Fall New England trip

Old Mar 9th, 2018, 06:33 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 192
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fall New England trip

My wife and I are flying into New York City on September 28. We got tickets to the Harry Potter Broadway play on Sunday. We would like to leave NYC on Monday, rent a car and drive around New England coming home on October 6.

We like historical places, but we are not planning on going into any big cities.

Thinking of circling back to NYC or flying back from Portland Maine (or other city)

I think I would like to find a place to stay maybe in Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine and do day trips instead of packing up and going to another place each day.



I would appreciate suggestions on what area to stay in, and for things to do and see.

We are hoping the leaves will be in full color.
Bindery is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2018, 08:25 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,876
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
Don't rent a car in NYC! The Amtrak Vermonter leaves Penn Station at 11:33 AM every day. The train arrives in Springfield MA about 3PM. In Springfield you have several museums, the Springfield Armory Historic site and the Naismith Basketball museum. Spend 24 hours in Springfield and then travel north again (3PM) on the Vermonter to Montpelier/Berlin (about 8PM). Spend the night in the Montpelier or Barre area before renting a car for your travels in Vermont and New Hampshire. You can make a good full day loop on US 2, New Hampshire Rt. 16 south of Gorham to Rt. 112 (Kancamagus Highway) to Woodsville where you get on US 302 back to Montpelier.
You can also make another loop into northern Vermont and maybe see Lake Champlain and some of eastern New York.
Return the car and return south on the Vermonter to New Haven Connecticut where you can get a train either to Boston or New York Penn. Boston is a very historic city to see before your return flight from Logan.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2018, 04:33 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 26,739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I tend to recommend the same things over and over. Do a Fodor's search on VT, NH, and Maine to get recent replies to other posters' requests. Your timing is great for good color. I also like tomfuller's suggestion for taking a train. You might consider train plus bus. A neighbor's favorite way to get to NYC from NH is to take a bus to Boston and then a train to NYC. From Boston there is great bus service to VT, NH and ME. I'm most familiar with Boston to Concord NH. Concord is a small city which actually might be a good spot for day trips since it's an hour from the coast (think Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth NH and my recommended boat trips), an hour north of NH's White Mountains, and maybe 1 1/2 hours to VT. VT is beautiful and Shelburne Museum near Burlington would probably be my first choice of historic place to visit but due to distance from Concord, you might considering splitting your time between 2 places.

Historic areas near Concord:
Canterbury Shaker Village
NH Historical Society
Manchester NH: Millyard Museum (haven't been there yet but love the Millyard area and taking gcs to SEE Science Center), Currier Museum of Art
Warner NH: Telephone Museum, Kearsarge Indian Museum and a wonderful independent bookstore with a small gallery BookEnds of Warner you should check out to see what events might be happening
On the way to VT: St Gauden's, The Fells/Hay Estate, Dartmouth College
north: Remick Doctor Museum (have only been birdwatching there), pontoon nature cruises on Squam Lake (Squam Lakes Science Center), also have not been to the WW2 Museum in Wolfboro, lots of outdoor places to visit in the White Mountains

If you choose NH, there's a free weekly newspaper Hippo Press, that has a good listing of things to see and do (also see their website). You would really luck out if there was a good lecture such as ones given in Warner by the historical society. Some of this historical activities/lectures we've attended have been thru the OLLI educational program for people over 50 which allows guests one free class. There is a beautiful educational farm in Loudon NH but they only do one open house a year (Sanborn Mills Farm). They want at least 4 people for a private tour. There's a restored grist mill and saw mill which are in use since this is a working farm. Sorry to tell you about something you probably won't be able to visit but this is the kind of historical place that's a hidden gem. There are more around which you might see advertised during the week of your visit in Hippo Press.
dfrostnh is online now  
Old Mar 13th, 2018, 05:18 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,927
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry but I disagree with the advice to spend 24 hours in Springfield. I live very close and while it's not a bad city I certainly would not spend any time there on a trip of less than a week to see New England. Terrible idea.

