New York/ New England Trip:Need Help

Old Feb 9th, 2010, 07:39 AM
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New York/ New England Trip:Need Help

Hi- I am trying to plan a trip next July to Upstate New York/ Southern New England. I have been to New England a couple of times, but mainly focused on Northern New England like Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. I have been to Acadia NP and Baxter Park/Moosehead Lake in Maine, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and have been through Woodstock and Rutland, Vermont.. I have been through parts of Massachusetts also. I have also been to Niagara Falls and the Finger Lakes in New York. So, places I have not been include Cape Cod and coastal areas of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Boston, and the Adirondacks of NY. Cape Cod is really the only big vacation spot in New England I have not been to. So, im thinking about planning a trip next July to explore more of Southern New England and maybe part of Upstate New York. Im going to start with a rough itinerary. I have a week to 10 days. So, i can go up to ten days if I have to. And I want to keep the drive each day somewhat short like under 7 hours. I do realize that there is lots of traffic, so it can take much longer, but I am talking planned time. I don't want to plan a 9 hour drive, then it turn into 12 hours. So, i want to keep it short to allow for traffic. Even though a lot of this trip will be coastal, I want to go through a mountain area on the return leg of the trip, like Western Massachusetts, Southern Vermont, or in New York and avoid the New York City area (go through PA instead). Going up, I just simply want to go the shortest way (through New York City, Connecticut, etc). I am driving up from the Baltimore, Maryland area. So, im going to list a rough itinerary here, that I count on doing a lot of modifications to. I am willing to cut a few things to get the best out of my trip (i.e. Adirondacks or Upstate NY). So here it is:
Day 1- Leave Baltimore in the morning and Arrive in Newport, Rhode Island.
Day 2- Another day in Newport, Rhode Island
Day 3- Leave Newport in the morning and arrive in Wellfleet, Massachusetts (Cape Cod)
Day 4- Cape Cod
Day 5- Cape Cod
Day 6- Cape Cod
Day 7- Cape Cod
Day 8- Leave Cape Cod, Arrive in Boston
Day 9- Leave Boston, spend the night in the Berkshires/ Southern Vermont
Day 10- Leave Berkshires/ Southern Vermont, Arrive Home

Any suggestions? Looks like I would have to cut the Adirondacks for sure. I would like to spend some time in Cape Cod, but I could cut a day or two there. Im not sure I want to do Boston or not because im into outdoors and I don't like cities. I am looking for hiking trails and unspoiled natural beauty as well as historical sites. However, places like Minuteman National Park or Walden Pond look promising. Or how about Cape Ann like Rockport or Glochester, MA? Or any place else in Rhode Island or Massachusetts along the coast? What are good places to spend part of a vacation?
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Old Feb 9th, 2010, 08:04 AM
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Your plan seems reasonable. If you do your travel onto the Cape on a day other than Friday or Saturday and off on a day other than Saturday, Sunday or Monday your drives will be much better. Most weekly rentals are Sat. to Sat., and folks with summer homes often go Fri. to Mon.. Boston is an interesting city with lots of history, but nor really a hiking unspoiled natural beauty place, so if you have a rainy day on the Cape, or just want to do a quick visit to Boston, go to Provincetown and take the ferry to Boston and use the T to visit some of the historic places with your umbrella in tow, then take the ferry back to the Cape. There are also ferries that run from some of the other places from Hyanis to Nantucket and or Woods Hole and Falmouth to Martha's Vineyard, for day trips from the cape. Cape Ann is neat, Rockport has lots of artists, little shops, etc., Gloucester is still a fishing town, but has nice beaches. You can do whale watches from Provincetown, Gloucester and Boston if that interests you. We've been out of Provincetown and have seen many whales every time. The Rhode Island shore has some very nice beaches but mostly developed, not unspoiled natural beauty. Minuteman NP is very interesting for a history buff.

