Fall in New England and the surrounding area is simply beautiful: crisp, cool air; vibrantly colored leaves draping the mountains like a colorful shawl; and the smoky aroma of nearby wood stoves in the breeze. If your children haven’t yet experienced the joys of autumn in the northeastern United States, here are some ideas for fall family getaways to suit all ages.
The Omni Mount Washington, located in the heart of the White Mountains, is the perfect place for exploring the natural beauty of New Hampshire. Traverse the scenic byways and you’ll find ziplining, hiking, mountain biking, mountain coasters, and the Mount Washington Cog Railway. Attractions in the White Mountains go all out to celebrate fall, with a wide range of activities: Silly Spooky Halloween at Santa’s Village amusement park; Loon Mountain’s New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival; Oktoberfest at Attitash Mountain; and more.
Guests at Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, Vermont, get the perfect mix of the state’s famous foliage with views of beautiful Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains in the distance. At the resort, families can take a lake cruise, play golf, relax at the spa, or just sit in one of the Adirondack chairs and enjoy the view. Basin Harbor Club also offers family-friendly activities, such as weekly campfires.
Smuggler’s Notch is a perennial family favorite. Located in northern Vermont, Smuggs provides excellent leaf-peeping opportunities and countless things for families to do, including their AutumnFest Children’s Programs. You’ll also find hiking, biking, ziplining, golf (regular, mini and disc), kayaking, canoeing, and even Segway tours. At the end of a busy day, both parents and kids can enjoy the resort’s indoor and outdoor heated pools. Nearby, visit scenic Stowe, tour the Trapp Family Lodge, stop into the ECHO center in Burlington, or make a pitstop at Ben & Jerry’s factory tour.
Situated on the scenic Maine coast, Nonantum Resort offers family fun for three seasons, spring through fall. They also host a Halloween Bash, with entertainment and frightening ghost tales, at the end of October. Nearby, families can enjoy the quaint harborside town of Kennebunkport, or travel 30 minutes up to Portland to explore the Portland Head Lighthouse, the Portland Art Museum, or the newly opened Portland Science Center.
Fall is the ideal time for exploring historic Boston. The five-star Boston Harbor Hotel is steps away from the famous Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the New England Aquarium and the Boston Children’s Museum. For families who want to explore further, Boston is a perfect home base for day trips to historic Plymouth Rock and Plimouth Plantation, or the seafaring town of Salem.
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While Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State, it has plenty to offer besides the beach. Located on two miles of pristine shoreline, Weekapaug Inn provides bikes to help families explore locally. Other excursions include visiting some of Rhode Island’s many pumpkin farms or corn mazes, apple picking, exploring nearby Newport, or riding over to Watch Hill for a spin on its famous antique carousel.
Located on the shores of Lake George, The Sagamore Resort has been welcoming families for more than 100 years. There is plenty to do on-property, including golf, tennis and a full-service spa. Or simply sit and enjoy the view from the Adirondack chairs on the lawn. The beautiful and expansive grounds slope toward the lake and provide lots of room for children to run and play. Local outings include hiking, boat cruises, scenic train rides, or a hot air balloon ride above the treetops — what a way to enjoy the fall foliage. Special autumn events in Lake George include a Hot Air Balloon Festival, Jazz at the Lake, and a Fall Farm Tour in Thurman.
Just 90 minutes north of New York City in the scenic Hudson River Valley, Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Built on a working farm that dates back to the 18th century, it has an old-world charm that makes for a perfect fall retreat. Guests also can enjoy hiking on the Rail Trail, antiquing, walking over the Hudson, or exploring funky New Paltz or Hudson Valley’s wine country.
Editor’s Note: Photos by Tamara Gruber unless otherwise noted.
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