Taylor-Valley-Inn1

A woman enjoying the views from Artist Bluff Trail in New Hampshire

One of the best places in the world to see breathtaking fall foliage is in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. A weekend escape to New Hampshire is well-needed if you are someone who loves to see the trees turn beautiful orange, red, burgundy, maroon, brown and yellow colors.

During October 2021, I did a New England fall foliage road trip to New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the charming villages of Vermont and the Berkshires of Massachusetts with Hannah of Hannah Liz Weaver. We spent two nights in the ski resort village of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire; one night in the ski resort town of Killington, Vermont, outside of the popular autumn village of Woodstock and two nights in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.

Our entire trip was perfect to see all the autumn foliage! We enjoyed a lot of great fall hiking, strolled through quaint villages that were decorated for Halloween, stayed at beautiful and cozy hotels and resorts and ate delicious seasonal food at the best restaurants.

Fall foliage views from Artist Bluff trail

Regarding when fall foliage peaks in New England, it all depends on the year and where you’re going. During most years, the best time to visit New England to see the foliage is usually anytime between late September and early October.

In autumn 2021, fall foliage peaked later, so Hannah and I caught it in time during our mid-October escape to New England. Overall, the fall foliage in the White Mountains was by far my favorite during our New England getaway. It was at its peak and the colors were admirable! Click here for a fall foliage tracker.

In this article, discover the best things to do during a fall foliage weekend in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. During my time in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Choice Hotels’ The Valley Inn by Ascend Collection in Waterville Valley hosted me for two nights.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Fall foliage weekend in NH's White Mountains

Traveling to New Hampshire in the Fall:

A woman having fun on a fall foliage trip to New Hampshire's White Mountains

Getting to the White Mountains can be done by taking a flight or driving. The closest international airport to the White Mountains of New Hampshire is Boston Logan Airport in the city of Boston. There is also a regional airport you can fly into called Manchester-Boston Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

Another great way to see fall foliage in the White Mountains is by driving! Since I was coming from Northern New Jersey, I drove my own car five hours north to Waterville Valley. During the way, I picked up Hannah from Boston Logan since she flew from Dallas.

White Mountains of New Hampshire

Whether you decide to take your own car or hop on a flight to see the foliage, you will need a vehicle to get around the White Mountains of NH. From the airport, I recommend renting a car.

(Click here if you are planning to road trip around the United States and want to rent an RV.)

Where to Stay to See the Fall Colors in New Hampshire:

A woman staying at The Valley Inn in Waterville Valley during a fall foliage escape to the White Mountains

One of the best areas to stay in during a trip to see fall foliage in NH is in Waterville Valley. It is a ski resort, which is situated in the heart of the White Mountains.

During our two nights in Waterville Valley, Hannah and I stayed at The Valley Inn in their townhouse. Our townhome was a two-story suite. The downstairs featured a living room with a pull-out couch, table, mini bar, fridge and microwave. The upstairs included two queen beds with beautiful views of Mount Washington, which is the highest mountain peak in the Northeast. Both the top and bottom floors had bathrooms, which was nice considering that it can be hard having two women share one bathroom.

Views of Mount Washington from The Valley Inn in Waterville Valley, NH

In addition to the townhouse, The Valley Inn in Waterville Valley also has Parlor King & Queen Rooms, a Premium Parlor Suite, Premium Townhouse with a kitchen; Two Bedroom Suites and Executive Suites. Click here to discover the best accommodation for you and your party. 

What was nice about staying at The Valley Inn was that not only is it located near a lot of great hiking spots and restaurants, it also is surrounded by a lot of scenic areas.

A woman staying at The Valley Inn during a fall foliage trip to the White Mountains

The Valley Inn also has a seasonal pool, game room, coffee shop in the lobby and cozy lounge areas with fireplaces. As a guest, you also get access to the White Mountain Athletic Club that features an indoor pool, tennis and cycling areas.

