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Trip Report New England Trip Report

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This is a quick summary of our 11 day trip through New England from May 29 to June 8. Our family consists of Dad, Mom, Son 19 and Daughter 16. We picked New England because we’ve never been there. I was able to get all four plane tickets using SkyMiles and 9 out of 10 motel nights for free using Hilton or Choice points.

We flew into Boston on Friday afternoon and took a cab to the Hampton Inn in Cambridge. I chose it for the location across from the Lechemere MBTA station and because it had queen size beds which are rare in big cities (plus it was free with points). Supper was at the Union Oyster House which was excellent.

Saturday we walked the Freedom Trail from Boston Common to the Old North Church, with a stop at Quincy market for lunch and to watch the street performers. The walk was very interesting, especially the old cemeteries. We paid $25 to tour the Old State House and Paul Revere’s House, but should have probably skipped the inside tours. Saturday night we went to the Improv Asylum which was hilarious. We highly recommend this. Drinks are offered at a bar outside the stage room so there is no pressure to buy extra drinks once you are seated.

Sunday we went to the Museum of Fine Arts, ate lunch at Cheers (food OK, but atmosphere is great) and took a taxi to Bunker Hill Monument to finish the Freedom Trail. The kids climbed the 264 stairs to the top which we heard about for the next 3 days, then we walked to the harbor for a tour of the USS Constitution and the museum.

Monday we rented a car and drove to Lexington, then through the National Park and into Concord. In Lexington there was a young man in period costume on the Battle Green who gave us a 20 minute walk through of the battle that took place there. This was very interesting, as was the video in the National Park visitor center further down the road. A visit to the North Bridge capped the historical tour. We then drove to Newport for the night.

Tuesday we drove the 10 mile scenic drive through Newport with stops at the Cliff Walk and The Breakers for a tour. That was followed by a sailing excursion on the Adirondack !! which was the highlight of the trip. There were only 8 of us on a boat that holds 60 people so we had a lot of attention from the 3 person crew. The kids both steered the ship for practically the entire time we sailed. After sailing we drove to Mystic to spend the night and eat Mystic Pizza.

Wednesday we toured the submarine museum and USS Nautilus in Groton and then headed to Vermont. We went to Queeche Gorge State Park, Simon Pearce to watch the glass blower, ate dinner in Woodstock and spent the night in White River Junction

Thursday we toured the Rock of Ages quarry in Barre. We followed a driver in our own car to the quarry while he narrated over the car radio. We got out at the quarry to continue the informative tour. We all took a turn at the outdoor granite bowling lane and drove over to Hope cemetery to see the elaborate head stones. Then it was on to Waterbury where we toured Ben and Jerry’s which was a lot of fun. We also hit the Cabot Cheese store, the Chocolate store and the Cider Mill. Lunch that day consisted of ice cream, cheese, chocolate and cider donuts – all the major food groups. That night was spent in St Johnsbury.

Friday we drove through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, down through Franconia Notch and across the Kancamngus Highway. The scenery was very nice, although I’m sure it’s spectacular in the fall. We took a nice hike to Sabbady Falls, but were attacked by mosquitoes the whole time. We spent that night in Freeport, Maine.

Saturday we drove highway 1 through the scenic coastal towns to Bar Harbor, stopping in Rockland and Camden, among others. As others have stated, the drive is very slow along this route. However, the slow driving is not so much from the tourists and small towns, but the folks with Maine license plates who consistently drove 5 to 10 mph UNDER the speed limit. We toured the Farnsworth art museum for free via Bank of America. It was nice, but we wouldn’t have gone if we had to pay. Outside Camden we drove up the auto road into Camden Hills state park. I was a little surprised it cost us $18 to get in (compared to only $10 for Acadia NP), but the view was spectacular and worth the money. We drove up Cadillac Mountain for sunset after dinner in Bar Harbor.

Sunday we drove the park loop road in Acadia with side trips to Asticou Azalea Gardens, Southwest Harbor and Bass Harbor Light House. This is a beautiful park tucked in between the ocean and mountains. We found another improv comedy club in Bar Harbor so we went to it that night. It wasn’t quite as good as Boston, but sill very funny and I recommend it also.

Monday we drove to Bangor for our flight home. We all agreed we liked Rhode Island and Maine the best. We will have to go back in the fall sometime to really appreciate Vt and NH. I’m happy to answer any questions.


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