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Sep 29

Top 10 Things to Do in New England in Fall

By Victoria Newell

As Version 2.0 Communications celebrates its 10th anniversary all year, we’re highlighting a few of our favorite things – all in packages of ten. For more details on our anniversary, click here.

If this morning’s weather is any indication, fall is officially upon us. And (in my opinion), there’s no better place to experience fall than in New England. From football to foliage, the northeast corner of the United States has a ton to offer residents and visitors alike. So whether you’re looking to stay in the city or are hoping to get out and explore a new spot, here are our top choices for fall activities.

1. Visit Salem, MA

We’ve all heard of the Salem witch trials, so what better place to visit to get in the Halloween spirit than the most historically spooky town in Massachusetts? With tons of museums, tours and parks, Salem is the perfect place to explore. And with daily ferries from Boston, getting there doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

2. Pop by Wellfleet Oysterfest

Everyone loves Cape Cod in summer, but just because it may be a bit too chilly for the beach doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in the fall! There are tons of festivals hosted on the peninsula each fall, but the most quintessentially “Cape Cod” of them all has to be Wellfleet Oysterfest. This two-day event, taking place October 14-15 this year, has everything you could want – from a shucking competition to live music to beer gardens to all the oysters you can eat, it’s the perfect way to spend a weekend.

 3. Go on a foliage tour

One of the main reasons why fall is so fun in New England is the foliage. From Maine to Vermont and New Hampshire and into Massachusetts, there’s not much more beautiful than watching the leaves change. Not sure where to start? Here’s a quick guide to some of New England’s best leaf peeping locations – and when to go.

 4. Go see Rhode Island

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the country, but it has tons to offer. From the Providence WaterFires to the Cliff Walk in Newport, there’s never a shortage of activity. And for those of you who are looking for something a bit creepier, check out Terror on the Tracks: Rhode Island’s haunted Halloween guided rides along the state’s miles of railroad tracks.

5. Stay at the Woodstock Inn Brewery in New Hampshire

Looking to combine craft beer, amazing food and gorgeous New Hampshire all in one? Why not check out the Woodstock Inn Brewery in Woodstock, New Hampshire. With an on-site brewery (you may have seen their beers in liquor stores around the region!), two awesome restaurants, live entertainment, adorably kitschy (and cozy) rooms and tons to do, it’s a perfect weekend getaway.

6. Take in a Patriot’s game

Whether you’re a Patriots fan or not, there’s no denying that football is a key part of fall in New England, and that tailgating can be half the fun. So if you’re looking for a fun way to spend a Sunday, why not head down to Foxboro and check out a game? And even if sports aren’t your thing, Patriot Place – the shopping area around the stadium – has a ton to offer.

7. Learn about cranberries

Fall may be pumpkin spice time, but here in New England we love another fruit (yes, a pumpkin is technically a fruit) – cranberries. If you’re interested in learning more about this versatile berry, head out to Nantucket’s Cranberry Festival, or head down to Gooseneck Vineyards in Wickford, Rhode Island and learn what it’s like to be a cranberry farmer for the day!

8. Watch some whales

Because who doesn’t love whales? The shores of New England are some of the best in the world to see whales up close and personal. From humpbacks to finbacks to minkes, there’s no shortage of species inhabiting the coastal Atlantic waters. And with tours going out from locations in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, checking out these awesome animals couldn’t be easier. Just don’t forget your jacket!

9. Chow down in Portland, ME

Looking to head north? Portland has become a major foodie city, and it’s just two hours from Boston. If you’re looking for a way to fit all of the deliciousness that the city has to offer into a weekend, head up between October 17-22 and check out the Harvest on the Harbor festival which features all the food and drink you could want, all for the cause of ending childhood hunger in Maine.

10. Harpoon Octoberfest

Though we’ve largely focused on fall activities outside of Boston for this list (New England has so much to offer, after all!), we’d be remiss not to mention the city’s biggest fall beer festival – Harpoon Octoberfest. Taking place tonight and tomorrow, Harpoon’s yearly festival celebrating beer draws thousands to its parking lot, offering music, games, food and – of course – beer. And if you’d prefer to stay out of Boston, they do it again a week later at their location in Windsor, VT.

So there you have it, our top ten list of fall activities in New England. Comment and let us know if we missed anything!

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