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Why Millions Of Tourists Flock To This Northeastern State In The Fall

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It's the time of year when we may start to notice a color change in the trees, cooler air, and more pumpkin spice drinks at our favorite cafes.

Travelers are beginning to plan their fall getaways. At first glance, maybe a weekend getaway is what you have in mind. Others may still be stuck in ‘beach mode' as some of summer's most popular spots are still an awesome place to visit in the fall.

There's no wrong way to experience a fall vacay, but many have leaf peeping at the top of their list. While that may sound a little strange, it's a common trend this time of year and could certainly take on a better name.

New Hampshire is one of the top states for “leaf peepers”, bringing in over 3 million tourists last fall.

female tourist in new hampshire

Are You A Leaf Peeper?

If you find yourself counting down the days of summer to get ready for the fall foliage, then chances are you're a leaf peeper!

This trend is for those seeking to immerse themselves in the colorful fall foliage, usually a mix of rustic and vibrant colors.

woman taking selfie with fall leaves

Of course, this is dependent on your location, but there are tons of places to see postcard-worthy fall colors throughout the states.

Oftentimes, many of the best places for fall in the U.S. are in the Midwest or Northeast. New York City may be a popular escape for fall to see Central Park's trees line the skyline with a new shade of beautiful colors.

boots in pile of golden leaves

However, there are some gems to be discovered that are just as pretty in autumn. Nearby Vermont is one of them, yet New Hampshire brings in millions of tourists.

New Hampshire's Top Destinations In Fall

New Hampshire may be overlooked for 3 seasons of the year, but fall is where it shines. For a quintessential fall trip, there may be no better place in the U.S.

Leaves are expected to shine with golden yellow colors, while the other typical fall shades may differ depending on weather patterns.

mountain road in new hampshire

“The yellows will pop out regardless of what happens in summer,” Steven Roberge, state forestry specialist for UNH Cooperative Extension.

Mr. Roberge continued, “The red colors we see are dependent on the weather occurring in the fall,” Roberge said. “Sunny, warm days and cooler nights create, develop and intensify these pigments and that’s how we get the brilliant reds, russets and purples.” 

One leading destination for fall sites is the riverfront town of Portsmouth. Here, tourists will find vibrant trees spread throughout the charming streets.

Particularly, Prescott Park is a prime zone for leaf peepers. Others may need to rent a car to see New Hampshire's best fall destinations.

In fact, locals recommend taking any two-lane back road to find some hidden gems perfect for Instagram.

portsmouth nh in fall

But the most popular places of all in the state are it's stunning state parks. These would include:

  • Franconia Notch State Park
  • Odiorne State Park
  • Mount Monadnock State Park
  • Echo Lake State Park

There are more parks to choose from, and you really can't go wrong with any of them, but travelers can't miss the White Mountain National Forest.

Manchester is the largest city in New Hampshire but still holds a small-town feel with just over 100,000 residents.

driving through fall foliage in new hampshire

This makes for a great gateway into the state as there are plentiful flight options to the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT).

Otherwise, travelers can also fly into Boston (BOS) for a short drive into New Hampshire.

Peak Season For Fall Foliage In New Hampshire

When it comes to fall foliage, nobody can pinpoint exactly when the colors will change. However, peak season in New Hampshire tends to be between mid-September and late October.

Some say you can experience more red colors into November as Oak trees tend to hold their color longer.

fall foliage and waterfall in new hampshire mountains

New Hampshire does see scattered rainy days throughout fall, which may be the only disappointment for visitors.

Otherwise, the stunning scenery in this state is everything you could want for a fall getaway.

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