McHenry/Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

Baltimore Sun reporter

Go here: Experiencing fall foliage at its finest doesn't mean roughing it. Make the Lake Pointe Inn your base and then fan out to enjoy other activities amid a mosaic of crimson, amber and moss-green foliage reflecting across the surface of Deep Creek Lake. In case you are feeling too mollycoddled, take a white-water rafting ride down the Upper Youghiogheny River. For a gentler nature interface, check out Fallingwater, a Frank Lloyd Wright house that is about an hour's drive north. Take the four-falls trail up to Muddy Creek Falls (Maryland's highest waterfall) in Swallow Falls State Park. Look out for wild turkeys and beavers. ( swallowfalls.html)

Stay here: The Lake Pointe Inn has kayaks, canoes and mountain bikes for guests. The inn also has in-room steam showers and down bedding. Rates start at around $188. (800-523-5253; For golf fans - and maybe soon for gamblers, too - the upscale Rocky Gap Resort is nearby. The resort features 216 rooms in a wooded setting, with a stunning view of Lake Habeeb. It also has a spa and a Jack Nicklaus-designed course that was recently designated one of "America's Top Golf Courses" by the Zagat survey.

Eat here: There are free tastings and tours at Deep Creek Cellars winery in nearby Friendsville. ( Make reservations to dine at the Savage River Lodge, where many dishes are prepared in a wood-fired brick oven. (301-689-3200;

Don't miss this: The 41st annual Autumn Glory Festival runs in early October. Enjoy food, foliage, parades and music, including the Maryland State Banjo and Fiddle Championships.

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