In fall, New England is famous for its glorious foliage as the leaves change from green to a kaleidoscope of colors. The air is crisp and cool — perfect for hiking, biking, driving or taking a cruise along the coastal waters of the New England states to see the beauty, where farm stands are piled high with orange pumpkins.
This October my husband I decided to ditch our normal tropical or European vacation as we boarded a Royal Caribbean Cruise to Canada & New England States. We were not disappointed as the moment we left Boston we were greeted with beautiful 60-70 degree weather as the bursting of fall colors started following us in the northern regions of Maine and the Canada. The best time planning this type of vacation is typically around mid-to-late September and peaking around early to mid-October.
Our first stop was Portland, Maine which was full of old Victorian Charm. Colorful boats lined the shores of Casco Bay, and freshly cooked seafood abounds in this picturesque seafood town. We enjoyed visiting the charming seaside village of Kennebunkport, a longtime summer retreat for former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and all the Bush family members where we had a glimpse of each of their residence home along the shoreline of the beach. Along these spectacular rocky Maine coastlines, were some beautiful lighthouses dating back over 200 years. A fun fact that I was not aware of is Maine was one part of Massachusetts- the first colony and state until 1820.
One of my favorite stops was the exclusive enclave, historic Bar Harbor, Maine lined with many B&B’s, that stays with you long after a visit. After a morning drive through Acadia National Park which this year celebrated its centennial year—awes with its far reaching shoreline, granite peaks, historic carriage rides and 125 miles of trails. It includes 2 beaches and Cadillac Mountain’s 1530 foot summit, the highest point in America’s East Coast. After the park’s 27 mile loop we were in for a feast of Lobster (not like at home in CO) that covered my whole plate and Maine’s other tradition, “blueberry” pie. What a delicious treat that was!
Saint John, New Brunswick was another interesting site in itself, a photographer’s dream! I loved this Victorian architecture of this waterfront town. What got my attention though was seeing the deep natural harbor where the St. John River meets the Bay of Fundy where its powerful tides can change the river’s direction creating a phenomenal effect. During the morning all the boats were sitting out of the water. Caves that were nearby you could walk up to. Rocks you could pluck from the river bed. Five hours later the tide changed and all of this area was 100 feet deep in water again. The wildlife in this area is wonderful from seals, porpoises, eagles and birds. Also seen from here are several species of whales.
Our last stop before heading back to Boston was the charm of Halifax, Nova Scotia. If you are Canadian or even American there is a chance your ancestors once passed the Halifax harbor. Here you will find the history of the ill-fated sinking of the “Titanic” as it sank off the coast and the 121 victims that are buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetery. Don’t miss the famous still working fishing village of “Peggy’s Cove” Lighthouse.
Our vacation proved to be very relaxing and so full of history of hundreds of years. We found that there was plenty of time to come back to the ship and unwind before heading off to yet another meal. We enjoyed our balcony, the cooler weather and the passengers we met from all around the world. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a “Leaf Peeper” but who also is into American history. Let the romantic scenery whisk you away where serenity rules!