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September 2012 trip itinerary to New Hampshire & Vermont

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Jan 25th, 2012, 05:31 PM
  #1
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September 2012 trip itinerary to New Hampshire & Vermont

My husband & I are planning a 2 week trip leaving Labor Day weekend for New Hampshire & Vermont. We have never been to either state but did spend 2 weeks in Maine last September. We love to hike and plan on concentrating on 1 week in the White Mtn. region and 1 week in the Green Mtn. region. My question would be what towns should we look at to find lodging in each region and ideally drive from there each day to hike and view scenery. We will not be camping and like the option of having things to do in the evenings. We would not necessarily have to stay a whole week at one location. We have no problem moving around every 2-3 nights but would prefer to stay 4-5 nights at a time in one spot..
We are spending our 1st day traveling to Jaffrey where we plan on spending 2 nights and hiking Monadnock. We plan on leaving early the morning after our 2nd night and heading towards the White Mountain region eventually taking route west towards Stowe & Burlington.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
OSUbuckeye is offline  
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Jan 25th, 2012, 06:40 PM
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In the Whitemountains, North Conway would be a fun little town to stay in or Jackson, with lots of b&bs. The weekend after Labor day there's a silly, fun Mud Football weekend w a Saturday parade and, yes, football in the mud! Weather should be gorgeous70-80 days. Perfect timing.
The Kangamangus Highway is a must drive. At one end is Conway, the other Lincoln,NH. If in Lincoln, look for The Pigs Ear in a little mall if you like Texas BBQ!
Burlington and Stowe are great.
Enjoy!
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Jan 26th, 2012, 01:30 AM
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Are you familiar with the Appalachian Mountain Club lodges and hut system? The huts are very simple, very European hostels located half a day's hike apart all across the White Mountains along the Appalachian Trail. You walk to them and between them, but breakfast and dinner are provided by college-age "Croo". AMC also has a simple lodge at Pinkham Notch, a good base for climbing Mt Washington or hiking in the Presidentials and the Carter Range. Delicious family style meals, lectures etc. Bring your own bottle.

That's one extreme. The other is the Mt Washington Hotel in Crawford Notch, near the base station for the Cog Railway. A luxury 1900 era resort.

Jackson is pleasant, North Conway is outlet city, but you can certainly enjoy a rainy day there if you park the car.

If you are coming from Jaffrey, drive cross country to I-93, then north to Lincoln, then the Kankamagus as suggested above.

This is a great time to come, by the way. Schools back in and the leaf peepers haven't arrived. You may get a little snow on the summits, if you are lucky.
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Jan 26th, 2012, 04:07 AM
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When you travel from NH to Stowe, you might consider The Great Vermont Corn Maze for a different kind of hiking. It's fun and a bit of a work out since it's on a hill. It's also a great time of year to visit a good apple orchard/farm stand.

When Ackislander says drive cross country, he means just that. Make sure you have a good road map for secondary roads. A DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer for both VT and NH will also show locations of covered bridges, waterfalls, etc and show every road including seasonal. They are oversize and good for finding backroads but a good roadmap will be good for navigation. (Sorry, we don't use gps gizmos)

Although the Kanc is very popular, I personally like the more southerly route from Rt 16 over thru Tamworth and Center Sandwich. The Conway area will give you options for things to do in the evening and should be ok for mid-week but weekends will be mobbed.

