BEST of the East Coast...?

Old Mar 26th, 2003, 05:47 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BEST of the East Coast...?


My girlfriend and I have never been to the East Coast. We are planning a roadtrip for the first 2 weeks in April.

Our trip will begin in Boston and end in NYC. In this span, we would like to see (some of) MA, NH, ME, RI, CT and NY but not sure what is worth seeing (particularly, this time of year). We have read mixed reviews about CT?

Would appreciate any advice regarding: cities/neighborhoods, points of interest, lodging, great photo opps, good food/shopping...

Thank you for reading.
jennifer13 is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2003, 07:44 PM
  #2  
gc
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 557
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow...tall order, and you can't do it without some backtracking. Also, the farther north you go, the more mud you'll encounter...
But here's a first pass.
Start in Boston, go south to RI....see Providence and go south for a day or so in Newport.
Go north to Boston then to Portsmouth NH, then up to Kennebunkport to see some of the beautiful southern Maine coast, and the home of George Bush.
Head west to North Conway, NH, north on 302 past Mt. Washington and back down through Franconia notch and the Old man of the Mountain....or come across the Kancamagus and go north on 93 through Franconia notch and up 93 to Littleton and into Vermont. Cross through Montpielier to Burlington VT and Lake Champlain. Go south through western MA and the Berkshires, through Hartford and take the Parkways to NYC. Plan at least 3 days in NYC.

There's a start.
gc is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2003, 05:14 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,187
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'll go with the previous poster's starting lineup. Providence has great restaurants from zany Fire and Ice to sophisticated and expensive. Fire and Ice is located on the street level of the new downtown mall. Great indoor mall. The Westin hotel has a skywalk over to the mall. Walk up to Federal Hill for Italian restaurants. Visit the college section of town. Newport mansions are probably a must see and I imagine that somebody will be sailing this early in the year. Providence hotels are expensive, stay in Warwick if you want something cheaper. Visit towns like Tiverton. Boston must sees are Quincy Market/Fanueil Hall, take a duck tour if they have started, see the laser show at the Museum of Science, see the Blue Man Group. discounted tickets for some shows are available at a kiosk at Quincy Market and also Copley Mall. Visit Cambridge. Drive up to Portsmouth. Walk around downtown and Strawbery Banke area. Have lunch. Spend afternoon shopping outlet malls in Kittery, stay in Portland ME overnight. Enjoy Portland. Great restaurants. Visit the Public Market, enjoy harbor area. Visit Kennebunks, etc. Drive over to the North Conway area of NH. Enjoy mountain views but skip shopping. Head for Meredith NH, enjoy views of lake and shops. There will still be some skiing but maybe only at Tuckerman's Ravine. Consider overnighting in Concord. If you like history you can visit the Museum of NH History in downtown. Concord has a great little downtown. If you stay at the Holiday Inn you can walk to everything. Main street stores are an interesting blend of retail including the League of NH Craftsmen. Walk at least as far as Bread and Chocolate for incredible pastries. Our favorite restaurant is the Siam Orchid for Thai food but you will have others to choose from on Main St. and around the corner. Head to Vt via Rt 89 or take the backroad Rt 103 thru quaint towns. You can get on Rt 89 after you go thru Warner. Have lunch in Montpelier at the restaurant run by the culinary institute (Main St Grill). Head up to Stowe, stopping in Waterbury to shop, Ben & Jerry's Tour, wine tasting at Cold Hollow, etc. After Stowe head over to Burlington. Enjoy shopping Church St which is closed to pedestrians. Burlington is a college town on the shores of Lake Champlain. Now head south stopping in Middlebury etc. If you love candles, you can squeeze in a trip to Yankee Candle in Massachusetts as you head to NYC. There will still be snow in northern NH but nothing to cause a problem and the only mud to worry about might be some unpaved parking lots.
Have fun!
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2003, 05:21 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Please get a guidebook on this very large area to help you plan! As this is a Fodor's site, make it a Fodors book. Taking random advice until you have more background may not help you much (i.e, what are "mixed reviews" of CT? Some of the most beautiful coastline and expensive real estate in the world is in CT).

Also, be advised that the first two weeks of April could be cold and rainy (or even snowy) especially in MA, NH and parts of Mass. Average temp will be about 45 degress F. It won't be spring weather in those areas.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2003, 06:14 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,491
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Apparently the original was too long to post so, here's part 1:

I agree that it would help immensely if you had a little more knowledge of the area -- also if we had an idea of what would appeal to you: quaint villages or sampling of eastern cities? coastal terrain or resort areas? museums? shopping? In other words, do you want a taste of the "real" New England, or do you want the tourists' $25 special?

