7 Breathtaking New England Fall Road Trip Ideas


Autumn in New England is when the gorgeous fall colours glow, the air is crisp, and the area actually shines. To “see it all”, many individuals will try a New England highway journey that covers each state in only a week. But to take action means lacking out on lots of the hidden treasures which are discovered on the byways and backroads round New England. Instead, decelerate and break up your visits with what we predict are the perfect New England highway journeys.

While these highway journeys can work simply as nicely in the summertime, understand that fall foliage season is “peak” season in New England. You might want to make your reservations early and keep watch over the numerous foliage monitoring web sites that allow you to see when the autumn colours are anticipated to be at their peak in every space. Remember, the additional north you go, the sooner the colours will peak, with the first season from mid-September by way of mid-October.

Hog Island lighthouse and bridge
Hog Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island

New England Fall Foliage Reports

Here are some nice assets to observe:

Best New England Road Trips

Note: This publish incorporates affiliate hyperlinks. If you click on a hyperlink and make a purchase order, I’ll obtain a small fee. All opinions are my very own.

While a few of these New England highway journeys may be accomplished in an extended weekend, most are designed for a 5 to seven-day journey. If you actually need to hit every state, do this New England highway journey itinerary.

Adapt these journey concepts as you want by skipping stops or shortening your stays at every vacation spot, or do this 4-day New England highway journey. Remember, we’ll nonetheless be right here ready so that you can discover a unique nook of New England subsequent 12 months too!

1. Southern New England Coast Road Trip

Mystic CT Harbor
Mystic, Connecticut

Note: This journey is finest in the summertime or September and October, though if you’re on the lookout for peak foliage, plan on mid-to-late October.

While hitting the seashore and the charming coastal cities in Southern New England makes for a preferred summer time highway journey, it can be very gratifying within the fall. The crowds are gone, the ocean water is heat, and you’ll nonetheless get these stunning heat seashore days that say a last farewell to summer time for the 12 months.

Start off your journey within the Connecticut city of Essex with a keep on the historic Griswold Inn. You will discover lots to do on this space, together with the Essex Steam Train, fall foliage cruises, Gillette Castle, lighthouse harbor cruises, and the Niantic Boardwalk.

Next, spend a day or extra exploring downtown Mystic and the Historic Mystic Seaport. While there, it would be best to wait in line for a few of the finest apple cider donuts round at B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill. (See my full record of issues to do in Mystic with children.) Wine aficionados will get pleasure from a tasting and picnic at Jonathan Edwards Winery.

Pell Bridge in distance with pumpkins on a stone wall in front

Your subsequent cease can be historic Newport, however earlier than you get there, make a cease in Jamestown to get apple cider donuts at Hardpressed Cider Company and to absorb the view at Beavertail State Park. There are loads of issues to do in Newport from touring mansions, crusing within the Bay, visiting native farms and vineyards, and biking alongside the coast. (See extra scenic drives in Rhode Island)

In city, The Vanderbilt and Hotel Viking each provide an important location coupled with historic allure. For a extra trendy nautical setting on the water, the Newport Marriott is an efficient selection. See my record of the perfect issues to do in Rhode Island within the fall.

Continue your Southern New England coastal highway journey on Cape Cod. Visiting Cape Cod within the low season is an ideal time to keep away from crowds. You can experience the bike path, benefit from the small cities of Chatham, Falmouth, Hyannis, and Provincetown, and take a dunes tour. You can even take a day journey over to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard.

The Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis or the Sea Crest Hotel in Falmouth are good family-friendly choices. If you need to end off your journey in luxurious, splurge for the Chatham Bars Inn or the Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club, positioned proper on the Cape Cod Rail Trail and providing family-size suites.

Personally, I beloved staying at AutoCamp Cape Cod for a singular glamping expertise. For a restricted time, it can save you $20 off a keep at Auto Camp by utilizing my referral hyperlink(and I’ll get a $20 credit score in direction of my subsequent keep too!)

