So, you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city in favor of one of the quiet New England towns for the upcoming Fall season, but there’s a problem: you have no idea where to go to find the perfect spot to enjoy it! There are many small towns in New England, many of which have that Fall atmosphere you’re craving: the bright colors of the trees; the modest pumpkin patch that the whole town gets their pumpkins from. But which of these towns are the best? The list below lays out the best of the best; the towns you absolutely must visit.
Surrounded by rolling hills covered in trees, Stowe is one of the great New England towns to spend the Fall season in. Every tree for miles around turns a bright shade of red, yellow, and orange. Stowe was even voted #1 in the ‘Top 10 Foliage Destinations in the U.S.” by TripAdvisor! There are many areas around Stowe which offer beautiful Autumn vistas, although some require a bit of a drive to get to. Speaking of driving, if you don’t have time to sit in one place, consider heading to the back roads around Stowe that showcase the Fall colors spectacularly. Visitors can also choose to go hiking on the many trails which are available. Or if hiking isn’t your thing, guided tours are also offered. One unique tour is the Stowe Lantern Tour where ghost stories and spooky local history will be told. Be sure to bring plenty of water and warm clothing!
If you only choose one of these New England towns to go to during the Fall, then you must visit Kent and their awe-inspiring Kent Falls State Park. This famous series of waterfalls drops 250 feet in under a quarter mile, which makes it truly a sight to behold. While great to visit any time of the year, it becomes especially beautiful in the Autumn when the leaves turn bright colors. Even if visitors decide not to climb the many stairs leading up the steep Falls, the view from the bottom is still magnificent. If attractions with many people aren’t your thing, why not take a walk through town? You can even make a day trip of it! If you need a break from exploring, stop at a nearby restaurant and relax as you plan where to go next.
In the hilly countryside of Southern Vermont lies the small and quiet town of Manchester. Contrary to its size, there is so much to do here in the Fall. Early in the season, the town hosts their annual Harvest Festival, where you have the option of buying one of the huge pumpkins piled high on the tables and carts. There are even seasonal games to participate in! Make sure to come back–and bring your pumpkin–for the Pumpkin Carving and Harvest Fest in October. Besides carving pumpkins, this event also highlights some local food, beer, and wine. Of the many beautiful New England towns to visit during the Fall, Manchester has the best Thanksgiving events. While here, consider going to one or more of the many local restaurants which offer patrons holiday themed meals.
Sugar Hill, NH
Head on over to Sugar Hill, New Hampshire this Fall and join in the Autumn Celebration! This festival features an open-air market with more than 55 vendors, so there are plenty of different things to see and buy. There are also artisan demonstrations to keep a look-out for! To be sure that there is never a quiet moment, music is played in the background for you to enjoy as you wander the market. During the celebration, make sure to grab a cup of free coffee (just make sure you put some money in the donation bucket). Many small, local businesses from nearby New England towns flock to Sugar Hill for this celebration, too! In the past, food vendors such as Smiley’s Snack Shack and Windy Ridge set up their stalls with Fried Haddock Sandwiches and apples and cider for sale, respectively.
Further east in Maine you can find many small New England towns, including Bethel where, every September, they host their Bethel Harvestfest and Chowdah Cookoff. Sit down at one of the Arts and Crafts tables to make a Fall themed addition to your dorm room or home. Afterwards, take a stroll through the Farmer’s Market so you can buy something that’s already made! The Bethel Harvestfest also features live music to listen to as you shop. Before you go, make sure to watch the apple pie eating contest. Or, if you’re feeling brave, sign up as a participant and see how well you do!
Bretton Woods, NH
With a name like ‘Bretton Woods’ they must have an amazing Fall season, right? Absolutely! Bretton Woods has beautiful Autumn foliage covering a hilly countryside, making this one of the most colorful New England towns to visit this Fall. One of the coolest things to do in Bretton Woods during the season is to zipline through the colorful woods. You also have the option of walking across a narrow, swaying bridge that spans a gorge filled with Autumn trees. If you’re in the mood for a more relaxing activity, Bretton Woods has you covered with their hiking trail through the peaceful forest. All three of these activities serve to completely immerse you in a Fall wonderland.
The Smugglers’ Notch resort in Jeffersonville, Vermont has everything you could ever ask for in terms of Fall activities. Guided walks up and around the towering mountain are great ways to experience the best of Fall’s beauty. After you get back, hop in the hot tub to relax your aching muscles. Smugglers’ Notch and what they offer shouldn’t be the only reason you come to Jeffersonville, though. The town itself is quite beautiful due to its vivid Fall colors. Grab a bite to eat at the local pub before heading over to the Grist Mill Covered Bridge–a long wooden bridge on a hiking trail close to Smugglers’ Notch.
Did we miss some of your favorite New England towns? Let us know what your go-to Fall town is in the comments below!