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How does this fall foliage itinerary look? Comments/suggestions welcome.

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Mar 9th, 2011, 05:18 PM
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How does this fall foliage itinerary look? Comments/suggestions welcome.

My dates are tentative, as air has not yet been purchased. We will be flying from west coast into and out of Burlington.
Arrive Burlington Sep 26, late evening. O/N there.
Sep 27 rent car and drive to Montreal, via Champlain islands,
3 nights in Montreal - see the sights of the city.
Sep 30 drive to Quebec City - stay there 4 nites. See the sights of the city, and at least one day drive NE along St Lawrence seaway.
Oct 4 drive to VT. Understand about 3-4 hours to Newport. Stay in that area 2 nights. Perhaps Lake Salem. Explore area within a few miles east and west of Hwy 91. Perhaps just R&R after power site seeing in Canada.
Oct 6 Drive to Stowe area, stay there 2 nights. Definately drive Smuggler's Notch.
Oct 8 drive to Conway, NH via Hwy 302 taking in activities along the way.
Oct 9 explore area, possibly area south of White Mountains; Tamworth, Sandwich, Plymouth.
Oct 10 (Monday) drive to Woodstock via Hwy 112 "Kanc", thence 93, 25, 118, 4.
Stay in Woodstock area (maybe Quechee) 3 nights. One day trip would be up Hwy 100 to Mont Pelier, taking in Waitsfield area.
Oct 13 drive to Middlebury area stay there 2 nights. Would like to take in Fort Ticonderoga if possible
Oct 15 drive to Burlington
Oct 16 Home.
I have stacks of notes as to what to see in these various areas. I hope I have enough time in each. Given the uncertainty of "peak" colors, I think I'm placing us in areas at potentially good times.
We will be looking for B&B's and Country Inn's, hopefully off the beaten track a little. Some of those beautiful Inn's are tempting, but upwards of $400/night and more is not gonna work. I have several from the Fodor's and Mobile guides, along with a few other web sites.
But my first order of business was to determine route and timing, then start the reservation business.
Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 06:16 PM
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The plan overall looks outstanding. Excellent job!

I would recommend having a look Saint Gaundrens National Historic Site, a beautiful place to visit, especially during fall.

Personally, I'd cut a night from Woodstock and spend 3 nights in Southern NH & VT, where, almost always, the foliage is absolutely spectacular those dates, and Routes 9 and 7 are among the most scenic drives.

Or spend an extra day in the White Mountains, driving Routes 2 and 302, which also should be spectacular the dates you have chosen. Both are incredibly scenic and different in each direction. We actually prefer those two routes to the Kancamagus.

Be sure the agreement for the rental car you pick up in Burlington includes authorization to drive in Canada.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 08:47 PM
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bookmark.
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Mar 12th, 2011, 12:09 PM
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North of Newport VT on the western shore of Lake Memphremagog, the Benedictine abbey of St. Benoit du Lac is a beautiful spot.
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Mar 12th, 2011, 04:45 PM
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On October 9th, instead of "Oct 9 explore area, possibly area south of White Mountains; Tamworth, Sandwich, Plymouth." I would suggest instead heading a bit North - spend the night in the quaint town of Jackson (8 miles from Conway), maybe dinner at Libby's in Gorham or Pizza at the Shannon Door Pub in Jackson if you wanted casual/close and then take Bear Notch Road in Bartlett down to the Kanc the next morning....
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Mar 12th, 2011, 06:44 PM
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Thanks everyone for your comments. They are appreciated; really.
I recently found several "best scenic drive" lists, and now am reconsidering. One of my big issues is trying to figure driving times. Like someone said, distances are short, but we don't want to rush from one "oh wow" to another. We want to wander a bit.
Like the Kanc road is what, about 38 miles. But how long should I figure? I know driving speed will be slow due to the road, but we will no doubt want to stop here and there to absorb and maybe take a little hike. So what? 2 hours, 3 hours? More?
Also, Stowe over Smugglers Notch. Short distance, but how much time. Probably questions that really can't be answered, cause everyone would have their own way of touring.
I also am resisting getting into too many one night hotel stands.
Anyway, that's what I'm dealing with right now. And I think I have pulled off south of White Mountains, and the Jackson idea is good, if only to drive to/through. Maybe only one night in Conway area.
In addition, I think I will start the whole thing maybe a day or two earlier. Say 22nd or so. Might give better odds for colors in north Vermont.
Thanks again, and if there are any more comments, please feel free to come on in. At the risk of getting confused, I would love more info. I don't think I need to stress this thing too much. Most of the inns I've looked at seem to offer suggested day trips.
Planning trips is so much fun.
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Mar 13th, 2011, 04:17 AM
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Looks great. I'm partial to the route thru Tamworth and Sandwich. Sandwich is a pretty little town that was settled in the 1700s. There are some mountain views but you're not at the elevation that the Kanc is and you are driving where people live, not a scenic mountain hwy. This is the area where sled dogs were raised and trained for polar expeditions. It's near Lake Winnipesaukee but very little commercial activity. But, there's a small agricultural fair in Center Sandwich on Columbus Day weekend. There will be heavy traffic around the fairgrounds but probably not what you'd think of as heavy traffic.

We drove the Kanc last Sept leaving Thornton (near Lincoln)and ending in North Conway. Can't remember the times but we spent a little time poking around shops then drove thru Tamworth etc to have lunch (lobster roll and onion rings) at the Red Hill Dairy in Moultonboro (just a take out place). We didn't stop to hike nor take photos.

I wouldn't stay 3 nights in Woodstock. But, if you do, make sure to tour the Simon Pierce building in Quechee even if you don't eat there. We spent a weekend in Quechee and it seemed like all the waitstaff everywhere we went was just waiting for ski season to begin. Woodstock is a tourist mecca so it's not my favorite area but it is a beautiful town with fun shops and nearby Billings Farm Museum.

If the weather is warm and you have a chance to go kayaking someplace, do it. A friend took me kayaking last summer for the first time on a river I've seen almost everyday for umpty-ump years but what a different view from the water. The river was low thanks to the drought. Very serene with people enjoying private sandy spots along the way.

The Champlain Islands are also a great choice. Plan on lunch at the end. I don't think there is much along the way. More like a step back in time (or take a picnic lunch).

I recently read "The Town that Food Saved" about Hardwick VT. It gives an in depth look into a community that is interdependent. Small, agricultural based businesses and different lifestyles.

I love Middlebury but you might find lodging more reasonably priced in Brandon.
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Mar 13th, 2011, 04:57 AM
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The foliage festival in Vermont's northeast Kingdom has lots of good events if you are visiting during the week it takes place. This is usually the last week of september.

http://www.nekchamber.com/

You can often find church suppers featuring chicken pie or ham during foliage season, and these are fun with good food.
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Mar 13th, 2011, 06:49 AM
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We drive the Kanc every year during foliage season. Make sure you get one of the small maps they give at park headquarters so you know where to stop. Some spots are just scenic lookouts, some are short walks to a pond, waterfall, covered bridge, etc, and there are some hikes as well. I would allow 3-4 hours, more if you're taking a hike.
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Mar 19th, 2011, 10:20 AM
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Do you have reservations in Middlebury for Oct. 13 and 14? The reason I ask is that Oct. 14-16 is Fall Family Weekend at Middlebury College. The 13th hopefully will be no problem, but the 14th could be. A lovely B&B, whic is off the beaten track is the Whitford House in Addison, whic is a rural area west of Middlebury.

A day visit to Fort Ticonderoga is an easy trip from Middlebury, via the cable ferry in Shoreham.
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