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Fall foliage route, New York to Vermont — 6 Comments

  1. Thank you! (And thank you for settling a bit of a debate) 😉 We will be picking a “home base” for our trip. We are flying in late on the 3rd and flying out late on the 8th. The only things we have set so far are spending the last day exploring Boston and will be reserving at one day for Mt. Washington. I don’t want to plan too much and lose the spontaneity.

    PCH is beautiful, but once you get past Santa Barbara, it is frequently a 2-lane highway. It is quite lovely when you have a deep forest of Giant Redwoods on one side and beautiful sandy beaches on the other. We did that exact trip couple of years ago. We ended up going Los Angeles to Grants Pass, OR over 4 days. It was a great drive, I highly recommend it if you ever find yourself on the West Coast.

    • hi Jessica, I’m glad I was able to help but my wife wants me to also put in her viewpoint which is some people who are really used to driving may love nothing more than getting on the back roads of New England and driving all day. This is really what I do on a constant basis during late September and October so I tend to assume (always dangerous) and think the average person or leaf peeper should get out of the car and explore locations, buy apple pies, or other harvest treats. Then they can get back in the car and drive a little ways, get back out of the car and go walk off those harbor streets. 🙂
      It sounds like you might be driving to the top of Mount Washington which means you’ll be getting route 16 or catching the cog railway to the top. (If it’s the cog let me know because I’ve never been on it myself)
      the drive to the top of Mount Washington is not too daunting for most people and thousands of people do it every autumn. It’s the drive back down that really can wear on your breaks. 🙂

      If you’re arriving late on the third you might find a place close to the airport or at least not too far away (maybe an hour or so) make this someplace that you can relax and get up in the morning refreshed and hit the road with your wheels spinning. I always emphasize driving less and doing more but you know your limitations and what will make you happy.
      I have a cousin out in Torrance California and one of these days I’m going to take her up on her offer and go out for a visit. Lisa and I would love to drive the PCH and see a couple of sunsets from along it. If I do get out that way I’ll try and remember you on here and send you a note say you can advise me on where to go!

      As we get closer will see what the overall weather is doing between the third and 8th October. If you send me a comment or question around the 30th of September, I’ll see if I can make better suggestions on what might be good. Just let me know if you’ve made any reservations in between now and then and we’ll see what we can do.

  2. Hi Jeff, I recently found your website and I am loving it! My husband and I are from California and are coming back to New England Oct 3-8 for our 10 year anniversary. A quick trip, but all we can squeeze in while he is graduate school. My question is, we would like to see as much as possible while there, is it better to have a central point to come back to or to “hotel hop” and see where we end up? If a central point is better, do you have a recommendation? We are both native Californians, so driving for 8 hours in a day keeps you in the same state, we are intrigued by the idea of multiple states in a day. We are trying to decide of we book a hotel now or are more “spontaneous” with our trip.

    • I always think a single base of Operations works well. First is the 3rd and 8th travel days or are you landing on the 2nd and leaving on the 9th… Leaving the 3rd means you arrive the afternoon of the 3rd and you will either need a place near the airport or pick up the rental car and drive up to (lets says) St Johnsbury VT or Sugarhill NH.
      Next driving through multiple states may intrigue you but if all you want to do is drive all day then why come here? I assume you might like to stop in some towns, maybe ride a ski resort gondola to the top of a mountain like cannon MT or Wildcat and it will take you time to arrive there in the morning, ride to the top 12-20 minutes. explore up top, another 30 min to 1 hour and if you don’t eat a meal up top you ride back down and now it’s time for lunch. Go find a bite to eat and drive through a local town or two and maybe find a state park to explore and maybe get out of the car and hike some trails. It’s now time to get dinner and you may not have left VT or NH today..

      You see the secret is this… The enjoyment doesn’t come from seeing tree after tree in color, it’s about exploring the landscape and making new memories. If you like antiques, we have them, history?> we have that too…

      You can probably get away with driving during the day and finding a place each night. IF you are not too picky. If you want the really comfortable places, and fine dining then you may want to make reservation and find a place near the two towns I mentioned up above. I chose them because whether the fall colors are early or late you should be centrally located so you don’t have to drive to far.
      Also! I don’t recommend highways but the backroads. Highways are great to get into the thick of it but then you get off onto secondary or even farmers dirt roads to really find spectacular views. When you are driving all day and not getting out of CA, I bet you are still driving the PCH which is a beautiful 4 lane (2 each way) highway (let me know if I’m right about that since I’ve only seen it in movies) So the driving experience is a bit different then what you are thinking.. I think.. 🙂
      Let me know if this helps or causes confusion.

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