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Our 1st Trip to the New England states - need advice?

Our 1st Trip to the New England states - need advice?

Old May 29th, 2010, 11:19 AM
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Our 1st Trip to the New England states - need advice?

What do you think of this plan for our trip in late September?

We are traveling from Alabama to Boston via Amtrak arriving at Back Bay station at 7:40 in the evening. Looking for a moderate priced hotel close to the train station. Any suggestions?

Are we fitting in too much or not enough on the following itinerary. We can add days if we want but would like to keep our driving down to a minimum where possible. Also looking for any recommendations for lodging (medium to high price) along the way. Thanks for your help!
DAY ONE: Boston to Kennebunkport -– stopping in Salem, Kittery, the Yorks, Ogunquit, Old Orchard Beach. Spend one night in this area.

Heading to Jackson, NH via Portland. Drive up to Mt. Washington after arriving in Jackson.

Leaving Jackson take the Kancamgus Highway to Lincoln, NH and then on to Woodstock, VT for the night. (Woodstock a good place to stop?)

Leaving Woodstock we are heading to Lexington, MA. We plan to stop along the way in VT at Ludlow, Weston, Grafton and in MA at Hancock and Harrisville.

Tour Lexington and Concord and drive on to Boston for 3 nights.
jandb is offline  
Old May 29th, 2010, 11:23 AM
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I would add at least a day between day 1 and day 2, even without Salem. That may require an additional day.

I would assume the reason that you are going to Hancock, MA is for the Shaker Village. I think you will need at least another day between 4 and 5.
tchoiniere is offline  
Old May 29th, 2010, 02:30 PM
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If you plan to see both Lexington and Concord in a day, you'll have to prioritize, as you simply won't be able to see everything both towns have to offer. One full day in each will likely allow enough time for most all the attractions in each town.
bachslunch is offline  
Old May 29th, 2010, 04:52 PM
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You do realize that you're too early in the year to see the fall foliage? (Around Boston that's typically the second week or so of October.)

Agree that your itinerary is very rushed - you're not leaving much time to see anything. This area is very rich in history and you can;t really see much in only an hour or two.
nytraveler is offline  
Old May 29th, 2010, 05:33 PM
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While I agree your itinerary is not "slow", we spent a half-day in Concord/Lexington and thought it was great. Maybe more time would have been even better, but we loved the half-day we spent there.
sf7307 is offline  
Old May 29th, 2010, 10:30 PM
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Way too many towns...

You can do some of this, but covering four states in four days...

Driving up Mount Washington is not for the faint of heart. Driving down is worse.
djkbooks is offline  
Old May 30th, 2010, 03:00 AM
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Big glaring omission on Day 1 - you skipped Portsmouth NH. There is a lot to see and do in Portsmouth. You will want to avoid Rt 1 in Kittery unless you are planning to go outlet shopping. We are staying at the Dunes in Ogunquit for the first time in a few weeks.

We've stayed at the Quality Inn, Quechee VT very close to Woodstock. Moderately priced, decent and large rooms (ours had sitting area). Woodstock is a classic tourist destination. Very pretty but I don't think of it as a real VT town.

You didn't mention your interests. Late September is a great time to visit just before the surge of leaf peepers. Assume your picked Weston for the Vermont Country Store.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old May 30th, 2010, 02:53 PM
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I don't know what "moderate price" is for you; but there are SEVERAL DOZENS of hotels near Back Bay Station.

Westin, Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, Copley Sq Hotel, Back Bay Hotel, Lenox, Fairmont Copley, Colonnade Hotel; just off the top of my head.
yk is offline  
Old May 31st, 2010, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Traveling on Amtrak from Alabama to Boston? Why not fly? (We once took Amtrak from here to Orlando, Florida and vowed never, ever to take that north-south corridor trip again. I could write several pages about what they did wrong!)

I don't know what dfrostnh means when he says "Woodstock is ... very pretty but I don't think of it as a real VT town. I have to wonder how he defines "a real VT town"? However, he IS right about it being very touristy. Bentley's there offers nice lunches, and we once enjoyed a decent dinner at the Woodstock Inn, too. (Be sure to visit Gillingham's, a General Store that has almost anything you could imagine, especially in the area of unusual foodstuffs!)

Are there two of you or a family? For a romantic B&B, check out the Maple Leaf Inn (on line), outside Woodstock, in Barnard, VT. A romantic, lovely B&B, run by nice people.

Yes, the Vermont Country Store, in Weston, VT, is a neat place, and the Bryant House next door offers very nice lunches -- but beware lest you fill up on all the free "samples" at the store and not want lunch! (Depending on your final route, there is another Vermont Country Store, by the way, in Rockingham, on Rte 103, very close to I-91, if you get off at Exit 6.)

