8 Fabulous Fall Family Getaways in the Northeast

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.

A classic fall foliage experience at the Hobo Harvest Time Express runs daily September 19-October 18 and features life size cornstalk scarecrows. Photo by: White Mountains Attractions Association
A classic fall foliage experience at New Hampshire’s Hobo Harvest Time Express runs daily from September 19-October 18 and features life-size cornstalk scarecrows. Photo by White Mountains Attractions Association

Best Fall Destinations for Families in the Northeast

New Hampshire: Omni Mount Washington

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.

Vermont: Basin Harbor Club

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.

Smugglers' Notch Fall Arbor Trek. Photo by: Smugglers' Notch Resort
Smugglers’ Notch Fall Arbor Trek. Photo by Smugglers’ Notch Resort

Vermont: Smuggler’s Notch

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.

Portland Head Lighthouse in Maine.
Portland Head Lighthouse in Maine

Maine: Nonantum Resort

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.

Scenic views in Salem, Massachusetts
The scenic views in Salem, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts: Boston Harbor Hotel

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.

See more Boston hotels in the CB! Hotel Collection.

Rhode Island: Weekapaug Inn

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.

Up Yonda Farm, Bolton Landing; Photo by: Matt Sprow for VisitLakeGeorge.com
Up Yonda Farm in Bolton Landing, New York. Photo by Matt Sprow for VisitLakeGeorge.com

New York: The Sagamore Resort

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.

New York: Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa

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.

Relevant Links:

Browse the best fall travel destinations and ideas on Ciao Bambino

Oceanfront Charm and Irresistible Hospitality at Rhode Island’s 1661 Inn

10 ways to make leaf-peeping fun for kids this fall

Editor’s Note: Photos by Tamara Gruber unless otherwise noted.

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