18 New England Fall Foliage Vacations Nature Lovers Won't Want to Miss

From Maine to Massachusetts, here's where to see the leaves! 🍁 πŸ‚

places to see fall foliage
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New England is known throughout the world for its spectacular fall foliage — a riot of yellows, oranges, and reds on forested hills and mountains that look like something dreamed up by Joy of Painting's Bob Ross. If you plan on leaf peeping this autumn, here are some standout fall foliage regions in each New England state. Note: Typically, fall foliage season in New England kicks off in mid-September and peaks in mid-October.

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Manchester, Vermont - fall foliage
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Manchester β€” Vermont

You'll find some of New England's most spectacular fall foliage in Manchester in the heart of the Green Mountains. The area is rife with colonial-era buildings, white steepled churches, and historic inns. Drive alone Route 7A, part of the Shires of Vermont Byway, where you'll pass majestic maples and oaks with vivid orange, red, and yellow leaves. Back in town, dine on comfort foods like chicken pot pie at Ye Olde Tavern before heading back to your room at the Kimpton Taconic Hotel, a stylish boutique property.

More: Take a Road Trip to Visit These 12 Amazing Places in the US

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Berkshires, MA - fall foliage
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The Berkshires β€” Massachusetts

This bucolic region in western Massachusetts is a prime spot for leaf-peepers. As you drive along Route 7, stopping into the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge or the antique stores in Great Barrington, you can't help but take in the gorgeous autumnal colors. But if you really want to immerse yourself in eye-popping foliage, go hiking or biking in Mount Greylock State Reservation. Stay at the stylish Briarcliff Motel, and don't miss a wood-fired pizza at Baba Louie's — it's worth the wait.

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White Mountains β€” New Hampshire

If you crave adventure with your fall foliage panoramas, make a beeline to the Granite State's White Mountains. There are scenic hiking and biking trails around 6,288-foot Mount Washington, the Northeast's highest peak. You can even take a historic cog railway to the summit, where you'll be treated to a landscape painted in hues of mustard yellows and and ruby reds. There is also the 34-mile Kancamagus Highway, one of the country's top scenic drives. For a classic New England hotel experience, book a room at the Omni Mount Washington Resort, a red-roofed grande dame built in 1902.

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Mount Desert Island — Maine 
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Mount Desert Island β€” Maine

Once the summer home of the Rockefellers and the Astors, this "downeast" island is still a sophisticated New England getaway. Much of the island is dominated by the 47,000-acre Acadia National Park, which sees an explosion of color during fall. Drive the Loop Road, or cycle along one of the carriage roads — hikers can climb to the top of Acadia's 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain. Stay at Bar Harbor Inn on Frenchman Bay and and dine on Maine lobster tail in its waterfront Reading Room restaurant.

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Litchfield County — Connecticut  
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Litchfield County β€” Connecticut

Litchfield County, in northwestern Connecticut, is home to postcard-perfect towns like Kent, lined with art galleries, bookstores, and a much-photographed covered bridge. After checking into the Inn at Kent Falls, spend the afternoon canoeing on the Housatonic River, hiking in Kent Falls State Park, or taking a scenic drive around Lake Waramaug, surrounded by rolling hills that fairly glow with autumnal color. After a day of activity, settle into a farm-to-table dinner at Arethusa al Tavolo in nearby Bantam.

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Blackstone River Valley — Rhode Island  
Blackstone River Valley β€” Rhode Island

The Blackstone River Valley, less than an hour's drive from Providence, was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in America. Nowadays, the surrounding countryside attracts nature lovers — especially during leaf season. Pedal along the maple-tree-lined Blackstone Bikeway, which passes through mill villages like Ashton and Manville, or take in the riot of autumnal color from a Blackstone River scenic cruise. Back in Providence, dine in Little Italy, then spend the overnight at the Providence Biltmore.

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Stowe — Vermont 
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Stowe β€” Vermont

Though known as a ski resort, Stowe has plenty to do in the fall. Base yourself at the upscale Stowe Mountain Lodge, and spend your days hiking around Mount Mansfield, the state's tallest peak, and taking scenic drives (a popular one is State Route 108, a 20-mile stretch from Stowe to Jeffersonville). In town, stock up on cheddar cheese and maple syrup at Stowe Mercantile, and have a farm-t0-table meal in a restored farmhouse at Michael's on the Hill.

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Martha's Vineyard — Massachusetts 
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Martha's Vineyard β€” Massachusetts

While Martha's Vineyard, the postcard-perfect island off the coast of Cape Cod, is primarily a summer getaway, it has a gorgeous palette of fall colors as well (plus, you won't have to deal with crowds). From Oak Bluffs, take State Road to the Aquinnah Cliffs, passing rich foliage along the way. Warm up with clam chowder and a lobster roll at Newes From America, the cozy, colonial-style pub at the charming 18th-century Kelley House in the heart of Edgartown, just steps from the harbor and Main Street shops.

