After a couple days spent chilling out after our wedding, it was time to head north to one of my absolute favorite places, Franconia Notch, New Hampshire. We’d booked an Airbnb on a river for two nights in the heart of the Notch, and I couldn’t wait to show Andy this gorgeous part of New England in the fall. We drove up with my parents, and Aidan and Tran headed over from Burlington, Vermont to meet us there.
We took our time on the trip up, soaking in all the incredible foliage and making pitstops. I used to come up here all the time in the summer, and it had been far too long since my last trip. I guess living in New Zealand is a valid excuse!
After a delicious Mexican lunch with giant margaritas, our first stop was a river not far off the road.
You really don’t have to go far in New Hampshire to find stunning spots like this. It seems like there’s a new one around every turn in the road. You’d never get to your destination if you stopped at each pull-over spot, so you just have to pick and choose.
Even the brief walk between the river and road was picturesque, with golden light filtering through the leaves.
Plus, I got to try out my new L.L.Bean boots.
Nothing says New England like some Bean boots, fall leaves and a birch tree.
As you can see, even the road itself is part of the draw when you come up here. We’d branched off the main thoroughfare of Interstate 93 (still a very scenic drive!) to follow some back roads.
The foliage was jaw-dropping everywhere we looked. It’s not hard to see why this is the busiest time of year for tourism in much of New England.
We made it to the winding mountain road my dad had chosen for part of our drive, and we certainly weren’t disappointed.
It was like driving through a painting, the colors changing from red to orange to yellow as we dodged potholes and exhausted all possible synonyms for “wow.”
Part way through the drive, we pulled over to explore on foot.
There were photo ops aplenty!
Time for some happy couple shots – I love how these both came out.
My mom and dad couldn’t have coordinated better with the foliage!
We noticed a sign warning of black bears in the area, but they tend to keep their distance unless food is left unattended. But wait, I think I caught one on camera!
Back in the car, with father bear at the wheel, we eventually emerged from the forest and back onto 93. See what I mean about great views everywhere?
You can see the sheer force of the glaciers that carved this valley, with towering ridges on either side and huge exposed granite rock faces.
It’s no surprise that this is a big spot for climbing.
After a day spent driving, it was time to settle in at our Airbnb in the town of Franconia. Cheers!
We couldn’t have picked a better spot. Peaceful and cozy, it had beautiful river views and a fire pit that we took full advantage of.
Of course, I had to get some shots of the NH flora and fauna while exploring the property.
You really can’t beat sitting around a fire with family and some New England beers, a river rushing past in the darkness and a full moon overhead.
The next morning, Andy and I awoke to this gorgeous view from our room.
It was shaping up to be a stunning autumn day for exploring the White Mountains on foot and by railway. But first, I had to take advantage of the golden morning light for some photos around our River House.
Hope you’re not sick of foliage yet, since there’s a lot more to come! Up next, come along on a hike through the incredible Flume Gorge, and later on we’ll take the historic Cog Railway to the summit of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern US. Oh yeah, and then there’s our honeymoon. 🙂