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TripAdvisor Reveals Most Affordable U.S. Destinations for Fall Foliage Weekend Getaways

NEWTON, Mass., Sept. 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced the results of its TripIndex Fall Foliage, revealing that Ashland, Oregon and Lake Tahoe, California are the most affordable destinations for fall foliage getaways this season.

According to a recent TripAdvisor survey, 83 percent of U.S. respondents are planning a leisure trip this autumn, and 31 percent of those traveling plan to view fall foliage. To help travelers plan, TripIndex Fall Foliage compares the cost of a weekend getaway for two in 15 popular leaf-peeping destinations throughout the U.S., including the combined average costs of a two-night weekend stay in a B&B, a full tank of gas, apple picking, and a meal at a restaurant.

"To help those planning leaf-viewing getaways, the TripIndex highlights what travelers can expect to pay in popular foliage destinations across the country," said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. "With 16 percent more travelers planning autumn leisure trips this year and gas prices significantly lower this fall compared to last, those eager to see some of the country's best colors would be wise to book highly-rated accommodations now while there is still availability."

Most and Least Affordable Autumn Escapes

  • The average TripIndex cost for a weekend fall foliage trip is $502.
  • In the foothills of the Siskiyou and Cascade Mountains, Ashland, Oregon is the most affordable destination on the TripIndex ($391).
  • At $399, Lake Tahoe, California is the second least expensive spot, followed by Lake Geneva, Wisconsin ($442) located 80 miles north of Chicago.
  • Located 130 miles west of Boston in the Berkshires, Lenox, Massachusetts is the costliest spot to view colorful canopies this season ($685).
  • Amid the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina is the second priciest place ($639), while Camden, Maine along the Atlantic coast rounds out the top three ($570).

Average Prices Per Region

  1. West – $422 (16% less than the TripIndex average)
  2. Midwest – $465 (7% less than average)
  3. Mid-Atlantic – $473 (6% less than average)
  4. South – $559 (11% more than average)
  5. New England – $561 (12% more than average)

Spots to Save on Seasonal Splendor Trips

  • Finding Value in New England: At 13 percent less than the average regional expense, budget-minded travelers can view the vibrant foliage in the New England for less in Stowe, Vermont ($486).
  • Saving in the South: Leaf-peepers looking for value in the South can consider Luray, Virginia ($470). Along the majestic Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Valley, travelers to this popular lodging spot can save 16 percent, compared to the Southern average.

TripAdvisor TripIndex Fall Foliage
Destination B&B Tank of Gas Meal Apple Picking Total
Ashland, Oregon $286.31 $54.75 $40.09 $10.00 $391.15
Lake Tahoe, California $301.64 $55.35 $31.82 $10.50 $399.31
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin $340.19 $49.50 $33.38 $19.00 $442.07
Traverse City, Michigan $356.00 $49.50 $34.88 $8.50 $448.88
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania $360.89 $50.70 $38.49 $9.20 $459.28
Luray, Virginia $381.75 $49.05 $29.74 $9.17 $469.71
Leavenworth, Washington $369.20 $55.20 $42.49 $10.00 $476.89
Lake Placid, New York $383.52 $53.10 $40.49 $9.00 $486.11
Stowe, Vermont $377.81 $51.90 $44.70 $11.75 $486.16
North Conway, New Hampshire $395.85 $51.90 $43.08 $10.50 $501.33
Columbus, Ohio $412.98 $49.20 $30.33 $12.00 $504.51
Gatlinburg, Tennessee $475.03 $49.50 $33.82 $10.00 $568.35
Camden, Maine $465.19 $51.90 $45.05 $8.08 $570.22
Asheville, North Carolina $544.88 $49.05 $35.19 $9.63 $638.75
Lenox, Massachusetts $576.98 $51.00 $45.10 $11.67 $684.75

Methodology:

The destinations in this list were informed by TripAdvisor user data highlighting popular U.S. spots for fall foliage based on the volume and rating of reviews that include terms related to fall foliage, limited to one per state.

B&B prices indicate the average cost of a two-night, weekend stay in a B&B accommodation within a 10-mile radius of each destination, as found on TripAdvisor for the month of October, 2014.

Gas prices indicate the average price for a tank of gas based on a 15-gallon tank capacity, using state and regional per gallon costs for regular gas from the U.S. Energy Information Administration for Sept. 29, 2014.

Apple picking prices indicate the average cost to pick a peck (or 10 lbs.) of apples at orchards in the vicinity of each destination.

Meal prices indicate the average cost for two for a meal (a sandwich, cup of soup and soft drink per person, paired with one shared dessert). The average price was calculated from at least three mid-range restaurants in each destination, as found on TripAdvisor.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching nearly 280 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 170 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 45 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (Nasdaq:TRIP) manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.lafourchette.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travelpod.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com, www.viator.com, www.virtualtourist.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, Q1 2014

**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q2 2014; does not include traffic to daodao.com.

CONTACT: Erin Millard (617) 795-7985 emillard@tripadvisor.com

Source:TripAdvisor