If you live in New England, you know there is no better season than the fall.
The weather turns crisp and cool, perfect for hiking, biking, or even boating. The foliage in New England turns that golden kaleidoscope of colors, and farms and orchards are piled high with crunchy apples and orange pumpkins. In order to make this season your best yet, check out the following must-do’s and you’ll leave with both a full heart and a full stomach.
1. An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away…
The season of apple picking is upon us, and there’s no better way to experience the crisp, fall weather than meandering through an apple orchard. New England has hundreds of phenomenal orchards offering everything you could dream of that’s either fall or apple related. From pick-your-own apples, to cider donuts, to hay rides, it’s time to get out there and participate in one of New England’s quintessential fall activities.
Our Festive Favorites:
If you’re looking for more than just your regular apple picking experience, Silvermans Farm is the place for you. They have everything from a petting zoo, fall themed playgrounds, pumpkins for sale and of course, all the warm fall treats you could want.
For an orchard off the beaten path, head up to Groton, MA and visit this authentic working farm and orchard. It has over 70 acres, and more than 20 varieties of apples and pears to choose from. It also has spectacular mountain views that look even better in the fall.
What’s better than one of the oldest operating orchards in Vermont, and views of Lake Champlain? With over 100 varieties of apples to pick and a market featuring local Vermont products, this orchard is a must-visit for those in the area.
2. Fall Foliage Feels…
The main reason New Englanders love fall so much is the colorful foliage that makes its appearance in every corner of the states. While there are multiple ways to witness nature’s breathtaking performance, from hiking trails to scenic drives on the Merritt Parkway, there are two unique experiences that we think give a new perspective to this gorgeous scenery. For a more romantic means of transportation, try a train tour. If you want views that are only accessible by boat, try a boat cruise. Either one takes you on an adventure that you won’t want to miss.
Our Scenic Favorites:
Enjoy views of the White Mountains of New Hampshire during your ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad. For something a little more spooky, they offer a Murder Mystery Dinner Train which is a great experience all year round.
Enjoy a vintage train atmosphere while riding along the Connecticut River with spectacular views of the fall foliage. Book the Dinner Train package for a lunchtime trip or for something completely unique, book the Friday Night Sunset tour. They are one of the only train tours to offer this sunset option.
With several train tours to choose from, you’ll definitely want to take a ride in this railcar that winds through beautiful Maine. They have a Cider & Donuts Train Ride, the Pumpkin Express that takes you to a pumpkin patch, or if you’re looking for something truly unique, ride the Antique Railroad Railcar to experience what it was like for rail workers of the past.
If a boat is more your style, take a ride on this 1920’s style plumb stem inland waterway steamer on the most beautiful and unique of all Vermont lakes. With open-air decks you’ll be sure to get the perfect glimpse of the gorgeous fall scenery. You’ll even get to travel briefly in Canadian waters, but don’t worry a passport isn’t needed.
3. Oh My Gourd…
Once October hits, you’ll see pumpkins and gourds cropping up by the hundreds. A joy for both children and adults alike, there is something so satisfying about finding that perfectly round, bright orange pumpkin. Whether it’s carving them into a jack-o’-lantern, making a pumpkin pie, or toasting some pumpkin seeds for snacking, New England’s pumpkin patches will always get you in the fall mood.
Our Pumpkin Patch Picks:
There are an abundance of fall activities to partake in at Pumpkin Valley Farm in Maine. Outside of picking your own pumpkins, you can also explore a corn maze, feed farm animals, take a hayride, and indulge in kettle corn.
Around since 1871, Bishop’s has a large pick your own section featuring pumpkins and other fall crops like corn stalks, gourds, squash, and Indian corn. They also have a great winery that offers tours and tastings.
Charmingfare Farm offers an amazing Pumpkin Festival on select fall weekends full of pumpkin picking and decorating, horse-drawn hay rides, tractor train rides, farm animals, games, contests and more.
If carving pumpkins isn’t your thing, but you still love a good jack-o’-lantern, check out The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at the Roger Williams Zoo. With more than 5,000 intricately carved pumpkins on display, this is a holiday must see.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: Available for purchase ONLINE ONLY and timed ticket entry. Requires pre-registration.
- Adult $18, child $15 (ages 2-12) | Current Zoo members save $2 off adult and $1 off child tickets.
- Trail open 6:00 – 11:00 pm. LAST TICKET SOLD AT 10:30 PM
- Children one and younger are always admitted free.
Value Nights – Monday through Thursday: Sold online and at Zoo admissions.
- Adult $15, child $12 (ages 2-12) | Current Zoo members save $2 off adult and $1 off child tickets.
- Trail open 6:00 – 10:30 pm. LAST TICKET SOLD AT 10:00 PM
- Children one and younger are always admitted free.
4. Eat, Drink and Be Merry…
October also brings with it the infamous Oktoberfest’s and other fall festivals, and nobody puts on a festival like New England. From sampling craft beers in historic sites, to listening to live music while munching on fall treats, there’s a festival or fair here for everyone. Mark your calendars and get ready to eat, drink and laugh your heart out.
Our Favorite Festivals and Fairs:
Admission: Adults $15/Children ages 6-12 $10; Children five and under are free.
Billed as New England’s greatest state fair, The Eastern States Exposition, also known as The Big E, has everything you could ever dream of wanting in a fair. From car shows, to carnival rides and even a butter sculpture competition, there is entertainment fit for the whole family.
Northeast Kingdom Fall Foliage Festival
Seven participating towns, Northeast Kingdom, Vermont (map)
For each of the 9 days of this festival, you can visit a different town in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. You’ll meet locals while participating in a variety of activities ranging from guided tours, hikes and concerts to pancake breakfasts and spaghetti suppers. If you want to visit a slice of history, this festival is a must.
Bold Point Park, East Providence, Rhode Island (website)
You don’t need to book a trip to Germany to experience it’s cultures authentic entertainment and food. At Rhode Island’s annual Oktoberfest, you’ll find Biergartens, German food galore, and even Bavarian bands.