Finish up with a few days in Boston. September and October are nice months for exploring town (simply keep away from Labor Day weekend as that’s sometimes move-in weekend for the universities and accommodations can be much more outrageous.) If you go to in mid-to-late October, you might get to observe the Head of the Charles regatta, however accommodations can be expensive then too. (Here are some ideas for visiting Boston on a funds.)

Plan to stroll alongside the Freedom Trail, attempt pastries within the North End, benefit from the Public Gardens, go to a few of Boston’s museums (just like the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum), and possibly catch a Red Sox sport at Fenway. You can also get pleasure from a Best of Boston meals tour.

Maps courtesy of Google My Maps

If you may have time, I’d additionally add in a day journey to Salem, Gloucester, or Plymouth.

2. Boston to Maine Road Trip

Portland Head Light rocks
PortlandHead Light, Maine

Note: This journey is finest in the summertime or in September and early October. If you’re on the lookout for peak foliage in Acadia, plan on visiting in late September or early October.

The drive from Boston to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park is finest finished whenever you take it sluggish, having fun with the cities of Massachusetts’ North Shore and Maine’s Mid-Coast alongside the best way. (You can see my full detailed Boston to Bar Harbor highway journey itinerary right here.) If you don’t have time for the complete highway journey, both skip over some stops alongside the best way or trim this all the way down to Boston to Portland, Boothbay Harbor, or Rockland, relying on how a lot time you may have.

Start off with a day exploring both the historic downtown of Salem or the fishing village of Gloucester. Then head as much as the historic seaport city of Portsmouth, NH earlier than heading into Maine. Don’t neglect to cease at Bob’s Clam Shack in Kittery, ME for among the best lobster rolls on the East Coast.

Spend a few nights in Portland exploring the Old Port, taking a lobster boat tour, climbing on the rocks by Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, visiting the “Desert of Maine,” or spending a day buying on the L.L. Bean outlet up in Freeport or the lovable boutiques of Kennebunkport.

The Press Hotel is a superb possibility in downtown Portland, however if you’re on the lookout for one thing nearer to the seashore, attempt the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth.

On Maine’s mid-coast, spend an evening or two in Boothbay Harbor on the Tugboat Inn or Fisherman’s Wharf Inn. On your drive, cease and benefit from the Giant’s Stairs in Harpswell or spend a while at Popham Beach, a uncommon sandy stretch of sand. Be certain to line up for lobster rolls at Red Eats.

While in Boothbay, you might also need to get out on the water on a sightseeing cruise to see puffins or whales or hire a sea kayak to discover Muscongus Bay. Note that a few of these actions will solely run by way of September or mid-October on the weekends. See extra full record of issues to do in Boothbay Harbor.

Continue up the coast to the creative city of Rockland and spend an evening on the 250 Main Hotel. Pop into the Center for Maine Contemporary Art or the Farnsworth Art Museum or go mountain climbing in Camden Hills State Park. See my record of issues to do in Rockland, Maine.

Sunrise from Cadillac mountain in Acadia National Park
Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

Finish up your highway journey on the scenic city of Bar Harbor, simply outdoors of Acadia National Park. You will need to spend 2 to three nights exploring the park utilizing this 3-days in Acadia itinerary. Try to catch a dawn or sundown from the highest of Cadillac Mountain, drive the Park Loop Road, calm down on Sand Beach, and cease to see the pure phenomenon at Thunder Hole.

You can even cease into the Hulls Cove Visitor Center to take a look at some common hikes, take within the view from Otter Cliffs, bike the Carriage Roads, and revel in a meal with a view on the Jordan Pond House. If you aren’t into tenting, keep on the town on the Bar Harbor Grand Hotel or the Hampton by Hilton Bar Harbor. One of my favourite glamping stays is on the Terramor Resort in Bar Harbor.

For your return journey, you possibly can leap on Interstate 95 south for the quick route again to Boston. If you may have extra time, discover these issues to do close to Acadia National Park.

