Travel: 3 places to visit this fall

The fall shoulder season is arguably the best time of the year to travel.

Regardless of whether you postponed travel for the better part of three years because of coronavirus or you decided to avoid the crowds of summer, the following three places — in no particular order — are perfect to visit as the pages of the calendar turn and the weather becomes crisper.

Arlington National Cemetery contains the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the grave of slain President John F. Kennedy. |

Arlington, Virginia

Arlington is a place that people visit without ever knowing.

Located directly across the Potomac River from the country’s capital of Washington, D.C., this is where Reagan National Airport is located.

Airport notwithstanding, Arlington is a destination in its own right with plenty for visitors to see and do.

In fact, it is home to five major memorials and monuments, including the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial and the U.S. Air Force Memorial. The big draw is Arlington National Cemetery, which contains both the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the grave of slain President John F. Kennedy. The cemetery is also where you find Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Arlington House.

If you go: Stay at the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport.

The Norman-era baptismal font inside Beverley Minster. |

Beverley, England

Surrounded by the Yorkshire countryside, Beverley is one of those classic English towns.

Towering over the town is Beverley Minster, a Gothic masterpiece that rivals many cathedrals in bother grandeur and size.

The twin-towered church is so impressive that it has been used by filmmakers as a double for Westminster Abbey in London — the royal peculiar that most recently hosted the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Much of the similarity comes from the mid-15th century towers, which the acclaimed church architect Nicholas Hawksmoor used for inspiration when designing the abbey’s west towers in the first half of the 18th century.

As with so many other medieval churches and cathedrals, Beverley Minster underwent significant change during the Reformation, when the old religion of Roman Catholicism and its trappings of chantry chapels, statuary and saintly relics were lost, sold or otherwise destroyed.

Among the surviving period fabric are an Anglo-Saxon stone chair next to the high altar that once upon a time provided a form of sanctuary for criminals who sat in it, the Norman-era baptismal font and 68 exquisite carvings under the hinged seats of the quire stalls.

If you go: Stay at The King’s Head, which overlooks where Beverley’s weekly Saturday market is held.

The streets of Oxford, Mississippi. |

Oxford, Mississippi

Oxford is the dictionary definition of a Southern town.

While it is quintessentially Southern, it is also a vibrant college town, thanks to the University of Mississippi.

For many, the big draw is Rowan Oak, the home of William Faulkner. The acclaimed writer used Oxford and surrounding Lafayette County as the setting for the fictional Yoknapatawpha County.

Beyond all things literary, Oxford is anchored by the Square and a postbellum county courthouse. Facing the courthouse are a mixture of eateries and old-school shops frequented by a mix of students, professors, college administrators and even retirees attracted to Mississippi’s low taxes.

There are also two notable antebellum churches connected to Faulkner: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, a handsome Gothic Revival brick edifice near the Square, and College Hill Presbyterian, a Greek Revival kirk. The minister of College Hill married Faulkner, an Episcopalian, and his wife, a divorcée.

If you go: Stay at the Graduate Oxford Hotel.

Dennis Lennox writes a travel column for The Christian Post.

Dennis Lennox writes about travel, politics and religious affairs. He has been published in the Financial Times, Independent, The Detroit News, Toronto Sun and other publications. Follow @dennislennox on Twitter.

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