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Driving Ideas from Maine to New Hampshire

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We will be going in Mid August from the Portland, Maine area to Fitzwilliam, NH. Would love any suggestions for routes to take and places to visit. We aren't in any rush so would love to make some stops along the way. Thanks for your ideas

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    Tough decision! Skip Portsmouth NH this visit? From Portland you can head west to NH and be in the Conway area and the White Mountains in about an hour. Go south on Rt 16 and then head to Tamworth NH and onward to Center Sandwich. From there you're pretty close to Squam Lake/Holderness. Except for the Science Center, I don't think there is public access to the lake so it has stayed very beautiful. The Corner House Tavern in Ctr Sandwich is a nice place to eat but check to see if they are open for lunch. From there it's a short drive to the big lake - Lake Winnipesaukee. Meredith is one of the more upscale sections with lovely hotels but we haven't stayed there (too close to home). If you stay in this area you can easily get back to the mountains for any of the tourist attractions or just nice scenery. If you visit this area you will see the difference between the quiet town of Ctr Sandwich and the beautiful but congested streets of North Conway.

    Heading south via I93 you can make a visit to Canterbury Shaker Village. Rental kayaks are also available if you'd like to do a little paddling on the Merrimack River. (Eagles are nesting in this area.) Some of the farmers markets have music so you might want to check out what's going on. Canterbury fm is on Wed afternoons. I haven't been to it but read that they have 22 vendors. It's a lovely town, too. From there head toward I93/Boscawen area. Turn right, go over the bridge. Your choice: backroads to Fitzwilliam or I93 to Concord, then I89 to Rt 202 and follow at map.

    Backroads: Continuing west on rt 3/4 drive thru the town of Boscawen and take a left onto Rt 4 when you come to the fork. Go short ways then turn left at the blinking light onto Water St heading for Webster. Stop for ice cream at Richardsons. Follow all the curves in the road but bear left onto Long St instead of going straight onto N Water St. You should be able to see Mt Kearsarge on your right. Watch out for wild turkeys. At intersection of Rt 127, turn left and follow Rt 127 to Contoocook. Bear to the right in the middle of the village so you continue to follow Rt 127. It will go over one of the flood control dams, turn left and come to Rt 202. Turn right and head to Hillsboro. You'll have to follow the signs and map to get to Fitzwilliam. I believe this is a mostly wooded route and pretty. Not a quick drive but better than the interstate.

    Depending on when on August you are traveling thru, there's a special old time farming weekend at Musterfield Farm in Sutton NH that's interesting if you like old fashioned things and old tractors. Mt Kearsarge has a scenic park on the north side (toll road) that offers some nice views and most people don't know it's there. This is the New London area but then you could go other back roads to get to Hillsboro.

    Yankee Magazine might be a good website for you to explore. They have some suggested scenic drives.

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    dfrostnh, wow! thanks so much for all your suggestions. We have been to Portsmouth a couple times and wanted to explore central NH a bit. Backroads are just what we love and the ice cream stop is just perfect! Will check out Yankee Magazine also.

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