Help! First time visiting New England area

Old Apr 4th, 2009, 09:06 PM
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ret
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Help! First time visiting New England area

My husband and I will be traveling with our infant son this fall to the new england area. We want to see as much as possible, but not sure if this itinerary is too ambitious. I'm just in the beginning stages of planning so it's pretty bare boned right now. If you have any suggestions on things to do, places to stay, please let me know! If we're cramming too much into 7 days, please let me know. I'm open to suggestions/recommendations.

Day 1: Fly into Manchester and drive to Jackson, NH (probably stay at the Lodge)
Day 2: Drive the Mt. Washington Auto Road, drive to N. Conway
Day 3: Drive the Kancamagus highway to Woodstock, VT
Day 4: Hang out in Woodstock
Day 5: Drive to Newport, RI
Day 6: Go to Cape Cod
Day 7: Fly out of Providence
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Old Apr 4th, 2009, 09:15 PM
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I love New England and have lived in or near it all my life, and I love all the places you are thinking of, but I think you are cramming way too much in to seven days.
At least in the last part, I can say you won't really see much of Cape Cod in a day, and you won't see anything of Providence, which is a much undersung city, in my estimation.
If you just want to drive THROUGH all these places, OK, but it's not probably what you'd really like to do.
Do you know which places you are REALLY anxious to see? Where are you flying from and to?
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Old Apr 5th, 2009, 03:19 AM
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Definitely cramming way too much into your stay. I would definitely narrow it down to what you really want to see. Either do foliage or do Newport, unless you do 2 days in NH / 2 days Newport / 2 days Cape. Even that may be too crammed with travel times. You will want to book accommodations soon too as they will fill up.
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Old Apr 5th, 2009, 03:45 AM
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That's a lot of driving. Keep in mind southbound traffic on Sunday afternoons will be very slow moving. If you plan to go Woodstock VT Rt 89S to Rt 93S Concord NH then Rt 3 to 495 to 95, traffic congestion is esp bad because 89S dumps into Rt 93 just above a toll booth.
I would try to do some walking or a boat ride or train ride. There are many attractions in the White Mountains such as the Flume but you can also do a short hiking trail. I live here but can't remember when apple picking season ends. A visit to an orchard to pick up some apples for snacking could be nice. The orchard stores are usually open at least until Thanksgiving. Some of farm animals to visit. Some do wagon rides out to where you can pick your own.
I wouldn't try to visit the Cape. You would just be spending all your time in the car.
If your visit coincides with Columbus Day weekend, better get reservations ASAP.
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Old Apr 5th, 2009, 05:03 AM
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Do not try to drive a rental car up Mt. Washington; it's probably not even permitted. If you must go up, take the tour.
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Old Apr 5th, 2009, 12:31 PM
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Don't know where you are flying from, but if you want to see some of the seacoast, I would recommend driving along the NH coast from Seabrook to Portsmouth on Rt 1a and staying over in Porstmouth, and maybe continue up the Maine coast to Kennebunk and Oqunquit to Portland, and stay over night there. From there it is an easiar drive back to Manchester and fly home.
As you say, you are coming in the fall and most of Cape Cod shuts down after Sept 30, so save that part for another summer and early fall visit.
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Old Apr 5th, 2009, 12:56 PM
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I agree with everyone else that your itinerary is too ambitious. Would suggest flying in and out of Manchester and spending your time in NH and VT OR in and out of Providence for Newport and the Cape. Do you know your dates in the fall? If it is during peak foliage season (end of Sept-mid October) you need to be making reservations now for NH and VT, especially if you will be in New England over Columbus Day, as mentioned previoulsy by dfrostnh.
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Old Apr 5th, 2009, 02:10 PM
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There is a cog railway that goes up to the summit of Mt. Washington, probably your most practical option to get there.
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Old Apr 5th, 2009, 02:16 PM
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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the wonderful advice! I had a feeling the itinerary mapped out above wasn't going to lead to an enjoyable vacation. We need to travel before 9/28 and were originally planning our trip over labor day weekend; however, would love to see this area during foliage season. I've checked out a couple of interactive maps and think we would be too early if we traveled over labor day....advice? I know lodging books up quickly which is why I'm trying to nail down details soon. Is it best to fly in & out of Manchester, NH; drive to Jackson and maybe travel up to Maine? Perhaps we should leave VT, RI, MA for another trip(s)!
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Old Apr 5th, 2009, 03:05 PM
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Day 5,6, and 7 are crazy - look at a map. You're going from Rhode Island to east of Boston and back to Rhode Island. Cut out Rhode Island and add time to the Cape or Boston. Fly back out of Manchester.

It's too much driving for so few days. You'll see more of the highway then any of the sights.
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Old Apr 5th, 2009, 03:28 PM
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I forgot to ask...have you selected the places on your itinerary for a reason (ie visit family) or are you open to modifying it?
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Old Apr 5th, 2009, 05:02 PM
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No specific reason and am open to modifications.
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Old Apr 5th, 2009, 05:25 PM
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I also think that you are covering way too much ground. I think that you should fly in and out of Boston, and spend a couple of days there, and the rest of the time in N.H. It's only a couple of hours to get from the city to the mountains. There is sooo much to do and see in both places, and each place is very unlike the other.
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Old Apr 6th, 2009, 03:34 AM
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You'll be too early for foliage. If you aren't coming for the leaves I would definitely include Portsmouth and a bit of the Maine coast as well as NH's mountains. Portland ME to Conway NH is only about an hour, for example. You said your child was an infant so might be too young for the children's museum in Dover NH (it is no longer in Portsmouth). You won't have any problem finding apple orchards with a petting zoo. Walk the Marginal Way in Ogunquit ME. If you fly into MHT, mapquest will tell you to take Rt 101 to Portsmouth but that is the boring highway. Head north to Concord and take Rt 4. Antique stores, even a shop that specializes in jigsaw puzzles, and the last part goes over the wonderful bridges over Great Bay. There are two country fairs in NH over Labor Day weekend then things get a little quiet in anticipation of foliage season. If you want an outdoor walking challenge, head to Danville VT (not too far over the NH border) for the Great Vermont Corn Maze. It's the best. Also has a nice children's play area. Nice views from the top.
It really depends on how you like to spend your vacation - a lot of outdoor activities or going to museums and city things. Boston makes a great visit but I don't think it would be fun with an infant since you wouldn't be able to go to theater but you know how well your child travels.
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Old Apr 9th, 2009, 06:52 PM
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We just traveled to Florida by car and went all over the state. It was way too much car time. It seemed like rush, rush, rush to get to all the places that we couldn't stop and enjoy them or things along the way. You should focus your trip on a small area and really enjoy it. You will get to see the beginning of the fall foliage. It really peaks around Columbus day, but it's still pretty with a lot of green mixed in.

Another place you might want to stop at on the way north is Lake Winnipesaukee. You can take a cruise around the lake to see some spectacular views.
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Old Apr 9th, 2009, 07:16 PM
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There is a lot to do just here in NH for 7 days or NH and Boston at the most IMO.

Taking a day and/or evening cruise on the Mount Washington around Lake Winnipesaukee is very enjoyable - especially on a warm summer day/evening!

The Shaker Village in Canterbury, NH is a favorite of mine.
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