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Chiodob Sep 5th, 2009 10:36 PM

Late October in New England
I'll be visiting Baltimore, MD, for a work conference during the last week of Oct 2009. I'm planning on arriving a few days early in order to rent a car and drive some of the scenic roads of the New England States. Will I be too late for the famous fall colors? Where should I go? I'm afraid it will be too late to go up to NH, VT and ME to see fall foilage. I would love to stay at one or more B&Bs, wander through small towns, have good home cooked meals at small cozy restaurants, look for antiques, and maybe walk along part of the Appalacian Trail. Is that too much to fit into say four days? I'll have to be in Baltimore by evening of the 26th. Any ideas will be appreciated. I'm from CA and never been to the New England States. Suggestions for places and things to see in MD would be helpful, too. Thanks all!

gail Sep 6th, 2009 03:01 AM

If you have only 4 days, including drive from Baltimore, and want to see any foliage, I think you should concentrate on Southern New England - perhaps Cape Cod or Rhode Island. Any further north than that you will see bare trees.

I might consider taking Amtrak to Providence, spending the night there, renting a car and driving to Newport. There are some beautiful little towns in coastal Rhode Island along the way. You might then drive to Cape Cod for a night or 2. The advantage to RI is that it is more of a year-round destination, with local restaurants more likely to be still open. You could drive, but the route thru NJ, NY and some of souther-most CT does not seem to fit any of your criteria.

On Cape Cod, some restaurants close for the season around Columbus Day - others remain open most of the year. Antiques are possible in the Sandwich area.

If this framework makes any sense, do a search here on RI and/or Cape Cod in fall or check back.

With that amount of time I would skip NH/VT/ME - although another option would be to drive up coast to southern Maine. Any hilly/mountainous areas will long be done with foliage - and it is a lull in business time - after summer and foliage but not quite ski season - which might be good or bad depending on your preferences. I would still stay south.

dfrostnh Sep 6th, 2009 03:18 AM

Gail is right. I've seen half decent foliage as late as Oct 23 in RI. We've driven Aberdeen MD (about an hour north of Baltimore) to the Concord NH area in about 8.5 grueling hours. Even if foliage was still around, two long days on the road really isn't worth it.

Ackislander Sep 6th, 2009 04:02 AM

I think Gail as usual gives good advice, but I would add a couple of things.

1. Assuming that you are arriving in Baltimore from the west coast, look into flying to and from Providence on Southwest and comparing that to the cost of flying [home airport]-PVD-Baltimore-[home airport]. Saves you half a day on Amtrak, though Amtrak is easy from the Baltimore airport.

2. Between Providence and Newport is Bristol, a very old town worth exploring. Much of the rest of the trip is fairly congested.

3. Look on your map and locate Fall River, MA. You will notice that to its south is Tiverton, Little Compton, and Sakonnet, RI. This is a very rural area with tiny New England villages (with upscale shops), and it continues east through Adamsville to Westport, MA. If you drive south from Westport to Westport Point (back road, please) you will find yourself in an area that is more like Maine than much of Maine.

From Westport Point, find your way to New Bedford via Padanaram, a yacht harbor par excellence. In New Bedford, the Whaling Museum and Seaman's Bethel (Moby Dick) are worth a visit, and you can drift east to the Cape on US 6, detouring to visit the charming town of Marion.

Once you cross onto the Cape by the Bourne Bridge, take the first right at the rotary (traffic circle) and drive through Gray Gables, Pocasset and on down to Falmouth after joining 28A. Almost every turn to your right will bring you down to a picturesque harbor.

This will all take you more than one long day if you get out of the car a lot.

Sometime, you want to find yourself back up on 6A on the north side of the Cape (US 6 is without interest). As Gail says, you can antique your way through Sandwich, and the shops certainly go as far as East Dennis and probably beyond.

When you get to Brewster, you are near the national seashore with hiking trails galore. You can zip back to Providence on US 6 and then I-95.

Gotta get ready for church now. Have a great trip!

Anonymous Sep 6th, 2009 05:08 AM

By late October, the foliage in northern New England will be done, and you even take a risk that southern New ENgland states will be well past their peak.

I know that folks from out West have a different ideas about driving distances, but I just wanted to make sure that you were aware that Baltimore is a 5-hour drive from the nearest corner of New England (i.e., southwest CT). If you're interested in foliage and quaint little towns rather than New England per se, perhaps you should also consider nearby areas in West Virginia and Virginia.

writerhenn Sep 13th, 2009 01:29 AM

Agree with late October best bet for foilage is south of B' for quaint towns, antiques etc. you might check out New Market, near Frederick, which is enroute to W.Va., where you can check out Harper's Ferry...St. Michael's on the Eastern Shore and several little burgs in southern MD. are also worth checking out.

HowardR Sep 13th, 2009 05:19 AM

One constant about the foliage scene is that it's usually different, calendar-wise, from year to year! For example, here in the lower New York Hudson Valley last year, the foliage was still beautiful in early November!
Further, why go the longer distance to eastern Massachusetts, when there's the Hudson Valley, which is actually further south?

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