According to the www.massvacation.com website, this year’s autumn display should be spectacular with an ever growing peak from the Columbus Day weekend all the way to Veteran’s Day, November 11th. They also have a special website for maximizing the time spent driving so the very best colors won’t be missed.
We are blessed with having an area that is so beautiful for most of the year, the autumn colors added on just take the breath away.
No giant traffic jams through the White Mountains, no long, tiring drives through Maine & Vermont – all it takes is a few moments away from our busy schedules.
Even better, no special times out of work or elaborate travelling plans – we can even enjoy them on our commute. (If we take some extra time to make some minor detours.)
Being partial to the third option, even if your journeys take you south of the city, it would serve you well to detour down the roads that border the river. An added benefit this year will be the opportunity to inspect the new replacement bridges in Groveland and West Newbury.
Here are three possible routes:
Route 1A Foliage Tour, Newburyport to Ipswich, 20 minute Drive
Start at Atkinson Common and drive along the full length of Newburyport’s High Street, Newbury’s High Road and through Rowley down to the center of Ipswich. The historic trees of the city coupled with the mansions along the route will feed into the countryside, Great Marsh views and small country-town sites. Great places to stop are the Little Farm run by Historic New England, Tendercrop Farm & Iron Moon Farm in Newbury. To celebrate the drive, be sure to stop at Marty’s donut shop in downtown Ipswich for super doughnuts. Marty’s closes by 1:00 so drive in the morning. It is worth it!
Route 113 Foliage Tour, 20 minute drive
Newburyport to Groveland. Start at the junction of Interstate 95 and Route 113 in Newburyport heading west. West Newbury’s main road is the quintessential New England road – stone walls, farmed fields, pleasant old homesteads and rolling hills dominate the view. Along the way are farm stands, garden shops and Long Hill Farm’s ice cream stand as well as historic sites. The route ends up at the bridge in downtown Groveland. A special treat if you would like some walking is to take Hoyt’s Lane while still in Newburyport and travel down to Maudslay State Park where there are lovely walks along the river and strolls amongst formal gardens.
And the most magnificent of all, Main Street (Amesbury), Merrimac Street, Pleasant Valley & River Road Foliage Tour, 20 minute drive.
Amesbury to Haverhill. Start at the Amesbury side of the Hines bridge. Follow westward along the water. This is one of the best river foliage views in the region. The road hugs the shoreline of the Merrimack River, presenting fabulous water and foliage views. Simply follow any road that takes you closest to the river. There is one short detour. You are forced onto Skunk Road in Merrimac at a point where River Road washed out a few years ago. Take Skunk to Middle, turn left and you’re back on the route. You can walk this closed section of the road if you park your car on either end.* The road continues to Rocks Village in Haverhill near the bridge. You can cross into West Newbury and head back for more foliage views along the river or take the road north until you connect with Route 110. Notable stops are the Lowell Boat Shop, Bartlett Museum and strolling around Rocks Village local historic district or work your way up to the Whittier House. A small detour near the former hat factory can be made up to Hodgie’s Ice Cream up on Route 110. (If still open)
In the next post, I will provide the next best thing to driving through the foliage – hiking our lovely regional trails and visiting our local farms.
We are truly spoiled living here!
We are close to the beach, close to the mountains, minutes away from Boston & Maine and have two major highways that allow us to go west easily and north and south with a snap.
We truly are the cherry on the top of New England.
But the best thing of all, is, if we choose, we don’t have to go anywhere!
It’s all here! NO WONDER so many want to live in Newburyport.