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Ideas for a Road Trip starting in New York going North

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Jun 8th, 2009, 03:59 PM
  #1
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Ideas for a Road Trip starting in New York going North

Four of us from Hawaii are planning a 7-10 day trip in early October, starting with Broadway shows in New York (3 days) and driving north to view the fall colors. We hope to drive north on one route and return to NY on another route, staying overnight along the way. Any suggestions on a route? We want to spend not more than 4-6 hours on the road each day (is that realistic?). What are some "must see" places?

I've just begun to plan the itinerary, so any suggestions are welcomed since none of us are familiar with the area.
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Jun 8th, 2009, 05:21 PM
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Well, you certainly can;t cover New England in 4 days. In 7 days you have a better shot - but driving up and back makes no sense. You should really fly into NYC and out of wherever you can get a good deal (Boston if nothing better). Otherwise you will either be doing nothing but sitting in a car - or you won;t get very far into New England.

Also, be aware that the Columbus Day weekend is the height of leaf-peeping season and now is not too early to make hotel reservations.

Suggest you decide on a couple of key things you want to see/do besides foliage (that will get boring after several hours). Are you looking for historic cities? Small cute towns? Hiking? Antiquing?

More info would help.
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Jun 8th, 2009, 05:36 PM
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When in October do you expect to arrive in NYC?

There is no way to know exactly when the leaves will change in any given area, but a week's time can make a significant difference in the amount of color (and of leaves left on trees).

In addition, some places close for the season as of Columbus Day, so the dates of your trip will affect the recommendations people make.
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Jun 9th, 2009, 02:53 AM
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4-6 hours from NYC would get you as far as southern NH or VT if traffic isn't a problem. A scenic route but still interstate hwy would be from Hartford CT north on I91 to VT. I91 goes up the east side of VT so crossing into NH is quick. But exactly where to go depends on what you want to do. Changing hotel rooms every night isn't fun but it also might not be possible unless you are traveling mid-week. You would probably have best time if you picked an activity like visiting The Flume in NH's White Mountains or an event like a Fall Foliage Festival as a focus rather than just driving. The days of the week you'll be visiting are also important since late Sunday afternoon southbound traffic is extremely congested on the early October weekends. Friday nights is congested northbound in certain areas. Visitor from Boston said his commute home last Friday (just a nice June weekend) took one hour to go 10 miles. I try to avoid Rt 495 and Rt 93 northbound on Friday afternoons.
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Jun 9th, 2009, 05:37 AM
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yes, try to plan your road trip during the week and not the weekend. I would drive up to southern vermont, and stay in an inn there for the whole time, and use that as a base to explore. A nice, albeit slow way, would be to go up via Route 7, which would take you through Northwestern Connecticut and the Berkshires, with many charming New England towns, state parks and great side routes to explore. On the return you could take the Taconic Highway.

If your purpose is to see alot of New England, then, no, your time frame is not enough; but if you simply want to catch a glimpse of foliage and country charm, then you have plenty of time!
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Jun 9th, 2009, 06:07 AM
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I would steer you up the Hudson Valley with stops at West Point, Sleepy Hollow, and then across NY State to Letchworth State Park with stops along the Finger Lakes... continue along to Niagara Falls... then south along Lake Erie and back across NY along the South Finger Lakes, through Corning and Ithaca, the Catskills and back to NYC.. its an amazing drive with some world class sights, and very doable in your time frame... you might find some more valuable info at www.iloveny.com Have Fun!!!
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Jun 9th, 2009, 10:40 AM
  #7
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Thank you all! This gives me a start on what places to research. As I said, we have no idea of how far we could go. But your ideas will give us a great start in planning. We can avoid the Columbus Day weekend and will travel mostly during the weekday and avoid driving on Fridays/Sundays. Your tips will be a tremendous help!
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Jun 9th, 2009, 02:07 PM
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Another option to consider is taking the train leaving NYC before renting a car. The train tracks heading north out of Manhattan follow the Hudson River and the views are beautiful. You also could potentially save both time and possibly money on the car rental. How far you go could depend on what time of the month you're going. Peak hits furthest north first so if it's the beginning of the month, you could consider taking the train (amtrak.com) to Boston and driving north from there. If it's later in the month and you don't want to stray too far north, you could even just train out to Tarrytown on Metro North, rent a car there, see Kykuit http://www.hudsonvalley.org/content/view/12/276/ and head north from there.

