Why this is the year for your leaf peeping getaway to New England

Deerfield Inn wreathIn years past, travelers seeking a New England fall foliage inn getaway would be scrambling by now to find availability.  But 2020 is not like any other year.  The Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) would normally be close to selling out for the popular fall dates in many parts of DINE country, but this year the Coronavirus has put a kabash on those who’d normally be traveling during the fall season.

Traditionally, the fall season fills early with reservations from international travelers, Canadian travelers, fly-in travelers from the West Coast and Southern states, and senior travelers seeking to find leaf peeping getaways in New England.  Many of the 11 DINE inns’ guests book a year in advance for the peak foliage weekends.  While the stalwart leaf peepers are still hoping to make the trip this year, many are unable or unwilling to travel this year.  In addition, state limitations and restrictions in some states mean that in some cases visitors must postpone their trips until the restrictions or lifted or unless they can attest to a negative Covid test. In short, travel is a little different this fall, but certainly still possible, and the beauty of a New England fall never disappoints.

Niantic fall sunrise

A fall sunrise seen from Inn at Harbor Hill Marina offers gorgeous fall colors.

What does this mean for you?  It means that for the first time in a long time, leaf-peeping vacations will be more readily available for the drive-in market.  Right now availability is good at all DINE inns for fall foliage vacations, even during the peak weekends.  While these dates may fill up soon, now is the time to book your fall foliage vacation to Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut or Maine.

Rabbit Hill Inn, fall foliage

Fall colors surround the Rabbit Hill Inn in late September through October. Photo by Joe Ruddy.

In the past New Englanders and New Yorkers felt they could not find rooms during fall foliage season, and the thought of the crowds scared close-by travelers away.  Not this year.  DINE innkeepers are expecting a lighter fall season given the reticence toward travel.  This makes it the ideal year to be among those who hop in the car and take a one-tank getaway to your favorite DINE inn for a fall escape.

Fall foliage in Camden, Maine viewed from Mt Battie

The view of Camden Harbor, home to Camden Maine Stay Inn from atop Mount Battie. Photo by Claudio Latanza.

For New Englanders and travelers from the Mid-Atlantic states, the 11 DINE inns are within an eight-or-less hour drive. For those from Boston and New England states, your favorite DINE inns are never more than a few hours away or even less.

This is the year for New Englanders to enjoy the beauty of a New England autumn.  Weather pundits say the conditions are ideal for an exquisite fall season.  Be sure to book soon or you may miss your window to grab your favorite room on popular weekends.  And remember too – when you book your romantic getaway to DINE country, don’t forget to book directly with the inn for the best availability and service.

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

In Maine:  Camden Maine Stay Inn in Camden and Inn at English Meadows in Kennebunkport.

In Massachusetts:  Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, Gateways Inn & Restaurant in Lenox, Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield and Captain’s House Inn in Chatham on Cape Cod

In Vermont:  Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton

In New Hampshire:  Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield.

Mums and pumpkins at the entrance of Chesterfield Inn

Colorful mums and pumpkins welcome visitors to the entrance of the Chesterfield Inn.

Top photo: Grafton Inn surrounded by fall colors.