Last minute fall foliage trip help

Old Sep 19th, 2008, 10:03 PM
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Last minute fall foliage trip help

Hi all,

I know that I'm planning this way too last minute, but such is life. My friend and I will be planning to arrive in Vermont (coming from upstate NY) next Saturday night and want to spend Sunday and Monday seeing some foliage, tasting local cider, etc...and make our way to Bar Harbor on Monday night (where we will spend the next two nights).

I'm just looking for suggestions on:

1) A home base in Vermont for Saturday and Sunday night (we will pray we can find some lodging);

2) Some recommendations on drives, short hikes around the home base (and/or going through NH on the way to Bar Harbor). We hope to try to avoid the worst crowds as best as possible;

3) Restaurants, cider farms that we should try to hit.

4) In Maine, anything you would suggest doing (and restaurants, lobster shacks - love lobster rolls) enroute from Bar Harbor to Boston.

I'm so overwhelmed. So, any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thank you.
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Old Sep 19th, 2008, 11:59 PM
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We have our trip planned around Columbus Day Weekend to Maine, and according to their foliage map, the change has not yet begun. You can keep an eye on Bar Harbor on this weekly report, but you might be too early there.

http://www.state.me.us/doc/foliage/

Driving down to Boston from Maine, visit Kennebunkport, and have a Lobster Roll there at one of the restaurants off Dock Square.

For VT. you might try the Burlington area, they have lots of accomodations and it's a nice town to use as a base. Visit Stowe for a day trip. Check the colors here:

http://www.vtonly.com/foliage.htm
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 04:27 AM
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The drive from southern Vermont (Bennington area)to Bar Harbor will take you at least 8 hours on local roads through VT and NH. So you really have only one day for activities. I wouldn't recommend Burlington or Stowe because they are in northern VT and you would only take up more time driving. The southern routes are very beautiful. You can take Rt. 9 across VT then 101 in NH to 95. You might want to consider picking up I95 to Maine, then RT 1 up the coast from Brunswick. Maine is a big state. On a good day, it will take 3 hours to drive from Portland to Bar Harbor on the highway at 75-80 mph. (that would be 95 to Bangor then local roads to Bar Harbor.) RT 1 up the coast will be more interesting, but will take longer. To me, this is the type of trip that should just unfold, meaning that there is no lack of restaurants and farms stands along the way and you should just stop as it strikes you, rather than looking for specific recommendations. And in Maine, I've never had a bad lobster, and a lobster roll is a lobster roll is a lobster roll. Mc Donalds even sells them. There is a beautiful spot in South Portland actually called The Lobster Shack that it right on the rocky shore. It's down the road past Two Lights State Park so if you look that up, you can find your way to the restaurant. If you enter "Maine" in the search box, you can read many other posts about places to stop along the coast. Have a great time!
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 05:07 AM
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I think you'll be too early for good foliage in the Burlington/Lake Champlain area. I would head for the Northeast Kingdom. You are also a little early for the area's fall foliage but could check out Walden events on the Monday. This website has lots of good info on the festival,lodging and local attractions
http://www.nekchamber.com/foliage/

The Great Corn Maze in Danville is fun.

