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New England in mid-October, 6-7 days - Suggested Driving Itinerary?

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My husband and I are planning a road trip for mid- to late-October 2012 to New England, and we were unsure where to start as far as planning an itinerary. Neither of us have been to the Northeast before. We are driving from Texas, leaving on a Thursday evening, so should be in the New England area either late Saturday or early Sunday. We plan to drive home beginning the following Saturday morning, making our round trip 10 days total. What are some suggested must see sights? We are debating time to spend in Boston, Cape Cod, New York City, the countryside of Vermont and New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and everything in between. I know we have limited time, so any suggestions of must-see sights and scenery would be great. My husband enjoys a little bit of historical sightseeing, but we don't want to do too many museums unless they are just spectacular. We have been to many many museums and historical sights in Western Europe and in the U.S., so we can be hard to impress at times. :) We also want to see fall foliage, and we don't know when the best time would be to travel. I understand that it can be really crowded in the best areas at that time of year also.

So here are my questions:
How much time should we allocate to New York City, Boston, Cape Cod, and driving through countryside and small towns?
When would be the best time to travel in October?
Any suggest itineraries?
Any must see sights or destinations?

Thanks so much for any insight!


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