Summer is coming to an end here in New England, and that means fall foliage season is finally upon us!
Whether you’ve traveled from across the country to watch the leaves change or you’re a local who looks forward to leaf-peeping season every year, you’ll want to check out our list of the best places to see fall foliage in New England.
Before we dive into our favorite New England fall foliage tours and drives, let’s talk about timing. Throughout most of New England, the leaves start to change in early September and you’ll see peak color from mid-September through mid-October. But keep in mind that the further north you go, the sooner the leaves will change.
There are plenty of ways to see the leaves change, from taking a leisurely New England fall foliage drive to getting up close and personal with an all-day hike. And while there are endless scenic spots to be found here in Massachusetts and throughout the region, these are some of our favorites:
The Cape isn’t only beautiful in the summertime—its charm spreads right into foliage season. Peak color hits later on Cape Cod, making Route 6A the ideal destination for an end-of-season trip. Start your drive at Sagamore Bridge and make your way through Sandwich, Yarmouth, Dennis, and Brewster. Be sure to check out Nickerson State Park in Brewster, where you can follow the Cape Cod Rail Trail and see the colors up close.
Nothing says fall in New England than a scenic drive through the Berkshires taking in the sights along Route 7. Start from Great Barrington and head up through the quaint and autumnal towns up to North Adams. Don’t forget to check out the view from Mount Greylock to see the fall leaves stretch for miles.
The Kancamagus Highway winds its way through the White Mountains National Forest in New Hampshire and is 34.5 miles long. This famous highway offers a picturesque New England fall foliage drive, with trees lining both sides of the road and the Swift River meandering alongside it. There are plenty of overlooks to enjoy along the way, so go slow and make frequent stops!
Vermont offers the quintessential fall-in-New-England experience with its small towns, country stores, covered bridges, and of course, foliage. For the best views, take a road trip along Route 100, which traverses the entire state from top to bottom. The drive takes about five hours from beginning to end, and while you can do it in one day, you’ll see a lot more if you schedule some overnight stays. There are plenty of options for accommodations, but we recommend stopping in Wilmington, Ludlow, Waitsfield, Stowe, and Newport.
Acadia National Park is the New England foliage destination. Located on Mount Desert Island, Acadia spans 47,000 acres and offers spectacular views during foliage season. Drive or bike along Park Loop Road, or hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain for sweeping views of the changing leaves. But be prepared for crowds—Acadia is a top destination.
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