Best Spots to Enjoy the Northeast’s Fall Foliage Without a Car

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Image by ANTHONY THOMAS

Think you need a car to explore and enjoy the wonderful fall colors that the Northeast has to offer? Think again. These beautiful spots are easy to reach from major cities without a car, so you can enjoy all the glorious colors of autumn without the hassles of the road. Fall is just around the corner, so why not choose your favorite spot today?

Salem, Massachusetts

Located just 16 miles north of Boston, the town of Salem feels like another world, especially when fall brings its magical combination of red leaves overhead and bright orange pumpkins on the ground. The peak season here is mid-October.

How to get there: Salem is best reached from Boston, either by the Newburyport/Rockport commuter rail line, or by the Salem Ferry that runs until Oct. 31. Some accommodations may include free transportation into town from the train station and the port.

New Hope, Pennsylvania

This borough is one of Pennsylvania’s hidden gems, boasting beautiful foliage along the Delaware Canal. Soak up the fall colors by walking or cycling along the canal towpath. Or take a ride one of the special “Fall Foliage Trains.” The 35-mile trip takes passengers through some of the best fall scenery in the area on the historic New Hope & Ivyland Railroad.

How to get there: The Transbridge Bus connects New Hope with Penn Station. The Fall Foliage Train runs on weekends from October 3 to November 2.

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

If you want to go car-free in the heart of the foliage, you can’t do better than the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center Lodge, located in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, just south of Bretton Woods. The country’s oldest continually maintained trail, leading through classic fall colors, will be right at your doorstep.

How to get there: The Appalachian Mountain Club’s Hiker Shuttle connects to Gorham, New Hampshire, as well as various approach routes in the park itself. Other bus connections are also available between the Highland Center and Lincoln, New Hampshire, which can be reached by bus from Boston.

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