Plan Ahead to See Fall Foliage in New England

7-Step Guide to Trip Planning in New England in the Fall

Fall foliage in New England can be one of the world's most beautiful sights. Advance planning, especially if you are traveling from a distance, is crucial. Important decisions include deciding where to go and when to go as well as which activities to choose and how you will get around.

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    New England Fall Trip
    Fall is a glorious time of year for a trip to New England. © 2013 Kim Knox Beckius

    New England may appear small on a map, but this six-state region in the Northeast U.S. is diverse and infinitely fascinating. Upstate New York may not officially be in New England, but the fall foliage can still be breathtaking. Familiarize yourself with places in New England that you might want to visit, and then you can best coordinate a day for touring the scenic roads while there.

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    Step 2: Decide on When to Go

    New England Best Time for Fall Foliage
    When will you see the most vibrant fall foliage in New England? Here's expert advice for timing your trip. © Kim Knox Beckius

    The top question for everyone planning a fall foliage trip is, "When should I visit New England in order to see fall leaves at their peak?" Many factors, like temperatures and rainfall, can affect peak foliage, so it is difficult to precisely predict the dates. Some best bets include: 

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    Step 3: Pick One of New England's Best Fall Destinations

    New England Fall Foliage Where To Go
    Confused about where to go to see New England fall foliage? Here's help with choosing a fall home base or day trip destination. © 2009 Kim Knox Beckius

    The question of "Where to go?" is just as important as "When to go?" Some popular New England destinations for people who want to experience the changing of the leaves are Litchfield, Connecticut; Salem, Massachusetts; and Bethel, Maine.

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    Step 4: Select Your Mode of Transportation

    New England Country Lane in the Fall
    Driving country lanes is a highlight of visiting New England in the fall. © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

    It is time to get down to the travel logistics. How will you get here? And how will you get around? You can fly into Boston or Hartford, Connecticut. From there, you will need to rent a car to do your backroad scenic touring. Or, if New England is within driving distance from you, get a map and plan a drive through one of the mountain drives in New England.

    For those without a car, there are tour buses and even a llama ride from Boston that you can take to get a view of the changing leaves.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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    Step 5: Grab Some Mobile Apps and a Scarf

    Prepare for Fall Car Trips
    Trips always go better when you plan ahead. Here are a few more things to think about before you hit the road in the Northeast this fall. © 2012 Kim Knox Beckius

    To augment your fall foliage experience you can load your phone with applications that are fall-themed, listen to some seasonal tunes, and pack the right clothing, like a flannel shirt or a cardigan and a scarf, to get you in the spirit of the season. 

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    Step 6: Experience the Regional Traditions

    Fall Leaf Bouquet Make the Most of Fall Days
    Don't forget to stop and appreciate all of the special activities and traditions that accompany the autumn season in New England. © 2014 Kim Knox Beckius

    While in New England take advantage of the region's cherished fall traditions and activities, like apple or pumpkin picking, getting lost in a corn maze or taking a hayride. If this is your first time experiencing fall foliage in New England, make sure you do not miss out on these pinnacle experiences.

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    Step 7: Share Fall Foliage Memories

    Farmington River Fall Foliage
    Did you capture spectacular images of New England fall foliage? I'll tell you how to share them with other autumn lovers. © 2015 Kim Knox Beckius

    Once your visit is through, you should preserve and share your travel memories. Bring back the spirit of your autumn visit to New England home with you.