Warm days and cool nights added rich hues to the leaves; cloudless blue skies, some wispy morning fog and frost offered an artist's background; and gas prices a dollar lower than in recent months helped send hundreds of thousands of leaf peepers to the region for the long holiday weekend.
They were not disappointed.
"I heard a lot of people describing (Saturday) as the nicest day they'd ever seen their life," weather observer Neil Lareau, atop Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast.
Speaking Sunday from his perch — with about the best view in the region — Lareau looked across New Hampshire and Vermont to the Adirondacks of New York, 130 miles away.
Closer, he peered down into the valleys of New Hampshire, where the reds, oranges, yellows and greens of the slopes stood out against morning fog that shrouded the valley floor.
While the orange glow of the trees may make this one of the most spectacular years on record, the pumpkin situation is not so bright. Heavy spring rains are causing an ongoing pumpkin shortage in the Northeast. However, despite the lack of quantity, this year has broken the world record for giant pumpkins with one Rhode Island farmer setting the new world record with his 1,502 lb pumpkin.