3. Western Massachusetts Road Trip

Mount Greylock fall foliage
Mount Greylock

Note: This highway journey has a mixture of indoor and out of doors points of interest which you could go to year-round. For peak foliage viewing, go to in October.

If you need to discover the scenic byways and small cities of Western Massachusetts, begin off in Springfield. Here you possibly can discover distinctive museums just like the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Dr. Seuss Museum. As you head north up Interstate 91, you possibly can cease off on the Yankee Candle Factory Store and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

You can even keep away from the Interstate and take scenic route 47 alongside the Connecticut River. Be certain to cease on the North Hadley Sugar Shack for maple syrup and sugary treats. Mike’s Maze in Sunderland has additionally been rated among the best corn mazes within the United States, making for a enjoyable fall cease. Stay in a single day on the historic Deerfield Inn or discover plentiful choices in close by Amherst.

Next, head throughout Route 2, The Mohawk Trail, from Deerfield to North Adams. If you’re keen on lined bridges, take a aspect journey to the Eunice Williams Covered Bridge. Other stop-worthy highlights embody the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, mountain biking at Thunder Mountain, the Bissel Covered Bridge in Charlemont, and zip lining at Zoar Outdoor.

Spend an evening within the city of North Adams on the Porches Inn at Mass MoCA. If it’s open, make sure that to take time for the Mass MoCA Museum. You can also get pleasure from some mountain climbing in Natural Bridge State Park or head south to the summit of Mount Greylock, the very best level within the state. You may even keep in a single day on the Bascom Lodge on the summit.

Kid's Turn: A Crazy Awesome Day at Ramblewild in the Berkshires, MA
Ropes course at Ramblewild

Continue to make your approach south to the charming small cities of the Berkshires. Enjoy out of doors treetop adventures at Ramblewild, experience the Mountain Coaster at Jiminy Peak, discover the historic houses and gardens, and go antiquing. If you’re up for extra mountain climbing, you may also climb Monument Mountain.

Make your house base in both Pittsfield, Lenox, Stockbridge, Lee, or Great Barrington. The Red Lion Inn is at all times common and we have now additionally had an excellent keep on the Seven Hills Inn. From there you possibly can loop again to Springfield throughout Interstate 90.

4. Litchfield Hills, CT Road Trip

Litchfield CT town green
Town inexperienced in Litchfield, CT

Note: This journey is finest within the spring-fall. For peak foliage, go to in October.

The charming New England cities that impressed the setting for the Gilmore Girls tv present, the fruitful Connecticut Wine Trail, lined bridges, fairly hikes, and farm-fresh meals await you on a highway journey by way of the Litchfield Hills in northwestern Connecticut.

Start off within the city of Litchfield, the place you possibly can get pleasure from buying and eating on the upscale boutiques and eating places that line the plush city inexperienced. If you need to spend a while within the space, keep in a single day on the boutique Litchfield Inn.

Nearby you possibly can take a stroll by way of the White Memorial Conservation Center, hike in Mt. Tom State Park, take a look at the flower fields at White Flower Farm, go horseback driving at Lee’s Stables, or take a tour on the Litchfield Distillery.

There are a lot of wineries close by, together with Hopkins Vineyard, which overlooks the gorgeous Lake Waramaug. If you go on the weekend, they usually host dwell music performances and open up their grounds for picnicking.

Wine flight at Hopkins Winery
Wine flight at Hopkins Winery

Be certain to cease within the city of Bantam on the best way for ice cream at Arethusa Dairy, simply be ready for an extended line! If you may get a reservation, the Arethusa al Tavola restaurant receives accolades from close to and much.

Next, enterprise to the small city of Washington Depot, the place you’ll find the Mayflower Inn & Spa, an inspiration for the Independence Inn the place Lorelei labored within the Gilmore Girls. In city, you’ll find extra Gilmore Girls lookalikes, resembling Marty’s Cafe, The Washington Food Market, and The Hickory Stick Bookshop.

