Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Touring the New England states in Late May-Early June

Touring the New England states in Late May-Early June

Old Jan 8th, 2016, 11:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Touring the New England states in Late May-Early June

Me, the wife and her 7 y/o daughter, are trying to plan a trip to tour the New England states. My plan, and it may be all wrong for what I want to do, but I've never been to that part of the country and this will be new to all of us. I want to fly in to New York La Guardia, spend a couple days there touring New York City, then rent a car and tour the New England States. I know the wife would like to leisurely tour the states. But I want to make sure I visit all the states of New England. And I want to be able to make it a little exciting for the 7 Y/O. I know that part will be pretty hard, but she is learning about the history of the USA in school now, so thats a plus. If I can get a few tips of what to visit in the New England States that would be great. If starting in New York is all wrong then let me know. I've been looking at a few tours in New York City, but I haven't booked anything. I plan at least a week for the whole trip, but I figured it might take longer than that to get a good tour of the NE states. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to all
doublelong is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2016, 12:45 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,181
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
This might be a bit easier and perhaps a bit cheaper:
Fly to Boston. See the Freedom Trail in Boston. https://www.thefreedomtrail.org/free...ail/maps.shtml
Rent the car in Boston and see the states you want to see.
Return the car in Boston and then take the train from Boston South station into New York Penn Station (NYP).
Fly home from either New York airport or even Newark (EWR).
tomfuller is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2016, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,420
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To include NYC and all the New England states should require more than just a week.
In a week, you could spend a couple of days in NYC, take the train or bus up to Boston (4 1/2 hours) for a couple of days, rent a car for one overnight on the coast of Maine or on Cape Cod,return the car in Boston to avoid hefty one way drop off fees, and train/bus back to NYC.
For a longer trip through all the NE states, you'd have to commit more time.
When you indicate your interests, we may be able to help you plan better.
SambaChula is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2016, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Personally I think it's a crime to come and not see NYC - but if you have only a week you will have trouble seeing even much of New England. I fear you don't understand how large the area is: New England is only slightly smaller than the whole UK. Can you see England, Scotland and Wales in one week?

And to see much of NYC you would have to allow at least 4 nights (3 days) so I don't see how you can fit it in.

I would fly in and out of Boston - which needs at least 2 full days to see much at all. Then rent a car and head out to 2 or at most 3 other overnight stops. (You would need a full 2 weeks just to see NE in a "leisurely" way.)

From there you can go north to Maine (a lot of outdoors stuff and a very rocky coast), south to Cape Cod and the RI area or west to more of Mass and southern VT and NH.

If you try to get to all of the states, including CT, you will end up spending a very large amount of time in the car versus seeing/doing anything.

Places you might consider are the summer "cottages" of Newport RI - where the wealthy of the 19th century summered in massive mansions along the coast. Or do Plimouth Plantation to get info on the earliest settlers. Cape Cod is great for whale watching (do this on one of your stops - it's amazing can also do this from Boston) but you're kind of early in the year to go in the water. (Remember this is the north atlantic, waters are cold until late Aug/Sept).

You really need to get a good guide book and pick out what YOUR must sees are - then people here can help you string them together in your very limited time.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2016, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry - note that end of May is a lot of college graduations and Boston has a ton of colleges so hotel space can be scarce/very expensive. Make sure when you go is after the graduations.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2016, 08:02 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
NYC, Boston, New England are awesome places to visit, but there is a ton to see and do. What do you mean when you say your wife likes leisurely travel? Would she like to sit by a lake? the ocean? a spa? What about the 7 year old? Central Park in Manhattan is great for kids: rock climbing, horse drawn carriages, bike riding, boat rides, playgrounds. Theater and the lights on Broadway are amazing. There are wonderful museums. the Empire State Building, Liberty Tower, Statue of Liberty, Staten Island Ferry (goes right by the Statue) are great. Connecticut has Lake Compounce - the oldest amusement park in the US. Do you like pizza - try Frank Pepe's in New Haven, CT. Boston has duck boats which drive on the streets and then directly into the water - very fun for kids. It is a historic city. Rhode Island has state parks for camping or cabin rental. Maine has a rocky coastline and lobster eating on picturesque harbor picnic tables. New Hampshire and Vermont have mountain hiking and white water rafting. These are just a few of the classic things to do in these states. All require advanced planning and ticket purchases. Let us know more and we can try to help. How much longer than 1 week can you stay? Two weeks would be better.
steve1526 is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2016, 01:14 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sadly, this is not the best time of year to come to New England.

