New England is where Bambina's roots lie (and where Janet still resides!) and we're fortunate to have lived in such a beautiful place especially during fall foliage season.
There are so many treasured childhood memories of driving for hours, sometimes aimlessly, along scenic country back roads and stopping for a yummy picnic along the way. The vintage metal picnic basket was filled with “submarine” sandwiches stuffed with ham, cheese, salami, pickles, and more. Of course there was always a bag of Royal Feast potato chips. We were the quintessential New England “Leaf Peeper” family.
If you're lucky enough to be driving through New England this fall foliage season, we’ve put together a list of 6 beautiful scenic drives, one in each state for you to enjoy. Some are our favorites and some yet to be explored.
(View this fall foliage map to help plan your trip!)
1. The Mohawk Trail (MA)
NEW ENGLAND'S FIRST 'OFFICIAL' SCENIC TOURIST ROUTE
The Mohawk Trail’s history spans over a century long. It’s one of the oldest scenic drives in the United States and has been designated as a National Scenic Byway. The 60 plus mile drive is rich in history, dating back to Native American trade routes and later used by European settlers. It's distinguished by its' vibrant foliage and variety of interesting places to stop along the way.
You can find attractions like the Mohawk Trail State Forest, Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls (open till end of October), many local fairs, art exhibits, antique shops and cozy restaurants, just to name a few.
2. Ocean Drive (RI)
Newport's one of our favorite places to visit and a trip here isn't complete without a ride down picturesque Ocean Drive (also known as '10 Mile Drive'). Start your journey on Bellevue Ave and drive past the famous mansions - the opulent 'summer cottages' once owned by the Vanderbilts and elite families of the Gilded Age. Continue along the winding oceanside route passing Fort Adams State Park, Gooseberry Beach, and many other landmarks as you take in breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic.
3. Pinkham Notch Loop (NH)
VIEWS OF PRESIDENTAL MOUNTAIN RANGE
This surreal drive through the White Mountains of New Hampshire is a prime spot to see fall foliage (Janet's favorite on the list!). Drive the narrow winding road along Route 16 through the Presidential Range as you pass Mount Washington and prepare for some jaw-dropping views. Stop by the historic Mount Washington Hotel to experience the grandiose atmosphere of this impressive landmark hotel.
4. Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway (ME)
YOU MAY SPOT A MOOSE
Pack a picnic and set out along Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway to experience Western Maine and all of it's splendor. There's plenty to see and do along the route including hiking trails, overlooks, mountain streams, sprawling farmland, and of course-lakes! You may even spot a moose during your travels!
5. Green Mountain Byway (VT)
HISTORICAL VERMONT VILLAGES
The Green Mountain Byway spans 71 miles through 6 of Vermont's historical towns and villages and the glorious Green Mountains. Pass through the charming town of Stowe along the way and stop to check out local shops, restaurants, and art galleries. It's also worth checking out the Trapp Family Lodge (owned by the von Trapp family that inspired the Sound of Music) to see the magnificent views and take a brewery or maple sugaring tour!
6. State Route 169 (CT)
COLONIAL NEW ENGLAND
Take a spin on Connecticut State Route 169, a National Scenic Byway that will transport you back in time to quintessential colonial New England. Stop off at the Quinebog Wildlife Area to do some birdwatching and then continue on through the beautiful unspoiled farmland. Don't forget to visit Woodstock Orchards for a cider donut and some apple picking!