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Need some ideas to plan my trip to New Hampshire & Maine

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I'm from Malaysia. My husband and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year and as part of that celebration we are making a trip to Boston We want to do a road trip to New Hampshire and Maine which is from Oct 1 to Oct 7. We want to see the Fall colors. Which would be the best thing to do i.e go up to New Hampshire and then make our way to Maine (Bar Harbor) or do Maine first. I read up that Route 16 and the Kancamagus Highway is very scenic. We are thinking of spending two nights at New Conway and three nights in Bar Harbor. We will be leaving from Boston on this road trip. Any advice or tips would be most helpful in helping us plan. Thanks !

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    We did this part in a trip 2 years ago.

    How long are you staying in Boston? For Boston you have to take 2 or 3 days... From Boston we did a trip to Province town. A very nice village in cape cod.( Also 1 day, if you want to see a lot from cape code then stay 2 days )

    Then from boston you can go to the coast, for example gloucester... There you can you do whale watching what is very nice. Normally october is still a good month.( 1 day )
    We did a also stop in Salem, the witch town.

    From there you can go to the white mountains... There is a lot to do so i advice you certainly to stay there 2 full days.

    We stayed in the Indian Head Resort in Lincoln. I can advice you this hotel, also the location is realy good. But for this period in the white mountains you have to book in advance because it can be very busy.

    Route 112, kancamagus is vere beautifull with a lot of trails you can do. Also franconia state park is very nice, you can do the Flume Gorge... You also have to ride up the mount washington. It's an experience.

    Then we went to vermont, to Montpelier, Waterbury and then to Burlington that is at Lake Champlain. It's also beautifull there.

    If you go to maine you have to go to portland as well.

    SO you have to make choises because if you still want to go then to maine, you will not have enough time. Also from maine back to boston, you will lose at least a full day.

    If I were you, i would not go to maine because you only have 7 days. But if you really want to do that, then just go to white mountains, from there to maine and back.

    So 1 day to White Mountains, 2 days White Mountains, 1 day to Maine, 2 days Maine and then a in a rush back to Boston.

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    Yes I have also posted this question on the US forum. Thanks for your input. The plan right now is to spend two nights in White Mountains and three nights in Bar Harbor. Because of my limited time, I can't do too much.

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    Are you FLYING into and home from Boston?

    If yes, consider flying into Boston (or even Portsmouth) and flying home from Bangor. It will greatly increase your available "free" time. You don't really have enough time to be wasting any by backtracking that much.

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    I don't think you can fly into Portsmouth but Manchester, NH is a good alternative to Boston's Logan Airport - less congested.

    Bar Harbor is beautiful - I adore it there. Love Acadia National Park and the rocky shore. There's lots of hiking and popovers at the Jordan Pond House are great. I'm sure Oct is pretty quiet there compared to the busy summer season. Views from the top of Cadillac Mountain are beautiful. We've stayed at the Bar Harbor Regency - its on the water with great views of Frenchman's Bay and a bit out of town. Easy parking and pretty grounds.

    When staying in Boston consider staying in the Back Bay. There are lots of shops and restaurants right there and easy access to the T (subway, trolley and bus system). The Museum of Fine Arts is terrific and the smaller Isabella Steward Gardner Museum just opened a new wing.

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    In Bar Harbor, we stayed at the B&B, the Saltair Inn, 121 West Street. It is a stately looking building in a great location (central and on the water). A man on a tractor came to immediately greet us an introduced himself as Matt, one of the owners. He was very personable. He took us inside to show us around and gave us some history on his family’s life and the Inn which was built in the late 1800’s. They were originally from Virginia and have been here for four years with their very cute kids, two girls Katie and Emily and a boy Adam (ages 2, 4 and 7 – I think). Matt was a structural engineer and Kristi worked for the FBI in DNA/forensics. At one time Matt’s parents owned the inn next door, Matt and Kristi visited and fell in love with the area. In total they have five guest rooms. They currently live in the basement but are working on redoing the 3rd floor for their family.

    They did a fabulous job refurbishing the place. Our oversized room (Master Suite) is on the first floor with giant floor to ceiling picture windows that open to incredible views of a stately lawn and the ocean. It is nicely decorated, has a huge tub and large standup shower in an equally oversized bathroom. Large, thick towels too. There is a large sitting room with comfy chairs looking out to the ocean, a gas stove, fireplace and a 4 poster very comfy king size bed (great pillows!). Classical music was playing from a small portable stereo system, a nice touch. We were very happy with our choice.

    They have plenty of guidebooks, maps, DVDs, books and games. They offer free drinks, snacks, tea and coffee and a big plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies was on the dining room table, and Hershey’s candy in the front hall. Matt offered to help us with restaurants, hikes and other activities.

    We headed to our room to lie down “just for a minute”. We both passed out cold for two hours.When we awoke we headed out to the dining area where we met Matt’s wife Kristi who was equally as personable. She offered us a glass of wine (after a tour of her incredible gourmet kitchen). We chatted with her and Matt for awhile. They are really nice down to earth people. We enjoyed their company.

    On the suggestion of our innkeepers we headed out to dinner at Galyn’s on 17 Main Street. It was a short walk (5 minutes or so). We were seated immediately in the upstairs dining room. The ambience was great, romantic warm lights and clean. The waitress was pleasant. I ordered a lobster enchilada with a cilantro cream sauce. It was fabulous! John ordered a spinach salad with Salmon, he said it was very good. We each got a glass of wine, I had a cappuccino and Jon got a blueberry/apple crisp (he did share a few bites, it was yummy). The check was $65.00 before tip. Quite reasonable.

