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New England in October 2007

Old Feb 9th, 2007, 11:15 AM
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New England in October 2007

I have spent hours reading all of the posts here about NE during the fall foliage, and they are very helpful. So, now I have some specific questions that I hope those of you with experience can answer for me. First I will say that this is My mother's dream trip - an all girls trip to see the fall foliage in NE (we are Texans). My travel group consists of two sisters in their 50's, a healthy mom age 85, and one granddaughter age 24. We all love the outdoors and some easy walking in nature. We also like art, crafts and a little history. What we are planning is a trip from Oct.3 - 11. We fly into and out of Boston. I thought about traveling along the coast N. from Boston to about mid Maine, then over to NH and VT and back to Boston. Am I taking on too much for the amount of time available?
I figure on spending time in Boston at the end of the trip, maybe 2 nights there. We definitely want to spend some time in the White Mountains. What places should we use as bases throughout the trip(need to make reservations) and for how long in each place? I would appreciate suggestions.
Unfortunately, we are on a tight budget, so we thought about staying in motels - any suggestions as to which ones are nice but not too pricey?
Thanks in advance for your help.
BBY
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Old Feb 9th, 2007, 11:25 PM
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We usually plan our fall foliage trips to include Columbus Day Weekend, and have always had good luck with color.

We stayed in NH last year at the North Conway Grand Hotel, and it was in a wonderful location. Check out if it is in your price range for part of your trip.

http://www.northconwaygrand.com/gallery.
asp

We also like Kennebunkport, but stayed at the Breakwater Inn, so don't know of any motels.

http://www.thebreakwaterinn.com/kenn...ommodation.jsp

I'd stay 2-3 nights in one location, ending in Boston
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Old Feb 10th, 2007, 04:09 AM
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As bases Bar Harbor Maine and Jackson N.Hampshire in the White mountains.PAil
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Old Feb 10th, 2007, 05:00 AM
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As you head up the coast consider spending the night in Portsmouth NH and taking a morning harbor or inland rivers cruise. Visit Strawbery Banke historic area after lunch. I like the Hampshire Inn in Seabrook but it's really too far south of Portsmouth. They have huge rooms and great continental breakfast. You could have dinner at the Widow Fletchers and then spend the day in Portsmouth before heading to Maine (which is just across the bridge). We've stayed at the Glenmoore by the Sea in Lincolnville just north of Camden. Maine Coastal Gardens near Boothbay (south of Camden) offers nice walking trails thru the woods, gardens (newly planted) with some water view. I don't think I would continue to Acadia because of the distance and your time. Take the short hike to Owls Head Lighthouse in Rockland. Don't miss the view from the top of Mt Battie in Camden. Take the auto road. BTW there are a variety of hotels/motels at the traffic circle in Portsmouth convenient to Rt 95 that would offer choices.
You can go cross country thru Maine heading to North Conway area. You might get a good deal on a ski condo someplace. Keep your eyes open for League of NH shops, a long time juried arts and crafts association. There's a shop in Meredith on Lake Winnipesaukee. If you didn't do a Portsmouth cruise you might enjoy a cruise of the Lake on the Mt Washington. We have not been to the Remick Museum in Tamworth but it looks like they do interesting things there. There's an agricultural fair in Center Sandwich Columbus Day weekend which might have traffic congestion. Otherwise, it's a very beautiful area for leep peeping with mountain views between the Lake and the White Mountains. You could easily stay anywhere around Lake Winnipesaukee and the mountains are close by. There's a lot of tourist attracts like The Flume along Rt 93 so something along that stretch would be handy. Depending on your schedule it might be better to spend a couple of nights further north. A fun trip thru VT should include a trek thru the Great Vermont Corn Maze in Danville. It's not far from Littleton NH. Very hilly, challenging but has an escape route if you can't escape the maze. Figure at least 2 hours of walking and "being lost". I've tried local, smaller mazes but they don't compare with this. The Littleton area is north of the mountains and very rural. You can drive the length of either NH or VT in a day without long stops. Check a Vermont Guide for craft fairs while you are there but they would be limited to weekends. Vermont is still sort of out of the way so you won't see a lot of industrialization whereas the southern third of NH is very built up and congested. However, the southwestern corner of NH is very nice and rural. Nice for a drive thru. Peterborough is a very lovely town with some interesting shops and art gallery. You can then continue east on Rt 101, hookup with Rt 3 and head south to Boston.
Since this is home turf I don't have good suggestions for you. You will find some mom and pop places that will be fine and better than some franchises that are undergoing overdue renovations. Hopefully some other posters will give you hotel/motel recommendations. In VT, Shelburne Museum is great. The Lake Champlain valley is very nice with more open farmland than craggy NH. It will take you about half a day to drive Maine to NH if you're coming from Camden area. Conway to Portland is about an hour. Our states are much smaller than Texas so you might be surprised at how much you can cover in a few hours. To get a good look at Vermont, for example, we have spent a few days north of Burlington and then a few days south of Middlebury and still missed a lot of places. Pick some things you really want to do (some people take two days to visit the Shelburne Museum) and go from there. You'll find plenty of beautiful scenery. I think the route thru Maine is kind of boring but for a visitor it might not be. OTH Rt 100 from Waterbury to Stowe has lots of interesting shops, Ben & Jerry's, etc. Rt 93 from Plymouth NH to Littleton has more natural outdoor activities. Despite living here a lifetime I still find the drive north from Concord on Rt 93 to be wonderful as the congestion disappears and forests start to open up to views of mountains and valley towns. Actually from Concord south the highway is thru mostly forested land with very little commercialism/industry viewable until you get to the Massachusetts border. You'll be doing a lot of driving which is required for leef peeping but you'll also be getting out of the car a lot. You'll have a great time.
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Old Feb 10th, 2007, 06:24 AM
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A native Mew Englander, I think your original plan is ambitious. I would travel from Boston to NH and then Vermont. The trip up the coast will be long and the trees are better in Vermont. Since you will be tired I reccommend driving from the airport to Hanover NH or Woodstock Vermont on the first day. Both are quaint New England towns with several lodging options. The Woodstock in is nice but pricey. Just outside of Woodstock, Queechee has a B&B and condos. Continue from Woodstock to Stowe. The Vontrapp Family lodge is also a great mountain side hotel with nice walks that leave directly from the hotel. Stowe Vermont is beautiful. If you choose the New Hampshire White Mountain Route The Balsams (4 hours from Boston) is a beautiful old historic hotel. The food and service are better than the Mountain View Grand. If you do drive closer to the coast,the Wentworth Hotel and Spa owned by Marriot) is just outside of Portsmouth NH, from there you could go North to Jackson NH. They are many lodging options in Jackson. From Jackson you could go North to the Balsams and then back to Boston. personally, i think the drive through Vermont is the prettiest.
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Old Feb 10th, 2007, 09:35 AM
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We've stayed at the Grand View but didn't enjoy it. Fine if you want a spa resort and play golf. I think the Balsams is too far north which is why I suggested staying along Rt 93 and then heading over to VT. You are right, the plans are ambitious to include all three states. Do-able but a lot of hotel changing.
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Old Feb 10th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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I think you have a bit too much, and if foliage is the main focus, a circle from Boston, up into NH, then over to VT, and back thru western Mass returning to Boston would be my suggestion. Depending on how "the colors" are going during your particular dates, this would give you freedom to perhaps go further north or stay south in NH/VT to see the closest to "peak".
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Old Feb 13th, 2007, 03:55 AM
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I am really grateful for all of the suggestions. It seems you all pretty much agree that I have bitten off a bit too much. Yet, I am wondering if I will regret being in NE and not even setting foot on the Maine coast. I wish someone could rank the sights in terms of must see vs. just nice to see. I assume that you all agree that NH, VT and Boston are all must see, but Maine is just a nice to see?
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Old Feb 13th, 2007, 04:14 AM
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Yes, you'll enjoy the coast of Maine. Think about 2-3 nights in 3 different states. Maybe Ogunquit or K-port, Maine, then Jackson, NH, then Woodstock, VT.

