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Fall Colors, Scenic Trains & Martha's Vineyard

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4.1 stars(21 reviews)
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Surround yourself with a kaleidoscope of autumn colors on this scenic tour of the Eastern seaboard.

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
10 days From $2,895 per person

2021 Tour code: EC-FMVA-21

About the tour

Whether it is the sites of yesteryear, fall scenery, or iconic towns you seek, there is plenty to see on this New England journey. Your round-trip expedition begins in Boston, where you have time to see the sites both on your own and with a scheduled sightseeing tour. Moving into Maine, Portland and Bath await. Enjoy a scenic cruise on the Kennebec River and the Maine Maritime Museum. Some of the best fall foliage in the United States is visible from the Conway Scenic Railroad. A scenic cruise along Lake Winnipesaukee allows us to take in even more of the red, yellow, and orange brilliance before we move onto Sturbridge, MA. Our trip rounds out with a great dose of history in Old Sturbridge Village and a ride aboard the Essex Steam Train. Cruising down the Connecticut River on a restored riverboat, gazing out upon the rocky shoreline and the colorful trees, is an experience to treasure. In Hyannis, even more adventure lies ahead with an unforgettable ride aboard the Cape Cod Central Railroad's elegant dinner train and sightseeing throughout the famed destination of Martha's Vineyard. Traveling along the East Coast has never been more memorable.

Highlights

Activity level Natural Explorer

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You don’t mind spending the day on your feet. You enjoy sightseeing that includes walking, standing or stair climbing. You’re okay with longer days that are more active, such as multiple sightseeing stops, longer motorcoach journeys and getting on and off ships and trains.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Boston

Arrive in Boston today, check in to your hotel and take the remainder of the day to explore the city on your own. You may wish to take an Old Town Trolley tour to get acquainted with the city and see its most impressive sights. Meet your tour manager at the hotel for a brief meeting before heading out to dinner at your choice of local restaurants. Overnight Boston, MA.

Day 2 – Boston Sightseeing / Portland, Maine

This morning, learn about Boston's rich history on a guided city tour, including the Freedom Trail. Your sightseeing ends at Quincy Market, where there is time for lunch on your own. This afternoon, board your motorcoach for the journey north to Portland, Maine. This evening is at leisure to explore the Portland Wharf district. Overnight Portland, ME. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 – Bath, ME/ Maine Maritime Museum/ Kennebec River Cruise

Embark on a sightseeing excursion to admire the scenic beauty of Maine's coast in the autumn this morning. Quaint seaside villages dot the coastline as we make our way from Portland to Bath, Maine, and add to the charm of the journey. Our sightseeing begins at the Maine Maritime Museum, located on the original site where large four-, five- and six-mast wooden ships were built, including the world's largest wooden ship, the Wyoming. The museum features over 21,000 artifacts and crafts to explore during our visit. A real gem of the Maritime Museum is the Lobstering and the Maine Coast exhibit. We learn lobster biology and ecology, discover different types of boats and engines, and marvel over modern trapping and processing methodology.

From the museum, we step aboard a river cruiser for an up-close look at the Kennebec River and the sites along it. The first landmark we pass is the Bath Iron Works, a place where impressive vessels have been built for more than 400 years and where modern Navy ships are still built today. A retired Bath Iron Works employee joins us on board to discuss his experience as a ship builder. As we continue down the Kennebec, we pass the 1898 Doubling Point Lighthouse and the Kennebec River Range Light Station before returning to the museum. Enjoy lunch and shopping on your own and take the time to explore some of the beautifully restored 19th-century homes of Bath before we return to Portland. The afternoon is yours to enjoy in the Old Wharf District. This evening is highlighted by a lobster dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Portland, ME.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Conway Scenic Railroad

Today, we drive to North Conway, where we board the  Conway Scenic Railroad for a breathtaking journey through New Hampshire's fall foliage. Keep an eye out for spectacular views of Crawford Notch and Mount Washington. There is also time to explore the train depot, now a National Historic Landmark, museum, and roundhouse. Later, board the motorcoach for the scenic drive to Franconia Notch State Park, located in the heart of the White Mountains via the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, known as one of the best fall foliage viewing areas in America. Overnight Plymouth, NH.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 – Lake Winnipesaukee Cruise

We travel to Weirs Beach to board the  MS Mount Washington for a cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee. Step off the vessel and into the charming village of Wolfeboro, NH, for lunch on your own and to browse the quaint shops. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. Overnight Plymouth, NH. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 – Scenic Drive to Sturbridge

Today we drive through New England's idyllic fall foliage scenery to Sturbridge, Massachusetts. This evening, we enjoy a traditional New England dinner. Overnight Sturbridge, MA.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 – Old Sturbridge Village/Essex Steam Train & Becky Thatcher Riverboat

Step back in time this morning with a trip to Old Sturbridge Village. With heritage gardens, farms, and even breeds of pigs, sheep, and cows onsite, this attraction provides an in-depth look at rural life in the 1800s. You have a chance to walk through the historic buildings in the village, as well as to see the beautifully restored main house. During your time at Old Sturbridge, you see more than 50,000 period artifacts that were made or used by New Englanders, and the onsite demonstrations, presentations, and employees in full colonial dress make for a fully immersive experience. 

