With fall comes crisp air, cozy sweaters, and of course, the gorgeous fall foliage of the New England area. And while Boston itself is covered with brightly colored leaves of red and orange, a weekend road trip away from the city is always ideal in this weather. From vintage train rides to historic small towns, we’ve rounded up the best spots around Boston for a day trip this season.
Situated an hour and a half outside of Boston is Peaked Mountain—a reservation featuring 3.5 miles of forest roads and breathtaking views. Atop the 1,227-foot summit of this area, hikers can take in the stunning scenery of the fall foliage from the forested landscapes below, and catch a glimpse of bordering regions such as Mount Monadnock, Mount Wachusett, and Connecticut’s Shenipsit State Forest. Grab your friends and family, pack a picnic, and enjoy lunch with a view at this picturesque locale. 138 Butler Rd., Monson, 413-532-1631
Almost two hours south of Boston sits Preston Ridge Vineyard—a winery positioned on the Coastal Wine Trail, which runs through the heart of the Southeastern New England AVA. Featuring nearly six planted acres, Preston Ridge Vineyard boasts an extensive wine menu with options such as an Estate Harvest Blend with notes of peach and honey, an Mélange with flavors of black plum and cherries, and a Sunset Farm Dry Rosé containing a floral aroma. Enjoy your choice of wine on their outdoor patio while taking in the stunning fall foliage that surrounds the area. 100 Miller Rd., Preston, CT, 860-383-4278
Nature-lovers will definitely want to make the two-hour drive from Boston to visit this 196-acre preserve situated in West Brookfield. Visitors can explore the hardwood forests, pine groves, watch for animals such as wild turkeys and painted turtles, and of course, discover the land formation known as the Rock House. During the fall season, we suggest sitting near Carter Pond to take in its colorful surroundings of green, yellow, red, and orange trees. MA-9, West Brookfield, 978-840-4446
Perfect for the Halloween season, Salem is located less than an hour from Boston, making it ideal for a quick day trip on the weekend. While this historic town boasts many indoor attractions for tourists to visit such as the Peabody Essex Museum, the Salem Museum, and Live Spell Casting, one of the best parts of being in Salem is experiencing the changing leaves and crisp air of fall on its charming streets. To do so, we suggest following the Salem Heritage Trail so that you can soak in the fall foliage and visit the main sites of the town all at once. Salem
Perhaps one of the most unique ways to experience the beautiful colors of the season is on the Conway Scenic Railroad—an old-fashioned railroading experience located in New Hampshire. With its starting point clocking in at three hours north of Boston, this is the furthest day trip on our list, but definitely one that is worthwhile. Patrons will take a seat in one of their vintage passenger cars and embark on a round-trip journey from North Conway Village to either Conway or Bartlett. And when you get hungry, head to the train’s dining car to indulge first-class cuisine and picturesque views. 38 Norcross Cir., North Conway, NH, 603-356-5251
Travel back in time for the day with a visit to the Old Sturbridge Village situated one and a half hours from Boston. Depicting life in the early 19th-century rural Village, this destination features costumed historians, antique buildings, water-powered mills, and a working farm. When you’ve finished perusing antiques and participating in hands-on crafts, be sure to take a ride on their historic stagecoach to travel around the Common featuring colorful, bright trees and charming structures. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge, 800-733-1830