MONEY

Fall break travel bargains

Between the summer crowds and the winter rush, there’s a sweet spot for outdoor adventure — and savings.

  • Breckenridge, Colo.

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    Bob Winsett—Getty Images Couple golfing, Breckenridge, CO

    You don’t need snow to enjoy the Rockies. Breckenridge boasts autumnal activities ranging from mountain biking and ATV tours to hiking and trail rides.

    September is a good month for golfers, who’ll find fall rounds priced at about $65, 43% less than in summer.

    Hotel rates are about 13% lower than during ski season, but you can turn up even steeper discounts by shopping around, says Dan Sherman of Ski.com. A one-bedroom at Trails End Condominiums, for instance, can get as low as $99 a night in the fall (a drop of more than 70%).

  • Cape Cod, Mass.

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    John Greim—Getty Images Nauset Lighthouse, Cape Cod

    By fall, the summer sun seekers who mob the area in peak season have dispersed, bringing the average room rate down to $123 (a 30% drop), according to Hotels.com.

    And while the water’s probably too chilly for a dip, from the fall foliage to the scenic bike paths to the annual Wellfleet oyster festival, there’s still plenty to explore.

    Visit by October and you’ll also catch the whales before they head south to warmer waters.

  • Grand Canyon, Ariz.

    Grand Canyon
    David Edwards—All Rights Reserved © 2007 David Edwards, www.davidedwardsphotography.com

    Visiting this natural wonder in autumn is as much about dodging crowds and heat as saving money.

    That said, while lodges in the national park itself tend to keep prices steady all year, room rates in nearby Flagstaff drop about 14% to an average of $93 a night once summer ends.

    Those who don’t mind a few hours’ drive can cut costs further by flying into the Phoenix airport. Last fall, flights in and out of the city averaged $338, according to Hotwire.com, compared with $436 at the closer airport in Tusayan, Ariz.

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