Fall Activities: Massachusetts Edition

Maybe I’m biased, but I can’t think of a better place to spend the fall season than New England, specifically Massachusetts. Even though I’m sad to be off-campus and online this semester, I get some joy back from getting to spend my favorite season in my favorite state. There are so many activities and opportunities here to make the most of autumn, so now I’m going to share with you five of my favorites.

  1. The Mohawk Trail, named for its origins as a Native American trade route, is a 63-mile scenic drive along Routes 2 and 2A that passes through state forests, parks, picnic areas, and mountains. It allows for some of the best leaf-peeping in the state, and also offers opportunities to learn more about the Native American heritage and culture at the occasional trading posts along the way. It runs from Westminster to Williamstown, and coming from someone on the eastern side of the state, I’d say it’s definitely worth the drive.

  2. Is it cheating if this orchard isn’t in Massachusetts? It shouldn’t be, because this orchard is the best one I’ve been to. Located in Pittsfield New Hampshire, Appleview Orchard is home to every type of apple and shape of pumpkin you can imagine, a petting zoo with bunnies, pigs, and goats, many photo opportunities, and the best apple fritters I’ve eaten in my life. Seriously. They’re amazing. You can also make your own apple cider using their very own apple press, or take home some homemade brownies and other local gifts from their store.

  3. Massachusetts is known for its history, and what better way to experience it than an immersive, “living history museum”? Plimouth Patuxet is a living replica of the Wampanoag People and Colonial English community’s society during the 1600s. You can explore the full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower II, the ship that carried the Pilgrims to Plymouth in 1620, go inside a local’s house, or a wetu. The townspeople you meet are all actors, (although honestly they play the roles so accurately it’s hard to tell), and any actors you encounter portraying Native People are members of Wampanoag or other Nations, dressed in historically and culturally accurate clothing. So, if you’ve ever wanted to be a pilgrim for the day, now’s your chance.

  4. 4. Salem, MA

    I don’t think the Halloween season is complete without a visit to the town of Salem. For my fellow lovers of all thinks spooky, this is the perfect place to go. Salem is home to– you guessed it– the Salem Witch Trials of the 1600s, giving the whole town a specific aura you have to experience in person to understand. You can visit the Salem Witch Museum, take a ghost tour (or two), shop at the small stores that sell magical items such as incense, potions, and herbs, as well as candles, tea, jewelry, or tarot card reading / psychic services. You could also take the more historical route and participate in a walking tour or visit the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. Salem is the ultimate Halloween destination that may or may not leave you feeling spooked.

  5. Yankee Candle Village in Deerfield, MA is exactly what it sounds like. It’s not just a store, it’s an experience. It’s filled wall to wall with over 400,000 candles in over 200 scents. Decorated with seasonal décor, if you catch it at the right time it can be the perfect transition from Halloween to the Christmas season. Besides buying every scent in sight, you can also create your own personalized candle, shop for toys, home and kitchen items, and of course – eat some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Fall in New England is always a nostalgic time for me, and every year I learn to appreciate it more and more as I tend to cram every activity possible into my weekends. There’s always something to do up here this time of year, and I hope you get to experience at least one thing on this list too!