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Aussiedreamer is coming back to the USA, East Coast

Aussiedreamer is coming back to the USA, East Coast

Old Jun 8th, 2022, 10:02 PM
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Aussiedreamer is coming back to the USA, East Coast

So after 2.5 years of travelling within Australia, its time to head overseas again. No complaints as we've done some fantastic trips here but we're ready to head further afield again. So far we have flights into NYC next May, thanks to Points and will attempt to fly home from Dallas as its a lovely direct flight but this may change. Our 'plan' is to only spend a couple of days in NYC as we've been several time. So a few days to get over the long haul flight and to catch-up with some friends, then head north..........vague I know. We're going to hire a small RV, we've done this many times and really enjoy it. Not sure where we will collect it yet, possibly a train journey to avoid NYC driving.....or not.......dh does love a driving challenge.

We have previously explored a little from Boston up into Maine in the Autumn/Fall, which was just wonderful and may re visit some places as I'm sure it will be very different in Spring. But we may also head more towards Montreal and Quebec, maybe even PEI. So as you can see we have made no firm decisions but have a year to sort it out. We don't necessarily need or enjoy cities but a day or two to explore is good , we enjoy good dining (ie anything from a great cafe restaurant or local market) and wine, amazing scenery, pretty towns and us Aussies do love to outlet shop in the States. We will have a full 3+ weeks for the driving component as we will be away for about 5 weeks all up.

I'd love your thoughts and to hear about your favorite routes/towns etc.

It does feel great to be 'trip planning' again.
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Old Jun 9th, 2022, 12:18 AM
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Going up the Hudson Valley there are things to see. You need reservations for the Rockefeller estate. Have breakfast at the Culinary Institute of America. The tour is also interesting. There's the Vanderbilt mansion and the FDR estate. Farther north there is Olana.



Here's the album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjsqN921
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Old Jun 9th, 2022, 01:25 AM
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We used to pull a camper and one summer had a month to head north from NH up the coast of ME thru New Brunswick to PEI and then around Nova Scotia. PEI is very beautiful but the route thru ME crossing at calais was very desolate thru blueberry barrens. The bad thing about an rv is leaving a camp site and returning to hook everything back up again. You can do without hookups depending on the size of your tanks. I used to use campground showers instead of our tiny camper shower. Check the price of campgrounds and rv gas compared to small car and air b&bs.

Mid coast Maine is our favorite vacation area to search out lobster shacks.
May 15 is about the time apple orchards are in bloom in the Concord NH area but it's also,black fly season.
Outdoor farmers markets start in mid May. My favorite is Norwich VT on Saturdays. If you bake, King Arthur Flour has a wonderful shop and you can also sign up for a class on baking something. It sounds like you'll be heading to Kittery ME outlets so if you do that get bread at When Pigs Fly and if staying in the area you can sign up for the Stonewall Kitchen cooking school but this is a demo rather than hands on like King Arthur flour. You can see the different menus on the stonewall Kitchen website.

Sounds like you should make a trip north thru NH or VT, head to Burlington and then up to Montreal. You could head south thru NY. We enjoyed staying at the Norwich Inn plus esting at the restaurant across the street. Simon Pierce in Quechee is a short drive as is Woodstock VT. Across the river there is Hanover NH, home to Dartmouth College. I93 north thru NH is scenic once you get north of Manchester and it ends up going past Lake Winnipesaukee and then thru the White Mountains. One of the prettiest small towns is Center Sandwich and then you could continue east thru Tamworth which has a beautiful distillery where you can stop for a tasting then comtinue east then north on Rt 16 to the North Conway outlets.

Or up I 93 to I89 to get to VT. I89 is also scenic. norwich is a slight detour and the. You can continue to Burlington, a small beautiful city on Lake Champlain with lots of restaurant options.
This all means going thru CT and western MA after leaving NYC.

Should you keep with the rv plan I would choose some nice campgrounds. Highly recommend Chewonky in Wiscasset ME and Searsport Shores. Small and pretty. In the Burlington VT area there was a nice small campground north of the city. But that was years ago. Imthink it was in Fairfax. The drive north and then south on the Hero Islands was nice and rural and we were back near Burlington for a meal.
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Old Jun 9th, 2022, 06:06 PM
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wow, thank you both so much for all that info.........really really helpful. I have the map out and the planning will begin. We will also do the cost of car/rv....but we do love camping.
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Old Jun 10th, 2022, 03:55 AM
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Every time I've compared cost of car rental/hotel vs camper the was more expensive. Plus the car/hotel gives you more freedom - you can spend a day somewhere and arrive to the hotel after dark and just walk into your room as opposed to getting the camper all set up and all. Hotels are easier to find in the dark than camp sites. I can see camping/RV if your goal is to be in remote/wilderness areas and spend the day in nature. But if your goal is to sight see it just doesn't make sense to me. Oh also, spring in the northeast is black fly season. They are worse in rural areas and at dusk/dawn. I live in a small town in Massachusetts and the flies are not a problem mid day but as soon as the sun goes down I want to be inside. They also get worse if I just walk up my hill into the woods.

