Fall is a magical time of year when the leaves on trees turn shades of gold, red, and orange, creating breathtaking vistas that stretch for miles. If you're looking for the best spots to capture the beauty of fall, look no further than the East Coast. From Maine to Virginia, there are endless opportunities to witness the spectacle of fall foliage.
Deciding on a New England fall road trip itinerary can be tough since most of us have limited time. Whether it’s 1 or 2 weeks, realize it’s not enough time. Our trip was two and a half weeks and some was planning how to spend the most time at Lake Champlain Chocolates Factory and the Lindt Chocolate Factory Store. Some things are more important than leaf peeping fall color. Here is a map of the New England Fall Foliage to show the current peak color.
NEW ENGLAND FALL ROAD TRIP ITINERARY
We found the best way to create an east coast fall color road trip is to not plan much. Not planning gives you the freedom to chase the fall color at its peak. It starts up north and goes south. During our fall color road trips over the past few years, we live out of the car, which gives us the flexibility to chase the color at different locations. We look for places to stay the day before we arrive somewhere. KOA is a great choice with the Camping Cabins if you have camping gear but not a tent.
The downside to not having a plan for a New England road trip is its very busy and most hotels and vacation rentals can be full. Therefore, bringing a tent and sleeping bags is a good idea. During the week, finding places to stay isn’t a problem. It’s the weekend where you will have trouble. We found ourselves going to Acadia National Park on a 3 day weekend and not a single place to stay was available. By not having a schedule, we changed our plan and we showed up on a Tuesday. The KOA had lots of Camper Cabins available.
WHERE IS THE BEST FALL COLOR ON THE EAST COAST?
I can only give insight from the locations we visited. Driving from Boston to Niagara Falls, over to Bar Harbor and all points in between, the fall color was different in every location. But, arriving at North Woodstock, New Hampshire via the Kancamagus Highway is the best color in the area. Other areas worth visiting while during an east coast fall road trip are Stowe VT, Woodstock VT, Acadia National Park ME, and everywhere in-between.
The Kancamagus Highway, also known as Route 112, is a 34.5-mile scenic byway that runs through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The highway is renowned for its stunning fall foliage, picturesque views, and natural beauty. But is it worth the trip? In this guide, we'll explore the stops on the Kancamagus Highway, the time it takes to drive through, and whether it's worth your time and effort.
What are the stops on Kancamagus Highway?
The Kancamagus Highway has several scenic stops that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests. Some of the must-visit stops include:
Sabbaday Falls: This is a popular spot for hikers and nature lovers. The falls are located just a short hike away from the parking lot and offer a refreshing break from the scenic drive.
Lower Falls: This is another popular spot for visitors. The Lower Falls offers a natural water slide, which is perfect for kids and adults alike.
Rocky Gorge: This is a stunning gorge that offers a scenic view of the Swift River. There are several picnic spots and hiking trails around the gorge.
Lincoln Woods Trail: This is a popular hiking trail that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests. The trail is perfect for families and hikers of all skill levels.
How long does it take to drive through Kancamagus Highway?
The time it takes to drive through the Kancamagus Highway depends on several factors, such as the number of stops you make and the time of year. Typically, it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to drive through the highway without any stops. However, we recommend spending at least half a day exploring the various stops and hiking trails along the way. This will give you ample time to soak in the natural beauty of the White Mountains and enjoy the scenic drive.
Is the Kancamagus Highway worth it?
Absolutely! The Kancamagus Highway is one of the most scenic drives in the United States and is worth the effort. The highway offers breathtaking views of the White Mountains, stunning fall foliage, and several natural wonders. Whether you're a nature lover, a hiker, or just looking for a scenic drive, the Kancamagus Highway is a must-visit destination. Just be sure to plan ahead and bring plenty of water, snacks, and hiking gear if you plan to explore the stops and trails along the way.
If you go at Perak fall color, drive the highway in the morning to beat the traffic.
Stowe is a quintessential New England destination that offers something for everyone. The town is surrounded by majestic mountains and lush forests, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can go hiking, skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing, depending on the season. Stowe is also home to several historic landmarks, including the Trapp Family Lodge, which was made famous by the Sound of Music. With its charming downtown, quaint shops, and excellent dining options, Stowe is a perfect destination for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure.
What is the best time of year to go to Stowe?
The best time to visit Stowe depends on your interests and preferences. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, the best time to visit is from late fall to early spring. During this time, Stowe transforms into a winter wonderland, with snow-capped mountains and a host of winter activities. Visitors can go skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or take a sleigh ride. In the spring and summer, Stowe is a paradise for hikers, bikers, and nature lovers. The town is surrounded by lush forests, wildflower meadows, and pristine lakes, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities. Fall is also a popular time to visit Stowe, as the town is renowned for its stunning fall foliage.
