New England road trip

Feb 29th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 96
New England road trip

We are visiting Cape Cod from England in June for a family wedding.

The second week we plan to take a hire car and see as much of the New England states as we can. What is the feasibility of staying in Maine, NH, Vermont, Connecticut and RI, we;ve already visited Boston so we only need to turn up there at the airport on our last day.

Can anyone suggest a route where we will see the best sites on a whistle stop week in New England and what we musn't miss?

Many thanks
mickrory is offline  
Feb 29th, 2012, 12:49 PM
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Have you used the "View by State" feature to search the board by state? You will find numerous threads about must-sees in each state. And what is a must-see will depend largely on what your interests are.

Keep in mind that New England is larger than England and Wales combined. Even excluding northern Maine, you are still looking at an area at least as big as England. Although you could visit each of the states by spending about 9 hours driving time from Cape Cod through RI, CT, MA, VT, NH, ME, and ending in Boston, it seems like you would have to spend a lot more time than than on the road to visit the highlights in each one.
Cranachin is offline  
Feb 29th, 2012, 04:05 PM
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From Cape Cod you are pretty close to Rhode Island so you might want to spend a day checking out Newport which is generally considered the most interesting part of RI. Nice town, 'mansions'. But then with only a week I'd skip Connecticut and instead head up through Massachusetts. I-91 goes through the Conn River Valley (aka Pioneer Valley) where Northampton/Amherst (college towns) and Deerfield (Historic houses museum) are worth a stop. Then go up through Vermont. Leave I-91 in Brattleboro and go west on Rt 9 then north on Rt 100. At Rt 4 head back east and into New Hampshire. You could cut through the Lake Winnipesaukee area or go a little north of that to the White Mountains. Then into Maine. Acadia National Park is considered the 'best' part but it's a bit far north and the coast from Camden south is really beautiful. Follow the coast south to Boston. I would allow at least three days for Maine.

Alternately, if you don't want to cover as much area I'd go straight north from Cape Cod into New Hampshire to the White Mountains for a couple days and then spend the rest on the coast of Maine.
isabel is online now  
Mar 1st, 2012, 02:26 AM
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I think isabel is on the right track. Newport is a good start. I also like the Native American museum at Foxwoods casino (the building is separate)in CT.
I would go north on Rt 100 until I could go west to Bristol VT (Lincoln gap) then north to Burlington. I like the farmland along Lake Champlain and Burlington is a great little city.
Go east to Littleton NH, south on I93 thru the White Mountains. Take a hike, maybe the popular Flume. Head to Meredith NH on Lake Winnipesaukee then east to Center Sandwich, over to Tamworth and connect with Rt 16 north to the Conway area.
East to Portland ME, take a food tour of the Old Port Area. Head north to some really good lobster shack - Five Islands probably has the best view. You're near Bath. Take a picnic lunch out to Monhegan Island from Boothbay. Hike a rocky trail.
I haven't been counting days but sure hope there is time to go up to Camden for a walk around and drive up to top of Mt Battie overlooking Camden Harbor. If you don't have time for Acadia, this view is really nice.
Make quick drive south on I95 to Portsmouth NH. Harbor or inland rivers cruise (you can be done by lunch), drive thru New Castle (Rt 1B) and along coastal route from Rye south to Hampton.
Back to Boston.
dfrostnh is online now  
Mar 1st, 2012, 04:07 AM
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Look at for an idea of what is popular in the area.
emalloy is offline  
Mar 1st, 2012, 05:29 AM
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My husband and I did a 11 day road trip last summer that started in Cape Cod. We spent 3 day in the cape which for us was plenty. We did ferry over to Martha's Vineyard while there.

We spent the next 7 days traveling North to Maine. We spent 2 nights in Hampton Beach NH. Really loved this area and the coastal drive in this area was truly beautiful. We both want to return some day.

Then we spent 2 nights in Belfast Maine although there are a number of other towns to choose from as well. Just depends where along the coast you want to stop. We both really enjoyed Belfast. Beautiful harbor town with nice shops and restaurants. Not too touristy.

Then we traveled north to Bar Harbor Maine for three nights. The goal here was to visit Acadia National Park. For me this was the highlight of the trip. Riding to the top of Cadillac Mountain on our motorcycles was something I will never regret and will always cherish. The loop drive through the park was amazing. We stayed at the Atlantic Eerie Lodge. This hotel has room facing the ocean and Bar Harbor. I swear it is one of the most beautiful views from any hotel room I've ever seen.

