It’s America’s birthplace. The history, cultural events, scenic villages and outdoor adventures of New England tell the story of our country’s early days – not to mention the white sand beaches, lighthouses, brilliant fall foliage and of course, delicious “chowdah” and “lobstah” seafood.
Fantasy has been offering New England fall tours for many years, but this brand new tour is a shorter version – yet still packing in the sights, delicious food and fall scenery in just 12 days.
Our Autumn Harvest Tour begins in Kennebunkport, Maine – located between the ocean and the Kennebunk River. After our traditional Welcome Dinner, we experience the town’s rich ship building history on a town trolley tour – learning about the mansions sea captains built in the 1600s with views of ships and schooners sailing down the river to the sea. We might even get a peek of the home of Kennebunkport’s most famous residents – former president George and Barbara Bush! We explore the area from the water aboard a real lobster cruise and enjoy a time-honored New England Clam Bake.
On Day 3, we travel to North Conway in New Hampshire – right in the heart of the beautiful White Mountains. We can opt to stop en route at the “Castle in the Clouds,” the Lucknow Estate built in 1914 and featuring skilled hand craftsmanship throughout both the exterior and interior. When we arrive in North Conway, we take a bus tour through the White Mountain National Forest along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway. Also known as “The Kanc,” it’s a 34.5 mile scenic drive well known for beautiful fall foliage. There are no gas stations, restaurants, hotels or other businesses along the road – just beautiful pristine forest scenery. We visit the Albany covered bridge, built in 1858 and one of New Hampshire’s beloved landmarks. Next, we board the Cog Railway to climb to the top of Mt. Washington, New England’s highest peak with spectacular panoramic views of the northeastern states and where we can splurge on a delicious buffet lunch.
It’s only a 50 mile drive to our next stop – Meredith, located in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. We cruise Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in the state and enjoy lunch at the Shaker Village. At our next destination, Queechee Gorge, Vermont, we enjoy a guided bus tour including stops at the Billings Farm and Museum and the King Arthur Flour and Bake Shop, which has been providing bakers with flour since 1790 and is claimed to be used in Martha Washington’s first apple pie recipe.
At Plymouth Notch – the birthplace and boyhood home of Calvin Coolidge – we stop to explore the virtually unchanged and preserved buildings and enjoy a delicious lunch at the Wilder House. There’s even time to explore the Gorge.
Our final stop is Montpelier, the capitol of Vermont and the smallest capital city in the United States. We’ve got two days of guided bus tours of this fascinating area, visiting such landmarks as the Gold Dome Statehouse, Hope Cemetery and the Rock of Ages Granite Quarry, the world’s largest deep-hole dimension granite quarry. For food fans, there’s plenty to taste at the Morse Farm Maple Syrup Works.
We tour the Cold Hollow Cider Mill and visit Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory for even more samples. We delight in a European style lunch and tour at the Trapp Family Lodge, overlooking the picturesque ski village of Stowe and settled in the early 1940s by the Sound of Music’s Trapp Family Singers.
Our final evening is spent sharing a traditional Fantasy Farewell Dinner with our fellow travelers, exchanging contact information and recalling the beautiful scenery and experiences we’ve all spent together in New England. After a Goodbye Continental Breakfast the following morning, we’re off on our own individual adventures.