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Dear fellow Travel Gumbo'ists, after a very long period of medically enforced "no travel", we can finally see a date after which we can finally travel again. This will be around the 12th October 2015 and the prospect of being able to see the famed colours of the fall leaves around the Boston area is a highly attractive lure. But we know nothing of the area but only that it is likely to be busy and crowded at that time - so "Please help"!!


Could any kind learned Gumbo'ist suggest a sensible timing and route to follow? Does the fall last the whole of October? Does it progress from north to south? Also would you have thoughts regarding hotels and motels - and to what extent 'must' we book accommodation ahead, or can we expect to be able to 'wing it' and just turn up and find somewhere to stay?


We would plan to rent a car (any suggestions also welcomed!) and drive the route at a leisurely pace allowing for lots of photography .


Any thoughts would be most welcome and appreciated. .

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."  Henry Miller

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Hi Dr. F! We anticipate staying around 2+ weeks (flexible) and whilst "leaf watch" is the prime excuse, we expect that the route will touch on all 6 counties (?) of New Hampshire. I cannot believe how long it has been since we were able to travel... 

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."  Henry Miller

That's good news, Mac!


OK...the leaves start turning first in the north, moving south as the weather changes...but timing is always tricky because it depends on each year's combination of temperature and humidity. Here's a link to a site I've found useful in the's from Yankee magazine, and includes a live map of the progress of the leaves as well as itineraries and more.


We haven't had a good leaf-peeping piece on Gumbo yet, so I'm looking forward to your pictures!


If you're planning to spend some city time, too, we can come up with lots of interesting stuff for the Boston area!

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Agree with PHeymont.  Plan your trips around the leaf watching.  Lots of pretty small towns around New England, although many will be pretty booked. 


I'd leave at least 3-4 days for Boston.  Lots to see and do there, including many items relating to the rebellious Yankees throwing off the ties with old King George.  And great museums and restaurants and such.  We can get into more details if you'd like,  but you'll definitely want a good guide book.


Many people find a day in Salem (famous for its witch trials) entertaining.  I'd add a few days in Cape Cod if time allows. 

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

Glad you're traveling again, Mac. Boston is my home town, and October is THE BEST MONTH.

Where are you staying in the city? I'd walk the Freedom Trail if you're feeling up to it. Go down to the waterfront. Boston Common and Charles Street are fun places to hang out.

Newbury Street is fancy shopping and also has a few fun bistros and coffee shops.

The Science Museum is excellent.

Plenty of seafood to be had. New England clam chowder is great if you have sweater-weather.

Go whale-watching right out of Boston Harbor or walk along the Charles River for a great view. You can walk to the Science Museum if you are staying nearby.

My favorite excursions are to Walden Pond (of Thoreau fame) and to stop at apple cider/apple vendors on RT. 2.

Salem Village is another great escape, if you like history as much as I do. And Plimoth Plantation too.

The North Shore of Boston has white sand beaches. And there's always Cape Cod, 90 minutes away. I can give you lots more ideas if you need them.


I always drive up RT 2 from Boston to I 91 and RT 30 to Vermont to see my family. Sometimes I catch great leaves along the way, but the last few years the Vermont leaves have peaked in September. Still a gorgeous drive.



Last edited by HistoryDigger

Wow! HistoryDigger that is fantastic information, thank you, I will now 'dig' more (pardon the pun) on the web and put some plans into place around those excellent suggestions!!


Please - a crucial question for us - would we be "safe" to just book hotels for the arrival and departure days of our tour and simply rely on finding local accommodation as we progress round - or is it really SO busy in this season that I must book every stop along the way? We prefer the 'flexible' approach as it can be so interesting but will be most grateful to be advised.


Thanks for ll your help Gurus!!

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."  Henry Miller

Mac. I'll be in Pennsylvania - Delaware - Maryland - Virginia later this month through September.

Although a good way south of your expedition the colours of winter arrive gradually and the days are still warm enough to enjoy walking the empty State Parks.

Only a leisurely days drive south of Boston.

I love that warm gap between the end of an English summer and  getting back home for that first chill of winter.









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Regarding hotels, Mac, I think I'd spend a few days in Boston to begin with, presuming that's where you are flying into.  This will let you get over your jet lag and also give you a chance to see the state of the colors and plot out where you want to go.


I would NOT go without having at least a night's reservation booked ahead because you'll waste too much time looking for a place to stay and will end up paying rack rate.  Things will be busy and pretty filled up in the small towns of New England.  But I don't think you need to plan it all out now and book your rooms UNLESS you do so and still cancel without fees if things are not as planned.  Worst case scenario is you end up staying in a city and doing day trips to see the colors.  Not the end of the world.


Regarding Boston, a museum I really enjoyed there was the Museum of Fine Arts.  It likely has the best collection of early American art anywhere, and some interesting exhibits, like a display of Paul Revere's silverware (crafted in his shop).  They also have a great Egyptology display, among other things.  Will take at least a half day and you could easily spend a full day here.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

Thank you Dr. F. - wise words we will keep 1-2 hotels booked ahead and be flexible beyond that. We are really looking forward to this new 'slice' of America, I never realised that the Pilgrim fathers just named every new town after their old home towns - I'm going to be quite confused!!


Thanks too Garry that looks lovely! I envy you being there ahead of us!! PS we are now on the verge of booking Cuba too and are horrified at the cost that Virgin Atlantic is trying to screw us for an upgrade to Premium Economy in early January - £3000 extra (for 2)... Gasp... I think we are going coach...

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."  Henry Miller

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