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8 Places to See Prime Fall Foliage With Kids


Fall is a great time of year to for quick weekend getaways. It’s cool, but not cold, places tend to be less crowded. Apples orchards, fall festivals and haunted happenings offer inexpensive family fun and your last shot at pleasant outdoor time before winter sends you indoors. And if you live in the North East, of course, there is also the fall foliage.

Here is a list of seven towns on the East Coast where locals have told us they have ample foliage and other fall happenings to keep the kids busy while you admire the changing fall colors.

Mapping It out

The folks in the Smoky Mountains provide a foliage map to track how the leaves or progressing around the country.

Leaf peepers can also check out the weekly foliage report by I Love NY, within reports from 65 foliage experts.

Leaf-seeking weekender can get foliage updates and suggested driving roots from Connecticut’s DEEP.

New England Today offers a live foliage map from Maine to Connecticut.

And Weather.com offers nationwide foliage updates.

Taughannok falls surrounded by fall foliageFall Foliage in The Finger Lakes,  NY

Stay: At the *Hilton Garden Inn, Ithaca, NY

See: Fall Foliage on walks through state parks like Taughannok Falls and Buttermilk Falls state parks. Or sitting on the decks of wineries that line Lake Cayuga

Do: Relive your college days with a walk around Cornell’s sprawling campus, Watch the grape harvest and crushing, drink local beer, wine and cider, and eat local fall harvest produce at restaurants like the North Star and Ithaca Beer Company’s tasting room.

Fall Foliage in Kent, CT

fall foliage in CTStay: at the Kent Country Inn, right in town.

See: Fall foliage at your pick of nearby state parks and trails. Among them, Kent Falls has the highest falls in the state. The Appalachian Trail has several access points, nearby. A nice stretch of it follows the Housatonic River, just outside of town at the end of River Road. A little further south near Route 7, a steep climb up from Squantz Pond rewards you with a sprawling vista of fall leaves.

Do: Explore the shops and restaurants in Kent, and nearby Litchfield, New Milford and Cornwall. Pick apples or buy cider and donuts from area farms. The Silo, founded by Skitch and Ruth Henderson, offers an art gallery, dining and cooking classes. Pick up their excellent cookbook in the shop.

Fall Foliage in Central Vermont

have a refreshing hand-pressed cider after viewing fall foliageStay: At *Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT

See: Fall Foliage from area hiking trails, some right on the resort property.

Do: Visit a nearby apple orchard to pick a few bushels, than return to the resort and see them pressed into fresh cider in the property’s old-fashioned hand-cranked press cider press. The hotel has a cider press team on hand to make sure only apples — no fingers — get squeezed.

Fall Foliage in the Blue Ridge Mountains, VA

shenandoah fall foliageStay: Fairfield Inn & Suites, Harrisonburg, VA

See: Fall foliage while hiking part of the Appalachian trail as it passes through nearby Shenandoah National Park, or driving along Skyline Drive.

Do: Head to Back Home on the Farm for pumpkin picking, a
corn maze, farm animals, a hayride, a butterfly exhibit, and a carousel. Then kick back with dinner on the town’s main street.

Fall Foliage in the Pocono Mountains, PA

Pocono Pumpkins and fall foliageStay: *Chateau Resort, Tannersville, PA

See: Fall Foliage outside your door on Camelback Mountain & Big Pocono State Park, the highest point in the Pocono
Mountains.

Do: Daring teens can brave the nearby Altered Nightmares haunted house while younger kids can and parents can enjoy festivals on various weekends through the fall – pumpkin, harvest, Octoberfest and so on.

Fall Foliage in the Adirondack Mountains, NY

come see fall foliage at the lake placid OctoberfestStay: *The Golden Arrow Resort, Lake Placid, NY

See: The fall foliage by hiking myriad trails, visiting, High Falls Gorge or taking a Gondola ride up Whiteface Mountain.

Do: Shop and eat on Main Street, visit the Olympic sites, enjoy 1 of several fall festivals celebrating flaming leaves, craft beers and more.

Fall Foliage in the White Mountains, NH

fall foliage at the farm by the riverStay: *The Farm by the River B&B, North Conway

See: The fall foliage during a trail ride on the farm’s horses, hiking the Whilte Mountains or sitting on the inn’s cozy front porch

Do: Take scenic train ride from a Victorian rail road station. Spot wildlife on nature walks around the farm, ride bikes and stop at roadside stand to sample the maple syrup that comes from the fiery red-leafed trees around you.

