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jdaniell Aug 9th, 2018 06:47 PM

Need help with Maine/New Hampshire travel
We are visiting Boston and Maine at the end of summer. We will spend two days in Boston, then head up the coast stopping in Kennebunkport to explore and eat lunch. Then will head on to Bar Harbor for 3 nights. (Wasn’t sure if we should stay somewhere along the way or get to BH so we have 2 full days there?)
🍁 Now is where I really have questions: From Bar Harbor we’d like to head west(?) to see some autumn color (and Moose of course would be amazing!) but we only have two full days to make our way down towards Boston. Maine, New Hampsire, Vermont? When we wake up third day I would hope to be just 2-3 hours from Boston to catch flight that afternoon. Hope to see autumn color and beautiful scenery (moose) along the way.

Looking forward for any guidance from anyone that knows this area.

J62 Aug 9th, 2018 07:10 PM

What are your travel dates? Anything before Oct 5 or so and your chances of fall color are close to nil, and even 10/5 is early for “awesome”

jdaniell Aug 9th, 2018 07:23 PM

That part of the trip will be first few days of October. We are from Texas so any color will be better than what we have here.

tomfuller Aug 9th, 2018 08:06 PM

While driving east to west across New Hampshire, be sure to drive the Kancamagus Highway (112) from Conway through Lincoln and on over to Woodsville. Cross the river on US 302 into Vermont. Take I-89 south from Montpelier. I-89 takes you back to I-93 at Concord NH. Your best chance of seeing fall colors will be in the White Mountain National Forest (Maples, Birches and maybe Oaks).

dfrostnh Aug 10th, 2018 02:25 AM

Agree with Tomfuller's suggestion but unless you look into places that advertise moose tours, you probably won't see any moose. I've only seen moose twice in my life here in NH. The earliest reds are swamp maples so even if most trees are still green, there will be some swampy areas where the trees turn red way before all the others. Although I89 is an interstate, I think you will find it very scenic. Warning however, I95 in Maine is very boring. We usually get off in Brunswick to travel Rt 1 which is much slower. I like Camden a lot better than Kennebunkport. The auto road up Mt. Battie is one of the most beautiful views in Maine.

Returning south on I89, if you get off at exit 9 in Warner NH and travel Rt 103 to Concord, you'll be ending your trip going thru scenic NH towns. Take a slight detour to Gould Hill Orchard for the view and some of the best apples in New England. (see their website) Stay in Concord or Manchester depending on where you want to have dinner but Concord is prettier with a nice, walkable downtown (although stores close early). Your trip back to Boston is easy via I93.

jdaniell Aug 10th, 2018 03:37 AM

Thank you for your help. This gives me a good idea of a route, and the best area to end at before heading back to Boston.

DonTopaz Aug 10th, 2018 04:56 AM

Are you absolutely dead set on visiting Bar Harbor? It's a long drive (50 miles of Maine coastal roads are very, very unlike 50 miles of Texas roads), and the nice weather that you'd want for exploring Acadia NP will be iffy.

You might want to consider heading to Kennebunkport, maybe stopping overnight in Portland, then heading toward to White Mountains in NH. The further north you go at that time of year, the better will be the color and the more likely you'll be to spot a moose. (TBH, I've spent plenty of time in NH and ME, and the only moose I ever saw there was way, way up north in Pittsburg NH.)

Calabria62 Aug 10th, 2018 05:38 AM

Not to belabor the moose point, but we've lived in Maine for decades, and have only seen moose twice. once way up in Mooselookmeguntic and once right here on my road!

Acadia National Park is stunning and deserving of more than two days, because it is indeed a long drive, almost 4 hours from the the very southern point of Maine at Portsmouth, NH border. Options would be to spend all your time in Maine, and drive back to Boston, or perhaps.....skip Acadia/BH and stick to southern/midcoast Maine then go over to NH and back to Boston. Can't comment on VT.

Beware, that driving to Boston on your departure date can be a lot longer than you might expect. Weekend travel north and south is always heavy, depending on time of day, allow plenty of time.

dfrostnh Aug 10th, 2018 12:33 PM

I forgot the usual foliage traffic warning. Any morning unless it's sunday will probably have heavy southbound traffic during commuting hours. Saturday and Sunday afternoon and early evening southbound will be a parking lot on I93 and I95. Every Friday northbound is heavy traffic.
with limited time I agree with skipping Acadia.

jdaniell Aug 10th, 2018 03:15 PM

Thank you all for the different ideas. The plan to go to Bar Harbor/Acadia Park was because
we’ve always heard that was a must see. I’ll rethink that If it’s not that big of a deal. And although I’d love to see a bull moose, I know they are hard to catch a peek (maybe that’s why so many are intrigued). Still would like to also see some scenery besides coast so we will probably head for White Mountains in NH and other areas there mentioned.
Will definitely be aware but not too concerned about distance or traffic as we live in Dallas. That’s just something we deal with daily.

Thanks again, and IF I see that moose- I’ll post a picture for all my helpers! Hehe

clarkgriswold Aug 10th, 2018 05:14 PM
clarkgriswold , Aug 10th, 2018 06:14 PM
Acadia is glorious, don't travel all the way from Texas and then worry about spending a bit more time on the road. From there I would drive to Bethel Maine or Franconia NH, then make your way down to Wolfeboro or Alton Bay for the final night, you'd have a couple hours drive down to Boston depending on time of day (what time is your flight out?)
Hillwinds Lodge Franconia US

jdaniell Aug 10th, 2018 09:24 PM

Thank You! That video of Acadia National Park did it. It is beautiful, and staying on the plan. I’m anxious to check your other suggestions too! I really appreciate your help.

Vttraveler Aug 13th, 2018 09:14 AM

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I live in north central VT and peak foliage here, a little north of Montpelier, is usually the first week in October. There is a nice foliage festival in different towns in NE VT that week
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The different states all have foliage websites and updates on where you can see good color.

jdaniell Aug 13th, 2018 04:56 PM

Thank you!

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