New England Round Trip - Highlights

Sep 29th, 2007, 05:57 AM
  #1  
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New England Round Trip - Highlights

Help please! We are planning our first trip from Germany to New England in early fall of 2008. My husband is 62, I am 54, and our son is 30 years old. We plan to stay in NE for 3 to 4 weeks. We donīt like crowds too much so we are thinking about flying into Boston after Labor Day and going back home before Columbus Day Weekend even if we will be missing most of the beautiful fall foliage - or should we brave the crowds, fly in two weeks later and stay till the middle of Oktober?

The hardest part is to work out a workable itinerary that will let us experience all the highlights and skip the time consuming things that are not so important. We all love beautiful and dramatic scenery, historic landmarks, quaint towns, good food, easy hikes, scenic roads and are not so interested in indoor activities like museums.

We know that we have to be on the road a lot to see most of the highlights but thatīs ok with us.

In any case I think we will include in our itinerary Boston, Plimoth Plantation (?), Cape Cod, Nantucket (?), Newport, Berkshire Hills (?), White Mountains, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Castine, Camden, Middlebury Gaps, Woodstock, Adirondacks (?), Hudson Valley (?)

Do you think we can do that in 3 to 4 weeks?

Any recommendations about what else we have to see by all means?

Your help will be greatly appreciated.
gatekeeper is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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Go just after Labor Day when the crowds thin out. The weather is usually the best at that time of year and rates for accomodations will jump up with the foliage in early October.
You'll most likely get a taste of the foliage in early October, and you can always see more of it in photos and videos. But that early September weather can only be experienced live and in person...so if you're hikers and outdoorsy, get there right after Labor Day.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 07:40 AM
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Boston can be crowded and pricey on the weekends when students are returning to college or when the Universities have a big ball game or "Parent's Weekend" so you'll have to play around with your dates as you might notice that one weekend is twice as expensive as another for accomodations. Cape Cod and Woodstock will be easiest on weekdays when you'll be able to find plenty of vacancies at the last-minute and won't have to plan ahead. Weekends can be tougher.

You might want to go from Boston right up into Maine and Bar Harbor, as Cape Cod & other places that are in your plans don't cool off quite as quickly as Maine does. By the 3rd week in September, Maine might tend to the chilly side while Cape Cod is still balmy.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 07:45 AM
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You might be interessted in my trip report:

http://www.photoworks.com/photo-shar..._alb_pml&cb=PW
Michael is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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You might be interested in my trip report:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34711608
Michael is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 07:47 AM
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My apologies for the first post. Wrong reference.
Michael is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 08:02 AM
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I think you have a good starting point of an itinerary - the firsty thing I might do is investigate what plane tickets would cost if you flew into one city and out of another. Often the cost of doing this is so high that it is not worth it.

Cities to look at for flights are Boston, Burlington, VT, Montreal - likely some others I can not think of. That will help with planning actual itinerary.
gail is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 02:41 AM
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We did our NE tour in 2004 and it was fabulous.I'll give you our itinerary :
Antwerp-Amsterdam-Boston(3 days)-Portland via SALEM_Bar Harbor(2 days)-Rangeley-Jackson NH(3 days)-Shelburne Vermont(2 days)-Bennington-Williamstown-Lee Ma-Torrington- Litchfield Con-New Haven-Mystic-Newport RI-Wood's Hole Ma(3 days visit MarthaVineyard...-Plymouth-Boston back home in Antwerp. We left on Sept 18 and returned on Oct 13.Paul
tovarich is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 05:14 AM
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Thanks to all of you for the interesting information and suggestions so far. I will certainly be back with more questions later on in my planning.
gatekeeper is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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I think those are great dates for any of your destinations. Parents weekends are often one of first 3 wknds in October - but you can always check a few of the larger area colleges web sites and get their exact dates by searching for their academic calendar 2008 - depending on what area of the Mountains, etc you want to be in - you may be well enough away from the colleges of Maine, VT and NH for the lodging you would consider to be the same lodging parents would be using- while some colleges might spill over out of their town into a few surrounding towns, you can still stay one more 'town' away from that - that type of thing - when yuo have more specific towns on your itinerary - or areas - people can help with that -

Both college weekends and foliage watchers have been figuring that out for years, so with a little planning you can too -