    The next night, we made 7PM reservations at Havana (a Cuban restaurant) for dinner. We have visited on two other occasions when in Bar Harbor, it’s one of our favorites. We decided to walk. It was several blocks down Main Street.

    Our dinner did not disappoint. First the chef sent out a yummy pork taste. We shared an ahi tuna salad with avocado, aioli and a tempora red pepper, it was incredible. We also had salt cod fritters, sweet potatoes & plantains, garlic bread with chorizo and local mussels in a yummy garlic cream sauce. Each dish was incredible! We had two glasses of wine each as recommended by our server Nicolas. Nicolas was very professional, polite, changed utensils between each course, kept the water glasses full and timed the food delivery perfectly. The meal also included jalapeño corn bread and French bread with maple walnut butter. The owner came over to introduce himself and to ask if we were enjoying our meal, he was a personable guy. We were very full so we took a pass on dessert even though they looked appealing. Total before tip was $92.00.

    One night we also headed to Café This Way for dinner. I had three little Malibu/pineapple drinks, John had two beers. We split an appetizer of French bread, cheese, peppers, roasted garlic and tapenade. John had Caesar salad, I had an endive salad. For an entrée I had pecan crusted halibut with asparagus and smashed potatoes. John had surf and turf – steak, a small piece of lobster and a handful of tiny shrimp. On a scale of 1-10 we’d rate the food as an 8. Not as good as our meal at Havana but good nonetheless. We had breakfast here a few years ago and it was really great. Our server was very attentive. Total was $105 before tip.

    After dinner that night, we wandered through a few shops and then headed back to the Saltair. We grabbed some of Kristi’s cherry cobbler (really, really good!) and headed down to sit by the ocean (they have Adirondack chairs at the edge of the lawn). John smoked a cigar, we shared some wine and enjoyed the view. It was a perfect evening.


    One day we hiked the Giant Slide Trail to the Sargeant summit. We headed off, got slightly lost looking for Rt 198 and stopped for water & snacks and directions. We found the cedar post marking the trail head (just before Sargeant Drive on the left, it’s a really small post and easy to miss) then you just follow the blue dots. The hike was 5.2 miles round trip. We got off trail a bit but ended up on another trail that took us to the same summit.

    It was a great trail – fairly strenuous, first over foot bridges through mossy areas, across a few carriage roads, rock scrambles along a brook and some great views of Somes Sound and beyond.

    Another day we headed to the bike shop to rent a tandem. We didn’t bring ours since we assumed if would just continue raining…. When we got to the bike place, the man behind the counter responded, “oh no, you don’t want to rent a tandem, we call those the divorce machine!” We assured his that we had our own at home and we’ve only come close to divorce twice in four years over the tandem so we were sure we’d be okay.

    We headed towards the Jordan Pond House (about a 20 mile round trip). It took us less than 5 minutes to bike to the park entrance. It was up and downhill most of the way. For the most part a great ride. There were a few parts where clueless people just all piled their bikes across the rode so you couldn’t get by and one guy who walked in front of us to take a family photo, didn’t even notice the 350 pounds on a tandem (not easy to stop) coming right at him, we missed him by inches.

    We finally made it there at 11:30, they seated us immediately. We had a very nice waiter from the Baltic region. I had lobster stew and popovers with butter & jelly, John had a curry chicken salad with cranberries served with crackers, grapes and a popover. The food was fabulous and of course you always have to have one of their popovers when you come to Acadia! John also had a cappachino and I had an ice tea. Total was $40 before tip.

    Next we did a short hike around Jordan Pond. It was about 4 miles, relatively flat but fun (would be great for kids). There were bridges, stepping stones and log footpaths to walk on. It took us about an hour.

    We headed back to town. At this point my rear end was VERY uncomfortable (John was smart and brought his bike shorts). Luckily the trip back was more downhill that up so we got to coast a lot. It took about 45 minutes to get back to town (it was 60 minutes to get out there). We returned the bikes and headed back to the Saltair.

    I had one of Kristi’s 4th of July fudgy brownies with red, white & blue frosting (really yummy) and chatted with Matt a bit. John vegged a bit, taking in the view. We can see Bar Island from our window. It was low tide so you can walk over, at high tide you can’t walk over…

    We headed off to town after Emily showed us her “candy stash” from the parade. It was one of the few times that we saw the kids. They were all out playing on the front lawn. Kirsti has a Nanny who comes daily so that she & Matt can get breakfast done and clean the rooms.

    We tried McKay’s for dinner. Our reservation was at 7 but John wasn’t feeling well so we stopped in at 5:30 to see if they could take us early. On our waitresses suggestion I ordered the lobster mac & cheese and a beet salad. John had the Caesar salad and an ahi tuna with a brown rice. We each had a glass of wine and John had coffee. Total was $102. Service was great and food yummy.

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    In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, I suggest Jackson!!

    Look at the Inn at Thorn Hill and the Wentworth (both have lodging & fine dining - Wentworth also rents out 2 bedroom townhouses w/ kitchen) - for fine dining, try The Cider House in Bartlett, The Oxford House just over the border from N Conway in Maine and Libby's Bistro in Gorham. Shannon Door Pub in Jackson for casual pizza on a night when they have entertainment is also a great choice. Other casual choices - Delany's has the best sushi (and bar food), The Moat Brewery also has good eats and home brewed beer, Margarita Grill for tex-mex and margaritas - for breakfast try Priscilla's and Stairway Cafe, J-town deli has good "to go" hiking food/lunch and also an eat in area....

    Lots of great hiking, biking and foliage. Also Jackson is a quaint village far enough away from the tourist scene in North Conway. In October, they have the "Pumpkin People" where about 50 local businesses do displays of pumpkin people...http://www.jacksonnh.com/index.php

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