Waterville Valley has a free shuttle that can take you around the entire resort. Not only is there a ski resort for you to make memories at in the winter months, you can also enjoy the town square that includes great restaurants, bars and shops; a golf course; year-round ice arena and walking trails for all abilities.

In general, The Valley Inn is a great place to stay during New Hampshire’s fall and it is situated in a peaceful area. We were even gifted with fresh maple syrup, which was so nice.

Activities During a Fall Foliage Weekend in the White Mountains:

A woman enjoying the hiking trails in the White Mountains

During a trip to New Hampshire in the fall, there are plenty of memorable things to do in order to see the best of the fall colors! Below are the best activities during a beautiful New Hampshire autumn as well as great restaurants and bars to enjoy in the White Mountains.

Where to Eat and Drink during New Hampshire’s Autumn:

Below are great restaurants, breakfast spots, breweries and more to visit during your fall foliage road trip to the White Mountains, NH.

Covered Bridge Farm Table:

Covered Bridge Farm Table in New Hampshire

On our first evening, Hannah and I enjoyed dinner at Covered Bridge Farm Table, which is a thriving restaurant that features a cozy interior and fun exterior that overlooks the scenic Penigewasset River and historic Blair Covered Bridge. (New Hampshire and Vermont are known for their iconic covered bridges.)

Covered Bridge Farm Table has a great lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch menu and they also have fun yard games outside. During our evening here, I had a local craft beer (New Hampshire is known for its beer) along with the prosciutto grilled cheese. It was delicious! Hannah got a white wine with the buffalo wedge, which is a salad with buffalo tenders.

One thing to note about visiting the White Mountains of New Hampshire during fall foliage season is that everything is fairly spread out. New Hampshire as a state is mountainous and rural, so you will be driving around a lot. Covered Bridge Farm Table is in Campton, NH and is situated around 20 minutes south of Waterville Valley.

Valley Pub & Restaurant:

Located right around the corner from The Valley Inn is the Waterville Valley Town Center that includes the ice arena, a country store, shopping mall, condos, post office, café, pizza parlor, Mexican restaurant and a few pubs.

A great place to grab drinks at night and socialize is Valley Pub & Restaurant. You can enjoy great cocktails, wines, craft beers, ciders and more at this spot. You can also savor classic American plates.

Polly’s Pancake Parlor:

Polly's Pancake House for breakfast during a fall foliage weekend in the White Mountains of NH

The best restaurant to go to during a visit to New Hampshire in the fall is Polly’s Pancake Parlor, which is in Sugar Hill, NH. It is located 45 minutes north of Waterville Valley and it is a cute pancake house surrounded by the stunning fall foliage of the White Mountains!

Polly’s Pancake Parlor opened in 1938 and it has a lot of great history to it. Their current menu includes a lot of original items with great additions. Polly’s Pancake Parlor is known for their heartwarming pancakes and waffles. They also have great homemade bread, English muffins, quiche, soups and more.

What is also great about visiting Polly’s Pancake Parlor during a NH fall is that they also have a country store where you can purchase fresh maple syrup, pancake mixes, souvenirs, jams and butters (pumpkin and apple butter), apparel and more!

Littleton Freehouse Taproom & Eatery:

New Hampshire craft beer and cider

Littleton, New Hampshire is a lovely New England town that is perfect to stroll through during a fall foliage trip to the White Mountains. This charming town has great restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, churches and more.

During our afternoon in Littleton, Hannah and I visited the Littleton Freehouse Taproom to enjoy some New Hampshire craft beer and cider. This taproom has locally sourced food and beer as well as a fun ambiance. In addition to beer and cider, I savored a New England clam chowder with naan bread and Hannah had the corn chowder. Everything was great!

Littleton, NH is located around 50 minutes north of Waterville Valley.

Matty B’s Mountainside Café:

Pizza from Matty B's in New Hampshire

One of the best pizza spots in New Hampshire that you must visit during an autumn road trip to see all of the beautiful fall colors is Matty B’s in Bartlett, NH. Matty B’s is located a little less than an hour and a half north from Waterville Valley and Hannah and I had dinner there after driving the scenic Kancamagus Highway.