Fall Foliage in Coastal Maine

warming up after seeing fall foliage at spruce point innStay: *The Spruce Point Inn Resort, BoothBay Harbor

See: The fall foliage on a visit to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens or walking along any of several Boothbay Region Land Trust trails.

Do: Take a ghostly train ride, pick apples, or use the Inn as a base to sample New England harvest festivals and antique shows. Warm up at the end of the day around the inn’s outdoor fireplace (there might even be s’mores).

Planning a trip? Look for hotels and packages on *Expedia.

Pin it for later!

Fall foliage makes a great excuse for a road trip in the Northeast. Here are 8 top spots for viewing, along with great places to stay and other things to do.

#wkendtravelinspiration

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17 Comments

  1. October 7, 2016 at 2:32 pm — Reply

    I would be so happy among all those golden leaves. Just pick me up and drop me in any location.

  2. September 29, 2016 at 5:05 am — Reply

    Thank you for visiting my blog, Eileen. I do have a good camera, but his church was challenging which is why the some photos are highly edited. In some cases color just didn’t work as well as black and white, so I gave in and found a way for the pictures to be beautiful, even if not a totally representative.

  3. September 27, 2016 at 11:01 pm — Reply

    Gorgeous! A few places we haven’t been to – and so our Leaf Peeping Bucket List gets longer! 🙂 Thanks for the ideas.

  4. September 25, 2016 at 4:05 am — Reply

    Stunning! Fall is definitely my favorite time of the year and leaf peeping is one of my absolute favorite activities. #wkendtravelinspiration

  5. September 25, 2016 at 1:51 am — Reply

    My cousin was supposed to get married next month in Boston, and I thought it was finally going to be my big chance to see some fall color. Instead, she moved the wedding to August, so I don’t get to see it after all. I’d love to walk along the Appalachian Trail with the leaves showing off their colorful foliage. Your lucky to have all this beauty so nearby.

    • eileen g
      September 26, 2016 at 10:20 am — Reply

      Fall is my favorite time to be a New yorker. the weather is actually enjoyable and the foliage, etc. really is nice.

  6. September 24, 2016 at 11:47 pm — Reply

    So jealous of all the beautiful fall colors that are going to take place in the East Coast. We may not have a wide range of colors here in the West Coast but I am looking forward to a trip to the Eastern Sierra Nevada and to an area called Oak Glen.

  7. September 24, 2016 at 4:15 pm — Reply

    very good ideas, our toddler would love the train rides 🙂

  8. September 23, 2016 at 7:54 pm — Reply

    We visited many of these places last year, but it was stick season. I could however imagine how stunning it would be in fall.

    • eileen g
      September 26, 2016 at 10:23 am — Reply

      Stick season? I’m guessing you mean winter. If it’s not covered in Snow, which is lovely, New England and upstate can definitely be a bit stark and dreary in winter. you’ll have to come back in the spring or fall!

  9. September 23, 2016 at 3:40 pm — Reply

    I have been to Ithaca but not Finger Lakes. I love beautiful waterfalls though I think I’m going to have to visit. This time of year just makes me want to see all the beautiful colors in different places. #wkendtravelinspiration

  10. September 23, 2016 at 6:23 am — Reply

    I’m in love with that beautiful waterfall in Finger Lakes, NY!! Pinned that! #Wkendtravelinspiration

    • September 23, 2016 at 8:30 am — Reply

      The Fingers Lakes does a few things well — wine, food and scenery, among them! The foliage around the lakes is gorgeous, too. Thanks for the Pin!

  11. October 14, 2014 at 9:11 am — Reply

    Columbus Day weekend is a good time for Northeasterners, but you are right, you would certainly want more time!

  12. October 13, 2014 at 12:41 am — Reply

    I’ve always wanted to go on a leaf-peeping trip. So far, the kids’ vacations have not lined up with the prime time to go. Since we’re so far south, I’d want to go for a week, not just a weekend. I’m hoping that things will align at some point and will keep this list in mind.

  13. October 12, 2014 at 7:34 pm — Reply

    Ahh, it would be lovely to visit the Blue Ridge Mountains again and see the leaves.
    Thanks for this list!

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:10 am — Reply

      We drove through one fall and did a little hiking. They are lovely.

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