Fall is the greatest time of the year to drive. Temperatures are cooler, but snow hasn’t set in just yet. Summer traffic isn’t as big a concern, and as you get later into fall – this weekend, for example – optimal colors begin to move southward. But come on, it’s dead leaves, for God’s sake. After the first 20 minutes, it’s kind of all the same.
To that end, BoldRide presents some great roads, with amazing vistas, along with some awesome transportation museums in each of the six New England states. Get out there and enjoy it while you can:
Vermont’s heavily traveled this time of year, so get out there early in the day and enjoy the drive. Route 9 travels east-to-west in the southern part of the state. Just over the New York/Vermont border, you’ll find Hemmings Motor News‘ headquarters in the town of Bennington, which offers a filling station, a gift shop and a small collection of cars to check out during these busy weekends.
The rest of Vermont is surprisingly cool-car-friendly, too. Hildene, just north of Bennington in Manchester, Vermont, is the former residence of Robert Todd Lincoln, and there’s a 1928 Franklin on display.
People tend to head to Vermont and New Hampshire to experience fall foliage. That’s all well and good, but Western Massachusetts offers all of the breathtaking views, along with lighter traffic and some of the nicest small towns New England has to offer.
The Berkshire Trail, west of Northampton is particularly beautiful, and not overly traveled. The Pioneer Valley is also home to the Pioneer Valley Military and Transportation Museum at the Westfield-Barnes Airport, as well as the newly established Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield, home to the Esta Manthos Indian Motorcycle Collection, and several Springfield-built Rolls-Royce models.
Once you get outside the bustling cities of New Hampshire – Nashua, Manchester, the state capital of Concord – New Hampshire settles into a network of beautifully paved secondary roads.
The region around Mount Washington is packed this time of year, but on historic Daniel Webster Highway in the town of Meredith, on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, you’ll find the American Police Motorcycle Museum, open for just its third season. Nearby Laconia is steeped in motorcycling history, and many exhibits in the museum pay homage to the racing there.
The state of Maine offers amazing foliage in the Moosehead Lake region, as well as the drive from the city of Portland, north toward the stunning seaside town of Camden. While in that region, don’t miss the opportunity to check out the Owls Head Transportation Museum, a small, but beautifully arranged collection of cars, trucks, motorcycles and aircraft.
If you’re lucky enough to visit when the vintage planes are coming and going, you’ll want to come back year after year. The museum’s Great Fall Auction and Flea Market happens the first weekend in November.
Peak foliage viewing is arriving in Northern Connecticut this weekend. To the west, there are some great, unpopulated roads to enjoy, particularly Route 8, south of the Massachusetts border, running just west along the Colebrook River Lake and West Branch Reservoir.
When you’ve seen enough leaves, head east toward Windsor Locks and visit the New England Air Museum, home to the 58th Bombardment Wing’s B-29, and the last remaining Sikorsky VS-44 Flying Boat, Excambian, along with dozens of other aircraft.
Little Rhody looks small on a map. Yeah, it’s only 37 miles wide and 46 miles long. But there’s some interesting roadway in Highway 6 near Foster and Scituate. The Scituate Reservoir, in particular, offers some beautiful foliage viewing, reflected from the water.
From there, visit the Quonset Air Museum, housed on three acres of the former Naval Air Station at Quonset Point, home to 28 aircraft including a 1944 Hellcat, a 1983 F-14 Tomcat, and a one-of-a-kind Twin Tail C-1A Trader, which was the last aircraft to fly from the Naval Air Station when it closed in 1974.
Image Source: Viator.com, Clarch.com, Warbird Information Exchange, Citi-Data.com, ctoutandabout.com, visitingnewengland.com, camdenmainevacation.com, lakesregion.org, Huffington Post
- New Hampshire