New England Vacation

Oct 7th, 2006, 06:17 PM
  #1  
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New England Vacation

My husband and I are flying to Manchester, NH on 10/12/06. We are staying at the Highlander Inn. The next day we were hoping to drive a short distance up the coast of Maine and find a lobster shack along the way. Any suggestions? Are things still open?? Friday we are planning to stay at the Hampton Inn in Sacco. Saturday we will stay at the Commodores Inn in Stowe, VT. On Sunday and Monday we will stay at the Woodstocker Inn in Woodstock. We will fly home to Utah on Tuesday. Have we planned too much? Any special places we should see along the way? How's the weather? We have never been to this part of the country and are hoping for a relaxing few days to see whatever we find along the way. Any information on the places we have chosen to stay?? Any info would be appreciated.
ktmurphy23 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 07:57 PM
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One travel problem with Northern New England is the getting there from here.The ride from Manchester is straight forward to Saco .(rhymes with wacko)RT101 to 95N,But why stay in an industrial park? Just down the road is Old Orchard Beach, a bit tacky but Ocean front.Lots of lodging with direct Ocean views.plenty of lobster chowing choices.
The ride from there to Stowe can be creative or a boring Interstate ride and will take all day.You will pass by the RT 89 exit for woodstock VT.Check a good map.Woodstock will be a let down after Stowe.Why Two nights there and a boring interstate ride back to Manchester?
xxx30 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 08:18 PM
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Wow! That sounds like we have planned a very boring trip. I was told that there was gorgeous roads, leaves, bridges and places to visit along the way. Why will Woodstock be a disappointment after Stowe??? Saco is an industrial park??? That sound scary!! We don't want to take the interstate. We want to take the back roads and enjoy the scenery.
ktmurphy23 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2006, 08:31 PM
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Saco is an old mill town giving over to sprawl.The down town is quiant New England.The area where your lodging is is convenient to the turnpike and is in a indsutrial area.You have BY PASSED Kennebunport,where the Bush summer home is.A good map will give you what you want to see.
xxx30 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2006, 08:27 AM
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Yes you have planned too much.

Skip staying in Manchester and head straight to Maine. Stay in Kennebunkport, Ogunquit or Portland. Do not stay in Saco, there's nothing there. Yes, it's convenient to other places but there's nothing of appeal there. If you have your heart set on Vermont, either go to Stowe or Woodstock, don't think you have time to do both.

For example, driving from Saco ME to Stowe will eat up half a day, the drive is 4-5 hours.

