Road Trip - New England (VT, NH, ME, MA)

Old Sep 15th, 2011, 09:19 AM
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Road Trip - New England (VT, NH, ME, MA)

We're going on a road trip in a couple weeks and I'm looking for recommendations on places we should visit and things we should do.

I've been doing a lot of research online and have a long list already made but I'm looking for more because I don't want to miss a "must see" place so I figured a travel website might be my best bet to hear from people who have done this trip.

We're leaving Michigan on a Wednesday and starting in VT (thinking Stowe) and from there we want to go to Loon Mountain, Bar Harbor and then down to Boston with stops in between. We will head home the following Sunday so we will have 10 days to explore (drive time to/from MI not included in that). I'd live to go down into Newport but I'm just not sure we will have enough time.

Please give me ideas! I'm trying to finalize plans and want to know what YOU wouldn't want to miss!

Tamara826 is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2011, 10:37 AM
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What kinds of things do you like to do? You could stop at Portsmouth, NH, Rockport, MA, Gloucester MA, SalemMA, Marblehead, MA etc. on the way down to Boston (which you could spend many days exploring). If you are interested in History, head for Concord and Lexington on your way back home.
emalloy is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2011, 11:17 AM
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Vermont travel after Irene >>>>

When you review the above link re: Vermont, keep in mind that repairs to damage is likely underway. There are several posters in VT and NH area that can advise which roads are best (or, should be avoided).

I'll be up in NH visiting family in mid-October, and hoping that fall colors won't be adversely impacted by huge amounts of rain. For anyone 'down home in the Maine state', how is the change starting to look??
JBX is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2011, 01:18 AM
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Here in NH the early reds of swamp maples look pretty good. You can see a path of red in some nearby woods where the brook must go. We have one swamp maple in our yard that isn't so bright. Here, just north of Concord NH, it will still be a couple of weeks for the real color.

There is some damage around Loon Mountain but a pedestrian bridge was put in for the Highland Games this weekend. I understand it will be replaced by a regular bridge. The original bridge was washed away. The Kanc has re-opened.

Your route really depends on your interests. On the way from Stowe to NH, you could stop in Danville VT for the Great Vermont Corn Maze. Work up an appetite for some ice cream in Littleton (sorry can't remember the name of the place). Bar Harbor is beautiful but the mid-coast area of Maine is our favorite. If you don't want to go as far as Bar Harbor, Camden was voted as a top foliage place by (I think) Yankee magazine. I like the view from the top of Mt Battie better than Cadillac because it overlooks Camden Harbor.

Portland, ME, mail boat cruise. Get on the early run and you'll be done by lunch time then eat in the Old Port area. Not much narration since this is a working boat. DH was fascinated watching them unload at each stop.

Portsmouth, take a boat ride! We liked both the harbor cruise and the inland rivers. The inland rivers might appeal more to someone interested in ecology/birds if it's one of the ones that goes into Great Bay.

I guess I got burned out on Boston's Freedom Trail by too many school field trips when I was too young to appreciate what I was seeing. However, I highly recommend taking one of Michelle Topor's Culinary Tours. Both the North End and China Town are great. Everyone on our China Town tour had already been on the North End tour. Well worth the price and the history is fascinating. I have always loved Fri and Sat in Boston when the pushcart vendors are in Haymarket Square.

I think I might trade Newport for Bar Harbor but it really depends. Hikers and bikers would disagree with me.
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Old Sep 20th, 2011, 10:52 AM
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Before reaching Stowe, you might want to visit Burlington and enjoy the ambiance of Church St. or walk along the lakefront. The nearby Shelburne Museum is also a great stop. In Charlotte, drive to the top of Mt. Philo for great views of the Champlain Valley, Lake Champlain, and the Adirondacks.

North of Loon Mountain in Lincoln, NH is Franconia Notch State Park, which has some great scenery. I would recommend visiting the Flume Gorge. I don't know if you're into hiking, but Artist's Bluff and the Kinsman Falls trail are both fairly quick and easy.

From Lincoln, the Kancamagus Highway is a wonderful drive. Turn north on Bear Notch Rd. and then follow Route 302 E to Route 16 N. This will lead you to the Mt. Washington Auto Road. If the summit is clear, the views from the top are unparalleled anywhere east of the Rockies.

North Conway is a bit of an overgrown tourist trap with excessive traffic, but the "secret" side of town along West Side Rd. offers the lovely Cathedral Ledge - Echo Lake State Park.

In Maine, I also love the mid-coast region. Boothbay Harbor is nice but a bit touristy; Damariscotta is a pleasant and more authentic alternative. Wiscasset has a lot of historical charm and the famous Red's Eats lobster shack. Near Damariscotta is Pemaquid Point, which shouldn't be missed for its lighthouse and rock formations. Definitely agree with dfrostnh about the view from Mt. Battie in Camden - don't miss it! If you have the time, the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde is a nice detour.

Camden is great but Acadia National Park is really a must-see when visiting New England. I would only cut Bar Harbor as a last resort if you really want to conserve on driving time.

Portsmouth, NH is definitely a must. If you can't make it to Newport, Portsmouth is an excellent substitute; it only really lacks the mansions. Both cities are among the most well-preserved colonial ports in the country. Stawberry Banke might not be worth the entrance fee, but you can still get a feel for the colonial era by just walking around Portsmouth's streets. For a very quirky and tasty dining experience, try The Friendly Toast.

I like to drive Route 1A between the NH seacoast and the Boston area, which passes through beautiful historic towns like Newburyport and Ipswich. Closer to the city, Salem and Marblehead also offer a lot in the way of history and colonial charm.
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Old Sep 20th, 2011, 11:03 AM
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I would like to see same of this places....sounds really very intresting
but I am travel by bus and train ...hope i can manage a bit
sure ist boston and bar harbor
larafh is offline  
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