Help with VT/NH driving trip in October

Old Aug 30th, 2015, 04:24 PM
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Help with VT/NH driving trip in October

My husband and I are planning a trip (without kids!) in mid-October. While leaf peeping will be great, that is not our primary concern (we are from the Maritimes and have great foliage here). We would like to find 2 great towns to stay in for 2 to 3 nights each. I have a friend in Nashua, NH that we plan to visit over the weekend so we only need accommodations during the week.

We would like our bases to be nice towns with cute shops and nice restaurants with nice scenic drives nearby. Ideally, our accommodations would be upscale inns/b&bs. As this is the first trip without kids in quite a while, $$ spent on accommodations is not a concern.

I have been going through old posts for weeks now and while there is lots of great info, I am really struggling to narrow down the choices on where to stay.

In NH, I am thinking of the White Mountains area but for Vermont, I haven't had any luck narrowing down where to focus our trip.

Please help!
carybeau is offline  
Old Aug 30th, 2015, 05:49 PM
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In N.H look at Jackson. It is at the edge of the National Forest at the foot of the White Mountains and near the hurly-burly, restaurants, and shops of North Conway. It is centrally located for exploring the Mountains.

In VT, Montpellier, the miniature state capital is in the middle of the state and has excellent road connections to anywhere you would want to see. Burlington is a wonderful small city on Lake Champlain, near many attractions including the Shelburne Museum, a large mostly outdoor collection of artifacts from the !American past ( from plows to a steamboat).

I can't recommend a B&B or Inn because I rarely stay in them.
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Old Aug 31st, 2015, 03:17 AM
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I usually agree with Ackislander but I don't think the White Mountains are a good choice for mid-October esp because lately it seems we get rainy weather that time of year. I'm going to vote for Portsmouth NH. Rt 1B is our favorite scenic drive but back roads down to Hampton and over to Exeter are nice. Exeter also has a few cute shops. Portsmouth's cute shop seem to be situated so after shopping you can turn the corner and have a choice of half a dozen restaurants on one street alone. You can take a "cooking class" at Stonewall Kitchen in Kittey ME. It's really a cooking demo with several courses.

I really enjoyed staying at the Norwich Inn in Norwich VT but it is a quiet little town. It's across the river from Hanover NH, home to Dartmouth College, and a bit north of Woodstock VT which is the cute town tourists love. But we love driving around VT and Ackislander's suggestion of Shelburne Museum and Burlington would probably give you the most things to do. Keep in mind there are large areas of VT where the scenery is beautiful but it's hard to find a place for lunch. It's a long drive from Nashua but you could stop in Montpelier for lunch and walking around if you go via I93/I89 from Nashua but if you go Rt 101 from Nashua you can explore Peterborough NH on the way (very close to Nashua) and then plot a route over to Middlebury (more cute shops) but stop for lunch at Cattails just north of Brandon (cute but tiny town). From Middlebury it's a straight shot north to Shelburne and Burlington.

You might have some decent foliage left in the Portsmouth area and also Burlington.
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Old Aug 31st, 2015, 06:34 AM
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How about Manchester Vermont, I wonderful college town. You're on the southern range of the Green Mountains. Just north of there is the Silas Griffith Inn. They have comfy bed rooms facing the mountains to the east so the setting sun lights them up.
The room we had was small but comfortable but it had a balcony with comfy chairs to watch the warm light of the setting sun on the hills.
Manchester is just down the road and is a college town. It has great upscale shopping and restaurants. The Todd Lincoln estate is just down the road. Hildene is the name of the home and is worth taking a tour of.
I hope this helps
Jeff Foliage
Vistaphotography is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2015, 11:59 AM
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I will second the Manchester Vt area but I'm afraid there is no college there....lots of great B&B's in the area and wonderful shopping, restaurants and antiquing. There's an Art Center with interesting out door sculpture gardens and gallery featuring local artists. Nice scenic drive up Mt. Equinox, easy hiking/walks in the Equinox Reservation behind the Equinox hotel. Hildene is great and very interesting to see what Robert Todd Lincoln's life was life in New England. There is a Robert Frost house museum nearby in Shaftsbury on Route 7A and his burial site is in Bennington.
sandragoodlife is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2015, 05:12 AM
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Manchester VT is definitely not a college town. Maybe Vistaphotography is thinking of Middlebury?
That said...I'll put a plug in for Middlebury. Great small college town. Lots of nice inns/b&bs, restaurants, shops etc. If you are interested in craft beers/liquors Midd is a great place to be. Drop in Brewery, Otter Creek ,Woodchuck Hard City, Lincoln Peak Vineyard etc are all great places to visit. Beautiful farm land and a very quick and easy drive to the mountains for some hiking.
bm is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2015, 03:55 PM
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Thank you everyone! I will definitely look into your suggestions. Once I've had time to do that, I'm sure I'll pop in with more questions.
carybeau is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2015, 09:14 AM
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you might want to check out the historic Equinox resort if you stay in the Manchester area of southern VT. Another thing to do in that area is the Bennington Museum--great collection of Grandma Moses paintings if those interest you.

Southern VT would probably be better for foliage than northern areas by mid-October.

An area that would be close to both Montpelier and Burlington is the Mad River valley, towns of Waitsfield and Warren. Lots of inns and B & Bs. We live close so have not stayed at any. The Inn at Round Barn has lovely grounds, and the barn is interesting.

In Montpelier the Inn at Montpelier is nice and just at the outskirts of downtown. If you end up staying in the area I can recommend restaurants.
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Old Sep 7th, 2015, 05:31 PM
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You are from the maritimes, so I say head inland. Leaving Nashua, visit Pickity Place for lunch and then continue to the Peterborough/Keene area. Lots of B&B choices.
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