The we spent one day traveling back to Boston on our way back to Syracuse Ny. We spent the night in Salem Mass. Loved this town! We did the Witch Museum tour and walked / shopped around town. It was charming with remnants of the past all over.

Hope this helps. One thing I will say is we felt like road dogs with all those stops. I don't regret it one bit now but at the time I recall feeling a bit rushed. It made me a little cranky in the mornings we had to pack up. Totally worth it though. The weather was awesome too. Out of 11 days only 3 days of rain.
annikany is offline  
Mar 1st, 2012, 12:26 PM
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Yes, I agree with isabel, too.

My hubby and I had a ten day driving-trip honeymoon throughout New England. It was an amazing trip. No real itinerary, just a wanderlust to see lots of New England - both coastal and interior.

Our journey began at home on Cape Cod. Then we hit the road and headed north toward Maine. Along the way, we explored any sights that struck our fancy, and we stopped for the night whenever/wherever we felt like it.

In our travels we visited the North Shore/Cape Ann (MA), Kennebunkport (ME), the White Mountains of New Hampshire, explored quaint little towns in Vermont, and spent a day in Newport touring the mansions.

After the hectic months leading up to our wedding, it was such a phenomenal respite to just get in the car and go wherever the spirit drew us on any given day!

You've already received some great itinerary suggestions, so I won't repeat them. (Only to say that I'd urge you to come to Cape Cod. June is a wonderful time to be on "The Cape"!)

Wherever your plans take you, I'm sure you'll fall in love with New England. This is unquestionably one of the most beautiful, most diverse areas of the USA. Enjoy!
caper64 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2012, 01:21 PM
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Make sure you don't drive back/forth to the Cape on a weekend.
irishswampyankee is offline  
Mar 1st, 2012, 02:07 PM
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You're right, irish.

Although weekends in June are not nearly as traffic-y as weekends in July and August, it's still a better idea to come to the Cape mid-week when possible. Better lodging deals are usually available mid-week, too.
caper64 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2012, 01:36 PM
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I agree with caper64 in regard to making a stop on Cape Cod. June is a really nice time to visit, most things are open, the beaches are really nice and you do not have to worry about paying to park your car, it is not yet being enforced at that time. At least not early June. You could even ferry over to Nantucket for the day, walk around take the historic town and have lunch. Maybe take the bus to Scionset. Enjoy!
karend2 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 09:24 AM
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Many thanks for all your advice.

Can you have a look at my itinerary and give me a view whether its achievable.
17/6 leave Cape Cod drive north, to Old Orchard Beach (2 nights) visit Portsmouth and Kennebunk en route
18/6 Drive into Portland, mooch round for a couple of hours then head on to Bath to see the Maine Maritime Museum then Boothbay Harbour, find a Lobster shack, indulge then drop in at Freeport on the way back for my wife's RT.
19/6 head to North Conway (overnight) via Lake Winnipesaukee, lunch at Meredith before heading onto North Conway.
20/6 head to Jackson, have a look round then drive to Belton Woods and take cog railway up Mount Washington. Head on to Stowe (2 nights)
21/6 Travel to Burlington, take boat trip on Lake Champlain, spend the rest of the day having a look round, visit Ben and jerry's on the way back to Stowe.
22/6 Head back to Boston for 20.50 flight to Dublin.

Is this feasible?

Where is a good place to stop for lunch on 22/6 as we have a full day, Concord or Manchester? Or somewhere else.

Thanks in anticipation for your help.

mickrory is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 10:42 AM
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A couple thoughts:

--unless you're just going to do a drive-through of Portsmouth and the Kennebunks, you won't really have time to see both. I'd think about the attractions that interest you in both towns, then plan accordingly. If you're thorough, you could spend a full sightseeing day in each.

--the 18th is impossibly much. Depending on your interests, Portland could easily take up a full sightseeing day, perhaps two. No idea how long a visit to the Maine Maritime Museum takes -- I'd email them to find out. And driving all the way to Boothbay just for lobster seems a good way out of the way -- there should be places in Portland or Bath that would serve just a well. Also, how much shopping would you want to do in Freeport? I hope the outlets are open evenings, because if you're planning to cram in this much that day, that's all you'd likely have left for this. You might have to prioritize here.

--on the 22nd, I'd drive directly to Boston rather than linger along the way somewhere for lunch. Rush hour traffic can begin at ca. 3:30 pm on Friday, plus you want to leave enough time to go through customs and such.
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