This cozy spot features a plethora of different pizza pies, a wonderful wine and drink menu, scrumptious desserts and great specials and dishes like poutine, salads, wings and even lobster rolls.  

Admire Fall Colors in New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch State Park:

Franconia Notch State Park during a fall foliage trip in the White mountains

One of the top places to see fall colors in New Hampshire is in Franconia Notch State Park, which is in the heart of White Mountain National Forest. Franconia Notch State Park features the beautiful Kinsman and Franconia mountain ranges, breathtaking waterfalls, peaceful lakes and rivers, great hiking trails and more.

The start of Franconia Notch State Park begins at the stunning Flume Gorge in the south and the serene Echo Lake in the north. The best way to get there is by driving along highway I-93.

Fall colors in Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire

What is also cool about Franconia Notch State Park is that the Appalachian Trail runs through it. The Appalachian Trail is a 2,200-mile trail (3,500 kilometers) on the East Coast of the United States and it starts in Maine and goes to Georgia. It runs through parts of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

I actually hiked part of the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park during March 2021. It is beautiful!

Hike Artist Bluff Trail:
A woman doing the Artist Bluff hike during a fall foliage trip in the White Mountains

A fall foliage trip to New Hampshire’s White Mountains during autumn is not complete without doing at least one hike!

The best hike to do in the White Mountains, in order to see autumn foliage, is the Artist Bluff Trail. It is a 1.5-mile moderate loop trail that includes two overlooks, some rock scramble and beautiful woodland paths. It is a heavily trafficked hike, especially during the fall.

Bald Mountain and Artist Bluff trail head during autumn

When you decide to do the Artist Bluff Trail, I recommend starting counterclockwise since you will get the incline and rock scramble over with first. It is easier to climb up the rock scramble versus going down it if you were to hike clockwise.

Overall, the Artist Bluff Trail is an enjoyable hike and the overlooks offer some of the best views of Cannon Mountain ski area and the entire Franconia Notch valley.

Views of Artist Bluff Trail during a fall foliage trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire

No matter what hikes you choose to do in the White Mountains, I recommend that you download the AllTrails app when you have cell phone reception so that you can find the best trail and use it as a navigation.

(In addition to the Artist Bluff Trail, there is also Bald Mountain Trail, which is a shorter, 0.7-mile, moderate out and back hike that also includes scenic viewpoints.)

Ride the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway:
Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway

Another fun thing to do during a fall foliage trip to the White Mountains, NH is to ride the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway in Franconia Notch State Park.

Cannon Mountain is a 4,080-foot peak and it includes a ski resort, hiking trails and even ice climbing! During a fall foliage road trip in New Hampshire, it is fun to take the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway to the summit and enjoy 360-degree views of mountain ranges situated in up to four states and two countries – New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York and even Canada!

Cannon Mountain during fall foliage season in the White Mountains

The tram runs between 9am to 5pm from late May through mid-October, but it is subject to change based on weather. It costs $25 USD to take the aerial tramway for adults and teens 13 years and older; $20 USD for children ages 6-12 and it is free for young children ages 5 and under.

At the top of Cannon Mountain, you can enjoy some of the best views! It will make you feel like you’re in a coloring book.

Discover the Flume Gorge:
The Flume Gorge of Franconia Notch State Park

Flume Gorge is one of the best jewels of Franconia Notch State Park. This stunning natural gorge extends 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty in the White Mountains.

If you’re a nature lover, you will enjoy the 2-mile loop trail where you can see stunning flowers, ferns, mosses and foliage! What is cool about Flume Gorge is that it was formed during the Ice Age. The gorge was created by highly fractured granite and basalt that have been eroded by frost action. Erosion is still occurring to this day!

Drive and Enjoy the best of New Hampshire Autumn on Kancamagus Highway:

Fall foliage in the White Mountains is showcased the best on Kancamagus Scenic Byway, which is a 34.5-mile scenic drive along Route 112 in Northern New Hampshire. In fact, it is known as one of the best viewing areas in the country to see fall colors. This scenic highway is recognized as an American Scenic Byway for its history, beauty and culture.