Also, there are so few colleges on Cape Cod, Plymouth, Nantucket - you might consider - if the parents weekends seem to become an issue - being on CC and Nantucket closer to the end of your trip -
the weather can be lovely early fall - I would also suggest you search for some trip reports on this site for fall foliage - many of the areas are the same areas you mention and you might get some ideas from those itineraries =

in the "search this forum" bar at the top of the page - plug in things like
fall foliage new england
new england itineraries
trip reports new england

and see what interesting threads pop up on the left -

have fun planning !
escargot is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 06:02 AM
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This last information is just great, I didīnt know that. Thank you!
gatekeeper is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 09:46 AM
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You probably won't see too much fall foliage before Columbus Day unless you go to northern Vermont or New Hampshire where the leaves change first. Woodstock and Middlebury in Vermont are a little far south to get good color that early most years. I am curious why you picked those particular destinations/routes in Vt?
I think you might want to consider eliminating some of the places on your list in a 3 to 4 week trip. For example, spend time on Cape Cod but not Nantucket. Also maybe skip the Hudson Valley and the Adirondacks and concentrate on New England
Vttraveler is online now  
Oct 1st, 2007, 12:19 AM
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Hi, Vttraveler:

Thanks for your comment. What would you recommend to see in Vermont instead of Woodstock and the Middlebury Gaps? We chose these two destinations in VT because the travel guide I bought here in Germany has a rating system and both destinations were recommended.

We included Adirondacks and Hudson Valley in our itinerary because our travel guide covers not only New England but all of the Northeast. But maybe you are right and we should concentrate on NE.

I am sure that we would be much better off following your advice and that of the other posters where to go and what to see. So, weīd appreciate your recommendations about changes in our itinerary.
gatekeeper is offline  
Oct 1st, 2007, 02:01 AM
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First, you won't have to worry about the crowds if you avoid certain places at certain times. We've spent a wonderful 4th of July week during Maine's busiest times without being bothered by crowds. Camden, for examples, will be busy on weekends thru September but won't be as busy on a weekday.
Personally, I think Woodstock VT deserves only a short visit. It's a town for tourists and will be mobbed. It's quaint but I think you can find many other places in VT with good restaurants without the crowd. My husband enjoyed Billings Farm Museum, however. A lot of people drive the same routes so you can expect heavy traffic on those particular roads (i.e. the Kancamagus Hwy in NH's White Mountains, Rt 93, Rt 89) but I live here and know that there are alternate routes. Try to avoid Rt 93 and Rt 95 late Friday afternoons because of combined commuting traffic and people going away for the weekend and then Sunday afternoon when everyone goes home. Don't let the idea of crowds prevent you from seeing the beautiful foliage. Color is starting slowly in the Concord NH area. I stopped on a hilltop yesterday to see if color was early but I don't think it is in our area. But a good cold night can make the trees get a lot of color quickly. Don't miss Portmsouth NH and consider a visit to Strawbery Banke or a harbor cruise. Consider visiting some pick your own apple orchards. Some of them are in beautiful areas. I love the smell of cider being made. Canterbury SHaker Village in NH is a unique historic area and very educational because the Shakers were very inventive.
dfrostnh is online now  
Oct 1st, 2007, 03:46 AM
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dfrostnh

Your advice sounds just great. Thanks a lot.
gatekeeper is offline  
Oct 1st, 2007, 06:13 AM
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Hi, gatekeeper
I would agree with dfrostnh that Woodstock is often crowded and full of tourists. It has beautiful homes and a well-known inn, but there are other smallerplaces that you might enjoy more if you are looking for "quaint towns." The Billings Farm and Museum might be interesting to you as an example of a New England farm (19th century)
http://www.billingsfarm.org/

Middlebury Gap is a pretty ride but there are several other "gaps" (roads through the mountains) that are also interesting.

I will try to put together some links to good tourist information and routes and hiking trails in Vt for you that you could consider a little farther north where foliage is likely to be better in early October.

Every year several towns in the northeastern part of Vermont (called the NOrtheast Kingdom) have a foliage festival which you might want to consider. It features different activities and traditional New England breakfasts and dinners and is in one of the most rural parts of the state. Here is the link to this year's festival to give you an idea
http://www.nekchamber.com/pages/3952...tival_2007.htm

Vttraveler is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 06:07 AM
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Hi, Vttraveler

Iīve already read about the Northeast Kingdom and it certainly seems to be different and more rural than the other parts of Vermont. The festival sounds like fun.

Iīm really looking forward to the other links you mentioned if you have the time to put them together.
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