New England offers plenty of local color

BOSTON -- When it comes to fall foliage, it is hard to beat the scenic charm of Vermont and New Hampshire.

New England provides colorful scenery for fall foliage tours. Vermont, because of its northern location and mountainous terrain, offers some of the earliest fall colors, starting with the red maples in the region nearest the Canadian border.

The state draws almost 1 million visitors during its foliage season, many of whom converge in late September through Columbus Day weekend, according to the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.

In fact, some hotels are booked a year in advance on weekends, according to the Department of Travel and Tourism, which advises visitors to plan midweek arrivals and to expect a two-night minimum stay at many properties.

In addition to the foliage, visitor attractions in Vermont include the Norman Rockwell Gallery in Arlington, the Battle Monument in Manchester and the Clock Emporium in Old Bennington.

Also of interest are ski resorts at Lake Raponda, Mount Snow and Bromley Mountain, offering chair-lift views of the scenery, and Jacksonville and Wilmington, both featuring quaint shops.

Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing

Phone: (800) VERMONT

Vermont Fall Foliage

Phone:(802) 828-3239

Web: www.travel-vermont .com

In New Hampshire, scenic sites include the White Mountains, the Lakes Region, Merrimack Valley, Lake Sunapee and the Monadnock region. Visitors can hike in the 9,000-acre Pillsbury State Park; take in the Sandwich Fair, held annually on Columbus Day weekend, or shop in the Old Country Store in Moultonborough, which dates from 1781.

Other visitor stops include Castle in the Clouds, which offers a view of Lake Winnipesaukee; the historic town of Wolfeboro, and Canterbury Shaker Village.

State parks include Monadnock, Hampton Beach and Odiorne Point, all offering hiking and cycling trails, picnic sites and boating. Probably the most well-known scenic highway in the region is the Kancamagus Highway, designated by the government as a Scenic Byway.

The road, linking Conway to Lincoln, climbs some 3,000 feet into the White Mountains National Forest.

New Hampshire Office of Tourism

Phone: (800) FUN-IN-NH

Web: www.visitnh.gov

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