Prior to starting the drive along Kancamagus Highway, I suggest you have a full tank of gas. Once you drive past the town of Lincoln, NH, there are no gas stations and there is also no cell phone reception.

Along the drive, you will admire some of the best views of the White Mountains, fall foliage, the Swift River, Sabbaday Falls, Lower Falls and the Rocky Gorge. There are also plenty of overlook spots to pull over and enjoy stunning views. As you drive, you will reach an elevation of under 3,000 feet at Kancamagus Pass.

Take the Mount Washington Cog Railway:

Mount Washington during a fall foliage trip to the White Mountains of NH

A fall foliage road trip to New Hampshire’s White Mountains must include seeing the beautiful Mount Washington – the highest peak in Northeastern United States at 6,288 feet above sea level!

One of the best ways to get to the mountain, is by taking the Mount Washington Cog, which is the first mountain-climbing railway in the world and the second steepest after the Pilatus in Switzerland.

Once you reach the summit, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views and you may even see cool wildlife like moose and bears! If you decide to go on a hike in Mount Washington, I recommend bringing bear spray and a bear bell so that any bears in the area are well aware that you’re around and that you don’t surprise them out of the blue.

Explore Crawford Notch State Park:

Crawford Notch State Park in New Hampshire

Even though Hannah and I didn’t have time to visit Crawford Notch State Park during our weekend escape, it is another great area to see picturesque fall foliage in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Located in the northern part of the state, Crawford Notch State Park includes 5,775 acres of incredible nature, wildlife, hiking trails, campsites and more.

One of the top two hikes with amazing views in the park is the Mount Willard Trail, which is a 3.1-mile heavily trafficked, moderate trail near Bretton Woods. It is an out and back trail that features a beautiful waterfall and incredible autumn views of Crawford Notch at the summit.

Conway Scenic Railroad in New Hampshire

The other great hike in Crawford Notch State Park is Arethusa Falls and Frankenstein Cliff Loop that is a 4.9-mile heavily trafficked, difficult loop trail. It features a waterfall and breathtaking views of Conway Scenic Railroad in North Conway, New Hampshire.

(You can even take the Conway Scenic Railroad on your own. It is an old-fashioned railroad experience that takes you through the beautiful mountains and valleys of Crawford Notch State Park. It is a great activity for families!)


A woman on a fall foliage trip to New Hampshire's White Mountains

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best autumn activities during a fall foliage weekend in NH’s White Mountains and reading about my stay at The Valley Inn. If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., NH State Capital: Concord, Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time

Click here to join my private blog sharing Facebook group.

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Fall New England Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

Related posts

Perfect 3-Day Weekend in Wilmington, NC

Things to do in Wilmington, NC This Weekend From picturesque beaches to historic downtowns, spending a weekend in Wilmington, NC...
check out the post

Most Durable Luggage for Your Big Trip

This is the year of planning those big trips you’ve been dreaming about! When traveling to dream destinations like New...
check out the post

South Dakota Road Trip Itinerary

One of the most underrated states to visit in the United States is South Dakota. Known as the Mount Rushmore...
check out the post

2 Comments

  1. Kimberly Deer on December 12, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    New Hampshire is so beautiful during the fall. Your photos of the fall foliage are absolutely breathtaking! Your blog was very informative and it provided a lot of great activities to do and places to see in N.H. It looked like the hike you guys did, had amazing views of the beautiful fall foliage during that time of the year. It probably is gorgeous this time of the year with the mountains covered in snow ~ N.H. is on my bucket list ~ such a pretty and fun place to go to for all seasons! Thank you for sharing you wonderful experience in Crawford Notch State Park.
    Great blog and your photography brings it all to life.
    Love you,
    Mom xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on December 12, 2021 at 11:42 pm

      It really is absolutely gorgeous during autumn! Thank you mom! It was a great experience. 🙂

Leave a Comment





Taylor-Valley-Inn1

A woman enjoying the views from Artist Bluff Trail in New Hampshire

One of the best places in the world to see breathtaking fall foliage is in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. A weekend escape to New Hampshire is well-needed if you are someone who loves to see the trees turn beautiful orange, red, burgundy, maroon, brown and yellow colors.

