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New England Fall Guide and Foliage Watch

New England's second largest tourist season, fall is the time for light jacket strolls through the city and long drives north and west to enjoy the foliage. The tapestry of colors in New England is one of the most spectacular sights anywhere (and I have been around to many places). The ingredients of climate, rolling hills and gentle mountains and of course lots and lots of deciduous trees make Greater Boston and New England the top foliage destination in the world.

Fall is a great time to reconnect with family and friends after a summer of vacations, travel and divergent plans. Here are some of my favorite activities in fall:

1) Apple Picking - A staple New England tradition that is so packed with fun, its hard to stay away. Wrapped in sweatshirts and light gloves, get lost in an apple orchard this fall, enjoying the fun of finding that hidden branch still full of ready to pick (and eat!) apples. Grab that ladder, set it well and fill your bag with some of my favorites including Empires, Macouns, Delicious and of course Macintosh. Macs right off the tree are a delicacy unlike any other. Sometimes about a fresh picked apple, absent of any defects or mealy texture, brings out the very best of fall. If it's not for the apples, the whole feeling of being in an apple orchard, away from traffic and noise, will relax your senses and make you smile. Even the littlest members of the family get a kick out of being helped up to reach a dangling apple, or even from finding apples on the ground (secretly you have the throw most of those ones away). Mark Snyder

2) Hayride - It's hardly just a New England thing, but riding on a hay truck through a beautiful New England farm is a great way to see the foliage. Just hold on tight, especially to your kids. Mark Snyder

3) Pumpkins - Whether going to a pumpkin farm, buying them at a local farmstand like Wilson Farms in Lexington, carving them for Halloween or cooking up the seeds and flesh, pumpkins are the quintessentially fall emblem. Whether its pumpkin ice cream (Rancatores in Lexington and Belmont), pumpkin pie or salted and toasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkins taste as great as they look. For the kids, a pumpkin carving contest makes for a great fall birthday party event or just something for visiting kids to do when you have that fall cookout.

4) Filming and Photography - New England is at its visual best in the fall. Drive into the mountains and behold the incredible colors, the tapestry of rolling hills, the rushing rivers before a backdrop of New England colors and leaves of every possible color. Grab your camera and your kids and capture the beauty of New England in fall.

5) Football - Lets face it, something about football in fall just works. Whether its getting ready for the upcoming season, watching the kids pummel each other out on the field, or playing a bit of pigskin ball with old friends, football just feels right in the fall. Granted, this is not something that New England has any leg up on compared to other parts of the US, but we share this fall tradition with our friends across the US.

6) Leaf Peeping (Foliage Watching) - And finally the reason why people flock to New England in the fall in the first place. Simply come out, pack a picnic, load up the kids and go for a drive. Expect to stop often because while you might be willing to spend the day watching the leaves, the kids wont. Bring things for them to get out of the car and do, and let them blow off steam every hour or too. Be sure to prepare yourself to stop for ice cream or to arrange for goals like finding the perfect pumpkin at the end of the drive.

7) Biking - Fall is a beautiful time to bicycle in New England. As the temperatures fall from their summer highs, the trees are filled with beautiful foliage and road side farm stands move into place, the time comes to load up the kids with helmets and to go for a family bike ride. Consider trying out the Minuteman Bikeway as well. This historic road for bicycles only begins in historic Concord and winds its way through Lexington and Arlington, eventually ending in Cambridge. All intersections with streets are clearly delineated and several businesses are set up directly on the bike path to help with repairs or just as a fun stop off for a bike to eat.

Visit this site for detailed information about fall foliage in New England:

Fall Foliage in New England

Good towns to sight foliage around Boston are Newton, Brookline, Lexington, Concord, Sudbury (one of my favorites), Stowe, Dover, Acton and parts of South Western Framingham. 

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