Fall Foliage In and Out of the City

Fall is one of my favourite times of year.  It always has been.  I don’t love the heat of a tireless summer sun but I love snuggling under a heavy wool sweater. In some ways I fear change but when it comes to the seasons that’s a whole different story.

I love the changing light as the sun sets and rises. I don’t have to wake up early or stay up late to experience it.  I even love stumbling around in a cold dark morning glancing at the sky out the window as I wash my face (darkness), then hop around my room as I try to thread on one pant leg before the other (hints of light erasing the darkness), and then again when I run onto the porch yelling “you forgot your lunch” to one of the boys (sun light is splashed across the sky). I like the warmth of the early fall sun and the contrast of the crisp cold mornings too.  Then of course there are the changing leaves.

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Mont Tremblant Resort is beautiful all year, but this gorgeous display only happens in the fall Photo courtesy of @Tremblant.

It is very tempting to go on a leaf peeping pilgrimage to see the foliage and if you can get away for the weekend it is well worth it.  Hop on a Porter Airlines flight to Mont Tremblant for a special treat.  We love Mont Tremblant and go every summer, but from what I hear a trip in the fall is well worth it.  Despite the fact that Porter Air has lots of deals this time of year, a flight may not be your transportation mode of choice.  8 hours may seem like a long road trip, but it is only 6 hours to Montreal and then another two to the mountains.  This is not your typical turnpike drive either.  The drive from Boston to Montreal is a pretty one through Vermont. And, a stopover in Montreal for some delicious food and a stroll through the city breaks up the trip.

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The magestic Omni Washington Resort against a most stunning natural back drop. This is fall in New England. Photo courtesy of Omni Mount Washington Resort

If you want to go North but not that far north, you can head to New Hampshire or Vermont.  In New Hampshire,  Omni Mount Washington Resort would be my destination of choice.  The resort is spacious and elegant.  We spent a night there when the children were younger and are due for a revisit soon!  Take a hike with the family, and just because Mount Washington is a stone’s throw away that doesn’t mean you can’t find a short one hour hike for the whole family. Stay nearby and go for a walk on Bretton Woods Fabyan Fields trails. At the resort, you can arrange a trail ride on horseback or just enjoy the folliage looking out the window from the dining room and then head to the pool!

Vermont is named after green mountains but this time of year the green goes wild and there is plenty of blushing going on.  Last summer we stopped in Stowe on our way home from Tremblant and we loved the little picturesque town.  I have not been, but I hear that the Stowe Mountain Lodge is exquisite.

Lark Hotel’s Field Guide in Stowe, Vermont. The décor is so nice it may actually compete with the beauty of the great outdoors. Photo courtesy of Lark Hotels

Lark Hotels are popping up all over New England and if you want something a little different in Stowe then book a room at Field Guide.  I have been following their restaurant, Picnic Social, on Instagram lately and between the lodging and the dining and the folliage I can’t imagine many better place to be.


Not everyone can take the whole weekend to capture the best of fall, but we have trees here in the city and there are plenty more just a short drive away too. Spend a night at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn and enjoy the country vibe.  I drive up that way once a week for our CSA and for my daughter’s PT up in Acton and the colours are pretty perfect right now. You can enjoy the scenery and take in some history with visits to The Schoolhouse, the Grist Mill and nearby Garden in The Woods.  Great Meadows in Concord (and Sudbury) has a wonderful observation tower to see the foliage and all the fall changes in flora and fauna from above.  Walden Pond is beautiful right now too. If your family doesn’t do the inn thing, then you can go a little more modern and stay at the Element Hotel in Lexington (we really enjoyed our stay at the Seaport Element).

A woodburning fire in your very own suite right in the center of Boston with views overlooking Boston Garden. This is true city living hygge and the ultimate urban fall foliage experience.

You don’t even have to leave the city if you don’t like.  One of my favorite spots for an urban fall view is from the Taj Boston‘s rooftop.  You can even capture New England’s version of Danish hygge in one of the Taj Boston’s fireside suites  where the complimentary firewood and fire butler service is available 24-hours a day.  There are four types of wood to chose from each with different characteristics.

Across the river, in Cambridge, the Mount Auburn Cemetery is known for its landscape and wonderful collection of trees.  It is not just a place where many notable people are buried but it is also a world-class arboretum.  Speaking of which, if you cross back over the river again, the Arnold Arboretum  in Jamaica Plain is stunning this time of year and you can get there by T if you don’t have a car or bike to get you there.

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Rail Explorers’ Rhode Island Division is presented by the Newport and Narragansett Bay Railroad. Tours go through the end of October.

If you have family members that don’t love being on their feet for a hike, then let them take a seat and hit the rails and take the foliage in with some pedal power.  Rail Explorers runs tours on pedal powered vehicles that run on old unused train tracks.  You can get a tandem (for 2) or quad (for 4) and there are VIP seats next to the guides for odd numbered groups as well.

Then of course, you can enjoy the fall colours from the orchards when you go apple picking and pumpkin picking.  It is getting to the end of apple picking season but head out to the orchards while you can and enjoy the views and pick up some crisp, juicy apples to eat or bake with.  Find out some of my favourite orchards and share yours over at Boston City Life.

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