Fall in New England brings a season of change. A season where people are hesitant to let warm summer go but excited to welcome crisp Winter temperatures. I can’t believe that fall is almost over and my shorts and skirts are already replaced with cozy sweaters and jeans.. Schools are back in session. Sport schedules are in full swing again. The air is filled with the aroma of baked apple pies, roasted nuts and toasted marshmallows and the list of pumpkin-spiced items to which we are seasonally exposed has grown longer. From pumpkin patches to festivals and scenic overlooks to adventures, all the 6 states of New England have something distinctive about them in autumn.By now I have seen 6 autumns in New England and what can I say the bold display of color never fades away. While I know I am a little late in sharing my list of best places to go in Fall in New England, but take it as starting point for next season.
Best time To visit :
The answer to this is “Totally Depends”. Sometimes fall starts as early as second week of September. Sometimes it takes mid October to reach the peak. But if I have to give a time-frame, I would say Mid – September to Late – October.
Quick Tips for enjoying Fall colors:
1) Before you plan anything, its very important to follow the fall. This means as the fall season progresses the colors shift from north to south. You can track fall foliage at Yankee Foliage. Apart from fall progress, this website has plethora of information on scenic drives, photo gallery etc etc. Its my favorite.
2) Crowds flock on the weekends to these places in New England making highways and byways more crowded than ever. If you want to reach to your destination early, I will suggest to leave early in the morning.
3) As you all know leaf peeping is serious business in these 6 states, it may get hard to find hotel reservations over the weekends. Make any lodging reservations well in advance and if possible try weekdays .That will save you a lot of money. I have used Airbnb for my reservations and I have always got better deals on that website.
4) Since most of the routes that you will take to enjoy fall colors will be internal routes used by locals, my advice will be to pull over and enjoy the fall vistas rather than driving on snail speed.I am sharing this because I have been honked many times and have realized my mistake.
5) If you plan to travel in New Hampshire White Mountain Region ,buy a parking pass to avoid parking tickets. They have the options of 1 day pass or 7 day pass or so.
6) If you are into photography, late afternoons are the best.
7) Nothing spoils a trip more than a rainy damp day. For the most up-to-date information for the area you’re planning to visit ,fall foliage reports, maps, and hotlines come very handy.
8) Don’t be afraid to get lost. True colors of fall are much more splendid if you go off the beaten path.
My top Places to visit in Fall :
- White Mountains, New Hampshire : To see the true drama of fall foliage, head into the White Mountains , New Hampshire where the deep green pines form a perfect backdrop for the brightly-colored deciduous trees, making for a stellar show.If you do not want to get out of the car, a drive along the Kancamagus Highway will make you go in state of nirvana.
- Wachusett Mountain, Massachusetts : I found this place perfect to view Fall color vistas in mid-october in Massachusetts.The mountain is located north of Worcester and is the highest peak in Eastern Massachusetts. It is a popular ski area in winters , but in the summer and fall, it is a great hiking spot.
- Camden, Maine : Yankee magazine once named Camden one of the top 25 towns in New England for fall foliage.Whether you enjoy apple picking, hayrides, hikes through trails overlooking the ocean, or pumpkin patches and corn mazes, this place has it all. A quick hike up Mt. Battie in Camden Hills State park is very rewarding as it offers sweeping views of Penobscot Bay and the islands around.
- Stowe, Vermont : The breathtaking fall foliage can be enjoyed in wide variety of ways in this small town of Vermont. From a scenic boat charter to gondola ride, from a carriage and wagon ride to zip line tour, Stowe buzzes with best of the resorts with excellent ameneties that take the leaf peeping experience to whole new level. In case you have a sweet tooth like me, a trip to Ben and Jerry Factory will take care of that too .
- Bethel ,Maine: Named as “Maine’s most beautiful mountain village,” Bethel is a great spot for a weekend getaway. The spectacular and vivid autumn hues can be enjoyed by winding your way through Grafton Notch State Park along Route 26. If you drive up north on Route 17, you will reach to ” Height of Land” one of the most picturesque places in Maine and perhaps all of New England.
I have not been to all the places in New England but I am slowly carving my way through one place at a time.No matter what you do or where you go, autumn indeed is one of the best times to visit quintessential New England. In addition to enjoying scenic vistas you can head to an orchard for apple picking or may enjoy a glass of freshly pressed apple cider too ( Yummmmm ). Do let me know in comments about your fall favorites foliage places. And next time if you decide to visit New England’s blazing constellation of reds, oranges, and yellows (specially around Boston ) do let me know. I will be happy to take you around or be a host or a travel guide :).. Thank you for stopping by…