Top Travel Days of 2023, Driving the Kanc

Working as a travel writer based in Massachusetts, you can imagine how many fall foliage stories I’ve been hired to write over the years. At least 100 articles, with additional chapters on the subject in each of my books for Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, Outside Magazine, Discovery Channel, and the latest, New England in a Nutshell. Name the topic—biking, mountain biking, paddling, driving, golfing, antiquing, hiking, restaurant tours, historical slants, even llama trekking, and I have a story for you. You think I’d be jaded. Yet this past October, Lisa and I brought our friends Holly and Tim from California along with our dog, Theo, on a 5-day fall foliage trip into the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont. We were fortunate to hit peak foliage in the White Mountains and it was glorious!

One magical day, we drove the 34-mile Kancamagus Highway, the legendary route which snakes through the mountains. We would pull over and take walks along the Swift River and to Sabbaday Falls, with leaves of every color falling around us. Theo gleefully ran from leaf to leaf as we took close-up photos of our favorite samples. We would end that day at the outdoor hot tub at Topnotch in Stowe, Heady Topper in hand, looking up at the majestic hillside awash in color. Hard to get jaded seeing this year in, year out.