If you live in a place that has four distinct seasons you might not realize it at times but you’re fortunate. Seriously. Each season is wonderful for very different reasons what with winter and its hot cocoa, its cold-weather mountain sports and its idyllic charm. And spring with its long-anticipated promise of new growth. And summer with its seemingly endless warm-weather days filled with daytrips to the beach or hikes up in the mountains. And fall…who could ever forget fall? This season’s got those cool, refreshing breezes, that warm, golden light and almost the entire visible spectrum of changing leaves.
Do you reside somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere? Then you’ve no doubt already started seeing the autumnal changes. For all you leaf peepers out there this is prime-time viewing, especially in New England. Take a locum tenens job in the Northeast this fall. And be sure to hit up these 10 regions and scenic byways. That’s right, we’ve gathered up some of the best places for you to go leaf peeping while you’re here (in no particular order). Check them out.
1) Litchfield Hills, Connecticut
Lauded as one of the best regions to go leaf peeping, you’d be remiss if you didn’t venture to the Litchfield Hills for a classic taste of fall. This region is teeming with white church steeples, rolling backcountry roads, covered bridges and two-story clapboard colonials complete with red doors. And it’s all set against a golden-hued heavenly backdrop you will definitely write home about.
2) Lake Candlewood and Squantz Pond State Park, Connecticut
On top of being Connecticut’s largest lake, Candlewood is also a leaf-peeper’s paradise. On the way you can stop off at DiGrazia Vineyards, which isn’t far off from Lake Candlewood’s shores, to taste some fine New England specialty wines. Or if you’d like to keep at it, head to the western side, to Squantz Pond State Park for fantastic views of rolling hills immaculately covered with burnt-orange leaves.
3) The Berkshires, Massachusetts
The Berkshires, what region could be more famous for fall foliage? Rhetorical, of course. This region, capitalizing on its beauty over the years, has amassed a lovely array of unforgettable bed-and-breakfasts and spa retreats. Feel free to stay a night or two. Not only will you leave more relaxed, you’ll leave with a new perspective. Literally, within a matter of days, the fall leaves tend to turn an even more brilliant hue.
4) Old King’s Highway, Massachusetts
We truly don’t believe it gets much better than Old King’s Highway. To be honest, we’re biased. If you’re going to choose but one of these scenic places to visit while on locum tenens assignment in the Northeast, we highly recommend this one. This route gets busy but not too busy. It takes you right along Cape Cod Bay, through quaint towns, past antique shops and – most importantly – right into the magnificence of autumn in New England.
5) Lake Champlain, Vermont
We don’t think a bad word can be said about Vermont’s landscape. It’s considered royalty when it comes to autumn scenery. While there are countless places to travel in the Green Mountain State for fall-like nostalgia, Lake Champlain is perhaps the most unique. Unique insofar as you can take a cruise out on the lake and gain a grandiose perspective – orange sunlight, crimson trees and deep blue waters blanket the horizon to give you exceptional views. Be sure to visit the maritime museum while you’re in the area, too.
6) Route 100, Vermont
To truly get a glimpse of the brilliance that is autumn in Vermont, we suggest you travel down Route 100. Dedicate a whole day – or two days – to the trip. Over 200 miles long and with over 20 picturesque towns along the way there’s no shortage of things to do along Route 100. Stop off in Weston at the Vermont Country Store. If you have kids along for the ride take them to the candy counter here, there's no doubt they'll love perusing the glorious selection of sweets.
7) Kancamagus Scenic Highway, New Hampshire
Ah, the White Mountains. You’ve heard of these, we’re sure. They’re the most famous rugged mountains in New Hampshire, part of the northern Appalachian Mountains. And the Kancamagus Scenic Highway AKA “the Kanc” (pronounced “Kank-ah-mah-gus”) cuts right through these jagged beauties replete with endless fall foliage. It’s now designated as an American Scenic Byway. Drive the route in early to mid-October and you’ll see why.
8) Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway, New Hampshire
Often touted as slower-paced and less frenzied than other scenic byways in the area, Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway is a must visit. The lake itself is a popular, year-round destination but come fall-time its not nearly as busy. That means less crowds as well as more scenery for you to freely explore. Meander along the 25-mile route and on the way stop at Fells Historic Site for an easy, intimate hike into protected forestland.
9) Acadia National Park Loop Road, Maine
Acadia National Park is downright mesmerizing any time of the year. But if you really want a peek into what it looks like during fall then take the Park Loop Road, 27 miles of brilliance. Situated on Maine’s Mount Desert Island this loop is filled to the brim with misty ambience, miles of changing leaves and oceanic views. Would you like an all-encompassing history of the park while you drive? An audio CD is available for purchase at Hulls Cove Visitor Center.
10) Blackstone River Valley, Rhode Island
Known officially as the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, this slice of New England highway starts in Worcester, Massachusetts and settles in Providence, Rhode Island. If you’d rather get outside the car for a while and stretch your legs then take a bike tour through the backwoods of Blackstone River Valley. It will be memorable to say the least. Or if you’d just like a different perspective other than the open road you can book a riverboat tour, too, complete with a guide.