The Secret Season brings journey offers, minimal crowds

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I need a break. And you too.

After a summer of hiding indoors to avoid the plague, scorching temperatures and soot-filled air, we long for liberation and escape.

The good news: We are entering the secret season, the answer to the prayers of a frustrated traveler. It offers bargains, uncrowded destinations, and mild temperatures. It’s the ideal time to take a ride and get away from it all for a few days.

We’ve targeted three non-governmental (but relatively nearby) destinations where tourism is at low levels this time of year, making social distancing easier. If you are nervous about staying at a hotel, be sure to read the websites of the places you want to find information about COVID-19 safety logs, then call for more information. Some people pack disinfectant detergents to be on the safe side.

Then grab your gear and hit the road. Our top pick is Scottsdale, Arizona, a big proponent of the secret season, which runs through December. Locals at this resort say that autumn offers the best weather of the year, ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities.

During your visit, take a one-way drive two hours north of Scottsdale to see the vibrant colors of fall in Sedona, where the season’s reds and golds complement the red rock landscape.

Scottsdale is home to some of the best resorts in the country, with nightly room rates often over $ 1,000 during the spring season. During the secret season, some high-end resorts offer 60% off. Others have BOGO – buy-one-get-one-free offers – or three nights for the price of two specials.

Check out these bargains:

Hotel Adeline: If you’re into Midcentury Modern you’ll love the sleek and stylish Hotel Adeline, a boutique newcomer to Old Town Scottsdale. The 215-room pet-friendly hotel was renovated for $ 13 million and now features a restaurant and a lively pool with bar and cabanas. Prices start at $ 116 per night.

The hip Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona offers a “Slip Into Fall” deal from $ 240 a night.

(Mark Boisclair / Valley Ho)

Hotel Valley Ho: It’s always martini time at the oh-so-hip Hotel Valley Ho in downtown Scottsdale. The pool is shaped like a martini glass with an olive. This midcentury modern hotel is offering a Slip Into Fall Deal that includes $ 50 daily hotel credit and a bottle of wine at $ 240 per night.

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa: Located in neighboring Paradise Valley, this award winner is nowhere near downtown shops or restaurants, but it has panoramic views and is a great place to relax, unwind, and rewind. Hike, bike, or run on the many trails near the resort. Visitors to the Secret Season from California can use the special “Welcome, Neighbors” (booking code PROCA3), with which guests can stay for free on their third night. Rates from $ 373 per night.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: Get a BOGO deal this fall at Scottsdale Princess, one of the premier resorts in Arizona. At 65 acres, this Fairmont hotel has a lot to offer, including a world-class spa, four golf courses, and six pools. It’s a long-time winner of the AAA’s Five Diamond Award and scores highly among its guests for the fun factor for its rushing water slides. The resort’s “Stay Close” package is a BOGO opportunity for guests – stay one night, get the second night free – until December 29th. Rates from USD 365 per night.

Lake Tahoe

How long has it been since you saw this fascinating lake shimmer in the sunlight? Visit during the secret season and your bonus may see fall color. Lake Tahoe, one of the deepest and highest lakes in the country (6,245 feet), is about an eight-hour drive from Los Angeles. The route can be boring (Interstate 5 north to Sacramento to Interstate 80 east) or scenic on Highway 395, which takes you along the eastern ridge of the High Sierra.

The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort offers a new menu of spa activities, hikes and adventures.

The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort offers a new menu of spa activities, hikes and adventures.

(Kressa Olguin / Hyatt)

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort: This waterfront hotel and casino in North Lake Tahoe wants you to be healthy. That is why there is a new menu with wellness activities, hikes and adventures. You can meditate, take a paint and sip art class, or sign up for a boot camp with cardio and strength training exercises to prepare guests for the snow sports season. Rates from $ 148 per night. (Email tahoeadventures@hyatt.com for details.)

Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe: The Secret Season puts special emphasis on the Ritz-Carlton, which heralds the ideal time to enjoy mountain activities amid the colorful foliage of Lake Tahoe. Activities include hiking to nearby lakes and along the Tahoe Rim Trail, as well as mountain stargazing programs. Rates from USD 254 per night.

Las Vegas

You may be wondering why we included Las Vegas in this compilation of getaway getaways. Didn’t we say we focus on places where visitor traffic is slow? Yeah, and that’s definitely Vegas. The hotel occupancy rates in the Strip and downtown hotels were nearly 89% last summer. This summer the rate was 42%. So if you want to be lonely – as lonely as Vegas can get – this is the time.

Less is more in a city where trade fair and congress traffic comes to a standstill. Most hotels have special offers during the week, including some weekend offers.

Caesars Palace: Not only will you find bargains here, Caesars Hotels now allow cancellations up to 24 hours before check-in. That’s a nice change. This ballyhooed casino and hotel offers standard rooms from USD 94 per night or try the Suite Escape offer from USD 119 per night during the week for rooms that often sell three times as much. (Book by October 26 for travel through August 2021.) Or stay three nights for $ 240. (Sunday through Thursday; book by November 2nd for dates by December 24.)

Further offers in the neon capital of the world:

You can say Bonjour to Paris Las Vegas for just $ 49 a night during the week (from $ 95 on Saturdays) or Ciao! to the sophisticated Venetian from $ 112 on weekdays and $ 202 on weekends. Check VisitLasVegas.com to see other offers.

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