When I first moved to New England from the West Coast and heard the term "leaf peeper," I thought it was a derogatory term for autumn tourists. I've since gradually accepted that it's a common name for anyone who goes out of their way to see fall foliage, for which I can't blame them. The colors here are astoundingly unreal in peak "leaf peeping" season; I've never seen anything like it. If you live here, you already know this. You probably also know (and dread) the second influx of fall tourists and the associated traffic.

Juuuust when you thought summer was over and you could get back to your faster commute and favorite restaurant without a wait, they come right back for the cider donuts and colorful corn mazes, apple orchards and U-pick pumpkin patches. Activities aside, the hiking trails get busy with leaf-hungry outdoorsy types willing to don a few layers in the name of endless Instagram likes.

For anyone wishing to drink in the foliage while avoiding the folks, I found your answer.

It comes in the form of a $69 online reservation through L.L.Bean. It's a fall foliage kayak tour on Casco Bay near Freeport and it's something I'm guessing you don't wanna miss.

The calendar offers any of the next three weekends for your touring pleasure; just a big enough window to accommodate your schedule but brief enough to capture the height of the trees' transformation.

L.L.Bean also offers canoe tours on the river out of Bowdoinham for a more affordable price and smaller group.

So there it is; if you were lamenting the crowds who steal your peeping spots, sigh no more. L.L. Bean has got your back (and your boots... remember: winter is coming.)

L.L. Bean