Picking apples on a crisp September day. Octobers bursting with ruby, gold, and amber. Cozy nights in front of a crackling fire, sipping hot cider. It’s what autumn dreams are made of! From mountain peaks to seaside ports, with many quaint towns, New England is one of the most beautiful places to spend your autumn days leaf-peeping.
If New England is on your bucket list in the fall, here are three top states to plan your getaway – full of country roads winding through richly colored forests, stone walls, covered bridges, and idyllic farm properties!
Three-quarters of Vermont is covered in forest with a high concentration of maple, birch, and beech trees. You can expect dazzling displays of color for a fall weekend getaway. In Stowe, you can ride on the Gondola SkyRide for a bird’s-eye view of the fall show. Check out Stowe Cider for a sip of something after spending the day strolling the town’s streets, or take the kids to the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory.
Woodstock is home to the only national park in Vermont and three historic covered bridges where you can enjoy some of the most colorful seasons and activities in New England. Spend an afternoon at Billings Farm & Museum or dine at The Prince & The Pauper. Woodstock is the quintessential New England village, with a quaint main street home to galleries, general stores, boutiques, and restaurants.
Where to stay: Woodstock Inn & Resort – Woodstock, VT
Maine is home to more than 60 historic lighthouses and seven scenic byways. Fall is prime apple-picking time, so be sure to pull over at an orchard or two on your drive for fresh cider and a slice of pie. Take a whale-watching cruise in Bar Harbor, or spend a day biking along the shoreline in Acadia National Park.
Settled in the 1600s, Kennebunkport was once a long-time ship-building mecca. It is now one of the most charming coastal towns in New England. With no shortage of shops, restaurants, strolling, with the scent of the sea everywhere, Dock Square is the heart of Kennebunkport. Two miles east of Kennebunkport, you can visit a working fishing village, Cape Porpoise, home to Nunan’s Lobster Hut, one of Maine’s most famous traditional lobster shacks.
Where to stay: Kennebunkport Inn – Kennebunkport, ME
You’ll be rewarded with brilliant fall foliage almost anywhere in New Hampshire. For unforgettable views, take a scenic drive through the White Mountains. There are also plenty of kid-friendly ways to take in the foliage, like zip lining, rock climbing, kayaking, and horseback riding.
If you’re looking to sit back and take in the view, ride on one of New Hampshire’s many scenic and historic trains, such as the Conway Scenic Railroad. Or take in the incredible scenery of Lake Winnipesaukee – one of nearly 1,000 lakes in New Hampshire! At the end of the day, enjoy a slice of fresh apple or pumpkin pie.
Where to stay: Omni Mount Washington Resort – Bretton Woods, NH
Peak foliage season in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire are late September and early October, though foliage colors and timelines can range from year to year. Leaves begin to change in the northeast and continue south. So, if you’re traveling earlier in the season, you’ll want to go farther north. Likewise, it’s later in the season, head south.