Classic New England: Fall Foliage Tour

7 days (8 days in 2015) / Special Event Tours
Print This Page

About This Experience

Mother Nature puts on a spectacular show every October, when the eastern forests burst into reds, oranges and yellows. That makes fall the perfect season to explore New England’s historic sites. Relive the birth of a nation, from the rabblerousing streets of Boston to the battle greens of Lexington and Concord, then travel up the coast to explore the fishing villages and trading centers where the country grew prosperous—all under a vibrant canopy of color.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 6 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 2 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

  • Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Salem, Massachusetts, United States
  • Portland, Maine, United States
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Boston, Massachusetts2 nights - hotel info

Day1

Arrive in Boston, the capital of fall foliage

Dinner

Arrive in Boston, Massachusetts, and check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or begin acquainting yourself with Boston. At an included dinner this evening, get to know your fellow travelers.

Day2

Follow the Freedom Trail through leafy streets and historic sites

Optional Excursion - Prudential Skywalk & Lunch

Breakfast

A local guide leads this morning’s sightseeing tour of Boston, one of the first British settlements in America and one of the principal fronts in the Revolutionary War. Your tour begins on the Freedom Trail, where you’ll sweep through two and a half centuries of American history as you follow the red line that connects the 16 most important historic sites in Boston. Highlights include Old North Church, Old South Meeting House, Paul Revere’s House, Faneuil Hall, the site of the Boston Massacre, Old State House, King’s Chapel, Granary Burial Ground, Park Street Church, Massachusetts State House and the colorful foliage of the Boston Common. Your tour concludes at Harvard Square, where you’ll enjoy free time to explore the university’s campus and browse the surrounding shops. This afternoon, continue exploring the city on your own or opt to enjoy a festive seafood lunch, followed by a bird’s-eye view of the city from the Prudential Skywalk. Weather permitting, you’ll see miles upon miles of yellows, oranges and reds beneath your feet.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Prudential Skywalk & Lunch $49* pp

Taste the fruits of the Atlantic at a seafood lunch, then continue on to New England's highest public observation deck, the Prudential Skywalk Observatory. High above Boston, you'll take in a 360-degree bird’s-eye view and an audio tour of the city’s landmarks, including Fenway Park, Hancock Tower, Boston Common and the Public Garden, the Esplanade, Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, as well as MIT and Harvard across the Charles River. You’ll also have a chance to visit the Dreams of Freedom Immigration Museum.

Salem, Massachusetts1 night - hotel info

Day3

Discover revolutionary roots, maritime history and seasonal splendor

Breakfast

The House of Seven Gables

Ever wonder where the British fired “the shot heard ‘round the world”? As you leave Boston for Lexington and Concord, you’ll tread the same ground where the first shots were fired, and where the Revolutionary War officially began. Here, a local guide helps you discover how the Minutemen forced the British to retreat back over the Old North Bridge, starting what would come to be known as the Siege of Boston. Later this afternoon, venture to the leafy streets of Salem, “America’s Bewitching Seaport,” known far and wide for its infamous witch trials. You’ll also see Salem’s post-witch-trial growth as a place where local sea captains became America’s first millionaires. As you visit the well-known House of Seven Gables, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel of the same name, you’ll step into the life of one such millionaire family—and even discover a secret staircase. Formally called the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion after its original owners, the house is the oldest surviving 17th-century wooden mansion in New England, and is flanked by Hawthorne’s birthplace and two enchanting Colonial Revival gardens.

Portland, Maine2 nights - hotel info

Day4

Cruise the colorful New England coast from Newburyport to Kennbunkport

Breakfast

This morning, leave Massachusetts behind as you travel north to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in the heart of New England’s famous forests. Spend some time exploring this picturesque seaport city, immersing yourself in the wonders of its downtown and taking in the spectacular fall colors. Next, catch a peek of one of Maine’s best-known resort towns, Kennebunkport, a perfect spot to kick back and relax. Thanks to its charming shops and cafes, its lovely beaches and its tree lined coves, an afternoon here is always an afternoon well-spent. In Kennebunkport, the Atlantic crashes onto the rocky shore just steps away from the fiery oranges and reds of the forest. Later, transfer to Portland.

