New England Fall Leaves Foliage USA

New England Fall Leaves Foliage (10/1-10/2016)

Amazing Fall New England Fall Foliage
Amazing Fall New England Fall Foliage
Seeing the Fall foliage in New England is amazing! Everywhere you go the colors are brilliant – bright yellows, oranges, bronzes, purples, and the vibrant reds blew us away. It is truly a wonder of the world happening this good only in New England and a part of Japan.

Beautiful Stowe Vermont
Beautiful Stowe Vermont
There are also charming New England towns to visit with covered bridges, quaint country B&B’s, good restaurants, country fairs, and for Pat, some of the best shopping she has found. Tourists are called “Leaf Peepers” and treated very friendly.

Vermont Covered Bridge 
Reflected in Quinebaug River - 
Old Sturbridge Village Massachusetts
We choose to do a wonderful New England Fall Leaves tour starting in Boston, then heading up the coast of Maine, crossing over New Hampshire to Vermont, and back through New Hampshire and Massachusetts to Boston.

Below is a review of our trip that we highly recommend...

Boston & Cape Cod, Massachusetts

With the great availability of flights and lots of fun interesting things to do, historic Boston and Cape Cod is a good place to start a New England Fall leaves foliage tour. We spent 2 days – 1 day in Boston and 1 day on Cape Cod.

Historic Marshall Street Boston Massachusetts
Historic Marshall Street - 
Boston Massachusetts
In Boston, we jumped on the hop on/hop off Super Tours trolley bus. They have three interconnected loops you can take stopping all over Boston. It was great to see and learn about Boston and its incredible history getting off at places we wanted to explore. Your ticket also includes a narrated boat ride on either the Charles River or Boston Inner Harbor.

We very much enjoyed the Boston Harbor cruise and having lunch of lobster roll & Boston clam chowder from Boston Chowda in the Quincy Market near the harbor. Lots of fun performers are entertaining around Quincy Market.

Beautiful Boston Commons Boston
Beautiful Boston Commons 
in Boston
The New England Aquarium is also located at the Boston Harbor and it is a 10-15 walk over to the beautiful must-see Boston Commons (see photo). Around this area is the self-guided Freedom Trail where you can walk to many famous historic sites of America’s oldest city that played an integral role in the American Revolution.

Wayne Pat Dunlap Lobster Pot Providence Cape Cod Massachusetts
Wayne & Pat 
at Lobster Pot - 
Providence Cape Cod
We enjoyed our day trip to Cape Cod. From Boston Harbor's Long Wharf, we took Boston Harbor Cruises' 1 ½-hour Cape Cod Fast Ferry to Provincetown leaving 9am and returning 3pm. When we arrived in Provincetown, we hopped on the sightseeing Mayflower Trolley for an interesting 45-minute narrated tour around Cape Cod.

Commercial Street Provincetown Cape Cod
Commercial Street Provincetown Cape Cod
We then continued our Cape Cod visit strolling Provincetown’s main street (Commercial Street) exploring the cute shops and art galleries having lobster at the Lobster Pot restaurant (see photo) just to the right of MacMillan Wharf where you arrive.

Cape Cod Travel Tip... turn left on Commercial Street from the wharf for the most of the shops, etc.

Kennebunkport, Maine

Main Street Kennebunkport Maine
Main Street Kennebunkport Maine
Kennebunkport is an incredibly beautiful and quaint small town on the southern coast of Maine – one of our favorites of our trip. Kennebunkport’s town center in and around Dock Square (see photo) is located along the Kennebunk River. Kennebunkport was shipbuilding and fishing village for well over a century and is a popular summer seaside town and tourist destination.

David's Restaurant Kennebunkport Maine
David's Restaurant - Kennebunkport Maine
The Dock Square area of Kennebunkport has B&B’s, quaint shops, art galleries, and good seafood restaurants. Some of the nice restaurants include David’s overlooking the river, Alisson’s, and the Crab Shack on Main Street.

Love Fresh Maine Lobster
Love Fresh Maine Lobster!
Kennebunkport is where the Bush’s have their family home where they live and are often seen during the summer.

Lobster Tip: 90% of the lobster consumed in America (40 million pounds) comes from Maine and it is wonderful! Enjoy it for lunch because the dinner prices are often much higher. Also, lobster rolls can have more lobster in them than the smaller 1-pound lobsters and are can be better priced and already to eat – yum!

Camden, Maine

Pat Dunlap Enjoying the Fryeburg Country Fair Maine
Pat Enjoying the 
Fryeburg Country Fair Maine
Camden is a well-known summer colony in the mid-Coast region of Maine. The downtown is quaint and filled with unique shops and good restaurants. For a treat, grab a gourmet sandwich or lobster roll from the Camden Deli and sit outside overlooking the picturesque schooner-filled harbor listening to the waterfall – a wonderful experience. If you like boat trips, you can take a 2-hour schooner trip of the area.

