The Perfect Fall Road Trip in Connecticut!

Explore scenic backroads while marveling at the fall foliage with a weekend road trip through southeastern Connecticut. If coming from the New York City area, you can follow this road trip itinerary from the starting point to the end, while if you are coming from Boston, you could reverse the itinerary to take advantage of the beautiful fall season in Connecticut. With stops at popular eateries, beautiful scenic areas, hiking trails, and specialty seasonal spots, you are sure to have a memorable weekend.

1. Ashlawn Farms Coffee, Old Saybrook, CT

Traveling along Route 1, stop for your morning coffee or a pick-me-up with a snack at Ashlawn Farms Coffee. This local favorite spot is a family-run business that roasts their own coffee beans to produce delicious specialty coffees. Along with your coffee, enjoy delicious pastries and sandwiches to hold you over until lunchtime.

Dirty spicy chai #ashlawncoffee

A post shared by Mara Fischer (@marafischer015) on

2. Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme, CT

After crossing the bridge from Old Saybrook to Lyme, follow 156 along the scenic shoreline for views of the coast, quaint farms, and beautiful homes. Make your next stop at Rocky Neck State Park for a walk along the water and a stroll along the beautiful grounds. Peak into the windows of the historic Ellie Mitchell Pavilion, which is a large stone building that is often used for weddings and other special events. Walking trails throughout the park also lead visitors pass a salt marsh, cave, and shipyard.

Fresh air and rain drops #walkinthiscancerouttame #health #healing #focus #goal #movingforward #onedayatatime

A post shared by Amy Cutillo Manwaring (@amy_manwaring) on

3. Lillian’s Café, Niantic, CT

Continuing along 156, you’ll enter the quaint coastal village of Niantic. By this time, you must be getting hungry, so head to Main Street for a delicious meal at Lillian’s Café. Weather permitting, you can dine outside on their patio, enjoying people-watching while savoring their delicious food created using local ingredients. Dig into their seafood dishes or a hearty salad, but be sure to save room for dessert, as their Maine blueberry pie is highly recommended. When you get back on the road, follow 156 until it links up with Route 1 in Waterford. 

4. Haley Farm, Groton, CT

To work off your dessert, head slightly off Route 1 to Haley Farm State Park. This scenic state park has colorful foliage come fall and a few great walking trails. The trails are well-maintained here and are suitable for walking, biking, jogging, and also offers wheelchair and stroller access.

A post shared by Carly (@adventuresneaker) on

5. B. F. Clyde’s Cider Mill, Mystic, CT

For a seasonal snack and historically interesting visit, don’t miss your chance to stop at B. F. Clyde’s Cider Mill, which is the oldest still functioning steam powered cider mill in the U.S. At Clyde’s, you’ll have the opportunity to watch the cider mill functioning to mash apples to produce fresh apple cider. Other apple products such as apple pie, apple cider doughnuts (these are amazing), apple cider, apple jack, apple crumble, and more are all available in country store on-site.

6. Nautical Nightmares at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

Each year, the famous Mystic Seaport holds its Nautical Nightmares event, which uses local actors to cover a spooky tour of the seaport. Themes vary each year. Schedule your road trip so you can enjoy this spooky hour long tour! 

A post shared by Michael Weeks (@weeksy1014) on

7. Red 36, Mystic, CT

To finish off your evening, enjoy cocktails, desserts, and great snacks while listening to the waves at Red 36. This popular restaurant and bar has a variety of cocktails, spirits, beers, and wine available on their menu. To get a taste for wines produced in southeastern Connecticut, try their cabernet franc for pinot gris from Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington. 

Cheers! Smile and enjoy that weekend y'all 🥂

A post shared by Amanda Leigh Lupacchino (@amanduh_leigh) on

8. The Inn at Stonington, Stonington, CT

See if you can spot businesses and scenes from the famous movie Hope Springs (2012), in which the Inn at Stonington was featured. This lovely accommodation is one of the most highly rated in Connecticut and offers guests 18 unique rooms. Some rooms have balconies with views to Stonington, others offer a Jacuzzi, and some have a crackling fire lit in a glass fireplace.

