Last week, we started our armchair leaf-peeping tour through the Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) with Part I of the journey to Vermont, the Berkshires and Camden Hills. This post will complete the journey with ideas for amazing ways for leaf-peepers to enjoy fall – from the wildlife preserves of Marblehead to the boardwalks of Cape Cod and Niantic. The 12 DINE inns offer fabulous New England fall foliage and fall fun combined into the perfect romantic getaway destinations.
Who says beaches are just for summer?
Fall comes much later to the Connecticut Shore and Cape Cod than to the Northern parts of DINE country. While leaf-peepers flock to the Northern reaches of New England in early October, sun-and-sand lovers stay in the southern reaches to enjoy every last bit of warm sunny weather. Guests of the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina will enjoy taking in the fall colors of pumpkins and mums decorating the inn. A stroll along the boardwalk in Niantic similarly reveals wonderful fall décor brushed by warm sea breezes that remain throughout October.
Head to Chatham, Cape Cod and you’ll similarly find beautiful fall decorations and changing leaves much later in the fall season at the Captain’s House Inn. Fall colors here come in the form of sunlit daisies and mums plus of course fall pumpkins. And for those in search of Halloween hilarity, you just might be treated to innkeeper James’ fabulous food creations to add color to your day!
And the Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport rounds out the perfect beach locations in DINE country for a fall stroll. If you can tear yourself away from the beautiful fall gardens at the inn, take a stroll to the beach for the blue of the sea on one side of you and the colors of fall on the other. Don’t miss Kennebunkport’s Dock Square all decked out in the fall colors of mums too.
Take a hike in New Hampshire’s State Parks
For those staying at the Chesterfield Inn, fall colors are found everywhere from the wonderful décor that adorns the property inside and out to a walk in nearby Pisgah Park, the largest state park in New Hampshire. With more than 13,300 acres of rough forested terrain, encompassing a complete watershed north of the Ashuelot River, the park offers up seven ponds (popular for fishing), four highland ridges and numerous wetlands – filled with fall colors for at least the first three weeks in October. Return to the inn for a hot toddy near the fire – the perfect ending to a day of leaf peeping in New Hampshire.
Birds of a feather enjoy foliage together in Marblehead, MA
For stunning water-ringed views of foliage, Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary is a perfect place for not only leaf but bird peepers staying at Harbor Light Inn . Marblehead Neck’s peninsula forms the east side of Marblehead Harbor. Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the center of the peninsula that extends into Massachusetts Bay. Its swamp, thickets, and woodlands are a haven for migratory birds, during the spring and fall migrations. This makes it a sanctuary for not only birders but Massachusetts leaf peepers too. Come back to the inn to tell all the guests gathered in the tavern about what an ideal place you’ve found for bird and leaf-peeping.
Grab the bike and hit the trails in Grafton, VT
The last stop on our journey fall journey for leaf peepers through DINE country takes us full circle back to Grafton, VT – one of the most beautiful little New England villages for leaf peepers and home to the Grafton Inn. Guests of the Grafton Inn can access all the facilities and trails at nearby Grafton Trails and Outdoor Center, and a fall trip through these scenic trails will make for an unforgettable getaway. Bring the bike or hike the well-marked trail system then return to the inn for some serious rocking in wicker rocking chairs on the porch and/or a fireside dinner.
We’ve come full circle offering a perfect itinerary for New England leaf peepers including stays at the 11 Distinctive Inns of New England. Don’t forget to book direct when you make your reservations for your fall foliage tour.
In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic.