Fall Colors, Scenic Trains & Martha’s Vineyard
Surround yourself with a kaleidoscope of autumn colors on this scenic tour of the Eastern seaboard.
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 Mystic Seaport, 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 and Inclusions
- Scenic train excursions aboard the Conway Scenic Railroad, Cape Cod Central Dinner Train and the Essex Steam Train
- Hotel accommodations for 9 nights
- 14 meals, including a Lobster Dinner
- Boston City Tour, including the Freedom Trail
- Maine Maritime Museum and Kennebec River Cruise
- Lake Winnipesaukee Cruise
- Mystic Seaport
- Martha's Vineyard tour, including the quaint village of Edgartown
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional Tour Manager
- Baggage handling
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 all of 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. Along the way, we view the Nubble Lighthouse. This evening is at leisure to explore the Portland Wharf district. Overnight Portland, ME. (B)
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-masted 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 (B, D)
Day 4 - Conway Scenic Railroad
Today, we drive to North Conway where we will board the Conway Scenic Railroad for a breathtaking journey through New Hampshire's fall foliage including lunch onboard the train. Keep an eye out for spectacular views of Crawford Notch and Mount Washington. There will also be 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 Lincoln or Littleton, NH (B, L)
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 Lincoln or Littleton, NH. (B)
Day 6 - Old Sturbridge Village
Step back in time with a trip to Old Sturbridge Village today. With heritage gardens, farms and even heritage breeds of pigs, sheep and cows onsite, this attraction provides an in-depth look at rural life in the 1800s. You will 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 will see more than 50,000 period artifacts that were made or used by New Englanders. Further, onsite demonstrations, presentations and employees in full colonial dress make for a fully immersive experience. After a day of learning and exploration, we will keep with the historical theme of the day with a traditional New England dinner. Overnight Sturbridge, MA. (B, D)
Day 7 - Essex Steam Train & Becky Thatcher Riverboat
Take a look at the stunning colors of New England’s autumn landscape from the rails and the water today. We travel by motorcoach to the Essex Train Station, a historic building that dates back to 1892. Our steam train awaits, and we will set off through the scenic Connecticut River Valley for a 12-mile journey. The route is fully narrated and provides a majestic look changing trees. The train takes us to Deep River Landing, where we will set off on the next phase of our adventure aboard the Becky Thatcher Riverboat. Over the course of the next 1 1/4 hours, all of the Connecticut River’s most beautiful features will be on display. We will stop for lunch before returning to Mystic. Overnight Mystic, CT (B, L)
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 you will 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. (B, D)
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 where we will explore six island towns. Highlights of our visit include the Gay Head cliffs in scenic Aquinnah and a beautiful stop on your own and sightseeing in historic Edgartown. Return by ferry to Woods Hole, Massachusetts and on to Hyannis. Overnight Hyannis, MA. (B)
Day 10 - Tour Conclusion
Your fall foliage tour comes to a close this morning when you transfer to Boston's South Station or Logan Airport for your travel home. Transfers will accommodate flights that depart after 1:00 pm and trains that leave South Station after 1:30 pm. (B)
Rail Your Way
Add more flexibility to your rail vacation by choosing when and where to begin and end your vacation. Whether you want to go east to west, west to east, north to south, south to north, start at the beginning, travel the reverse itinerary or begin in the middle, Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your rail vacation so you can have the experience you want.
Look for the Rail Your Way icon to identify those vacations that offer customized rail connections or joining points. Ask your rail specialist how you can have Rail Your Way!
Add a Cruise
Many of our rail vacations begin and end in popular port cities. Spice up your vacation by adding an ocean or river cruise aboard your preferred cruise line to your itinerary and experience the best of both worlds. Popular cruises include Alaska’s Inside Passage, the Panama Canal, New England and Eastern Canada, and historic river towns along the Mississippi River.
Look for the Add a Cruise icon to identify those vacations that offer pre- or post-cruises. Ask your rail specialist how you can Add a Cruise!
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include the Boston Park Plaza, Hyatt Place Portland-Old Port, Mountain Club on Loon (Lincoln) or Hampton Inn (Littleton), Comfort Inn & Suites (Sturbridge), Hilton Mystic, and Fairfield Inn & Suites Cape Cod Hyannis *
Conway Scenic Railway - Notch Train
Set out on tracks laid nearly 150 years ago aboard the Conway Scenic Railway’s Notch Train. This diesel electric locomotive journeys through New Hampshire’s rugged wilderness on its round-trip journey to and from North Conway Station, passing dramatic cliffs, stunning mountains and cascading waterways.
Essex Steam Train
Making a 12-mile round-trip journey, the Essex Steam Train offers a glimpse at rural New England life. The vintage locomotive sets off from Essex Station and pulls its coaches deep into the heart of the Connecticut River Valley. Along the way, passengers will see the charming towns of Deep River and Chester and get a look at the unspoiled beauty of Selden Neck State Park. In all, this journey takes approximately 1 hour.
Cape Cod Central Railroad - Cape Cod Dinner Train
Journey through salt marshes and sand dunes on the Cape Cod Railway’s Cape Cod Dinner Train. This 3-hour journey begins and ends at Hyannis Railroad Station and sets out along the Cape Cod Bay for an unforgettable ride. Passengers will be treated to vistas that can only be seen from the railway as they dine on a freshly prepared 5-course meal.
Hotel accommodations are based on availability, substitutes will be similar in quality.
* The October 3, 2019 departure will stay at the Holiday Inn Hyannis
+ Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.
+2018 itinerary will differ from above.
Click here to view testimonials for Fall Colors, Scenic Trains & Martha’s Vineyard.
Our 3rd tour with VBR & all excellent. Liked the opportunity to get out of bus and do a bit of walking. Would really like to have done Mt. Washington Cog Railway since we were so close to it. Enjoyed the boats, etc. & being outdoors.
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
This is our 3rd trip and we have enjoyed them all. I feel we made the most of our tour to see many sights. I did not enjoy the dinner trains but maybe I am just not a dinner train person. I would have liked to spend more time at Old Sturbridge & Mystic Seaport but I also realize the tour tries to do thing for everyone. This was a wonderful New England tour which made the most of our time to see many different and varied sights. We had a blast!
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
Fall Colors, Scenic Trains & Martha's Vineyard: Departs 26th September 2019 ($2,645), 5th October 2019 ($2,645)
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Dinner Train requires a specific dress code that will be provided in final travel documents.