Fall Foliage in New England road trip itinerary
One of the most magnificent places to visit in the United States during the fall is the New England area. This region, located in the country's northeastern corner, has unforgettable fall foliage (leaves). Drive through this area, and you'll see endless trees with red, orange, and yellow leaves. It's truly breathtaking.
I had the privilege of living in New England for a year and seeing this phenomenon first hand. I'm originally from California, where fall isn't as distinct. Experiencing autumn in New England was extraordinary for me. The sights, the smells, and the crisp cool air during this season were all things that I'll never forget. I'm sure that this destination will be just as memorable for you too!
There are six states in New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Each of these states has unique points of interest, culture, and landscapes.
In all of these places, you can drive through and visit some remarkable locations. Here are destinations that you should experience the fall foliage in New England:
Boston, MA, is a great place to start your New England fall road trip because it has the region's largest airport and robust rental car options. Not only is it practical, but it is a stunning city. There are many parks and green spaces in Boston that have fantastic fall foliage. You can enjoy exploring its countless historical landmarks and walking down its streets with vibrant colors all around. Some particularly great places to enjoy fall in Boston are Boston Commons (its version of Central Park) and the waterfront.
Boston CommonBoston Common, Boylston Street, Boston, MA, USA
Acorn StreetAcorn Street, Boston, MA, USA
Acadia National Park
Drive up the coast (which is a beautiful way to see the fall colors), and you'll find yourself at Acadia National Park in Maine. This coastal park has vibrant leaves, stunning coastlines, and dramatic cliffs. It is one of the first places the sun rises in the continental United States. You won't want to miss the breathtaking mix of fall foliage and the sun rising over the water. Other than seeing the leaves, you can drive, hike, and bike through the park. Activities that are popular here are birdwatching, tide pooling, swimming, and boating.
Acadia National Park PondAcadia National Park Pond, Bar Harbor, ME, USA
White Mountain National Forest
If you're a mountain-lover like I am, you'll enjoy leaf-peeping (the action of seeing the fall leaves) at White Mountain National Forest. This vast forest extends from western Maine to eastern New Hampshire. There are all types of trees here, including aspens, cherries, maples, and birches. During the fall, their leaves turn unbelievably vibrant colors. Some of the higher elevation spots on the mountains have snow, contrasting the brightly colored leaves. This contrast of colors and landscapes makes this destination a unique place to see during autumn.
White Mountain National ForestWhite Mountain National Forest, White Mountain Drive, Campton, NH, USA
Imagine if the Grand Canyon had fall foliage. Well, you don't have to fantasize about it. The Quechee Gorge is a spectacular place where vibrantly colored trees line a deep canyon. It is one of Vermont's most remarkable natural wonders (that is saying something because Vermont is a beautiful state). This mile-long chasm is a fantastic place to hike, walk, and appreciate the views. You can even have a scenic picnic right over the falls. Nearby are shopping, trails, and restaurants you can also enjoy while in town.
Quechee Gorge Visitor CenterQuechee Gorge Visitor Center, Woodstock Road, Quechee, VT, USA
Talcott Mountain State Park
When it comes to seeing stunning colors and natural areas, state parks are the way to go. The Talcott Mountain State Park is not only a beautiful natural destination. It also has an observation tower where you can see unparalleled views of the fall foliage. The relatively easy hiking trail is about 1.25 miles long and takes about 40 minutes to complete. On a clear day, you can see multiple states from the 165-foot tower. It's an excellent spot for hiking and leaf-peeping!
Talcott Mountain State ParkTalcott Mountain State Park, Summit Ridge Drive, Simsbury, CT, USA
One of the most astonishing regions to visit in western Massachusetts during the fall is the Berkshires. This expansive area is a hiker's haven and an outdoor lover's paradise. There is plenty to see and do in the Berkshires. You can go on canoe rides, zip-lining, and kayak tours. These are great ways to enjoy the region's natural beauty. One of my favorite things about the Berkshires is their quintessential inns that look stunning against the fall foliage. Make sure you grab some apple cider donuts, which are New England fall classics!
The BerkshiresThe Berkshires, Sandisfield, MA, USA
Newport Cliff Walk
For something a little different, visit Rhode Island and go on the Newport Cliff Walk. There are beautiful mansions along this recreational trail that runs 3.5 miles. Along the way, there are some impressive sights. You'll see architecture from Newport's gilded age, birds, wildflowers, and beautiful coastal views. Most of the walk is very easy, and the last third of the walk is over a rough and rocky shoreline. This spectacular trail is one of the most intriguing spots in New England to see the fall foliage because it combines historical mansions with outstanding scenery.