Coming for foliage I would fly into the northern half of New England - ME, NH, VT. Of the three I believe that you'll find the best connections are through what's referred to as Manchester - Boston Regional Airport, airport code MHT. It's a new airport and lets you avoid the major hassle of Boston's Logan International. You may need to change planes in Philadelphia or Baltimore or Dulles but it's a lot easier than the mess of Boston. Driving out of Logan with a rental car immediately dumps you into a mess of traffic on the new central tunnel artery know as The Big Dig. Google "The Big Dig" and get a look.
Info on the Mancherster Airport is found at;
We recently used Bradley Airport in Hartford CT and found it to be very convenient and easy to navigate. It is also easy to get on Rt 91 which is a quick way to get started north. If you are coming around Columbus Day or after be careful of staying too far north as the colors change earlier in the northern half of the New England states.
Thanks for the replies. I have considered Bradley but hadn't heard of the MHT. I will check flights and fares to both. Thanks for the heads up on driving out of Boston. Have been there a couple of times but never drove.
definitely try MHT. I think Southwest flies from dfw probably with one stop. From there rental cars are cheaper than if you had to rent in Boston and Boston can become a nightmare driving. As stated in previous review if you are coming during "leaf peeping" time, north changes in late sept early oct. Mid section around columbus day. But no one can tell you exactly when as the weather has a lot to say in the matter. Give us one big hurricane and we have no leaves to turn. It is so beautiful though and I am sure you will love it here.
What part of the fall would you be coming? If it is early in colors season, fly north to MHT, Portland or Burlington, but I suspect that Burlington colors is a week or two earlier than the Manchester or Portland areas. If you are later, Bradley may make more sense. Also, are you thinking of flying in and out of the same airport? If start in Burlington late in season, you could find yourself far from the area by the you need to return. MHT is a good central location. You can go north or south, toward Vermont or the Maine coast, and still be within a reasonable circle. Definitely avoid Boston Logan. Even if you save money on the flight or time on a direct flight, you pay it back in gas, driving time, and traffic. Bradley is a great option, especially if you are not trying to make it up to the White Mountains or Maine coast.
Thanks for all the input! Looks like MHT will most likely be our destination. We will be going the end of the first week of October and will probably head north first and work our way back south. we will have about 7-8 days to drive around. Definitely want to take in New Hampshire and Vermont. Do you think we have time to go into Maine as well?
You have picked a very good time to come. The fall colors are not on a rigid time schedule, so it is hard to say where the full color will be at that time, but with 7-8 days you will certainly get an eye full, every day. A couple of suggestions. WMUR TV, one of the two TV stations in NH, gives daily reports on their website of the status of fall colors. Check this before you come, or once you are here, to find out where peak colors are, so you can adjust your travels around the state as needed. The web address is www.wmur.com.
Use the Interstate highways just to make time and distance. Otherwise, use the state highways and 2 lane roads.
When you arrive, head north to the peak colors, then wind your way slowly south, exploring the towns, mountain roads, getting around the lakes, and all the picturesque views of NH and Northern NEw England.
Arriving that early, you may find yourselves heading up through the White Mountains into the North Country, or North of the Notch, in order to reach peak colors. I-93 from MHT will get you into Franconia Notch in about an hour and a half. There is a great circle, up throuogh Franconia Notch, east on Rte 3 to Twin Mountain, south on Rte 302, past the Mt Washington Hotel (a grand old hotel) and the Mt Washington Cog Railroad, into North Conway and south on Rte to the Kankamagus Highway which will take you back across to Lincoln and Woodstock at the south end of Franconia Notch. Great hiking along these routes, both easy and difficult. beautiful sights. Tons to do.
Follow the colors south through the Lakes Region.
Definitely try to include Maine, especially the coast, though the drive from wherever you are to the coast will be a continuation of the beauty of NH, winding roads, trees and lakes and streams. It is okay to skip VT in favor of the difference of the coast, though you will be missing some beautiful scenerey in VT.
I am sure other folks will have and already have given plenty of suggestions of places to go and see.
I really appreciate all the suggestions. I haven't been to New England since 1971 and that was in the summer as a kid. I know very little about it. It appears that you can't go too wrong no matter where you are that time of year. I am convinced that we should make space for Maine.
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