East Coast travel October 2017

Old Dec 15th, 2016, 05:50 AM
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East Coast travel October 2017

Looking for a suggested route and must see locations on the east coast in early October/late September. Live in Houston, Texas area and thinking about flying to Maine and renting a car to travel south either to North Carolina or possibly back to Houston. Planning 14 days from start to finish and interested in history as well as must see views.

Thanks - Donna
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Old Dec 15th, 2016, 06:20 AM
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Have you checked into the extra fee for a one way rental? Fourteen days doesn't sound like long enough.

Lots of places on the coast in NC, SC and Georgia. Notably Charleston, Savannah, even St. Augustine in Florida.
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Old Dec 15th, 2016, 06:31 AM
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Too much to cover in too little time except for drive-bys.
Choose a block and explore that--RT to your flight arrival/departure.
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Old Dec 15th, 2016, 07:14 AM
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Fly in, Spend 13 days in New England, fly home.

Fly in to DC or VA/NC and spend 13 days in North and South Carolina or NC/VA/DC - fly home.

You certainly don't have time for the entire east coast - and driving back to Houston doesn't make sense.
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Old Dec 16th, 2016, 06:31 PM
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I agree with the others that you have too little time to see all you wanted to see.
One route that might interest you would be to Hartford CT and rent a car to see Boston and coastal Maine.
Return the car and take Amtrak to Philadelphia. There is plenty of history to see there without renting a car.
Take the train from PHL to Baltimore and visit the Inner Harbor and Fort McHenry.
If you still have time, visit Washington DC and then fly home from Reagan National which has its own Metro stop.
BWI also has an Amtrak stop if you wanted to fly from there.
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Old Dec 16th, 2016, 08:43 PM
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If your focus is fall foliage, recommend flying Southwest to Manchester, NH and back. There's plenty of everything in NH, ME, MA, VT, even CT, to keep you busy for 14 days. Cannot imagine driving as far as North Caroline or possibly back to Houston.

Know that the colors change from North to West/South, and are most abundant in the mountains, as opposed to the Coast at that time.

It's nearly essential to book accommodations far ahead for the best regarding price/quality/location. But there is an abundance of "base points" throughout the area with scenic drives with "views" in every direction easily driven and back every day.
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Old Dec 17th, 2016, 07:21 AM
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Oct. is a nice time of year to visit the East Coast. I like Maine, but it might be a little chilly for you then. And combined with your limited time, you may want to skip it and instead start in Boston.

If I were you, I'd fly into Boston and not rent the car until you leave -- for whatever period you decide to visit. You don't need a car there.

Then I might drive to Newport RI, then possible stops are:
NYC
Philadelphia
Washington DC (and maybe Annapolis)

That gives you about 2-3 days in each place, plus travel time, which about covers your 14 days.

Some general observations about cars/driving:

1. You'll run up against the issue of what to do with the car when you're in places like NYC, Phila and DC. You really don't need a car in any of those places. You probably should think about that and whether renting a car works best for you, or using some other mode of transportation, combined with a vehicle.

2. Driving the East Coast takes some planning, as the major highways run through or near cities that have rush hours and other peak traffic times. So, when driving, you should try to gauge your travel time to avoid those peaks. Of course, rush hour is bad, and so are Friday afternoons and nights.
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Old Dec 20th, 2016, 02:50 AM
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Agree with flying into MHT since both Maine and Boston are an drive from there. First week of October is extremely popular with tourists coming to see fall foliage. I think I would go at least as far north as Camden ME for views (auto road up Mt. Battie. I think you need 2 weeks just for New England. Starting from the Manchester NH airport you could drive east to Portsmouth NH (my favorites):
- Strawbery Banke historic area
- wonderful drive Rt 1B and also along coast/Rye
- your choice of Portsmouth Harbor or inland rivers boat ride

Portland, Maine
- more great restaurants and Casco Bay cruise
- lobster roll from food truck at Fort Williams Park looking out on Casco Bay

Brunswick/Harpswell area - easy hikes
lobster shacks on the water are usually open weekends only in October, closing Columbus Day weekend. Our current favorite is McLoon's. Wonderful view of a small working harbor

Camden, ME: home to historic windjammers

Interstate back to Portland then west to NH's White Mountains with lots of fabulous scenery and tourist attractions. There are small historic places throughout NH. The Fells, John Hay estate is very interesting. Remick Museum. Canterbury Shaker Village just north of Concord requires at least a half day. Excellent tour. I'm not a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright but one of his houses can be toured/Manchester.

VT? One of the most beautiful rural states in our country.

Heading south to Massachusetts:
- Lowell Mills, actually a national park, fascinating period in industrial history
- Boston !!! Food tour of the Italian North End is also a great history tour. You probably need at least 3 days in Boston and don't miss the Kennedy Library.
- west to Sturbridge Village

Rhode Island
- Newport !!!

CT
- Native American Museum next to Foxwoods Casino. You don't have to go near the casino.
- my husband likes the Eric Sloane museum but I haven't been

BUT, one of the problems about visiting historic areas is the narration tends to be general. Sanborn Mills Farm near Concord NH is being restored to provide agricultural education. They usually only have one open house tour in June. The rest of the time their works and volunteers teach classes in blacksmithing, working with draft animals, etc. It has a restored grist mill and saw mill. The farm actually harvests wood and does custom milling. Through an educational program for people over 50, we have attended lectures and field trips focusing on an aspect of history such as the former locks and canals on the Merrimack River (Manchester mills area). Visitors speeding through rarely hear/see these historic details. If you have a specific interest/focus, you might spend more time in an area and less time on the road going from place to place. For example, if you had an interest in organic gardening you could attend the late September 3 day Common Ground Fair in Maine which is packed with demonstrations, lectures and workshops.

Best wishes for travel planning!
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