5 last-minute leaf-peeping deals

Autumn on the east bluff of Mackinac Island. (Courtesy rockon/myBudgetTravel

All across North America, shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown herald autumn's arrival. While many big, multicity fall foliage tours sold out months ago, there are still small-scale deals to be had that make for great weekend getaways. Here are five ways to peep your local leaves while they're still alight.

Boston, Bike/2 Nights, From $315

Stay for two nights at the Midtown Hotel, located in the center of Boston's Back Bay, and use it as your home base for exploring the city on two wheels during a classic New England autumn. Includes free parking, daily breakfast, and 24-hour bike access, with helmets, maps, and locks.

When: Through October 2011

Contact: Midtown Hotel, 800/343-1177, midtownhotel.com

Mackinac Island, Mich., From $159 a Night

Mission Point Resort's "Ghost Hunter" package includes accommodations for two in a standard garden room; a ghost-themed tour of the rumored-to-be-haunted hotel grounds, featured earlier this year on Syfy's Ghost Hunters; round-trip ferry tickets on Arnold Transit Co., which travels through the Straits of Mackinac; dinner for two at the resort's restaurant, Chianti; and daily breakfast; from $159 a night for a minimum two-night stay, plus taxes of 18 percent.

When: Through Oct. 23, 2011

Contact: Mission Point Resort, 800/833-7711, missionpoint.com

Mammoth, Calif., 2 Nights, From $49 a Night

Experience autumn in California's Lakes Basin with a cabin rental, complimentary bottle of wine, daily breakfast, complimentary two-hour boat rental, fishing-rod rental, and access to Tamarack Adventures' guided activities (like hikes, bike tours, and fishing clinics), from $49 per person per night (two-night minimum stay), plus taxes and fees.

When:Through November 7.

Contact: Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, 800/626-6684, mammothmountain.com

Seattle, Wash., and Victoria, British Colombia, Ferry/Hotel, From $99 a Night

Enjoy a round-trip Victoria Clipper cruise from Seattle to Victoria, Canada, and one night at the Harbor Towers hotel in Victoria, from $99 per person per night. Plus, "like" Clipper Vacations on Facebook and get a promo code good for an additional 10% off. Extend your stay to 2 nights for a discounted $123 per person per night.

When: October 1, 2011- January 2, 2012

Contact: Clipper Vacations, 800/888-2535, clippervacations.com

Virginia, Resort/Horseback Ride, From $99 a Night

Includes one night in your choice of tree house, yurt, cabin, chalet, or hotel room at the Shenandoah Crossing resort, plus one 45-minute trail ride for two people. Extend your stay from $63 per night for up to three additional nights; extra horseback rides for other members of your party can be added for a discounted rate of $18 per person.

When: Through November 18, 2011

Contact: Shenandoah Crossing, 888/760-8188, otdestinations.com


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