During October 2021, I did a New England fall foliage road trip to New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the charming villages of Vermont and the Berkshires of Massachusetts with Hannah of Hannah Liz Weaver. We spent two nights in the ski resort village of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire; one night in the ski resort town of Killington, Vermont, outside of the popular autumn village of Woodstock and two nights in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.

Our entire trip was perfect to see all the autumn foliage! We enjoyed a lot of great fall hiking, strolled through quaint villages that were decorated for Halloween, stayed at beautiful and cozy hotels and resorts and ate delicious seasonal food at the best restaurants.

Fall foliage views from Artist Bluff trail

Regarding when fall foliage peaks in New England, it all depends on the year and where you’re going. During most years, the best time to visit New England to see the foliage is usually anytime between late September and early October.

In autumn 2021, fall foliage peaked later, so Hannah and I caught it in time during our mid-October escape to New England. Overall, the fall foliage in the White Mountains was by far my favorite during our New England getaway. It was at its peak and the colors were admirable! Click here for a fall foliage tracker.

In this article, discover the best things to do during a fall foliage weekend in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. During my time in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Choice Hotels’ The Valley Inn by Ascend Collection in Waterville Valley hosted me for two nights.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Fall foliage weekend in NH's White Mountains

Traveling to New Hampshire in the Fall:

A woman having fun on a fall foliage trip to New Hampshire's White Mountains

Getting to the White Mountains can be done by taking a flight or driving. The closest international airport to the White Mountains of New Hampshire is Boston Logan Airport in the city of Boston. There is also a regional airport you can fly into called Manchester-Boston Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

Another great way to see fall foliage in the White Mountains is by driving! Since I was coming from Northern New Jersey, I drove my own car five hours north to Waterville Valley. During the way, I picked up Hannah from Boston Logan since she flew from Dallas.

White Mountains of New Hampshire

Whether you decide to take your own car or hop on a flight to see the foliage, you will need a vehicle to get around the White Mountains of NH. From the airport, I recommend renting a car.

(Click here if you are planning to road trip around the United States and want to rent an RV.)

Where to Stay to See the Fall Colors in New Hampshire:

A woman staying at The Valley Inn in Waterville Valley during a fall foliage escape to the White Mountains

One of the best areas to stay in during a trip to see fall foliage in NH is in Waterville Valley. It is a ski resort, which is situated in the heart of the White Mountains.

During our two nights in Waterville Valley, Hannah and I stayed at The Valley Inn in their townhouse. Our townhome was a two-story suite. The downstairs featured a living room with a pull-out couch, table, mini bar, fridge and microwave. The upstairs included two queen beds with beautiful views of Mount Washington, which is the highest mountain peak in the Northeast. Both the top and bottom floors had bathrooms, which was nice considering that it can be hard having two women share one bathroom.

Views of Mount Washington from The Valley Inn in Waterville Valley, NH

In addition to the townhouse, The Valley Inn in Waterville Valley also has Parlor King & Queen Rooms, a Premium Parlor Suite, Premium Townhouse with a kitchen; Two Bedroom Suites and Executive Suites. Click here to discover the best accommodation for you and your party. 

What was nice about staying at The Valley Inn was that not only is it located near a lot of great hiking spots and restaurants, it also is surrounded by a lot of scenic areas.

A woman staying at The Valley Inn during a fall foliage trip to the White Mountains

The Valley Inn also has a seasonal pool, game room, coffee shop in the lobby and cozy lounge areas with fireplaces. As a guest, you also get access to the White Mountain Athletic Club that features an indoor pool, tennis and cycling areas.

