Fall is upon us and it’s officially time to embrace the season. For New Englanders, that means breaking out the layers and boots, heading to beer fests and fairs, and strategizing the best time and place to peep the fall foliage.
For those who want to take it a step beyond a day trip to a favorite trail or mountaintop, there are plenty of ways to make a weekend out of it. The editors at Conde Nast Traveler just rounded up 14 of the best Airbnbs in the country for spotting fall foliage, five of which can be found in New England. The publication notes it determines the top spots from Airbnb’s list of Superhosts, taking into account location, previous guest reviews, decor, and amenities.
“We’re falling for these chic, cozy stays in towns across the US,” the article reads, before diving into the details.
Peak foliage tends to hit the region north to south and west to east. There’s already some eye-popping color in northwestern parts Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire that will stay in their prime through much of next week, according to a 2021 foliage map from Yankee Magazine. In Massachusetts, peak colors don’t arrive until the second week of October, and will likely linger for another week after that, according to Yankee.
And while these Airbnbs have already started to book up, they still make for ideal late-fall or winter getaways, barren trees and all. Here’s a look at what towns made the list, and the quaint, cozy accommodation you could score.
This A-frame, known as the “Canopy House,” is a design buff’s dream, with exposed wood and beams, comfy-looking bohemian decor, and custom built-ins. The 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home accommodates 8, and there’s plenty of outdoor space, including a hot tub “with first class stargazing to be had all year long,” the listing reads.
Located in Stowe, Vermont, which has been called “fall’s color capitol,” there are ample hikes, trails, and scenic drives near the A-frame to take in the vibrant colors and watch the season come alive. The Canopy House is located just off picturesque Route 100 and is less than two miles from downtown.
Leaf peepers can also escape to Maine and this upscale timber-frame cottage. The 1-bedroom, 2-bathroom home in the woods accommodates four guests and boasts post-and-beam detail with all the modern amenities. The cottage features big sliding barn doors, a woodstove, and a lofted bedroom — unique details to make for a memorable stay.
Pownal is about 20 minutes from lively Portland, and just a 10-minute drive to Freeport, where you can find the L.L. Bean flagship store and lots more shopping. Bradbury Mountain State Park is just two-mile drive and a great place to immerse yourself in the fall (or winter) landscape. And those two Adirondack chairs (pictured) out in front of the cottage seem like the perfect spot to get a breath of fresh air.
Franconia, New Hampshire
Conde Nast Traveler also highlights this brookside cabin in the White Mountains as a stylish leaf-peeping locale. The A-ish frame chalet was, according to its Airbnb listing, built in the 1960s by the owner/architect, and boasts four-bedrooms, two-bathrooms, and hosts up to eight people. Located in New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch State Park, the three-level home has lots of forest views, and is located in the heart of some of the area’s best hiking trails (including Mount Lafayette, Artists’s Bluff Trail, and several nearby waterfalls).
Another New England Airbnb highlighted in the Traveler piece is located on a restored organic farm on Lake Champlain. The idyllic guest cottage has one bedroom and 1.5 baths, and accommodates three, offering a unique Vermont experience with lake views. Guests can sign up for yoga in the barn next door or help feed the goats, sheep, and llamas on site. The cottage features an open layout living area, exposed wooden beans, and pops of color and chic decor throughout. Located in the quiet town of Ferrisburgh, the property is about 20 minutes from Basin Harbor.
Any fall travel list would be remiss if it didn’t mention the Berkshires, and Conde Nast Traveler includes a scenic Airbnb located in Otis on its list. The octagonal glass treehouse is nestled in the middle of the woods, offering complete privacy and stunning floor-to-ceiling views of the surrounding fern-covered hillside and natural landscape, according to the listing. A modern wood-burning fireplace is the centerpiece of this one-bedroom, two-bathroom chalet. An open spiral staircase adds to the home’s eccentric design, and a patio and grill out back provide plenty of space for guests to enjoy the outdoors. The property offers “complete seclusion,” the listing reads, but is a short drive down the hill to the town of Otis.