I finally embarked on my overly anticipated Fall Foliage Tour. Copilot and I drove up to New Hampshire Friday night, arriving at the Best Western in Franconia around 11pm. We hit a lot of traffic in CT and MA, and also risked running out of gas on I-91. I missed a 24 Hour gas station and started to panic. So I got off at the next exit which was for Hanover (the college town of Dartmouth). I drove around for 20 minutes and could not find a single gas station to fill up at. I found one closed down, and one not open. I finally gave up, drove back to I-91 to the next exit with less than a gallon of gas left, then drove 2 miles east finally finding a gas station that was open. (The new Apple Maps was of NO help btw!)
So… after getting some much needed rest we woke up to a cloudy and overcast day on Saturday. (Ugh…) But the weather was nice and in the mid 60s so we kept our spirits up. We drove down to Lincoln, NH where Copilot spotted a Fall Festival to go shopping at and some great places to eat. For breakfast we went to the Texas Toast Eatery after shopping through the festival’s marketplace. Because it was overcast, and Sunday was supposed to be a little clearer, we quickly drove the Kancamagus Highway without making any stops, drove up around the White Mountains, and went back to the hotel for a relaxing day of doing nothing. Our plan was to drive the highway slower, making several stops for picture taking, the next day. For dinner we ate near our hotel in Franconia, at a bar and grill called “Above the Notch”. The pizza there was AMAZING! Better than some NYC pizza I’ve had.
Sunday morning was a little colder, around the low 50s. We drove back down to Lincoln, grabbing sandwiches at 3 Culture’s Deli to take for lunch, and heading on our way. Our first stop was Loon Mountain, where we took a gondola ride up the the top for some scenic picture taking. Up top is a restaurant, playground, and “cave” tour.
After Loon Mountain, we stopped at several beautiful overlooks during our 32 miles on the highway, including Sugar Hill, Falls Pond, and driving over the Albany Covered Bridge.
After that we hopped on Route 302 up to Bartlett, a town which may sound familiar if you’ve ever watched the television show The West Wing. The President Josiah Bartlet is a fictional descendant of the real Josiah Bartlett for whom this town is named.
Immediately after Bartlett is Hart’s Location (also in the West Wing as “Hartsfield’s Landing”). For over fifty years the town has been one of the first places to declare its results for the Presidential elections. It opens the polls at midnight, and because there are less than 50 people in town, closes the polls once all registered voters have cast their ballot.
After that we drove northwest over the White Mountains, viewing some beautiful scenery and even a moose. After getting back to Franconia around 3:30pm, we stopped by the State Park to check out The Flume Gorge and then went back down to Lincoln for dinner. We ate at the Black Mountain Burger Co, which has delicious burgers, and a slightly overwhelmed wait staff.
I think that about sums up our trip. We drove back Monday morning, ending a very beautiful and relaxing weekend. Although the cloudy weather wasn’t ideal, we timed it perfectly in terms of the tree color. If I had to guess, the leaves probably peaked a few days prior to us getting there. Overall though, I highly recommend this area to anyone looking to take a road trip in the Fall.
Click here for an album of photos from the trip.
Below is a Google Map of the route taken:
View The White Mountains, NH in a larger map