5 Can't Miss Spots to Visit in New England

5 Can't Miss Spots to Visit in New England | biblio-style.com

There are probably, like, three things in the whole world in which the stereotype is as accurate as the truth, but you guys, I'm here to tell you that everything you ever heard or saw about New England in the fall is pretty dang spot on. For once, TV didn't lie to you. I highly recommend a New England road trip right around late September, early October, when the colors are peak, the air is crisp, and the northeast coast is looking damn fine. 

Quaint towns and fall foliage await you, and these are my top 5 can't miss spots to visit in New England. 

1 || Watkins Glen, NY

Watkins Glen State Park Gorge | biblio-style.com

Okay okay! I know NY isn't technically New England, but it's on the way, and very cool, so I'm keeping it. New York is home to the Finger Lakes, which are basically several long, skinny lakes that - you guessed it - look like fingers. Seated at the base of the largest of the fingers, Seneca Lake, is Watkins Glen. There is a charming main street and beautiful harbor, but my favorite spot is Watkins Glen State Park. 

The state park is the biggest present in average wrapping paper that I've ever come across. I mean, you come in and it's nice, but you know, standard playground, huge lawn - that kind of thing. We started hiking and following some signs that promised a waterfall and that's when my socks were knocked off. Watkins Glen is home to this huge, incredible gorge. There are beautiful trails in the rock, stairs, and killer views as you climb up and down through the gorge. 

Seriously, do not miss this one. 

Can't Miss it Item: Watkins Glen State Park

Where to Eat: Jerlando's Ristorante and Pizza Co. for steak and cheese pazotti. 

5 Can't Miss Spots to Visit in New England | Watkins Glen, NY


2 || Burlington, VT

Visit Burlington VT in the Fall | biblio-style.com

Church Street is a classic pitstop and it's a foodie/shoppers dream. Traveling during COVID-19, the street was shut down to cars to accommodate the foot traffic and provide some easy social distancing. I have a feeling this street is always bustling, but we live our lives in restaurants, bringing them outdoors brought the whole place to life. 

After you fuel up on drinks, snacks, and the shopping, head on down to the Lake Champlain harbor for gorgeous views, giant rocks, and a ferry flying in the harbor with a surprising, yet somewhat terrifying ability to stop on a dime. There's also a ton of vineyards to check out, a cool children's museum, and a nice walking trail right on Lake Champlain. 

Can't Miss it Item: Lake Champlain harbor. 

Where to Eat: The Skinny Pancake for a Lovemaker crepe. Also, you're welcome. 

5 Can't Miss Spots to Visit in New England | Burlington, VT


3 || Bar Harbor, ME

5 Can't Miss Spots to Visit in New England | biblio-style.com

The locals call this place Bah Hah-bah and I don't care what you decide to call it, I'm going with "really cool." It's is a bit touristy, so if you're looking for t-shirts and souvenirs, this is probably your place. If you're looking to avoid crowds, it's not. 

I loved the bookstore, where "not non-fiction" was a category along the back bookshelves, and Duke had a blast riding an adult-sized rocking horse at In the Woods

It's also basically the entrance to Acadia National Park, which is a perfect reason to bring yourself to this part of Maine. Drive the Atlantic coastline, walk out on red rocks as ocean waves crash into the coast beneath you, and enjoy the bridges that Rockefeller's money bought. It's a beautiful National Park and one of the few in the eastern United States. 

Can't Miss it Item: Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park. 

Where to Eat: Geddy's for poutine with cheddar curd. 

5 Can't Miss Spots to Visit in New England | Bar Harbor, ME

4 || Freeport, ME

The LL Bean Boot in Freeport Maine | biblio-style.com

Home of the flagship L.L Bean store. Did you know that LL Bean's name was Leon Leonwood Bean? I mean, no wonder he just shorted that right up to LL. Anyway, if you're into LL Bean and the semi-preppy, yet outdoorsy lifestyle, this is mecca. There's the flagship store, the outlet store, the hunting and fishing store, the home store...I'm probably missing two or three more, but suffice it to say, there are a few full-blown buildings dedicated to the various categories of goods that they sell. 

The most famous good - the bean boot - is perched right up at massive scale at the front door of their flagship store and on the other side of the building is the Bean mobile. 

The rest of the town is basically a giant outdoor outlet mall. There's a really nice two-story J. Crew outlet, a Patagonia store, and an Under Armour store, among others. Bonus, there's also a McDonalds that's built into a 150-year mansion down the street. Besides a couple branded signs in the window, you'd never guess it's a Mickey-Ds and I think that's the point? City ordinances are weird. 

Can't Miss it Item: The Bean Boot outside of the flagship LL Bean store. 

Where to Eat: Mcdonalds. Seriously! Get a Big Mac and an oreo Mcflurry. 

5 Can't Miss Spots to Visit in New England | Freeport, ME
McDonalds in a 150-year old mansion in Freeport, ME | biblio-style.com


5 || Salem, MA

5 Can't Miss Spots to Visit in New England | Salem, MA

Alright, alright, alright -- now here's the place to visit in October. And I already want to come back. There's definitely an eerie vibe in this place that's centered around the 1692 witch trials, but it's also so packed full of history and just plain old (incorporated 400+ years ago!), that it's fascinating to check out. We parked east of town on Derby St. and walked through some residential areas, where you'll find a plaque on each house indicating when it was built, who for, and what their profession was. TRUST ME, we were very surprised to find a home built for some Hodges Sisters. 

There is some tchotchke stuff and palm reading and whatnot that feels a little touristy and you'll see at least a couple people in witch costumes, but walk yourself down to the memorial to check out the very old cemetery. Personally, this is what made me feel the weight of how these were actual people, accused of total absurdity, that lost their lives. 

There's also a beautiful park called the Salem Common that's large enough to take a quick walk and take in the sites, and also has a playground if you have kiddos like mine that consider testing out every slide as part of the trip experience. 

Can't Miss it Item: House with Seven Gables. 

Where to Eat: The Lobster Shanty for "warm beer, lousy food, surly waitresses...."

5 Can't Miss Spots to Visit in New England | Salem, MA


The east coast is a perfect road trip. Coming from Michigan, it was about a day and a half to get there, but once you're in it, the states are so tiny and the towns are so close together that you can cover a lot of historical ground. If you flew in and rented a car, you could see most everything with just a nice long weekend.  

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