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Help with itinerary for Fall Foliage adventure

Help with itinerary for Fall Foliage adventure

Old Apr 27th, 2019, 03:24 PM
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Help with itinerary for Fall Foliage adventure

After much researching, including help from my Fodors family I have a proposed itinerary for scrutiny.

Starting in Burlington VT 1 October
Pick up rental car 3 Oct
Meander east to New Hampshire via Bretton Woods and the White Mountains.
Travel along the backroads near the eastern border of New Hampshire down to Lake Winnipesaukee.
Head northwest around the west side of the White Mountains
Drive back in to Vermont to intersect Rte 100 near Stowe
Follow Rte 100 south
return rental car Sat 12 Oct

Id value any suggestions of things to see and do along the way. I have the cog railway Mount Washington on the list.

We plan to return the car to somewhere north of New York. Im not keen to drive in big cities. Where would be an easily accessible return point?

I know its Colombus Day 14 October and will be in New York. Are there any celebrations not to be missed?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 28th, 2019, 01:10 AM
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When you travel east side of NH toward Lake Winnipesaukee I recommend heading to Tamworth, Center Sandwich and Squam Lake/Holderness. We loved breakfast at the Corner House Inn in Center Sandwich. Double check hours for lake cruises with Squam Lake Science Center. We went last Labor Day weekend and it was fabulous. We did the loon cruise in the afternoon but anything with a naturalist would be good. Saw lots of loons and some eagles. They use pontoon boats. However, if you went via Tamworth (check out the distillery if you like whiskeys etc) you miss Wolfeboro so you might want to double back. If by now it's Sunday you can tour NH Mushroom Company in Tamworth. From Squam Lake you can go south to Meredith which is a beautiful town on Lake Winnipesaukee.
Google maps gives several suggestions for driving to Stowe and each are about the same amount of time (slightly more than 2 hours from the science center). If it's a Saturday morning I highly recommend a visit to Norwich VT farmers market. King Arthur Flour is also in Norwich. There's a nice cafe and a great shop for everything you need for baking. If you decide to do this section of VT lunch at Simon Pierce would be fabulous but even a visit to their shop (glass blowers) would be nice. Quechee is only a little bit south of Norwich. Up to you if you want to cross over the river to visit St. Gaudens in Cornish NH. There's a very nice covered bridge in the area, too.

You may have already done the northern route if you went through Hardwick and Cabot. (Ben Hewitt wrote The Town That Food Saved which is about the Hardwick VT area. It would give you some insight into how people in northern VT built the local economy back up - at least part ways.) I would suggest a visit to Montpelier, which also has a saturday farmers market, the smallest state capital in the US. I wouldn't go back to Stowe. Keep in mind that the route between Montpelier and Stowe has a lot of traffic and tourist stops. Don't be seduced by a Ben and Jerry's tour.

Make sure you stop at the Warren Country Store. If the day is warm you can eat on the deck overlooking a small waterfall. Wander out back for an even better look at a small gorge. Our visit was in summer so we saw people swimming.

Sorry, no suggestions about car return. Does it have to be in NY and are you trying to get to NYC?
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Old Apr 28th, 2019, 04:45 AM
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Thanks for the comprehensive travel tips dfrostnhs.

I am trying to find a location relatively close to New York to return the rental car. Driving in a big city is not on my list of things to do so would prefer somewhere not too busy. I can always take a train or bus in to New York City.
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Old Apr 28th, 2019, 05:38 AM
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For returning the rental car, I would look at the Metro North routes for towns with easy train access in New York and CT. Stamford, CT is one possibility.
MTA | Subway, Bus, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North

I went with dfrost on the naturalist cruise on Squam Lake she mentions in her post and agree this is a great thing to do in that area. Squam Lake is the setting for the 1981 movie On Golden Pond

I agree with dfrost that you could easily skip the section of Rte 100 between Stowe and Waterbury.

The tourist office in VT has a lot of information on "scenic byways" including Route 100
https://www.vermontvacation.com/stay...vermont-byways

