New England Touring

Old Jun 20th, 2010, 07:18 PM
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New England Touring

We are an Australian family with two teenage boys and my mother traveling to the United States in late September and staying for 21 days. We are spending some time in New York, then touring New England staying in Boston, Portland and Stowe. We then plan to drive to Philladelphia for two nights and stay in Washington for a few nights and on to Los Angeles (for the boys).
I am considering removing the Philladelphia part of our trip and spending a little more time in New England or even Pensylvania in the country side. We have heard it is so beautiful at that time of the year we would like to take advantage of the fall foliage and also the coastline of New England.
I would be interested to hear of suggestions for places to visit and places to stay along our route.
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Old Jun 20th, 2010, 08:02 PM
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In New England, foliage begins in the far northeast around the end of September, then moves south and west for about three weeks. To take the best advantage of the fall colors, you'd want to go as far north as you plan to go, and travel likewise, south and west. Colors typically come first to the higher elevations and last to areas on/near water. There is much more foliage in the mountains than along the coastlines due to the quantity and varieties of trees.
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 02:36 AM
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NH's White Mountains offer a variety of outdoor fun. Perhaps the boys would like zip lining. The Flume is always popular. On a clear day the Cannon Mountain tram ride.

We just spent a weekend at the Dunes in Ogunquit ME which is south of Portland. The accomodations range from "motel rooms" to cottages. Very quaint and a mile walk from the beginning of the Marginal Way. Lovely grassy, landscaped setting on the water. You can sit outside and enjoy.

Out of Portland ME you can take the Casco Bay mail boat ride (3 hours). Not much narration but a stop at several islands. But my favorite is either a harbor cruise or inland rivers cruise out of Portsmouth NH which has a lot of narration including historical information. It would be a good stop between Boston and Portland. Take a morning cruise followed by lunch at a great Portsmouth restaurant.

At the beginning of your trip, you might be in time for Eastern States Exposition. It's an agricultural fair but includes a lot of entertainment and fun things to do. The whole family might like it but it involves a lot of walking and crowds.
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 03:23 AM
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Will you want to spend time at some of the sandy beaches to let the boys swim in southern Maine or Massachusetts? Mid week should be fine for finding places to stay in these areas and temperatures are often nice in the day time.

There are lots of country fairs that might be fun for the boys too, mostly on the weekends in smaller towns throughout New England.

You might find it easier to use the train from New York to Boston and use public transportation in both these cities, then pick up a rental car for the trip to Portland and beyond. Return the car to Boston area and take the train or bus to either Philadelphia or DC. The parking in cities and drop off charges for a different city could be as much as tickets, without the stress of driving.
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 09:57 AM
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When in Boston, I'd definetely extend my trip to the awesome charming island of Nantucket. Same thing when in California I'd go to San Francisco instead, driving on the BIG SUR. If you like wine beautiful SOnoma and Napa Valley are great calls for your trip. ENJOY!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 01:11 PM
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On the other hand, there is a lot in Philadelphia (including lovely fall foliage) that you might not want to miss out on. I'd think your teenage boys might enjoy a few city days to break up the all-nature parts? Here are some suggestions if you do decide to include Philadelphia:
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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 01:26 PM
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I would guess the water will be pretty cold for swimming in late September.
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