If you aren't used to driving in cities and don't want to drive out of New York (that's understandable) then take a train to New Haven and rent a car there. You can take Amtrak or Metro North. Methro North is a commuter train so not as comfortable as Amtrak but the trains are much more frequent (and cheaper) and it's only about 2 hour ride. There are car rentals near Hew Haven's Union station where both Metro North and Amtrak go.

Then it's an easy drive on I-91 north to Vermont (yes, go right by Springfield, do not stop). If you are looking for somewhere for lunch try Northampton (less than half hour north of Springfield). Northampton is a college town (Smith College) with nice downtown with some interesting shops and lots of eating choices. Continuing north is Historic Deerfield (another half hour from Northampton), a "street" with historic houses. The street has been used as a film location, very scenic, especially the first week in October. Historic Deerfield houses can be toured ( Historic Deerfield). Then it's another half hour to the Vermont border. Depending on how early a start you got you might want to spend the first night no further than Brattleboro.

NH, VT and Maine is way too big an area to see much of the region from one base. First week in October is also peak foliage so you'll need to book things ahead, even chain motels will likely be booked (weeks ahead). So you either need to decide to do a loop - with stopping different places each night - but would allow you to see the highlights of New England. Or pick one place and just be satisfied seeing one state (or two if you pick an area on a border). You could for example pick Peterborough NH area and see bits of Vt and NH. Or go to the coast and stay somewhere like Portsmouth NH which would allow you to do day trips into southern Maine and the north shore of Massachusetts as well as southern NH.

I would not spend a whole day driving back to NY. You can get flights from Boston to pretty much every where. Other airports to consider would be Manchester NH or Hartford/Springfield (BDL).

Last edited by isabel; Mar 13th, 2018 at 05:19 PM. Reason: spelling
isabel is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2018, 05:13 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 192
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have found I need to book things now for the fall season.

I have changed my plans a little.

We plan to fly into JFK on September 29 and take a cab into the city.

Not sure where we will stay in NYC, I like to stay in Manhattan. My wife has Hilton Honors points, probably will use those.

We will go to the Harry Potter play on Sunday.

I plan to rent a car in from LaGuardia since Hertz charges a large drop off fee if rented in town, and drive to Cooperstown on Monday and see the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday morning.

This part is not a must do, we used to be big baseball fans, but really aren’t any more.

Tuesday drive to Brattleboro for a day.

Foders says one of the best scenic drives are areas around Keene.

We would like to do a whale watching tour. So take the scenic drive and go to Gloucester or Portsmouth for whale watching.

Then drive up to the Mount Washington Cog Railway because that looks really cool. We would end up in Portland for the flight home on Sunday October 7.

We also like to stop at Flea Markets. We also like old churches (and historic buildings and forts) and beer.

Maybe we could rent a cabin in the woods for a day or two.

I would love some more suggestions on routes to take and other things to do. We have already been to Boston.
Bindery is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2018, 05:43 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 655
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would not rent a car from La Guardia for multiple reasons (out of your way, time, distance and cost there, traffic could take you hours there and back). If you are going to Cooperstown, I would take the train up the Hudson and get off in a place there (Albany maybe) and rent the car from there, or at the very least I would rent the from EWR (at least you are going in the semi right direction).
I think your dates are a bit early for foliage in many of those places. I think you need to go more north. The trees have been turning later and later it seems these last few years.
Have you checked the schedule for whale watching that time of year? Most boats only go out once a day then so you will need to check.
odie1 is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2018, 08:51 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,876
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
I agree with isabel. Take a train to New Haven and rent a car there. When you return the car in New Haven you have a lot of choice on which airport you want to fly out of. I don't know how far north you will have to go to see the leaf colors you are looking for.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2018, 06:06 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 192
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Train to New Haven looks interesting. Would cost about the same as getting to La Guardia, and would not have to worry about traffic or getting out of the airport. There is a Hertz right at the Amtrak station and the rental cost is about the same.
How is a reserved coach seat for room for luggage? We would both have a carry on bag and a small backpack.
Bindery is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2018, 09:06 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 655
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Bindery View Post
Train to New Haven looks interesting. Would cost about the same as getting to La Guardia, and would not have to worry about traffic or getting out of the airport. There is a Hertz right at the Amtrak station and the rental cost is about the same.
How is a reserved coach seat for room for luggage? We would both have a carry on bag and a small backpack.
There are racks above your seat that easily fit a carry on.
odie1 is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2018, 04:25 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 26,739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tuesday drive to Brattleboro for a day.