Camden Maine from Mount Battie
Camden Maine from Mount Battie
Just a couple of miles north of Camden is Mount Batti where the State Park Rangers claim has “Maine’s most beautiful view” - see photo. We haven’t toured all of Maine but do agree that the views of Camden and surroundings are fantastic and should not be missed (see photo). They are also several very nice hikes you can access from the road.

Inns at Blackberry Common Camden Maine
Inns at Blackberry Common - 
Camden Maine
We stayed at the Victorian Inns at Blackberry Common (see photo). It's the kind of place you imagine when you think “Romantic and Charming New England B&B.” We had a room with a fireplace – very nice! Camden’s historic downtown is about a 10-minute walk away. Owner and Chef Jim makes a wonderful breakfast - one of the nicest we have had.

Soco Maine
Soco Maine
When driving north on Maine’s coast to Camden, we stopped at Portland’s Old Dock area. There were crowds from the cruise ship and tourist buses so we continued on seeking quaint towns like Kennebunkport and Camden.

Some fun facts about Maine... almost 90% of America’s lobster and 97% of blueberries come from Maine. If you come to Maine for the Fall leaves, it is normally best mid-October.

The Kancamagus Highway

Fall Foliage at Sugar Hill Scenic Vista on Kanamagus Highway New Hampshire
Fall Foliage at Sugar Hill Scenic Vista 
on Kanamagus Highway - New Hampshire
Even if you have to go out of your way, be sure not to miss New Hampshire’s Kancamagus Highway (pronounced "Kank-ah-mah-gus." It is truly one of the most scenic highways in America and one of the best Fall foliage viewing areas in the country (see photos).

Kancamagus Highway New Hampshire
Kancamagus Highway New Hampshire

Running about 35 miles along Route 112 between Conway and Lincoln through the White Mountain National Forest, the Kancamagus Highway offers spectacular views of the White Mountains, Swift River, falls, and during the Fall, brilliant Fall foliage colors. Completing the experience, you can enjoy the smells of pines, river, and changing leaves.

Fall foliage Lily Pond Kanamagus Highway New Hampshire
Fall Foliage Lily Pond  -
Kanamagus Highway New Hampshire

We started on the east end of the Kancamagus Highway at Conway. Starting at either end is great (just reverse this advice). Right at the start from Conway, you may want to stop in the Saco Ranger Station for a current map, suggestions for what you want to do, and have any questions answered. The rangers are very helpful.

Albany Covered Bridge on Kancamagus Highway New Hampshire
Albany Covered Bridge 
on Kancamagus Highway - 
New Hampshire
After traveling about 6 miles, turn into the road to see the Albany Covered Bridge (see photo) and take a walk around this beautiful area. The next stop should be Lower Falls. There is a lot to see after that but do not miss the Sugar Hill Overlook, Lily Pond (see photo), and the Hancock Overlook. Just before the Sugar Hill Overlook, the less than 1-mile round trip easy hike to Sabbaday Falls is nice when there is water running.

Fall Foliage Hwy 100 Vermont
Fall Foliage Hwy 100 Vermont
Some background on Fall Leaves: There are only two places in the world where the Fall leaves have the most brilliant foliage - in America’s New England and a part of Japan. These changing colors of autumn signal the trees are getting ready for winter. The food making process is over in the leave cells containing chlorophyll that give them their green color. 

Fall Foliage Bridge over Creek off Hwy 100 Vermont
Fall Foliage Bridge over Creek 
off Hwy 100 Vermont
In Fall, the leaves stop making food partly due to shorter periods of daylight and cooler temperatures. The green disappears and the yellow and orange colors appear. The vibrant reds, purples, and bronzes appear due to other process like the sugars trapped in the Maple leaves by the cool nights turning them red or if on the shady side, they can become yellow.

Stowe, Vermont

Store Stowe Vermont during Fall
Store in Stowe Vermont during Fall
Stowe is a wonderful town to visit and this area has beautiful Fall foliage. If you have some ‘spurge’ in your travel budget and up for some elegance in the mountains, we recommend staying at the Von Trapp Family Lodge.

When we left Stowe, we traveled south on Vermont’s beautiful Byway Hwy 100 to Woodstock enjoying wonderful foliage and stopping to enjoy country stores. Fans of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream can stop for a fun factory tour. Don’t miss the ‘graveyard’ where they have retired the favors that did not work – the descriptions are funny.
Pat Wayne Dunlap Ben & Jerry Ice Cream Vermont
Pat & Wayne as Ben & Jerry - Vermont

We loved driving south on Hwy 100 stopping at country stores and fair and seeing covered bridges (good on in Waitsfield). If you want to see a pretty waterfall, stop at Moss Glen Falls. It is only about a 2-minute hike right off Hwy 100.

Woodstock, Vermont

Woodstock Vermont during Fall
Woodstock Vermont during Fall
Woodstock is a pretty town to explore where you can explore quaint shops, art galleries, and restaurants. If you arrive during lunchtime, be sure to try the gourmet Zesto sandwich at Mon Vert Café.