Depending on how much driving you want to do each day I would probably skip PEI but would definitely try to get to Quebec City (and Montreal). I was just in mid coast Maine for a mini trip and it was great. Here's my trip report on that - Mid Coast Maine in May

For much of northern New England, May is still pretty early. There are some great places in southern New England that are good at that time of year. The "North Shore" of Boston - Gloucester, Rockport, Salem, Newburyport, etc. has lots to see. Newport (and Providence) RI is another area to look into. And the Cape and islands are good at at that time of year - before the 'tourist season' gets into full swing.



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Old Jun 10th, 2022, 08:07 AM
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Places to consider in the Hudson Valley are Storm King (an outdoor sculpture park), the Rockefeller compound (interior and exterior gardens and sculpture), craft fairs depending on your dates (Rhinebeck, New Paltz, Lyndhurst, and others), Saratoga Springs (performance seasons, horse racing, medicinal water springs, dining), various historic building tours, wineries, and so forth.

I agree that an RV will be less desirable than car rental and hotels/B&B's.
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Old Jun 10th, 2022, 08:39 AM
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If you do decide to visit Saratoga Springs be sure to come back here and post. I'm happy to give you recommendations on things to do, places to stay, drink, or eat to fit your own preferences...
May is an excellent time to visit the small city of Saratoga Springs.... The bigger summer rush that comes with horse racing (track season) starts in July and runs through 1st weekend in Sept. (and higher hotel prices, restaurants that fill up, etc.


re mosquitos & black flies in the woods....

This year, early May was an excellent time for hiking & even camping. Temps were cooler and not so much rain, so it wasn't quite mud season.
Late May, now into early June has been not so good. Plenty of rain means muddy trails, and lot and lot of bugs.....It's hard to be outside in the woods, or even suburban backyards in the evenings.

other years, early May can be buggy too...

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Old Jun 11th, 2022, 12:35 AM
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The food tour we took of Saratoga Springs when the farmers market was open was very good. This was a September trip however. We even tasted some spring water.
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Old Jun 11th, 2022, 08:22 AM
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I don't know the logistics of renting a RV in the US and taking it into Canada. I'm guessing that it must be returned in the US probably at the place where you rented it.
For the later part of your trip, I would suggest riding the Amtrak Crescent from Washington DC via Atlanta to New Orleans. Spend a day or two in New Orleans and then get on the Amtrak Sunset Limited to San Antonio. There is a 7 hour layover in San Antonio before the Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited leaves for Dallas.
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Old Jun 12th, 2022, 03:37 PM
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Thanks again all for the great advice, we have had a good look at the comparison and we think we'll stick with the RV plan. Having said that, it will be a small Rv......more of a camper van, so ease of driving in town/cities and easy set ups. The other large PRO for us, is the ability to have meals on hand, we tend to have a light breakfast then maybe lunch out and a light dinner at 'home'. Eating out for 3 meals a day really adds up over a month or so. Especially when I'm reading about all the farmers markets etc, thats something we really enjoy, sourcing great local food.

I've also re checked, it will be mostly June as we depart Australia May23.

Loving the suggestion of a loop drive through Maine up to Nova Scotia, Pei and back down through Montreal.

We won't head south, our last trip before the Pandemic was to NOL, Memphis san Antonio etc. which was fabulous.
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Old Jun 14th, 2022, 01:10 AM
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That was our dining style when we camped and also when we do air b&bs. Four Season Farm is near Ellsworth. We haven't visited but the owners have written several books on season extending techniques that are helping make farming more profitable. Make sure to check the local newspapers for public suppers. Strawberry season is just starting in central NH. Great to buy fresh strawberries and local yogurt.
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Old Jul 4th, 2022, 05:28 PM
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quick update

So thanks to Qantas points we are now coming home via San Francisco (not Dallas), see how flexible we aussies are haha. We will plan on 2-3 nights in SF we have been before but not for a long time. A few restaurants here we want to try and 1 we want to return to.

Re the drive north of NYC we are leaning heavily towards driving up the coastal route to PEI (still undecided on this yet, may play it by ear) then to Quebec and back down .
Maybe depending on one way rental we could fly from Montreal to SF or from somewhere just inside the US border?
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Old Jul 4th, 2022, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by aussiedreamer View Post
So thanks to Qantas points we are now coming home via San Francisco (not Dallas), see how flexible we aussies are haha. We will plan on 2-3 nights in SF we have been before but not for a long time. A few restaurants here we want to try and 1 we want to return to.

Re the drive north of NYC we are leaning heavily towards driving up the coastal route to PEI (still undecided on this yet, may play it by ear) then to Quebec and back down .
Maybe depending on one way rental we could fly from Montreal to SF or from somewhere just inside the US border?
If you are ending your northeast travels in Quebec then it would be simplest to fly out of Montreal. The question would be if you have a rental car you picked up in the US, is that possible, and at what price to return it in Montreal.

Your options just over the border from Montreal are Albany, NY (3 1/2 hrs drive time + any delay at US border crossing). The delay last week was ~1hr on a holiday Friday. Or Burlington VT, about 1.75-2hrs drive from Montreal. From either you'd connect somewhere like Chicago. JFK, Newark, Washington DC, or Philadelphia.

Last edited by J62; Jul 4th, 2022 at 05:54 PM.
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