New England itinerary help

Old Feb 14th, 2016, 11:07 PM
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New England itinerary help

I'm planning a trip with my DH to New England, the first part of October. We're flying in and out of Providence RI. We'll have 7 full days and want to spend some time on the RI and CT coasts. And if it's not too late, we'd love to see some fall foliage, probably in VT and NH. We get into PVD pretty late, so we wouldn't want to drive far that evening. We enjoys walks/hikes, exploring, shopping, and eating! Any suggestions for itineraries?
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Old Feb 15th, 2016, 01:30 AM
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I'm not going to do details, but something like this:

Day
1 Newport, RI
2 Portsmouth, NH via Salem, MA
3 Bethel, ME via NH 16 and Pinkham Notch
4 Montpelier, VT via US 3
5 VT 100 to Woodstock, VT
6 visit Hanover, NH, I-93 and 293 through Manchester; I-495 and 395 to Providence
7 Providence walks and museums, fly out

Some of these places (Woodstock, Hanover) are on spurs off the suggested roads. There are many, many other possible loops.

You absolutely will need reservations in all these places. YOU ABSOLUTELY WILL NEED RESERVATIONS IN ALL THESE PLACES. But the distances aren't long, so there is plenty of time to stop for shopping and pictures.

Don't hesitate to get off on the many gorgeous roads that parallel I-93 in NH (areas like New London).
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Old Feb 15th, 2016, 01:36 AM
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I lest out the Connecticut coast because it us congested and hard to get to if you are not a resident.

If it really matters, take I-91 from Woodstock to New Haven CT, then I-95 eastbound. Get off at Old Lyme or Essex or New London and poke along the coast through Mystic and Stonington. Then you can return to Providence along the beach towns of South County in RI -- Westerly and all those WASP enclaves.
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Old Feb 15th, 2016, 04:27 AM
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Depending on whether you have ever been to Boston or not, I wouldn't want to skip it. You should do at least one night. I also like Cape Ann in Massachusetts; Gloucester, Rockport. Newburyport just below the New Hampshire border and not far from Portsmouth NH is a nice old ship building town. That could be a stop for lunch. I think I would skip VT and see foliage in NH as 7 days isn't really a lot of time for a New England trip.
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Old Feb 15th, 2016, 04:44 AM
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Take the inland rivers foliage cruise in Portsmouth NH. The parking garage is within walking distance of the boat dock. Explore Portsmouth and try to find a restaurant ahead of time. There's a row of restaurants on Bow Street that share a deck on Portsmouth Harbor. You can walk along the back deck. Just choose your favorite menu and get a table by the window or if warm enough on the deck.

If you want idea of Salem MA and New England foliage, google Jeff Foliage.

Across the river from Portsmouth is Kittery ME, a shopping outlet mecca BUT if you follow signs to Kittery Point for nice little village.

Nature walking areas in/near Portsmouth: Urban Forestry Center, beaches, Wagon Hill Farm in Durham, Hilton Park on the water.

I think Ackislander meant gorgeous roads that parallel I89 which goes from Concord NH to VT. New London is an exit off I89. I93 will take you thru the center of NH thru the mountains. Do not attempt on a weekend late afternoon southbound as it will be clogged with leaf peepers. But Rt 3 parallels I93 and gives you some non-congested options. Both interstates are actually scenic. I usually recommend Rt 103 that parallels I89. Take a slight detour at Gould Hill Orchard for heirloom apples and view. Or a bit further to Carter Hill Orchard which is one of the hawk watch spots to watch hawk migration.

There are some small covered bridges along the route from Concord to Warner and New London. We like the state park toll road in Wilmot up little Mt Kearsarge. Great view from the top. You can also drive up from Warner side. If you have a DeLorme NH atlas and gazetteer (available in many stores and gas stations) it will list all the covered bridges. Up in the Hanover NH/Woodstock area there are some much longer ones going across the CT river. Stay at Norwich Inn not Woodstock. If you could be in Norwich, Brattleboro or Montpelier VT on a Saturday you could enjoy the farmers market which is kind of a slice of VT life. Go on an empty stomach. Brattleboro has more ethnic food vendors.

Visit Simon Pierce for lunch in Quechee VT or at least tour the building/gift shop. (It's near Norwich ad Woodstock)

Take tour of Canterbury Shaker Village near Concord NH.

I would skip CT, too.

For shopping: get a map of ice cream places, wineries, breweries, or cheese trail. I dare you to find Sandwich Creamery in Sandwich NH. But be warned that on two occasions driving thru Sandwich we have seen black bears.

Sandwich is just a few miles from Lake Winnipesaukee where you can take a boat cruise. Meredith might be a good place to overnight with some shopping. There will be a lot of traffic but worth it. Best to visit on a weekday.
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Old Feb 15th, 2016, 04:54 AM
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I would start out as Ackislander suggests for the first couple days -

1st day Newport RI

2nd day up to Portsmouth. But I would substitute Gloucester for Salem because in October Salem can be a real zoo.

