by Marti Mayne
Country inns go as nicely with fall escapes as bread goes with butter….or better yet as wine goes with cheese. Why not combine them all with a great B&B leaf peeping getaway? We’re coming up on the best time of year in New England for fall colors, and the great thing about autumn is that it lasts a long time if you start in the Northern reaches and then travel to the southern parts of New England a few weeks later.
Look for fall colors to peak in places like Mt Washington Valley or the Great North Woods of New Hampshire and Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom right around Columbus Day. Good color will continue into the Berkshires and in Western Connecticut beyond early October.
Here are three of my favorite picks for combining distinctive inns and B&Bs with scenic fall foliage drives and outdoor adventure within an easy drive of Boston and points beyond.
Winvian, Morris, CT: This is one of the most magical places you could ever imagine staying any time of year! During the fall, it’s breathtaking. Nestled on 113 acres and surrounded by 4000 more acres of preserved land amidst the White Memorial Foundation, Winvian is a sight to behold. Eighteen whimsically themed cottages and cabins offer everything from treehouse accommodations to an artist’s cottage. You might even stay in a helicopter hanger! The food is artfully prepared in the five-diamond restaurant and the gardens, grounds and common areas are captivating. Any time of year, Winvian is a treat. In the fall it’s an extravagance you deserve. For more information, read Part I and Part II of my stories about Winvian on knotmove.com. Winvian is located about 3 hours from Boston. Sister property, The Pitcher Inn, located in the Mad River Valley, VT, offers a totally different view and decor but equally gorgeous foliage viewing, fine dining and spectacular accommodations too.
Chesterfield Inn, West Chesterfield, NH: Poised just a few miles from the border of Vermont, this inn offers the perfect home base for exploring both New Hampshire and Southern Vermont’s fall foliage. It’s surrounded by meadows ringed with beautiful trees, and just a hop, skip and jump from the 14,000 acre Pisgah Park offering seemingly endless trails for hiking and biking. Return to the inn to enjoy dinner in the dining room or served in the privacy of your room or private patio. A member of the Distinctive Inns of New England and Select Registry, this is one inn that has it all – fine dining, gorgeous rooms and a plethora of great places to explore nearby.
Blair Hill Inn, Greenville, ME: Conde Nast recommended this inn among the 7 “surprising wild edens”. Overlooking Moosehead Lake and the surrounding remote forests and woods, this inn has been among a favorite for years. Venture out onto never ending logging roads by car or mountain bike, and you’re bound to view moose, wild turkey, deer and other wildlife amidst the gorgeous fall foliage. Set high on a hill, this inn offers sweeping foliage and lake views, pristine guest rooms and exquisite fine dining in one gorgeous spot. Nearby Greenville Inn and Lodge at Moosehead Lake are equally great choices for a Northern Maine foliage getaway.
Consider a number of New England regions, rich in beautiful inns and B&Bs and spectacular fall foliage. Try some of these.
Mt Washington Valley, NH: Surrounded by 660,000 acres of White Mountain National Forest and home to more than 50 inns and B&Bs. Visit www.mtwashingtonvalley.org or www.countryinnsinthewhitemountains.com for ideas.
Stowe, VT: Set in the beauty of the Vermont’s Green Mountains and offering plenty of great B&B choices. Visit http://www.gostowe.com/. Also, Vermont’s Mad River Valley offers gorgeous scenery, hiking and biking trails, waterfalls and wonderful inns and B&B choices.
Midcoast Maine: Where the mountains meet the sea, plan a visit to the Penobscot Bay region to enjoy fall foliage by water and by land. Historic schooners, harborside restaurants and shops, vineyards and fabulous historic inns all provide the perfect place to enjoy fall foliage escapes. Contact the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce for information.