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Amere Jul 24th, 2007 07:11 PM

New England Road Trip
 
We (2 gals in their mid 30s)are taking a New England road trip for 5 days in mid August. We are flying in and out of Boston. We would like to make a loop by going to New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, and then back to Boston. Would love to hear of some fun places to go along the way, and B&Bs you recommend, festivals, theatre, beutiful nature spots, etc. Thanks for your help!

djkbooks Jul 24th, 2007 08:31 PM

That's a lot to cover in five days!

Is there some reason why you've included New York, but left off Maine?

Your request is so broad...recommend going to the bookstore and having a look at "Best Loved Driving Tours, New England", and "Vermont, An Explorer's Guide" (there's a guide for each state, and one for Boston), and figure out which places you'd find most appealing.

Amere Jul 24th, 2007 08:37 PM

We have already been to Maine and to the Cape Cod area. We really would like to see NH, VT, and CT. I included NY because I was guessing that would be the route we would take to get to CT. Thanks!

dfrostnh Jul 25th, 2007 03:23 AM

Mid-August might just miss the League of NH Craftsmen's annual fair in Sunapee NH 8/4-12 http://www.nhcrafts.org/annualfair.htm
You might consider staying in the Meredith NH area (Lake Winnipesaukee). There are several summer theaters in the area. Visit Castle in the Clouds and do a day trip thru the White Mountains. There are frequent craft fairs in Meredith and Wolfeboro but that would be weekends only. You might want to take a short hike to a waterfall (Arethusa Falls). I would skip CT entirely. You don't have the time. To get to VT go thru Quechee and visit Simon Pierce. Great for lunch. The building is fascinating and you can watch glassblowing and pottery making, browse the shops and have a fabulous meal overlooking the waterfall which they use to generate hydroelectric power. You might consider searching out farms where cheese is made or head over to Shelburne Museum. I would check out Burlington information to see if there is an event on Church St. Great area to shop and people watch. If you garden you would enjoy Gardener's Supply store and demonstration gardens just north of Burlington. I think you can hike/bike/kayak in this area as well.
If your flight arrives early in the day, consider heading to Portsmouth NH for the night, take a harbor cruise and enjoy some music or theater. Prescott Park is lovely. The next day head to Concord NH via Rt 4 and then north on Rt 93 to get to the Lakes region. It's not the shortest route but I think it's scenic. You could go kayaking in downtown Concord or nearby. But on your way to Concord, if you like wine make a slight detour to Flag Hill Winery and Distillery in Lee NH for a tasting. Concord has a nice downtown area. If you aren't able to get to the fair, the League has a shop on Main Street. Have lunch in a place that is not part of a chain. Walk up Warren street for ice cream at Granite State Candy.
If you decide to stay in the Meredith area, make sure to take a drive around Center Sandwich, Squam Lakes, Tamworth. We enjoy this area in all seasons. Don't be surprised to encounter a black bear crossing the road or grazing in a field.
We usually spend a week in an area doing day trips and once split the week between northern VT and central. There's a lot to see in 5 days but since things are fairly close together you can pack a lot in.

thurstonbb Jul 25th, 2007 04:30 AM

5 days isn't much at all. I always recommend narrowing it down and really seeing where you are instead of the inside of the car. I would go Boston to Portsmouth for a couple nights, then over west from there, perhaps Rt.#101 to Keene then down through MA into CT. It really depends on your interests to narrow it down more.

zlaor Jul 25th, 2007 06:25 AM

Stop at Mystic, CT for lunch or dinner.

Amere Jul 25th, 2007 06:39 AM

These are great suggestions - thanks so much! Does anyone have some recommendations on where to stay in NH or VT. We like B&Bs or any unique type place that is not a chain hotel/motel. We are looking to stay within about $100 per night.

thurstonbb Jul 25th, 2007 06:53 AM

Keene, NH is a great historic city with the E.F. Lane Hotel right on Main Street. You can just park then walk around to many shops and restaurants. Price at the hotel included continental breakfast. It is an old brick five and dime store made into a boutique hotel. BUT...August is prime traveling season in the northeast so I am not sure what "special" you might get for $100. You could ask on www.bedandbreakfast.com .

