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Fall foliage drive - does this sound like a nice route?

Nashville, Tennessee
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Fall foliage drive - does this sound like a nice route?

My friend and I are going to try to do some leaf peeping this fall. We will be flying into and out of Manchester, NH.

We don't mind town and inn hopping - but we do want a little relaxation. How does this sound for a route? We are going the second week in Oct - so I figured the foliage would be better in the lower areas.

Day 1 -Manchester, NH to North Conway, NH.

Day 2 - Spend the day driving and exploring the Kancamagus Highway. Continue on to Stowe.

Day 3 - Explore Stowe - Ben and Jerry's tour, hiking, walk the town. Continue on to Burlington.

Day 4 - Explore Burlington, take a hot air balloon ride, take a boat ride on th lake. Stay 2nd night in Burlington.

Day 5 - Drive and explore Highway 100, spending the night in Brandon at the Brandon Inn.

Day 6 - Continue exploring Highway 100, spend the night in Weston at The Inn at Weston.

Day 7 - Explore the area more - spend another night in Weston.

Day 8 - Leave Weston and drive to Manchester, NH and fly home.

We want to hike and see cheese making and go to some art galleries and see some covered bridges.

Has anyone been on an Above Reality Hot Air Balloon ride - out of Essex Junction?

Should I spend two nights in Brandon or Weston? Which area has more day trips?

Any other ideas or tips you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Manchester
Manchester
New Hampshire
North Conway
North Conway
Conway, NH
Stowe
Stowe
Vermont
Southern VT
Destination Expert
for Vermont
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1. Re: Fall foliage drive - does this sound like a nice route?

The route sounds lovely. You will be in VT during peak foliage so you will want to make your lodging reservations immediately and may need to stay 2 nights in one place on the weekend. Weston is tiny, Brandon is small. Both are in gorgeous areas, but Brandon is closer to more populated areas, and you might enjoy spending a day in Middlebury when there.

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Colonial Heights...
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2. Re: Fall foliage drive - does this sound like a nice route?

First of all Congratulations on picking NH & VT as your leaf peeping destination; "Beautiful Choice".

Having made the same trip back in 2011 (and returning this October too), here are some ideas / tips.

1) Conway NH. The Conway Scenic Railroad. Imagine relaxing on a slow moving train and taking in the foliage. You also have the option of enjoying a lunch in a restored old antique lunch car.

2) Kancamagus Highway - You may want a little extra time to take short hikes to the waterfalls along this route.

3) Stowe VT -

A) Piecasso for lunch. Enough said.

B) Gondola sky ride on Mount Mansfield.

C) Endless small shops around the village for window shopping.

*** Unique/ fun option while in the area; Zip-Lining through the trees in nearby Smuggler's Notch with Arbortrek.***

4) Ben & Jerry's factory tour. Located south of Stowe in Waterbury. You may want to call ahead of time to make sure that the factory is making Ice cream on the day you visit. The day that I went they weren't :(

Safety tip while driving around Vermont - Avoid late night drives for fear of moose collisions.

5) Before you two rush back to San Francisco, you have to take part in the New England tradition; For your love of hiking you two have to hike up Mount Monadnock (Jaffrey NH) on a perfectly clear day. A pretty easy climb with some spectacular views from the summit.

The foliage schedule is tricky as it doesn't go by calendar so much as the first frost in New England. So when you arrive in Manchester if the colors are faint there, no worries, you'll see endless colors in northern Vermont.

One last idea...If you have access (through your satellite/ cable TV provider, record the Smithsonian Channel's "Arial America" episodes on Vermont & New Hampshire (airing July 4th from 3am to 5am) for even more ideas and the yearning that October wasn't so far off.

Have a wonderful time and take plenty of pictures.

Mentioned in this post
Stowe
Stowe
Vermont
Waterbury
Waterbury
Vermont
San Francisco
San Francisco
California
Manchester
Manchester
Greater Manchester, UK
Nashville, Tennessee
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3. Re: Fall foliage drive - does this sound like a nice route?

Thanks for the tips. I can't wait for October. I am still playing around with the schedule a bit. Trying, of course, to come of with the perfect route. Though it sounds like as long as we are in NH/VT we will be happy.

4. Re: Fall foliage drive - does this sound like a nice route?

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