Foders says one of the best scenic drives are areas around Keene.

We would like to do a whale watching tour. So take the scenic drive and go to Gloucester or Portsmouth for whale watching.

Then drive up to the Mount Washington Cog Railway because that looks really cool. We would end up in Portland for the flight home on Sunday October 7.

We also like to stop at Flea Markets. We also like old churches (and historic buildings and forts) and beer.

Maybe we could rent a cabin in the woods for a day or two.
Vermont is famous for beer but expect to find micro breweries in NH and ME as well. Google a list because there is great scenery all over the place and you might as well have a destination that includes beer. I've read that Portsmouth and Portland have escorted beer tours so you don't have to worry about driving. You might also look into stopping for hard cider which is becoming more popular.

Flea markets are on the weekends, sometimes sundays only. From Brattleboro, you can tour around NH's quiet southwest corner but once you get to Nashua (Rt 101) it's industrial and shopping malls. I try to avoid taking Rt 101 to the seacoast because it's a boring limited access highway. We have not been on a New England whale watch but love the small boat tours from Portsmouth (boat dock is within walking distance of parking garage). You'll find great old churches in Portsmouth. You might want to check out historic Strawbery Banke. Both the harbor tour and inland rivers tours are great. Portsmouth harbor has Kittery ME on the other side and there's the eerie old Portsmouth Navy Prison that is disintegrating next to the ship yard. You can see it from land but a harbor tour gets you closer.

But the route to Portsmouth that I would recommend is once you get to Nashua, take Everett Turnpike to I293 which takes you on the west side of the Merrimack River thru Manchester. You'll see the old mill buildings on the east side that have been renovated as offices, colleges, and restaurants. (If you take I93, you bypass Manchester). I293 merges with I93 as you continue north to Concord. Concord is a walkable downtown if you want to stop. The older churches are in the small towns surrounding Concord. Take I393 east to Rt 4 and then continue to Portsmouth. You will drive thru Northwood which is called "Antique Alley". Eventually you'll get to some very pretty farmland just before you get to the highway Rt 16 going to Portsmouth. Before you get to Dover Point there's an old farm that is open to the public - Wagon Hill Farm. Should you want to stretch your legs you can take a walking trail over the hill and down to the bay and walk along the shore. Back in the car and continuing east you will go over the bridges that cross what I call Great Bay but I think has a different name. Once you get to the Portsmouth traffic circle you have the option of going to downtown Portsmouth or getting on I95 to Portland.

I think you'll have to choose between Portland (check out Cape Elizabeth/Fort Williams park with wonderful views of Casco Bay) and the Cog Railway. Due to extremely heavy leaf peeping traffic we avoid the White Mountains during foliage season. I think you will find plenty to see and do between Portsmouth and Portland.

An alternate to Rt 101 from Keene to Nashua would be to go from Keene to Concord NH. It will be mostly country highways. There's at least one brewing company in the Henniker area and you could also make a slight detour to Gould Hill Farm in Hopkinton for a hard cider tasting and freshly picked apples. Sorry since I'm not a beer drinker I can't give you more details. Follow gps to I393 to Portsmouth described above.

In the Portsmouth area you might want to check out Odiorne Point and then across to Kittery there's an old fort. Please know that Kittery next to Rt 1 is full of shopping outlets but if you go to the downtown area, it is quaint and there is a road to Kittery Point.

