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Driving in New England this fall

Old May 9th, 2003, 09:44 PM
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Driving in New England this fall

Hello every one.
My wife and I are planning visiting New England this comming fall (during the first two weeks of October). Starting in Boston and heading north to visiti ME, VT and NH. I would like to have your opinion on the route - should we go to ME first, then to the White Mountains, then to the Green Mountains and then head south, or start in NH, then VT ane then the cost? We are very much into the Fall Folliage, nature and short hikes.
Another question has to do with the accomodation - how do you solve this issue (the prices are so high)?
Thanks for your help. Erez.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 02:47 AM
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Hiking opportunities abound in NH's White Mountains. Get a guide to the hiking trails. The foliage starts changing color first in the north so peak color will probably be the first of October. Make reservations soon keeping in mind that you can probably find decent and less expensive accomodations in smaller towns. For example, Providence RI hotels are expensive but you can stay in Warwick a lot cheaper. Due to traffic and congestion, staying in Boston or Cambridge is probably worth it, however. I would try to visit areas like Stowe VT and North Conway NH mid-week. Leave the Maine coast for last. If you work your way thru NH/VT north to south, Rt 4 from Concord NH is probably the prettiest route over to the Maine coast. You might like exploring Odiorne Point near Portsmouth, have lunch in Portsmouth and then head north to Maine. Take a break from driving with a boat ride on one of NH's lakes, take the ferry across Lake Champlain from Burlington to visit Ausable Chasm in NY, or a harbor cruise in Portsmouth. In Maine I would split the last week between the Acadia area and the Damariscotta area. You can spend days exploring coastal roads. Hike or drive up Mt Battie in Camden, visit Owls Head light and Pemaquid Point.
You can get other ideas for New England travel on Yankee Magazine's website www.newengland.com and you might find less expensive accomodations by doing a yellow page search on motels. The independently owned are usually less expensive but don't advertise much.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 10:47 AM
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I agree with heading for the White Mountains in NH, then the Green Mountains in VT, then the Coast of Maine.

There are many, many more accomodations available than you'll find on the web. Good resources are the AAA guides, "New Hampshire, An Explorer's Guide", "Vermont, An Explorer's Guide", etc. The explorer's guides are chock full of everything imaginable and well worth the investment.

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Old May 11th, 2003, 01:21 PM
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Thanks for the advices and tips. Do you think it makes sense to fly from Boston to Burlington and drive south thru the Green Mountains and then to the White ones?
Regarding the accomodation - can someone recomand a not so expemnsive place to stay near Stow? in the Whitw Mountains?
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Old May 11th, 2003, 02:41 PM
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How about starting somewhere less chaotic than Boston? Hartford is pretty easy. New England is tiny (I live in New Mexico) so nothing is very far from anything. We have been several times for the colors. Check out covered bridges and pick out your Xmas tree at the state run tree farm in Bethleham, VT. They will cut it down and FedEx it to you by mid-Dec. Boothbay Harbor Maine is great.
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Old May 11th, 2003, 03:01 PM
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We did a similar itinerary last fall. We flew into Providence because flights (and especially rental car prices) were much cheaper than through Boston or even Hartford; however if you're coming directly from Israel Boston may be your only choice.

The most reasonable accommodation we found was at the Mount Snow resort in Vermont - until the snow flies this ski resort seemed to have quite a lot of room; there are numerous other places nearby, and it wasn't a bad base at all for touring that part of southern Vermont.

In terms of direction, if you're starting in October, your best bet is probably to start north and head south; there are several websites that will give very detailed foliage maps, most of which will show that, in general, the farther north, the earlier the peak foliage times.

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Old May 11th, 2003, 04:29 PM
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My recommendation would be to drive from Boston to somewhere in the White Mountains (Bretton Woods, Franconia, Jackson would all make good base towns) and spend a few days there, then head for Stowe for a few days, then head for southwestern Vermont for a few days (Manchester, Arlington, etc.), then head for Williamstown, MA (to return to Boston via the Mohawk Trail, the more scenic) or Stockbridge, MA area (to return to Boston via the MA Turnpike).

The best way to enjoy the foliage is by driving all over. You'd defeat that purpose by flying from Boston to Burlington. And, Burlington, though scenic, gets colors last (because it's on the water), so it would be better to drive through the mountains.

You may not get recommendations for inexpensive places to stay on a public forum such as this one. I found my favorites through extensive research and checking out places for future reference in our travels. Again, you should hit the bookstore and peruse the tour guides for recommendations you won't find on the web.
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