We enjoy lunch at an historic inn before traveling by motorcoach to the Essex Train Station, a historic building that dates back to 1892. Here, our steam train awaits, and we set off through the scenic Connecticut River Valley for a 12-mile journey. The route is fully narrated and provides a majestic look at the changing trees. The train takes us to Deep River Landing, where we set off on the next phase of our adventure aboard the Becky Thatcher Riverboat. Over the course of the next 1 1/4 hours, the Connecticut River's most beautiful features are on display. Overnight Mystic, CT. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 8 – Mystic Seaport / Cape Cod Central Railroad

Our day begins with a visit to Mystic Seaport, a maritime museum founded in 1929 featuring tall ships, a recreation of a 19th-century coastal village, and a preservation shipyard. Continue to Hyannis, where we embark on an evening rail excursion through cranberry bogs and lush marshes aboard the Cape Cod Central Railroad's Dinner Train. Enjoy your meal as the train crosses the famous Cape Cod Canal railroad bridge into the historic village of Buzzard's Bay. Overnight Hyannis, MA. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – Martha's Vineyard

Today's excursion takes us aboard the M/V Island Home, your passenger and vehicle ferry which crosses from the mainland of Cape Cod to the island retreat community of Martha's Vineyard. Once on the island, we enjoy tales of its fishing and whaling past, shopping and eating opportunities in the charming town of Edgartown and a visit to the colorful Victorian gingerbread cottages of Oak Bluffs. Later, we return by ferry to Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and on to Hyannis. Overnight Hyannis, MA. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 – Tour Conclusion

Your fall foliage tour concludes this morning when you transfer to Boston's South Station or Logan Airport for your travel home. Transfers will accommodate trains and planes departing after 1:00 p.m.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Dinner Train requires a specific dress code that will be provided in final travel documents.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Boston Park Plaza

Boston Park Plaza

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Fairfield Inn & Suites - Cape Cod Hyannis

Fairfield Inn & Suites - Cape Cod Hyannis

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Hilton Mystic

Hilton Mystic

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Fairfield Inn & Suites Plymouth

Fairfield Inn & Suites Plymouth

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Hyatt Place Portland-Old Port

Hyatt Place Portland-Old Port

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Comfort Inn & Suites, Sturbridge

Comfort Inn & Suites, Sturbridge

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Trains

Cape Cod Central Railroad
Conway Scenic Railroad
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat

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Reviews

4.1 stars4.1 / 5 · 21 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (3)
  2. 4 stars
    (17)
  3. 3 stars
    (1)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Janice P., Graham, TX

4 stars

Submitted 17 Dec 2018

Overall, a good experience for our first time. Met new friends and saw beautiful foliage. Really enjoyed the trip.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Gail C, Scappoose, OR

4 stars

Submitted 12 Dec 2018

Really enjoyed the tour. I had never been to the New England area, so loved all we saw and the variety of what we saw

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Jane P, Van Buren, AR

4 stars

Submitted 08 Dec 2018

Enjoyed it immensely. Gary could not have been better! Loved the food, found the bus and rail travel fun!

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Kathryn D., San Leandro, CA

4 stars

Submitted 12 Nov 2018

Overall it was great. Good destinations, great guide and great driver.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Robin

3 stars

Submitted 11 Nov 2018

Enjoyed fall foliage, Maine Maritime Museum, visit (unscheduled) to USS Nautilus, tour of Boston, Old Sturbridge Village. Excellent bus driver (Rudi) - professional, friendly and concerned at all times. Didn't enjoy pointless trips such as the Kennebec River Cruise and the Lake Winnipesaukee Cruise. Disliked imposition of music" on motorcoach by Tour Manager. Found Martha's Vineyard local guide to be unprofessional and boring."

Collected by Vacations By Rail

William and Vera

5 stars

Submitted 10 Nov 2018

Our trip to enjoy Fall colors was timed perfectly. Great experience.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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