Monday, September 14, 2015
It's Here...Fall in New England!
It's the stuff that great stories are made of. It's the art that comes only once a year from mother nature. It's that time when we in New England enjoy our last days of freedom before most of us are snowed in for the winter. It's the last of the beauty, and it's the best of the beauty. It's all about getting out and celebrating life, before it's too late. It's Fall in New England. It's the best time of the year!
So, what goes on in the Fall? We've discussed some of this before, but let's talk some more. Vermont is ground zero for what we New Englanders call leaf peeping. There are any number of bus tours that you can take from New York City and all over the area. They will take you on all the best roads like Route 9 across southern Vermont and over Hogback Mountain. It's a great drive. You get to stop in one of my favorite towns, Wilmington. You also get to visit the farms in Bennington. But, if in Vermont, don't forget those ski towns. The gondolas and ski lifts in places like Killington are a great way to get a look at some peak foliage. Brattleboro is a great stop if you like kitchy towns with some interesting shopping and food. Manchester is another great stop for shopping and eating. Try out the Von Trapp Lodge for some old time more romantic types of foliage appreciation. If you bring the kids, head up to Burlington to make a Vermont Teddy Bear, or over to Waterbury to see Ben and Jerry's in action. Check out the festivals and fairs as well.
Massachusetts is also amazing in the fall and in the fall we New Englanders love to have festivals and fairs. The biggest of them all is the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts. It's New England's State Fair, and since our states are so small, they all got together and had one major blowout. It's a lot of fun and runs in the last half of September. But that's not all that Mass has to offer for fall. There are any number of fairs both on the mainland and out on the cape and the islands. One of my favorite things to do is visit some of my favorite spots along Route 2 in norther Mass, also known as the Mohawk Trail. It's slow and beautiful along that road with all kinds of little stops along the way. It's windy and the breakfasts at Gould's Sugar House are amazing. Yankee Candle and area are another great place to visit in the fall and a great place to get a head start on some Christmas shopping.
Now Maine you might want to take a look at a little earlier than the rest of New England. It turns fast up there, but it's a great place to start the season. It's quieter along the coast and the views in Acadia are worth the drive up there to see. Cadillac Mountain is amazing in the fall. But, my favorite is the International Sea Plane Fly In in Greenville, Maine. Every year, the weekend after Labor Day, hundreds of sea planes land at Moosehead Lake and the good folks of Greenville throw a big festival to celebrate all things sea plane. There are community meals, all kinds of events and competitions, and if you like planes...well you've come to the right place. Don't forget all I've told you about the area as well. It's great moose watching, great outdoor activities, and the world's greatest people.
Rhode Island is also full of activity in the fall with fairs and such. Newport still runs tours of the Cherry Street Mansions throughout the year, but this is a great time to walk the cliff walk. Fall air is some of the crispest and the skies get so blue that a view from the cliff walk is unmatched. The tourists are mostly gone by then and you have a little more breathing room. Fall River is a great stop in the fall and Battleship Cove is a great place to visit, I don't care how old you are. It's a lot of fun and a great look at history. The views of the river are amazing and Heritage State Park is right there to enjoy the rest of your day. Before leaving Fall River, check out a Portuguese Restaurant and try the city's most famous native food.
New Hampshire is one of our most scenic states and this is where you need to go and take a train. In the fall all the trains run so that all of us leaf peepers can get a great look. Take that last chance to take the Cog Railway up Mount Washington before all hell breaks loose for winter up there. There are also scenic railways in Conway, Lincoln, Winnipesaukee and more. New Hampshire is train central and none of them will disappoint. There are also a number of gondola rides to look at the leaves on with the longest one in the Northeast being at Cannon Mountain. This is also the last time you'll get to ride the mountain coasters and the Alpine slides at the ski resorts. It's a lot of fun to look at leaves in New Hampshire. It's probably the most active area in New England, and this is the last chance to do all the stuff before they switch over to winter sports at a huge number of massive ski resorts.
Now, in Connecticut we love fall. All of our fairs are in the fall from Goshen through Riverton. We love them and we go all over to them to eat junk food and watch the pigs race and the see the wood cutting competitions. It's how we ride. We have some great parks and trails to go and see the foliage. One of my favorite spots is the Barkhamsted Reservoirs for leaf peeping. It's along the beautiful combination of Route 219 and Route 318. There are some beautiful drives in general and fall makes it better. But, Connecticut has some great foliage roads besides those. I love Routes 4, 202, 44, 154, 7, 63, 254, 10, 72, 69, and 8 just to name a few. I also love spending some time in the parks like Kent Falls, Campbell Falls, and Enders to name a few. I wear out my camera during these weeks in the fall, because the foliage is so beautiful here.
But, in addition to our country fairs here in Connecticut, we have some other great fall fun. Columbus Day Weekend is when Hartford has their marathon. Norwich throws a Renaissance Faire. And Lake Compounce puts on the Haunted Graveyard. We still sail and camp and hike and bike this time of year. We love it when it cools off a little around here. We love it all.
So, New England is the place to spend Fall. We do it up right, and you will never get bored. We will show you how to have a pumpkin paddling race, navigate a corn maze, joust, and win a wood cutting contest. We have more to do in the fall than really we do any other time of year here. And the view? Anyone will tell you that there is nothing more beautiful than New England in the fall.