I figured the best way to kick off the first day of fall would be with lots of foliage. While the fall season doesn’t last long (enough), it is spectacular and there are so many amazing places to see fall foliage in New England. Aside from the stunning show nature puts on, there’s just something in the air in New England in the fall. It’s hard to describe but it’s a magical experience. Every year we make a trip up north at least once during the season, and there are some places that really just take your breath away. If you’re thinking about coming to New England in the fall, trust me when I say, it’s worth it. Here are some of my favorite places to see fall foliage in New England, I promise you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Craig and I are in love with Woodstock. It’s beautiful, it’s charming, it’s quaint, and it’s only 3.5 hours from Newport. We love it so much we’ve been actively looking for a second home/fixer upper in or around the area. From winding country roads to beautiful old farmhouses and charming country stores, Woodstock is quintessential New England. They also have a great food scene and plenty of activities. Peak foliage varies depending on the weather but typically starts around early October.
while you’re there
A stop into Farmhouse Pottery is a must. There’s something for everyone at FH Gillingham & Sons. Check out Simon Pearce and see glass blowing in action, they also have a restaurant. Go for a hike at Mt. Tom, you can’t beat the view. Grab a sandwich at Woodstock Farmer’s Market they are so good! We had the best meal ever at Mangalitsa. For casual farm to table check out Worthy Kitchen. See my Woodstock Travel Guide here.
Craig and I went to Camden a few years ago in early October and it did not disappoint. The charming seaside town is just under 2 hours from Portland. It was surprisingly quiet during our visit, I think it’s more a summer destination, so it was even more special because we felt like we had it to ourselves. Peak foliage typically starts around early October.
while you’re there
Hike around Camden Hills State Park or you can drive right up to the top for views of Camden harbor. Grab breakfast at Boynton McKay and if you can get a reservation or eat early, Long Grain is the most amazing Thai fusion restaurant for dinner.
North Conway, New Hampshire
There’s nothing quite like a drive down the Kancamangus during peak foliage in New Hampshire. It is a sight that will take your breath away. North Conway is a charming New Hampshire town in Mount Washington Valley. If you’re looking for a laid back, low key vibe, New Hampshire is the spot. There’s tons of hiking and scenic destinations around North Conway and the White Mountains.
While you’re there
Take the scenic drive on Highway 112 from North Conway to Lincoln. For an easy but stunning walk head to Echo Lake State Park. If you’re looking for more of a hike check out Cathedral Ledge (this is also a popular rock climbing spot, my Dad and brothers have done it a few times). There’s incredible views from the top of North Conway and the White Mountains. Grab breakfast at Polly’s Pancake Parlor (this is actually in Sugar Hill). If you worked up an appetite hiking, check out Barley & Salt. Peak foliage is typically early-mid October.
You didn’t think I’d leave out my hometown did you? Our foliage season in Newport is a bit later than other destinations up north, usually mid-late October and into November, but it’s definitely beautiful. One of my favorite things about fall here is it’s usually still mild weather, so you get perfect temps and stunning landscapes.
while you’re here
Walk around the Point neighborhood to see charming colonials decorated for fall. Stunning foliage is on display all around the island, walk down Bellevue Ave or take a cruise along Ocean Drive. Pick your own at Sweet Berry Farm and Rocky Brook Orchard. An annual tradition, the Harvest Fair has lots of local food vendors and is very kid friendly. Trinity Church in town has an annual pumpkin patch, check their website for dates. Nitro has some yummy seasonal coffee drinks and bites. For restaurant recommendations check out my Newport Guide.