Visit New England in the Fall • Autumn Colours in Vermont, Maine...
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Visit New England in the Fall

Vermont In The Fall, New England

As the summer sun begins to wane and the leaves start to turn into vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold, there is no better time to visit New England than in the Fall. This picturesque region of the United States is renowned for its stunning displays of autumn foliage, charming small towns, and winding roads that are perfect for a fly drive holiday.

From the rolling hills of Vermont, linked by historic covered bridges, to the rugged coastline of Maine’s Acadia National Park, each state offers its own unique character to Autumn’s breathtaking colours.

Autumn in Boston Public Garden

Visiting Massachusetts in the Fall

It is most likely that you will begin your visit to New England in the city of Boston. Although Boston is the perfect gateway to exploring New England’s Fall Foliage, it is also home to some of its own fall colours. Boston Common, spanning 44 acres, boasts a stunning array of oak, beech, chestnut, elm, and maple trees, creating a captivating tapestry of hues. Wander through the historic Beacon Hill District, where narrow streets and alleys are adorned with colourful foliage well into October and November.

As you venture beyond Boston, Massachusetts unfolds into a tapestry of Fall colours. Follow the Mohawk Trail, one of the oldest scenic drives in the United States, as it winds its way through the heart of the Berkshires, passing through dense forests, rolling hills, and charming small towns along the way. Be sure to stop at Mount Greylock State Reservation, where you can hike to the summit of Massachusetts’ highest peak for sweeping views of the surrounding foliage.

Keep an eye on the foliage forecast, as peak colours typically arrive in western Massachusetts in mid-October, followed by central and eastern regions later in the month. However, it’s always wise to check local reports for the most accurate timing.

Kancamagus Scenic Byway, New Hampshire

Visiting New Hampshire in the Fall

Crossing into New Hampshire, the Kancamagus Highway is probably the most perfect road to drive during the Fall. Affectionately referred to as “The Kanc” by locals, The Kancamagus Highway stretches for 34 miles through the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, connecting the towns of Lincoln and Conway.

The road winds through dense forests, alongside cascading waterfalls, and past panoramic overlooks, providing ample opportunities for leaf peeping. Be sure to at Sabbaday Falls, a stunning waterfall nestled amidst a riot of fall foliage, and the Russell-Colbath Historic Site, where you can explore the remains of a 19th-century homestead.

As one of the first states to experience peak foliage, New Hampshire typically reaches its autumnal zenith in early to mid-October, making it an ideal destination for those seeking the earliest bursts of colour.

Fall foliage, Stowe, Vermont

Visiting Vermont in the Fall

No journey through New England in the fall would be complete without visiting Vermont, for New England’s Best Autumn colours. Venture to the picturesque town of Stowe, nestled at the foot of Mount Mansfield, and embark on a scenic cable-car ride for sweeping views of the surrounding foliage.

Embark on a scenic drive along the Green Mountain Byway, winding through valleys and pastures dotted with grazing cattle. Stop at Quechee Gorge, Vermont’s own ‘Grand Canyon’ and marvel at the kaleidoscope of colours that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Wander through the charming village of Woodstock, where covered bridges span meandering streams, and the scent of wood smoke fills the air. As one of the last states to reach peak colours, Vermont typically sees its autumnal crescendo in mid to late October, offering an extended window for viewing the Fall colours.

Kennebec River, Augusta

Visiting Maine in the Fall

The largest state in New England, Maine also hosts New England’s only National Park. Located along the rugged coastline of Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park offers some of the most dramatic scenery in the region, especially when dressed in the colours of autumn.

Hike to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard, for panoramic views of the surrounding landscape awash in a sea of red, orange, and gold. You can drive through the colours on the park’s network of scenic carriageways or hike under the falling leaves on the maze of trails. Be sure to view the tranquil shores of Sand Beach and the dramatic cliffs of Thunder Hole.