Beautiful Quechee Gorge Vermont Fall
Beautiful Quechee Gorge Vermont

We also enjoyed visiting the town of Quechee located near Woodstock. Along U.S. Route 4, the Quechee Gorge (known as Vermont’s little Grand Canyon - see photo) is beautiful. Also, a visit to the Simone Pearce glass blowing store perched over the falls of the Ottauquechee River is a very nice experience. Go downstairs for a great view of the falls and the Quechee Covered Bridge.

Country Home Lake Winnipesaukee New Hampshire
Country Home on 
Lake Winnipesaukee New Hampshire
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Wolfeboro is a cute town on Lake Winnipesaukee and is America’s oldest summer resort. You can take a 2-hour drive around Lake Winnipesaukee stopping at interesting places. We liked Alton Bay – the only place in the U.S where planes land on the frozen lake during winter. Don’t miss taking a boat cruise on the Mount Washington.

An interesting place to visit is Castle in the Clouds to visit the Luchnow Mansion off Hwy 171 (Old Mountain Road) near Meridith located northeast of Lake Winnipesaukee. The beautiful 2-mile drive up to it and the wonderful view of Lake Winnipesaukee is view the price of admission. Also, the turkey sandwich at Carriage House restaurant was wonderful. We also enjoyed the short walk up to the Falls of Song waterfall.

Fall Foliage Hwy 100 Vermont
Fall Foliage Hwy 100 Vermont
Great idea for a wonderful Fall Foliage week...  We spent 12 days on our trip. If you have less time, here is a great itinerary for a 5-7 day trip: 1) Don’t miss the Kancamagus Highway across New Hampshire starting near Conway; 2) go up to Stove, Vermont; 3) take the beautiful Vermont Byway Hwy 100 and 4 south to Woodstock, Vermont; and then go to 4) Lake Winnipesaukee New Hampshire.

Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Fall Foliage Reflected in Quinebaug River Old Sturbridge Village Massachusetts
Fall Foliage Reflected in Quinebaug River 
Old Sturbridge Village Massachusetts
Sturbridge makes for a great stop. We loved our visit to the Old Sturbridge Village where you can have fun discovering what life was like in New England in the 1930’s. On 200 scenic acres, they have 59 original antique buildings including homes, school, meetinghouses, country store, bank, water-powered mill, shops, and a working farm. Be sure not to miss the short boat ride on Quinebaug River that boards near the Vermont Covered Bridge.

Old Sturbridge Village
Old Sturbridge Village
It’s fun to interact with authentically dressed staff to better understand 19th-century life. There are a number of demonstrations put on during the day and lunch at the Bullard Tavern was nice. In addition to having fun and an interesting experience at the Old Sturbridge Village, you come away with a greater appreciation of what we have today.

Pat Dunlap Colonial Inn Concord Massachusetts
Pat at Colonial Inn - 
Concord Massachusetts
Concord, Massachusetts

New England Home Concord Massachusetts
New England Home - 
Concord Massachusetts
On our way back to Boston, we stopped at Concord located 19 miles away and were so glad we did. Concord is a pretty town rich in U.S. history. This is where “the shot heard round the world” was fired starting the U.S. Revolutionary War at the Battle of Lexington and Concord. We suggest you park near the historic Colonial Inn in downtown Concord (see photo). It is a nice place to stay; lunch is good, and they have maps of the area and will answer questions.

From the Colonial Inn it is a nice walk or short drive to the historic sites of the battle at the Minute Man National Historic Park. The free 30-minute film at the Minute Man Visitor Center offers a nice overview of what happened here in 1775.

Walden Pond Concord Massachusetts
Walden Pond - 
Concord Massachusetts
In the mid-19th century, Concord developed into a literary center featuring Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. You can walk around Walden Pond (see photo) and literary fans can visit the graves of these legends at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

Save some time to walk around the town of Concord visiting some of the shops and have some lunch at one of the nice restaurants.

Travel tip... What is the best time of year to enjoy the New England Fall leaves?

Fall Foliage on Hwy 100 Vermont
Fall Foliage on Hwy 100 Vermont
It changes every year – the year we visited (2016), it was a little late because of the dryness but still wonderful. Normally, beginning October is best in northern New England and mid-Oct further south. You can Google “peak fall foliage” to get the best predictions.

Travel tip... 
What are some good money saving tips for visiting New England during the Fall foliage time?

Fall Foliage on Vermont Country Road in Fall
Fall Foliage on 
Vermont Country Road in Fall
Plan early! Because tourism in this area is somewhat limited and Fall is by far the busiest season, accommodations book out early. We planned 6 months ahead and were already finding places booked or the last few rooms. And prices go up as the season nears. So, starting in January is not too soon.

Also, stay in the quaint B&B’s – not only will it greatly enhance your experience, they can save you some money over the big hotels.

Stowe Vermont
Stowe, Vermont
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