New England is famous for being a great place to explore in the autumn (or fall, as our friends in the US call it), thanks to the transformation of the local greenery into gorgeous golds and rich reds. So that might make my next suggestion – that you travel to Boston rather than the countryside – sound a little odd.
But it’s not really. For a start, Boston is a very green city, so when fall hits it develops just the same golden glow as less urban areas. Personally, I think Boston actually manages to be even more scenic than the countryside, purely because you get this lovely mix of rich red leaves and some of the most impressive – and historic – architecture in the US. You’ve got to admit, it’s a killer combination!
Of course, another bonus of checking out Boston in the fall is that the sports season will be kicking off (no pun intended!), so you can watch some classic American sports. I’ll go into this in a bit more detail below, but first I’d also like to take a look at a few of the city’s year-round attractions that are, in my opinion, best experienced in the fall. Meanwhile, if you still need to sort out your accommodation and such, Hostelbookers is a good website to visit.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
You’ll find Faneuil Hall Marketplace over on the historic waterfront, where it was originally built back in 1742. The three buildings that form that marketplace have all been restored and these days are home to an impressive 100-plus shops, not to mention some great restaurants.
One of things I love about this place is that there are lots of speciality stores and stalls, all selling unique artisans’ products – it’s really nice to browse outside of the big-name brands. Plus, there are some great places to eat; for an authentic taste of New England, I recommend heading to Boston Chowda for a hearty serving of the region’s chowder.
Another thing to know about the marketplace is that its vibrant atmosphere spills out on to the cobbles outside, especially in the form of the street performers, who are famed as being among the best on the planet. So, come here in the crisp autumn air and watch a little magic happen.
The Freedom Trail
Fall is a favourite season for walking – and deservedly so, since it’s the time when New England is at its most scenic. Because of this, I think autumn is the best time to tackle Boston’s Freedom Trail, which takes you to 16 of the city’s most important historical sites. ‘Tackle’ is probably too strong a word, by the way – if it made you expect an epic hike, I apologise, because the route is just 2.5 miles long.
Still, there’s an awful lot packed into this 2.5 miles. For instance, you can check out America’s oldest public park, Boston Common, which was founded back in 1643. Once it was used to graze livestock, but these days it hosts public events, as well as being a nice place to relax.
You can also visit the historic Old Corner Bookstore (an absolute must for book lovers) and Massachusetts State House. Often described as one of the most impressive state buildings in the country, it is an amazing place to see in the fall when you get all those rich colours of the foliage adding to the scenery.
As I mentioned above, fall sees the local sports get into full swing, and there are a couple of teams and stadiums particularly worth seeing. For instance, football fans – we’re talking American football, of course – should head to Gillette Stadium and check out the New England Patriots in action.
Baseball more your thing? If so, make sure you go to see the Boston Red Sox play – you’ll usually be able to catch them at Fenway Park. Just remember to book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment!