After the summer’s sweltering heat, the New England autumn could hardly be more welcome. From scenic trips to historic spots, there are plenty of destinations and activities throughout the region that are at their most enjoyable during this colorful time of year. Whether you’re looking for a quick one-day diversion or a longer family adventure, there are plenty of options for increasing your fall fun.
Few things feel more like fall than the foliage for which parts of New England are famous, and taking in the beauty of the turning leaves can be as robust or as relaxing a time as you want. Use a handy “foliage condition” calendar and check out any of the great Fall Foliage Driving Routes
(www.massvacation.com/fallfoliage/#/driving-routes)in Massachusetts. You can spend a few hours meandering on state highways and country roads, enjoying the scenery without ever leaving the car, or make lots of stops, enjoy fall treats and take lots of pictures. The Minuteman Trail –
with stops like the National Heritage Museum
(www.monh.org), Minute Man National Historic Park
(www.nps.gov/mima/index.htm) and the Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary
(www.massaudubon.org/Nature_Connection/Sanctuaries/Drumlin_Farm/index.php) – is a favorite for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike.
New Hampshire is well known for the beauty of its foliage, but less well known is the brilliance of its brews. Home to many small, award-winning breweries and brew pubs, no time in the state is complete without a taste of some local ale. Why not spend a night or three at the Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery (www.woodstockinnnh.com) where your meal can be paired with a brew concocted just next door and your lodgings are as welcoming as your lager? Or perhaps a freshly farmed rib-rack at the Moat Mountain Smokehouse & Brewing Co. (www.moatmountain.com) is more your style where the only thing rivaling the spread is the view of Mount Washington during an autumn sunset. For slightly lighter fare and some hands-on education to boot, an afternoon at the McClary Hill Farm (www.mcclaryhillfarm.com) will leave you with a new appreciation for the harvest season and its bounty.
It isn’t just on land that New England offers autumnal amusements, however. Rhode Island Bay Cruises (www.rhodeislandbaycruises.com) offers tours of Narragansett Bay through the month of October, and though the air is getting chillier this time of year, its clear crispness is ideal for a few hours of sightseeing. Check out 10 area lighthouses and other points of interest from the comfort of a large catamaran with a full service bar and galley, and leave your worries on land for a while. Or, plan a trip of your own choosing with a chartered sailboat from Newport’s Bareboat Sailing (www.bareboatsailing.com), complete with skipper and crew (if desired); spend a few days out on the bay, or take a trip along the rugged Rhode Island coast and put in where whim and wind take you. Nothing ends a cool day on the water like curling up with a steaming mug of cider, so a stop by Sweet Berry Farm (www.sweetberryfarmri.com) – where you can pick your own apples and purchase some goodies of the season – might be in order.
The winter chill will be here soon. Get going while the going’s good, then, and enjoy some of the gifts that autumn has to offer in New England. It’ll be another year before they’re back again.