Your subsequent cease must be the city of New Milford, the place the gazebo in town inexperienced will certainly name up ideas of the fictional Stars Hollow. Nearby you possibly can hike in Lovers Leap State Park, attempt native beers on the Housatonic River Brewing, browse the native artwork galleries, or mattress down on the Homestead Inn.

From New Milford, journey up Route 7 to Kent, with a cease at Bull’s Covered Bridge on the best way. Kent Falls State Park is dwelling to a fantastic 250′ waterfall and mountain climbing trails. In city, you possibly can get pleasure from a keep at Kent Victorian and discover the bookstores, boutiques, and vintage retailers downtown.

Continue north to West Cornwall, the place you possibly can bike the 37-mile lined bridge path. Or go to Falls Village in Canaan and hike a part of the Appalachian Trail. The historic Falls Village Inn makes an excellent dwelling base in your exploration. After your train, quench your thirst on the Great Falls Brewing Company.

To end up your journey, take the scenic backroads to return to Litchfield, or head over to the lovable cities close to West Hartford like Collinsville, Simsbury, and Farmington.

5. White Mountain Wonder Road Trip

view of Echo Lake from Artist Bluff in New Hampshire

Note: This highway journey is finest taken in the summertime or early fall. For peak foliage, go to in late September by way of early-October.

New Hampshire’s White Mountains are a hikers’ paradise, but additionally provide loads of alternatives for household enjoyable and scenic drives. Start off in Lincoln to start your loop by way of the mountains.

There are loads of trip leases within the White Mountains, or you possibly can keep on the RiverStroll Resort at Loon Mountain. While in Lincoln, you possibly can go zip lining or at Alpine Adventures, discover the caves at Lost River Gorge, or stroll alongside the waterfalls at Flume Gorge.

From Lincoln, make your approach north alongside Interstate 93 in direction of the splendors of Franconia Notch State Park. Some of the perfect views within the Whites within the fall are from Artist’s Bluff above Echo Lake.

After exploring the western aspect of the White Mountains, head north to the very best peak within the Northeastern United States, Mount Washington. You can hike as much as the highest or take the simple route and drive up Mt. Washington Auto Road. Just be ready to pay the toll and do some white-knuckle driving. And maintain onto your hats as a result of it may be very windy on the prime. Of course, you may also keep away from the drive and take the Mount Washington Cog Railway.

Mt Washington Auto Road
Mt Washington Auto Road

When staying on this space, you possibly can mattress down on the Omni Mt. Washington. While on this space, you possibly can discover the White Mountains within the over 5,000 acres of Crawford Notch State Park. Another stunning fall hike is up Mount Willard, close to the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch. If it has been wet, the falls also needs to be flowing at Arethusa Falls and a close-by hike gives you good views of the Conway Scenic Railroad.

Continue south to North Conway, the place you’ll find outlet buying, eating places, and extra out of doors points of interest. Plan on a cease in Bartlett on the lined bridge for scenic images.

Once it reopens, the Red Jacket Mountain Resort is a superb household possibility and the Residence Inn North Conway is an efficient funds possibility. For one thing extra enjoyable, we additionally loved the resort-like setting at Huttopia White Mountains.

Complete your journey by heading again to Lincoln on the twisty-turn scenic Kancamagus Highway — known as one of many prettiest drives within the state. See my full information for the place to cease on the Kancamagus Highway.

6. Vermont’s Scenic Rt 100 Road Trip

Manchester, Vermont in the fall
Manchester, Vermont within the fall

Note: This journey is finest taken within the late spring by way of early fall. For best leaf peeping, go to in late September by way of mid-October.

I grew up spending my household holidays in Vermont, so it’s no surprise that I’ve a mushy spot in my coronary heart for the Green Mountain state. Route 100 runs north to south within the middle of the state, passing by small cities and ski mountain resorts alongside the best way. Of course, I like to recommend getting off the trail a bit to go to a few my different favourite New England cities.

