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20031
Massachusetts/Maine/New Hampshire/Vermont

On the Road: The Best Fall Foliage in New England

Discover classic New England as you photograph vibrant fall foliage, explore quaint villages, visit national parks and celebrate this region with a traditional Maine lobster feast.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20031RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
3,499
Massachusetts/Maine/New Hampshire/Vermont

On the Road: The Best Fall Foliage in New England

Discover classic New England as you photograph vibrant fall foliage, explore quaint villages, visit national parks and celebrate this region with a traditional Maine lobster feast.
Length
11 days
Starts at
3,499
Program No. 20031 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 27 - Oct 7, 2021
Starting at
3,749
Oct 4 - Oct 14, 2021
Starting at
3,749
Oct 11 - Oct 21, 2021
Starting at
3,499
Sep 19 - Sep 29, 2022
Starting at
3,699
Oct 3 - Oct 13, 2022
Starting at
3,879
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 27 - Oct 7, 2021
Starting at
4,819
Oct 4 - Oct 14, 2021
Starting at
4,819
Oct 11 - Oct 21, 2021
Starting at
4,529
Sep 19 - Sep 29, 2022
Starting at
4,749
Oct 3 - Oct 13, 2022
Starting at
4,949

At a Glance

Journey the back roads and byways of New England to experience the best of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont during a fall foliage adventure through the region’s most picturesque countryside and into the history and culture at the foundation of Colonial America.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Climbing a few flights of stairs, standing for up to one hour, walking over paved and unpaved surfaces up to two miles over the course of the day.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Take an in-depth look at the ecology of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and their highest peak’s extreme weather patterns.
  • Trace our nation's cultural history through the collections of American art at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art and the Shelburne Museum.
  • Savor the tastes of New England with a culinary exploration of Portland, Maine and a lobster dinner.

General Notes

Special note about the Grafton Inn: Rooms with two beds are reserved for our matched roommates with all other requests considered on a first come, first serve basis. Though all rooms are accessible by a flight of stairs, based on availability, a limited number of first floor or elevator-accessible rooms may be requested for those with mobility issues. All special requests must notify Road Scholar in advance.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Chris Lewey
Chris Lewey is the founder of RAVEN Interpretive Programs. He has led natural history excursions for Maine Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Federation, is a naturalist for the Appalachian Mountain Club and teaches ornithology for the National Audubon Society. A native New Englander, Chris has taught biology, ecology, and ornithology in both N.H. and Maine. He has appeared on several television programs including Animal Planet's “The Most Extreme” series and ABC's “Good Morning America.”

