Massachusetts's Central and Berkshire Mountains regions have lofty peaks and gorgeous river valleys that are ideal for seeing the leaves change color during fall foliage season. Great views of fall color – starring the sugar maple -- also are found in the North of Boston Cape Ann region, and around Plymouth, MA, where cranberry bog harvests brighten the landscape. Choose a scenic foliage drive below. Watch for farm stands and pick-your-own farms!
Mass. Route 2, also called the Mohawk Trail, is a historic road that travels across the entire state, from the Greater Boston Loop through to the northern Berkshire Mountains. This section of that drive takes you from Greenfield, MA in the east to North Adams, MA in the west, with a side trip to the summit of magnificent Mount Greylock. - Route Map
Side Trips: Before leaving or after arriving in North Adams, MA, swing southward for a drive to the stunning summit of Mount Greylock.
The trip to the top of Mount Greylock in Adams, MA is a magnificent adventure. October foliage colors are glorious. The summit is 3,491 feet and it yields views of the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Taconic Range. At the top is Bascom Lodge, offering meals and overnight accommodations. Also at the top is an elegant tower dating from 1932 honoring the state’s fallen soldiers. The access road closes annually on November 1. The map link provides directions from North Adams, MA to the north (10 miles to the summit) and from the town of Lee, MA, on Route 90 to the south (27 miles to the summit). - Route Map
Brake for Farm Stand! – If you are headed up Mount Greylock from the south, make a stop at Lakeview Orchard in Lanesborough, MA. Enjoy the panoramic views of Hoosac Lake and stock up for your adventure with apples, apricots, plums, and homemade pierogi, golumpki, ravioli, and gnocchi.
A north-south transit of Massachusetts that more or less follows the Connecticut River southward from the town of Northfield, MA to the city of Springfield, MA takes the traveler through the Pioneer Valley. This 50-mile trek (or a bit longer, if you take a brief swing eastward to visit the beautiful Quabbin Reservoir) travels through a river valley graced with rolling hills and farmlands. The route is dotted with excellent museums, including Historic Deerfield, a living history museum in Deerfield, MA; several small colleges with public-friendly art museums and botanic gardens; and lots of opportunities for kayaking and river rafting. - Route Map
This drive threads between Northampton and Amherst, MA, where several great eating places reside. Get your falafel fix and more at Pita Pockets. The Northampton Nourish Juice Bar opened the full-service Nourish Wellness Café, serving juices and smoothies and a signature Wellness Bowls. Foreign food choices in Amherst, MA also now include Lebanese cuisine at Malek Shawarma and food of Nepal, India, and Bhutan at Himalayan Friends Corner.
Brake for Farm Stand! - North Hadley Sugar Shack in Hadley, MA is a fun place to browse and stock up on maple products, honey, pancake mix, jams. Open daily. For kid travelers, the Farm Tale is a farm animal play park, May to October, where families can learn about farm animals and enjoy all of the kid friendly play equipment.
Yes, Johnny Appleseed was a real person, born John Chapman in the North Central region of Massachusetts, a place that embodies Johnny’s love of nature in its scenic drives, pretty towns, small orchards and farms, hospitable wineries and breweries, forested state parks and snow-capped mountains. For indoor people, there is lots to love, like a fine art museum in Fitchburg, MA, and a great botanical garden. The region of 27 pleasant towns, farms and orchards is tucked up into the southern border of New Hampshire, along the Mohawk Trail (MA Route 2) corridor, about an hour’s drive from Boston, MA and Providence, RI. It is a fine place for a fall drive trip to admire the foliage and a great destination for families that love the outdoors. - Route Map
Brake for Farm Stand! – How about easing your hunger or thirst straight from nature? Orchards, farms and vineyards are close at hand. They include Bolton Orchards in Bolton, MA and Red Apple Farm in Phillipston, MA.
The Greater Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts is a bit northwest of Boston, MA and a drive through this area in fall will be packed with beautiful foliage, seasonal sights of farmstands and orchards, along with stops at some monumental places that tell the story of America’s founding and character. Among these, of course, is the towns of Lexington and Concord, MA, where the battle that ignited the American Revolution is re-enacted every April. A bit farther north in the region is Lowell, MA, one of the early centers of the Industrial Revolution on this continent. American literature is celebrated at the homes and workplaces of the writers Louisa May Alcott and Henry David Thoreau. Art blooms outdoors are the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA. Beautiful parks and places to shop, eat, and drink make an autumn visit to Merrimack Valley a sensual pleasure, too. - Route Map
This drive, starting in the town of Lexington, MA, is only six miles, but it takes you through beautiful scenery and also the flash points of the early years of the American Revolution. History buffs may want to park in Lexington and take a narrated bus tour with Liberty Ride. The tour passes sites like the Lexington Battle Green, North Bridge, Battle Road, Orchard House, Colonial Inn, the Old Manse, Concord Museum, and Emerson House.
From Lexington, drive to the Minuteman National Historical Park at 250 North Great Road (Route 2A) in Lincoln, MA, and explore this fine park. Next, get on Route 2A and then switch to Lexington Road, into Concord, MA. This pretty town will charm you with its Colonial flavor. Stop for a meal at Concord's Colonial Inn, built in 1716 and Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The inn is surrounded by landmarks of literary and revolutionary history. - Route Map
Find more Scenic Drive Tours in Massachusetts.
This drive tour will take you past or through some of the prettiest coastal towns of New England. You will see beautiful foliage and other autumnal sights, like pumpkin patches and corn mazes. The drive comprises two sections that you can combine any way you like. One section is centered on the town of Newburyport, MA, midway between Salisbury Beach and Plum Island (details below). Great trip for people who love walking beaches and watching marine plant and animal life. The other drive begins (or ends) at a historic house, Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, with a breathtaking vista above a large estuary, and then meanders through the towns of Essex, Gloucester, and Rockport, MA. This last town, in particular, is noted for its many galleries and gift shopping, and views of the iconic Motif #1 lobster shack, painted and photographed by generations of artists. - Route Map
Brake for Farm Stand! – If you go to Ipswich, MA, be sure to stop at Russell Orchards at 143 Argilla Road. It’s a lush farm stand – actually, a beautiful barn -- with food, wines, plants, books, food and farm gifts, pick-your-own crops in season, and animals to visit.