Why is Stowe, Vermont so popular?
Stowe Vermont is popular for several reasons. First and foremost, it's a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The town is surrounded by majestic mountains and offers a host of outdoor activities, including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, and more. Second, Stowe is a quintessential New England town that offers a glimpse into the region's rich history and culture. The town is home to several historic landmarks, charming shops, and excellent dining options. Finally, Stowe is popular among tourists for its scenic beauty. The town is surrounded by lush forests, pristine lakes, and picturesque vistas, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful getaway.
Nestled in the heart of Vermont's Green Mountains, Woodstock is a quintessential New England town that is known for its scenic beauty, charming architecture, and historic landmarks. One of the most famous landmarks in Woodstock is Sleepy Hollow Farm, which has been the subject of countless photographs, paintings, and postcards. But why is it so famous? And what other farms are worth visiting in Vermont during fall foliage season? In this article, we'll answer these "People Also Asked" questions and take you on a virtual tour of Sleepy Hollow Farm.
Why is Sleepy Hollow Farm famous?
Sleepy Hollow Farm is famous for its stunning natural beauty and picturesque location. The farm is situated on a hillside overlooking a scenic valley, surrounded by rolling hills, forests, and meadows. The farm's most famous feature is its red barn, which stands out against the greenery and the blue sky. Sleepy Hollow Farm has been the subject of countless photographs, paintings, and postcards, making it an iconic symbol of Vermont's rural charm.
What is the most photographed Vermont farm?
Sleepy Hollow Farm is one of the most photographed farms in Vermont, but it's not the only one. Another famous farm that is worth visiting is the Jenne Farm, located in Reading, Vermont. The Jenne Farm is a classic Vermont farm with a white farmhouse, red barn, and picturesque setting. The farm has been featured in several movies, including Forrest Gump, Funny Farm, and Me, Myself & Irene. During fall foliage season, the Jenne Farm is a popular destination for photographers and nature lovers.
What is the famous fall farm in Vermont?
Vermont is renowned for its stunning fall foliage, and there are several farms that offer the perfect backdrop for this season's colors. In addition to Sleepy Hollow Farm and Jenne Farm, visitors should also consider visiting the Shelburne Farms, which is located near Lake Champlain. The Shelburne Farms is a historic estate that features a beautiful mansion, a working farm, and stunning gardens. Visitors can take a guided tour of the mansion, stroll through the gardens, and enjoy a farm-to-table meal at the restaurant.
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, MAINE
Acadia National Park in Maine is a paradise for photographers. The park boasts stunning vistas of the ocean and mountains, with plenty of hiking trails that offer spectacular views of the fall foliage. Things to do in Acadia National Park range from horseback riding, bicyling, hiking, carriage tours, and a list of other activitiesOne of the most popular spots for photography is Cadillac Mountain, which is the highest point on the east coast of the United States. The first morning, the Acadia Sunrise was perfect with the incoming tide.
South of Acadia National Park are a few famous lighthouses in Maine. The first stop is Pemaquid Lighthouse in the small town of Bristol. Built in 1827, the towers original Fresnel lens is still in use. John Quincy Adams commissioned this lighthouse in 1827. The Fishermen's Museum is on the first floor of the keeper's house and the second floor is an apartment available for rent.
The next lighthouse and the most famous is Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth Maine. First lit in 1791, it had 16 whale oil lamps and measured 72 feet tall. Photographing sunset and sunrise at Portland Head are nearly impossible. The moment the sun drops behind the horizon, the rangers come around and make everyone leave. The entire park is surrounded by a large metal fence. The police open the gate "around" sunrise so you will miss the color if it happens. It's still a great place to visit and enjoy the scenery.
The next lighthouse on our trip was the Nubble Lighthouse located in the town of York. The official name is Cape Neddick Lightstation but since it's located on a "Nub" of Land, Nubble became the unofficial name. During low tide, you can walk to the island but I don't know if you're allowed to. The town of York is worth a visit since it's real close to Portsmouth but more quaint. A perfect town for some down time and the Lindt Chocolate Factory store is only 30 minutes away.
The list of locations to visit during a New England fall color road trip is endless. While endless, everything looks the same so how many locations do you need to visit? Look for areas that offer more than just leaf peeping the same colors. Our trip took us to Niagara Falls, the Finger Lakes, Lake Champlain, and a host of other areas. We were on the road for over 2 weeks. Staring at fall color would be boring so we added other adventures to the schedule. Finding waterfalls and lakes, walking around Cornell University to see the architecture was a perfect way to break up the trip. If you’re going to the east coast for a fall color trip, what are the locations you plan on visiting?