Day5

Browse the bookstores, microbreweries and art galleries of Portland

Breakfast, Dinner

After this morning’s sightseeing of Portland, spend time browsing the handicrafts and treasures found in Old Port, also known as downtown Portland. Discover a wealth of independent bookshops, from the classics at Longfellow Books to the more offbeat selection at Casco Bay Booksellers. The city boasts many delicious lunch offerings, including Gritty McDuff’s brewery. Later, travel to one of Maine’s coastal gems, Boothbay Harbor. Jutting out into the Atlantic on a peninsula, Boothbay began as a fishing village and became a favorite vacation spot for locals and out-of-towners alike. Explore Boothbay’s many shops and galleries and its unparalleled views on your own, or opt to join an excursion to the Boothbay Railway Village. Return to Portland in time for tonight’s included lobster dinner.

Boston, Massachusetts1 night - hotel info

Day6

Wander around Boston under a canopy of crimson and gold

Breakfast

Today, transfer back to Boston. Spend an afternoon in New England’s unofficial capital at your leisure. You might try walking through the broad expanse of Boston Common while listening to the crunch of leaves underfoot. For a delicious snack or souvenir shopping, venture to one of the many cafes or shops along Boylston or Newbury Streets. Tonight, share a farewell drink with your travel companions.

Day7

Head home high above the multicolored New England tapestry

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Begin your return journey home, or stay on for two extra nights on beautiful Cape Cod.

Extend Your Stay

Add Cape Cod $399*

Once the realm of fishermen, Cape Cod is now a destination for artists, writers and holidaymakers, who come for inspiration and relaxation. The summertime streets are often clogged with beach-bound traffic, but most of these vacationers don’t stick around to see the Cape at its finest—during the crisp, cool, colorful days of autumn. Spend a few extra days to soak up the history and scenery on Cape Cod.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts2 nights - hotel info

Day7

Flashback 400 years at the Pilgrim’s settlement site in Plymouth

Breakfast

Leave the cities of the Northeast behind as you make your way to Cape Cod. On the way, stop in Plymouth, Massachusetts’ first settlement. Later today, settle in to your hotel in Hyannis.

Day8

Bask in the beauty and solitude of Cape Cod in autumn

Optional Excursion - Martha's Vineyard

Breakfast

Spend today exploring the beach town of Hyannis on your own—and perhaps find out just how close you can come to the Kennedy compound—or opt for an excursion to Martha’s Vineyard, a quaint island escape south of the Cape. Take in the Colonial charms of Edgartown and Gay Head as you tour the island and explore its many shops, cafes, beaches and bluffs. Head back to Hyannis for your last night on Cape Cod.

Optional Excursions

Martha's Vineyard $105* pp

Hop aboard a ferry for a day of exploration and discovery on the beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard, known for its many-hued “gingerbread” Victorian homes, its sea-captain houses in Edgartown and its laid-back resort culture. After touring the island and enjoying a seafood lunch in Oak Bluffs, you’ll have free time to peruse the island’s charming shops and galleries. Don’t forget to stop by the famous Black Dog Cafe! Please note: This optional excursion is seasonal and runs from May through mid-October.

Day9

Watch the reds, yellows and greens turn to sky blue as you fly away

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Begin your return journey home.

Print This Page

About This Experience

Mother Nature puts on a spectacular show every October, when the eastern forests burst into reds, oranges and yellows. That makes fall the perfect season to explore New England’s time-honored landmarks. From the colonial roots of Salem to the quintessential fall fare of Vermont, take in the history and charm of the East Coast—all under a vibrant canopy of color.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 7 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 2 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

  • Montpelier, Vermont
  • North Conway, New Hampshire, United States
  • Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Montpelier Region, Vermont2 nights - hotel info

Day1

ARRIVE IN VERMONT AND SOAK IN THE RUSTIC NEW ENGLAND CHARM

Arrive in Burlington, Vermont, this evening and check in to your hotel in nearby Montpelier Region.

