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New England / Possibly Canada – October 12th for 16 days - Itenary needed

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UK Married Couple (late,50’s) with a desire to ‘leaf-peep’ !
Unfortunately, unable to hike (or even walk more than 2 miles a day)

LOVES: Scenic Drives, Outstanding Scenery, Leaf-peeping, Lakes, Oceans, Mountains, 2 or 3 days exploring a City
LIKES: Wildlife, Culture, History, Sport, Sight-seeing, Eating Out
£££?: We fly economy, staying in 3* or 4* star accommodation

Seeking minor completion to following ‘extensive itenary’ which, as you see, includes collection of a rental car and the possibility of spending one night in Niagara Falls, on the current insistence of ‘Mrs. Norfolkanway’.
I think I’ve got the beginning and the end pretty much sorted so it's just a little help with the few days in the middle - “New England (Possibly Canada)” - next to them I need ideas for . . . . . . Just the 15 days then . . . . . . Please . . . . . .

October 12th Fly from UK into Boston/ Toronto/Montreal

October 13th to 28th "New England (Possibly Canada)"

October 29th Fly back to UK from Boston/Toronto

Thank you

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    You will want to visit Vermont for the most spectacular fall colors. Is it possible for you to visit a week earlier?
    "Vermont Fall Foliage Reports
    Oct 23, 2012 – Fall Foliage Season is a very popular time to visit Vermont. Color change begins in mid-September and runs through the first two to three weeks of October"

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    Boston and Niagara Falls are a good 7-8 hour drive apart. Add the gorgeous Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, and you could spend a few days working your way from the leaf-peeping to the Falls. (Assuming you fly in to Boston and out of Toronto.) The Canadian side of the Falls is nicer, IMO.

    Not sure how that arrangement will affect your car rental, I'd imagine you'd have to find a rental that will allow you to rent in one state, return it in another, but that will mean leaving the car in ?Buffalo NY, then finding a way to Toronto airport? (All of a sudden, the side trip to the Falls is looking like a bit of a logistical pain!)

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    For color, you might have to drive around southern New England. Color in the mountains usually peaks first weekend in October or earlier. A scenic cruise or two should be enjoyable even if the color is gone. Lake Winnipesaukee in NH is quiet, maybe a little long. We have enjoyed a harbor cruise in Portsmouth NH and an inland rivers cruise from same company.

    A good round trip from I93 in NH would be across the Kancamagus, south on Rt 16 and then back west thru the towns of Tamworth and Center Sandwich. This is an easy drive from Lake Winnipesaukee if you stay in that area. I93 goes right thru the White Mountains. You could stay in Concord NH or even Manchester and do it as a day trip. Restaurant selection would be best in Manchester, not bad in Concord. Choices start getting slim the further north you go. Problem is high amount of traffic leaf peeping so I would go on a weekday.

    Portsmouth NH is also home to Strawbery Banke Historical area. It's an easy drive north to Portland ME or south to Boston MA. You would have to check to see if walking would be a problem if you visit the houses in Strawbery Banke. Color will start later and hold longer on the coast because it's warmer.

    There are also boat trips out of Portland ME. The mailboat cruise visits several islands in Casco Bay. If you take an early trip you can be back in Portland in time for lunch. Be warned that the Old Port Area while fun to explore is hilly. The food tour is fun but is probably too much walking for you. You could still however visit some of the same places - the whoopie pie bakery, the brewery, etc. Chowhound gives great tips on eating in Portland. Visit MDI ice cream on Exchange St when it's not busy. They'll let you have some tastes so you can decide on flavors and then get the sampler. I don't care for ice cream with heat but it was interesting to try wasabi chocolate. Loved their Blackstrap Banana.

    South of Portland there are some beautiful beaches. There are some nice drives along the coast. In places like York Beach you can get a good seat on a park bench and enjoy the view. Some fun food stops in the area would be out on Rt 1 just north of the Kittery Outlet malls - Stonewall Kitchens (great condiments, fun shopping and tasting) and When Pigs Fly Bakery (lots of bread samples).

    I let someone else describe VT and MA. I've never been to Niagra Falls.

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    Take a look at my plan and see what you think.
    Fly to Montreal. See Montreal. Take the ViaRail train from Montreal to Toronto. Take a tour bus or train from Toronto to Niagara Falls Ontario. See Niagara Falls. Take the Amtrak Maple Leaf from Niagara Falls to Albany New York. Rent a car to go see Vermont and western Massachusetts. Return the car to Albany and take the Lake Shore Limited (northern section) to Boston and fly home from there.
    The other option from Albany would be to ride the Adirondak north to Montreal if you wanted to fly home from there.

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    As others have mentioned, Niagara Falls is a very long drive from New England. I live in central New Hampshire, very close to Vermont, and the foliage usually peaks around October 7-10. However, I'm sure you'll see some fabulous colors in your time frame, particularly south of central NH & Vt. Some beautiful areas to explore in Vermont could be the areas of Montpelier, Waitsfield, Stowe, Woodstock, Chester. The Billings Farm Museum and Rockefeller estate in Woodstock is worth an afternoon. You can also drive up close to the summit of Mt. Ascutney for some spectacular views of both states. The Cornish (NH)/ Windsor (Vt) covered bridge is the longest in the USA, and is a great photo op. Close by is St. Gaudens National Park in Cornish NH, a very scenic estate/artists studio. Hanover NH is the picture perfect New England college town, with several good restaurants, a nice museum and some shopping.
    As for wildlife, the Kancamangus highway is noted for frequent moose sightings. On the back roads of New England, you'll probably see many turkeys, and possibly deer, fox, and coyote.
    As for Montreal and Canada - Montreal is one of my favorite cities in the world, but for a European, I would think Boston would be more interesting. It is rich in history and quite scenic. The countryside outside of Montreal is mostly flat farmland, getting more mountainous and 'New England like' as you head east from Montreal. The fun part about Quebec is it's strong French Canadian culture.
    Have you looked at the yankeemagazine.com website?

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