Autumn in Massachusetts is a time like no other—warm sunny afternoons and starlit cool, crisp evenings. The landscape is dotted with fairs and festivals celebrating the brilliant array of colors that embraces the state. Each year thousands of tourists travel to Massachusetts from destinations throughout the world to witness the natural phenomenon of Massachusetts’ colorful fall foliage.
In order to cater to the needs of the state’s fall visitors, the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) has gathered the most up-to-date information on the best driving routes, most exciting events and best lodging deals throughout the Bay State. Whether travelers are seeking quaint B&B’s with picturesque views or modern facilities located on a scenic highway, Massachusetts has something to offer everyone!
DRIVING ROUTES IN MASSACHUSETTS
MOTT has partnered with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to provide reports from state foresters that are posted two times each week on massvacation.com and are also available by calling the Fall Foliage Hot Line: 800-227-MASS. The web site includes a list of scenic drives as well as a fall foliage timetable map that will help visitors plan their trip.
MASSACHUSETTS FALL FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
The autumn season is perfect for attending fairs and festivals, browsing through farm stands, hiking, taking peaceful canoe rides and peddling along bicycle trails. Following is a sampling of upcoming events, but be sure and log onto massvacation.com for hundreds of listings:
- Topsfield Fair: Spend the day at one of the oldest fairs in the country featuring agricultural exhibits and fall flower shows; horse, oxen, and tractor pulls; arts and crafts; the world famous Giant Pumpkin contest; entertainment; and midway. Topsfield Fairgrounds. October 3 - 13, 2008. 978-887-5000. www.topsfieldfair.org
- 5th Annual Cranberry Harvest Festival: A Plymouth county tradition, the festival features demonstrations of cranberry harvesting, cooking with cranberries, children’s entertainment, live music, a craft fair, and rides.
- October 11 & 12. 508-759-1041 x.13. www.cranberries.org/festival/festival.html
- 25th Annual Applefest: Visit central Massachusetts’ highest peak and enjoy the sounds of live entertainment, 70 craft exhibits, and autumn crafts for kids. Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, Princeton. October 18-19, 25-26. 978-464-2300. www.wachusett.com
- Bluegrass and Brews Festival at Nashoba Valley Winery: Bring your blankets and lawn chairs for a fun filled fall day of bluegrass music featuring “Southern Rail.”. Great views, great foliage, great food, great brews and great wine. Nashoba Valley Winery, Bolton. October 26. 978-779-5521. www.nashobawinery.com
- 44th Head of the Charles Regatta: If you haven’t experienced one of the world’s largest rowing events, you don’t know what you’re missing. Spend the day along the banks of the Charles River as you view championship events and races for youths, veterans and lightweights. Charles River, Cambridge/Boston. October 18-19. 617-868-6200. www.hocr.org
- Davis’ Farmland Mega Maze: New England’s first and only world-class corn maze. Created for adults but enjoyed by all ages, this 3D twister will turn you inside out, stir your senses and blow your mind! Weekends through October. 978-422-8888. www.davisfarmland.com
- The Big E: There is no better place to enjoy the sights, sounds and aromas of the fall season than at the Eastern States Exposition, New England’s autumn tradition and the largest fairgrounds in the Northeast! Enjoy The Super Circus, Avenue of States, a Mardi Gras parade, Storrowtown Village, live entertainment and agricultural exhibitions all while sampling food from around the world. September 12-28. 413-737-2443. www.thebige.com