New England road trip - 4 nights

Sep 30th, 2019, 09:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 3
New England road trip - 4 nights

We leave this Saturday and I have hotel accommodations but need help with driving itinerary and interesting sights/hikes & nice photography areas. Rented a car in Boston and will drive to Portland, ME to eat as much lobster as possible and see the lighthouse/coast. We will leave early Sunday with a stay in North Conway. Suggestions in the area? White mountains? Only have the day here as we leave the next morning. I plan on taking the Hwy 112, Kancamagus, to Lincoln/Woodstock and a stop in Franconia Notch State Park for a hike on way to Stowe VT? We then spend 2 nights in Stowe with a Hot Air Ballon Ride scheduled not far from there. Looking for nice scenic drives, hikes/ things to do in this area. This has been on my bucket list for sometime but never got around to planning as I would have liked, so any help is welcomed. Thanks in advance, Jen
Day 1- Boston- Portland, ME
Day 2- North Conway/ White Mountains
Day 3- Drive to Stowe, VT
Day 4 Stowe
Day 5- Boston- Home
jfo3 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2019, 03:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Get a very early start Saturday morning. Northbound traffic is going to be very heavy for the start of leaf peeping season. Rt 1 will be congested as well as I95N. It would be a shame to miss Portsmouth NH. I haven't hiked at the Urban Forestry Center but it's on our way to one of our favorite lobster roll places - Petey's in Rye NH. It's a small seafood shack open all year and very popular. We try to go at an off time to avoid waiting. The coastal drive Rt 1A is pretty but we also like 1B which takes us to Prescott Park across from Strawbery Banke historic area. But - you said Portland. Even if Bite Into Me food truck isn't parking at Fort Williams Park, the view of Casco Bay is wonderful. It took us a long time to discover the Eastern Promenade which is the other end of Portland. In good weather it's a popular picnicking spot. Lots of food options in Portland. If you like ice cream, don't miss MDI ice cream shop.

North Conway is pretty and the view of the mountain from main street is memorable. I'm not a big fan of the White Mountains although they are a day trip for us but the Kanc has been described as a parking lot during foliage season. You might consider taking the northern route to Stowe and perhaps hiking at a place like Arethusa Falls. I had a very good lunch in Bethlehem NH last June before going on a wildflower walk on the trails at the Rocks Estate. Or you might consider a slight detour to the Great Vermont Corn Maze in Danville which I though was fun but we had to take an emergency exit. So strange to keep passing the same people going the opposite way.

The good news is you will be traveling back to Boston on a weekday. I89S to I93S is actually scenic until you get to southern NH and MA. Be aware there aren't many lunch places between the Lebanon NH and Warner NH until you get to Concord or Manchester. Depends on what you are looking for. New London NH is a pretty college town with some nice views (Flying Goose pub) and Warner might be your last chance to visit a small New England town (Foothills Restaurant in town and Schoolhouse Cafe outside of town are both good). Also last chance for hiking (Mt Kearsarge). From Warner you can take Rt 103 to Concord which goes thru pretty towns rather than get back on I89. One of the best apple orchards is Gould Hill where you can have a last but distant view of mountains.
dfrostnh is offline  
Oct 1st, 2019, 07:38 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2019
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Wow! Thanks for the great info. I may have to rethink staying in Portland & start early Sunday to see the lighthouse as our flight gets into Boston at 12:45 pm which gets us on the road around 1:30-2:00. Thoughts? How long driving time on a busy Saturday afternoon would you think? That might get us there after sunset possibly!?
jfo3 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2019, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 519
Rather than go all the way to Portland, ME on the first night, perhaps you should go to York / Ogunquit, ME area and see Nubble Light.

Nubble Light
Bette is offline  
Oct 1st, 2019, 08:52 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 519
I wanted to add....
After visiting Nubble Light I would spend the night in Ogunquit.

Have lobster....walk on the Marginal Way. This will give you your "coast" fix.

This article explains it well:
Bette is offline  
Oct 1st, 2019, 12:02 PM
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Change of plans

Great suggestion Bette! I think we shall take your advice & stay there so we can enjoy more of the day & then see Portland head lighthouse early Sunday on way to Conway. Appreciate the feedback! Lodging recommendations in Ogunquit?
Also we will take the northern route(Gorham) into N. Conway & also into Stowe Vt(Danville,Morristown). If anyone has interesting suggestions for those routes. Suggestions appreciated & so very helpful! Thanks!
jfo3 is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 02:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Bette's idea is great and then you'll get to see two lighthouses.

Mid Saturday afternoon northbound on I95 from Boston might not be as bad as before noon when people are still heading out for the day. My sweet tooth suggests stopping at the Goldenrod in York to watch the taffy pulling machine. Haven't been there in years and they might not be open so check first. Love their saltwater taffy.
dfrostnh is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 06:43 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 519
Here are our Ogunquit favorites:

Beachmere Inn

Marginal Way House

Colonial Inn

Auberge on the Cove

I'm not sure you will find availability at this late date, but check.
Bette is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 06:53 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 519
Also look at the Anchorage by the Sea. We've had lunch there. Great location on the Marginal Way. Park the car and walk everywhere. We have not stayed there. Looks like they have some availability:
Bette is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2019, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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To take a scenic route into Stowe, take the VT 108 from Jeffersonville.

There are a couple of trail-heads off the 108; Stirling Pond and The Long Trail.

The summit of Mt. Mansfield has some great hiking trails, our favorite is the Cliff Trail.

Another hike near Stowe is Moss Glenn Falls trail.
cdnyul is online now  
Oct 8th, 2019, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 87
In North Conway, we love Peaches which is a fun little restaurant. I like their Lobster crepes for breakfast. We have hit the kancamangus before pretty early ( like daylight) and have seen the fall foliage without the crowds, they tend to start getting thick around 10 am in my experience.
rachellynn99 is offline  

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