Peak foliage in northern VT will probably come at the beginning of your trip. Towns in the Northeast Kingdom of the state have an annual foliage festival with lots of events/special meals the week of September 29.
NEK Chamber of Commerce
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Old Apr 28th, 2019, 06:26 AM
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I would encourage you to start your trip in Springfield MA. You can either fly to or take a train to Springfield. From Springfield you can either take the Amtrak Vermonter train or rent a car.
The Vermonter leaves Springfield a little after 3PM every day and arrives after 8PM in Burlington VT. You get a great view of the foliage from the train without making stops in the rental car.
If you didn't want to fly to Springfield, Albany NY or Boston are options to get a train to Springfield.
Be sure to drive the Kancamagus highway (112) between Conway and Lincoln NH. The 6 NE states are not that large compared with some western states. I suggest that you return the rental car in the spot where you rented it.
In May 2017, my DW and I found geocaches in all 6 states in a period of 3 days including 1 in York Maine where we spent a night near the ocean.
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Old Apr 29th, 2019, 03:33 AM
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Thanks Vttraveler. Will certainly check out those websites.
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Old Apr 29th, 2019, 03:36 AM
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Thanks for your input Tomfuller. Have put Hwy 112 on the list now - great advice.
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Old Apr 29th, 2019, 04:00 PM
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For rental car drop off look at White Plains, NY. There is a Hertz location close to the MetroNorth RR station. There may be other co's nearby as well - google maps will tell you.
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Old May 6th, 2019, 07:11 AM
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Poughkeepsie, then take the train down..............this is a good train station
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Old May 6th, 2019, 08:08 AM
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Needless to say, make hotel reservations.
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Old Jul 31st, 2019, 10:30 AM
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Curious what hotels you choose, also looking for hotel somewhere in White Mountains, open where, just want to stay and putz around those areas during our fall foliage road trip with similar itinerary!
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Old Jul 31st, 2019, 10:48 AM
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While in the Burlington area I highly recommend visiting the Shelburne Museum, it has an incredibly diverse collection of art, historical artifacts, textiles, and more in 39 buildings on 45 acres (which includes a number of lovely gardens) - truly something for everyone. It also has historic structures, including the 220 foot steamboat Ticonderoga, which was transported there from Lake Champlain on a rail bed built especially for that purpose. We spent an entire day there and still didn't see everything; I'd love to go back someday. Here's their web site: https://shelburnemuseum.org.
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Old Jul 31st, 2019, 11:19 PM
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Hi Ellejoe. We booked our hotels with bookings.com a couple of months ago. Tried to adjust a booking last week but found that the options were minimal. Happy hotel hunting.
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Old Jul 31st, 2019, 11:21 PM
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Thanks so much Sara.
Shelburne Museum is high on our list for Burlington and we’re very much looking forward to it. We really appreciate your input.
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Old Aug 1st, 2019, 09:24 AM
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We were in Vermont in 2017 in early October. That year it was beautiful. I strongly suggest taking RT100 north through Smuggler's Notch and on to Jeffersonville and Cambridge. The scenery to Jeffersonville is just beautiful. Once you get to Jeffersonville and head west, there are some little towns, a Green Mountain coffee roaster and a small winery. We were there the first weekend in October and they were having their fall festival. The pumpkin throwing contest was a hoot.

If you keep heading west you will meet 89 that will take you to Burlington. Enjoy your trip.
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Old Aug 1st, 2019, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Aussiefolk View Post
Thanks for your input Tomfuller. Have put Hwy 112 on the list now - great advice.
Take notice of the road signs warning about wildlife, especially moose.

We have driven the Hwy 112 on three occasions and every time we encountered a moose.

On one occasion, late at night, we missed one probably by less than a meter.

No doubt in my mind, had we hit it, we would have orphaned four young children.

Avoid driving at night.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 02:11 AM
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Thanks for that advice gardendiva - have added that no to my copious notes. I plan to do a review after the trip to help other folk like us so ‘watch this space’.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 02:13 AM
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Certainly not planning any night driving cdnyul. Thanks for the advice though ��
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Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Aussiefolk View Post
Certainly not planning any night driving cdnyul. Thanks for the advice though ��
rule of thumb is if you see one, there's probably another one, at least when it comes to deer and wild turkeys. Although I've only seen moose twice in NH, one time in our own yard, I have neighbors who have hit them and totaled their cars. Lately it's been wild turkeys that have been a problem as they tour around and there can be several attempting to cross a road. My almost crash with a small herd of deer was when we were out looking for a restaurant. Fortunately my front passenger was watching his side of the road and saw the deer coming and yelled for me to stop. Just missed the last one. Hope you have a wonderful visit.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 08:30 AM
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I used to do long daily commutes home in the evening on a ~50mi stretch of rural highway known for deer sightings and very little vehicle traffic.

My rule of thumb when I see a deer crossing the road is not to watch it disappear safely into the woods on the other side of the road but rather look behind it for the rest of the herd - exactly as dfrost mentions.

You don't need to completely avoid night driving as the animals are not out there like gangs looking to terrorize aussie drivers, but you do need to be aware.
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