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NE Itinerary - Late September

Old Mar 25th, 2012, 09:42 AM
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NE Itinerary - Late September

Please help with a 7-8 night trip this September. I've read quite a few posts, but there are some specific things that interest us. I know early to mid-October would be a better time for leaves, but due to schedules, the only alternative would be a trip starting no earlier than 10/17 and I think we might miss the color by then. For this trip we're looking at Boston, NH, and ME.

Places of interest:
Boston
Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, Nantucket
NH - Jackson, Sandwich, White Mountains (Mt. Washington)
ME - Portland, Acadia, Rockland, Camden, Kennebunkport

Activities/Sights:
WIndjammer Cruise
Leaf Spotting
Hiking
Lighthouses (Portland Head Light)
Whale watching
Freedom Trail
Duck Tour
Boston neighborhoods - Waterfront, North End, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Public Garden

My initial thought was to fly in and out of Boston, but the fare isn't significantly different if we fly into Portland and out of Boston. I haven't checked how that would affect a rental car, but it would save a little time. It appears that we would be better off doing weekend nights in Boston and weekdays in smaller B&Bs.

Any thoughts on these lodging options? We prefer smaller inns and independent hotels over chains.

Boston - Charlesmark Hotel, Newbury Guest House, Harborside Inn, Clarendon Square
Maine Coast - Berry Manor Inn (Rockland), Hartstone Inn (Camden), Camden Maine Stay
White Mountains - The Inn at Thornhill, Inn at Ellis River, Darby Field Inn, Notchland Inn
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 10:46 AM
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Two suggestions: One, I think you're cutting too wide a path with only 7-8 days. Pick Boston plus point south OR Boston plus points north. It's insanity to include the Cape/Islands with Maine.

Two, forget foliage this year. I have plants and trees in full bloom now that aren't normally until May around here (north of Boston). It is a crapshoot usually to plan around leaf peeping, even more so this year with the utter non-winter we've had.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 10:56 AM
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Thanks Amy...I wasn't sure if I could do the Cape and/or Islands as a day trip from Boston. So I guess points north it is for this trip.

I know things are crazy this year, as they were last year, so that is one reason I'm not concerned about a Sept. trip. The leaves are not the real reason for our visit, so even though missing the color would be a disappointment, it won't be a deal breaker.

Actually my original plan was to go out to Arizona, but I was told September is still too hot and hubby preferred the NE option!
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 11:02 AM
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Looks like far too much for 8 days. If you happen to see some leaves in full color consider it a plus but not a must see.
If you wanted to rent a car in Portland but wanted to fly in and out of Boston, the fare on the Northeaster (Amtrak) from North Station is not too bad to Portland.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Thanks tom...so what is doable for say 7 nights. I was thinking 2 nites ME coast, 2 nites White Mts. and 3 nites Boston.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 03:28 PM
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I live in Nantucket, so if you decide to go in that direction, I will be happy to answer questions. I am not in the property rental or any other tourist business.

We took a midsummer break to Maine last year and stayed at the Hartstone Inn in Camden. We liked it a great deal. The chef owner turned out delicious meals (we ate lunches and one dinner elsewhere) and the owners were very accomodating. The rooms are spread over several buildings; ours was up a lot of stairs in the main house. If you reserve in advance, I am sure you would have a lot of room to specify. We took a windjammer excursion, and Rockland is just a jaunt. The Farnsworth Museum is excellent. They also own the Olson House, where Wyeth painted "Christina's World." It makes a fascinating visit but get good directions and a map because it is not easy to find.
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 04:35 PM
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As much as I'd love to urge you to come visit the Cape, I do agree that Cape Cod and Maine are a little ambitious in your limited time.

If you wanted to get a taste of the Cape, there's a fast ferry (90 minutes) that goes from Boston to Provincetown at the northern tip of Cape Cod. That could be a day trip, if you have a day to spare.

Provincetown and its museums, beaches, shopping and general funky ambiance make for a fun day ...
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Old Mar 25th, 2012, 04:40 PM
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Should've mentioned - the Boston-Provincetown ferry is only an option if you do the trip in September. They stop running in mid-October.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 07:39 PM
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OK...thanks for all the advice so far. We finally have our destinations. Now we need to fill in the details.

- Fly into Portland (waiting a bit to watch airfares), rent a car and drive to the Camden area to stay for 3 nights
- Drive to White Mountains to stay for 2 nights
- Drive to Boston and stay for 3 nights

So what are the MUST do's for those areas. We have lodging reservations in Maine, but not in the other locations.
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