New England Fall Destinations
Hay rides, hot apple cider, pumpkin patches and wild turkeys can only mean one thing — it’s time to plan your New England fall vacation and get in one last getaway before the year’s end.
You can’t predict when the fall foliage will reach its full glory. There are several elements to consider: rain, hours of daylight, and temperatures, to name a few. Most likely the three day weekend over Columbus Day is a good bet for the best colors — especially in Massachusetts — but there are no guarantees.
Ride your mountain bike in Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont for a first-hand glimpse of the season. Remember, the further north you travel, the earlier the fall foliage peak, so hit up Maine early in the season if you want to see the brightest colors.
For a scenic drive, rent a car and explore the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire - or the “Kanc” as locals call it. Or take a kayak tour in Rhode Island to view the fiery shades of golds, oranges, and reds.
Imagine cramming into a hayride with your closest friends and family, barreling past pumpkin patches and fruit orchards and roadside stands selling fresh local produce on a cool Autumn night.
Stay warm with a thermos of hot apple cider. For those who wish want to get in touch with their inner prowess, mid-October means wild turkey season — so do like the Pilgrims and catch your own Thanksgiving dinner.
Or consider a different type of game: get some back-to-school shopping out of the way at one of several outlet malls in New England — Kittery and Freeport in Maine and North Conway in New Hampshire, to name a few. And remember — New Hampshire is tax-free.
New England has several vineyards and wineries that should not be missed during Fall harvest. As the weather turns cool, you will want to retire summer’s light bodied white wines and rosé and make room for some more robust varietals.
East Coast wines made from the indigenous fruits in the area like apple, pear, and blueberry will pair well with an autumn spread of rich meats and root vegetables.
Visit Connecticut’s Wine Trail — fifteen vineyards along the countryside that accommodate weekend travelers. But wineries can be found in all six New England states. Call ahead to reserve a tour and expand your knowledge as well as your palate.
Visit New England during the fall and take part in one of many Fall festivals — from film to food to arts and crafts.
- International Film Festival — Martha’s Vineyard, MA ( mid September)
- Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival — Newport, RI (late September)
- Oyster Festival — Wellfleet, MA (early October)
- Chowder Days — Mystic, Connecticut (early October)
- Mount Desert Island Marathon — Mount Desert Island, Maine (mid October)
- Keene Pumpkin Festival — Keene, New Hampshire (late October)
- Salem Haunted Happenings — Salem, Massachusetts (late October)