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mimi67 Sep 22nd, 2019 12:13 PM

"Girls on the Go"
First visit to New England for 2 friends (from Austin and Norway) staying with me in CT. We all met 51 years ago while working together in Norway. The plan is for a road trip to Boston...on to Ogunquit and then over and up toward Mt Washington before heading across the Kancamagus Trail..... Foliage is one consideration. We've been booking accommodations through airbnb. Once over to Hanover there may be time to get up to Waterbury and drive down route 100. I have heard that route is scenic as well. Looking for suggestions of places visit along the way. We are flexible and can re-route as well...given your input. Many thanks.

dfrostnh Sep 23rd, 2019 03:26 AM

Just read a local article that agrees with my advice to skip the Kancamagus during foliage season because it ends up a parking lot. Four of us have been doing long weekend getaways for almost 40 years. We started off as young mothers going to Boston for the weekend. If you want to enjoy scenery I would take an inland rivers or harbor cruise in Portsmouth NH but you might also want to head further north to Portland's Casco Bay cruises. We love air b&b but for the Wells/Ogunquit area we stayed at the Elmwood in Wells. On another trip we stayed in a nearby condo community and while the lodging was nice it was a maze of similar looking buildings with noting interesting around. Husband and I stayed at the Dunes of Ogunquit once and I liked the different lodging choices and being in a green ocean front property that was quiet despite proximity to Rt 1. There might be something good at the theater. We had fun and a good meal at a cooking class (only a demo, not hands on) at Stonewall Kitchen.

My preferred east/west route is slightly south of the mountains going from Conway south on Rt 16 then head for Tamworth and Center Sandwich. If you like alcohol, the new distillery has fun tastings (they let you share). It's quite a building to see even if you don't drink. We like the Corner House for dining but check their hours since they vary depending on the season. If Squam Lake Science Center is still running pontoon boat nature cruises, we like those too. Took visitors there Labor Day weekend 2018 and we saw a lot of loons. It's a beautiful lake with hardly any commercial development. Meredith NH and Lake Winnipesaukee would be on your route but be prepared for a lot of traffic and very slow if it's a weekend to get thru the downtown area. Hermit Woods Winery is on a side street alternate route to I93. We have enjoyed tastings there since they use all local ingredients. More fruit based than grapes. If you take a more northern route I thought the visitors center at The Flume was very interesting even if you don't take the hike.

There's already quite a bit of color in the Concord NH area for this time of year. Some years it's still green. Swamp maples are bright red around ponds/marshes. Still a lot of green but then I think New England is always pretty. In the Hanover area you could go across the river to Norwich for King Arthur Flour or the saturday farmers market which is a lot of fun (includes crafts, music and prepared foods), down to Simon Pierce for lunch in Quechee. Visit St. Gaudens in Cornish NH. Go over the long covered bridge. Even i89 back thru NH is pretty. I91 south is pretty nice for an interstate too. We prefer going thru western MA to CT instead of the Mass Turnpike/ I495 high traffic areas. It all depends on your interests such as visit Yankee Candle. Hard cider is getting very popular so some apple orchards offer tastings.

If you are going thru the mountains on a weekend, I might opt to take the northern route to avoid the worst of the traffic. Vermont country store can be a fun visit and has two locations. I would avoid the Montpelier to Stowe route since that will be clogged. Sorry to be down on traffic but certain routes do become a parking lot on popular weekends and there are so many other places you can go.

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