Day2

SAMPLE REGIONAL FALL FARE FROM SYRUP TO CIDER TO WINE

Breakfast, Dinner

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory, local winery

An all-day excursion shows off Vermont’s brilliant seasonal colors and delicious fall fare. Your first stop is a maple tree farm, where you can marvel at the crimson-colored trees and sample the sweet syrup that they produce. Next, get a taste for local beverages with stops at Green Mountain Coffee and the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. Then, enjoy free time for lunch, but save room for dessert, as your next stop is the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, complete with a tour and samples. Today’s final stop is a local winery, which also includes a tour and tasting. End the day with an included dinner.

North Conway, New Hampshire2 nights - hotel info

Day3

TAKE IN THE FIERY FOLIAGE OF VERMONT AND NEW HAMPSHIRE

Breakfast

Cabot Cheese Factory

This morning, learn all about Vermont’s most celebrated product with a tour of the Cabot Cheese Factory, focusing on the history and technique of cheese-making. Sample Cabot’s many delicious cheese varieties, including the award-winning cheddar. After free time for lunch, head east into New Hampshire, with stops at the state’s most iconic spots, including Franconia Notch and the Old Man of the Mountain Memorial Park. Continue east amidst the lush fall scenery of the state’s most famous scenic byway, the Kancamangus Highway, to North Conway.

Day4

HOP A TRAIN FOR SCENIC VIEWS

Breakfast

Mount Washington Cog Railway

Your day starts at Mount Washington. Here, board the Mount Washington Cog Railway for a scenic train ride to the region’s highest summit, where you have time to eat lunch and take in 360 degrees of amazing autumnal colors. Afterward, head out for a scenic drive and soak in incredible views along the Owls Head Highway.

York Region, Maine1 night - hotel info

Day5

BROWSE THE BOOKSTORES, MICROBREWERIES AND ART GALLERIES OF PORTLAND

Breakfast

Transfer to Portland, by way of Maine’s picturesque Lakes District. Here, your Tour Director introduces you to its most interesting sites, such as Fort Allen Park and the Portland Observatory. After the tour, enjoy free time for browsing and lunch in the historic Old Port, packed with independent bookshops, unique boutiques and enticing restaurants. This afternoon, drive down the coast, stopping in Kennebunkport, site of the Bush Estate, before continuing on to York for the night.

Boston, Massachusetts2 nights - hotel info

Day6

DISCOVER SALEM'S COLONIAL ROOTS AND SPOOKY PAST

Breakfast

House of the Seven Gables

After a free morning in York, drive down the coast to the leafy streets of Salem, “America’s Bewitching Seaport,” known far and wide for its infamous witch trials. You’ll also see Salem’s stately past as a place where local sea captains became America’s first millionaires. As you visit the House of the Seven Gables, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel of the same name, step into the life of one such millionaire family—and even discover a secret staircase. Formally called the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion after its original owners, the house is the oldest surviving 17th-century wooden mansion in New England, and is flanked by Hawthorne’s birthplace and two enchanting Colonial Revival gardens. Later, continue on to Boston this evening.

Day7

FOLLOW THE FREEDOM TRAIL THROUGH LEAFY STREETS AND HISTORIC SIGHTS

Optional Excursion - Prudential Skywalk & Lunch

Breakfast, Dinner

A local guide leads this morning’s sightseeing tour of Boston, one of the first British settlements in America and a principal front in the Revolutionary War. Your tour begins on the Freedom Trail, where you’ll sweep through two and a half centuries of American history as you follow the red line that connects the 16 most important historic sites in Boston. Highlights include Old North Church, Old South Meeting House, Paul Revere’s House, Faneuil Hall, the site of the Boston Massacre, Old State House, King’s Chapel, Granary Burial Ground, Park Street Church, Massachusetts State House and the colorful foliage of the Boston Common. Your tour concludes at Harvard Square, where you’ll enjoy free time to explore the university’s campus and browse the surrounding shops. This afternoon, continue exploring the city on your own or opt to feast on a seafood lunch, followed by a bird’s-eye view of the city from the Prudential Skywalk. Weather permitting, you’ll see miles upon miles of yellows, oranges and reds beneath your feet. Tonight, share a farewell dinner with your travel companions.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Prudential Skywalk & Lunch $49* pp

Taste the fruits of the Atlantic at a seafood lunch, then continue on to New England's highest public observation deck, the Prudential Skywalk Observatory. High above Boston, you'll take in a 360-degree bird’s-eye view and an audio tour of the city’s landmarks, including Fenway Park, Hancock Tower, Boston Common and the Public Garden, the Esplanade, Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, as well as MIT and Harvard across the Charles River. You’ll also have a chance to visit the Dreams of Freedom Immigration Museum.

