Few fall time couple activities trump a leisurely bike ride through a small town or the countryside. An even better way to experience the autumn scenery is by picking a place together to travel where you can make it that much more special. Whether you choose to go local or international, each of these cycle-friendly places allows easy access to bikes and top-notch fall scenery. Here are some of our favorite fall bike itineraries and suggestions for cute ways the two of you can make your bike ride even romantic.
Through the Grand Estate and Orne Region Surrounding Chateau de Courtomer
The grounds of this storied chateau in Normandy have been restored with the utmost care to their originating 18th-century beginnings when it was rebuilt from an even earlier medieval fortress. Along a velo ride at Courtomer, you can make stops at perfectly manicured sets of rose bushes, a farmhouse, and orangerie both oozing with their own individual charm, the property’s former stables, and one of the only surviving Protestant Temples in all of France. You’re also in for a treat on your bike ride, which is sure to include peeping the estate’s livestock and animals the cows, ducks, geese, cats, and birds are well taken care of and plenty here, which animal-loving couples will surely appreciate. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a hot air balloon gliding through the air overhead, or better yet, commissioning and jumping into one yourself to leave directly from the chateau’s grounds.
As Far as Your Wheels Will Take You on Nantucket Starting at White Elephant Inn
Nantucket. This idyllic island filled with vacay joy will make you want to throw on your best Vineyard Vines outfit and go for a bike ride. Speaking of Nantucket-appropriate outfits, how adorable is this women’s knit dress and men’s Sherpa? If you’re going to do a fall ride through ‘Tucket, you must certainly look the part! A stay at the popular White Elephant will help you further channel your preppy self, as will their fleet of Priority Coast cruisers—pretty much the quintessential vehicle for any fall bike ride. The island has over 30 miles of bike paths, but we’d recommend starting your ride from the hotel and making your way toward the nearby Brant Point Lighthouse, then double back through town past the Whaling Museum and stately Hadwen House until you reach the Old Mill, getting lost on all the quaint streets in between.
Through the Trails Surrounding Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine
Located two hours north of Madrid outside of Valladolid, Spain in wine country, fall is the perfect time to take a leisurely ride around this 12th-century abbey turned super luxe hotel. All guests here are welcome to use Abadía’s complementary mountain bikes, and there’s even an e-Bike & picnic tour offered, using eco-friendly electric bikes that ends with a private picnic highlighting local products, and the most important local product of all—the wine. Did we mention the Abadía Retuerta wines are really, really tasty, too? Though there are plenty of trails to choose from—and the hotel can best guide you based on the season you visit—we recommend the Colosos de Negralada Trail, which has gorgeous views of the abbey and passes by a 14-limb holm oak during the fall. The Aguas Del Duero Trail is also a must since it passes by the Duero River and a nearby canal.
Along the Promenade With Direct Manhattan Views from Hoboken
In New York City, the Hudson riverfront town of Hoboken, NJ is often called “the sixth borough” thanks in part to its proximity to Manhattan (just a few minutes from downtown and midtown). The 2-square mile town has a laid back urban vibe, lots of tree-lined streets full of crunchy leaves, and plenty of cute shops and restaurants to explore with your main squeeze. One of the best ways to see it all—as well as panoramic, unobstructed views of Manhattan—is by renting from a bike share like Hudson Bike Share for the day and pedaling along the river. We suggest a ride from Pier A Park to Pier 13, hanging a left on 14th St. and swinging around back toward Pier A on the main thoroughfare of Washington Street. After your ride, pop in for a romantic meal at Halifax, located at the W Hoboken, where chef Seadon Shouse wows diners with fresh seafood and farm-fresh fare—there’s even a new Harvest-inspired menu with fall grains, a pear salad, and sweet pear tart to taste. You’ll want to share the Cured & Smoked Fish platter, too.
Through the Surrounding Vineyards of Allegretto Vineyard Resort
Take a ride through the countryside just outside the small city of Paso Robles, CA, where you’re sure to peak both the vineyards of this posh property and its neighbors. If you’re feeling adventurous, they even have a tandem bike you can take out for the day...or for as long as it takes you and your S.O. to topple over (tandem is hard). Afterward, this luxe Central California resort in wine country will make for a relaxing stay—whether it’s enjoying a glass in their gorgeous courtyard or tasting room, chillin’ by the pool, or exploring foreign art and a centuries-old slab of a Sequoia tree, located adjacent to the lobby.
Through the Streets of Palm Springs Surrounding Villa Royale
Set against the dramatic landscape of the San Jacinto Mountains, a bike ride through downtown Palm Springs is a must no matter what time of year you visit the town (well, maybe except for summer when it’s 110 degrees in the desert!). Fall temperatures are ideal to take advantage of the brand new Villa Royale’s bikes and go on a mid-century modern tour—and maybe even get a head start on planning your retirement with your one-and-only. Meanwhile, back at the “villa,” you’ll find suite-style rooms and three handsome pools surrounded by tall palm trees, contemporary furniture, design mixed with mid-century and Mission Revival architectural charm, bright, geometric tiled courtyards and outdoor spaces that are a feast for the eyes. Want to get a better look at the region for yourselves? Download the AirMap app and bring along the easy-to-fly Parrot ANAFI drone which has tons of fun 4K camera modes to document your trip together.
Through The Catskills’ Hippest Town: Hudson, NY
Hudson, NY is the small town couples dream about: easily as bikeable as it is walkable, and packed with historical architecture. It's just the right blend of quality places to eat and unique shopping opportunities—with a big focus on home decor for design-driven pairs. With a stay at Rivertown Lodge—originally the town movie theater—you can easily bike to all of the small city greatness while enjoying the wood-burning stoves and ping pong tables located on the property afterward. Pro tip: pack some seriously cute premium cans of vino—Tempt (red), Fate (white) or our favorite Chance (the rosé, of course)—from Wine Society and a picnic basket full of cheese from local shop Talbott & Arding, or a gourmet sandwich from Olde Hudson and camp out in Waterfront Park.