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Need a little help planning 4 day/3 night New England fall tour

Need a little help planning 4 day/3 night New England fall tour

Jul 20th, 2008, 12:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,560
Need a little help planning 4 day/3 night New England fall tour

Hello - our son is at Tufts University. We're planning to fly to Boston on a Thursday afternoon, see him that evening, stay in Boston overnight and then leave on Friday morning for a 3 day driving tour of New England in October. We've never been to NH or Maine or anywhere else in Mass. Have been to Vermont but would not be opposed to seeing more of that state either. We're looking for fall color, small towns, scenery, quaint(?) inns and good food. Any driving itineraries come to mind?? We'll have to return to Boston that Sunday evening and likely fly out on a Monday morning. So, we'll have all day Friday, Saturday and most of Sunday to tour. thanks!
cmeyer54 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 01:10 PM
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What dates in October? In north central Vermont where I live the foliage usually peaks the first week in October. It is later farther south and along Lake Champlain

Last fall we were in the Boston area for college visits Oct 18-20 and saw very good color there. Concord was especially nice.

Of course, it varies from year to year. Vermont has a foliage hotline and website to help you find peak color and I think NH and MA have similar information.

I always enjoy the foliage festival in the Northeast Kingdom of Vt the first week in October--seven towns set up different events and meals each day of the week.
For some ideas for foliage routes in Vt see this website
Vttraveler is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 01:23 PM
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Check schedule for foliage cruises out of Portsmouth NH or Lake Winnipesaukee. Friday AM departure would beat the traffic heading north EVERY weekend. You can be in Concord NH in slightly more than an hour via Rt 93. Best bet would be to stay in a recommended inn and do drives from there. We particularly love Sandwich NH which is north of Lake W in every season. It's busy around the lake but much quieter just a few miles away. Eat at Corner House Tavern. Drive thru Tamworth or over to Squam Lake. Country Magazine (not country living) has a fall photo spread taken in Andover NH area. It's near New London NH (small college town)/Lake Sunapee. As you drive north on Rt 93 you can start to see distant mountains by the time you are approaching Concord NH. Keep heading north and you'll drive right thru the White Mountains. If you want mountain views - that's the area you should head. Easy drive from the Lake W area. N Conway is breathtaking but also crowded. There won't be as much traffic in small towns on the outskirts of Concord NH. Washington NH and Hillsboro Center are lovely, small places. You can find stone arch bridges.
Sunday late afternoon and evening traffic southbound will be very heavy esp because Rt 89 from VT feeds into Rt 93 and then gets backed up at the Hooksett toll booth. You can avoid by driving Rt 3A until it comes out in Manchester.
In s/w corner of NH just drive around thru towns like Peterborough (very artsy, beautiful little downtown on the river), Hancock, Harrisville, Dublin.
Portsmouth NH is known for wonderful restaurants. We enjoy the drive out rt 1b thru Newcastle. You could visit Flag Hill Winery and Distillery in Lee NH. The Exeter area is lovely.
I'm sure there are hundreds of drives you could easily take. Best suggestion is to make reservations ASAP at an inn/small hotel. You might search Fodors for past recommendations.
dfnh is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 01:37 PM
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You'll be here in prime tourist time. Many places will have 2-night minimums, or be booked already, sometimes a year in advance. So don't dawdle.
Anonymous is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Every part of NH is beautiful in the fall. I'll try to give you suggestions so that you don't spend too much time driving.

Day 1 Friday
From Boston drive up north on route 93 (exit 18) to Canterbury, NH and spend a few or more hours at the Shaker Village. You can have lunch there too.

Continue on route 93 north to Meredith, NH and spend the rest of the day and night. Take an afternoon or evening cruise on the Mount Washington boat.
Stay in the Mill Falls area. Lots of things within walking distance.

Day 2 Saturday
Drive around the Lake Winnepesaukee area (the hotel can give you routes to places like Wolfeboro, etc). How much further north you drive depends on when you are here. By mid-October the foliage should be strong in the Lake Winnepesuakee area.
Spend night again in Meredith. Have dinner at Mame's in Meredith just across the street from Mill Falls.

Day 3 Sunday
Leave Meredith and drive to Hanover, NH (Dartmouth College town). Park downtown and wander around. Have lunch and depart mid to late afternoon for Boston. (take route 89 south to route 93 south straight into Boston).

The drives in these areas are very scenic and you will find places you may just want to stop at along the way.

There's no "best" itinerary for 3 days and there's other areas of NH that are also worth a visit, but this is a nice way to see the quaint part of NH as you described within your timeframe.

Jaya is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 05:07 PM
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thanks everyone - it would be either the first or third weekend of October.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 04:44 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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If you do the NH itinerary instead of Vermont, I agree Canterbury Shaker Village would be a good destination. However, if you don't make it there, there is another smaller Shaker community in Enfield NH near Hanover. It is in a beautiful setting on Mascoma Lake
The St. Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, NH south of Lebanon/Hanover is another lovely spot to visit

there are also some very nice drives you could take farther west in MA. which might make sense if you visit the 3rd week in October I will try to suggest some in another post when I have more time
Vttraveler is offline  
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