Where are you planning to go / do?? Skyline drive for example - or just stay in one place?
I'd certainly consider DIYing it (esp. since the dollar is so cheap at the mo) - or go through a UK company like Thomas Cook - I was impressed with them last time I went to the US - mainly because I was booking a sufficiently difficult trip that you couldn't do it online...
The turning of the fall foliage doesn't happen all over New England at the same time. It also varies annually depending on the sort of spring and summer they have had. The peak viewing areas are monitored and reported in all the media, so people can get to the best areas.
And boy do they go. Anywhere within a days drive, or a weekend away, from the main centres of population will be mobbed. The prices you have been quoted reflect the pressure there is on accommodation. The further into the back country you go, the greater the chances of being able to DIY it. Obviously backpacking away from the roads will also get you some more isolation.
Personally, I would recommend you take your own private yacht. It's always worked for me. The juxtaposition of the rocky coast and the trees is just unbelievable.
Thanks.You confirm my feeling that it is an expensive risk to take an organised trip ,and may end up seeing nothing..but I would love to do it..A campervan ,with bike,following the crowds may be a good option
Tim's quite right -the foliage follows a rough line down from the north, and the time varies from year to year based on seasonal temperature differences. Another thing as well, depending on the rainfall, the colours (or should that be "colors", I just can't do it!) can be more or less vibrant. One thing is for sure, in a good fall foliage season, the scenery can be quite spectacular. The only thing I'd disagree with is that though there can be a lot of traffic, you can always take less travelled roads to avoid the traffic and go during the week to avoid the weekend trippers.
I'm assuming you would fly into Boston Logan, and if so this place is a pain to get out of -and finding your way out of Boston after a flight isn't a pleasant proposition as road signage is very much lacking. Try to get a flight at the weekend or mid day, worst time for traffic is Friday afternoon.
Camping is a great way to see some of New England, but be aware many campsites close up Labor Day Weekend (this weekend coming I think) and it's considered the end of Summer. Another issue with camping is that it can get *very* cold up in the mountains around Fall foliage time, so if camping is an option go well equipped. Other accommodation options include motels/hotels/B&Bs but all are relatively expensive (B&Bs here can easily cost as much as a hotel) and prices go up with the Fall and availability is difficult. Another way to do it would be to rent a condo or home for a week or two and ride out everyday. This would give you the advantage of not having to ride fully loaded, know where you are staying the night, hopefully be close to a centre so you can go out easily, be cheaper than all other options excluding camping and give you a home base. Disadvantage: you might end up being a long way away from the foliage!
Having cycled out in Western Mass, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, I have to say that I wouldn't be disappointed even if you didn't see the foliage -the touring in these states can be quite lovely even so. And for a tip: most people assume that foliage is in Vermont/New Hampshire and Maine, but Massachusetts can have a very pretty display too, particularly to the south of Vermont and New Hampshire. If you wanted to do this trip more on a budget, I'd be tempted to try this area, though do be warned, there are some quite nasty hills out there.
If you go, let me know and I can see if I can help.
Anyone ever done this and has any tips on DIY and where to start from..Even excluding flights American Holiday companies seem to charge about $600 just for three days