Fall Trip Planning Ideas in New England
Scenic fall foliage drives... apple, pumpkin and seafood festivals... state, harvest and traditional New England fairs and festivals...apple picking... some delicious apple cider...it's all so beautiful and fun here during the New England fall season!
Adams Farm, Cumberland, RI (photo by Eric H.)
Our first travel choices to help you plan a fall vacation in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont
by Eric H.
might just be the best time to
visit New England.
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In the northern sector of New England, my favorite fall foliage vacations destinations include White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire where the Kancamagus Scenic Byway (Route 112) showcases some of the region's most brilliant fall foliage for about 34 miles; and Stowe, VT, a classic New England mountain town with wonderful foliage, area country stores and a bike path that provides the perfect route to see all the colors and magnificent rural scenery. Keene, NH, and the Monadnock Region are also wonderful destinations, the former being a college town with a Currier and Ives look and the latter providing some of New Hampshire's best and most unspoiled scenery. A hike up Mt. Monadnock or Miller State Park's Pack Monadnock provides some breathtaking views, enhanced by the foliage season.
We also enjoy fall time in Wrentham, Mass., northern Rhode Island, and the northeast Connecticut. The quiet northeastern section of Connecticut has old-fashioned little towns that seem stuck in time with classic New England village greens that lead to winding roads with perfect views of fall foliage. Woodstock and Pomfret might just be the best examples of this beautiful area. Route 169 from Woodstock to Canterbury offers nearly 200 pre-1855 homes along with farms, historic churches and classic Connecticut village green centers, making it one of the most beautiful country drives in New England. It's also a great place to go apple picking with several farms providing this great autumn pastime.
Where Wrentham, MA, and Cumberland, RI, meet offers a relaxing autumn oasis from the hustle and bustle of Boston, MA and Providence, RI. In this area, you'll find The Big Apple Farm with farm-fresh produce, pumpkin and apple picking, an ice cream stand, bakery, horse-drawn carriage rides of the rural countryside and view of its apple production plant. Adams Farm in neighboring Cumberland provides a more laid-back setting with farm animals, a maze for the kids to navigate, apple picking, excellent produce and plants, and some of the most pleasing countryside you'll ever see in southern New England.
There's plenty more to recommend in New England during the fall season. Take a look at our "Best New England Fall Foliage Travel Destinations, Vacations and Scenic Drives" article where you will find the best places to pick apples, enjoy fresh apple cider, take a scenic fall foliage ride, locate the best leaf peeping spots, take a hike or walk surrounded by the fall colors, dine at restaurants perfect for the fall, and discover hidden fall travel gems from us "New Englanders.
And of, course, there are the special one of-a-kind fall events that help make New England so special...
Fun Things to Do During the 2011 New England Fall Foliage Season
Feel like you're in the heart of a New England fall at the 43rd annual Southington Apple Harvest Festival, Sept 30 & Oct 1-2 and October 7-9, in Southington, Conn. This well-know fall event features delicious food, a parade, live, local entertainment, a carnival, many different contests and an arts and crafts fair.
Visit the Fryeburg Fair in Fryeburg, Maine, Oct. 2-9, 2011, with livestock, harness racing, live entertainment, rides, baked goods handmade items, fun contests (like the pan toss!) and an extensive food court. Tel. (207) 935-3268.
Attend the Keene Pumpkin Festival in Keene , N.H., on Oct. 22, 2011, with the flickering lights of thousands of Jack O Lanterns, while enjoying the myriad entertainment on one of New England's great Main Streets!
Come to the Eastern States Exposition ("The Big E") in West Springfield, Mass., Sept 16-Oct. 2, 2011. The Big E is a beloved and joyful fair with parades, musical entertainment, animal displays and competitions, amusement rides and games and perhaps the best variety of junk food on earth. The Big E also houses Storrowtown Village, an authentic recreation of a 19th century New England village of seven historical buildings assembled around a village green. The Avenue of States showcases replicas of each New England state capitol buildings, but this time politics takes a back seat to regional foods, travel information, arts and crafts and various New England traditions. Country stars Blake Shelton and Reba Macintire, and Darius Rucker will be performing this year at the Big E, as well as 1970s rock icons Cheap Trick.
Have fun at the Strawbery Banke New Hampshire Festival, Sat., Oct. 8, in Portsmouth, N.H. This traditional New England festival features home and farm harvest festivities including demonstrations on textile crafts and fiber arts, historic crafts, trades, and home activities. Other highlights: farm animals and livestock demonstrations, a local artisan fair, and a chili cook-off!
Enjoy the Bowen's Wharf 21st Annual Seafood Festival in Newport, R.I., Oct. 15 and 16, 11-5 p.m. This waterfront event features local restaurants and fisherman's associations offering a great diversity of local seafood. Here, you'll also experience some great live music and other entertainment. Tel. (401)849-2243
Experience the 166-year-old Vermont State Fair, Sept. 2-11, in Rutland, Vt. Here, you can enjoy a big top circus, a magic show, midway rides, regional exhibits, a demolition derby and musical entertainment with the legendary Charlie Daniels Band (scheduled for Sept. 8).
-------------More info on the New England fall travel season... For learning more about the best places to stay during the New England fall foliage sesaon, we recommend reading "Where to Stay in New England During the Fall Foliage Season." Here, you'll find idyllic New England fall travel spots... and resources to hotels, bed and breakfasts, inns, resorts and motels near them!
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