Lots of people like Stowe and the scenery is also beautiful there but it is more touristy-- I'd head for the Kingdom
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 05:20 AM
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Forgot to mention that given your interest in cider you might want to visit Cold hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury center on your way east through Vt. If you do try the great cider donuts (listed by Gourmet as some of the top donuts in the US). The Mill is near Ben and Jerry's and both tend to get crowded.
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 07:26 AM
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You'll want to be in the Northeast Kingdom next weekend for foliage. As noted above, you may still be a bit early for good foliage but this is the part of the state that sees the change first, so you'll see something!Check out the St. Johnsbury area for lodging. There is a really nice Comfort Inn there. St. Johnsbury to Bar Harbor is about a 6 hour drive.
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 07:26 AM
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Often, condos at ski areas are available because no one seems to think about them outside of ski season. Some areas would be Mt. Snow(S VT), Killington(mid VT), Stowe, Smugglers Notch (N VT). Check out their websites or call for vacancies. As another poster said, it is a very long haul from VT to Bar Harbor bcs there are no W-E highways so you'll be on secondary rds all the time. Prettier but takes much more time.
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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Next weekend really is too early for peak foliage, but Vttraveler is right - the best foliage will be in the Northeast Kingdom. Stowe would be a good base for a couple of days. There is a lot to do there (www.gostowe.com) and it's an easy day trip into the Kingdom, maybe to Craftsbury Common or up to Newport.
From Stowe find your way to Rt. #2 which winds its way through New Hampshire to Bar Harbor. Yes, it will take several hours to get there, with slow traffic, but the scenery is worth it.
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 02:59 PM
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dis1010--where are you starting from in "upstate new York"? To me upstate NY is the Adirondacks but I realize you may mean somewhere farther south!
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 05:20 PM
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In my earlier post I didn't pay attention to the part about this being a fall foliage trip. If tree color is really important to you, you will need to go north. But if it is not, driving through any part of VT and NH on local roads to Maine will be beautiful in the fall. The Kancamangus Highway through NH is one scenic route, and isn't it a great name? And I still recommend the routes I described ealier through southern VT and NH. It would be helpful to know what you consider "upstate NY". It is used by different people to describe parts of New York State from Westchester to the Canadian border! (In my opinion, it encompasses the area within about 50 miles of Albany.)
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Old Sep 21st, 2008, 04:28 AM
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I'd opt for the trip thru NH's White Mountains where color is just beginning. I agree to take Rt 2 to Portland and get on Rt 95 for speedy trip. We usually get off Rt 95 in Brunswick to continue on Rt 1. Keep in mind the true lobster shacks are probably only open weekends thru Oct and some may be closed already due to outdoor seating etc. On Rt 1 before you get to Ellsworth you will see a local restaurant Just Barb's. Great lobster rolls here. Town is actually Stockton Springs and this is a popular local place. (sorry, I wouldn't get a lobster roll at McDonald's or D'Angelos). There is also a huge chicken coop on the east side of the road. Antiques on first floor, used books on second. Great place for books and very interesting building.
When you head south to Boston. Go to top of Mt Battie in Camden (auto road) for the terrific view overlooking Camden Harbor. We have never hiked it but you could. Near Rockland take short, easy hike to Owl's Head Lighthouse. Visit Boothbay Harbor and take a walk thru the new Coastal Gardens place on Barter Island. Don't know if Red's in Wiscasset is open but that's the legendary place for lobster rolls. We have never tried them because of the long lines. The Sea Basket in Wiscasset has great fried food but unusual hours. I would check both the Maine and NH Dept of Agriculture websites for PYO orchards and farmers markets. The farmers market in Brunswick is great but it may be only on Fridays. Portsmouth NH is also great. Stop in Portsmouth NH for a harbor or inland rivers cruise. Or take Rt 1B thru Newcastle simply because it's a beautiful ride.
Next week will avoid the worst crowds. They don't come out quite yet but there is a small amount of color in central NH. I wouldn't expect to see much on the coast. Swamp maples are a dull red right now.
If you want to take a big detour, Flagg Hill Winery and Distillery in Lee NH makes vodka out of apples. It's not apple flavored however. General John Stark Vodka. You can get a small bottle at state liquor stores for a taste. If you did this detour it would probably be best to continue west to connect with Rt 93 s to Boston.
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Old Sep 26th, 2008, 07:28 PM
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Hi-you may already have left for your trip but in case you haven't:

The area is so beautiful and quaint that I wouldn't worry too much about planning things. Just driving around is gorgeous. I love Route 100 in Vermont and the small towns like Woodstock, Newfane, Jamaica. Just meander, with only a fes destination spots in mind. Have fun! I'm heading up there the following weekend.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 01:24 PM
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Definitely go to Mount Desert Island, aka Bar Harbor. Take a stroll at Little Long Pond. I recommend the Bar Harbor Inn. And dinner at McKays. Don't stay at Rosecliff Cottages it's a noisy place.
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