By: Aga Olewinska, Senior Travel Consultant and CTA
Visiting New England during the fall, zipping through the four states of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and viewing beautiful autumn foliage has always been on my bucket list.
After checking different trips that our company offers, my friend Dori and I chose Autumn Colors with Trafalgar. Traveling with her and other Trafalgar clients on the motorcoach through this part of the country was a wonderful experience.
Our trip kicked off in Boston, which welcomed us with beautiful sunny weather. We took a walk along the Freedom Trail, visiting historic sites, markets, parks, and stopping by the famous “Cheers” tavern. It was very enjoyable. We stayed in Boston Marriott Copley Place that was centrally located in the Back Bay district and had amazing city skyline views. The hotel was just minutes away from the historic Trinity Church, Boston Common, and the beautiful Boston Public Garden.
The next day we left for Pittsfield and stopped at Lexington and Concord, the site where “the shot heard round the world” was fired and where the American Revolutionary War began.
Next stop –Vermont! We all know that there is no Vermont without maple syrup! We found an abundance of it in all different sizes, shapes, and flavors in the old Vermont Country Store. While exploring the local family shop, we tasted local flavors, sniffed handmade candles and soaps, and tried on Vermont earmuffs and hats.
Another local gem was the Simon Pearce’s glassblowing workshop and store located in the renovated wool mill in Quechee, where we got to see the actual glass blowing process and creation of the glass masterpieces.
We also got to enjoy a delicious farm-to-table lunch served on the handmade dinnerware! After lunch, we continued our journey to Burlington where we stayed in “The Essex- Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa”, an amazing hotel with beautiful surroundings. This award-winning luxury hotel is nestled on 18 acres between the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to take any of the cooking classes offered there but we enjoyed Trafalgar’s wonderful buffet dinner in the evening.
The cherry on the cake…literally, was a visit to Ben and Jerry’s Factory in Stowe, Vermont.
We got to learn the history of the brand, see the production line, taste the latest flavors, and visit the Flavor Graveyard of the “Early Depinted Flavors” at the top of the hill! This was a delicious and sweet visit!
We continued on the Autumn Colors with Trafalgar tour to New Hampshire, through the White Mountains and picturesque Bretton Woods, stopping on the way to take pictures of the breathtaking views and the fall colors of Mount Washington.
Later that day, we learned from the local arborist about the science behind the foliage and color-changing process. This made us appreciate the views and abundance of colors even more during our Kancamagus excursion through White Mountain National Forest the next day. The views were spectacular!
The beautiful sunny day was a perfect frame for our pictures of covered bridges, streams, waterfalls, hills, and acres of foliage.
North Conway was one of my favorite places. This charming little town had great restaurants, coffee shops, and stores to enjoy in our free time. The main focal point of North Conway is the old Victorian train station built in 1874 that is still operating.
We got transported to a different era when we took a scenic old fashion train ride through the mountains in the open-air coach with music from the 1920s playing in the background. It was one of many highlights of the trip.
On day six of our trip, we arrived in Bar Harbor, Main also called “The Land of the Lobstah”.Did you know that lobsters can live as long as 100 years old? We learned this and many more interesting facts during our traditional Maine lobster dinner accompanied by a local fisherman. I also finally learned the proper way to open and eat a whole lobster! Tip one- remember to wear a bib!
Besides fresh and delicious Maine seafood, we got to enjoy magnificent views from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park which is the highest point along the Atlantic seaboard and first spot in the United States where you’ll see the sunrise.
We also drove along the Maine coastline and watched the waves crash on the rocks surrounded by beautiful autumn colors, it was simply breathtaking. As an optional experience, we opted to take a short bus ride to Jordan Pond which turned out to be a beautiful and peaceful place to be remembered.
Our Maine adventure continued when we headed south towards our next destination, Portsmouth. There were many hidden gems that we got to visit on the way. The first one was a quick stop by Stephen King’s house. Yes, the house was beautiful but also creepy looking! The main gate was ornamented with bats and spiders!
The next stop was Kennebunk, a century-old fishing village which now is a charming and vibrant town with plenty of art galleries, souvenir shops, and seafood restaurants. Finally, we got to visit the shore with a picture-perfect view of an active lighthouse.
The last night of the Autumn Colors With Trafalgar trip we got to spend in Portsmouth, one of the oldest cities in the United States. Our farewell dinner was held in the old tavern located in the historic Merchant’s Row building and it was filled with original ship artifacts which added an extra flavor to our dinner experience. It was fun and sad at the same time to sum up and reminisce over our trip.
Before heading to the Boston airport, we still had a chance to enjoy lunch at the famous Boston Quincy Market, a perfect shopping and dining spot. Guess what we had for lunch… clam chowder, oysters and Lobstah!!!!
By: Aga Olewinska
Senior Travel Consultant, CTA
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