Waterville Valley has a free shuttle that can take you around the entire resort. Not only is there a ski resort for you to make memories at in the winter months, you can also enjoy the town square that includes great restaurants, bars and shops; a golf course; year-round ice arena and walking trails for all abilities.

In general, The Valley Inn is a great place to stay during New Hampshire’s fall and it is situated in a peaceful area. We were even gifted with fresh maple syrup, which was so nice.

Activities During a Fall Foliage Weekend in the White Mountains:

A woman enjoying the hiking trails in the White Mountains

During a trip to New Hampshire in the fall, there are plenty of memorable things to do in order to see the best of the fall colors! Below are the best activities during a beautiful New Hampshire autumn as well as great restaurants and bars to enjoy in the White Mountains.

Where to Eat and Drink during New Hampshire’s Autumn:

Below are great restaurants, breakfast spots, breweries and more to visit during your fall foliage road trip to the White Mountains, NH.

Covered Bridge Farm Table:

Covered Bridge Farm Table in New Hampshire

On our first evening, Hannah and I enjoyed dinner at Covered Bridge Farm Table, which is a thriving restaurant that features a cozy interior and fun exterior that overlooks the scenic Penigewasset River and historic Blair Covered Bridge. (New Hampshire and Vermont are known for their iconic covered bridges.)

Covered Bridge Farm Table has a great lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch menu and they also have fun yard games outside. During our evening here, I had a local craft beer (New Hampshire is known for its beer) along with the prosciutto grilled cheese. It was delicious! Hannah got a white wine with the buffalo wedge, which is a salad with buffalo tenders.

One thing to note about visiting the White Mountains of New Hampshire during fall foliage season is that everything is fairly spread out. New Hampshire as a state is mountainous and rural, so you will be driving around a lot. Covered Bridge Farm Table is in Campton, NH and is situated around 20 minutes south of Waterville Valley.

Valley Pub & Restaurant:

Located right around the corner from The Valley Inn is the Waterville Valley Town Center that includes the ice arena, a country store, shopping mall, condos, post office, café, pizza parlor, Mexican restaurant and a few pubs.

A great place to grab drinks at night and socialize is Valley Pub & Restaurant. You can enjoy great cocktails, wines, craft beers, ciders and more at this spot. You can also savor classic American plates.

Polly’s Pancake Parlor:

Polly's Pancake House for breakfast during a fall foliage weekend in the White Mountains of NH

The best restaurant to go to during a visit to New Hampshire in the fall is Polly’s Pancake Parlor, which is in Sugar Hill, NH. It is located 45 minutes north of Waterville Valley and it is a cute pancake house surrounded by the stunning fall foliage of the White Mountains!

Polly’s Pancake Parlor opened in 1938 and it has a lot of great history to it. Their current menu includes a lot of original items with great additions. Polly’s Pancake Parlor is known for their heartwarming pancakes and waffles. They also have great homemade bread, English muffins, quiche, soups and more.

What is also great about visiting Polly’s Pancake Parlor during a NH fall is that they also have a country store where you can purchase fresh maple syrup, pancake mixes, souvenirs, jams and butters (pumpkin and apple butter), apparel and more!

Littleton Freehouse Taproom & Eatery:

New Hampshire craft beer and cider

Littleton, New Hampshire is a lovely New England town that is perfect to stroll through during a fall foliage trip to the White Mountains. This charming town has great restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, churches and more.

During our afternoon in Littleton, Hannah and I visited the Littleton Freehouse Taproom to enjoy some New Hampshire craft beer and cider. This taproom has locally sourced food and beer as well as a fun ambiance. In addition to beer and cider, I savored a New England clam chowder with naan bread and Hannah had the corn chowder. Everything was great!

Littleton, NH is located around 50 minutes north of Waterville Valley.

Matty B’s Mountainside Café:

Pizza from Matty B's in New Hampshire

One of the best pizza spots in New Hampshire that you must visit during an autumn road trip to see all of the beautiful fall colors is Matty B’s in Bartlett, NH. Matty B’s is located a little less than an hour and a half north from Waterville Valley and Hannah and I had dinner there after driving the scenic Kancamagus Highway.

