“Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.”
~Faith Baldwin, American Family
Think gold. Think scarlet. Think leaves clustered in trees waiting to flutter down, crisp cold nights, and frosty mornings. Your kids are safely sequestered in school and you’re back in the swing of routine. For many people, this is the essence of fall. Why not take the time to enjoy the beauty of nature, and take your family on a trip to explore all that autumn has to offer? With some advanced planning, you can effortlessly organize the best fall vacation ever by exploring the landscapes and autumn activities out of state. Below are some highlights in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma.
The first stop is Maine, Acadia National Park. Take the kids outdoors before the weather gets too cold. The hiking is varied, so you’ll be sure to find something the whole family likes. The green summer leaves begin to change in early September and burst into splendor through October. You can see incredible views from everywhere including taking a flight from Trenton airport. The Great Maine Apple Day (October 25) is a fabulous opportunity to celebrate the history of Maine apples and enjoy its seasonal fruit. There’ll also be apple art, cooking with apples, and cider making. The Ogunquit Festival (October 23-26) is a fantastic festival which has a scarecrow contest, carnival, pumpkin carving, scavenger hunts, costume parade, and more.
Visit the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Take time to peruse the estate and walk through 400 year old hemlocks, meander under sugar maples, over bridges, and alongside cobbled stone walls. The Billings Farm & Museum is right across the street. On October 18 & 19, the 7th Annual Autumn Wagon Ride Weekend will take place there, allowing you to take in the vibrant fall colors on a narrated horse-drawn ride through the farm. The entrance fee includes daily farm life exhibits plus cider pressing, and other activities. The Billings Farm is one of the finest operating dairy farms in the USA. In addition, you could even embark upon an 88 mile central Vermont driving tour to take in more of the landscape. Here are other suggestions for driving tours. Lastly, The Great Vermont Maze (late July -October) is an “epic journey of adventure” and contains a flower garden, puzzles, bridges, trails and paths plus Miney’s Korny Kid Korn Maze – a smaller version of the maze.
You might consider a fall vacation with the Return of the Pumpkin People. During this month, the Jackson area of New Hampshire hosts a popular event where residents and guests all take part in creating zany “people” and “animals” with pumpkins. You will find pumpkin people at local restaurants, in the fields, stores, and private residences. In the Brooklyn-Irish Hills near Jackson, you’ll find a fantastic combination of hometown charm and gorgeous countryside. Take time for a driving tour through the area. About two hours away, you’ll see the Canterbury Shaker Village. The 200 year old historic site hosts ghost stories from storytellers on October 25. Certainly it’s something not to be missed!
No trip to the New England would be complete without a drive through the Berkshires. The roads are lined with blazing foliage. You can whiz past fields, farms, mountains, and rivers in the splendor of the leave-bedecked trees. Also, here are some suggestions for more than just a drive. Other autumn events include hay rides, the 68th annual Halloween parade, a ghost tour at Edith Wharton’s home, and haunted houses. You can find further Halloween fun in greater Boston or October events just in the Berkshires.
Perhaps you’d like to stay a bit closer to home? You could take a drive through the dazzling Oklahoman foliage or even hike. The Talimena National Scenic Byway is an incredible potpourri of fall colors. From horseback riding to museums, you can stop along the way and enjoy yourself immensely. There’s also the Family Fall Fest on October 24 -25 as well the Haunted Forest on October 25. Oklahoma has many festivals and activities to keep you and your family entertained.
Fall, the time of year when the cool air reminds us it’s time to slow down, breathe, and take in the wonders of the world. Picking pumpkins and apples, enjoying hayrides and crazy corn mazes, all of these are available. Let you and your children experience the natural beauty that surrounds us, the celebration of such things as simple as leaves turning brilliant colors and delightfully crunching underfoot. These experiences truly are autumn gold.