Enjoy the trip.
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Old Feb 9th, 2010, 09:08 AM
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Thanks for your reply. Part of the point of stopping in Newport, RI for a couple days is to one shorten the drive on the first day, two it is close to the Cape so I can get to the bridges in the morning, and third if I left saturday, then I would be arriving at the Cape on a monday. I am also not spending a whole week on the Cape, which means I either have to find a rental that rents by the day or stay at a hotel. As far as ferries, one of the people in our party has vertigo problems and cannot travel on boats. So, we can't do any ferries. I would like to spend a night in a mountain area on the return leg of the trip and it looks like the most convienient place would be the Berkshires. So, Boston is almost on the way from the Cape. The Freedom Trail in Boston, Minuteman NP, and Walden Pond all looking very promising to me. However, if I stayed a night or two in Boston, I would not want to stay in the city. Is there any good place on the outskirts like around Minuteman NP that is close to a subway I could take downtown? And as far as Cape Ann, how does it compare to Cape Cod? Which should I go to? Which would have more natural beauty and outdoor activities?
Thanks-
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Old Feb 9th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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Cape Ann is very different from Cape Cod. It is a place where people who work live and has some touristy, artsy places like Rockport and some nice beaches like Wingaersheek and Crane's and some beautiful rocky shore like Bass Rocks and Halibut point, some historic places like Salem, and still some fishing industry. Cape Cod is dunes, beaches, national seashore, tourist places, retirees, a very different vibe. Both have lots of natural beauty, and my grandkids live in the Cape Ann area, so that's special for me, but I do like to go to Cape Cod off season when it is too cold for the tourists but the beauty remains.
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Old Feb 9th, 2010, 03:23 PM
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Which place would be more of a vacation destination to spend time though? Maybe I could make a quick visit to Cape Ann instead of doing Boston? the Rocky coastline there sounds neat.
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Old Feb 9th, 2010, 05:22 PM
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Boston is a 'must see' in my opinion. I would say the ferry from Provincetown on the Cape to Boston is not a budget travel choice but perfectly pleasant.
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Old Feb 9th, 2010, 08:23 PM
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However, if I stayed a night or two in Boston, I would not want to stay in the city. Is there any good place on the outskirts like around Minuteman NP that is close to a subway I could take downtown

Concord is along the commuter rail line, so you can potentially stay out there and take the train into town.
http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_ma...route=FITCHBRG

However, since there's almost no parking space @ Concord station, you'd either have to:
1) Stay somewhere close enough that you can WALK to the commuter rail station; or
2) Stay at a hotel that offers shuttle service to the nearby commuter rail station

Also, the Minuteman National Park encompasses a LARGE area (it covers Lexington AND Concord). You should check out the NPS website in advance. The Minuteman NPS offers lots of guided tours and other programs during the summer season. http://www.nps.gov/mima/index.htm

Freedom Trail in downtown Boston will take up an entire day.
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Old Feb 9th, 2010, 10:37 PM
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Thanks- Should I plan on going to Cape Ann or just stay Boston?
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Old Feb 10th, 2010, 10:14 AM
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Just a minor point--Cape Ann is actually just Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, and Manchester-by-the Sea. Ipswich isn't on Cape Ann, and with limited time, I would stick to Rockport and Gloucester.

Cape Ann is easier to get around than Cape Cod in July. There are fewer tourists, although the weekends can have traffic tie-ups around the beaches and in-town parking in Rockport and Manchester-by-the Sea can also be a challenge then. Coming on a weekday would be better. If you have a map and good advice, you can see a lot of beautiful scenery just by driving around.

I love both Cape Cod and Cape Ann and would probably divide my time between the two if I absolutely hated cities and wanted to see two very different areas. If I just wanted to relax on a beach, I'd stay on Cape Cod and avoid the extra driving. (Also note that the beaches on Cape Ann can sometimes reach parking capacity on the weekend in July and August.)

On the other hand, if you love history, you really shouldn't miss the Freedom Trail in Boston, so when you have limited time, there is no easy answer!
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Old Feb 10th, 2010, 12:31 PM
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On the Cape, I would try to stay on the historical/scenic north side near route 6A somewhere between Sandwich and Brewster unless wide sand beaches are a must.

If you stay near Concord, you can take commuter rail into Boston and then leave on Route 2 to Western Massachusetts. It is fairly scenic and rural, much more interesting than the Mass Pike and is a 4 lane road. I would try to spend two nights in the Berkshires, giving up a night on the Cape. There is a lot to see, including at least two charming towns (Stockbridge and Great Barrington)several charming villages, a ton of historical houses, a Shaker village, a world-famous art museum in Williamstown, etc.

You don't say where you are coming from, but that might affect how you do this trip.
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Old Feb 10th, 2010, 05:29 PM
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I am coming from the Baltimore, MD area. For Cape Cod, the main reason I wanted to visit Cape Cod was the Cape Cod NS, so I want to stay up near Eastham or Wellfleet or Provincetown. Cape Ann sounds neat, so does the Freedom Trail in Boston. As far as Western Mass, I did drive Route 2 on the way home from Maine one time, and yes it was very scenic. I was going to ask if there is anything to see on the Mass Turnpike, as that would be a different way. Is there any other way I could go?
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Old Feb 12th, 2010, 07:55 AM
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I think im going to travel to the Adirondacks of NY instead, I just looked into it and it sounds great!! I ve always liked the mountains, so im going to do a separate thread on that.
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