by Elaine Ambrose
Enjoy the journey as much as the destination! These day or weekend trips offer spectacular fall foliage on the way to some cool places. In Stowe, bright, crisp days are perfect for hiking, biking, or meandering around the village. Unique shops offer jewelry; art; handcrafted furniture; artisan cheese, bread, and chocolate; and more. Savor locally produced foods at an eclectic bistro, Italian trattoria, or microbrew pub. Or leaf peep from a carriage drawn by beautiful Belgian draft horses at Gentle Giant carriage rides.
For a foreign feel with your foliage, pack your passports. Montreal offers wining, dining, shopping, and sightseeing. Visit historic Old Montreal’s vibrant hotels, eateries, and shops rich in 17th and 18th century charm. Hike, bike, or drive up Mont Royal, and when you’ve seen enough leaves, treat yourself to a spa or fine art museum. How about a ghost walk? After sunset, spirits are said to haunt the streets of Old Montreal and the wharves of the Old Port.
In Saratoga Springs, New York, you can leaf peep while cruising on Lake George, then relax at the Lincoln Mineral Baths or visit Six Flags Indoor Water Park. Or visit Cooper’s Cave—the inspiration for James Fennimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans—on the Hudson River in South Glens Falls, about 15 minutes north. Check out a winery and tasting room, or bike along the Hudson on the South Glens Falls Trail for great views. In the evening, try your luck at the Racino casino and raceway.
For leaf peeping on high, hitch a ride with Vermont Balloons or Adirondack Balloon Flights and float over some of the most breathtaking scenery east of the Mississippi. For a closer look, try white-water rafting on the Ausable River in the shadow of Whiteface Mountain. Fort Ticonderoga has something for everyone—historical reenactments, hands-on family fun, and a six-acre corn maze that holds clues to the fort’s history. Don’t wait too long—the fort buttons up for the season on October 20.