I've stayed at the Golden Eagle in Stowe and liked its proximity to town but have stayed there recently. Liked the units in back with large rooms, fireplace (gas) and reading nook.
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Jan 26th, 2012, 07:22 AM
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There are lots of towns that meet your description.
In New Hampshire, Jackson is a picture perfect mountain village. A few more options would be Sugar Hill, Woodstock and Bethlehem. North Conway is fun, but it gets very crowded due to it's concentration of outlet stores and restaurants. Lincoln is at the edge of the Kancamangus, but it doesn't have much charm - lots of resort/condos and highway stores. You might also want to check out the quiet and scenic agricultural towns along the Connecticut River - like Orford and Lyme. Hanover NH is the ultimate New England Ivy League town with good dining, a nice museum, and the beautiful Dartmouth campus.
In Vermont, Woodstock (not to be confused with Woodstock NH!) and Stowe are the most popular touristy, scenic little villages. The Waitsfield/Warren area is very beautiful, and Montpelier is a fun little city to go for dinner. Burlington is one of America's most beautiful cities, although it does have some 'mall sprawl' around it.
In general, New Hampshire is more known for it's rugged hiking trails, and Vermont more for it's bucolic and pastoral feel (although there are some great hikes in Vt!) As far as things to do in the evening, neither state is known for it's nightlife, but Burlington is fairly lively. There are pubs in Hanover, Montpelier, etc that often have live music.
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Jan 27th, 2012, 05:32 PM
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Thanks everyone for all your "food for thought" We went to Maine the same time last year & found it to be the perfect time for a visit as far as missing the "crowds". I'm encouraged by Ackislander that we are planning the right time again. Coming from Ohio where we also have some beautiful fall colors, leaf peeping is not worth fighting the crowds to compare what we have seen through Virgina & West Virginia's mountains.
I definitely have the Kanc on my to do list & had planned on getting to that point from Jaffrey by going through Squam Lake among other sights by & by. We're on vacation so not in a hurry.
I think I'll look at the Jackson-Breton Woods area & drive into Conway for dinner & shopping per your suggesions. Also Stowe looks like a nice spot for a couple days and then to Burlington for a few days then down to Killington to end.
I appreciate all the suggestions & if anyone can recommend some "not to miss" day hikes of moderate to slightly strenuous duration, I'm sure open to suggestions!
Thanks again for all your valuable input. I never plan a vacation without my fodorites
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Jan 28th, 2012, 07:55 AM
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OH-IO Lived in Ohio for ten years and have family down in C-Bus! Now I live down in the Monadnock Region where you plan to spend a couple of nights while hiking Monadnock so if you want some suggestions I would be happy to help out.

In addition to Mt Monadnock, there is also North Pack and South Pack (twin peaks that are lower than Monadnock). The corridor between the two peaks is considered one of the best Hawk Migration viewing spots in the state for the Hawk Migration. September and October is the Hawk Migration season and more info can be found at www.nhaudubon.org/locations/raptor-observatories.

South Pack can be a pretty crowded hike during Hawk Migration season but come up Ted's or Caroline's Trail on North Pack and you won't find nearly as many people (since the viewing platform and auto-road is across the way).

As for dining options in the area, there is a nice restaurant in downtown Jaffrey named Sunflowers which we like a lot. There is also the restaurant at the Monadnock Inn and the restaurant at the Woodbound Inn in Rindge.

We live in Peterborough (six miles North of Jaffrey) which is a quintessential New England town that is pedestrian friendly and has neat shopping. It also has a half a dozen nice restaurants from casual Harlow's Pub with great food, beer, and ecclectic atmosphere to upscale Waterhouse or Pearl (and excited about a new bistro supposedly opening this spring).

For lodging and hiking options, check out www.nhlodging.org (I am not sure I should give a lodging reccommendation since I am an innkeeper.

If you have any questions about the area...feel free to ask! And Go Buckeyes
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Jan 29th, 2012, 08:32 AM
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OH--IO to you RL Fox Thanks for all the suggestions! I have put the North Pack Trail on my list and added your restaurant suggestions! I may be contacting you later for more information if I need some.
We are from Dover right on I-77 at the edge of Amish Country, about 2 hrs. from Columbus. Our son graduated from OSU but is now in Cleveland for grad school so we don't make it down south as often..only about 4 times a yr but they have great food and restaurants and of course, shopping there.
Go Bucks!!
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Feb 7th, 2012, 01:19 PM
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I second Jackson!! Look at the Inn at Thorn Hill and the Wentworth (both have lodging & fine dining - Wentworth also rents out 2 bedroom townhouses w/ kitchen) - for fine dining, try The Cider House in Bartlett, The Oxford House just over the border from N Conway in Maine and Libby's Bistro in Gorham. Shannon Door Pub in Jackson for casual pizza on a night when they have entertainment is also a great choice. Other casual choices - Delany's has the best sushi (and bar food), The Moat Brewery also has good eats and home brewed beer, Margarita Grill for tex-mex and margaritas - for breakfast try Priscilla's and Stairway Cafe, J-town deli has good "to go" hiking food/lunch and also an eat in area....
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