Fall is the perfect time for a New England road trip in the U.S. With food allergies taken into consideration, there are still countless places to visit and explore.
As a New England native who loves fall, I wanted to share my favorite time of year in the Northeast with my Swiss boyfriend. On one trip, we squeezed in over 1,000 miles of driving from Philadelphia where we live, north through upstate New York, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and finally my home state of Massachusetts.
Our adventure began in the Hudson Valley. We booked an adorable Bed & Breakfast for the night that had top reviews. Note: I have a whole blog post on how I choose places to stay.
I contacted the owners through email ahead of our stay. Since I have environmental allergies, I always aim to stay in rooms with wooden floors instead of carpet. I also wanted to let them know about my food allergies. I sent them my chef card and they told me that it wouldn’t be a problem for breakfast. The clear and positive communication was a good sign for our upcoming stay.
My uncle is familiar with the area and recommended Garvan’s Gastropub for dinner. I called ahead to make a reservation and ask about my food allergies. (*If you need help with how to do this, including scripts to use, check out my resource here.)
At the restaurant, everyone was welcoming, the food was delicious and I was even able to safely have the Irish Soda Bread.
The next morning we packed up our bags and headed downstairs for breakfast. The previous night I filled out a form to choose the breakfast options. There was even a section that included food allergies. I filled it in, attached my chef card, and reminded them about our email correspondence with my food allergies. I felt completely comfortable that they knew and understood my food allergies. Breakfast included a “Allie safe” pumpkin waffle I thoroughly enjoyed.
Before leaving New York, we also stopped in Hudson where we enjoyed some window shopping and stopped for espresso at Wylde Hudson.
The drive up to Vermont from New York was beautiful. We stopped to take in the views along the way. I baked some chocolate chip cookies before leaving for our trip, and packed some other healthy snacks, like fruit and veggies to snack on in case we were hungry between stops.
We made it to Burlington right before sunset. We walked to the lake and then found dinner at American Flatbread Pizza. I was already familiar with this small New England chain, so I felt pretty confident that I would be able to dine there safely. When we arrived I confirmed that they could work around my food allergies safely.
After dinner, we walked around Burlington, and then headed to our bed & breakfast which was a 25 minute drive away.
The bed & breakfast worked out perfectly. Although we were only there for the night, we did enjoy eggs and fruit for breakfast before heading to Vermont’s state capital, Montpelier.We heard they had a nice Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, so we went to check it out before making our way to New Hampshire for a day hike.
We met my sister and her friends in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for an early lunch before going on an afternoon hike. Portsmouth is another cute New England town and certainly worth a wander. After lunch we headed out for our hike.
It was perfect hiking weather at Mount Willard in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We enjoyed the beautiful views and colors of fall. The hike we chose was an out and back trail that was only about an hour each way. It wasn’t too crowded and we were able to enjoy a peaceful afternoon outside in nature.
When we go hiking, I always pack a safe snack in case I get hungry. Depending on the time of day, we may pack lunch to eat at the summit before heading back. We ate ahead this time though, so that wasn’t needed on this hike. When it is though, I choose food that I have had before so that I don’t worry about my food allergies. I also bring plenty of hand wipes, so I can clean my hands before eating.
Portland was our next stop on the route. Between our hike and driving, we were definitely ready for dinner! I read some reviews about different restaurants, made a few calls and ended up finding a reservation at Sur Lie. They were great with my food allergies and I was able to find plenty of food to enjoy.
At this point in the trip, we were mostly going a day at a time, so we ended up finding an a decent accommodation outside of Portland, going south towards Massachusetts, our next stop. It was right on the water, so after a great night’s sleep, we went for a stunning beach walk. We also completely lucked out with weather. It was cool, but there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky!
Boston is my hometown, so I couldn’t wait to bring my boyfriend there to show him all of my favorite spots. Unfortunately, we soon realized that some of my absolute favorite restaurants had closed during the pandemic. I still was able to take him on a nice walking tour through my old neighborhoods and where I spent tons of time in college and then again a decade later.
We ended up finding our hotel using Booking.com. I have been inside the Omni Parker before, but not in many years. It is a Boston classic and we had a lot of fun staying there. There were only carpeted floors, but since it was only for the night, I took allergy medicine and made it through okay.
There is nothing like New England fall foliage. Although a brief trip, we saw some of my favorite spots and the drive itself to see the colors changing was worth all of the miles clocked and time we spent in the car. If you haven’t ever been to New England during the fall, I highly recommend making the trip. It is the best time of year to experience that area of the U.S.!