New England tour by car, Sept. 24 - Oct 4

Old Sep 16th, 2013, 08:29 AM
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New England tour by car, Sept. 24 - Oct 4

My wife and I would love some experienced tips for this trip. We'll fly into Boston, rent a car, thenne night in Amhurst/Hadley, Mass.; 3 days in Vermont, anchored in Waterbury/Stowe, Vermont; 2 days in Plymouth, NH, 3 days in Portland, Maine; and one day, night in Portsmouth NH. Would love tips on sight-seeing, dining, side trips. Thanks!
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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 04:35 AM
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For your Portland segment, you can browse the Old Port. Portland is still a working harbor, with lots of character. Plenty of shops and restaurants to peruse,also. You might take a boat ride to Peak's Island and walk around (about an hour walk), or take a harbor cruise. The Portland Museum of Art is pretty nice, not too big and not too small. For your journey to Portsmouth, you should definitely stop in Kennebunkport, very quaint, good restaurants, and you can take a nice walk along the ocean, all the way to the Bush compound. Then continue down to Ogunquit, walk the Marginal Way, browse Perkins Cove, and carry on to York. Visit the Nubble, and/or walk Long Sands, Short Sands or around Harbor Beach.(The Fisherman's Walk is another oceanside path to enjoy) Another ten minutes and you're in Portsmouth. Visit Strawbery Banke, Prescott Park, and stroll around the historic Strawbery Banke area. Lots of restaurants, cafes, etc.
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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 06:12 AM
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Plymouth is a good central location for exploring NH. You can drive a little south to visit Canterbury Shaker Village, Drive up into the White Mountains with all it's attractions and spectacular scenery - Kankamangus Highway, Mt Washington Auto Road, Lost River, hundreds of hiking trails,etc. You are very close to some beautiful lakes - Newfound and Squam. There is a nice train ride in North Conway (and lots of shopping). You can drive east to Orford, and head down to the picturesque college town of Hanover - this is a very pretty drive.
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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 08:39 AM
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From Portland a trip out to Cape Elizabeth is quick and enjoyable (www.lobstershacktwolights.com) , also the Sebago Lakes Area is nearby and lovely on a sunny fall afternoon.
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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 12:14 PM
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Is there a particular reason you are driving all the way to Amherst and then spending only one night? In AMherst, take the tour of Emily Dickinson's house, go to the small but lovely Mead Art Museum at Amherst College and then drive across the river to Northampton, with a lively downtown filled with independent stores.
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Old Sep 21st, 2013, 01:44 AM
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Sounds like you might drive from conway NH area over to Maine. Color is starting up in NH. Visit squam lake and center Sandwich area while you are in plymouth. Agree with portland old portarea and mailboat cruise. You have enoigh time to drive north to Rockland (farnsworth art museum and or Owl,'as head transportation museum), go to top of mt batie for vire overlooking camden harbor. Visit some wineries. You can do Marginal Way on way toPortsmouth but dont miss a harbor or inlands river cruise. Best drive is rt 1B thru New Castle. You can also do coastal route thru Rye past. Mansions.

We're in maine rightnow. Nice to,e of year to be here.
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Old Sep 21st, 2013, 03:40 AM
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In the Amherst/Northampton area I wouldn't waste my time in the Emily Dickenson House or Mead Museum unless it's raining. Neither are particularly outstanding and I certainly wouldn't travel any great distance to see them. Northampton's downtown is interesting to spend a few hours, great restaurant selection, but frankly, this isn't a tourist 'destination'. There are the five colleges but unless you are visiting someone, or have a special interest in college campuses, I don't see the point.

So I assume you are using it as a stopover, and for that it makes good sense. Nice place to poke around the stores, have dinner and spend the night. Hotel Northampton is the nicest hotel but there are plenty of the chains (those are mostly in Hadley, on Rt 9 between Amherst and Northampton).

If you have extra time there are two wonderful living history museums, which are especially nice at this time of year. Sturbridge Village is between Boston and Northampton, just off the Mass Pike. Obviously you would do that on your way to Northampton. The next day on your way to Vermont you could stop in Historic Deerfield. It's about a half hour north of Northampton. www.historic-deerfield.org/
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Old Sep 21st, 2013, 04:29 AM
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I agree with the last post that Historic Deerfield, near Amherst, is interesting and right on your way toward VT. IMO it is worth detouring just to drive down the main street even if you are not going to stop to tour any of the buildings.

I would try to get off the highway on your drive up to Waterbury/Stowe--check out ideas on the tourist web site listed below.

In VT you will probably want to concentrate on leaf peeping. There are updates on good routes to see peak foliage. You will want to stay north to see the best color next week. If you have passports, it would be good to bring them so you could also go over the border into Quebec.
http://www.vermontvacation.com/vermo...gecentral.aspx

There is a good Farmer's Market in Montpelier on Saturday mornings and the state house is worth touring.

Not sure whether you are into beer, but Heady Topper, brewed in Waterbury at the Alchemist brewery, is very highly rated.

Vt also has a cheese trail and some excellent cheeses (far more than just cheddar)
http://www.vtcheese.com/cheesetrail.htm

If you can find a church supper while you are in VT they are fun.

Shelburne Museum and Shelburne Farms south of Burlington are good places to explore but foliage won't be as advanced there.
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Old Sep 21st, 2013, 05:11 AM
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BTW I am not sure why this is just tagged Maine?
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Old Sep 21st, 2013, 06:08 AM
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Just north of Deerfield, Shelburne Falls is worth a stop to see the Bridge of Flowers...

www.bridgeofflowersmass.org
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Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 09:17 AM
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You guys are so great -- really appreciate the time you took to help.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2013, 01:05 PM
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Hope you have a great trip!
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Old Sep 24th, 2013, 12:51 PM
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Why are you driving all the way out to western MA? Anyway, if you do, I would totally skip Amherst and stay in the Stockbridge area, then take Rt. 100 thru VT to Stowe. Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge is definitely worth a stop.
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