New England is the region comprises of six states — Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. We spent 3 days road tripping to Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts which are famous for changing autumn foliage and forest mountain range.
My eyes were wet when I saw the mountains, forests and roads were just covered in shades of yellow, orange, red and pink colors; everything seemed unreal, dreamy and beyond my imagination. For the first time I felt, this place is worth the hype. If you’d ask me about New England, I’d just say, it’s the ‘Autumn Wonderland’.
In this blog, I will share our 3 days trip experience and some travel tips along the way.
First and most important tip, if you are not living in New England or nearby area, you can’t make any ad-hoc plans. Generally, in Vermont and New Hampshire, peak foliage occurs in late September or Early October. This year, it occurred in second week of October. When you plan this trip, decide the dates based on current year’s forecast which you can find on AccuWeather or these state’s official tourism websites. The autumn season is the popular for New England Travelers, hence if you plan well ahead of time, you can save money on air tickets, accommodation and rental car as well as you will get better options for your stay.
Day 0: Austin, TX — Boston, MA
My husband and I flew from Austin to Boston, MA on Friday late evening and stayed in a hotel at Woburn, MA for a night and started our road trip journey next day.
DAY 1: Boston, MA — Burlington, VT
Usually, you can take state highways to go to Burlington, instead we took longer yet most scenic route 2 till North Adams and then route 7 to reach the destination. The route 2 goes from east to west Massachusetts with so many famous historic sites and spectacular natural landscapes along the way. This route has Mohawk trail between Greenfield, MA and North Adams, MA where you can stop at many scenic viewpoints, gift shops and roadside attractions. We stopped at following spots on Route 2:
From North Adams, we took route 7 that goes through one of the beautiful Vermont towns called Manchester which is surrounded by Green Mountains. If you have time, you can take detour to Green Mountain National Forest and another beautiful town — Killington.
After almost 10 hours of drive and sightseeing, we reached Burlington where we stayed for next 2 days. Burlington is most populous city of Vermont and home to more than 200 years old University of Vermont. We spent a night in this college town sightseeing at Pedestrian Mall, Church St and City Hall Park.
DAY 2: Burlington, VT — Mt. Washington, NH — Burlington, VT
Our first stop was Vermont’s Capital city Montpelier which is just 40 minutes from Burlington.
Fun fact — Montpelier is the smallest state capital of United States.
We visited Greek revival structured Vermont state house, surrounded by beautiful trees and featuring a golden dome. We took lots of photographs of other iconic buildings and wandered on this historic street.
Later, we stopped at Marshfield Dam Reservoir at Marshfield, VT (Molly’s Falls Pond State Park).
Basin Cascade Trailhead: You can just relax and enjoy several waterfalls on this easy 2 miles hiking trail.
Cannon Mountain Tramway: One of the famous spots which requires pre-reservation for the tramway to go to Cannon Mountain. You can enjoy the spectacular view of mountains surrounded by fall foliage from the top.
Echo Lake Beach: This is the small lake close to tramway reflects the surrounding mountains and paranormal view of fall colors.
Our last stop for the day was Mt Washington, NH. It is the highest peak of North-Eastern US at 6288 ft. You can either drive to Auto road by yourself or take a tour or take a Cog Railway from base to the summit. We chose to drive by ourselves and oh my! it was one hell of an adventure.
Every turn of the road was scary, but satisfying, we drove into the clouds, saw Mountains covered in cloud beds and panoramic views of mountains, forests and fall foliage!
We spent lot of time up above the clouds, enjoyed awe-inspiring views and took lots of photos & videos. While coming down to base, we stopped couple of times to take photos of vibrant fall colors.
We then drove 3 hours from Mt. Washington to back to our Hotel. On the way, we had dinner at local restaurant — Mr. Pizza Sports & Spirits at Gorham, NH.
DAY 3: Stowe, VT — Boston, MA
We wanted our Third day to be little bit relaxing, but, we knew our trip was incomplete without visiting Stowe. Stowe is a town in Vermont, known as fall’s color capital because the whole town, the hills, the mountains get covered with vibrant fall colors. You can only see shades of red and yellow and orange and pink colors as far as your eyes go! We first stopped at one of the local diners to have brunch before heading to Stowe Mountain Resort. We then took beautiful Gondola ride to Vermont’s highest mountain — Mt. Mansfield. We just sat there and relaxed and enjoyed the spectacular view of fall foliage having hot cup of coffee and waffle.
After coming back to base, we stopped at Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream shop at Waterbury and headed back to Boston to take a flight to Austin.
I would like to share some tips based on our overall experience:
1. I would recommend flying to Burlington directly instead of Boston, so that you will save many hours of driving. Boston traffic is unpredictable, so you will have to leave couple of hours early from your location to reach the airport.
2. Usually people cover both Vermont and New Hampshire states together, so another tip would be to stay between both states, so that travelling could be shorter to go to any destination.
3. Instead of staying in Hotel like we stayed, you should look for Cabins, resorts, Airbnb/Vrbo houses that are surrounded by forest and mountains. The towns like Manchester or Stowe or other little towns are really worth staying.
4. Last but not least tip — Plan ahead, book your Gondola ride, train ride, and other activities ahead of time, so that you don’t miss anything. Check weather and pack your clothes accordingly.
Google Trip Planner to easy access of the places we visited:
At the end, I would just say even though we could not visit many other beautiful places, but the trip overall was unforgettable, colorful, dreamy and adventurous. I would highly recommend New England to any travel enthusiastic to experience one of the best fall foliage in the country. Hope this article will be helpful to plan your next trip!