If there’s one thing New England excels at, it’s autumn. As the air gets crisp and seems to be scented with fresh apples and pine needles, it’s only natural to want to hit the road and get a closer look at the changing fall colors. We’ve rounded up a few short road trips from Boston to get that quintessential fall foliage Instagram while fleeing the city for a day.
West of Boston lies the Mohawk Trail, careening through some of Massachusetts’s most stunning fall foliage. There are several ways to tackle this beast, and all offer ooh-and-ahh-worthy vistas, some traversing the Berkshires. And, if you plan accordingly, you can hit the Fall Foliage Festival in North Adams — the theme this year is “Magic in the Berkshires,” and it’s hard to imagine a more Instagram-worthy event.
As if the leaves didn’t provide a spectacular enough show on their own, head to Plymouth County to get a double dose of autumnal colors with cranberry bogs. Head south from Boston to take in a variety of cranberry bogs you can tour, and even bring home your own harvest. A couple surefire options are A.D. Makepeace Company and Flax Pond Farms. Although we’re of the mind that you can’t have enough fall foliage Instagrams, there’s something special about being hip-deep in a bog surrounded by crimson berries for that money shot.
The Kancamagus Highway
Head out of Mass entirely to see what New Hampshire brings to the table on the Kancamagus Highway, affectionately dubbed “the Kanc.” Arguably one of the best places to see leaves erupt in flaming crimson to soft peach, it’s worth the (short) drive to reach the 34.5-mile stretch through the White Mountain National Forest. Plan to take it slow and breathe in the fresh, pine-scented air while you fill your camera roll.
The seaside isn’t only for sunbathing — when the air gets crisper, the rocky coastline of Cape Ann is a prime spot for classic New England autumn sights. Head north from Boston to find viewpoints of sunshine yellow and deep burgundy leaves lining the water. Pull off at pumpkin patches along the way for Instagram bonus points.
Jacob’s Ladder Trail
For another viewpoint on the Berkshires, Jacob’s Ladder Trail is a historical scenic stretch through the southern part of the mountains. The road was opened in 1910 as the first highway specifically made for modern new horseless carriages. Now, it’s a more scenic alternative to the Mass Pike, winding its way through little hamlets that will satisfy any small-town cravings. This is where you’ll see quaint, bright white buildings against a backdrop of fall foliage blazing with autumnal colors.