Connecticut foliage planning in October

Reader Question

Today’s question comes from the country of Turkey.  This couple is planning a fall foliage trip sometime during the month of October to various points in Connecticut.

“Hi Jeff; I find your site very useful. My wife and I will fly from Turkey to visit NE during Oct. Unfortunately, we have only 3-4 days to spend in Connecticut region. Your advise as to where to stay and visit (routes, maybe?) would be very much appreciated. From the material I have read so far Litchfield area stands out. I thought of splitting by 2 nights at the coast (Stonington, Essex?) and 2 nights in the country (Litchfield, or?). Any advise would help. Many thanks.”

Hi Sait, I have to ask a few questions of my own in order to really answer your question.  The fall foliage turns later to the South and is usually the last half of October in CT.  So I’m assuming the following:

  1. Your dates are flexible and you can arrive after 15 October
  2. You are planning to fly into Boston and perhaps get a connecting flight to Hartford (quickest) or you’ll rent a car in Boston and drive to one of several points.

Based on the above assumptions and the fact that you are looking to enjoy an ocean view for at least a day or two then I have to ask which is more important?

The ocean view or the fall foliage view?

Due to the fact that the color moves from north to south, I would spend my first night or two in either Pomfret Connecticut (Route 169 the quiet corner or Litchfield Connecticut ( but not both.

You could do either area and as long as the weather cooperates, you will have a fantastic trip.  The upside to picking Pomfret as your fall foliage destination is that it is just north of Stonington where you could spend the last day or two of your trip before driving back to Hartford to catch an airplane to Boston and points east.

The town hall in Willimantic Connecticut

The town hall in Willimantic Connecticut

The reason that Stonington Connecticut should be the last portion of your trip is that will be right on the water and this will be the last area for the colors to turn.  So my suggestion (as always) is to start North and then proceed South.

I haven’t stayed overnight in CT so I can’t make any recommendations based on experience. Check this link for a few places in the Pomfret area.


This is easier since if you get a map book and if you car hays a GPS that will help out. But if you stay off the major roads you will find  great locations. One of the best drives is Route 169 from Woodstock in the north to Norwich in the south.

In the western side of CT you have Litchfield (Yankee Magazine’s #1 foliage town and just west of that is Route 7 which run