I hope the trip lives up to your expectations! Good luck!

RetiredVermonter is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2010, 03:18 AM
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Hi Vermonter, I think if someone is visiting VT that it would be nice to see Vermonters and not other tourists which is why I don't care for Woodstock. Agree that Gillingham's is a great store. I found this list of 20 characteristics for an authentic, self-sustaining VT town http://www.virtualvermont.com/atlarge/towns.html
I think the ratio of pickup trucks to Saabs in Woodstock is way off and it might actually be pretty hard to find many vehicles with VT license plates. And I'm not sure that Gillingham's sells any live bait. At least Woodstock has one 4-H club (horse). I couldn't find any evidence of a Grange in Woodstock.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2010, 10:54 AM
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As defrostnh knows, I love Woodstock. Don't care how many people there are tourists -- they're there because it's such a great town! Love Gillingham's, love the covered bridge, love walking around town, love walking around the Inn, love walking around parts of town outside the commercial area. Can you tell, I love Woodstock?
sf7307 is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2010, 11:02 AM
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Way too much stuff.

Day 1 - Salem has the PEM museum which is lovely. You can also do the "witchcraft" stuff if you are interested. But if you main goal is to get to Kennebunkport, then skip Salem and just drive up to Maine, enjoy the scenery and shops, and have a nice lunch. Try to relax.

Day 2 - don't drive up Mt. Washington unless you want a new transmission...take the train. get out and do some hiking and enjoy the view. do you geocache?

On this trip I would probably skip VT as you don't have enough time to really enjoy things. On the way back to Mass from the White Mountains, you can hit the outlets in Tilton instead of doing Kittery on DAy 1. Kittery has 8% sales tax...NH has 0. Although Kittery has way more stores to check out.
rizzo0904 is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2010, 08:06 AM
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Any reason why you couldn't fly into Manchester, NH, instead of Boston? Then head right to Maine, and onto the rest of your trip--although I agree with the others that this is a lot to do. I too would bag the drive up Mt. Washington...when you say you plan to stop in Hancock and Harrisville--in New Hampshire?
LoveMaine is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2010, 01:46 PM
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And we love that little stand outside of Woodstock, on Rte 4, east of the town, on your way there from Rutland. Know where we mean? GREAT deli stuff, great breads, etc. Not cheap, but yummy!
RetiredVermonter is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2010, 01:48 PM
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I think flying into Manchester, NH sounds terrific, too. Great idea. May be cheaper, too.
RetiredVermonter is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2010, 02:13 PM
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RV, I don't know that stand, but I'll be sure to look for it next time!! (We arrived from Deerfield, MA, so up Rte 91 mostly).
sf7307 is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 02:28 PM
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If you come up I-91 and take Exit 6, I am sure you know about the "other" Vermont Country Store a couple of miles east of there on Rte 103!
RetiredVermonter is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2010, 01:55 PM
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Your itinerary might be a bit rushed, but it's definitely doable, in my opinion. It just depends on what kind of traveler you are. Some people here are very relaxed travelers who don't like spending more than an hour or two in the car each day. Personally, I think you'll get a great taste of New England based on the places you've selected. I'm sure you'll want to come back for a more extended stay eventually.

You've done your homework in choosing the best places to stay. Woodstock, VT is definitely a good choice. I assume you mean Harrisville and Hancock in NH, not MA, right? These are beautiful little sleepy towns that look like they haven't changed in 200 years.

Bear in mind that a drive up the Mt. Washington auto road is very weather-dependent. You might have to swap the drive with the Kancamagus drive if the summit is in the clouds on day 2 but clear on day 3. Anyway, if the weather's clear, the views are absolutely breathtaking.

As others have mentioned, you will be too early for peak foliage, but you might catch a few patches of color in the White Mountains.

If you do decide to add another day to your itinerary (even taking a day away from Boston wouldn't be a terribly bad idea IMO), then you might consider adding another night on the Maine (or NH) coast; alternatively, another night in VT (either in Woodstock or somewhere further south to break up the relatively long drive you have planned for day 4).

I also strongly support stopping in Portsmouth NH to see the downtown area and Strawberry Banke. I would also recommend taking the backroads from Salem through Hamilton, Ipswich, and Newburyport - these are beautiful well-preserved colonial towns without the busy atmosphere of Salem.
TerrMys is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2010, 03:05 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
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yes , i also think that your itinerary is pretty rushed and i think you should put more time just to enjoy walking round the city and just relax , all the best
marionstattner is offline  
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