Massachusetts Fall Foliage
Beautiful Fall Foliage in MassachusettsBecause of its large size, Massachusetts has the greatest range of land forms and vegetation of the New England states, allowing a lot of choices in viewing the colored leaves of fall. All parts of the state are good for foliage viewing except for Cape Cod, which has mostly evergreen trees. One obvious destination for leaf-peepers is the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. But don't overlook other places, particularly the Central region, which includes Quabbin Reservoir, historic Sturbridge Village, Fruitlands Museum in the town of Harvard, and the several state forests. It also is a region of pretty small towns, farms, orchards, and farm stands.
October is a good time to drive through the region south of Boston, famous for the town of Plymouth and several cranberry growers, some of which welcome visitors to watch the harvest. North of Boston near the seacoast gets busy in October with visitors traveling to Haunted Happenings in the town of Salem. If you are traveling with kids, consider taking a half-day for a family activity like a visit to a zoo or museum, or a zip line or white water adventure tour.
When to VisitLeaves change color because of a particular combination of warm, sunny days and crisp, cool nights and reduction in daylight. Color changes start in mid-September in the northern states and higher elevations, particularly in Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. As the calendar moves into late September and through October, color moves southward into Massachusetts and the southern states of Rhode Island and Connecticut. Color will peak earlier in higher and cooler altitudes. A rule of thumb is that color peaks at or near Columbus Day weekend, but this can vary based on temperature, rainfall, and other factors. Consider visiting during the mid-week to avoid congestion.
Where to StayDecide on your dates of travel and make reservations for lodging at inns, hotels, and motels early. Lots of travelers are competing for hotel rooms in the fall. Massachusetts has a range of lodging options, from simple and inexpensive to luxurious. Favorite lodging options in Massachusetts are hotels and other types of family-friendly lodgings. When you have found lodgings, go exploring for some relaxing dining.
Where to Find ColorIf climate conditions are right, color should be everywhere. For guidance, click on links below to the New England Foliage Map and New England Foliage Report. Also, take a map and explore some of the small, back roads as you wander. Look for roadside signs for pick-your-own orchards and farm stands, parks, and public wilderness areas. Donít feel that you must stay in the mountains to see good color. Drive to state parks or forests of farm areas and get out of the car, stretch, and look around. Take a walk. Donít be afraid to wander.
Clothing and GearEven if days are warm, be prepared for chilly nights with long pants, long sleeves, and a sweater. Wear sneakers and jeans so that you can jump out of the car and scramble over a stone wall or ramble through a hillside meadow if the opportunity arises. Take a camera, but remember to put it down frequently and just look around. Take visors and sunscreen and binoculars.
Where to DriveFind directions and tips for great views and attractions for Scenic Drive Tours in Massachusetts.
More Resources:Use the New England Foliage Map to determine where and when you are likely to see the best foliage. Once foliage season begins the Foliage Reports will be regularly updated.