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Autumn is just around the corner and people come from all over the world to see the leaves change colors in our neck of the woods. As the air gets cooler and the days get shorter, New England explodes in a vibrant palette of breathtaking golds, oranges, and reds. Hop in your car and take a scenic drive to some of these destinations below. And, of course, don’t forget your camera!
With trees covering three-quarters of Vermont and an abundance of them being maple trees, it’s easy to see why Stowe and Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak, are rated #1 on TripAdvisor’s “Top 10 fall foliage destinations in the U.S.” Choose from an array of extensive trail systems to hike, an 11-mile roundtrip path to bike, rivers to kayak, or roads to drive for leisurely looks at some awe-inspiring scenery.
Must-Do: Stowe has hiking trails of varying difficulty with clearly marked paths that are perfect for the whole family.
Where to Stay: The Lodge at Spruce Peak, set at the base of Mount Mansfield and Stowe Mountain, features more than 250 beautifully appointed rooms, suites, and luxury residences. Centrally located in the heart of nature, The Lodge features artisan farm-to-table dining, seasonal kids' programming, a mountain golf course, and an all-natural Spa and Wellness Center.
Known for its fabled lighthouses and lobster rolls, Portland annually attracts numerous visitors eager to see a spectrum of gorgeous fall colors against the dramatic blue backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. For spectacular photos, head toward the waterfront or Deering Oaks, a lovely 55-acre park located west of downtown Portland. Tour other coastal Maine cities, like Kennebunkport, and visit unique lighthouses for excellent fall landscapes.
Must-Do: Portland is a food lover’s paradise with more than 300 restaurants. Grab a lobster roll made with freshly baked brioche at the Highroller Lobster Co. and pair it with a local craft ale from Allagash Brewing Company.
Where to Stay: Kick back and relax at Hyatt Place Portland–Old Port. This centrally located downtown hotel with comfy, spacious rooms features the best modern amenities like sofa-sleepers and workspaces. Some rooms include balconies overlooking Casco Bay and Peaks Island.
Traverse the scenic roads of Western Massachusetts and take in bright displays of orange and scarlet foliage. One of our favorites is State Route 183 between Lenox and Stockbridge, where majestic trees canopy a long stretch before revealing stunning views of Stockbridge Bowl, also known as Lake Mahkeenac. Hiking in the Berkshires is also a great way to leaf peep, but visitors can also marvel at autumn scenery while golfing, horseback riding, camping, or doing a myriad of other outdoor activities.
Must-Do: The Norman Rockwell Museum houses the largest collection of Norman Rockwell work, consisting of nearly 1,000 paintings and drawings. AAA members also save $2 off museum admission.
Where to Stay: The recently opened Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa offers inclusive packages designed to help create a life in balance. Perched atop 380 protected acres in the Berkshires, this digital device free resort is home to several restaurants, a spa, and multiple pools that make this hillside setting ideal for unwinding and relaxing.
Boston, like much of New England, comes alive in autumn with remarkable colors. Since Beantown is one of the most walkable cities in the U.S., ditch the car as soon as you arrive. The best places to see fall foliage in the city include the Public Garden, the first botanical garden in the U.S.; the Charles River Esplanade, where the blue Charles River is complemented by vivid reds, yellows, and oranges; and Harvard Yard, where shaded meandering paths are dotted with seating areas for you to relax and take it all in.
Must-Do: Walk The Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile-long path through downtown Boston that passes by 16 landmarks significant to American history.
Where to Stay: Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall Boston is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Boston minutes away from the city’s best attractions, restaurants, and shopping. Rooms on the higher floors have excellent city views.
Before traveling across state lines, check each state’s Department of Health website to comply with the most up-to-date COVID-19 travel advisories.
Pack your bags, fill up the tank, and arrive at a warm and safe welcome where your safety and well-being remains a top priority.
And for a limited time, AAA Members can enjoy 20% off the standard rate with a flexible cancellation policy at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts.
Many travel destinations have implemented COVID-19–related restrictions. Before making travel plans, check to see if hotels, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, and local authorities have issued health and safety-related restrictions or entry requirements.
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