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Chris Lewey
Chris Lewey View biography
Chris Lewey is the founder of RAVEN Interpretive Programs. He has led natural history excursions for Maine Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Federation, is a naturalist for the Appalachian Mountain Club and teaches ornithology for the National Audubon Society. A native New Englander, Chris has taught biology, ecology, and ornithology in both N.H. and Maine. He has appeared on several television programs including Animal Planet's “The Most Extreme” series and ABC's “Good Morning America.”
Profile Image of Jim McAllister
Jim McAllister View biography
Jim McAllister is a Salem historian, photographer, author and teacher, and serves as a historic consultant to the City of Salem and the Hawthorne Hotel. A graduate of Stonehill College, his photographs of Salem have appeared in numerous publications, and he is the author of “Salem: From Naumkeag to Witch City” and co-author of “Salem: Cornerstones of a Historic City.” Jim has appeared on both the “History Channel” and “Home and Garden TV.”
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier
by Colin Woodard
A fascinating cultural history of coastal Maine as seen through the lobstering industry.
Reading the Forested Landscape, A Natural History of New England
by Tom Wessels, Brian Cohen (Illustrator), Ann Zwinger (Introduction)
In this entertaining, informative book, the history of the New England forest unfolds like a mystery novel. Wessels examines the character of the central New England forest through the clues left behind by fires, logging, storms and economic fads.
New England Wildlife
by Raymond Leung (Illustrator), James Kavanaugh
This laminated, fold-out, pocket-size guide features illustrations of almost 150 species of fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals.
Eyewitness Guide New England
by Eleanor Berman
This superb guide to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a synopsis of the region's attractions. It also devotes a section to Boston. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry.
The Cider House Rules
by John Irving
This is John Irving's story of a teenage orphan named Homer Wells who lives in rural Maine. Growing up under the tutelage of Dr. Wilbur Larch, an abortionist and administrator of the local orphanage, Homer must face the moral dilemmas that surround him.
New England Autumn
by Ferenc Mate (Photographer), Candace Mate (Photographer)
Magnificent photographs of farmsteads, pastures, forests, wharves and villages from Maine to Connecticut are paired with the poetry and literature of Dickinson, Thoreau and Waldo Emerson in this pictorial celebration of season. With a 14-page section of maps and practical travel information.
Insight Guide New England
by Insight Guides
For a good overview of the region, you can't go wrong with this guide, noted for its wonderful photography, superb production and outstanding color maps.
Winslow Homer, The Nature of Observation
by Elizabeth Johns
This biography of the preeminent 19th century New England painter considers the artist’s oeuvre in the context of his psychological development. More than 75 black-and-white illustrations and 40 color plates illuminate Johns’ analysis of the American master.
New England Map
by Mad Maps
A road map of all of New England, at a scale of 1:600,000.
Call of the Coast, Art Colonies of New England
by Thomas Denenberg
Denenberg focuses on the art colonies that sprung up in the early twentieth century in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Ogunquit and Monhegan, Maine, and on the great artists (including Edward Hopper and George Bellows) whose work was inspired by them. The book contains around 80 reproductions as well as documentary photography and explainers on the artworks themselves.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to New England
by Brian Cassie, Peter Alden
A compact, easy-to-use overview of 1,000 of New England's trees, wildflowers, mammals, insects and other flora and fauna. It also provides an extensive overview of the area's geology, weather patterns and natural sites.
The Most Beautiful Villages of New England
by Tom Shachtman
New England's most picturesque towns and villages are presented through 240 full color photographs. Accompanying descriptions fill in details about each town's history and architecture.
Coastal Maine, A Maritime History
by Roger Duncan
A four hundred year history of Maine, focusing on maritime traditions and seafaring, as well coastal settlement and development.
One Man's Meat
by E.B. White
By the author of "Charlotte's Web," a collection of observant and often humorous essays about daily life on a Maine saltwater farm. A wonderful portrait of coastal small-town life, originally published in 1938.
Inventing Acadia, Artists and Tourists at Mount Desert
by Pamela Belanger
The history of Acadia National Park and especially the artists Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church and others who contributed to its creation. Published by the Farnsworth Library & Art Museum.
The Original Vermonters, Native Inhabitants, Past and Present
by William A. Haviland, Marjory W. Power
A highly readable, scholarly history of the native inhabitants and cultures of Vermont, covering the arrival of the Paleoindians, Abenakis and Iriquois.
Founding Brothers, The Revolutionary Generation
by Joseph J. Ellis
A riveting tale of Washington, Madison, Hamilton and especially of Jefferson and Adams. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, it's a fascinating glimpse into the early days of our country.
The Nature of Vermont, Introduction and Guide to a New England Environment
by Charles W. Johnson
Opening with a discussion of the geologic history of Vermont, Johnson provides a lively introduction to major habitats, plants and animals of the state. An excellent survey of natural history.
Colors of Fall, A Celebration of New England's Foliage Season
by Jerry Monkman
Capturing the spectacular fall display from the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the wilds of northern Maine in 75 color photos.
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11 days
10 nights
26 meals
10 B 8 L 8 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Boston, Massachusetts
D
Hyatt Regency Boston

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the hotel lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. Please remember to bring your name-tag sent with this packet to the program. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. On the Road programs are journeys that take participants to multiple study sites in a region with a number of overnight stays. Lectures, talks, discussions, field trips, and on-board commentary amplify the program theme. Some journeys involve great distances and may take hours, others are much shorter. Long or short, On the Road journeys are learning experiences that make the most of our time together.

Dinner: At a local restaurant within walking distance from the hotel, enjoy a welcome dinner including coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
2
Boston, Freedom Trail, Old North Church
Boston, Massachusetts
B,L,D
Hyatt Regency Boston

Activity note: Use of public transportation; not all subway stops have elevators; walking up to 2 miles with frequent stops.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will explore the historic highlights of Boston, we’ll walk the fabled Freedom Trail. There are 16 official sites along the 2.5 miles marked with a line of red brick or red paint. We will go part way, from Boston Common to the Old Granary Burying Ground, Old South Meeting House, the Old State House Museum, and Faneuil Hall.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Boston's North End, we’ll have a plated lunch with soft drinks, iced tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will continue our discovery of Boston as we stroll the streets of the North End en route to the Old North Church Historic Site for a behind the scenes docent-led field trip. Listen and learn about the workings of the oldest set of change-ringing bells in North America. We will climb the stairs to the bell ringing chamber where the teenage Paul Revere worked as bell ringer and walk amongst the 37 tombs constructed below the floors of the Old North between 1732 and 1860. We'll learn about the construction of the crypt, view artifacts found in the crypt, and hear the history of those buried there including the Church’s first rector and soldiers killed during the Battle of Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill. Outside of the church, visit Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop before returning to the hotel by public transportation.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, plated with coffee, tea, water; one glass of house wine or beer included.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
New England’s Maritime History, Salem, Gloucester
Ogunquit, Maine
B,L,D
Colonial Inn

