Where do I even begin to start telling you about the amazing adventure that was my New England Fall Roadtrip?! I’ve been trying to figure out how to break up blog posts, so I can share as much information with you as possible, because there’s so much to say!
I brought one of my bucket list travel plans to life this past October. Spending two weeks travelling around different cities and towns in New England, taking in the beauty of Autumn that this part of the world is so famous for.
It took a bunch of researching and planning, which I did by buying a huge paper map, and tracing out the route based on the list of destinations I’d jotted down from reading blog posts and travel articles online.
The planning was worth it though, and on October 5th we flew into NYC, jumped in a cab to Manhattan to collect our hire car (travel tip: it’s MUCH cheaper to hire a car away from the airport), and drove north towards Bennington, where we had booked a fantastic Airbnb, located on a Christmas tree farm (see photos above and below, link to the property here).
My heart sang being on this trip. I should probably mention that USA is my favourite place on the planet (Japan/Italy take equal second place!). I first visited USA when I was 12 years old, and it has had my heart ever since. So this trip was not only in my favourite country, but also ticking off all those bucket list moments, quaint and adorable small towns, pumpkin patches, apple picking, fall foliage, apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes!
I remember my first night on the trip. We’d settled into our Airbnb and then made our way down to the main street of Bennington, a small town with pretty houses, and a real local feel to the place, like everyone would know everyone. We sat to eat dinner in a restaurant filled with what looked like locals. It felt a million miles away from the UK, and I remember feeling so happy that the reality of the trip was matching up to how I’d dreamed it would be. I was so excited for what lay ahead, and all the adventures and stories I was about to collect.
We were asleep by 8.45pm the first night, when jetlag hit us real bad! But that meant we were up early the next morning, jumping in the car to explore the town, grabbing coffee first, at a tiny place called The Roasted Bean, located in a petrol station. The barista was the loveliest local, and as the resident cat snaked around our legs, we discussed our trip and also her past trip to London. It was one of those tiny moments, that was lovely and memorable, and then she handed me a big arse coffee, I mean, I ordered the medium size, but then I’d clearly forgotten I was in America, where medium = extra extra large anywhere else. It fuelled me with energy for the day I guess!
Bennington was pretty, with beautiful houses, the change of the season meaning orange leaves were glowing everywhere, and every corner we turned had me gasping at the beauty of it all.
Time stands still for no one, and with the clock ticking it was time for us to head back to our Airbnb to collect our bags, then make our way slightly further north to a place called Sunderland, very near the picture perfect town of Manchester.
I’ll leave the details of our stay in Sunderland for a separate post because it was such a special place it deserves a whole blog post to itself! We stayed for just one night, but in that time we were able to explore Manchester, which looks like something straight out of a movie. The houses and the shops were PERFECT! It was a rainy day when we visited, but it meant it was the perfect weather to enjoy the most ridiculously good tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich at a place called Mystic Cafe and Wine Bar. Amazing how something so simple can taste so good.
We continued on our tour around the nearby towns, visiting Dorset which was super tiny and so sweet, and Weston, home to The Vermont Country Store. My understanding is that this place is pretty famous, they not only have the store, but they have a huge catalogue you can order from, as well as their website. This place was INSANE! It looked so quiet from the outside, and then it was almost like pushing through the wardrobe doors of Narnia, as we opened the entrance door, this huge world lay in front of us. There was everything you could think of, the candy department, the cheese bar, pickles if you fancied something to munch, huge rows of maple syrup, the kitchen department which also sold fudge, and if you think you’re not a fan of fudge, think again, the stuff from their store is what dreams are made of. We bought some maple walnut fudge, and I think I’m still suffering addiction withdrawals a month later. It was such a fun place to visit!
We drove through a few other beautiful tiny towns, including Townshend, for those of you who are fans of the movie Funny Farm. We drove up and down lanes, until we found the house that features in the movie. We visited a farmers market, and popped into a bunch of beautiful stores and then eventually made our way back to Sunderland.
We spent the drizzly evening back at our accommodation (the place I’ll talk about in my next blog post), sipping wine in their very own pub, and then taking a dip in the outdoor jacuzzi, before retiring to our super lovely bedroom, where jetlag had once again kicked in.