New England is recognized as one of the country’s best regions to experience fall. From breathtaking foliage to numerous festivals and fairs, peep our top four reasons to enjoy a wicked-good New England getaway.
1. Leaf Peeping
Start with a burst of yellow and orange hued colors, add a touch of crisp autumn air, and you’ve got the makings of a spectacular fall trip. The leaves normally start to change color around the middle of September with peak fall foliage in the first two weeks of October.
How you accomplish seeing the foliage—by land or sea—is what will make your New England experience special. Among the top routes are the Kancamagus Highway, a 34.5-mile scenic drive along New Hampshire’s Route 112, with gas stations or restaurants, just nature at its finest.
In Massachusetts, popular routes include the 75-mile Cranberry Course, with colorful leaves and views of cranberry bogs, and the 42-mile route from Boston through Concord and Waltham that traces Paul Revere’s famous ride.
In Boston, you can head to Beacon Hill for a burst of fall colors or walk through Boston Common and the Public Garden. Another great spot to catch fall colors is in Boston’s Back Bay area, close to The Westin Copley Place, Boston.
Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum is also an excellent location to view a vast collection of trees displaying their peak fall colors most of October. Make it a long weekend in Boston and stay at The Liberty, a Luxury Collection Hotel, just one block from the Charles River.
You can a gain a wonderful perspective on the area landscape on a foliage tour by boat of Newfound Lake, one of New Hampshire’s cleanest and deepest bodies of water that’s home to loons, eagles, salmon and lake trout.
Or climb aboard the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad in Laconia, New Hampshire. The historic trains, dating back to the mid-1800s, travel along the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. Riders can add a picnic to their experience, and disembark in picturesque spots to enjoy their lakeside lunch.
2. Fairs, Events and Parades
You have your pick of fall festivals in the region. when it comes to celebrating the best the region has to offer.
In September, Bavaria comes to Burlington at Vermont’s authentic Oktoberfest event. The annual beer bacchanalia features over 40 breweries, including local and regional beers and plenty of traditional German ales.
Starting in mid-September is two-week The Big E, New England’s Great States fair which is the largest agricultural event on the East Coast and the country’s seventh largest fair.
Showcasing the best agricultural products from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, The Big E takes place at the Eastern States Exposition, just a 5-minute drive from the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel.
October opens with Portland, Maine’s Harvest on the Harbor, providing a feel for what makes New England a standout destination for food, wine and scenery. The week-long celebration, with plenty of lobster and wine for all, makes it an ideal reason to stay at The Westin Portland Harborview, situated a few miles from all the action.
If you’re heading to Boston, you will want to experience the city’s Columbus Day Parade. The parade dates back to 1937 and features marching bands, performances, and floats celebrating the city’s Italian heritage.
Looking to make it an extended weekend? Consider staying near the iconic Boston Seaport at The Westin Boston Waterfront, which offers convenient access to all of Boston’s must see areas.
3. Wine and Beer
Sip your way around New England and enjoy its wonderful coastal wine trails and beer stops. The region’s northernly location serves up an impressive assortment of breweries and vineyards for travelers to choose from.
If tastings of the wine and beer variety are your way to celebrate New England, look no further than the Coastal Wine Trail, which stretches from Cape Cod and islands through the Southern coast of Massachusetts, including the coastlines of Rhode Island and Connecticut.
You can easily spend two days winding through historic areas and villages while visiting nine locally owned wineries along the trail.
4. Regional Food
A perfect pairing for a fall getaway involves treating your palate to authentic New England fare. From roadside apple stands, maple syrup sugar houses, and restaurants serving up savory clam chowder, your fall escape wouldn’t be complete without some tempting bites along the way.
A visit to the northeast isn’t complete without tasting some maple syrup at Parker’s Maple Barn in Mason, N.H., the boyhood home of “Uncle Sam.” A family-run establishment since the late 1960’s, Parker’s began with nothing more than a small sugar house and has grown to become a popular country restaurant.
For an authentic New England experience you’ll want to taste the area’s best chowder. A stop in late September at Chowdafest in Westport, Conn., will allow you enjoy unlimited chowder samplings from 40 award-winning chefs from New England.