Activity note: Driving about 115 total miles; approximately 2.5 hours total with stops. Walking and standing for up to 1.5 miles, about 2 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel we will board the motorcoach and depart from Boston to Salem, Massachusetts. On a mixed walking and motorcoach field trip led by a lifetime resident and local historian, learn about Salem’s remarkable history including details about its lucrative maritime trade, controversial witch trials, architecture, and culture as one of America’s oldest communities. Continuing up the rocky coast, we will travel through scenic North Shore towns and arrive in Gloucester, Massachusetts, America’s oldest fishing port, founded in 1623.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, enjoy a typical New England fish and chowder (or vegetarian pasta) plated lunch on the Gloucester waterfront. Non-alcoholic beverages included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: In a private section of the restaurant in Gloucester, we will learn about New England's maritime history and heritage through an exclusive presentation. We will then continue north to Ogunquit, Maine and check-in to our hotel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will have a traditional plated lobster dinner, a specialty of New England’s Atlantic waters. Non-alcoholic beverages included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Ogunquit Outdoors, Art Museum, Lobster Boat
Ogunquit, Maine
B
Colonial Inn

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile; standing up to 1 hour at a time; getting on/off a lobster boat. Study cruise is weather dependent.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will visit the Ogunquit Museum of American Art housing a permanent collection of important paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and photographs from the late 1800s to the present. Included in the collection is an extensive selection of works by artists associated with Ogunquit’s famous art colony of the early 20th century such as Edward Betts, Charles Woodbury, Hamilton Easter Field, and Robert Laurent. We will next head out on a one-hour boat cruise to learn first-hand from the captain about lobster fishing as well as to appreciate the scenic coastal views from an oceanic perspective.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You may wish to take in the spectacular scenery on a walk along the Marginal Way. Once a dirt trail with difficult terrain, the magnificent Marginal Way is now a paved footpath. Winding along the rocky shoreline for 1.25 miles from Ogunquit’s downtown area to the quaint fishing village of Perkins Cove, the Marginal Way boasts some of most spectacular coastal views in New England.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for our transfer in the morning.

DAY
5
From the Rocky Coast to the Granite Mountains
North Conway, New Hampshire
B,L,D
North Conway Grand Hotel

Activity note: Driving about 120 miles along scenic routes instead of major highways; approximately 2.5 hours. Walking up to 1 mile on cobblestone streets with frequent stops to sit.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel and boarding the motorcoach, we’ll leave Ogunquit and head up the coast to Portland Head Light, one of Maine’s most iconic lighthouses, that has served as a beacon to ships since 1791. With a local expert, we’ll get a “taste of Maine” during a walking field trip in Portland. We’ll through the historic cobblestone streets of the Old Port, in what has been called the "foodiest small town" in America! Sample locally-produced favorites as local producers and restaurateurs explain what makes Portland, Maine so special.

Lunch: As part of our foodie experience, enjoy a lunch of samples and specialties with the group at various locations during our walking field trip.

Afternoon: Free Time in Old Port. We will then rendezvous at a pre-determined time and place to board the motorcoach and say bye to Maine’s rocky coast for the White Mountains of North Conway, New Hampshire where we will check-in to our hotel with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, a plated meal will be served including salad or soup, dessert, and one non-alcoholic beverage; additional beverages available for purchase.

Evening: A naturalist will join us at the hotel and give a presentation on the local ecology of autumn in the North Woods with emphasis on native wildlife and the northern environment.

DAY
6
Meteorology & Wildlife of the White Mountains, Rocks Estate
North Conway, New Hampshire
B,L,D
North Conway Grand Hotel

Activity note: Driving approximately 137 miles; 3.5 hours with stops along scenic by-ways.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll go by motorcoach to the Mount Washington Observatory Museum in North Conway, learn about the White Mountains' highest peak and its extreme weather from a docent. (Mount Washington itself is often inaccessible due to weather conditions and is therefore not part of our program.) We’ll then drive along scenic Route 302 stopping for photo opportunities through Crawford Notch, a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Lunch: At a restaurant en route, choose from assorted sandwiches, salad and dessert, plus non-alcoholic beverages.

