LEAF-PEEPING WEST: There are particular words we associate with New England and the East Coast. "Wicked" is pretty Boston and Massachusetts-y, for sure, as in "wicked is a wicked good word." "Grinders" can reign in the sandwich department (say, over hoagies or subs) and "elastics" are rubber bands. And what of leaf peepers? It's a term heard throughout the New England states come autumn, when thousands of tourists and locals go looking for the best foliage spots. But does leaf-peeping belong just to Vermont and Maine and the flame-tree-iest states of our nation? Au contraire. California has a fair share of leaf-peepery, too, mostly in its hilly stretches and mountainous regions. One of the best areas to go in search of yellow aspen and mellow cottonwoods is the eastern Sierra. Bishop, June Lake, and Mammoth all see a change come October. And, best of all? California leaf-peeping season doesn't necessarily see a jump in hotel rates.
TAKE... the Westin Mammoth's annual autumn deal. They've got a Fall Colors package on through Sunday, Nov. 3 that includes a room (those kick off at $169 a night) and breakfast for two leaf-peepers at the White Bark Restaurant. You need to be fortified in the face of foliage-hunting, right? Carb up and head out.
AND KEEP THIS HANDY... The California Fall Color Report is already on top of early sightings. Peaks change from year to year, so you may want to study past posts to pick your perfect Mammoth overnight. Oh, yes, and the hotel is in Mammoth proper. It's an interesting city to visit before the skiers descend (and the autumn-time bargains are notable, too).