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Date: 20/11/2015

Top Autumn Destinations ‒ New England

Photo by: Adam RifkinPhoto by: Adam Rifkin 

There is no doubt that the US wins hands down when it comes to autumn colours, with New England topping the list of must-see regions at this time of year. Its whitewashed farmhouses are in stark contrast to the glorious riot of purple, scarlet, red and orange leaves.

The soil, weather and altitude in this part of the world ‒ not to mention trees such as red maple and dogwood ‒ ensure a stunning autumn display. People travel from across the globe to see New England in 'the foliage season'; in fact, it is so popular that visitors who come for the colourful autumn display are known locally as 'leaf peepers'.

Best time to travel

September and October are the best months to head for New England, as temperatures drop at night-time and trigger the changes in the leaves. The transformation process starts in Quebec and Ontario in mid-September but there are still plenty of beautiful views to be had in mid-November, when autumn is in full swing. Regular updates on local TV and radio offer advice as to the best places to visit.

Be a leaf peeper

This is high season in New England, so don't leave booking accommodation and organising car rental until the last minute. Many hotels and inns book up months in advance and a package holiday may be the most affordable option. Seasoned leaf peepers choose a base and find time for other seasonal events, such as harvest festivals and county fairs, in addition to enjoying the spectacular foliage.

While renting a car is a great way to see the displays, you could avoid the crowds and hop on a cable car ride to the top of a ski resort for great views without the congestion. Head to the village of Bethel and take a ride on the Sunday River resort cable car for amazing mountain views.

Adventurous autumn

For something a little more adventurous, why not take a zip line tour in Vermont's Green Mountains or the Carrabassett Valley in Maine to see the foliage up close and personal? Alternatively, relax on a cruise along Lake Champlain in Vermont, hike part of the Appalachian Trail, or take a train journey. The Maple Leaf train to Toronto covers 550 miles and crosses the Hudson River Valley, affording travellers astounding vistas of New England as the seasons change and providing you with the opportunity to sit back, relax and drink it all in.