This cozy spot features a plethora of different pizza pies, a wonderful wine and drink menu, scrumptious desserts and great specials and dishes like poutine, salads, wings and even lobster rolls.  

Admire Fall Colors in New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch State Park:

Franconia Notch State Park during a fall foliage trip in the White mountains

One of the top places to see fall colors in New Hampshire is in Franconia Notch State Park, which is in the heart of White Mountain National Forest. Franconia Notch State Park features the beautiful Kinsman and Franconia mountain ranges, breathtaking waterfalls, peaceful lakes and rivers, great hiking trails and more.

The start of Franconia Notch State Park begins at the stunning Flume Gorge in the south and the serene Echo Lake in the north. The best way to get there is by driving along highway I-93.

Fall colors in Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire

What is also cool about Franconia Notch State Park is that the Appalachian Trail runs through it. The Appalachian Trail is a 2,200-mile trail (3,500 kilometers) on the East Coast of the United States and it starts in Maine and goes to Georgia. It runs through parts of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

I actually hiked part of the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park during March 2021. It is beautiful!

Hike Artist Bluff Trail:
A woman doing the Artist Bluff hike during a fall foliage trip in the White Mountains

A fall foliage trip to New Hampshire’s White Mountains during autumn is not complete without doing at least one hike!

The best hike to do in the White Mountains, in order to see autumn foliage, is the Artist Bluff Trail. It is a 1.5-mile moderate loop trail that includes two overlooks, some rock scramble and beautiful woodland paths. It is a heavily trafficked hike, especially during the fall.

Bald Mountain and Artist Bluff trail head during autumn

When you decide to do the Artist Bluff Trail, I recommend starting counterclockwise since you will get the incline and rock scramble over with first. It is easier to climb up the rock scramble versus going down it if you were to hike clockwise.

Overall, the Artist Bluff Trail is an enjoyable hike and the overlooks offer some of the best views of Cannon Mountain ski area and the entire Franconia Notch valley.

Views of Artist Bluff Trail during a fall foliage trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire

No matter what hikes you choose to do in the White Mountains, I recommend that you download the AllTrails app when you have cell phone reception so that you can find the best trail and use it as a navigation.

(In addition to the Artist Bluff Trail, there is also Bald Mountain Trail, which is a shorter, 0.7-mile, moderate out and back hike that also includes scenic viewpoints.)

Ride the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway:
Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway

Another fun thing to do during a fall foliage trip to the White Mountains, NH is to ride the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway in Franconia Notch State Park.

Cannon Mountain is a 4,080-foot peak and it includes a ski resort, hiking trails and even ice climbing! During a fall foliage road trip in New Hampshire, it is fun to take the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway to the summit and enjoy 360-degree views of mountain ranges situated in up to four states and two countries – New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York and even Canada!

Cannon Mountain during fall foliage season in the White Mountains

The tram runs between 9am to 5pm from late May through mid-October, but it is subject to change based on weather. It costs $25 USD to take the aerial tramway for adults and teens 13 years and older; $20 USD for children ages 6-12 and it is free for young children ages 5 and under.

At the top of Cannon Mountain, you can enjoy some of the best views! It will make you feel like you’re in a coloring book.

Discover the Flume Gorge:
The Flume Gorge of Franconia Notch State Park

Flume Gorge is one of the best jewels of Franconia Notch State Park. This stunning natural gorge extends 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty in the White Mountains.

If you’re a nature lover, you will enjoy the 2-mile loop trail where you can see stunning flowers, ferns, mosses and foliage! What is cool about Flume Gorge is that it was formed during the Ice Age. The gorge was created by highly fractured granite and basalt that have been eroded by frost action. Erosion is still occurring to this day!

Drive and Enjoy the best of New Hampshire Autumn on Kancamagus Highway:

Fall foliage in the White Mountains is showcased the best on Kancamagus Scenic Byway, which is a 34.5-mile scenic drive along Route 112 in Northern New Hampshire. In fact, it is known as one of the best viewing areas in the country to see fall colors. This scenic highway is recognized as an American Scenic Byway for its history, beauty and culture.

