there’s nothing quite like autumn in new england. here are 25 things you should do there before the season comes to a close.
edited for 2019 to add even more fun things to do!
As a born and bred New Englander, there are few things I love more than when Autumn hits. There are SO MANY amazing things to do (most of which are free!) and the foliage is bar none. I’ve rounded up X must-do things during Fall in New England!
1. Visit Salem, Massachusetts – If you’ve ever watched Hocus Pocus, you’re familiar with the town of Salem, MA. And it’s everything the movie describes it to be and more! They do it up right for Halloween with haunted houses, street performances and even a tour of the Salem Witch Museum. If you’re there, you have to get the warm apple cinnamon buns with ice cream!
2. Go for a Run or Walk Along the Charles River in Boston – You can’t beat a foliage lined running path right on the water if you ask me! The air is crisp and cool and you’ll pass plenty of other smiling runners and walkers along the way!
3. Visit Sleepy Hollow Farm in Woodstock, VT – Dubbed one of the most photographed farms in the US for a reason, Sleepy Hollow Farm is beautiful (even in late fall, it’s gorgeous), it’s worth taking the back roads into Woodstock to peep this beauty! It’s like taking in a set from a Hallmark movie!
4. Take a Trip to Acadia & Bar Harbor, ME – You can’t the breathtaking views in Acadia and the town of Bar Harbor is absolutely adorable. You’re sure to get foliage and plenty of fresh, crisp air coming off the ocean. (read my travel guide from our trip there here!)
5. Go Apple Picking – This is a must-do in New England. The weather is crisp, the leaves have turned and there are apples galore! We love Honey Pot Hill Orchards in Stow, MA, Gould Hill Farms in Contoocook, NH and Blue Jay Orchards in CT. Don’t leave without freshly made apple cider doughnuts and kettlecorn!
6. Visit the Portland Headlight in Maine – Maine in the Fall is one of my favorite places to be. Whether you stop in the L.L Bean flagship store or roam the quaint streets of Kennebunkport – you’re sure to get crisp cool air, plenty of foliage and amazing views.
7. Pick Pumpkins to Carve – There are so many great pumpkin farms in New England (a quick google search will tell you the best ones in your area) but we’ve been going to Blue Jay Orchards in Connecticut since we were kids, so we’re particularly partial to that one 🙂
8. Visit the Town of Woodstock, VT – If you’re a Gilmore Girls fan, you’ll absolutely adore Woodstock. Foliage encompasses the town and the store fronts decorate making it feel like you’re truly walking around Stars Hollow. If you go, make sure you hit up Billings Farm which does fall events every weekend (including a Harvest Weekend and Fall Wagon rides)! If you want to stay, I recommend the Woodstock Inn. Don’t worry too much about transportation, the town itself is easily walkable!
9. Hike the White Mountains – The waterfalls on this hike are incredible, made even better when they’re surrounded by beautiful fall foliage and crisp mountain air (and the views at the top are absolutely breathtaking!). Just make sure you bring a lot of layers (it gets cold at the top) and some snacks, it took us around 9 hours to do the entire thing! There are also easier loops, so find the one that works best for you!
11. Take a Foliage Walk – whether you’re in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts or Vermont, New England has some amazing foliage. Hike the Blue Hills, the White Mountains or just pick a small town (like Newtown, CT, Watch Hill, RI or Wellesley, MA!) and spend the day exploring.
12. Carve Pumpkins at Bartlett’s Farm in Nantucket – There’s nothing better than Nantucket…except for Nantucket in the Fall! Bartlett’s Farm Fall Festival offers pumpkin carving and painting, goats to pet, fall foods and hay rides!
13. Stop By Sift Bakeshop in Mystic, CT – Stop by Sift for a seasonally-inspired scone or muffin and a warm coffee in Mystic, CT (or Watch Hill, RI) then spend the day exploring the town.
14. Grab Apple Cider Doughnuts at Volante Farms – Volante Farms is a little farm stand in Needham, MA that sells freshly made apple cider doughnuts warm from the oven! You can also load up on fresh, local produce, grab pumpkins and even apple pick while you’re there!
15. Go to the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular in Providence, RI – Rows and rows of beautifully carved pumpkins at the Roger Williams Park Zoo will definitely get you in the fall spirit!
16. Canoe Along the Connecticut River – the Ledyard Canoe Club rents out canoes for about $10/hour and it’s a beautiful, peaceful ride (plus a good workout!)
17. Visit Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook, ME & Visit With the Animals – Owen had an absolute blast at Smiling Hill Farm last year. If you have young kids, or are just a total animal lover yourself – I highly recommend making the trip. It’s not far off from Kennebunkport, ME which is another must-do! They also have amazing seasonal ice cream flavors!
18. Grab an Apple Turnover from Tatte in Boston, MA – Tatte is one of my favorite coffeeshops in Boston and their apple turnovers are perfect for the season! Go to the one in Beacon Hill then stroll through the historic streets and see all the seasonal decor!
19. Have a Hocus Pocus Viewing Party – We brought Owen into our traditional auntie/niece Hocus Pocus viewing (something my sisters and I have done together since we first saw the movie in theaters!). It’s a perfect way to get in the Halloween mood! (halloween pjs optional but highly recommended!)
20. Grab Pumpkin Spice Bagels from Trader Joe’s – Okay, so this one is not exactly specific to New England, but a must-do nonetheless! Owen and I went through a whole bag on our New England trip last year!
21. Go for a Run in the Boston Suburbs – The Boston suburbs have some of the best foliage (and best running routes!). Newton, Wellesley and Needham are all perfect for some quiet back road runs with loads of beautiful foliage to peep.
22. Visit Kennebunkport, ME – Filled with adorable shops, tons of decoration, salty ocean air and beautiful foliage, it’s a must-do!
23. Warm Up at the Woodstock Inn in Woodstock, VT – Whether you actually stay at the Woodstock Inn or not, it’s a great place to pop in and warm up by the fire. The weather is usually chilly enough in VT this time of year that you need to take breaks from wandering around to warm up! This is a perfect place to do it! Beautifully decorated for the season & a roaring fire ready to heat you up right in the lobby!
24. Take a Hayride – Whether you choose Bartlett’s Farm Fall Festival or any of the apple or pumpkin picking sites I highlighted above, make sure to take the hayride! They all offer it and it’s classic New England fall fun (and kids absolutely love it!).
25. Make & Decorate Leaf Cookies – Again, not specific to New England, but a definite must-do. Owen got to join in on the tradition my sister and I have with our nieces this year and had a total blast!
Of course there are so many other things to do (visit Freeport, Maine for some shopping, head to Watch Hill, RI and stay at the Ocean House, visit Kent Falls, CT for waterfall hikes and a stay at the the Inn at Kent Falls) and no matter what you choose, I promise it will be incredible!31