When you think of fall foliage, where do you think of? For me, I think of New England. When my boyfriend, Ben, and I decided we were going to take a fall road trip, it was a unanimous decision to go up to New England. Every time I researched the best fall foliage views, some area in New England would pop up. Plus, we had never really explored the area before. With that being said, we packed our bags (and beer) and set off for the open road! We would later find out that there’s a name people like us who like to travel north for the fall scenery…
Leaf Peeper [leef-pee-per] :
Someone who goes on vacation to watch leaves. Likely to be encountered in Upstate New York, Maine, and the rest of the North East.
Yes, we were classified as straight up leaf peepers. You know what though, I kinda liked it. For those of you who don’t know, we are from Cincinnati, Ohio. With that being said, it was kind of a hike up there. Basically it was a chance to get away and just do what we love to do best: travel. We ended up completing this entire road trip in 5 days and 4 nights, and as affordably as possible. If you are having an itching to get some gorgeous last minute views of the most beautiful fall foliage you have ever seen, I highly suggest you pack up your car right now and just go! We are going to give you the play by play, of what we did, how we saved money, and our must-see locations!
Also Read: The Ultimate Fall Bucket List
Our Plan Of Action
Our ultimate goal was to do this in a fair amount of time, for as little money as possible, and be able to see as much as possible. Planning this out was a bit tricky, because we had to haul our butts all the way up there first. Our plan was to see four cities, in 5 days/4 nights, and under $400/person. Now that might sound a bit expensive at first. With hotels, food, and gas, this was a tough challenge, but at the same time very doable.
Albany, New York
This was probably the most boring day for us. In order to be able to see as much of New England as possible, we had to dedicate a full day to just strictly driving. With that being said, we drove from Northern Kentucky to Albany, New York. To keep hotel costs as low as possible, we checked in at a Microtel by Wyndham near by. We discovered this branch of hotels on our last road trip, and it has quickly become our go-to hotel spot. Not only are they reasonably priced, but they are very clean and pretty cozy.
Moving on to my favorite day of the trip! The next day we drove through the Green Mountains in Vermont to Hancock, New Hampshire. Whatever was the longest and most scenic route, we took it. Spending the day in the car looking at the beautiful foliage just made me so dang happy. It’s the little things in life, right? The pictures don’t do any of the views justice, but they will just have to suffice until you get the chance to experience them for yourself!
Hancock, New Hampshire
To cut some of the costs in half, we knew we wanted to camp at least one night. We took this as an opportunity to continue on with the scenic views. While we were in New Hampshire, we met up with one of Ben’s friend’s who he hiked the Appalachian Trail with! He recommended this amazing camp site called White Mountain National Forest Campground in Hancock, New Hampshire. Not only did we get to sleep with the trees, but we had the river in our backyard! This location is seriously a hidden gem. Also, if you would like some behind the scenes action on what it’s like to hike the Appalachian Trail, Ben has a YouTube channel where he documented his entire experience!
Once we woke up to day 4, it was a very dreary and rainy start. Well actually, it continued on the rest of the day. Our next stop on our list was Boston, which we knew would be our most expensive stop. After arriving, we decided to explore around Fenway Park. The Red Sox were in town for the Post Season (sadly which ended up being the last game for them… hence the dead streets). Regardless of the loss, we still wanted to pay a visit to Fenway.
After we woke up the next morning (to day 5), we wanted to explore a little more of the city before continuing on our way. Our thoughts were to explore the Boston Commons and a couple of their aesthetically pleasing side streets… (basic blogger problems). Although, we came to find out that maneuvering through the city is more of an accomplishment than anything. To be quite honest, I’m not totally in love with the city of Boston. I know this might cause some controversy, but I think we must have explored it all wrong. Yes it’s a cute city, but not necessarily for its price. If you have any Boston travel guides you are proud of, please list them down below! I would love to check them out!
I was originally not going to include this in the post, because I didn’t take any pictures. Although, it ended up being our second favorite stop next to New Hampshire. Our original plan was to camp out somewhere on the Appalachian Trail, but getting out of Boston was kind of a pain in the butt. Because the days get shorter now, we lost the light too quickly to be able to set up our campsite. Plus, we were dragging by day 5. After driving past miles and miles of desolation in Pennsylvania, we came across civilization in Wilkes-Barre.
After exploring the town, we managed to find yet another Microtel that was just remodeled! Plus, we scored a suite for only $65… Seriously, the best place we stayed the entire trip! Not to mention, they had a casino right down the street. Needless to say, we had too much fun playing slot machines based off of the greatest tv show ever, Friends. It was really a dream come true, and an amazing way to end the trip. If you ever come across Wilkes-Barre, PA in your travels, it is an amazing place to stop! Everything you can imagine is located there, plus it is such an affordable town. It’s a real traveling gold mind of a spot!
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When it comes to road trips, we feel that half the fun is just rolling with the punches. Being open to whatever the world presents to us that day, is an exhilarating feeling. We found that planning out our major city stops was the best way to go about our trip. That way we had some sort of destination, but we could easily adjust depending on how we felt that day. For example, we would have never found Wilkes-Barre, PA if it wasn’t for Boston’s traffic and our slow moving selves. Sometimes, things don’t happen like you plan. They turn out better.
I hope you got to do some exploring of your own this October, and let me know some of your favorite places to catch the gorgeous fall foliage! Oh, and Happy Halloween!
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