kenm26 Jul 25th, 2007 06:58 AM

I agree with thurston in regards to narrowing down your itinerary. That's way too much driving in 5 days. A day of sightseeing in Boston is a good start. Aside from that, dfrostnhgave some good suggestions in regards to New Hampshire and Vermont. I would highly recommend the White Mountain region of NH. The kancamagus highway, which runs through the White Mountain National Forest, has many great views and scenic overlooks. My family recently stayed at a B&B called the "Christmas Farm Inn" in Jackson NH, and we had a great time. the accomodations were very clean and comfortable, and the breakfast each morning was very good. Some other areas of interest that hasen't been mentioned include Newport, RI...the Berkshire region of Massachusetts (the Norman Rockwell museum is a good place to visit)...and if you want to spend some time at the beach, the southern coast of RI (from Westerly to Narragansett) has miles of beautiful shoreline. The only festivals that I'm familiar with in the month of August are the Mystic art festival in Mystic CT, and the Washington County Fair in Richmond, RI (washingtoncountyfair-ri.com). Have a good roadtrip!
KenM

djkbooks Jul 25th, 2007 07:19 AM

Recommend reserving accommodations forthwith. Rates at B&B's are generally $150-175 or higher, and rooms with two beds are not that common.

kenm26 Jul 25th, 2007 08:23 AM

While I agree that the rates for B&B's are generally a little higher than other types of accomodations, it is possible to get reduced rates for a B&B...especially if your travel plans are flexible. When I booked the accomodations at the Christmas Farm Inn in NH (I booked 2 days in advance), I negotiated the rate down to $250 per night...and that was for a cottage that slept 6 people with a full breakfast for everyone. So there are deals to be had out there.
KenM

Amere Jul 26th, 2007 06:35 AM

Thanks for the help and suggestions. It seems like Waterbury. VT would be a good home base for a few days. Has anyone ever stayed at the Old Stagecoach Inn?

Amere Jul 26th, 2007 09:35 PM

Well, based on your suggestions, we think we will just explore NH and VT. So, we are thinking:
Night 1 - Jackson, NH
Day 2 - Conway Railroad and then head to Burlington, VT to spend night
Day 3 - explore downtown and maybe boat ride on lake. Spend night in Waterbury
Day 4 - Waterbury - Cabot Cheese tour and gondola ride near Stowe
Day 5 - Waterbury - Ben and Jerry's and maybe chocolate factory tour. Travel to Nashua, NH
Day 6 - Travel back to Boston for mid=day plane.

How does that sound? We are not set on Nashua. We are just trying to find a place that would not be too far to drive in the morning back to Boston.

djkbooks Jul 26th, 2007 11:02 PM

I live in Nashua. It's a 40 minute drive to Boston - with no traffic. Which day of the week are you planning to drive in to Logan in the morning? On a weekday, you'd have to allow plenty of extra time (in addition to time to check in your rental car and get to the terminal) and be prepared for a lot of slowdowns, particularly as you near Boston and Logan. The better bet would be to stay at an airport hotel. You can often find excellent rates on Hotwire or Priceline for a one night stay. (You could also turn in the rental car a day early and use the hotel's airport shuttle, if the hotel offers that service, and most of them do.)

Waterbury is only 10 miles from Stowe, our favorite town in Vermont with lots to see and do.

Ben & Jerry's is just okay. Prices at the shop there are very high. At the end of the tour, they pass out the tiniest free samples and itty-bitty spoons imaginable. If they're busy when you get there, I doubt you'll find the tour worth the wait. There's more video presentation than tour.

Cabot Creamery in Waterbury (on the way to Stowe) is fabulous! Cheese, chocolates, etc. (They have a website.)

A boat tour on Lake Champlain is an excellent idea. The Shelburn Museum, Shelburn Farms (with gorgeous lakeside mansion to tour), and Vermont Wildflower Farm, are all Shelburne Falls, just south of Burlington, and well worth a visit.

dfrostnh Jul 27th, 2007 07:20 AM

That stretch of road between Waterbury and Stowe is kind of fun. Ben and Jerry's won't be fun if the line is too long. I like Cold Hollow Cider and you can do a wine tasting in the building across the parking lot. There are quite a few shops to browse. Check your route to see if you are going near Vermont Country Store. It has two locations, both fun to browse for gadgets and free food tastings.
From Waterbury you could drive to Portsmouth for the night instead of Nashua but the traffic to the airport might be just as bad. Portsmouth would be a longer drive from Waterbury but a lot more fun. If you consider this, don't do boring Rt 101 which is the way Mapquest will take you, get on rt 4 outside of Concord (figuring you would be traveling rt 89 from Vt).


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