Deep Creek Lake
Maryland’s westernmost county offers events like the Autumn Glory Festival and the Maryland State Banjo, Fiddle & Mandolin Championships. Garrett County is home to six state parks and three state forests. Its centerpiece is the shimmering, 3,900-acre Deep Creek Lake, Maryland’s largest freshwater lake.
Drive time: 4 hours, 45 minutes
Colors peak: Mid-October
The cabins at Blue Moon Rising are only 250-300 square feet, but they have plenty of charm and comfort. Made of reclaimed and recycled materials, each is uniquely designed and furnished. Some have loft-style and/or Murphy beds, and all have kitchens. Their front porches offer views of the surrounding woods and Deep Creek Lake below.
$249 weekdays, $299 weekends. 89 Blue Moon Rising Way, McHenry, (240) 442-5287.
The art on the walls is colorful, whimsical and locally produced at MoonShadow Café. That—along with the excellent burgers and Reubens—makes this spot a cozy lunch retreat ($8.95-$11.95). Recent dinner specials included bourbon-barbecue shrimp skewers and prosciutto-and-salmon alfredo ($14.95-$22.95). MoonShadow also hosts a monthly live-music series.
110 S. Main St., Accident, (301) 750-5094.
Hearty buckwheat pancakes and the Kitchen Sink Omelet are among the delicious options at Annie’s Kitchen.
$4.50-$14.95. 414 S. Main St., Accident, (301) 746-8578.
Try a savory Cornucopia Café crêpe with sautéed mushrooms, spinach, and locally made goat cheese and mozzarella.
Breakfast $1.25-$6.99, lunch and dinner $4.99-$16.99. 146 Casselman Road, Grantsville, (301) 895-8142.
Lodestone Golf Course
1. Head out on a pontoon boat with a guide from Bill’s Outdoor Center, and give the fishing in Deep Creek Lake a try.
$90/half-day (minimum $250), $175/full day (minimum $450). 20768 Garrett Hwy., Oakland, (301) 387-3474.
2. Traverse the gentle hillsides through woods, fields and apple orchards on a private trail ride with Circle R Ranch.
$25/half-hour, $35/hour. 4151 Sand Flat Road, Oakland, (301) 387-6890.
3. The theme changes annually at the 10-acre Cove Run Farms Corn Maze.
$8/adults, $4/kids. 596 Griffith Road, Accident, (301) 746-6111.
4. Bask in the colors of the countryside from a seat in a horse-drawn carriage with Pleasant Valley Dream Rides.
Shared rides $14/person, private rides $50/couple. 1689 Pleasant Valley Road, Oakland, (301) 334-1688.
5. Get a bird’s-eye view of the fall scenery from the chairlift at Wisp Resort. Those seeking thrills can ride down on the mountain coaster.
$14. 296 Marsh Hill Road, McHenry, (301) 859-3159.
6. Play 18 holes on the mountaintop Lodestone Golf Course at Wisp Resort.
$89 weekdays, $114 weekends.
7. Have an avian, reptile or amphibian encounter at the Deep Creek Lake State Park Discovery Center.
Free. 898 State Park Road, Swanton, (301) 387-7067.
The historic log buildings at Spruce Forest Artisan Village form the focal point for what was known as Little Crossings in colonial times. These days, this nonprofit center is a hub for paper quilling, paper cutting, blacksmithing, and metal sculpting, weaving, pottery-making, jewelry-making, and bird sculpting.
Guests can interact with Spruce Forest’s six resident artists and many visiting artists in their studios. They love to share their personal stories, technical advice and creative processes. Open Friday and Saturday. Free.
177 Casselman Road, Grantsville, (301) 895-3332.