Nothing compares to New England in the fall. When the first colorful leaf flutters to the ground I’m pulling my sweaters out of storage and planning a weekend road trip to go leaf peeping, complete with hikes through the technicolor hills, farm visits for apple cider donuts, and cozy nights by a roaring fire in a big hearth. Earlier this month, David and I got away for a 3 state road trip to visit some of my favorite destinations: Lenox, MA, Manchester, VT, and Lake Winnipesaukee, NH. I grew up frequenting these places in all seasons but have to say fall always puts on the best show!
Of course, one of the best things about fall is getting dressed. I love layering up in cashmere sweaters and fun jackets, without having to worry about sensible outerwear or shoes for snowy days. Below I’ve outlined the perfect New England road trip complete with outfits pulled from J.McLaughlin’s Fall Collection to take you from the pumpkin patch to dinner. This road trip is easy to pull off over a long weekend, as most places are about 2 hours apart – leaving lots of time for hiking, lunching and exploring some of New England’s cutest towns!
- Stay at 33 Main – a darling bed and breakfast in the center of town with cheerful decor and a great breakfast. The interiors are designed by Annie Selke and if you love something you can walk across the street to their shop to purchase it for your own home!
- Tour The Mount – former home of one of America’s greatest authors, Edith Wharton. She penned The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, and the House of Mirth as books on architecture and decoration, and was the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
- Dinner at Brava – a wine and tapas bar a block from 33 Main, and be sure to order a pizza from their extensive menu!
- Hike Mount Graylock – the highest point in Massachusetts, and have lunch at Bascom Lodge. I love visiting the old National Park Lodges around the country and not only is Bascom’s beautiful it has a stunning view from their dining room.
What I Wore: Layering is key when you need to go from historic house tours to hiking Mount Graylock. I layered the ribbed Arlette Turtleneck under this fun fringed cashmere sweater which can be worn as a sweater or jacket to easily transition from one activity to the next. Throw a few essentials in this leopard clutch for lunch at the lodge.
- Stay at Hill Farm Inn – it’s a little outside of town but it’s worth it for the views and complete serenity. Start or end your evening with a drink by the massive fire in the inn’s living room, and make sure you stay for breakfast, where everything is made onsite from Vermont’s most delicious offerings. Also, they’ll let you feed the resident alpacas if you’d like. Just ask for a handful of apples!
- Dinner at The Crooked Ram – sample craft brews from across New England in this simple roadside bar, pairing your beverage to some of Vermont’s most delicious meats and cheeses.
- Walk Equinox Pond Loop – or try something more ambitious in the park! Equinox Mountain is beautifully reflected in the pond’s still water and looks especially pretty at sunrise.
- Stop for a snack at Dorset Union Store – they always have hot chili ready and I love the little cubbies for residents to receive the local paper.
What I Wore: A dress and block heeled knee high boots look chic for dinner and while my print is sold out this dress comes in several pretty fall prints. This cashmere mock neck sweater has become my most-worn item of the season and I love pairing it with sleek faux leather leggings. They’re cut just right and comfortable enough for longer car rides. Reach for this leopard coat if you need a jacket, it feels like a hug while also maintaining a sense of polish.
Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
- Stay at Church Landing at Mill Falls on the waterfront – this hotel is a member of the Common Man Group and has a lovely rustic charm. I have so many fond childhood memories of coming here for Sunday brunch while staying at a friend’s cabin on nearby Newfound Lake. Most rooms have balconies and if you plan ahead ask for their treehouse suite which has an incredible four poster bed and excellent lake views. Happy hour in an Adirondack chair overlooking the lake is my idea of bliss!
- Dinner at The Lakehouse Grille – I grew up coming to brunch here on Sundays while staying with friends at a cabin on neighboring newfound lake and still think their pastrami sandwich is the best in the world!
- Gallery hop in Meredith – Meredith, New Hampshire is a charming lakeside town that can be walked in under and hour. Stroll through the town with coffee in hand admiring galleries and end at the northernmost point of the lake by the yacht club for wonderful views of the town and the perfect photo op.
- Visit Moulton Farm – Save room for Cider Bellies (cider doughnuts) and to load up on their homemade jams, dressings, cookies and other goodies to enjoy on your drive home!
What I Wore: These velvet jeans are incredibly comfortable and a nice way to wear white pants past Labor Day. Match the rich texture of the pants with a cashmere sweater and bouclé jacket for dinner or an afternoon in the art galleries!
Thank you to J.McLaughlin for sponsoring this post and to you for reading!