In Australia spring is in the air so there must be a chill setting in on the other side of the world. This is the season when deciduous trees change colour and drop their leaves in a multihued carpet.
While the phenomenon is very widespread, the best-known destination for a really good show is the New England region of the USA.
Of course, the language changes on the way across the Pacific so you’ll be a “leaf peeper” seeking fall colours. You won’t be the only one. The two adjoining states to aim for are Vermont and New Hampshire where you’ll find you’re certainly not alone.
While Colorado’s Rocky Mountains may be carpeted in golden aspens, the various trees of New England provide a grand pallet of every shade of orange, scarlet, gold, red and purple. The scenery in this part of America is quite unlike anywhere else with no billboards, but rather quaint towns and a lot of rustic scenery.
For Vermont a good starting point is here where you can find the up-to-date information as the season progresses, plus where to stay and what are the best scenic routes. If you are trying to entice younger travellers to come with you, it’s worth noting that Waterbury Vermont is the home of Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream, too.
See beautiful scenic views of the Fall foliage landscapes in Vermont
Continuing the food theme, the must-have product to buy in Vermont is pure maple syrup, preferably in a 4-litre container. In autumn you’ll find quite a few roadside stalls selling produce – and maple syrup – or you can visit a “sugar farm”. Overall, it’s a quaint state where even Montpelier, the capital seems to operate at a slow country pace.
The Lincoln family home estate of Hildene in Manchester, Vermont is well worth visiting. While President Abe Lincoln was notably born in a log cabin, his son Robert became Chairman of the Pullman Company and built this Georgian Revival mansion on 200 hectares in 1905.
Lincoln descendants continued to live here until 1975. It has been perfectly preserved and it’s worth seeking out the wooden Pullman rail car that has served several presidents since it was built in 1888.
New Hampshire has an excellent sliding scale to show where the foliage is at peak colour here. While planning a visit to this state you might like to swing by Bretton Woods – or perhaps even stay at the Omni Mount Washington Resort.
If the name Bretton Woods sounds vaguely familiar, this is where the UN held a conference in 1944 that established the foreign exchange system for the world’s currencies that is still in use today.
Go on a presidential retreat at the grand resort in the New Hampshire Mountains
New Hampshire may be the best place in the USA to do a retro tour. Indeed, the tourist office has devised one that’s about 200km long between Tilton and Pittsburg that takes in lots of motels and diners that were built in the post-war 'road trip' heydays. From indoor golf to booth dining this is the chance to recreate Happy Days.
While at Bretton Woods, it’s fun to take the cog railway up 1917 metre Mt Washington – and visiting the Observatory at the top. It’s the highest mountain in the US Northeast and the railway was built in 1869 – the original engine “old Pepperass” is on display.
Not surprisingly, the mountain attracts a lot of weather, particularly in winter, so it’s worth visiting the Weather Discovery Center.
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