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Where to go this fall: Old churches, fall foliage, presidential candidates and more

Where to go this fall: Old churches, fall foliage, presidential candidates and more

Calvary Episcopal Church in downtown Memphis is one of the oldest churches in Tennessee. | Dennis Lennox

Fall is one of the best times to getaway.

That’s because the weather is still pleasant — if you’re lucky you might even get an Indian summer day — and crowds are thinner to nonexistent.

Grab your weekender bag and catch a flight or make the drive to any of the following five places this fall. You won’t regret it.

Concord, New Hampshire

The road to the White House goes through New Hampshire every four years for the political party out of power.


With at least a dozen candidates seeking the Democratic Party nomination there is a good chance of crossing paths with a would-be president somewhere in the Granite State.

One of the best places is in Concord at the aptly named and recently opened Hotel Concord. The 38-room boutique hotel, which boasts a four-diamond rating from AAA, overlooks the early 19th century Greek Revival state capitol.

The Grand Canyon, one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, is celebrating its hundredth anniversary as a national park in 2019. | Courtesy of the National Park Service

Grand Canyon, Arizona

If you needed an excuse to visit one of the world’s greatest natural wonders then here it is: This year is the centennial celebration of the Grand Canyon National Park.

This is also one of those destinations that is significantly less crowded outside of summer, when it’s a popular stop on cross-country family road trips.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Ask anyone from Michigan and they will tell you that Mackinac Island is a special place.

The iconic, family-run Grand Hotel was recently bought by private equity investors. The new owners say nothing will change, but you may want to stay before the family turns over the keys.

Leaf peepers should expect peak or near peak colors in the first two weeks of October, though there are reports that this year’s fall colors could come earlier than normal.

Memphis, Tennessee

There is more than barbecue and Elvis in the state’s largest city, as I found out when I visited earlier this year.

Memphis has more to see and do than you might think. Two of the most popular attractions are the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was slain, and the Brooks Museum of Art.

One surprise is the architecture, including downtown with its interesting mix of styles — one of the oldest churches in Tennessee is the circa 1840s Calvary Episcopal Church. Of note is the beautiful stained-glass window above the altar at the east end.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Situated about 30 minutes north of tourist trap Niagara Falls is Niagara-on-the-Lake.

It checks two important boxes: Small and quaint. Then there is the history. Niagara-on-the-Lake was established in the early 1790s, when the British, accompanied by a significant number of New York’s loyalist population, finally left the United States after losing the American Revolution. This history comes alive at Fort George, which takes you back to the War of 1812.

Surrounding the town is the countryside of the Niagara Peninsula, which in recent years has become known for its wine — yes, Canadian wine is a thing — and seasonal, farm-to-table fayre.

Spires and Crosses, a weekly travel column exclusive to The Christian Post, covers old churches, history and heritage, architecture, culture and art. Follow @dennislennox on Twitter and Instagram.

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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