By Amy Hartle, New England With Love
For an incredible fall foliage road trip in New England, you can’t ignore Vermont’s Route 100. This is one of the best scenic drives in Vermont, and especially in the glorious autumn season. Vermont is known for boasting some of the best foliage in all of New England, and the whole of the USA.
Route 100 is a great road trip route because the road snakes from north to south through the center of the state. It passes over large swaths of the Green Mountains, meaning your drive brings you along high elevations where the color is just gorgeous.
Route 100 also passes through many small towns and villages that are worthy of stopping! The Vermont Country Store in Weston is located right along this road, a classic old-fashioned New England shop that sells amazing items and some yummy food, too.
Further north, along Route 100 in Waterbury, travelers MUST stop at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. This cider mill fresh presses its own delicious cider, cooks up some of the best apple cider donuts in Vermont, and simply has an incredible fall atmosphere. You feel it the moment you walk in. It is one of my favorite places in all of Vermont.
You can continue to the end of Route 100 in Vermont, but I recommend ending your trip in the magical town that is Stowe. This is a scenic and charming spot right out of a magazine.
New Hampshire – Kancamagus Highway – A perfect New England scenic drive
By Nikki Ortan from Attractions of America
Widely hailed as one of New England’s best fall foliage drives, the Kancamagus Highway stands out in a region regarded nationally for its scenic drives.
The Kancamagus Highway – found on Route 112 and known to frequenters as ‘The Kanc’ – boasts 34.5 miles of breathtaking views cutting east to west through the state of New Hampshire. Foliage lovers have long gone out of their way to plan a path on Route 112, and The Kanc is such a draw that entire vacations can be built around getting the most out of the highway.
To simply drive through the highway is free, but to park along the trail will require a day pass for $5 that will enable you to explore all the trail has to offer. Many of the path’s overlook areas feature bathrooms and small service areas, and you can pick up a permit and a map for the highway at the Saco Ranger Station or the White Mountains Visitor Center.
Starting in Conway and ending in Lincoln is the most common route. Heading from east to west, some sights to keep in mind are the lower falls scenic area, rocky gorge scenic area, Russel-Colbath historic site, Sabbaday Falls and Swift river, and the Lily pond, to name a few. There is also ample opportunity to camp, and taking advantage of any of the options is highly recommended. Check out spots such as the Hancock, Big Rock, and Blackberry Crossing Campgrounds, with rates as low as $20 per night.
New Hampshire – Another can’t-miss fall route in the White Mountains
By Frank Parrott of NothingButNewEngland
The White Mountains in Fall is a truly magical place with a vibrance of colors that highlight the beauty of the surrounding peaks. One of the best road trip through the Whites starts by staying in the heart of the mountains, the Omni Mount Washington. Located near the base of New Hampshire’s highest summit, the surrounding view is nothing short of spectacular.
A great tour of the area starts with heading to Artists Bluff. This scenic spot is located a short 25 mins away from the resort at the beginning of the beautiful Franconia Notch region. Park in the Cannon Mountain parking by Echo Lake Beach and cross the street to start the hike to Artists Bluff. It’s worth the effort to see a view that will be that memorable. No fear if you can not hike to the top, you can still see amazing views by just driving through Franconia Notch. This also leads to the next stop, a swirling glacier falls called the Basin.
Head back towards the Omni for a quick lunch but be sure to stop to admire the roadside falls on the way. The Silver Cascade and Flume Cascade are picturesque falls easily seen from your car.
After your lunch, keep heading on route 302 for 50 mins to the Pinkham Notch area. Park at the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor area for another not-to-miss view. If you’re lucky, you may even be treated to a moose sighting.
Massachusetts – Boston to Berkshires, for quaint New England towns
By Bharat and Supriya from fun travelog
Come fall season, and many residents of Massachusetts head to Berkshires in the western region of the state. Only a two and a half-hour drive from Boston, the area offers a different surrounding from the cityscape.
Surrounded by mountains (a part of the Appalachian Trail passes through this region), this beautiful hilly region is marked by small towns, farms, orchards, farm-to-restaurants, cafes, outdoor spaces, and lovely B&Bs. Start your trip in Boston and head first to Shelburne Falls, a quintessential New England small town that is two hours away. Walk over the Bridge of Flowers, grab a quick bite and stretch your feet. Next, visit the Mohawk Trail State Forest in nearby Charlemont. Another trail for viewing fall foliage is the 11-mile long Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Lanesborough.
If you love museums, head to either Mass MOCA in North Adams, the Norman Rockwell Museum, or Clark Art Institute for an afternoon. North Adams, Williamstown, Great Barrington, and Lenox are some of the top towns to visit in the Berkshires. Fall is also a good time to try warm apple cider donuts from Hilltop or Bartlett Orchards.