It’s no secret that New England is a leaf-peeper’s haven come fall. Autumn is when the region’s mountainous landscapes come alive in a breathtaking kaleidoscope of color. But you don’t have to fight the infamous foliage traffic that descends upon New Hampshire and Vermont this time of year. There are plenty of scenic drives, vistas, and attractions right within in the Boston area.
Foliage season in Massachusetts can begin as early as the first week of October, but more or less reaches a peak during the second and third weeks of the month in Eastern Massachusetts. Here are a few ways to take advantage of this special time of the year.
- Foliage Driving Tours
The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism offers a number of foliage driving tour suggestions for the Boston area. These are three of my favorites:
Greater Boston/Merrimack Valley: Boston to Sudbury. A classic New England backroads drive that brings you through Concord and Waltham.
North of Boston: Route 133. Travel through the farms and sights of towns like Essex, Ipswich, Rowley, and Georgetown. You’ll end up at the stunning seaside landscape of Beverly, Manchester By-the-Sea, Gloucester, and Rockport.
Southeastern Mass: Norton to Westport. Begin in the sleepy college town of Norton, and end up in the wondrous – and less traveled – town of Westport, home of the Horseneck Beach Reservation.
For complete itineraries, and more driving suggestions, click here.
- Pedal Through Fall
The Urban Adventours’ "Emerald Necklace and Fall Foliage" bike tour, which runs through Oct. 31, is a great way to experience some of Boston’s most famous natural landmarks in a “green” way. The tour is specifically designed to show you the best foliage in Boston, and will ride along and through Boston Common, Public Garden, the Commonwealth Mall, and more. The cost is $50. which will get you an individually-fitted bike, helmet, water, and tour guide. The tour can run as long as three hours and covers 10-12 miles.
Visit their web site for more information.