In autumn, all of New England explodes in color as the weather cools and the fall foliage makes its dramatic appearance. With easy access to major highways that lead to western Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine (as well as everywhere else in New England), Boston’s North Shore is a wonderful home base for a leaf-peeping road trip.

When to Visit
The general thumb is that the further north you are, the earlier the leaves change. Early- to mid-September is a good time to view foliage in the upper parts of New Hampshire and Maine (near Canada) and the show moves continually southward as the calendar progresses into October. By early November, the show will be on its decline on the North Shore, but Connecticut and Rhode Island will still be having their turn. 

Here are some great resources that can help you plan your Fall Road Trip.

  • The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism’s site (massvacation.com) has a wealth of information about visiting MA and their “InstaFoliage” page is kind of amazing. 
  • It has real-time foliage cams and route maps of popular leaf-peeping routes — even a route that loops around Cape Ann and the North Shore.
  • Yankeefoliage.com (published by Yankee Magazine) features a live foliage map, a form to submit your own foliage sightings, a photo contest and a great article that discusses why you shouldn’t worry about missing out on “peak” foliage.
  • If you want to get closer to Nature than just speeding by it in a car, check out this list of Massachusetts Day Hikes from Boston.com. Included on the list is Gloucester’s own Ravenswood Park, which is managed by The Trustees of Reservations. There are about 20 Reservations around the North Shore, all of them worth a visit. Read our blog post about walking trails and scenic hikes in Cape Ann.
  • Boston Magazine plotted this trip from Beverly Farms, MA to Holderness, NH that passes all through the North Shore and up past Lake Winnipesaukee. It sounds like a perfect trip, even if we can’t borrow their Bentley.
  • Even if foliage isn’t your thing, there is plenty to do on the North Shore! From apple- or pumpkin-picking, getting lost in a corn maze and much, much more, you will never get bored while visiting our area. We have curated a list of the best Fall activities for kids near Cape Ann.

Where to Stay
Atlantic Vacation Homes has vacation rental properties all over the North Shore, including Beverly and Beverly Farms, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Newbury. Wherever you decide to base your fall foliage vacation, you’ll be well-situated for exploring. Our post-Labor Day rental rates are much lower than the peak summer season rates, so there is no excuse not to book your stay today!