One of the best ways to experience the autumn landscape is via one of the many New England fall foliage tours that roll through the region each year. For a story in Yankee’s September/October 2017 issue (“Leaf People”), I took a New England fall foliage tour with Tauck Tours, which has been leading guided visits to the region in fall for more than nine decades. Tauck is considered by many to offer the best New England fall foliage tours, but it’s far from the only company with such excursions. Read on for a selection of great New England fall foliage tour operators.
Courtesy of Tauck Tours
5 Favorite New England Fall Foliage Tours
It’s not an overstatement to say Tauck invented the New England foliage tour because, well, it sort of did. In 1925, Arthur Tauck, a 27-year-old traveling salesman, decided to share the beauty he often discovered while motoring along the region’s back roads. He advertised his guided tour in a local New Jersey paper, pricing his one-week excursion, which included all meals and accommodations, for $69. Six people signed on for the journey, and a business was born.
Today, Connecticut-based Tauck leads tours all over the world. But its New England fall foliage tours continue to be one of its biggest draws. Tauck offers several choices. Its 12-day “Grand New England” provides an in-depth portrait of the region, from Revolutionary War sites in Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts, to a weather lesson atop New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, to a full-on lobster experience in Portland, Maine. A more condensed version of this journey is offered in Tauck’s eight-day “Hidden Gems of New England” tour.
This tour operator’s seven-day New England fall foliage tour begins in Boston and includes visits to the Martha’s Vineyard villages of Edgartown and Oak Bluffs, the southern Maine coast towns of York and Ogunquit, the mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire, and the White Mountain National Forest. Another seven-day tour option includes the Vermont side of Lake Champlain.
On this eight-day guided journey, travelers hit many New England highlights: Boston, Plymouth Rock, Martha’s Vineyard, the Newport mansions, Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, the Norman Rockwell Museum in the Berkshires, picture-perfect Woodstock, Vermont, and a Maine lobster dinner.
As the name implies, this eight-day New England fall foliage tour cuts through the heart of the region via motor coach and train. Lobster, lighthouses, and mountains all play a part in a trip that offers a nice blend of southern and northern New England.
Over the course of eight autumn-themed days, travelers on the “Taste of New England” tour cover a lot of ground and sample a lot of delicious local food, from Boston and the Berkshires to the historic downtown of Manchester, Vermont, to a trip up Mount Washington on the famed Cog Railway and a lobster cruise in Maine.
Know of any New England fall foliage tours we missed? Let us know!
This post was first published in 2017 and has been updated.
10 Places to Visit in New England in Fall
Prettiest Fall Foliage Villages in Vermont
The Ultimate New England Fall Foliage Road Trip