New England is certainly one of the most beautiful locations to explore any time of the year, but during the fall season, it comes to life in ways that are just indescribable. Nothing can quite prepare you for the awe of sweeping valleys in bright golden and reddish hues, as the crisp morning air circulates through your lungs. Or driving through curving tunnels of vibrant, ancient forests as you stop in some of the quaintest and most charming cities and towns in the country.
There are so many options for you to enjoy a vacation in New England during the fall, from enjoying a city break in one of the founding cities to going all out and renting a vehicle so that you can have an epic fall-themed road trip. Be inspired with these top New England fall vacations, and make this fall season something to remember.
The Best Routes to Take in New England
Renting a car from us and exploring New England on the roads is the best way to see the sheer beauty and majesty of the area first hand. With so many great routes and roads to take, however, it can be a bit daunting to decide which ones to take. To help inspire you, our favorites include:
- Kancamagus Highway
- Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway
- Route 100
- Park Loop in Acadia National Park
- Shore of Dreams
- Old King’s Highway
Don’t try to race through these roads, though. There will be plenty of places to stop, so enjoy the scenery, pack up hot drinks and a picnic, and soak in the unique sights and colors of fall that only New England offers.
Top Fall Events in New England
Fall New England vacations won’t be complete without themed events, and there are so many to choose from.
The Great Vermont Corn Maze
This giant corn maze is something to remember. Located in Vermont, and a bit tricky to find, you’ll have a great big day of fun here.
Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm
Explore the wilderness and enjoy the beautiful scenery on horseback, and enjoy an experience that you will never forget.
Sunday River Resort
In winter, a ski resort, but in fall, you can ride up the gondola and enjoy the views of North Peak, or take a zip line adventure. There are also 20 miles of bike trails for those thrill seekers, or you can enjoy their beautiful golf course.
Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta
For pumpkin fun on Columbus Day Weekend, head to Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta. You will be treated to a pumpkin parade, pumpkin boat races, and even crane assisted pumpkin smashing!
Top Activities to do in New England
There are so many great things to do and see in New England, but to keep things short and concise, the top three are to explore the historical towns in the region, hike through the stunning forests, and to visit some of the most prestigious universities in the United States.
The Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is one of the most historically significant hiking trails in the US. It is only 2.5 miles long and starts in the center of Boston. Perfect for a leisurely walk.
Hike in the Acadia and Carolina Mountains
New England has some of the most beautiful landscapes around, especially through the Acadia and Carolina Mountains. Go for a hike to reconnect with nature and see the stunning colors of fall firsthand.
The Founding Cities
The founding cities have beautiful, quaint, and picturesque old towns that are perfect for exploring an absolute must whether you pop in during a road trip or intend to spend your entire time:
- Washington, DC
Some other great cities in New England to explore and enjoy:
- Martha’s Vineyard
The Ivy League Universities
Ivy League universities are the home of some of the brightest and most talented people in the world, but you don’t have to be a student to enjoy their beautiful campuses. The fall especially is one of the best times to visit, and with all eight Ivy Leagues in New England (and many within a few hours’ drive of each other), you can explore all of these beautiful campuses by taking a tour:
- Harvard University
- Yale University
- Dartmouth University
- Brown University
- University of Pennsylvania
- Princeton University
- Columbia University
- Cornell University
Though it is not an Ivy League, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is also in New England and a great place to visit for those who are interested in the STEM subjects.
Fun Fact: Ivy League is most likely a misnomer of IV (4) League, referring to the first four Ivy League Universities in New England, Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, and Harvard.