Road trip New England, help me get started

Old Jan 28th, 2012, 03:45 PM
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Road trip New England, help me get started

Husband and I (from UK) just starting to plan a holiday in New England in June starting in Boston around 18 days - 65 yrs old, like coast, countryside, old mansions, want to whalewatch and see anything interesting different but not wanting sea sports, strenuous hiking, visiting shopping outlets and am a bit doubtful about anything hideously touristy eg not sure about 'mock up' old towns....

Is second week in June a good time to come - want summer to have started but not too hot?

Need to think about a circular tour coast and country - how far is it reasonable to cover, Massachusetts and beyond. Willl drive but quite like organised tours as well, eg was reading about the Cape Cod tour which sounds good. Like to see Martha's vineyard - also like the idea of seeing some of the old covered bridges.Mount Washington up on the train

Just need ideas to get started New England so big I know I cant do it all in two and a half weeks! Looked at some of the state tourism wwebsites but of course thats artificial boundaries so not quite so helpful

I cant work out how to tag wwith more than one state as I would have liked to add other New England states!

thank you, am so excited about this trip - thank you everybody, in advance.
Edited: today, 0:27
Hilary is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2012, 04:36 PM
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Don't rent a car until you are ready to leave Boston. Boston has a great public transportation system and driving is not fun.

Mansions: You could spend 2-3 nights in Newport RI. It's not a long drive from Boston...just over 1 hour I think. And then drive over to the Cape. I'm not familiar with Cape Cod, so I really can't help you there.

June - weather will be nice, but not hot. Bonus is that school is still in session, so places shouldn't be too crowded.
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Old Jan 28th, 2012, 05:12 PM
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June is a great time. With that amount of time you should be able to see quite a bit and get a good taste of New England - but of course won't be able to see it all. I really can't think of much you'd need an organized tour for. Some things take proportionality longer than others - Cape Cod and the islands are in that category. Not that they aren't wonderful, but they'd take a chunk of your time and don't have anything you can't get in other parts of New England. In terms of the 'mock' towns as you say, some of those are actually quite good: Sturbridge Village and Plimouth Plantation and worth half a day each if you are interested in history.

Here is what I would suggest:
Boston - four days. THEN rent the car

Cape Ann/North Shore (Gloucester and Rockport)
Maine Coast - York, Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, Portland, Camden
I would allow at least 4-5 days for the coast.

Then go west through the White Mountains of New Hampshire over to Vermont and then south into Western Mass. At least 3 days for this section.

Then head back east - you'll go past Sturbridge Village - to Rhode Island - Newport has the mansions. In Massachusetts but not far from here is Plimouth Plantation. At least two days.

Now you are up to 14 days. With the extra 4 days I would either spread them out - 1 more day in each area. Or you could do Cape Cod and Nantucket (if you do Nantucket you'd park the car and take the ferry over as a passenger, you can't take a car on the ferry without very advance reservations and you don't really need it there). Or you could go further up the Maine coast to Acadia National Park.

Here's a link to my photos - I have a gallery for Boston and one for New England.
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 02:15 AM
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Early to mid-June is when lupines are blooming in mid-coast Maine and NH's White Mountains. Some towns have a lupine festival and offer maps to see the best fields.

On another thread I recommended the culinary tours in Boston and Portland ME. Expect cobblestone streets. The Old Port area of Portland where the tour is held has some hilly walking. The mail boat cruise around the islands in Casco Bay is nice and you can be done in time for lunch. There's not a lot of narration since it's a working commuter/delivery boat but enough to make it interesting. The cruises out of Portsmouth NH area even better. You just have to decide whether you want the harbor cruise or inland rivers.

Gardens can be very pretty that time of year and some local garden clubs offer a weekend tour (you drive and walk) of people's gardens. Some of them can be spectacular but all give you a closer view of where you are. i.e. the home might have a wonderful water view.

Both VT and NH have tour maps promoting local agricultural such as wineries, cheese farms and ice cream. You might look at some of these locations because frequently you get to small towns and off the beaten path.

In addition to the Cog Railroad up Mt Washington, other mountains have trams that go to the top i.e. Cannon Mountain. Don't bother if the visibility isn't great.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 06:14 AM
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Oh good grief! Don't miss Cape Cod! The National Seashore is truly a sight to behold. For authentic Cape towns visit Sandwich, Falmouth, Chatham, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, Provincetown, take a ferry to Martha's Vineyard and another to Nantucket.

The Cape and Islands are steeped in atmosphere and history; don't miss out on a few days enjoying both places. 4 days in June (if it's not raining) would be almost enough to get a feel for the place. It's unique and a not to be missed destination. As for Sturbridge Village and Plimoth Plantation...They Are Mock Ups and worthy of a 'pass'!
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 10:28 AM
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Definitely agree that if you like mansions, Newport is a must -- and you could easily spend three days seeing them at a rate of ca. 3 per day (more than that per day tends to become overload, and for some folks, two's about the limit). And that doesn't count other attractions in the town (Tennis Hall of Fame, the modest-sized Museum of Newport History and Newport Art Museum, Cliff Walk, parks and beaches).

If you're out in the Berkshires or the Pioneer Valley area of Massachusetts, there are a couple mansions (Naumkeag, The Mount) and several smaller historic houses/studios (Arrowhead, Mission House, Frelinghuysen/Morris, Chesterwood, Emily Dickenson museum, the Historic Deerfield complex) to consider.

Closer in by Boston, Plymouth, MA has a number of smaller historic houses (Mayflower Society House, Jabez Howland House, Sparrow House, Harlow Old Fort House), and in Ipswich is the more mansion-like Crane Estate and smaller Whipple House and Heard House. And Gloucester has two worthwhile mansions, Hammond Castle and Beauport. Plus there are a number of interesting historic houses in Lincoln (Gropius House, Codman Estate), Concord, MA (The Wayside, The Old Manse, Orchard House, Ralph Waldo Emerson House), and Lexington (Hancock-Clarke House, Buckman Tavern, Munroe Tavern).
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