Ten New England Cities to Explore during the Fall Season
There is no more magical place (IMO) to be during the fall season than New England. (Sidebar: Although, I would probably say that for every season!). Many people descend on New England towns for the foliage, the festivals, and the food!.And while those are great reasons to visit, they won’t necessarily keep your kids as engaged as you might hope. A couple of years ago we shared this post about specific fall themed activities kids will love (and they ALL still hold true!) but this week we thought we’d share some places that have multiple activities the whole family will enjoy (and we’re including our “neighbors” in New York for a couple of bonuses.) These cities offer year round activities, but the beauty of fall is abundant in all of these spots.
10 Greats Spots for Walking in Newport, Rhode Island
Known as “the City by the Sea”, Newport, Rhode Island, is also known for its Gilded Age mansions that were the “summer cottages” of business tycoons of the early 1900s. Today, visitors can tour many of the mansions, learn about the rich history of the area in local museums, and sample a wide variety of cuisine with hundreds of shopping and dinning options. My family is fortunate to live within a day trip’s drive and we often visit Newport for the day and for long weekends. You can read our City Guide from a couple of years ago (we’ll be updating it soon) and our post featuring holiday fun in Newport.
Enjoying a New England Fall With Kids Without Looking at Leaves
I love that I grew up in New England, and recent travels have confirmed I will always be a New Englander. One of my favorite things about living in New England is the change in seasons, and there is (arguably) nothing more beautiful than fall in New England. However, I would argue that it takes a more “mature” desire to spend significant time looking at foliage. I don’t know too many toddlers, children, or teenagers who enjoy going for long drives in the country just to look at leaves. If your children are anything like mine, they like to do things, especially when the weather is still warm enough to be outside for extended periods of time.
Here is a list of some of my family’s favorite things to do in the Northeast during the fall and links to full, detailed blog post. Yes, you’ll still see plenty of beautiful foliage while traveling to these spots, but your children will be happily engaged, entertained, and energized:
Highlights of 2017
My 2017 was filled with lots of fun travels. My family and I stayed mainly in New England, but we still managed to cover over 5,000 miles from northern Maine to New York City, and many places in between. For all of my new readers and followers, I thought I would highlight some of my favorite places and my most liked (and shared) posts from 2017:
Newport, Rhode Island
Growing up on the South Shore of Massachusetts, and having an avid sailor for a father, my family took many a day trip to visit Newport, Rhode Island. I can remember touring the mansions as a child, admiring the boats at the Newport Boat Show with my dad, and enjoying the beaches, restaurants, and various outdoor recreational activities during the summer. As an adult, I have returned to Newport many time, with my husband for a weekend getaway and with girlfriends as an escape from the duties of motherhood. Recently, my family spent Thanksgiving weekend celebrating the start to the holiday season in the “City By the Sea.” You can read all about our holiday celebrations here.
However, you would need months (possibly years) to explore every place in the city, so I think Newport should be on everyone’s list; better yet, if you live within a few hours, it’s worth making visits each season. The city is filled with visitors during the summer months and you absolutely should visit during the summer. However, there is also plenty to do during the winter.
If you need help planning a visit to Newport, DiscoverNewport.org is the perfect planning tool. It’s extremely easy to navigate and full of ideas based on your preferences for activities, food, accommodations, and budget. There is also a massive directory for weddings planning. The online calendar was up to date and quickly linked me to websites and phone numbers. It also covers more than “just” the city of Newport, by including both Newport and Bristol Counties. I’ve organized suggestion based on two popular areas of town:
Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island
This is the 3rd post in a series detailing my recent visit to Newport, Rhode Island. To read about celebrating the holiday season in Newport, click here and to read about the International Tennis Hall of Fame, click here.
Fort Adams has the honor of being both the largest fort in the United States and the only fort never attacked. Although, because it was never attacked or “officially in use”, it is not part of the National Parks program like many other forts throughout America. Fort Adams, located in Newport, Rhode Island, is one of twenty fortresses built after the War of 1812, took over 30 years (from 1820-1850) to complete, and is named after the second American President, John Adams. It was most effectively used as a training facility for West Point graduates before their official postings.
The entire complex is a state park and open to the public, free of charge. The public is welcome to use the restrooms, walk (leashed) dogs, fish, picnic, and even use the public beach. Sail Newport, housed on the property, rents sailboats and also gives lesson.
On a recent visit to Newport, my family took the 90 minute, guided tours. We loved it. All of us, adults and children alike, found it interactive, informative, and even a little scary. Steve Marino, our tour guide, made sure to engage our children throughout the tour. You’ll need to start in the Visitor’s Center to purchase tickets. They offer a AAA discount. There are restrooms and a gift shop with snacks, drinks, and souvenirs. Strollers are allowed on most aspects of the tour, and you can leave strollers outside some “indoor” and tight spaces.