3rd day I'd continue up the coast of Maine as far as Portland (stops at York, Ogunquit and Kennebunkport - and South Portland to see Portland Head lighthouse.

4th day head west into NH. The white mountains are great but can be very crowded at that time, the lakes region is also beautiful and probably somewhat less congested.

5th and 6th days Vermont

7th day back to Providence for the night before the flight out the following day (assuming it's early in the day, if it's late in the day you could overnight the night before in Sturbridge Mass, or Deerfield Mass - both of which have living history museums (Sturbridge being larger and more comprehensive, Deerfield has some gorgeous restored houses but not as much in the way of demonstrations, etc.)
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Old Feb 15th, 2016, 12:11 PM
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Thank you for all the great suggestions!!
We have been to Boston a few times, so will probably skip that. We've also driven the coast from Bar Harbor to Boston, but managed to miss Portland Head lighthouse. And we've been to VT...Burlington, Waterbury, Killington, Woodstock, and Quechee (including Simon Pearce). Loved it, but we could skip it this time around.
Sounds like we should concentrate on RI and NH. Our flight out is late afternoon, so we don't have to be in Providence the last night. I will get to work on lodging ASAP and try to avoid the more congested areas on the weekend. We will be traveling Tue–Wed, so only one weekend.
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Old Jun 13th, 2016, 10:17 PM
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Itinerary set!
Day 1 - Fly into PVD, stay near airport.
Day 2 - JFK Library, Newburyport, Portsmouth stay in York Beach ME
Day 3 - Cape Elizabeth/Portland Head lighthouse, Lake Winnipesaukee, stay in Meredith NH (2 nights)
Day 4 - Lake W and/or mountains
Day 5 - Concord, Manchester, stay in Auburn MA
Day 6 - Mystic Seaport, Stonington, stay in Newport CT (3 nights)
Day 7 - Newport
Day 8 - Ferry to Martha's Vineyard for day
Day 9 - Providence, fly home

We will include additional stops at some of the places recommended earlier. Any additional suggestions for stops, food, easy-moderate walks/hikes, etc. are appreciated. I think the only lodging that doesn't include breakfast is in York Beach. We would like to have a nice dinner in the Lake Winnipesaukee area...celebrating a BIG birthday.
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Old Jun 14th, 2016, 03:22 AM
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There is a fast ferry from Quonset Point, Rhode Island, to the Vineyard. You can park right at the ferry terminal (unlike the remote parking in Woods Hole) and save a lot of potentially miserable driving as well.
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Old Jun 14th, 2016, 03:28 AM
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Dinner - Corner House in Center Sandwich is an old inn in one of my favorite small towns. It's a pretty drive from Moultonborough. The Homestead in Bristol is in an old farmhouse. Any of the Common Man properties are reliable (Church Landing in Meredith, etc). I've only had lunch at Canoe but enjoyed it.

We recently went on a bird watching walk around the Remick Farm Museum in Tamworth which is near Center Sandwich. Haven't been to the museum itself but the grounds are open to the public. You can enjoy walking around downtown Meredith since it's right on the lake. We're hoping to do a boat ride on Squam Lake in September to see loons. Squam didn't get as built up as Lake W. We like driving around the Center Sandwich/Tamworth area because it's so pretty with old homes and mountain views. Friends who hike like Mt. Major in Alton for the view overlooking Lake W. It's supposed to be an easy hike.

Downtown Concord NH is very walkable and pleasant but the south end of Main Street is under construction. Depending on when you leave Meredith, it might be a place for lunch. When you head south on I93, after you go thru the toll booth in Hooksett, to continue on I93 you bear right. But, if you stay to the left, it becomes I293 and goes on the west side of the Merrimack River from the old mills which are now restaurants, colleges, offices, etc. I like that view although the section of highway is curvy and you have to be careful with cars entering the hwy. You can re-connect with I93 after that or continue south and it becomes the Everett Turnpike and eventually connects with I495 in MA. (googlemaps suggests I93 to Everett Turnpike). If you want to make a detour thru more rural area, in Concord head west on Rt 202/9 to Hillsboro and then south to Peterborough NH. It will be rural state highways instead of interstates. You continue south to Fitchburg MA heading to Auburn. Looks like it only takes about an additional 1/2 hour. Peterborough is a gorgeous artsy town with a wonderful independent bookstore.

To make it even more scenic but will add some time: get off I93 south at exit 14, turn right to connect with downtown Concord/North Main Street. There's a Holiday Inn on the corner. Turn left onto Main Street. (great place to get a pastry snack either Bread and Chocolate or Crust and Crumb) Go a couple of blocks, turn right onto Pleasant Street and keep going. It will go past the hospital and thru towns of Hopkinton and Contoocook. You can make a slight detour to Gould Hill Orchard which has a fine view of distant mountains and grows a wide variety of heirloom apples (see their website), back track to Rt 202/9/Pleasant Street. In downtown village of Contoocook, turn left to follow signs for I89 but continue past I89, go over dam, turn left and you connect with Rt 202/9. Turn right to go to Hillsboro. Rt 202 basically takes you thru old towns with very little commercial activity until you get to Peterborough which is mostly upscale shops. We've eaten at the diner next to the bookstore which would be fine for a lunch.
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Old Jun 14th, 2016, 02:51 PM
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Thank you Ack and dfrost...great suggestions!
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Old Jun 16th, 2016, 02:30 PM
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If you make it to the White Mountains, head to Jackson to drive through see their Covered bridge. I would also recommend staying in Jackson.... As you come over from Meredith into Conway, find the North/South Road and use it to avoid Conway foliage traffic.

