What to Pack for a New England Fall Getaway

See recent posts by Laura Ratliff

Anthony Quintano/Flickr

Anthony Quintano/Flickr

Whether you’re a leaf peeper or a history buff, there are few destinations more charming than New England in the fall. From the crisp air to the colorful leaves, the entire region transforms into an idyllic escape during the fall months, straight out of a picture book. However, the weather can still be unpredictable, so we’ve rounded up a must-read packing list to make sure your trip is enjoyable from start to finish.

Need a place to stay? Check out our reviews and photos of 434 hotels across New England.

Light Sweater or Base Layer

Yes, it seems obvious, but not all sweaters are made alike! Look for a lightweight merino wool blend which will come in handy for a variety of weather conditions: You can layer it on cooler days (plus merino wool is a natural insulator!) and it will still keep you cool, should the weather heat up. We’re fans of this basic long-sleeve crew top

Waterproof Rain Jacket

New England receives an average of three to four inches of rain per month during the fall, so it goes without saying that being prepared for the occasional downpour or shower is wise. Choose a light nylon jacket, ideally once with a breathable mesh liner and a hood. This Carharrt number checks all of the boxes and is even treated with a water repellant.

Travel Umbrella

While we’re on the subject of rain, a travel umbrella is a must. But not all travel umbrellas are created equally. Forget the flimsy drugstore options and look for something that’s sturdy and windproof. This option has the added benefit of Teflon coating — and a lifetime guarantee. 


Binoculars aren’t just for hardcore bird watchers. New England offers some stunning views that will be best served with a little optical help. This pair offers high-quality optics without breaking the bank. 

Sturdy Shoes

You never know when a scenic drive might result in a little off-road exploration by foot. Be prepared with a pair sturdy, yet stylish, shoes — ideal for both casual dinners and exploring quaint, tree-lined meadows. Plus, with the unpredictable weather (see: travel umbrella), a pair of comfy ankle boots will ensure your feet stay cozy and dry!

Lightweight Vest

Possibly the most versatile item on this list, a lightweight quilted vest should be on your packing list for almost any destination! Stylish options mean that can you dress it up or down depending on the base layer you wear underneath. Perfect for brisk New England morning hikes or evening spent by the fire!


A scarf is a must-pack for chilly New England evenings, but if you pack a large, pashmina-type shawl, you’ll have an item that can do double-duty as a picnic blanket or a cover-up on the plane. This super-soft and affordable version also comes in fall apropos plaids!

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