Every fall, New England rolls out a foliage carpet dressed in blazing oranges and reds, yellows and purples. It’s the perfect time to visit the region. Known as “leaf peepers”, travelers come to drive the winding country roads, hike lush mountain paths, and stroll town greens to soak in the vibrant vistas of color. A growing trend in cruising is to take a fall foliage cruise. Imagine sailing in and out of these small harbor towns as their lush colors greet you. Sounds beautiful doesn’t it? If you’re planning a trip to the region, here are the most stunning places to see fall foliage state-by-state.
Early October is prime leaf peeping time for the northern states, while the southern half stretches into late October and even early November. Throughout September and October, these foliage-focused cruises typically depart from Boston, New York, Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., and Baltimore, and head north to Quebec City or Montreal. Ports of call along the way include Bar Harbor, Maine, Newport, R. I., Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Many schedules include cruising the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Saguenay Fjord in Canada.
Bar Harbor is the largest town on Mount Desert Island, and nearby Acadia National Park encompasses some 50 square miles. Once dubbed the “Philadelphia on the rocks", travelers come to appreciate the striking setting of mountains, woodlands, lakes and ocean waves crashing against granite cliffs. It’s a lovely place for biking and hiking or to relax after a fun day of sightseeing with a delicious lobster roll.
Bayonne, New Jersey is the jumping off point for many fall foliage cruises. It’s a quick ride into New York City where you can view the changing leaves of Central Park beneath the famous skyline of the city. With a myriad of activities held daily in the park, its the perfect place to take a long romantic stroll, enjoy a picnic under the leaves or go out on a boat in the lake.
Prince Edward Island is one of the most charming places to visit on a fall foliage cruise. Originally inspiring the famous literary series “Anne of Green Gables”, it was made famous in the books with descriptions of a landscape of “ruby, and emerald, and sapphire…a temple of woods, fields and shore, where the sunset sky shines like a great rose window at the end of a cathedral aisle.” When the leaves change color its simply magical.
For more information on the idyllic ports of New England, check our the ShoreFox port reviews for everything you need to know to ensure your best cruise vacation.