Photo Courtesy: Dave Martin of Mountain Leon
It’s time to hear from one of my fabulous blog readers and social media followers. I’ve been friends with Mary Meier-Evans for close to 20 years. We met while serving on the ball committee in the Junior League of Dallas. We’re now both members of the Crystal Charity Ball, and I work on some of her projects at Sons of the Flag. I’ve always wanted to take the Fall Foliage in New England trip but have yet to work it into my travel schedule. She just returned so I have asked her to share her trip as a guest blogger today. You’re going to want to bookmark this travel post for future reference. I can’t wait to go next year!
Happy Fall y’all! xoxo- Tanya
Fall Foliage in New England
Howdy TF Blog Followers! What an HONOR to be asked to contribute to Tanya’s fabulous Blog!
It’s October, and you know what that means…the change of seasons and gorgeous Fall colors. Yes, all our Southern Friends…not in the South. We go from Summer to Winter practically overnight. But, on the East Coast, they truly enjoy the gorgeous yellows, oranges, and reds that only Nature can produce.
Finding the perfect time to visit New England for Fall color can be tricky…a lot depends on rainfall, and how cold it is. My husband and I picked the first week of October, because it coincided with my 50th Birthday. October and November are big months for Fall foliage seekers…so be sure and book well in advance!
We flew into Boston’s Logan airport, and drove a short 30 minutes to Lexington, Massachusetts, checking into the fabulous Relais & Chateaux property, The Inn at Hastings Park. A definite must-stay, and the restaurant attached to the Inn, Artistry on the Green, offered some of the most thoughtfully prepared, locally sourced, and delicious meals I have ever enjoyed!
Lexington, and its sister city Concord, a mere five minutes away, are wonderful places to visit! Rich in American History, you can spend hours in the Minuteman National Historical Park, imagining Paul Revere’s famous ride from Boston, alerting the Colonists that “the British are coming”, seeing the exact locations that sparked the American Revolution, and taking in the beautiful Fall colors. If American Literature is more your thing, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House preserves the exact desk where Little Women was written, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond, bursting with Fall color, offers a quiet respite from the busy town center, and glimpses of Nathaniel Hawthorn’s life can be seen in Concord. If all that sightseeing makes you hungry, The Colonial Inn is a charming restaurant in the heart of Concord, where we enjoyed a delicious lunch on the porch overlooking the town square.
Not far from Lexington and Concord is the famous New England town of Salem, and the drive there offered stunning Fall color. Salem is best known for the witch trials. October is ground zero for all things spooky and witchy, so be aware that weekends can get crowded. Because the Salem Witch Trials took place in the mid to late 17th Century, no original structures or “sites” truly remain, but there are a number of historical markers, museums and reenactments that will give you a flavor of the times, in particular the Salem Witch Museum, which offers timed entrance tickets. There’s dozens of quaint shops showcasing every Halloween related item under the sun! I picked up a darling Witch Hat “fascinator” that I will enjoy wearing on October 31st! In addition to the Haunted Happenings, the Peabody-Essex Museum is a jewel, housing amazing collections of American, African, Asian, and Indian art and artifacts. The House of the Seven Gables, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorn, is also in Salem. So much wonderful history!
Another gorgeous New England town is Plymouth, located south of Boston along the coast. The charming city-by-the-sea is best known as the site of the first Pilgrim settlement, founded in 1620. Yes, you can see Plymouth Rock, and visit Plimoth Plantation (yes, this is the correct spelling), a re-creation of a 1627 Pilgrim Village set in a beautiful clearing in the center of the woods, complete with first-person interpreters dressed in period costume, and modern Wampanoag American Indians who preserve their cultural heritage, and share their traditions with visitors. Of note, the gift shop at Plimoth Plantation is HUGE, and you can purchase everything Pilgrim or Thanksgiving themed your heart desires. I highly recommend this experience.
Fall Foliage Travel Tips
Flying to Boston: There are several non-stop flights every day between Dallas and Boston’s Logan Airport, and the flight time is about 3 1/2 hours. Bring a good book and catch a movie on this flight. Logan is a major international airport, and from there, you can easily access Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.
Entrance Fees: Many National Parks, such as the Minuteman National Historical Park in Lexington are free to visit, although there may be sites that charge a small fee to enter. Almost all Historical sites, such as Orchard House in Concord or The House of the Seven Gables in Salem, charge an entry fee.
What to Wear: When we travelled the first week of October, the entire East Coast was having an unseasonably warm spell. Typically, the first week in October is in the mid-70’s during the day, and in the 50’s at night (bring a sweater for night – there’s a chill in the air). In the Fall, rain is always possible, so a good warm Trench Coat is ideal, with good walking shoes for dry weather, and comfortable rain boots in case of inclement weather. No need to bring your high heels ladies. As always, Tanya is linking you to some stylish travel wardrobe selections below.
Kids or no Kids: My eighteen year old daughter, who is a Hamilton NUT, and just completed her Junior year AP American History class, would have LOVED this trip! My nieces and nephews who are in elementary school would have loved this trip as well. In every National Park, the Rangers are deeply knowledgable and are specifically trained to interact with younger visitors. There’s also a Junior Ranger activity book and badge that young visitors can earn! https://www.nps.gov/Kids/jrRangers.cfm
Tidbit: Where else can you see the leaves change? The further north you go, the earlier the leaves change. New Hampshire and Vermont are next on our list!
So much history, and so many gorgeous vistas showcasing legendary New England Fall Color…in Massachusetts, you can’t go wrong. Enjoy and Happy Travels!
xo – Mary Meier-Evans, The Curious Cowgirl
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Photo: Mary Meier-Evans and Pinterest