It has always been a goal of mine to go to New England. I’ve read so much about it over the years; the lighthouses, the history, the foliage. New England in the Fall. That’s the dream right?
The problem is…flights are more expensive, hotels are more expensive, and according to all sources, the area becomes extremely busy with ‘leef-peepers’ – tourists who flock to New England for 2-3 weeks towards the end of September to the middle of October each year to watch the leaves change, adorning the landscape with fiery reds, yellows and oranges.
We opted to travel to New England in the Spring in order to save a bit of cash – always in the back of my mind was a flutter of disappointment that we couldn’t make it in the Autumn, but what a treat we had in store. Here are 5 things that make Spring an amazing time to visit New England.
1. The colours are stunning
A sentence heard often in the context of New England, but not usually relating to the Spring. However, the beauty merely takes on a different palette. Instead of the rusty colours of Autumn, we were treated to vibrant pinks and bright purples as trees covered in blossom lined every road:
Tulips decorated the parks and public spaces:
The colourful New England houses contrasted so perfectly with the pastel hues of the flowers.
And the greens were so…well, green!
The place positively hummed with new life. It was wonderful!
2. It’s quiet
Not in the kind of way that a place can make you uncomfortable – as if it’s very unpopular. Rather in a peaceful way – the winter tourists have gone home and the summer ones are yet to arrive. Any time before Memorial Day at the end of May will be ‘pre-season’. The downside? Some places close for refurbishment or cleaning. The upside? You’re guaranteed a table in good restaurants, attractions are cheaper, you may well get the best rooms as there is low occupancy, and you can enjoy the stunning countryside and beaches in peace and quiet!
3. You can see baby whales
Cape Cod, Massachussetts is a great place to go whale watching. It is such a privilege to see these incredible creatures in the wild – especially when you get to see mothers with their babies feeding in the Atlantic Ocean. Humpback Whales give birth in the middle of winter when they are in the Carribean. They migrate over to the Atlantic in the Spring with their offspring where they feed for 4 months or so, before leaving once again for the Carribean in the Autumn.
4. And cool pairs of birds preparing for parenthood
This particular bird is the Northern Cardinal – the male a brilliant red colour and the female with a bright red beak (you can just make her out behind the blind). These birds are native to North America all year around, but in the Spring will you see males and females together foraging for nesting materials, and occasionally ‘kissing’ when the males give the females the materials they have found.
5. You can experience winter and summer all in one day
The Spring in New England offers variable weather. One minute it can be baking hot, the next, cold and windy. Layers are definitely the way forward in this part of the US. We went up the Mount Washington Auto Road in New Hampshire, not quite to the summit as it was still very snowy at the top and the road was yet to be cleared.
We climbed to 4500ft, where the wind was blowing hard, the rain was spitting and it was only a few degrees above freezing. However, when we descended back down the mountain, it was 28 degrees Celcius at the base and whilst the wind was still blowing it felt like a different place. Ice cream weather for sure.
So, New England in the Springtime? Definitely. Whilst I would still love to see it in the Fall, spring is really something here. It truly is a beautiful place full of colour, life and variety. And I for one am very glad to have seen it.