Have you ever dreamt of driving through New England just to catch a glimpse of those mesmerizing fall leaves? I know I have! But like so many of us, time often slips away. Iconic spots like Stowe in Vermont or the breathtaking Acadia National Park sometimes feel just out of reach, especially when our busy calendars stand in the way of those autumnal adventures. Yet, hope remains. For a condensed experience of New England's fall majesty, consider a trip to Kennebunkport, Maine. Just about an hour and a half from Boston, it’s a great way to get a quick autumnal fix.
Boston, Concord, Salem, Kennebunkport (and perhaps, a quaint detour to Rockport, MA)
Starting from Boston, I often like to make my way to Concord, MA first. The historic Sleepy Hollow cemetery is a must-visit, especially given its proximity to the Concord Colonial Inn. In fact, I once stayed in one of its famously haunted rooms.
From Concord, the route through Salem is a historical treat. Known for its witch trials, Salem adds a bit of eerie ambiance to the journey, especially as Halloween approaches.New England has countless spots to enjoy the fall scenery, but if you're short on time, this route offers a great blend of foliage and coastal views.
Concord to Kennebunkport, Maine (with tempting detours to Salem and Rockport, MA)
For those in the know, coastal leaves show their colors a tad later than their mountainous counterparts. This delightful timing ensures towns like Salem, Massachusetts, and Kennebunkport, Maine, are often especially vibrant around Halloween. If you're venturing this route, Salem demands a pause. I've always been intrigued by the home that stirred Nathaniel Hawthorne’s imagination enough to pen “House of the Seven Gables.” And while you're soaking in the town's history, a somber visit to the Salem Witch Trials monument is a must. The atmosphere is undeniably chilling, especially when you notice the names of the 20 unfortunate souls, along with their tragic fates, carved into the memorial benches.
Next, steer your journey towards the charming coastal town of Rockport. The scenic drive, paired with a glimpse of the quaint Rockport Harbor and Motif 1—a timeless fishing shack that sits proudly in town—will affirm that the detour was a wise choice.
Both Kennebunk and Kennebunkport await with their enchanting streets and boutique shops. A night at The Yachtsman is a treat for any traveler. While its exterior boasts nostalgic motel charm, the interiors, and the captivating views they offer, never cease to amaze. Truly, it stands as one of Maine's coastal treasures.