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Hanover β€” New Hampshire

Take a drive along the Connecticut River on Route 5 to see the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge, one of the longest and prettiest covered bridges in the country. The home of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, a National Historic Site, is also nearby. Hanover is home to Dartmouth College, so take a tour of the campus, which is especially idyllic in fall. Stay at the Dartmouth-owned Hanover Inn, a boutique hotel with the popular Pine restaurant.

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Portland — Maine 
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Portland β€” Maine

There's plenty to do in Maine's largest city once the leaves turn. After checking into The Press Hotel, leaf-peepers can lace-up their boots for a lakeside hike in nearby Sebago Lake State Park, near the foothills of the White Mountains. Back in Portland, check out the I.M. Pei-designed Portland Museum of Art, with a collection that includes works from iconic American artists like Winslow Homer and Frederic Edwin Church. Portland is also a top foodie city — refuel at culinary hotspots like Eventide Oyster Co. and Duckfat.

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Mystic — Connecticut 
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Mystic β€” Connecticut

This coastal Connecticut town is home to Mystic Seaport, and fall is an ideal time to stroll the recreated 19th-century seafaring village, where you can watch coopers and woodcarvers at work. The Seaport's Chowder Days Festival takes place Oct. 6-8, and nearby are apple- and pumpkin-picking farms. Base yourself at the Spicer Mansion, an elegant inn, dine on seafood at Oyster Club, and have a slice at Mystic Pizza, the pizzeria that inspired the movie of the same name.

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Newport — Rhode Island 
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Newport β€” Rhode Island

Fall is an ideal time for a stroll along Cliff Walk, the scenic coastal road that passes Gilded Age mansions, and to take in the riot of fall colors in Fort Adams State Park. Stay at Gurney's Newport, a luxury resort on its own island in Narragansett Bay, which has Scarpetta restaurant and a glamorous water-facing deck with fire pits for drinks. The nearby White Horse Tavern, in a barn-red building that dates back to 1673, is one of Newport's classic dining experiences.

More: These Are the Best Things to Do in Newport

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new england fall foliage getaways
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Woodstock β€” Vermont

Woodstock is a quintessential New England village, complete with a general store, a covered bridge, and a town green, all of which look extra charming during Vermont's legendary fall foliage season. The best place to base yourself is the colonial-style Woodstock Inn & Resort, one of the country's top inns. Spend your days fly-fishing on local streams and hiking through Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Historical Park. Back at the inn, indulge in a spa treatment and a farm-to-table meal at the elegant The Red Rooster restaurant.

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new england fall foliage getaways
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Bethel β€” Maine

Located in western Maine, the historic town of Bethel is one of New England's top fall foliage getaways. The hills of the area's ski resorts are blanketed with Insta-worthy colors in fall, and they're idyllic spots for hiking and biking. Plus, Grafton Notch State Park is nearby, as is the New Hampshire border, so you can add scenic drives into the White Mountains to your itinerary. Stay in The Bethel Inn Resort, a classic inn in the heart of town, and sample local brews like Sunday River Viper IPA in the inn's Millbrook Tavern.

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new england fall foliage getaways
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Chatham β€” Massachusetts

Though mainly known as a summer destination, Chatham on Cape Cod has plenty to offer in autumn. In addition to fall foliage along the 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail, which goes through Nickerson State Park, you'll have beaches practically all to yourself — Chatham Lighthouse Beach is perfect for scenic strolls. Plus, one of the Cape's most exclusive hotels, the Chatham Bars Inn, is located here. After a day of immersing yourself in nature, treat yourself to a wagyu steak and lobster dinner meal in the fancy Stars restaurant.

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new england fall foliage getaways
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Simsbury β€” Connecticut

The town of Simsbury is a great base for exploring nearby Talcott Mountain State Park, which offers glorious fall foliage vistas during peak season. On the mountain's summit, you'll be treated to 360-degree views of the New England countryside, while in town, you can bike along the Farmington River Trail and snap photos of the Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge. Millwright's, overlooking a waterfall, is one of the area's top restaurants, and the Simsbury 1820 House is a popular bed and breakfast.

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new england fall foliage getaways
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Route 110 β€” Rhode Island

Route 110 (also known as Ministerial Road) in southern Rhode Island starts at West Kingston (minutes from the University of Rhode Island) and ends at Perryville. The 6-mile scenic route takes you along a rolling landscape that's particularly striking in fall, and it includes brooks, wetlands, and Larkin Pond. Keep an eye out for old stone walls, evidence of when the area was primarily farmland. Spend the night in The Break, a vintage-inspired boutique hotel in Narragansett with 16 coastal-chic rooms and a rooftop bar.

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new england fall foliage getaways
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Portsmouth β€”Β New Hampshire

This coastal gem, lined with red-brick buildings, is one of New England's loveliest towns, and it's perfect for walking, especially in the fall. Prescott Park is where you'll see the leave changing, and you can also take coastal drives along Route 1A, which has numerous state parks with gorgeous beaches. You can also visit Strawberry Banke, a living history museum, dine in hotspots like Black Trumpet and The Franklin, and overnight in the Hotel Portsmouth.

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