The changing of the seasons also brings new colors to New England, where checking out fall foliage is an autumnal rite. Plan your trip to the region’s best spots for leaf peeping with our suggestions.
New England’s original scenic road offers 63 miles of opportunities as it winds through the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. The 61st Fall Foliage Parade, which takes place in Pittsfield on Oct. 2, highlights the beginning of the area’s peak foliage season.
Stay: Hollyhock House, located in Pittsfield, offers intimate accommodations and a fireplace to curl up to at night. 1130 Barker Road, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, hollyhockbb.com
Eat: Elizabeth’s, right by Pittsfield’s train tracks, serves up Italian cuisine with a slew of personal touches, including a mushroom dish that the restaurant places on the same level as a first kiss. 264 East St., Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 413-448-8244
Drink: The intimate Thistle & Mirth in Pittsfield offers a constantly rotating tap list and a wide selection of bourbon. 44 West St., Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 413-344-4335.
This quaint town in northern Vermont offers a host of autumnal activities — including the Great Pumpkin and Ghost Festival — and brilliantly colored foliage that peaks in early October.
Stay: Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa, which is right by the historic village of Stowe. Take a trip on the Spirit of Stoweflake hot air balloon for a truly birds’-eye view of the fall foliage, or head out on the Waterbury Reservoir for a colorful boat tour. 1746 Mountain Road, Stowe, Vermont, stoweflake.com
Eat: The intimate Plate brings a touch of Californian health-chic to Stowe’s Main Street with pineapple-brined grilled chicken and vegan “crab cakes” made with hearts of palm. 91 Main St., Stowe, Vermont, platestowe.com
Drink: Beer lovers from all over America flock to The Alchemist Brewery and Visitor’s Center, which sells four-packs of the beer-cult-beloved double IPA Heady Topper. 100 Cottage Club Road, Stowe, Vermont, alchemistbeer.com
Maine Highlands, Maine
Home to the northern end of the Appalachian Trail, the mile-high Mount Kahadin and plenty of opportunities to spot moose amidst the trees, the area around Moosehead Lake offers peak foliage viewing around mid-October.
Stay: The Blair Hill Inn at Moosehead Lake, located in a 19th-century mansion, offers picturesque views of Maine’s largest lake and spa services. 351 Lily Bay Road, Greenville, Maine, blairhill.com
Eat: The homey Rod-N-Reel Cafe is full of New England charm and quality seafood. 44 Pritham Ave., Greenville, Maine, 207-695-0388
Drink: Nestled inside Maine’s largest outfitting store, the caffeination station Hard Drive Cafe has views of Moosehead Lake and lots of opportunities to get locals’ opinions on happenings in the area. 5 Lily Bay Road, Greenville, Maine, maineoutfitter.com/store/harddrive.html
Lakes Region, New Hampshire
Located in the southeastern corner of the Granite State, this bucolic area’s many lakes offer lots of opportunities for reflection. Foliage peaks in mid-October.
Stay: Located right on Lake Winnipesaukee, Ames Farm Inn offers shorefront cabins with gorgeous views and “barn nights” where travelers can mingle. 2800 Lake Shore Road, Gilford, New Hampshire, amesfarminn.com
Eat: Local Eatery’s commitment to locally sourced food is evident in the Laconia restaurant’s constantly shifting menu, which capitalizes on what’s growing around New England. 21 Veterans Square, Laconia, New Hampshire, laconialocaleatery.com
Drink: Order a NH Maple Milkshake — made with homegrown syrup — at the Laconia piano bar Tavern 27. 2075 Parade Road, Laconia, New Hampshire, tavern27.com