacation. Among activities are horseback riding, golfing, fly fishing, and daily guided hikes. The package starts at about $1,200 for a four-night package or about $1,950 for the seven nights.

Call 800-441-1414 or visit www.fairmont.com/lakelouise.

Concierge for a day
Would you like to know what being a concierge really involves? Through Sept. 30, the Candlelight Inn in Napa, Calif., invites you to send a one-page statement explaining your interest and qualifications in becoming a concierge for a day. A winner will be chosen by Nov. 1, then in January or February will get air fare, three days of training, visiting wineries, horseback riding through vineyards, and hot air ballooning, all in preparation for creating itineraries for guests. The winner will then work for a day alongside the inn's experienced in-house concierge.

Entries should be sent to Candlelight Inn Concierge for a Day, 1045 Easum Drive, Napa, CA 94558. The website is www.candlelightinn.com .

Web world
Gay Inns of New England is a new website for gay and lesbian travelers, and discount packages are offered. Visit www.gayinnsofnewengland.com .

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. Contact Richard P. Carpenter at carpenter@globe.com.

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