Graduations choke Boston, making hotels expensive. The later in your trip that you go, the better it will be.

It will be too cold and foggy along the coastline to enjoy the beach, though it will be seriously picturesque.

In the northern VT, NH and ME, you will be arriving between the end of mud season and the beginning of black fly season, but, there should still be snow on some of the mountains and maybe even spring skiing.

But, what can you do? Here is a skeleton version of a trip.

Rent a car when you are ready to leave NY, and drive up the Taconic Parkway. Cross into Massachusetts to Great Barrington and you will find yourself in the Berkshire Hills. Scenery and interesting towns for you, Hancock Shaker Village for your daughter.

Drive through Vermont to Burlington. Scenery galore, give your daughter a day at the Shelburne Museum, an indoor-outdoor museum of American life that includes everything from a steamboat to fine china.

Drive to NH, come down through scenic Franconia Notch to Lincoln. For Daughter: the Trading Post, old-fashioned American tourist attraction complete with antique trains and trained bears.

Cross NH on the Kancamagus Highway, then go on to Portland, ME. Take the mailboat ride to explore the Casco Bay Islands inexpensively.

Go on to Boston and maybe return the car. Parking will cost you $40+ per night and you won't be able to use it. Take your daughter along the Freedom Trail, touring Paul Revere's house and Old North Church for sure. Walk around Beacon Hill. Make sure she has read "Make Way for Ducklings" and follow their path along Charles St to the Public Garden and the Duckling statues. The Back Bay unfolds before you, and Commonwealth Avenue is a nice walk. Your wife may enjoy the boutiques on Newbury Street, though mall stores encroach.

When you are ready to leave Boston -- and I think you will want two days there minimum -- rent another car and drive to Newport, RI. Walk the Cliff Walk and visit one of the big houses.

In Connecticut, stop at Mystic Seaport for the day. It is a museum of maritime New England and the best, including the last remaining whale ship, the Charles W Morgan. Lots of outdoor activities.

In a perfect world, you could leave the car in New London and take the train on to NYC to do your New York stuff.

So, One Big Thing in each state. You need ten days plus NY if you want to get out of the car.
Ackislander is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2016, 02:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 27,774
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My turn. I agree with arrive in NYC and fly out of Boston.
NYC to CT: your choice of Mystic Seaport or the Pequot Museum at Foxwoods.
Drive thru RI to Plimoth Plantation.
bypass Boston at this point and head to Portsmouth NH. Stop at Strawbery Banke. Up to Portland ME for Casco Bay cruise and visit Portland Head lighthouse (nice big park at Fort Williams).
Across to NH's White Mountains but instead of Kanc Hwy, drive a bit south on Rt 16 and then over to Tamworth, Center Sandwich (quaint New England village) and Squam Lakes Science Museum. NH wild animals in natural habitat plus some terrific demonstrations. Tamworth area is where sled dogs were trained for polar expeditions but there's really nothing to visit. I live in NH but it's still hard for me to understand how places like Sandwich got settled hundreds of years ago. It was all about water power and lumber.
Head to Norwich VT and the Montshire Museum. It's more about science but make sure to bring a bathing suit if it's warm enough to play in the water activity area outdoors. If you need a picnic lunch, nearby King Arthur Flour has a great café. The Norwich Inn is a lovely place to stay if you want to stay in an historic inn instead of a motel. Billings Farm Museum is just a bit further south in Woodstock.

Rush to Boston: dump car. Agree with Duck Boat tour. It'sa little silly but I think 7 is a little young for the Freedom Trail. Depending on where you live, consider a visit to Boston's Italian North End and/or Chinatown for a meal. Years later she'll be old enough to understand immigration. If you have to drive back to NYC, make a stop at Sturbridge Village. Visit the Constitution/Old Ironsides while in Boston?

If it's still black fly season, you might want to skip Squam Lakes Science Center and do Clark's Trained Bears instead. We're used to the local bugs and don't get bothered much.
dfrostnh is online now  
Old Jan 9th, 2016, 02:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 19,737
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree that 10 days is probably required, unless you modify your plan. A few random idea, based on the info you gave:

Old Sturbridge Village in Mass.
Plimouth Plantation on Cape Cod, and on to Provincetown. Take the 7-year-old inside the library to see the replica of whaling ship.
Newport, RI, to tour the mansions.
Freedom Trail in Boston, and JFK Library on the outskirts of the city.

