Best Places to Visit in New England in the Fall
Calling all leaf peepers! If you’re looking for some of the best fall foliage and fun activities in the U.S., you can’t miss a trip to New England. Fall is the perfect season to visit New England. Cool ocean air, crisp leaves, cider donuts… need we say more?
From Maine to Rhode Island, it’s easy to get your fix of fall activities in a variety of quaint towns. Whether you’re planning a fall foliage road trip, looking for the best corn maze, or jonesing for some maple syrup and apple pie, you can’t go wrong with a drive up the coast. These 7 places to visit in New England in the fall are the perfect destinations to make the most of the season.
Best Time to See Fall Colors
If you’re hoping to catch the changing colors, timing is important! You can expect to see fall foliage in New England between September and October. The leaves are usually at their brightest in mid-October. You can see foliage throughout New England, but if you really want to enjoy a spectacle of nature, head up to Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine for the most color. The fall colors peak in the northernmost states earlier than in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
7 Places to Enjoy Fall in New England
Boston is a popular destination for fall fun, especially since you can enjoy a day in the city and see pops of color from the changing trees.
Go leaf peeping with a twist on a Boston sailing tour. Sailing is one of the most popular things to do in Boston, but it’s not just a summer activity! Exploring the harbor in the fall is a great way to enjoy the crisp air and see views of the city from afar, where the bursts of orange and yellow leaves stand out on the horizon. Enjoy views of the Boston skyline, lighthouses, parks, and other natural attractions.
Stowe is a classic Vermont ski town surrounded by the state’s beautiful Green Mountains. It’s one of the best spots in New England to see vibrant fall colors, especially if you plan a trip in early October.
This historic village is a prime destination for the arts, cycling, shopping, and food. You might come for the foliage, but you’ll be entertained for days with so many things to do in the area, like a hike to Moss Glen Falls, photo ops in front of the beautiful white-steepled church, and a visit to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill in nearby Waterbury, Vermont.
Acadia National Park, Maine
If you’re not much of a city dweller, Maine’s Acadia National Park might be just the place for you. This 47,000-acre park on the coast of Maine offers the quintessential New England fall experience. Countless options for camping, hiking, and sightseeing offer endless opportunities to spot the best fall foliage in New England.
Breathtaking scenery aside, the charming town of Bar Harbor has everything you need to warm up after a day outdoors. Cozy up to a fireplace in one of the town’s excellent local restaurants where you can get a farm-to-table meal.
Overlooking Lake Champlain, Burlington is a college town that’s home to coffee shops, art galleries, museums, boutiques, and the University of Vermont (go Catamounts!). When you finish your stroll down Church Street, walk down the hill to the lake for incredible views of foliage and mountains in the distance. Just be sure to bundle up – Burlington is one of the coldest spots in the fall and winter.
Known for being the heart of the United States’ craft brewery movement, Portland, Maine also boasts amazing natural landscapes. Set on a peninsula, Portland features an Old Port waterfront with fishing wharves, restaurants, shops, and several lighthouses visible from the water.
You can see fall foliage along the streets of Portland, interspersed among stunning Victorian homes, parks, and bluffs with river and mountain views. Be sure to book a brewery tour while you’re there!
Head over to the nearby town of Raymond, Maine for a unique New England fall foliage experience. Enjoy a kayak adventure from the Gambo Dam up the Presumpscot River. You’ll get a new perspective on the vibrant colors of fall while spotting wildlife and learning about the area.
It feels like fall is in the air year-round in Salem, Massachusetts thanks to the town’s storied past. Known for being the site of the infamous 1692 witch trials, Salem is synonymous with all things spooky. This eclectic town offers Tarot and palm readings, Halloween celebrations, and ghost tours of the most haunted places in the U.S. The museums and notable sites will certainly keep you busy! Salem is also surrounded by beautiful fall foliage you don’t want to miss.
New Hampshire White Mountains
You can’t go wrong with a visit to New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Start with a drive along Kancamagus Highway, a scenic road that runs 34 miles between Lincoln and Conway, two of the most popular towns to visit in the state. You can stop for coffee and a bite to eat, pull off the road for some fall foliage photo ops, or go for a hike.
Ready to hit the road? Check out all the amazing New England towns you could visit along the way.