Day8

HEAD HOME HIGH ABOVE THE MULTICOLORED NEW ENGLAND TAPESTRY

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Begin your return journey home, or stay on for two extra nights in the unofficial capital of New England.

Extend Your Stay

Add Boston $399*

From leafy shopping streets to the Public Garden, see Boston awash in fall’s rich reds, yellows and golds.

Boston, Massachusetts2 nights

Day8

Soak in Revolutionary history at every turn

Optional Excursion - Revolutionary New England: Lexington & Concord

Breakfast

Spend a day in Boston at your leisure. Walk across the Boston Common and listen to the crunch of leaves underfoot, or do some gallery hopping and window shopping on Newbury Street. Alternatively, opt to join an excursion to historic Lexington and Concord, to see where the Revolutionary War officially began. Here, a local guide recounts how the Minutemen forced the British to retreat back over the Old North Bridge, starting what would come to be known as the Siege of Boston.

Optional Excursions

Revolutionary New England: Lexington & Concord $79* pp

Gain insight into early American history during your time in Lexington and Concord, hubs of the American Revolution. In Lexington, the site of the first shot of the Revolution, you’ll visit battlefields, war monuments and colonial buildings. In Concord, drive by the homes of famous early American authors, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott, as you take in the historic backdrop of this quaint New England town.

Day9

Explore Boston your way—from museums to leafy parks to lobster rolls

Breakfast

Today is free to explore Boston. Check out the vast collection of art on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, or marvel at the more selective collection at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum. Alternatively, come face to face with the many creatures of the sea at the New England Aquarium.

Day10

Take in one more look at New England's fiery fall foliage

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Begin your return journey home.

Passport & Visa Requirements

Valid government-issued identification is required for air travel within the United States. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please be sure to have your required identification with you as well.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing and Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight jacket or rainwear. Restaurants range from formal to informal in this region of the United States. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want dressier attire.

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to this region. During the summer months, take care for sun exposure and heat. It is always advisable to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and personal travel requirements.

Cuisine

One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling is the delightful variety of local cuisine—even if you’re not traveling abroad. In New England, look out for especially delicious seafood specialties, such as lobster and clam chowder.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive and depart from Boston. Boston is a walking city, but the city’s metro system—known to locals as the T—is affordable and easily accessible. That said, Boston’s streets are not laid out in a grid pattern; asking your Tour Director for directions is advised. All included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.

Time Zones

Your tour will fall on Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash.

Fall Foilage & Historic New England

I have been to Boston, and the surrounding area several times, but this was the first time that I was able to enjoy being in New England solely for pleasure. The hotels for this itinerary were all well-chosen, and well-positioned, to maximize the amount of time we had in each venue. The city tour of Boston was excellent, as was the guide's presentation on our trip to historic Lexington and Concord. Our Go Ahead escort, Nancy, and our driver, Sal, knocked themselves out to make sure we could experience every town or city to the fullest. The dinners we had as a group were excellent - especially the Lobster night! I opted to do the Cape Cod extension, and recommend that highly. Seeing the autumn foilage and the wide range of colors was very special, as this year has been a super year to see the fall leaves in the NE. Seeing Martha's Vineyard without the thousands of summer tourists was great. I recommend this tour in the fall highly, and hope you are lucky to have Nancy and Sal to introduce these wonderful sites to you. You might consider extending the tour by one day, to include another night at the historic Hawthorne Hotel. I took an evening walking tour, which was spooky as well as historically informative. The witch's house is worth a visit, as typical of a 17th Cent. house, in the NE of the US. Nobody celebrates Halloween like the citizens of Salem, MA!


5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/8/2012

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Accommodating Tour Director

A very accommodating tour director who knew his history. You need to let others know, this tour is a history lesson!

4 / 5

Traveled On: 10/19/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NV

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Didn't even miss the leaves!!!

