BOSTON – Yesterday, it was announced that Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were ranked second and third, respectively, on the U.S. News & World Report list for the best colleges and universities of 2020.

While this is certainly respectable, and plenty of other colleges from New England had high rankings on the list, it is also not the survey we in Massachusetts are most interested in right now. Sure, having great colleges is awesome, but we're approaching the middle of September and school is already back in session. Most have turned their sights to the spooky season as Halloween is almost upon us.

And there are no better places to spend time during the Halloween season than in New England. According to surveys conducted by USA Today, the nation agrees that New England is the place to be for all things autumn.

Based on surveys that were conducted among USA Today readers in an issue that was released over the weekend, New England has some of the best fall festivals, haunted attractions, and escape rooms that the U.S., as a whole has to offer. It makes sense, too, after all the leaves the change color here and we also lay claim to Salem, which obviously experiences a large tourism spike every October.

Per the survey, Haunted Overload, a haunted trail in Lee, New Hampshire, was ranked as the seventh best haunted attraction in the country. The point of this trail is to be a completely immersive and horror-inducing experience that you conduct on your own.

However, for those who are looking for someone to lead a tour through haunted regions, then they should look no further than Bar Habor Ghost Tours in Bar Harbor, Maine, which was determined to be the eighth best haunted tour in the country. As for the escape room mentioned above, that would be Boston's Boxaroo location, which came in at number three for escape rooms in the country.

If you love the autumn aesthetic, however, but being scared just is not your think, then New England still has plenty of attractions to satiate you. Of all the fall festivals in the country, the Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival, which has also been featured on Travel Channel before, was named the best. Located in Stowe, the name of the event speaks for itself. Laconia, New Hampshire's NH Pumpkin Festival came in sixth on the list.

And lastly, Levant, Maine's Treworgy Family Orchards was polled as the second best corn maze in the country. Fall is almost upon us and there is no shortage of activities to enjoy during the season!

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash