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New Hampshire or Massachusetts?

Old Apr 18th, 2006, 08:31 AM
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New Hampshire or Massachusetts?

I'm wanting to take my family to New England the weekend of October 18-22. I was looking at the Birchwood Inn in Lenox, Massachusetts as a good base for exploring the foliage. A friend of mine from Boston says go to the White Mountains of New Hampshire instead. I'd like to stay in a cute town with an inn and be in driving range of some pretty scenery for a couple of half-day drives. I'd love any advice as I'm a southernor and don't get to New England often...
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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Vermont is another possiblity. This might interest you:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...1&tid=34711608
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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You can't go too wrong either way; NH might be cheaper, MA may have more variety and history, VT will be prettier, with lots more traffic around the holiday weekend. Try Bennington (VT), you can fly into ALB.
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 08:54 AM
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Those dates in October are most likely too late for foliage in the White Mountains. You'll want to stick to the south. The Berkshires of MA and/or CT would be a good bet.
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Actually, it's the tail end of peak season for the Berkshires as well. The good of that is that the crowds thin out after Columbus Day, and there still will be leaves...but they'll most likely be past in VT and NH.

Lenox is lovely, less busy than Stockbrige, but close enough to everything that you can get places easily in a half day...including the most northern reaches of Berkshire County, Williamstown.

I grew up in the Berkshires and when I went back as an adult with my Southern born and bred husband who absolutely fell in love with the area, we'd take day trips from my parents house in Pittsfield, up rte 7 to Manchester Village, make a loop across to Grafton then back down, returning to their home before dark...and it was a leisurely drive always, stopping for lunch at the Equinox Inn in Manchester or the inn in Grafton.

You can fly into either Albany or Hartford and stay in Lenox...far more picturesque than Bennington, IMHO, which, other than the monument and Congregational Church where Frost is buried, was a spot on our map to get through on the way to prettier spots... too busy and congested for my tastes.
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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Thanks, all! I had a feeling that my dates might be a little late for peak in New Hampshire or Vermont.
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 10:39 AM
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Those dates are a bit late even for the average peak in Boston. The season was extraordinarily late last year.
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 11:10 AM
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The dates are perfect for attending the Keene NH pumpkin festival
http://www.ci.keene.nh.us/community/pumpkin.htm on Oct 21, 2006. Have a family pumpkin carving fest and contribute to the amazing display of pumpkins. We enjoyed it a couple of years ago but you may want to go late to see the pumpkins lit. Keene is an easy day trip from Lenox and wouldn't be a bad drive if you stayed after dark.
In average years we have seen pretty good foliage in RI as late as Oct 23. If it's an average year you might have to head south from Lenox. Make sure you get some apples fresh from an orchard while you are here.
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 11:14 AM
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I think going slightly past peak foliage is fine. Anytime up to Halloween you are apt to get good color, unless we have a big, windy rain storm which washes the leaves away. Or if its like last year when we had no foiage at all...it stayed green very late, then suddenly turned brown and fell off. Terrible year for leaf peeping.

I think the scenery itself is more dramatic in New Hampshire...after all the mountains are bigger. If you were into hiking, I'd say go there.

But the Berkshire area has a little more opportunity for culture and history along with the scenery. So if you think you might like to see a big old house, like Naumkeag in Lenox, or a small museum like the Clark in Williamstown, then the Berkshires is a great choice.
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 08:58 AM
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Springfield, MA is beautiful as well.
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 09:21 AM
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Jackson, NH in the White Mountains is a picturesque little town with lots of B&B's great foliage and not as crowded as North Conway (10 minutes away).

There's the covered bridge, a small white church, several dining choices (all great) and a small store/deli. Lots of hiking too.

It's 10 miles from the base of Mt Washington Auto Road, near catherdral ledge and less than an hour from the Cog Railway. It's also a short drive to the Kangamangus highway a beautiful stretch of road in the fall.

http://www.jacksonnh.com/

http://www.mtwashingtonvalley.org/jackson/

http://www.thewentworth.com/

The Wentworth also does 2 & 3 bedroom townhouse rentals with full kitchen.

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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 09:22 AM
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I would suggest either Bennington or Manchester in Vermont, and Northampton in Massachusetts. All offer a very nice small town feel, and Bennington and Northampton also offer a college town feel. Very nice downtown areas to all 3, Manchester has the added benefit of having lots of lovely high-end outlet shops. Northampton offers the best variety of dining, shopping, and galleries and music/entertainment. Manchester has a wonderful assortment of small inns and B&Bs, and in Northampton I would check out the Hotel Northampton. Sorry that I have no personal overnight recs in Bennington.

Where are you from? I'm a transplanted Mississippian living in western Mass these days.
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 04:18 PM
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Thanks, ej!
I'm an Arkansan. Our falls can be very pretty - although global warming seems to be making them VERY short - but nothing like the ones in New England. We lived in Virginia a few years while my husband was in the Navy and it made me a New England lover...
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 04:27 PM
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1- Vermont
2- the Berkshires
3- New Hampshire
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