I'll also mention there are lots of previous posts on New England car trips and leaf peeping if you do a search. Yankee Magazine has lots of good information and has maps of previous years' peak foliage. http://www.yankeefoliage.com/
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Jun 11th, 2009, 09:19 AM
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Best road trip I know for that part of the US comes from Mini's website www.miniusa.com. It's 3 nights from NY City. Friday Upper Delaware River Valley staying overnight in Port Jervis at Cornucopia Restaurant and Inn. 2nd night in Hancock, NY with recommended sightseeing. adventures and places to eat along the way. 3rd night in Hancock and then back to NYC the next day.

We've found interesting trips all over US on Mini website. You'll need to sign in to get to the Member's Page and look for roadtrips. All are off the beaten path and places we never would have found otherwise.
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Jun 11th, 2009, 09:24 AM
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Try googling the Tourism sites for each state you think you will likely go. We did that and it helped us tremendously. Some sites will even give info on the best foliage times for different regions. If you are able, Lake Champlain in upper Vermont is lovely. Take a ferry or a boat cruise for a change of scene. We were travelling late Sept. and first few days of Oct. and did not have problems finding places to stay. Later in Oct. however, I don't know how that would be. Make sure you try the maple syrup - heavenly.
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Jun 11th, 2009, 10:23 AM
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You might try: head north on the Taconic Parkway (very scenic) with stops at Hyde Park ( Roosevelt Home) and/or dinner at the Culinary Institute. Visit Chatham, New York - interesting Quaker Village. On to Williamstown, Mass - home of Wiliams College and check for theater presentation in their excellent theater. Nearby - MOCA a contemporary art museum converted from a 19century electric factory. Wind up in Manchester, Vt - lots of fall foliage - and check out inns along this itinerary. Return via Albany and NYS Thruway - stop off in New Paltz (old, historic college town) and - if you can locate it on Rte. 17 - the Red Apple Rest - famed stop off spot for those on their way to the Borscht Belt in days of old ( I think it still exists).
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Jun 11th, 2009, 11:34 AM
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The Red Apple Rest was shut down about three years ago and condemned a year later. It was a popular stop on the traffic hell on Route 17 to the Catskills. With the thruway bypassing it and the Catskills no longer a tourist destination, it became a rather run down eatery until it suddenly closed. So far as the leaves, I would take the Taconic as far as you can go. It's called a "parkway" because all the land on both sides is part of a park system. The farther north you go, the more spectacular the scenery. As you approach Mass., you get some views that go on for miles. You can end up in the Berkshires or continue to Vermont, both of which should be showing color that time of year. I would, then, get on the Mass. Pike Extension back to the NYS Thruway and head south. As you will be in high season in leaf country, you may want to time your overnight for someplace along the thruway more geared to travel than tourism. A quick stop in Kingston has some nice touristy things such as the old state capitol (burned by the British) and a touristy mix of restaurants, shops and a trolley museum at the Rondout. The next exit south is New Paltz where you can see a stone house neighborhood dating back to the 16th century. The village, itself, is a bit touristy and you can take a fairly short drive to see the Shawangunk (SHON-gum) mountains with some of the best rock climbing cliffs in America. At this point, you have several routes south, including West Point and other scenic stops. I would try to hit the Parkway back to the city as the Thruway over the Tappan Zee bridge can be a nightmare and there is really no scenery. Needless to say, you should pick up a few NY and Msss gudes from AAA, Fodor or the state tourism departments. Most of the stops mentioned also have their own web sites.
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Jun 11th, 2009, 02:46 PM
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Sad to hear about the fate of the famed Red Apple Rest. The museum near Williamstown is in North Adams -- Mass MOCA. An excellent bed and breakfast in Williamstown is Steep Acres Farm run by the Gangemi family - check their web site via Google. And - there are interesting dining spots in Williamstown.
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Jun 12th, 2009, 08:15 AM
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Using the Taconic Parkway has been mentioned in several posts - for scenic reasons. The designation "Parkway" denotes that no commercial traffic (trucks) are allowed making it a comfortable drive. This was an innovation introduced by Robert Moses who was Commissioner of Everything during his time.
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Jun 12th, 2009, 08:20 PM
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The other museum IN Williamstown is the world-class Clark Museum. Or did I miss it in the other posts.
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