Start off in Brattleboro and start touring north up Route 100 previous the Mount Snow ski city after which aspect monitor to Manchester. Settle in at The Equinox and spend a day or two exploring the realm. You can climb or drive Mount Equinox, go to the Lincoln dwelling of Hildene, or benefit from the alpine slide (in season) and different mountain leisure at Bromley Mountain. In city, you possibly can get pleasure from prime outlet buying and guide lovers don’t miss a go to to Northshire Books, the city’s unbiased bookstore. See my record of issues to do in Manchester, Vermont.

When you’re prepared, proceed on up Route 100, leaving time to cease on the Vermont Country Store in Weston. Make your subsequent cease in Ludlow on the Okemo Mountain Resort. There are loads of actions and lodging obtainable on this four-season resort, together with the enjoyable mountain coaster. As you proceed north, preserve your eyes peeled for Buttermilk Falls.

Buttermilk Falls in Ludlow Vermont
Buttermilk Falls, Vermont

As you method Route 4 close to Killington, veer off onto Route 100A and cease in to Long Trail Brewery. Then head over to the charming city of Woodstock, considered one of my favourite in Vermont, for a keep on the magnificent Woodstock Inn. The subsequent day you possibly can spend time on the town or head east to Quechee Gorge and cease into the glass-blowing studio at Simon Pearce.

Next, it would be best to proceed heading north into the Green Mountains. Keep a glance out for Moss Glen Falls in Granville. Make certain to deliver your urge for food as a result of it would be best to pattern a few of Vermont’s farm-fresh merchandise. Visit the Ben & Jerry’s Factory for samples and a go to to the flavour “graveyard.”

Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Stowe serves up the perfect apple cider donuts, sizzling and contemporary, however you might need to cease to pattern the cheeses on the Cabot Factory first.

Finish up your highway journey within the family-friendly Smugglers’ Notch or one of many many mountain resorts in Stowe like Topnotch Resort, Trapp Family Lodge, or the Stoweflake Resort. You can hike, drive the auto toll highway, go to native breweries, and even take a llama trek. See my different suggestions for a Vermont highway journey.

7. Maine’s Mountains and Lakes

Moose near Moosehead Lake in Maine

Note: This highway journey is finest taken in the summertime or early fall. For fall foliage, go to in late September by way of early October.

Maine’s Coast will get lots of consideration however that is only one small slice of Vacationland. There are so many locations to get away in Maine’s mountains and lakes area. Start off in Portland and head northwest on Route 302 to the lake city of Naples close to Long Lake and Sebago Lake. Take a float aircraft experience or a ship tour of the lake whereas absorbing the surroundings.

Next, head up Route 35 to Bethel and Newry, dwelling to the Sunday River Ski resort. Nearby you possibly can go mountain climbing, mountain biking, horseback driving, and even white water rafting.

Your subsequent vacation spot is the Rangeley Lakes area, the place the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway presents a few of the finest fall foliage drives within the state. Drive the Routes 4 and 17 loops round Rangeley Lake, a vacation spot common for its fishing, tenting, mountain climbing, bicycling, boating, and moose watching.  

The drive winds alongside the Appalachian Mountain and thru rolling valleys. Be certain to cease at The Height of Land on Route 17, which presents sweeping views of Mooselookmeguntic and Upper Richardson lakes. Stay on the landmark Rangeley Inn or in one of many family-size cabins on the Rangeley Lake Resort.

Tamara on the dock at Baxter Pond

After Rangeley, proceed northeast to Moosehead Lake, the most important lake in Maine, measuring 40 miles in size. The small city of Greenville on the southern tip is your jumping-off level. Further north and you’ll find gravel logging roads and the 100-acre wilderness of the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Here you’ll find wonderful mountain climbing, fishing, canoeing, and my favourite — moose safaris! Stay on the Lodge at Moosehead Lake or hire a lakeside cabin. You can then head again to Portland through the freeway. See my different suggestions for a Maine Highlands highway journey and issues to do within the Maine Highlands.

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7 Best New England Road trips for the fall

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