Two Week New England Road Trip

Old Dec 21st, 2017, 02:22 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 42
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Two Week New England Road Trip

My wife and I will be traveling to Boston MA, arriving May 12 to spend two weeks exploring the area and ending up leaving out of Newark on May 26. We have two weeks without any predetermined cities or places to visit. We have visited Boston a few times so we want to spend just a few days in Boston, perhaps traveling north into New Hampshire and Maine before ending up in NYC for 2-3 days before flying home out of Newark airport. We will rent a in Boston. Given a very open agenda, we would very much appreciate ideas for this two week trip.

John S.
johnsheils is offline  
Old Dec 21st, 2017, 02:39 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,363
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
Renting the car in Boston is OK but return it when you go to NYC. Use an Amtrak Northeast Corridor train to NYP.
Leaving New York take a NE Corridor train to EWR. There is a good transit system from the train platform into the airport terminal at Newark.
There is also an Amtrak stop at the BWI airport if you ever wanted to fly in or out of there.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Dec 22nd, 2017, 12:05 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,616
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What are your interests? If you like food tours, Boston and Providence have some good ones. It's a beautiful time of year, in some areas apple orchards and crab apple trees will be in bloom. Do you like museums? Outdoor activities? Cities or rural areas?
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Dec 22nd, 2017, 01:01 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,041
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 1 Post
The Maine Coast is one of my favorite places to visit. Portland is a nice town with great restaurants. If you answer dfrost's questions, we can be more helpful.
yestravel is offline  
Old Dec 22nd, 2017, 01:40 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,905
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hotel prices in Boston might be affected by graduations. Check this site:

http://www.bostonzest.com/2016/09/bo...vations-a.html
emalloy is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2017, 06:15 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No, hotel price and availability will definitely be affected by graduation. Seriously affected. If you haven't booked yet, consider flying into Newark and out of Boston.

In very general terms, look at this on your map: Hudson Valley (Bear Mountain, West Point); Berkshires (Great Barrington, Stockbridge) Vermont Highway 100 to Stowe; Burlington, VT; White Mountains (Franconia Notch, Crawford Notch, Pinkham Notch) US 2 to Camden, ME, down the coast to Portland, Portland to Boston. Cape Ann or Cape Cod. Home.
Ackislander is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2017, 03:20 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 34
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can vouch for Cape Ann, I live in the area - check out Marblehead, think about staying at the Beauport in Gloucester and having dinner at the Market in Annisquam - really there are few prettier places on earth. Camden ME is incredible and worth of 2 nights at least - try Long Grain if you like Thai, it's spectacular. Hike (or drive) Mt Battie and take a Schooner trip, dress warm, May will be chilly. Just a couple thoughts. Not sure if you could fit in a trip to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. If you could, I'd do that over the Cape anytime.
tiesl is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2017, 04:32 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 42
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
dfrostnh,

We really like to explore interesting and history towns and areas. I am thinking we might head north towards Portland Maine and work our way back to fly out of Newark, having a total of 12 (+ one day flying into Boston and one day flying out of Newark). Thanks

John S.
johnsheils is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2017, 01:26 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,616
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I always recommend a boat trip out of Portsmouth NH. We like both the harbor and inland rivers cruise. There is now a trip on a historic gundalow but we haven't been on that one. You would probably also enjoy exploring Strawbery Banke Historic Area. From that end of Portsmouth you can take a leisurely drive out Rt 1B thru New Castle. At one point crossing a causeway you will be able to see the fabulously restored Hotel Wentworth (treaty signed there) and in the opposite direction, the crumbling Portsmouth Navy Prison. The drive along 1A thru Rye takes you past beautiful mansions. Our recent boat rides have been thru an educational program and on the UNH research vessel. The inland rivers trip that goes into Great Bay takes you into an extremely important estuary. I don't recall how much ecology the commercial boat trip covers so you might want to read up on it.

If you can stand another boat ride, the mailboat cruise of Casco Bay in Portland is leisurely. If you take the first trip in the morning, you will be among people going to work on one of the islands. South of Portland is a beautiful Fort Williams Park where you can also see the lighthouse. Check to see if Bite Into ME food truck is parked there selling great lobster rolls. We carry bag chairs so we can sit anyplace. The view looking out to Casco Bay is wonderful. Last year we finally discovered the park on the north side of Portland, Eastern Promenade. Lots of picnickers and water access. It's another good place with a view looking out on Casco Bay. You can watch the ferries. I'm surprised by paddle boarders so close to all those boats.

I agree with recommendation to drive up Mt Battie which has I think the best view in Maine. It overlooks Camden Harbor. Funny that one year early in the season we thought we wouldn't see many people but a Model T club was also going up the auto drive.

But on the way to Camden, we like Rockland. You can visit the Farnsworth art museum and also the Owls Head Transportation Museum. It's an easy hike out to Owl's Head Light. Check to see if there are any weekend events at the transportation museum. We've seen a restored Lombard log hauler and also antique airplanes flying around.

You can cut across heading west to NH. From Portland it's only about an hour to the Conway area. It would be worth it for the view looking up North Conway's main street to see the mountain. I expect there will probably still be skiing at Tuckerman's Ravine. If you then go south on Rt 16 and then west to Tamworth and Center Sandwich there is interesting scenery because of the mountains. There is not much documentation but sled dogs were trained in this area for polar expeditions. Read up on Wonalancet Kennels and the Chinook breed. Center Sandwich is a beautiful small town. We have only walked around the Remick Farm Museum in Tamworth and not attended an events. There is a very nice local museum in Center Sandwich but check to see when it might be open. Very interesting handmade chairs still being made in town. You wonder how a town got settled in this area so early on.

