If the idea of New England brings images of picture perfect villages, sleepy fishing towns, vast swathes of golden beaches and presidential summer homes into your mind's eye, this trip will not disappoint. Starting in historic Boston you'll visit lovely Cape Cod, bubbly Burlington and sea swept Maine, with each new place transformed under a blanket of vibrant fall foliage.
Welcome to the affectionately named 'Beantown', America's oldest city. A key player in America's battle for independence and the abolition movement, Boston's historical significance can only be matched with its enthusiasm for sport; baseballs legends the Red Sox hail from here, as do the Celtics basketball team. After settling in to your hote, you might want to head on down to the Seaport District to discover just how seriously Boston takes its reputation as a seafood capital. Local specialities include 'sacred cod', fresh lobster and creamy chowder, each cooked fresh, steaming and delicious.
Boston – Plymouth – Hyannis (2 Nights)
This morning's city tour will follow the path of the Freedom Trail, that winds its way through the city connecting 16 historically significant sites including Old North Church, Quincy Market, State Capitol and Boston Harbour. Leaving Boston behind you'll then travel to 'America's Home Town' of Plymouth, where you'll visit the fascinating Plimoth Plantation. A meticulously recreated version of the original 17th century Plymouth Colony, the plantation tells the story of the first Pilgrim settlers who arrived in Plymouth in 1620, brought to life through costumed interpreters, original recipes and olde worlde language. From here head on to the pretty fishing villages and wealthy towns of Cape Cod, where you'll arrive into Hyannis to spend the evening. Head down to one of the lovely waterfront eateries or take a peek at the Kennedy compound, where JFK and Jackie O spent their summers.
Cape Cod and Provincetown Excursion
Winding your way through some of the oldest villages in America via Old King's Highway, you'll make your way to the 40 glorious miles that make up the Cape Cod National Seashore, a pristine collection of beaches, sand dunes, salt marshes and nature trails. At the very tip of the Cape sits lively, artsy Provincetown, a place of pilgrimage for writers and artists who have been visiting here for the past century. Boasting a plethora of galleries, craft shops and cute cafes, you can happily wander away an afternoon here. Nature enthusiasts, you'll have the chance to hit the waters surrounding Provincetown to try and spot the humpback, minke and pilot whales who migrate here.
Hyannis – Pittsfield
Taking a final look at lovely Cape Cod, you'll journey west this morning towards the towns and villages that make up Southeastern Massachusetts. If you're wondering what the sea of red is that seemingly covers the landscape for miles and miles, we'll tell you - they're cranberries, or more specifically cranberry bogs that cover a staggering 14,000 acres of land. The number one crop of Massachusetts, you'll visit a bog to learn more about the fascinating cranberry flooding process before travelling on to drive a portion of the Mohawk Trail, an ancient Native American trade route. Art aficionados, this afternoon you'll have a choice to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge to view the world's largest collection of original Norman Rockwell art, fittingly displayed in the artists picturesque hometown. Finally, you'll finish up today in Pittsfield.
Pittsfield – Burlington (2 Nights)
The blazing fall colours of Vermont will fill you with joy this morning as you drive through acres of farmland and pretty as a postcard villages, stopping along the way at the Apple Barn, where you'll feast on cider donuts, Vermont cheddar and freshly picked apples. Heading on to Rockingham, you'll step back in time at the family-owned Vermont Country Store, which first opened its doors in 1946 and has aisles stacked with penny candy and Vermont maple syrup, filling even the most cynical with child like nostalgia. Likely on a sugar high you'll then venture to prosperous, beautiful Woodstock, a getaway location for America's elite that charms all who visit with its quaint houses and pretty covered bridges. Just 5 minutes out of town, Woodstock even comes complete with its own (smaller) version of the Grand Canyon, the glacially carved Quechee Gorge. Enjoying a leisurely afternoon drive through the Green Mountain Forest, you'll come to a stop in Burlington, Vermont's largest city set on the shores of Lake Champlain.
Burlington Free Time
Waking up to a leisurely day in youthful, bubbly Burlington should be a prospect that fills you with excitement this morning. Considered one of America's prettiest, most liveable cities, the outdoorsy and nature focused vibe will likely lure you into the great outdoors, perhaps heading down to the waterfront to explore the 7.5 mile bike path around the lake. There's also a lovely farmer's market and the pedestrianised Church Street Marketplace to explore, where buskers, street food vendors, students and tourists alike all contribute to the spirited nature of Burlington. If the sight of glittering Lake Champlain is too hard to resist, why not head out on our 'Spirit of Ethan Allen' lunch cruise to enjoy the delights of the lake whilst eating a mouthwatering grand buffet.
Burlington – North Conway (2 Nights)
The classy and traditionally New England mountain resort town of Stowe is first up on today's agenda, tucked away in the Green Mountains. Grab a coffee and enjoy the views before heading on to Montpelier, the tiny and sparsely populated state capital of Vermont that claims the title of the nation's smallest capital city. Surprisingly cosmopolitan despite its size, you'll visit the Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks whilst here for a tasting of 'sugar on snow', a surprisingly delicious concoction of maple sugar served on ice and garnished with a pickle. Crossing the state border into New Hampshire it will be the White Mountains this time turning on the charm, accompanying you as you travel along the dramatic Franconia Notch mountain pass. Cruise 'The Kanc' highway and soak in the utterly glorious fall colours on one of the most scenic roads in America, before arriving into cosy, historical North Conway.
North Conway Sightseeing and Free Time
Blazing red, burnt orange and vibrant yellow fall foliage will stretch out in every direction as you head into the White Mountains this morning. Few places in the world offer such a stunning display of autumn colours, with people travelling from all over to enjoy and photograph this sublime landscape. You'll pass by the tallest peak in the Northeast, Mount Washington, as you journey through Crawford Notch State Park and stop off at Silver Cascade waterfall, which twists, turns and cascades 4000 feet down the side of Mount Jackson. Once back in North Conway later today, take a stroll around the restored buildings, antique shops and treasure trove bookshops that make up the historic downtown.
North Conway – Portsmouth
Cross the state border into Maine today, taking in the vast forests, pretty seaside villages and cliff lined shores of this affluent adventure playground. Stopping off in chic, preppy Kennebunkport, enjoy a glimpse of a coastal town as you explore the upscale boutiques and flashy art galleries. For a true display of this region's wealth, head to Ocean Drive for a shameless snoop at the grand mansions that line the road, each boasting stunning views that overlook the surf. So fancy is Ocean Drive in fact, that George HW Bush even had his summer retreat here, set on a protected stretch of land called Walker's Point. Allow yourself one final daydreaming moment before travelling on to Portsmouth, which sits perched on the Piscataqua River and is one of the most elegant towns in all of New Hampshire. Take in the beautiful 18th century buildings and historical centre.
Portsmouth – Depart Boston
Taking one last morning stroll around Portsmouth, you'll head back to Boston today. Make the most of the drive and the bursts of colour that will accompany you along the way before your trip will come to an end at Boston Logan International Airport. If you feel like you Boston still has more you'd like to discover, you've also got the option of extending your stay a few more days.