World-class culture, striking architecture,  breathtaking views… a couple of days in these North American metropolises are sure to inspire and revitalize you.

Autumn in New York

There’s a reason they wrote a song about it: NYC is magical in the fall. From the stunning foliage in Central Park to the busy cultural calendar, there’s no better place to experience the season than The Plaza, the city’s quintessential grand hotel. Make your first night sparkle in the chandelier-lit Champagne Bar with The Plaza Royal, a sumptuous pairing of osetra caviar and Krug Grande Cuvée Champagne.

With its encyclopedic collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is worth visiting anytime, but the Manet/Degas exhibition, arriving in late September after its Paris premiere at the Musée d’Orsay, makes essential viewing. Meander your way to Museum Mile via Central Park with a stop at the peaceful Hallett Nature Sanctuary, where an arboreal mix including hickory, tupelo and pin oak creates a rich tapestry of red, yellow and russet hues.

Art meets commerce on Fifth Avenue, the city’s renowned shopping strip. Indulge in breakfast at Tiffany’s at the Blue Box Café, a delightful spot helmed by top chef Daniel Boulud in The Landmark, the iconic jewelry brand’s art-filled flagship. Rockefeller Center has long showcased changing art installations, and hip boutiques such as indie jeweler Catbird have recently joined stalwarts like toy store FAO Schwarz. 

Before you hit the bright lights of Broadway, enjoy classic afternoon tea under the ornate glass dome of The Palm Court. Revived, stroll over to the Theater District to  join the nightly party at David Byrne’s immersive Marcos-themed disco musical, Here Lies Love.

Outdoor Adventures in Vancouver

Vancouver’s unique geography, perched on a peninsula facing the majestic Coast Mountains, makes it perfect for outdoor pursuits and urban pleasures. To immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery, stay at the 5-star Fairmont Pacific Rim, where many of the plush accommodations offer harbor and mountain vistas. An action-packed itinerary calls for a hearty morning meal. The unmissable bottomless brunch at Fairmont Waterfront’s ARC Restaurant, just a block away, combines endless small plates with spectacular harbor views.

Both hotels are minutes from Stanley Park, a vast green space with miles of trails through old-growth forest. Take a tour of the park’s nine intricately carved totem poles to learn about Northwest Coast Indigenous art, or cycle along the Vancouver Seawall. After your adventures, head downtown for an utterly unique afternoon tea at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s glamorous Notch8.

About a 20-minute drive from the city center, Grouse Mountain offers thrill seekers a range of heart-pounding activities year-round, from zip-lining over dramatic peaks to snowboarding with sweeping cityscape views. To enjoy every minute of your weekend, consider booking an early-morning Monday flight and spending your last night at the luxurious Fairmont Vancouver Airport. Wind down in the Jetside Lounge with signature cocktails and a live acoustic set.

Everything Is Illuminated in Montreal

If you’re looking for a big city getaway with European je ne sais quoi, Montreal doesn’t disappoint. Quebec’s largest city dazzles in the fall with vivid foliage by day and fanciful illuminations by night. Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, a lavishly upgraded midcentury landmark, is ideally positioned for exploring natural and cultural attractions alike. Assemble a picnic of artisanal bread and local cheeses at Marché Artisans to take on a guided hike of Mount Royal.

At the Montréal Botanical Garden, another prime place to see autumnal hues, illuminated tableaux and soundscapes enhance the Japanese, First Nations and Chinese gardens throughout September and October. But you can experience magical light and sound displays year-round in Old Montreal, where the soaring Gothic Revival interior of Notre-Dame Basilica comes alive most evenings with vibrant digital projections and an uplifting score. As you wander through the quaint cobblestone streets after dark, you’ll encounter evocative video projections as part of the ongoing Montréal en Histoires – Cité Mémoire. Find a cozy bistro or splash out on the seven-course tasting menu at locavore trailblazer Toque!

For a taste of the city’s famed nightlife, start your evening with cocktails in the seductive Nacarat Bar before making your way to Saint-Laurent Boulevard, aka The Main.  With a heady mix of live music bars, retro cabarets and dance clubs, the strip sizzles on weekend nights.

An Elevated Chicago Experience

The Windy City is a magnet for architecture buffs, especially during October’s Open House Chicago, when you can peek inside 150 skyscrapers, churches and other typically off-limit sites. Whether you want to go on an architecture tour, take in some culture or browse designer stores on the Magnificent Mile, Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park provides a luxurious launchpad in any season. The elegant hotel is within easy strolling distance of the Theater District, top museums and the city’s sprawling central green space.

Amble through Millennium Park’s tranquil Lurie Garden, where sustainable, perennial displays are ablaze with rich color in the fall, on your way to see the renowned Impressionism collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. For a taste of the craft beer scene, order a flight of locally brewed ales at congenial gastropub Columbus Tap, or head to the South Loop to sample innovative brews such as Shaved Black Truffle Pilsner at Moody Tongue Brewing Company, which has a two-Michelin-starred restaurant.

Memorable meals abound in the West Loop, a former industrial area where hot eateries are clustered around a section of W. Randolph Street known as Restaurant Row. Whatever you’re craving, from high-end sushi to one of the best burgers in Chicago, you’ll find it here.

Sun, Sand and Shopping in LA

For a sun-drenched retreat with urban buzz, check into Fairmont Century Plaza, a glamorous LA destination since the 1960s. After a leisurely brunch on the secluded jasmine-scented terrace of Lumière, spend a lazy morning on the guests-only pool deck. Let your eyes rest on the panorama of skyscrapers, ocean and mountains while you sip a tequila cocktail from ¡ESTA! 

Lined with palm trees and more than 100 luxe stores, nearby Rodeo Drive is an essential stop for any fashion aficionado. Don’t miss the four-level Chanel flagship with its towering art installation inspired by a string of pearls. Love throwback style? Head to Melrose Avenue for several celebrity-favorite vintage stores, including Decades and Scout. You may spot some famous faces around the semicircular red booths at Funke, pasta maestro Evan Funke’s latest restaurant.

Discover the city’s dynamic art scene at the Hammer, which is still fresh from an extensive revamp as it hosts its sixth biennial, Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living. Between outings, recharge in the sleek Fairmont Spa with its Himalayan salt room and aromatherapy steam room. No matter how packed your itinerary, you can squeeze in a 30-minute Biohacking Power Nap, which harnesses LED and neuroscience technology to boost collagen and relieve stress.

If staying near the beach is more your thing, the iconic Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica sits right on the Pacific. The one-time playground of stars like Greta Garbo and Marilyn Monroe offers everything from lavish beachside bungalows to the stylish, mid-century-modern rooms of the Tower. Here, you can balance a fun day of volleyball and boogie boarding at the Miramar Beach Club with an evening of gastronomical delight at FIG Restaurant, where the farm-to-table fare celebrates the bounty of Southern California.