Altho' we missed the final "spectacular display" of the turning of the leaves in New England by a week, we didn't even care as we learned so much and had such a good time. Our tour director was excellent. As he lives in Boston (or close to), he really knew everything about the New England area. He had searched out the best "lobstah rolls" and we descended on a wonderful little place and had the BEST ever. As I said, we learned so much...cancel everything you ever knew about Paul Revere...let the "natives" tell it best. Our additional tour guide really was a history buff and brought tears to everyone's eyes when he told us the story of the battle of Lexington and Concord and reminded us that "we are still part of that history". The coach was wonderful...plenty of legroom for my 6'3" husband. There wasn't a moment that any of us experienced any discomfort. Our hotels were wonderful...the Marriott Copley was gorgeous...but we loved the old time look and feel of the Hawthorne in Salem even more. Wish we could have spent another day there. If you want to get a good education about the area you are visiting, go with GoAhead. Learning is what it's all about for them.I think GoAhead tours are a wonderful bargain for a a prestigious tour...you get more than your money's worth. I recommend them to all my friends and to you, too!

review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/19/2013

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: UT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

"The Falling Leaves..."

This was a whirlwind trip. Saw lots of historic sites, the hotels were great, each day crammed full of information.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/19/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CA

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

great trip

The tour director[Nick] and the bus driver[Jack] were the best. My only complaint-- too much shopping time the Salem visit was not great.

4 / 5

Traveled On: 10/12/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: LA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Best Rour Director

Everything is excellent except Martha's Vineyard, Salem and the Train Ride Dinner.

4 / 5

Traveled On: 10/12/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Nothing beats autumn in New England!

This was such an amazing tour on so many levels! Everyone appreciated the history, the culture and the culinary delights of this trip. We enjoyed Maine lobster at DiMillo's & the world famous New England clam chowder at the Bush's favorite Kennebunkport restaurant. Our hotels were all centrally located and beautifully appointed; even the the Dalai Lama was staying at our Boston hotel while we were there! Our historic, haunted Hawthorne Hotel in Salem provided the perfect Halloween ambiance with flickering lights and other hints that playful ghosts were present. It was obvious that our Tour Director, Yvette, gained her expertise as a tour guide with her many years of experience. Her knowledge of the cities and the hidden delights was so apparent that we just knew she arranged for the 4.6 magnitude earthquake that hit Portland ME while we were there! How exciting was that? Boston exceeded my expectations (loved it). Boothbay Harbor, Kennebunkport, Martha's Vineyard, Hyannis Port were all the quintessential New England seaports. To see the Bush compound with the flag flying (which meant "they" were there) and the Kennedy compound on Cape Cod was icing on the cake. I look forward to exploring much more of the US through GAT because this old chick no longer relishes those 12 hour flights to Europe. With that in mind, I highly recommend this engaging and fascinating tour to everyone and hope that you are lucky enought to Yvette as your TD. Go to coastal New England in the fall and enjoy all it has to offer!!

review photo review photo review photo review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/13/2012

Number of Past Tours: 9

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

coastal new england

Wer visited sites that were a setting for Early American History. Our tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable. For a sit back and enjoy the ride, it was a good trip.

4 / 5

Traveled On: 10/8/2012

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: OK

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Fell in Love with Boston!

I absolutely loved Boston! Such a great trip, so much to see and enjoyed every moment of it. I already want to go back! The highlights were going to Lexington, Cape Cod, Plymouth, Martha's Vineyard, Harvard University, Cambridge, Prudential Building, Train ride with dinner (extension), staying at the Marriot Hotel in Copley, Boston and Boston of course! Thank you all for doing such a great job in taking care of everything for us as to places to see, tour guides, hotels, transportation, food, etc.! A tour to remember forever! Overall great experience and I will highly recommend Go Ahead Tours!

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/13/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Pleasatly Surprisd

The first glemps of leaves were intoxicating. Observing each leaf was as unique as a snowflake. Leaves were so beauiful they suspended one into fantasy dreams of a child. Running threw them and hearing their crinkle as if they were happy for me, laughing, smiling and giggling. God has over done the magic. A must see and hear.. With the concerns from our experenced travevl directors this trip was presened to me awe inspiring.. They were concerened wih my wellbeng. Every moment was presented in detail with clariety , knowledge and excitement. A trip for everyone.! Betty

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/13/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Show More Reviews
Q&A