Because of graduations, you're probably better off if you can wait until around June 5 to hit Boston. Just about all the ceremonies should be finished by then. What you might do is schedule NYC for the first few days, then drive the coastal route to Mystic, Newport and Cape Cod, and end up in Boston later in the trip.

I'm not so sure you're going to be able to visit all the New England states and get much out of the trip, other than a lot of driving. If you decide on the coastal route, then hitting the highlights of NH, Maine and Vermont could be a stretch.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2016, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,648
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For your planning purposes in Boston, here is a link to the graduation dates in 2016: http://www.bostonzest.com/2015/08/bo...ring-2016.html

You'll see that May 26 is Harvard, May 27 is BC Law and Northeastern Law, and the last of the season is June 3 (MIT).
cw is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2016, 08:41 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Got to looking at the Freedom trail, and that sounds great. Will look into what ya'll say about flying into Boston instead of NYC. By leisurely, I mean she doesn't like to ride in a car a lot. But this might be the only chance I get to visit the New England States, so I'd like to visit all of them. Thanks for all the info I've been given so far, it all helps outs a lot. What I'd really like to do is spend at least one day in every State. And yes, sitting at the beach would be a part of the trip. If I could just take a day trip to each state, what part of the state should I see the most? Interested in the History of the USA. So stuff like the Plymouth Rock, the Freedom Trail and things like that would be interesting to us. Again thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it very much.
doublelong is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2016, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is no way to see all of the states without spending a LOT of time in the car. The territory you need to cover (and assuming you will want to see something which means driving on local roads versus the interstate) is just too great.

I suggest that you draft out an itinerary and then check driving routes and times (pick scenic not fastest) and look at the times on either google directions of viamichelin.com. This will give you some idea of how much time you really needs to do this trip (I would estimate at least 2 weeks and probably more).

Suggest you have a look at this site to get some info:

nytraveler is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2016, 10:14 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also - so your daughter isn't bored suggest you get her some kids books about colonial NE and the revolution. Sure she can get excited about the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's ride to call out the Minutemen and the story of their first battle with the british regulars and driving them back to boston.

For historic things in NYC have a look at the obvious (Statue of Liberty) and the less so (Fraunce's Tavern where Washington bade farewell to his troops at the end of the revolution). There are numerous other places in Manhattan - and outer boroughs - with connections to Washington. But with a 7 year old I would focus on the Staten Island ferry, Museum of Natu'l Hist (which all kids love), Central Park, etc.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2016, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 13,213
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Touristy shops, lobster shacks etc don't really get up and running in Maine until mid-June. So I'd leave Maine towards the end of your drive. You really only have time to touch southern Maine..maybe on the same day-drive where you see the lakes region of New Hampshire.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2016, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Suggest you take Plymouth Rock off your itinerary. It is underwhelming and not even in the original location (it has been moved more than once). Agree that a 7 year old will not get much out of the Freedom Trail. The best beaches I know of are on Cape Cod, but that involves 1.5-2 hour drive each way out of Boston. If you go, you should spend an overnight. It is early for sitting on the beach unless it is unseasonably warm, but the beaches and sand dunes are beautiful for walking. Ogunquit is a quintessential Maine town with rocky coastline. Narraganset is sweet for beach towns in Rhode Island. Agree you want to stay south in VT, NH & Maine if you want to limit the car time. Glad you find the ideas helpful. Good luck
steve1526 is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2016, 09:13 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,435
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2016, 12:10 PM
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hey Doublelong,

First off. I'm from Plymouth and I dont think I've ever ran into anyone that was actually impressed with the rock. The entire town is a great new england town and there is a lot to take in there. The Rock should take up 5 minutes of your trip at best. Here is some things to try when you visit New England

Hope it helps.

pdonovan is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2016, 02:15 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 2,531
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Plymouth Rock is a big fat historical touristy lie. They landed in Provincetown.
Inakauaidavidababy is offline  
Old May 19th, 2017, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 75
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bookmarking! Great tips!
Gina_M is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
United States
Jan 7th, 2014 07:18 AM
United States
Dec 23rd, 2011 12:35 PM
United States
May 17th, 2009 05:59 AM
United States
Apr 16th, 2009 04:31 PM
United States
Aug 6th, 2004 02:38 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:20 AM.