Long weekend in RI, NH, VT, ME in late Sept

Old Jul 25th, 2019, 03:27 PM
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Long weekend in RI, NH, VT, ME in late Sept

Have a conference in Providence early in the week of Sept 16th. My wife and I will be leaving Thurs morning to try to see as much as we can. Thought of hitting Martha's Vineyard on Thursday and then going briefly into Maine and then NH and Vermont before heading back to Providence for the flight home on Sunday. Ideally we can see some changing foliage, but also want to get some lobster and cross off these states we haven't been to. Any suggestions for things like lighthouses, hikes with waterfalls or great views, food places, etc. Any help is appreciated.
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Old Jul 25th, 2019, 04:21 PM
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Last week of summer is too early for fall foliage, but perfect for hiking in the mountains if it's dry. You may be better off staying near the coast rather than logging miles and hours in the car to get to mtns in NH. Perhaps book the weekend in Portsmouth NH (very nice little city, good restaurants, walkable), and you could do a day trip into ME - at least as far as Kittery if you want to check it off your states list, or farther to the area south of Portland. You can find lobster anywhere along the coast there - all fresh, all equally good. Maybe some more equal than others, but not hard to find.
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Old Jul 25th, 2019, 06:58 PM
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From Providence, take an Amtrak Northeast Regional train to Boston south station. Take public transportation across the city to Boston North station to take the Amtrak Downeaster at least as far as Freeport Maine.
The LL Bean flagship store with a huge pair of boots outside, is within walking distance of the Freeport Amtrak Station.
The Downeaster train goes across New Hampshire to get to Maine.
Don't expect to see much fall foliage unless there is an early freeze (not likely).
There is also a Vermonter train that goes northward from Springfield MA.
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Old Jul 26th, 2019, 02:50 AM
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I agree too early for color unless you luck out with early red of swamp maples in a swampy area. Sometimes a single maple will turn color early for some unknown reason. I think Portsmouth is a great idea. I have two favorite drives. One is starting from Prescott Park/Strawbery Banke and driving Rt 1B thru New Castle. At one point you go over a causeway and can see the old Navy Prison in Kittery ME and in the other direction, a bit of the fabulously restored Wentworth by the Sea hotel. Then switch to Rt 1 thru Rye to see beautiful private mansions along the coast. You can probably get a good twin lobster deal at Petey's in Rye. It's a typical New England style seafood restaurant. We usually get a lobster roll but it's not my favorite. You can also take an inland rivers or harbor cruise. I like inland rivers best. Then head to Portland ME to visit Fort Williams Park to check off both a lobster roll (Bite Into Me food truck), lighthouse and great view of Casco Bay. There is also a nice view from the Eastern Promenade section of Portland. You'll find lots of Portland ME restaurant recommendations on chowhound. There are lots of options.
From Portland you can head west to NH's White Mountains. Arethusa Falls is a short hike if you just go to the falls. I did not have the energy to do the loop which I understand also includes a view. A lot of people recommend the Kancamagus Hwy thru the mountains. When you connect with I93 you can head south OR head north and over to Danville VT for the Great Vermont Corn Maze. We thought it was fun and would have been lost forever if we hadn't taken an emergency exit to the top. I remember a nice view, not fantastic but nice.
If you get a DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer it will give you the location of waterfalls and some hikes. We have one each for VT, ME and NH but I think there might be a combined one now. You can find these at large gas stations and bookstores. For example, if you chose the southern east/west route across NH that goes thru Tamworth and Sandwich you could drive the not very scenic seasonal Sandwich Notch road. There is a small waterfall a short hike off the road. You would never find it otherwise.
IF you take this route you could take a nature cruise on Squam Lake. We did this most recently last early September and had a fantastic narrated pontoon boat ride seeing loons. Trip was from Squam Lakes Science Center but make sure you know where the dock is because it's in a different place. There's an interesting new distillery in Tamworth. Worth a visit even if you don't do a tasting (they let a couple share).
Perhaps do a quick visit to Vermont to see Quechee Gorge. Simon Pierce has a great restaurant on the river plus glass blowers/gift shop. Best route back from VT might be I89 back thru NH then south on I93 to connect with I495 and I95 back to Providence. I89 is actually a pretty ride. You might see some swamp maples. You could say a final goodby with a short detour off I89 to Gould Hill Orchard which grows a great variety of apples and makes their own hard cider. Check tasting hours. It is very pleasant to sit outside at a picnic table and enjoy the distant view of some mountains. A final hike before this might be Mt. Kearsarge in Warner.
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Old Jul 26th, 2019, 05:12 AM
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A fast way for you to get to Martha's Vineyard would be to drive from Providence to New Bedford (little over half an hour) and take the ferry to MV(one hour). https://seastreak.com/ferry-routes-a...s-vineyard-ma/ Here is an alternative ferry which leaves from RI, but I haven't used it. https://www.vineyardfastferry.com/wh...yard_ferry.htm Is this a day trip or will you spend the night?

Either way, that seems to leave you with Friday and Saturday to see New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont, as you have to be back in Providence for your flight home. That being the case, I'd recommend you drop Vermont and head to Maine (you will pass through NH on the way -- short shrift but if you're just checking off boxes . . . ). We recently spend a few days in Portland, ME and found plenty to do, including cruises on Casco Bay, a surprisingly good art museum and some fine dining. If you have a late flight out of Providence you could stop in Portsmouth, NH and look around a bit on the way back.
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Old Jul 26th, 2019, 05:46 AM
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Thank you for the quick replies everyone. This is an excellent start. Given the time of year, it sounds as if Maine might be the best place to spend some time. Thank you so much for the feedback.
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