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll head to the Rocks Estate in Bethlehem, NH to learn from a local expert how maple syrup is produced and how conservation fits into maple sugaring. The site is home to the North Country Conservation & Education Center for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Then, we will take a one-hour walk through the estate's forest trails with our expert discussing wildlife habitat improvement and sustainable forestry practices while enjoying mountain vistas.

Dinner: At the hotel, dinner is included. You will be provided with meal vouchers allowing you to make a reservation when you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Kancamagus Highway
Burlington, VT
B,L,D
Courtyard Burlington Harbor

Activity note: Driving about 144 miles; approximately 4 hours total with intermittent activities. Walking up to 1 mile, approximately 1 hour, on maintained, unpaved trails.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: As we leave North Conway, we’ll travel along the scenic Kancamagus Highway, stopping en route for short walks to scenic overlooks, forest paths, and a covered bridge.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, have a plated lunch with coffee, tea, and water.

Afternoon: Crossing into Vermont, we’ll head to the mountains of the Mad River Valley. Along the way, we’ll learn about what makes Vermont such a special place with an expert led field trip to the Vermont History Museum. We will then check-in to our hotel with some free time before dinner to relax, freshen up, or get acquainted with Burlington with a walk through the welcoming, quaint streets of town.

Dinner: At a restaurant near the hotel, enjoy a 3 course plated dinner plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Shelburne Museum
Burlington, VT
B,L
Courtyard Burlington Harbor

Activity note: Driving about 25 miles; approximately 1 hour total. The Shelburne Museum encompasses 45 acres and there is a shuttle bus that circles the property.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Today we will explore America’s history through folk art as we investigate three centuries of life in the collections of the Shelburne Museum led by a docent. Home crafts, folk arts, trade tools, transportation, fine arts, furnishings and architecture are displayed in the museum’s 35 historic buildings.

Lunch: At the museum cafeteria, meal vouchers will be provided.

Afternoon: Continue exploring the museum on your own. The remainder of the afternoon is free. If you would like to explore Burlington on your own, walk through the quaint shops and restaurants of Church Street or stroll the waterfront for some scenic views. Or simply relax at the hotel.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy local fare.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for our transfer in the morning.

DAY
9
Back Roads & Villages of Vermont
Grafton, VT
B,L,D
Grafton Inn

Activity note: Driving about 137 miles along scenic routes, not major highways; approximately 2.5 hours total with stops. Walking for an hour, up to 1 mile on paved roadways.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will travel south through the stunning center of Vermont, taking in the rural autumn landscapes and tiny villages along Route 100 with stops for photos.

Lunch: In a quaint Vermont village. Stroll historic streets among iconic white houses before enjoying a plated meal and a non alcoholic beverage.

Afternoon: Soak in the scenery from the coach as we continue to Grafton, Vermont. Upon arrival, we will check-in at the Inn with time to freshen up before taking an educational walk through the town of Grafton. We’ll be joined by a town local for a discussion on life in this quintessential New England town.

Dinner: At the inn. We will have a plated 3 course meal with coffee, tea, water; other beverages will be available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Vermont Artisanal Products, Organic Farm, Stone Trust
Grafton, VT
B,L,D
Grafton Inn

Activity note: Walking up to 1.5 miles on a farm with uneven ground; wear comfortable shoes that can handle the terrain.

Breakfast: At the inn.

Morning: We will learn from a local expert at Grafton Cheese in Brattleboro how cheese, one of Vermont's prize artisanal products, is made. Next, we will learn - as we taste - about organic heirloom apple varieties at Scott Farm in Dummerston, VT.

Lunch: At the farm, we will have sandwiches, soft drinks, and dessert.

Afternoon: New England roads are lined with stone walls. Learn about the art and craft of dry stone walling during a demonstration by The Stone Trust, an organization specializing in this regional iconic skill.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, celebrate our journey through New England with a special farewell dinner among your new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
11
Program Concludes
Boston, Massachusetts
B

Activity note: A motorcoach transfer is provided to Boston Logan International Airport with additional stops at South Station and the first hotel. Departure from Grafton at approximately 8:00 a.m.; estimated travel time is about 3 hours non-stop; expected arrival at Logan Airport by approximately 11:00 a.m. We recommend scheduling onward flights and travel no earlier than 1:30 p.m.

Breakfast: At the Inn.

Morning: Transfer to Boston, MA. This concludes our program. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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