The whole month of October, they hold "The Return of the Pumpkin People" - local businesses create fabulous pumpkin displays - google it and look at images - earlier in October better as the displays are fresher, this is the 31st year.

Be sure to visit the Jackson Historical Society and Museum of White Mountain Art (call or email the 92 year old curator, Warren, ahead of time and he will open just for you if you will be there at a time he is not normally open http://www.jacksonhistory.org/) - Fabulous art collection - even if you do not like art, this is a great take - free).

Head up to the Jackson Falls off Carter Notch road - you can picnic there, take a dip in the falls or just take in the view. Lunch at the Glen Ledge Store (awesome deviled eggs) or Jtown Deli in Jackson.

If you are in town on a Tuesday, stop at Wildcat Tavern for Hoot Night, local singers and bands all stop by and jam together - it is online steaming, so you can look ahead of time and see if it interests you. http://www.jacksonflicks.com/hoot-night/

For a sit down breakfast or lunch, highly recommend The Sunrise Shack in Glen (http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-sunrise-shack-glen), lots of great choices in the area, but since you are there for one breakfast, this is the best - also Stairway Cafe in North Conway.

Be sure to visit Zebs and the Penguin shops in North Conway Village, also the Conway Scenic Railroad is there, if you are into trains, they have both short and long rides.

You can get to the Kancamagus Highway easily from Glen (do not drive all the way back to Conway) http://www.kancamagushighway.com/ Head out Rt 302 towards Bartlett - you will see a left hand turn called Bear Notch Rd - this is a bit windy, just drive slow but takes you to about the mid-point of the Kanc. lots of great views/stops on this road.

The Bretton Woods Hotel is a beautiful stop - the last of the old Grand hotels, you can have lunch, just walk around, if you go at dawn or dusk you are likely to see moose during the drive (https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/br...etails/history).

You can drive the Mt Washington Auto road (if you have issues with heights, stop at Great Glen Trails and for a fee you can get a ride up in their van), also great hiking in this area. Try to pick a clear day so you can take in the views.

For a 5 star dinner try the White Mountain Cider Company in Bartlett (next to Glen) http://www.ciderconh.com/

For more casual dining, try the Moat Brewery, Shannon Door Pub for pizza and live music, Delany's (love the onion rings and sushi), Chef's Bistro, Black Cap Grill (Black Cap is in with the shopping outlets in Conway - best lunch spot if you are outlet shopping).
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Old Jun 22nd, 2016, 08:31 AM
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All I had to say was skip CT and go to Martha's Vineyard. I see you've done that. Sounds like you're going to have a great trip.
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Old Aug 21st, 2016, 09:33 PM
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Thank you everyone!
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Old Sep 9th, 2016, 05:05 AM
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When you are at Mystic Seaport, the food in the park is not great. In town there are several nice places to eat including: Daniel Packers (downstairs is casual), R36 (in the marina with views of the river), the Oyster house (near the draw bridge on the river - outside seating if it is nice), or in Stonington Burrough, Noah's or on rt 1 between Mystic and Stonington Burrough, Sea Swirl (ice cream, good fried clams etc. very casual).
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Old Sep 9th, 2016, 09:51 AM
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I don't think that York to Cape Elizabeth and then back over to Meredith is a good use of a day. Visit York , Ogunquit and maybe Kennebunkport, but not worth it to get into Portland traffic just for a short visit to Cape E.

The Shore drive between York and Ogunquit, through Cape Neddick, has some nice rocky-shore photo ops. And plenty of lobster roll ops in the area without trekking so far out of your way.
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Old Sep 12th, 2016, 10:19 PM
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Thank you for the recommendations!
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Old Sep 24th, 2016, 10:51 AM
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New Hampshire is marvelous and worth visiting! We were there twice with my friends – during the foliage season in 2015 and again in April 2016. We visited the Notch State Park (Franconia), Flume Gorge (Franconia) and Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves (Woodstock).
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Old Sep 27th, 2016, 03:00 PM
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Martha's Vineyard or Block Island?
We were planning to spend a day on MV, touring by bicycle. Great idea until I fell on my front porch and broke my shoulder and wrist! Now I'm wondering if Block Island would be easier to navigate by foot, with my arm in a sling. ��
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Old Sep 28th, 2016, 03:17 AM
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Several years ago we did a van tour of MV and then walked around Oak Bluffs visiting shops and seeing the cute little cottages. But, I've never been to Block Island.
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