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Fall 2022’s Best Road Trips

fall road trips

Summer is super and winter is wonderful, but not much can beat the technicolor magic that is fall foliage across the United States. Brilliant hues, crisp blue skies, balmy sunshine, and an endless array of charming small towns– what more could you want? (Well, maybe some apple cider donuts and a cozy spot by the fire, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.)

If you haven't been able to go on an official "leaf-peeping" excursion thus far, now's your chance! We've put together a list of the best fall road trips that focus on fabulous foliage and plenty of fun. Let yourself become overwhelmed with awe as you admire the evolving shades and tones that sweep across New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Let's dive in to our 5 best fall road trips.

The 5 Best Fall Road Trips

1. Lake Winnipesaukee Loop — New Hampshire

lake winnipesaukee loop

The only way to dial up the beauty on fall foliage is to add a nice body of water to the mix. Hop in the car and take a drive around New Hampshire's biggest lake; the waterfront views contrasting with the fiery leaves will leave you in awe. This loop is nearly 100 miles around, so you'll be getting more than enough bang for your buck. Take your time, hop out for lunch and a walk around one of the small towns you encounter along the way. If you need a bit more adrenaline, you can take an extended break for some hiking or fishing.

2. Coastal Route 1 — Maine

maine coastal route 1 foliage

One of New England's most scenic coastal drives, Route 1 is jam-packed with beautiful views, charming towns, and delicious treats to keep you going. Get things started in Portland and head north toward Brunswick, Bath, or Rockport where you'll see luxe seaside mansions, lighthouses, and of course lobster rolls. An added bonus is that you can stock up on classic outdoor gear at the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport. Wind things down in Camden, which will serve as the cherry on top of what's surely to be an unforgettable road trip experience.

3. Route 7 — Connecticut

route 7 connecticut foliage

The northwestern part of Connecticut around Litchfield Hills is chock full of rolling green hills, charming villages, and lovely river views. Start things off in Norwalk along the coast, head through Kent Falls State Park (hello, waterfalls!), and then visit Woodbury, aka the antiques capital of Connecticut. Wind down in Litchfield Hills for a quintessential New England moment: leisurely walks, horseback rides, even hot air balloon excursions!

4. Route 6A — Massachusetts

cape cod foliage route 6

Cape Cod isn't just a summer destination: it offers beauty and fun year-round. Its postcard-worthy towns are just as charming and abuzz with activity throughout the fall, and taking a trip along route 6A is a fantastic idea. Kick things off at the Sagamore Bridge and ride through Sandwich (the oldest town on the Cape). Moving on, pass through Yarmouth Port, Dennis, and eventually onto Brewster. Once you arrive, the 22 miles of the Cape Cod Rail Trail in Nickerson State Park will give you plenty of reasons to keep going.

5. Ocean Drive — Rhode Island

ocean drive rhode island

Rhode Island may be petite, but it surely packs a punch. You might find the best views-per-square-mile ratio in all of New England, in fact. Its stunning 11-mile Ocean Drive loop offers a unique chance to be appreciated by bike, so you might want to think about leaving your car parked at the hotel. Your adventure starts off on the Bellevue Avenue side of the Loop, where you'll pass through colorful yellowwoods, beech trees, and the stately mansions that will give you serious house envy. You'll appreciate dual views of the Rhode Island Sound on one side, and contrasting colorful leaves on your right. Treat yourself to a drink in Newport Harbor when you're done and call it a day


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