Something that has become sort of an autumn tradition for my wife and I is staying at our favorite Bed & Breakfast Inn in Southern Maine. Aside from being a bit romantic, Inn's are a great and more personal way to see an area without the commercial feeling of a hotel vacation.
At many smaller Inns, the Innkeepers are a family or a husband and wife team and they live right there at the Inn, on the premises, or nearby. They're invested in the community as members and as small business owners. You can't really get any closer to "Main Street, USA."
Innkeepers are full of knowledge of the local area. It's like having your own personal breakfast chef AND concierge. Because they live there, they can often recommend off-the-beaten-path areas to visit or dine. You really get an experience that you just can't get in a hotel.
If you're planning to take an autumn or winter vacation this year, consider staying at an Inn. After the foliage season, you can often get great prices because it is past their peak season and they sometimes just want to keep the rooms full.
The photos above are from stays at The Pinecrest Inn in Gorham, Maine and the Old Tavern Inn in Grafton, VT.