I don't think you'll find any cabins in the woods to rent for a night or two but check air b&b. If you don't want to stay in downtown Portland, Scarborough to the south has a nice airb&b which is adjacent to the Rachel Carson preserve. Very nice hostess although it's not in the woods. But if you want to be closer to the wonderful Portland restaurants, you really need to be in the downtown area.
dfrostnh is online now  
Old Apr 12th, 2018, 02:33 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,963
Likes: 0
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
Brattleboro is not the place I would choose in VT with so many more beautiful areas to stay.
Is there a reson who picked Brattleboro?
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2018, 05:01 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 192
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No real reason for choosing Brattleboro, just looked like a central town to base out of.
I would love suggestions on better places around that area.
Bindery is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2018, 05:24 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,927
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think you should train to New Haven to pick up the car and head up to Vermont. Detouring to Cooperstown is out of the way, unless you are huge baseball fans. You don't really have all that much time for New England as it is.

The reason Brattleboro would make a good stop that first night is that by the time you take the train from NYC to New Haven and then drive north - especially if you stop for lunch in Northampton and/or stop at Historic Deerfield - you'll be ready to stop by the time you get to Brattleboro. And you'll have a decent selection of both lodging and eating compared to some of the really tiny villages. And it's well positioned to start the driving route dfrostnh describes. Of course you could also go north into Vermont for a day before going into NH and Maine.
isabel is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2018, 05:31 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 26,739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I haven't stayed in Brattleboro but it's a funky town I'd like to explore more and you might like the choice of restaurants. It has a great farmers market on Saturday. A lot of people prefer Woodstock which is further north on I91 but I like Norwich which is just a bit further. From Norwich you can cross the river to Hanover NH (Dartmouth College). The Norwich Inn is very nice with good food and there's a very good restaurant across the road. From the Norwich/Woodstock area you can head to Concord NH/Seacoast via I89 (you would be heading southeast) but you can also google a route across the top of Lake Winnipesaukee over to Portland ME. It could even be over the famous Kancamagus Hwy. Google says about 3 1/2 hours from Norwich but the foliage ought to be great. For the Brattleboro area, I think I might opt to find lodging in the Keene area which is a college town.
dfrostnh is online now  
Old Apr 15th, 2018, 06:16 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 496
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can take the Dartmouth Express bus out of NYC which will take you right to Hanover, NH. Hanover borders Vermont so you can rent a car and explore Vermont if you choose. You could also drive over through the Lakes Region or over to the White Mountains which are gorgeous. You could take the Kancamagus Hwy through Lincoln over to North Conway and do a loop around on 302. The 302 is where the Mount Washington Hotel is (and the Cog Railway which is really cool). It might be too early for foliage but if you are going to see any, that is where you would see it. There may be quite a few people but it's not really traffic.You could then drive down to Portsmouth (a great small city with excellent restaurants) and explore some of the coast. You could fly out of Portland or if you could fly out of Manchester you could drop the car (with no extra fee for dropping it in another state). This area is not as big as the states out west but there is no way you could stay in one place and see Vermont, the White Mountains and the seacoast. You could stay in the White Mountains for all of your time if you enjoy hiking. Don't go to Cooperstown. It is way out of your way!
Sberg is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2018, 09:51 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 192
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Latest plan-subject to change.
Take train from Penn Station to New Haven-pick up rental car there.
Drive to Brattleboro and stay 2 nights. Do day trips.
Drive to Gloucester area and stay 1 night-they have 3 whale watching tours I can pick from.
Drive to Conway, Maine area, stay 3nights. Do day trips. If we have to drive north for better tree colors we can from there.
Drive to Portland on Sunday for 2 pm flight home.
Bindery is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
christinadele
United States
8
Feb 5th, 2016 03:15 PM
Tdesireeh
United States
9
Jul 17th, 2011 09:57 AM
Brondel
United States
12
Feb 16th, 2007 03:21 AM
goodbog
United States
5
Aug 30th, 2005 08:52 AM
Barfly
United States
15
Oct 28th, 2003 02:41 AM

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 06:38 AM.