Are you a leaf peeper?
Updated: Jul 14, 2020
USA Travel Destinations
New England Escapes
Leaf Peeper - noun informal
a person who visits particular areas, especially in New England, to view the autumn foliage
I have to admit- I'm a leaf peeper! Every year, its customary to go for a ride to see an autumn landscape while taking photos to try to capture the vivid colors and textures. There is no better place for leaf peeping than New England. It is well known for its spectacular autumn foliage which starts in the northern New England states of Maine and New Hampshire typically in late September and moves down to the southern New England states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, around late October. You may think its crazy to talk about autumn now but it is a trip that needs to be planned to see the leaves at their peak.
Besides leaf peeping, there is something for everyone in New England's colonial towns, coastal hamlets, quiet beaches and mountains any time of the year. My favorites places in New England that I have visited are Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Activities abound with biking, hiking, sailing, cycling, fishing, whale watching, seafood and farm to table dining, craft beer and cider tasting, art appreciation and shopping, especially for antiques.
You can extend your trip to nearby places like the Hudson Valley, the Adirondacks, Quebec or even New Brunswick & Nova Scotia.
Below you will find five trip ideas for a late summer or autumn vacation. Let's plan your getaway soon!
Boston: The Gateway to New England
Key Neighborhoods: Downtown, Beacon Hill, Cambridge, Back Bay, and the North End
Top Experiences: Fenway Insider, Special access to Freedom Trail; Exclusive Harvard access of private rooms & museums, Freedom Trail VIP tour, Kennedy Family History, Classical Music, Lexington & Concord Tour
Suggested Hotels: Mandarin Oriental Boston, XV Beacon Hotel
Gateway for touring New England
Lots of family friendly options
Rhode Island & Massachusetts Coastal Towns
Key Destinations: Watch Hill, Newport, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket
Top Experiences: Sailing, Historical Mansion Tours, Antique Yachts, Cycling, Sand dunes as well as Lobstering and Fishing charters
Suggested Hotels: Ocean House, Vanderbilt Auberge, Chatham Bars, and White Elephant
Great for families in late summer and couples and friends in autumn
Seaplanes and ferries are alternatives to driving
Can pair with the Hamptons (NY) via ferry
Connecticut and Western Massachusetts
Key Destinations: Litchfield County, The Berkshires, Springfield & Amherst
Top Experiences: Artisan Visits, Cooking Classes,VIP Museum Tours, Fly Fishing
Suggested Hotels: Wheatleigh, Winvian, Auberge Mayflower
Leaf peeping in late October
Great destination for country driving and rural exploration
Connecticut has close proximity to Hudson Valley
Popular with arts and antiques enthusiasts
Vermont and New Hampshire
Key Destinations: White Mountains, Stowe, Barnard, Woodstock
Top Experiences: Beer/Cider/Farm Visits, Hiking & Kayaking, Cooking Classes, Ben & Jerry's
Suggested Hotels: Twin Farms, Woodstock Inn, Spruce Peak, Pitcher Inn
Vermont is great for foodies and romance and the White Mountains provides excellent access to nature
If planning a leaf peeping trip be flexible with routing your driving to achieve best options.
Key Destinations: Ogunquit, the Kennebunks, Portland, Camden, Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park
Top Experiences: Craft beer, lighthouse biking, Acadia flightseeing, private lobstering cruise & dinner, kayaking, and the Portland Art Experience
Suggested Hotels: Cliff House, Camden Harbour Inn, White Barn Inn, and Harborside Hotel
Foliage season peaks in late September to mid-October
Not recommended in late fall as vendors close down
South Maine is two hours drive from Boston