You can keep heading west to connect with I93. Head south to visit Canterbury Shaker Village but the website is confusing as to when they are open. You might be too early but there is also reference to an early May special events. Canterbury is a beautiful small town.

Warner NH has some small museums: NH Telephone Museum, Mt Kearsarge Indian Museum, Little Nature Museum. It is west of Concord/Canterbury and convenient to I89. When we head south we prefer to connect with I91 in Brattleboro VT to go thru western MA to CT and skirt NYC to NJ.

You might explore Yankee Magazine's website about places to visit. I've listed my favorites but skipped some wonderful places in MA. I enjoyed visiting the Alcott House and also Fruitlands on fall weekend. This is the Concord MA/Lexington area. A few years ago we did a bus trip to Lowell Mills in MA which has several buildings open to the public about the industrial history of the area. It's actually a national park now. You could zigzag out of Boston to visit Lowell and then take I495 to the seacoast.

There's a lot you can see and 12 days is not a long time.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2017, 09:20 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 42
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
dfrostnh,

Thanks for all the great ideas. Much appreciated.

JohnS.
johnsheils is offline  
Old Dec 30th, 2017, 05:27 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 18,945
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you do head back toward NY/NJ on I-91, historic Deerfield in western MA is a very easy stop. IMO it is worth a short detour off the highway to drive down the main street even if you don't go into any of the museum houses.

The Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe houses in Hartford are also just off to the I-91 route.

If you do head north from Boston toward NH and Maine you could also consider visiting Newburyport MA.

When you are in Boston be sure to plan for some time in Cambridge, too.

12 days is a good trip but there is so much to see you will just have to pick and choose. I have lived in New England most of my life and my husband and I (both history fans like you) still have quite a list of places to visit for the first time or re-visit after 30 or 40 years. In 2017 we spent time in the Slate valley of western VT/eastern NY, touring Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth, NH, exploring new-to-us parts of Cape Cod and visiting New Bedford/Fair Haven MA historic sites.
Vttraveler is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2018, 12:46 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 42
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all the input regarding our planned New England two week road trip this May. As it stands my plans are to work our way up the coast from Boston, visiting Gloucester, Portsmouth, Bath (Brunswick area), and Camden in the first week. I am planning to travel back down toward New York as we are flying back from Newark (one week later). Tentatively I am thinking of heading towards Littleton NH from the Camden area, but the travel time is about 4 hours. It doesn't seem to me that there are any town/cities worth stopping to cut the day's trip. Am I right? Any suggestions on how I might arrange the second weeks plans, given I do want to end up in New York? Thanks, JohnS.
johnsheils is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2018, 01:51 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,616
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Google maps has three suggested routes. I do not care for the northernmost route thru Berlin but you might take a second look because this old mill town has been trying to re-invent itself and has a historic area dedicated to old logging days. this is a good example of a half dead town with an interesting past but you would have to look into it. We've attended a presentation about the history of the old mills by someone I think was planning to write a book. Logging camps and getting logs to mills to make paper is fascinating history (I earlier referred to a Lombard Log Hauler which was a trackless steam engine used to haul logs out of the woods).

If you take the route thru Conway and Bartlett, it should be a nice drive.
But if you take the southern route then you go thru Tamworth and Sandwich that I mentioned in an earlier post plus I93 north to Littleton is very scenic, right thru the White Mountains. Meredith is a beautiful tourist town on Lake Winnipesaukee with good restaurants and lodging but is pretty close to Littleton. You could combine the route and head for North Conway for lunch and scenery. It's very popular tourist town. But then head south on Rt 16 to do the Tamworth to I93 suggested route. Sandwich is also near Squam Lake (On Golden Pond fame) where you could take a nature cruise. It's too early in the season for the loon cruise but there is "Discover Squam Lake" and Bald Eagle Adventure cruises that start in mid-May. We've been wanting to do this again since it has been too long since we did the Loon cruise. Tamworth has a new distillery that looks interesting. Again, this is an area where interesting details are easily overlooked by the average tourist. We've been on some tours of the area thru an educational program and also lucked into an old barns tour 2 years ago. Meredith's Hermit Winery also has an interesting tasting if you like wine but you might also like to do the tasting just to hear the story behind the winery.

There are interesting places tucked here and there. You just have to find them. NH Mushroom Company in Tamworth. Sandwich Dairy.

From Littleton you could head to Burlington VT and the fantastic Shelburne Museum. Then south to Middlebury which takes you thru the beautiful Champlain Valley. But then you would miss some interesting little towns in the middle of VT. I'm a big fan of King Arthur Flour in Norwich VT which is on the NH border. Most people recommend Woodstock VT (I think it's a tourist trap) but Simon Pierce is a wonderful restaurant in Quechee that also does glass blowing.

I'll leave western MA and the Hudson River Valley for someone else to suggest. We rarely get to western MA and CT except to travel thru but it's on this summer's trip list.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2018, 08:32 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,056
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you take Rt 91 south from Vermont you might consider stopping in Brattleboro - cute town with good food options and some quirky shops.
Then a bit south of that if Historic Deerfield. The 'street' (the main street) where the museum houses are is scenic (used as film location). Historic Deerfield Exit 25
Half hour south of that is Northampton, home to Smith College and lots of eateries and shops Exit 20
Keep going south on I-91 through Connecticut but take the Merritt/Wilbur Cross Parkway to cut through Connecticut to NY. Much more pleasant than going all the way on I-9 to I-95.
isabel is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
ogmartabus
Road Trips
11
Apr 15th, 2018 05:33 PM
doublelong
United States
18
May 19th, 2017 12:31 PM
chillout
United States
11
Feb 13th, 2015 01:13 PM
mebanana
United States
5
Sep 9th, 2014 03:26 PM
maureenl
Road Trips
10
Apr 28th, 2014 01:58 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information