Prior to starting the drive along Kancamagus Highway, I suggest you have a full tank of gas. Once you drive past the town of Lincoln, NH, there are no gas stations and there is also no cell phone reception.

Along the drive, you will admire some of the best views of the White Mountains, fall foliage, the Swift River, Sabbaday Falls, Lower Falls and the Rocky Gorge. There are also plenty of overlook spots to pull over and enjoy stunning views. As you drive, you will reach an elevation of under 3,000 feet at Kancamagus Pass.

Take the Mount Washington Cog Railway:

Mount Washington during a fall foliage trip to the White Mountains of NH

A fall foliage road trip to New Hampshire’s White Mountains must include seeing the beautiful Mount Washington – the highest peak in Northeastern United States at 6,288 feet above sea level!

One of the best ways to get to the mountain, is by taking the Mount Washington Cog, which is the first mountain-climbing railway in the world and the second steepest after the Pilatus in Switzerland.

Once you reach the summit, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views and you may even see cool wildlife like moose and bears! If you decide to go on a hike in Mount Washington, I recommend bringing bear spray and a bear bell so that any bears in the area are well aware that you’re around and that you don’t surprise them out of the blue.

Explore Crawford Notch State Park:

Crawford Notch State Park in New Hampshire

Even though Hannah and I didn’t have time to visit Crawford Notch State Park during our weekend escape, it is another great area to see picturesque fall foliage in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Located in the northern part of the state, Crawford Notch State Park includes 5,775 acres of incredible nature, wildlife, hiking trails, campsites and more.

One of the top two hikes with amazing views in the park is the Mount Willard Trail, which is a 3.1-mile heavily trafficked, moderate trail near Bretton Woods. It is an out and back trail that features a beautiful waterfall and incredible autumn views of Crawford Notch at the summit.

Conway Scenic Railroad in New Hampshire

The other great hike in Crawford Notch State Park is Arethusa Falls and Frankenstein Cliff Loop that is a 4.9-mile heavily trafficked, difficult loop trail. It features a waterfall and breathtaking views of Conway Scenic Railroad in North Conway, New Hampshire.

(You can even take the Conway Scenic Railroad on your own. It is an old-fashioned railroad experience that takes you through the beautiful mountains and valleys of Crawford Notch State Park. It is a great activity for families!)


A woman on a fall foliage trip to New Hampshire's White Mountains

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best autumn activities during a fall foliage weekend in NH’s White Mountains and reading about my stay at The Valley Inn. If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., NH State Capital: Concord, Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time

Click here to join my private blog sharing Facebook group.

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Fall New England Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

2 Comments

  1. Kimberly Deer on December 12, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    New Hampshire is so beautiful during the fall. Your photos of the fall foliage are absolutely breathtaking! Your blog was very informative and it provided a lot of great activities to do and places to see in N.H. It looked like the hike you guys did, had amazing views of the beautiful fall foliage during that time of the year. It probably is gorgeous this time of the year with the mountains covered in snow ~ N.H. is on my bucket list ~ such a pretty and fun place to go to for all seasons! Thank you for sharing you wonderful experience in Crawford Notch State Park.
    Great blog and your photography brings it all to life.
    Love you,
    Mom xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on December 12, 2021 at 11:42 pm

      It really is absolutely gorgeous during autumn! Thank you mom! It was a great experience. 🙂

Leave a Comment





Related posts

Perfect 3-Day Weekend in Wilmington, NC

Things to do in Wilmington, NC This Weekend From picturesque beaches to historic downtowns, spending a weekend in Wilmington, NC...
check out the post

Most Durable Luggage for Your Big Trip

This is the year of planning those big trips you’ve been dreaming about! When traveling to dream destinations like New...
check out the post

South Dakota Road Trip Itinerary

One of the most underrated states to visit in the United States is South Dakota. Known as the Mount Rushmore...
check out the post