I think you need to do some more research. Use Google maps to plug in towns so you can get a better idea of distance.
wyatt92 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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Thanks for the info on Sacco. We will change our plans for that city. We were planning on doing a lot of driving and just stopping here or there when we see something interesting. We don't have big plans for a lot of specific sites, we just want to drive along some beautful roads and enjoy the scenery along the way. In the west you have to drive very long distances to see things, or to even get out of a state. It seems that the north east is so compact. We thought we could see more than it seems we will be able to see.
ktmurphy23 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 03:19 AM
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First off, staying at the Highlander is fine if you are arriving late in the day. Colors are great right now. Yesterday we drove from Providence RI to Concord NH. Really nice color in the Concord area (just north of Manchester). The most direct way and the way Mapquest insists you go from Manchester to Portsmouth/Rt 95 is route 101 but that is a very boring route. Instead, drive up to Concord NH and take Rt 393 to Rt 4. This is a very pretty ride thru Northwood's Antique Alley with a great approach to the coast via the beautiful bridges over Great Bay. You could plan to have lunch at Newicks on Dover Pt. A large, paper plate place right on the water. Big list of seafood but nothing fancy. There are better places for lobster but some of the best lobster shacks are already closed for the season. However, Portsmouth offers a variety of great restaurants and has a great downtown area for window shopping. You might just walk around and decide what one looks best. There's a route from Portland ME to the Conway area that will take about an hour. By 10/12 color will be a bit past peak in the Conway/White Mountain area. Still it would be a beautiful drive across the Kancamagus hwy. Not sure if it's worth the drive to Stowe. I don't think it's one of the best areas of Vermont. In the Woodstock area, however, there are some great back roads past some small horse farms and don't miss a visit to Simon Pierce in Quechee just to see the building and river. The restaurant is superb but pricey. Woodstock is very upscale, you'll see lots of out of state visitors but the backroads are much nicer. My husband liked the Billings Farm Museum. Rather than Stowe, I would recommend a night somewhere in NH where you would have time to enjoy a short hike, maybe visit the Flume, take tram up Cannon Mountain. Take a cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee. Around Lake W you have a tremendous combination of gorgeous lake and nearby mountains. We love the drive around Center Sandwich. The southern area of Lake W, i.e. the Weirs is very congested but Meredith is pretty and so is Wolfeboro. You could make the drive north and then in Littleton cross over to VT then head south to Woodstock. We've also driven along NH's side of the Conneticut River thru small towns tourists tend to overlook. You might also check out the Great Vermont Corn Maze in Danville VT, not far from Littleton NH but be sure to allow about 3 hours for the maze. Great fun and nice views. But, for the dates of your visit, you might find better color in the Woodstock area and further south. Continue south in VT, the Vermont Country Store in Weston is a fun visit and then head for Keene NH, taking Rt 101 back to MHT. This part of 101 is very nice going thru SW NH's quiet corner. However, Rt 89 from VT back to NH is scenic. Depends on when your flight is. It gets dark around 6pm but if you arrive by 3pm you could easily be in Portsmouth for dinner. To avoid so many hotel changes maybe stay in the Kennebunk area for two nights and make Portsmouth a day trip.
dfrostnh is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 04:12 AM
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I live near stowe. The color has not been great this year. Not a lot of red.There was much better color this year in southern and central NH. Woodstock is fine but I'd skip Stowe. Its not worth the drive.

And if I was visiting New England, I wouldn't stat at a Hampton Inn anywhere.
celfan is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 04:23 AM
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I just took some of my midwest relatives to the Flume in the White Mountains. They loved it.
celfan is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 04:43 AM
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You've got a lot of good suggestions here. NH and Maine have some very beautiful areas - Manchester NH and Saco Maine wouldn't make the list. If you can, try and drive directly to the Maine coast when you arrive. It's about an hour if you take rte 101,about 90 minutes if you take Concord to rte 4. With so many beautiful places on the Maine cost, I would avoid Old Orchard and Saco. Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, and York are all very picturesque towns, and won't be too busy this time of year.
As other have mentioned, the drive from the Maine coast to central Vermont is long. Choose either Woodstock or Stowe - they are both quite beautiful. You might also consider a night in New Hampshire's White Mountains, which are more rugged than Vermont's bucolic Green Mountains. Another very nice spot in NH is Shaker Village at Canterbury. My best advice once you get into NH and Vermont is to explore the back roads, and have your camera ready - you'll see some very beautiful scenery! I've been to Utah, and was amazed at the vast, majestic landscapes. New England is beautiful in a very different way.
zootsi is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 04:43 AM
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The lobster shack we usually go to in Ogunquit is Barnacle Billy's on Perkin's Cove. Portland has gone through a bit of a renaissance and has nice places to stay and some great restaurants.
I'm not sure I agree that Woodstock is a let-down after Stowe. I think Woodstock is very cute and has fun shopping. When traveling from Maine to New Hampshire, you might consider driving the stretch of road known as the Kankamagus -- stunning views, especially during foliage season. In the NH-VT area you're talking about, you might enjoy the Shaker village in Enfield, NH (close to Hanover and Dartmouth College) and Queechee, where Simon Pearce has a lovely restaurant with river views and a shop where you can buy their glass -- both firsts and seconds.
Hope you have a great time!
Astorix is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 05:05 PM
  #12  
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Where is a good place to stay in Wolfeboro??
ktmurphy23 is offline  
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