… in and around New England
The daylight hours have become noticeably shorter and cooler temperatures are rolling in, gently nudging the summer’s events into our not-so-distant memories. Fall is upon us. Apple cider, pumpkin-patch themed hay rides, and vivid shades of the turning foliage beckon our attention. It’s that time of year to grab a comfy, wool sweater and set off on leaf peeping road trips. The following routes in and around New England offer amazing panoramic views and access to some of the best outdoor activities this autumn.
Great Lakes Seaway Trail | New York & Pennsylvania
Hit the Great Lakes Seaway Trail this fall, which is situated in upstate New York and Pennsylvania. The National Scenic Byway boasts 518 miles of breathtaking vistas alongside the Saint Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, the Niagara River, and Lake Erie. Historic lighthouses, stunning castles, and pretty vineyards warmly welcome travelers from the Thousand Islands/St. Lawrence River leg of this roadway. Cross the Saint Lawrence River into Ontario via the five spans (27 miles total) that make up the Thousand Islands Bridge. The Buffalo/Niagara portion of roadway demands a detour to soak up views of Niagara Falls’ raging white waters. Choose a course amongst five distinct regions for a lovely weekend getaway, or see them all, by making a week’s vacation of the extensive trek.
Route 100 | Vermont
Discover the quaint New England towns, historic attractions, and numerous national parks that fringe Vermont’s Route 100. This stretch of scenic road begins in Wilmington and runs about 200 miles north to Newport and the Canadian border. Wind your way through the Green Mountains, and stretch your legs in idyllic Weston, where you will find the renowned Vermont Country Store. Continue north past Okemo State Forest and into the Lakes Region. The route then progresses parallel to the Coolidge State Forest, where you can scope out views of coveted ski resorts such as Killington and Sugarbush. No trip to this lovely state would be complete without taking a tour of the Ben & Jerry’s Factory or the Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury. Next stops? Stowe Village and Mt. Mansfied, which brags Vermont’s highest peak. The journey ends in Newport and the southern shore of immense Lake Memphremagog.
Kancamangus Highway | New Hampshire
As unforgettable as its name, the Kancamangus (pronounced Kank-ah-mah-gus) Highway is a 56 mile, picturesque passage that runs through New Hampshire’s magnificent White Mountains. Although it is a relatively short span of road, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this neck of the woods. Pack a lunch and stop off at one of several picnic areas located along the way. Five miles from Conway, the outlet stores in North Conway are a bargain shopper’s delight. Not far from the Kancamangus and Conway (about 27 miles off course) is 6,288 foot high Mount Washington. Let your all-terrain rental car do the work for you and ascend this majestic mountain’s summit. There are numerous charming inns, hotels, and B & B’s scattered all throughout the White Mountains, so why not make the excursion into a romantic, overnight retreat with someone special?
Route 302 | Maine
Take the above Kancamangus Highway journey to the next level and let Route 302 in Conway, NH guide you into Maine. Nothing celebrates autumn quite like a trip to a good old fashioned fair, and a favorite Mainer pastime is to spend a day at the Fryeburg Fair feasting on fried dough, strolling down the Midway, and paying a visit to the livestock. 302 unhurriedly winds its way past dazzling glimpses of Sebago Lake, and eventually ends in the delightful city of Portland. Cruise the Casco Bay on one of several tours departing from the Old Port and once you have returned ashore, refuel your system with a delicious meal from an ample array of restaurants that are located downtown.
Route 1 | Maine
An incredible 2450 miles of continuous asphalt traces its way along the Atlantic from northern Maine and the Canadian border all the way to the balmy Florida Keys. Leisurely follow Historic Route 1 in Maine and experience the state’s unrivaled coastal attractions and terrain. From cozy, family run seafood eateries to prestigious, Michelin Star rated restaurants, indulge your taste buds with lobster fresh off the boat, the catch of the day or a cup of piping hot chowder. In Cape Elizabeth, snap a shot of North America’s most photographed lighthouse, Portland Headlight. During your trip, if a Mainer asks you whether you have visited Beans yet, they are referring to L.L. Bean‘s massive Flagship, Hunting & Fishing, Bike, Boat & Ski, Home, and Outlet stores based in downtown Freeport. Mount Desert Island’s Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor is home to rugged, cliff lined shores and a village made up of quaint New Englander homes; this destination should not be missed. Maine’s seacoast will surely capture your heart.
All of these road trips offer sightseers amazing landscapes and amusing attractions almost year-round (minus snow season). The kaleidoscope of vibrant red, orange, and yellow hues that blankets the countryside during the autumn months makes the scene out the window of your rental car in the USA all the more spectacular. Happy travels and always remember to Break for Moose!