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Roger Vineall Feb 26th, 1998 12:19 PM

Bed & Breakfast: New England
We want to explore the New England area by car around end Sept/begin Oct. Are there bed and breakfast establishments in the area? Should we book in advance or is it easy to find accommodation in the area you end up in? We'd rather not be bound by reservations, so we'd appreciate advice on this. Also any recommended places to visit?

nlockhart Feb 26th, 1998 03:17 PM

B&B's abound in New England. But you will be visiting during the time of beautiful foliage (leaf peeking) so it may be best to book ahead. I recommend The Shire Inn in Chelsea, VT. You might book a few places and try winging it at other times. If Donna offers her expertise you will be well guided. However you travel, you can't find a more beautiful place than New England in autumn.

Donna Feb 26th, 1998 04:51 PM

Would strongly advise advance reservations during that time, which is the most heavily touristed time of year. Some years are more heavily booked than others, and you may have no problem finding a place to sleep, but it's better to enjoy the gorgeous scenery during the daylight hours and not waste a lot of time in search of accomodations after the sun goes down. B&B's are small and are heavily dependent on the "prime" tourist season. Most require partial payment in advance to reserve the room and have VERY strict cancellation policies. On the other hand, most towns have a central visitor's booth with an up-to-date listing of vacancies. We've heard all sorts of amusing stories. Sometimes you can book a last minute room at bargain prices - other times, the quoted rate is double that printed in the brochure at the front desk. And, we've often witnessed folks at the front desk pleading for "anything, anywhere" in spite of all the "NO VACANCY" signs along the road. If you are determined to be footloose and fancy free, you may want to consider at least booking rooms here and there with liberal cancellation policies - just in case. As mentioned above, there are lots and lots of wonderful places to stay including posh resorts, hotels and motels, lovely full service inns, and small intimate B&B's. The Chambers of Commerce in all the larger towns will send you comprehensive listings of accomodations in the area, which will be useful to have along whether you book ahead or not. We love all the major routes through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Green Mountains of Vermont, and the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. You may want to get yourself of copy of "New England's Best-Loved Driving Tours". All are spectacular! The time and distance, along with must-see's along the way, are given for each.

Emily Kitay Feb 26th, 1998 04:59 PM

I recommend purchasing or browsing through the "explorers guide to" books. They are accurate & info rich on small inns, bbs etc.-each book is by state.(Borders Barnes & N)
Make sure you go to the Lincoln/woodstock area in NH
You will certainly need adv. reservations if it is mid-late Oct (leaf season) & esp. if weekend travel.
A bb tip: call nicest bb & if too pricey ask for a recommendation. Most bbs refer bus. to their less well known colleagues. PS See Sturbridge, Mystic.

Sandra Engley Feb 26th, 1998 05:46 PM

Reservations are a must. To get a better idea of wht is availabl vist for hundreds of links to New Hampshires white mountains area. This is a major winter resort are with several ski mountains to select from, so the accomodations are quite varied, you should be able to find something that appeals to you in the North Conway area.

Donna Feb 26th, 1998 08:19 PM

The series "An Explorer's Guide to Vermont" (Maine, New Hampshire, etc.) are fabulous! Except that there are no photographs and the maps could be much better, they are the most comprehensive overall resource I've seen. I read these with a highlighter in one hand and a pad of tiny post-its in the other. Included are phone numbers to call for literature and information. There are certainly plenty of websites which include accomodations in the area. We travel all over New England every fall (and I insist on picking up bags full of literature for "future reference". Be advised that only a small number are on the web, and not necessarily the best selection. You could confine your research and planning to what's on the web, but I'd still recommend contacting the tourist offices and Chambers of Commerce for detailed literature. I've found that many of the links haven't been updated for a while and the rates have gone way up. Accomodations which receive a lot of "exposure" (in tour guides, on the web) acquire a lot of business in that manner. Oftentimes (although not always), the management/owners become a bit overconfident whereupon the rates rise and the service and maintenance slip. Also, be advised that while the North Conway area is spectacular, it's best not to stay in North Conway. Because of the "outlets", the traffic is horrendous and it can take a long, long time to drive through town. Nearby Jackson, Glen, Bartlett and so forth do not have the traffic problem.

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