Check out the Sparhawk Inn in Ogunquit, or in Kennebunkport, the Lodge at Turbot's Creek or the Rhumb Line Resort. These should have more reasonable prices. In Jackson, check The Lodge at Jackson Village.

This is the busiest (and most expensive) time of year, so book as soon as possible. It sounds like a wonderful trip! Enjoy!

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Old Feb 13th, 2007, 08:39 AM
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Tough question! The further you go north from Boston, the craggier the coast becomes. We recognized a scene in Message in a Bottle supposedly in the Carolinas as Not Carolina and sure enough it was filmed in Maine. I think a visit to Portsmouth NH esp if you drive Rt 1B thru Newcastle past the historic Wentworth-by-the-Sea hotel to be a great introduction to a New England seaport but further north you would have cliffs and lighthouses. Unfortunately, the drive on Rt 95 from Portsmouth to mid-coast Maine is kind of boring but maybe a shorter trip to the York Beach area or Kennebunks would suffice. One of my favorite approaches to the coast from Concord NH is via Rt 4/Durham/Dover Pt Great Bay with the first view of fishing boats and lovely homes. NH's White Mountains are a definite must do. From there you could make a loop thru VT. Vermont has more open farmland, the mountains are more big hills. It would be an easy day trip from a lot of NH locations. Boston is a unique city but so is Portsmouth NH. You can see VT just make it a day trip. It really depends on what you want to experience. You can waste a lot of time in shops or you can drive too many miles. Even as a native I don't think I've seen it all, in fact we recently took a drive on a mountain road near home that we had never been on before and finally made a trip to Maine's famous Monhegan island last summer. Just keep your schedule sensible. You'll have a great time and see some great sights.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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I can't say much that hasn't been said, other than I think the folks encouraging you to skip Maine are crazy. I agree that your original plan may be a bit ambitious, but the Maine coast should not be missed (get to Camden if you can), and the best foliage would be on your drive from the mid-coast through the heart of Maine to the White Mountains. I would skip Vermont. And one thing that everyone enjoys if it fits into your schedule is the Fryeburg Fair, quite the experience.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 12:31 PM
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This is another one of those questions that has to be answered with "depends upon what kind of traveller you are."

My husband and I did a very similar trip to yours a few summers ago, in a week. We absolutely did not feel rushed or like we were spending too much time in the car (and we are antsy people!) And I'm so glad we got to see the Maine coast, as well as Acadia NP. We didn't stay any place fancy-shmancy either, nor did we make reservations ahead, except for in Hanover.
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Old Feb 16th, 2007, 02:21 AM
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The Fryeburg Fair! The dates are Sept 30 - Oct 7, 2007. The location in Maine is on the way between Portland and Conway. Good suggestion for a New England event. It's an agricultural fair with a very good history museum and demos. It was my in-laws favorite last fair of the season but we've only been once. If you decide to go, it's probably best to park outside of the fairgrounds. There are lots of people who park people on their lawns, etc. Probably best to go early in the day and get some tips from people who go all the time.
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