9. Noah’s Restaurant, Stonington, CT

After a romantic evening spent at the Inn at Stonington, window shop along Main Street and stroll into Noah’s Restaurant for a hearty breakfast. Noah’s is a small, locally owned restaurant that serves excellent breakfast including challah French toast, blueberry pancakes, Portuguese baked eggs, omelets, and more. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Noah's Restaurant (@noahsrestaurant) on

10. Barn Island, Pawcatuck, CT

Later in the morning, appreciate the beauty of the brilliant fall foliage in a unique marsh area at Barn Island. This scenic nature preserve is very well-known for birding, as it attracts both water birds and song birds. Allow for ample time to hike through the forested uplands, open fields, and tidal wetlands. 

Connecticut Search
Best Things To Do Near You
Best Things To Do Near You
Oct
17
Oct
17
Oct
17
Oct
17

Happy Hauntings at Lake Compounce

10:00 AM
Lake Compounce Family Theme Park Bristol, CT
Learn More
Oct
17
Oct
17

Connecticut Renaissance Faire

10:30 AM
Lebanon Country Fairgrounds Lebanon, CT
Learn More
Oct
17

Pumpkin Patch Trains

10:30 AM
Danbury Railway Museum Danbury, CT
Learn More
Oct
17

Exhibition: Between The Ground and The Sky

11:00 AM
Museum of Contemporary Arts Westport Westport, CT
Learn More
Show More
Best Places To Go Near You
Best Places To Go Near You
1 South Canterbury Road, Canterbury, CT
The Museum, located at the Junction of State Scenic Routes 14 & 169 in Canterbury, Connecticut includes three period rooms, changing exhibits o... Read More
One Crystal Lake Road, Groton, CT
Submarine Force Museum, located on the Thames River in Groton, Connecticut, maintains the world's finest collection of submarine artifacts. It is t... Read More
27 Coogan Boulevard, Mystic, CT
Olde Mistick Village, on Coogan Blvd. in Mystic, just off Exit 90 of I-95, is a quirky but really fun place to shop, especially as the Christmas se... Read More
98 Neptune Avenue, New London, CT
Open the week before Memorial Day through Labor Day, Ocean Beach Park is open and operated daily. Ocean Beach Park offers fun and entertainment for... Read More
67 Main Street, Essex, CT
The Connecticut River Foundation at Steamboat Dock was established in 1974 as a small, all-volunteer organization dedicated to the dream of establi... Read More
119 Washington Street, Middletown, CT
Our Mission The mission of Kidcity Children's Museum is to celebrate a child's natural curiosity by offering a downtown hands-on playspace where ... Read More
2384 Alumni Drive, Storrs Mansfield, CT
Located in the new and expanded UConn Alumni Center in the heart of the University of Connecticut's main campus in Storrs, the Husky Heritage Sport... Read More
2019 Hillside Road, Storrs Mansfield, CT
In 1987 the Office of State Archaeology (OSA) was established as a part of the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History to provide local municip... Read More
49 Hollow Road, Woodbury, CT
The House: The house was built about 1750 and is an architecturally interesting and unusual combination of gambrel and saltbox roof styles. In ... Read More
230 Pine Street, Manchester, CT
The Connecticut Firemen's Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and displaying the history of firefighting in Ame... Read More
500 Hawthorne Avenue, Derby, CT
Mission:The Kellogg Environmental Center and the Osborne Homestead Museum, outreach facilities of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protec... Read More
70 Gracey Road, Canton, CT
RoaringBrookNatureCenter was founded in 1948 by Canton resident Una Storrs Riddle and was originally known as the Canton Children's NatureMuseum. I... Read More
915 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT
Mission: The Eli Whitney Museum is an experimental learning workshop for students, teachers, and families. We collect interpret and teach experimen... Read More
58 North Road, East Windsor, CT
The Connecticut Electric Railway Association, Inc. is the owner and operator of The Connecticut Trolley Museum. Founded in October 1940, it is the ... Read More
56 Lexington Street, New Britain, CT
Mission Erected By the People for the Use of the People," the New Britain Museum of American Art is dedicated to serving all people by pursuing e... Read More
Show More
Select a Connecticut town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you