I might help out by a quick overview of the regions you're thinking about, north to south:

Maine: coast is beautiful, rough and rocky; inland is rural, flatter with more trees and a few lakes, lots of little towns. North of Portland gets more rural to the point of wilderness way up north but I'm sure you'll never have the time to get that far -- it's a BIG state. In the area just north of New Hampshire, however, it's not so rocky, not so picturesque. So if you are planning to "do" Maine, it'll mainly be Kittery discount stores, which I don't consider unusual or a big draw. If it were me, I'd go to Freeport (shopping bigtime, including LLBean) then Boothbay Harbor -- about 2-3 hrs. north of Boston. My favorite destination is Pemaquid Light, way out on Pemaquid Point, but that's much more than a day trip from Boston.

New Hampshire: little bitty coast with flat beaches too cold in April to be worth visiting. Inland, lots of pretty towns and a few grubbier mill towns -- gets very pretty in the center and north around Lake Winnepesaukee, in the Lakes Region, with views of the mountains (don't think Rockies, though, think very very high rocky hills). Someone else will have to nominate their favorite town/towns in NH.

Mass: Boston/Cambridge = big historic academic cultural mecca. Minimum 3 days for this -- lots of info on this forum for them. North of Boston = "the North Shore" with quaint Marblehead and Rockport, more "real" Gloucester as fishing town -- Cape Ann (which has Rockport) is an interesting drive around although not much shakin' in April. My favorite: drive to end of Marblehead Neck where there's a little light tower, nice view, have lunch in Marblehead or up in Rockport.
soccr is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2003, 06:15 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,491
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Part 2: Less to do on South Shore, except for Plimouth Plantation (hr. south of Boston) or in suburbs except for junket out to west to see Walden Pond, Lexington/Concord, de Cordova Museum, Longfellow's Wayside Inn and Grist Mill -- which are worth the trip but have a detailed map and count on getting lost.

Then there's The Cape -- a completely different world. The further out on the Cape you go, the more interesting it gets with smallish towns and gorgeous high-dunes beach areas (not for swimming in April) and lighthouses. It's further than you think, though, so again, not really a day trip from Boston. I nominate Highland or Nauset Lights for best view; Provincetown is an "artsy" active place with a certain amount of funk but decent restaurants. Truro is my favorite little town, Orleans has good restaurants (and Nauset Beach), Chatham is really pretty.

RI: There's Providence -- a revived city with great atmosphere and restaurants -- and then there's Newport, with amazing mansions and lovely overlooks, and the rest of RI.

CT: since the coast is mostly on Long Island Sound, it's protected and so it's the coastal towns more than the shore per se that are interesting. If it were me, I'd check out Mystic Seaport and then poke around the older towns like Old Saybrook, etc. Meander along one of the coastal roads. Inland it's a lovely state with rolling hills and pretty rivers but hard to choose any touristic destinations.

If you are heading directly from Boston to New York City through Connecticut and skipping the Cape and R.I., your route will almost certainly take you by Sturbridge Village, a restored Colonial village with some nice shops and restaurants nearby.

You do not have much time, however, and there's absolutely no way you can do all of this AND New York City. You're going to have to make some choices. A final comment: North of Mass., except for the north-south interstates, the roads wander and curve, so you can go north 90 miles quite quickly but east-west 90 miles could take you twice as long.
soccr is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2003, 02:12 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow!

Many thanks to all of you for your suggestions and recommendations -- I can't wait to hit the road!

Save travels...
jennifer13 is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2003, 05:33 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Get a copy of New England's Best Loved Driving Tours to determine places you find most appealing. That's a lot of territory to cover in only two weeks.

Weather the first two weeks of April is quite variable, and the flowers will not be in bloom yet nor will the trees have leaves.
tazlor is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2003, 12:33 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jennifer - Have a great time and please post back on your favorites!

When do people think the ideal time is to go? Summer? Fall? Also, what do people think would be the minimum amount of time to do? I want to do this in the next 2 years. Sounds like great fun.
nightowl is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2003, 12:37 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 487
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can't believe that it's the 1st trip to the east coast and you don't want to see the cherry blossoms in bloom in Washington DC. DC is a fabulous place to visit, as is its neighboring Virginia. Is the South a future trip, perhaps?
dolciani is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
pat
United States
4
Jul 29th, 2009 04:07 PM
Hays_Traveler
United States
18
Oct 7th, 2007 01:55 PM
Brondel
United States
12
Feb 16th, 2007 03:21 AM
biscuithead
United States
29
Feb 11th, 2006 11:32 AM
lery
United States
17
Apr 13th, 2004 07:35 PM

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 On
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


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:34 AM.