Revised itinerary...still need help!

Old Apr 8th, 2009, 06:02 PM
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ret
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Revised itinerary...still need help!

Hi! I posted an itinerary earlier in the week and after many responses have revised it. As suggested, I think we have decided on the following plan:

Fly in & out of Manchester
Drive along NH coast from Seabrook to Portsmouth, spend the night in Portsmouth
Drive from Portsmouth to Jackson, spend a night or two in Jackson

Here are my questions:

1) I can't decide whether we should continue on to Maine or travel to Vermont (either Woodstock or Stowe).
We will be traveling with an infant (9 mo) and are interested in light hiking, cute towns with shops/restaurants, visiting a farm or two and seeing the area during foliage season (we're planning on traveling during the last wk of Sept)

2) Are there small towns or things to do along the way from Manchester to Portsmouth and from Portsmoth to Jackson

3) Can anyone suggest places to stay in Portsmouth &, Jackson?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/opinions/advice!!
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 11:19 AM
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Suggest you continue on to Vermont from Jackson, rather than backtracking to Maine, particularly if you are interested in foliage. The foliage will be nowhere near peak the last week of September, though further along in Stowe than Woodstock. You could take Rt. 100 down from Stowe, through the Mad River Valley, and stop in Woodstock on your trip back to Manchester for your flight home. A good site to check for ideas while in Stowe is http://www.gostowe.com
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 06:31 AM
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I agree with colbeck's suggestions. You'll be early for the foliage, but if you have any chance of seeing it, it'll be in northernmost VT and the upper mountains. Woodstock sounds like it would be right up your alley as well.

Between Portsmouth and Jackson, consider a detour to Wolfeboro as well as the Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough.
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 06:37 AM
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Another option -- you could go from Portsmouth to Jackson via Portland, ME (follow the coast to Portland and then take Route 302 towards Jackson). This would add some driving time but would allow you to see some of the Maine coast (check out the lighthouses at Cape Neddick and Cape Elizabeth).
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 12:16 PM
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During the last week of Sept you might see a little color in the north but are most likely to see it in swampy locations where the red swamp maples tend to turn very early. If you meant farms as in farm stands, you should find plenty. If you meant something like a petting zoo, Charming Fare Farm in Candia NH (not too far from MHT airport) gets a lot of good reports. The most direct route to the coast from MHT will be Rt 101 which is a boring limited access hwy but you can get off to travel thru towns like Exeter and Greenfields (not actually direct but on the way) or head all the way to Rt 1 (skip I95, there's a tollbooth in Seabrook).
I have stayed at the Hampshire Hotel in Seabrook. It doesn't look so hot on Trip Advisor and I would agree it's a little worn but it's a small hotel with suite-like rooms (get one with a separate bedroom) that might be more comfortable since you are traveling with an infant. Although something in Portsmouth would be much handier. Rt 1B from Strawbery Banke thru New Castle is beautiful. Head over to the farm on the way to Durham. You'll go over the Great Bay Bridges. Nice rest/play area, too.
I think the advice to continue up the Maine coast is good. Stop in York to walk on the beach, visit Nubble light, watch the taffy machine at the Goldenrod. York is a funky beach town. Portland ME to N Conway area is only about an hour. Friends who live in the Wolfboro and Ossipee area do their shopping in Portland. While in the Lake Winnipesaukee/White Mountains area you could try to find Sandwich Creamery. It's way off the beaten path and Center Sandwich is a very beautiful old town.
If you decide to go Portsmouth to Jackson via Rt 4 heading toward Concord NH you could make a small detour to Flag Hill Winery and Distillery in Lee, NH. Or detour for a tour of Shaker Village in Canterbury NH. While in the Canterbury area there are several apple orchards. Do not miss picking up some fresh apples. Some also sell wonderful baked goods. I like the approach to the White Mountains up Rt 93 from Concord NH because the scenery just opens up.
Both Woodstock and Stowe are lovely VT towns that have been gussied up for tourism. There's pros and cons to that. If you want to run into more tourists, that's where you'll find them. If your visit includes Oct 1,2,3 - that's the beginning of Deerfield Fair in NH (not too far from Portsmouth) which is considered the best family fair in the state. But if you head to Stowe VT by a northern route you could make a stop in Danville VT at the Great Vermont Corn Maze. Lots of fun, very well done - but plan on several hours. Good place to eat would be Miss Lyndon diner. The maze is in a very rural area but worth the trip.
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