Concord, NH – The air is starting to feel crisp and the leaves in some parts of New Hampshire are already showing a hint that fall is on its way. While we have had our fill of warm summer days, the approach of the fall foliage season now provides a reason to step outside and experience New Hampshire’s world class fall colors.
The Granite State offers many ways to experience the season off the beaten path through a hike, drive, or weekend stay. A foliage leaf peeking excursion can also be combined with a visit to one of the state’s many attractions. New Hampshire in the fall bursts with the colors of nature and adventurous activities to keep the entire family busy.
New Hampshire’s foliage season runs roughly from mid-September to mid-October, but this varies widely depending on weather, topography and geography. Just before the season begins, a sneak preview of fall can be found as swamp maples surrounding some ponds and lakes turn a fiery red, and the deciduous trees of northern New Hampshire begin their transformation. Columbus Day Weekend is often the focal point of fall foliage excursions, but the White Mountains can present earlier colors.
There are plenty of activities available to visitors. Here are some options for enjoying New Hampshire's fall colors.
TAKE A CRUISE FOR A COLORFUL VIEW
One special place to enjoy the foliage show is Lake Winnipesaukee. It's hard to see foliage while you're driving, so why not take a cruise on the M/S Mount Washington and let the captains do the driving (and save the gas). The big lake has amazing color and the juxtaposition of the water and sky can be breathtaking. Sundays in September and October they offer early Dinner Cruises from Weirs Beach in September and in October. For more information visit www.cruisenh.com or call 888-843-6686.
On Golden Pond:
A truly romantic retreat, most of the rooms at Manor on Golden Pond have wood-burning fireplaces, private decks from which to admire the stunning views and some have whirlpool baths for two. Sit and enjoy a glass of wine by the fire on a cool summer evening or soothe tired limbs with the signature hot stone massage in the Seasons Spa.
Experience the beauty of Squam Lake on a guided boat cruise, or take in a round of golf at one of two 18-hole golf courses nearby. There are numerous hiking and cycling trails in the region and in winter there are five skiing areas all within half an hour from Manor on Golden Pond. For more information visit http://www.manorongoldenpond.com.
TAKE THE TRAIN THROUGH THE TREES OR A LIFT OVER THE MOUNTAINS
Climb aboard one of the region's three sightseeing trains for unique views of foliage: Hobo Scenic Railroad in Lincoln; the Conway Scenic Railroad in Conway, and the legendary Cog Railway that chugs up Mount Washington from its base in Bretton Woods.
For a different aerial view, take the sky ride to get a bird's eye view of fall foliage. Ski Mountains in the area offer trips on their chair lifts and gondolas to the tops of their mountains, where the views can be simply spectacular. Consider the Loon Mountain Gondola in Lincoln; the Wildcat Mountain Gondola in Jackson, and the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway in Franconia.
For more information visit www.visitwhitemountains.com or call 603-745-8720.
In a Valley:
SURROUNDED BY FOREST AT WATERVILLE VALLEY RESORT
There is nothing like fall in New England, and Waterville Valley Resort, located in the middle of the White Mountain National Forest, has a full slate on tap this fall for those seeking the best colors of foliage season.
Town Square Condos is offering an Autumn Wine & Dine package that will be a plus while enjoying the brilliant colors of autumn in the White Mountains. This package includes lodging in a premium 1-bedroom condo at Town Square, a gourmet 3-course dinner at The Lantern Restaurant, and a 25% discount on bottled wine. Autumn rates are $200 for two guests per night during the week, and $227 per night on weekends. Additional guests may be added to the package, and upgrades to a 3-bedroom condo are possible. Room-only rates in Town Square Condos start at $129 midweek and $149 weekend. Both packages and room-only rates include Freedom Pass activities like golf, tennis, mountain bike rental, guided bike tours, weekend canoe and paddle boat rentals, and admission to the White Mountain Athletic Club.
Celebrate the arrival of fall with Waterville Valley’s Fall Foliage Fest over Columbus Day Weekend, October 12-14. A weekend of fun family events is planned including kids’ games, pumpkin painting, and a pie-eating contest. For those looking for a deal, there will be merchant tent sales and the annual BBTS ski and snowboard swap. On Sunday October 13, the Resort is hosting a 5K run/walk to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure NH/VT Affiliate.
For more information, visit www.visitwatervillevalley.com or call 800-GO-VALLEY.
VIEW A LITTLE INDOOR COLOR
The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester provides a reason to step inside to experience the colors and textures in their featured exhibits this fall.
The Currier Museum of Art presents five Dutch and Flemish masterworks loaned from the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo collection. The Van Otterloo Collection recently drew large crowds as it toured the Netherlands and the U.S, opening at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, then traveling to Houston and San Francisco and then briefly at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The works loaned to the Currier have been acquired since that international tour, and have not been exhibited previously in the U.S. For more information visit www.currier.org or call 603.669.6144, ext. 108.
For a full a list of events, deals and travel ideas in New Hampshire log on to http://karnotrippicks.com.