New England itinerary

Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 11:43 AM
  #1  
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New England itinerary

This is in the "just thinking" stage, even though if it happens, it will happen soon (less than two weeks from now).

We will be in New Haven helping our son and his girlfriend settle in (they don't have a stick of furniture yet, or a can opener....really, anything they need to live, having been living in Uganda the last two years).

After that, we'd like to spend some time (maybe 5-6 days) in New England. We will have a car, and will likely fly home from Manchester, New Hampshire. We've driven the coast from Boston to Rockport years ago and loved it. We're mostly interested in charming little towns (think Carmel, California or Lahaina, Maui), gorgeous scenery. We like to eat, but like funky local places with good food even more than we like great food at exorbitant prices! We love to poke around local shops (map shop and cooking shop in Charleston, Melrose Avenue, antique store in Cambria, ceramics anywhere!, even Solvang is ok for an hour) but are not into outlet shopping or malls when on vacation. We've been to LL Bean and don't feel compelled to go back (the catalog will do, thanks). We also drove on that same trip through the heart of Maine to Quebec, and thought it was spectacular. I guess each day we'd like to wake up, have a nice breakfast (with a view?), poke around the town, then start off for someplace else, unless there's a reason to hang out longer. I always love to stop mid-afternoon at a local coffee house. Art museums are not a priority (but we enjoy history museums and artifacts -- Museum of Natural History, Egyptian Museum, Tenement Museum). Hiking -- not hugely strenuous, but we're relatively fit -- would be great, especially if it comes with a view!

So, any thoughts on places we shouldn't miss? A 3/4 circle we could make starting in New Haven and ending in Manchester? It could be anywhere in New England. We've never been in New Hampshrie, and only been in Vermont to ski, and once to eat breakfast in Bennington.

And while we're at it, any special hotels or restaurants in the places you recommend we visit?

Thanks!!
sf7307 is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 11:57 AM
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Have you been to the Berkshires? Drive through Stockbridge, stopping at the Red Lion Inn. Could hike Monument Mountain. Or keep going to Lanesborough and hike parts of Mt Greylock. Could also just picnic at the summit. Then stop in Williamstown on the way up Route 7 into Vermont.
tchoiniere is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 12:40 PM
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Don't miss the Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Mashantucket, CT. A marvelous little gem of a museum.

You could drive up through the little Berkshire towns (as tch suggests) to, say, Burlington VT, and then east-southeast to Manchester. That would be a nice drive through the mountains and the rolling-farmland parts.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 12:45 PM
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I would suggest southern New England. Mystic CT, Newport RI, Cape Cod, Providence RI, then Salem MA.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 07:48 AM
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Loved Stowe, Vt. Stayed at the Trapp Family Lodge. Loved it.
Will be going back in October.
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Old Jul 26th, 2009, 03:34 AM
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Mashantucket Pequot Museum is an excellent suggestion. So is Newport. The League of NH Crafts holds their annual fair in Sunapee NH Aug 1-9. This is a premier, juried show. While there you can take the chair lift to the top of Mt Sunapee for views. If you don't make it to the fair, the League operates shopes in places like Concord NH, Meredith (on Lake Winnipesaukee). Concord NH could be your last night before flying home from Manchester NH. Lovely downtown, visit Butters and Joy of Cooking on Main Street. Have coffee at Bread and Chocolate (or just buy some pastry). Museum of NH History off Main Street. Also if it rains, enjoy a film at Red River Theater, an independent theater. (it's been raining a lot) Canterbury Shaker Village is just north of Concord. Check their calendar for special events.
If you get to Sunapee, you could also head over to VT for a visit to Vermont Country Store, King Arthur Flour in Norwich and Simon Pierce for lunch. Simon Pierce also has glass-blowing and pottery demonstrations, a gift shop, and generate their own hydro-electric power. A table overlooking the river is possible if you get there when the restaurant opens.
The funkiest place we've eaten in VT is Pizza on Earth in Charlotte VT which is only open Thur and Fri later afternoon/early evening. It's a small bakery on a farm with a few seats outside. Surprisingly busy because it's in the middle of no where. Make sure you have good directions.
August can be a great month in New England. You can sit outside without bug spray. Many towns on NH celebrate Old Home Days during August. It started out as a governor's proclamation to increase tourism. Think of it as a town reunion with a parade etc. Some towns put on a really good chicken barbecue in the town or grange hall. Once you have chosen a route, you might look into this. We just did a short trip to Maine where we went to a lobster benefit dinner for the Tenant's Harbor Fire Dept. Also check for free outdoor concerts. Some are held early in the evening and you take a picnic supper (bring your own chair). These may or might not be advertised in a local newspaper.
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