Maine’s Western Mountains also offer spectacular colours during the Fall. Drive the Rangeley lakes Scenic Byway to discover towns like Bethel and Rangeley amongst the valleys and calm lakes. Additionally, the quaint village of Camden, nestled on the shores of Penobscot Bay, boasts tree-lined streets and panoramic views of the surrounding hillsides, making it another excellent spot for leaf-peeping enthusiasts.

Maine typically sees fall colours earlier than other states in New England due to its northern location and cooler temperatures, so if you are planning a tour through New England in the Fall, then Maine would be a good place to start.

Autumn Road in Canada

Visiting Connecticut in the Fall

In the heart of New England lies Connecticut, a land where history whispers through the cobblestone streets of its quaint villages. Perhaps begin your leaf peeping in Litchfield, where colonial-era homes stand amongst gardens strewn with fallen leaves. Kick up leaves as you stroll through the town’s park, ablaze with the orange hues of autumn foliage.

For a scenic drive that captures the essence of Connecticut’s fall colours, head into the Litchfield Hills  along Route 7. This iconic route stretches from the town of Norwalk in southern Connecticut to the Massachusetts border. The road meanders through quaint villages like Kent, Washington, and Salisbury, where historic buildings and tree-lined streets evoke a sense of timeless charm.

You can stop at one of the many roadside farm stands to sample fresh produce and homemade treats like pumpkin pie and visit the Kent Falls State Park, home to a stunning waterfall cascading over a series of rocky ledges amidst a backdrop of colourful foliage.

Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport, Rhode Island

Visiting Rhode Island in the Fall

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in New England, but it shouldn’t be ignored, particularly in the Autumn. Visit the coastal town of Newport, where Gilded Age mansions overlook the waters of Narragansett Bay. Here the centuries old trees appear to glow with the spread of the Autumn colours.

Take a scenic drive along Ocean Drive, a 10-mile stretch of road that winds along the rocky coastline. As well as panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, you will be rewarded by a shoreline ablaze in Fall foliage. You can stop at Fort Adams State Park to explore the historic fortifications and enjoy the views.

Further inland the city of Providence provides a unique experience. In Waterplace Park you can make the most of the city’s Italian connections and view the Fall foliage whilst gliding along the tree-lined canals in your own Venetian-style gondola.

Being one of New England’s more southerly states, Fall foliage will usually peak in Rhode Island, later than the more northerly states. Whilst you can expect to see some foliage begin to change colours in late September or early October, the colours will usually be at their vibrant best a few weeks later.

White Mountains, New Hampshire

Your Perfect New England in the Fall Itinerary

The best and easiest way to explore New England in the Fall is on a self drive holiday. Whether you choose to travel by car or motorhome, the quiet roads of New England make for a stress-free driving holiday.

To make the most of the ever-changing Fall colours, consider embarking on your journey in an Anticlockwise direction. Starting your adventure in the historic city of Boston, immerse yourself in the leafy beauty of Boston Common and stroll along the picturesque streets of the Beacon Hill District, where autumnal foliage adorns every corner. From here, venture northward to the rugged coastline of Maine, where Acadia National Park awaits with its breathtaking vistas and fiery hues of red, orange, and gold.

As you journey through the scenic landscapes of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, be captivated by the stunning vistas of rolling hills, dense forests, and cascading waterfalls. Traverse the iconic Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and explore the quaint villages of Stowe and Woodstock in Vermont, each offering their own unique charm and unparalleled beauty during the fall season.

Continue your odyssey through Massachusetts and Connecticut, where the Berkshire Mountains and Mohawk Trail beckon with panoramic views of fall foliage and historic landmarks. Wander through charming towns like Stockbridge and Lenox, where centuries-old homes and tree-lined streets provide the perfect backdrop for leaf-peeping adventures.

Conclude your journey in Rhode Island, where coastal charm meets autumnal elegance. Explore the historic streets of Newport and take a scenic drive along Ocean Drive, where breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and vibrant foliage await.

To plan your perfect New England in the Fall holiday, speak with one of our America Travel Specialists.


Richard has more than 25 years of experience working within the travel industry. He has travelled widely in the USA, Australia and Africa and enjoys exploring National Parks and other wilderness areas.