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

Vermont and New Hampshire, is it possible without a car?

Notices

Vermont and New Hampshire, is it possible without a car?

Old Mar 17th, 2011, 06:50 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 96
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Vermont and New Hampshire, is it possible without a car?

Hi everyone, I know what the preferred method of travelling around your beautiful mountains is however coming from another country and driving on the 'wrong' lol side of the road doesnt make my travelling companion or myself feel easy. At the moment our plan is to hire a car however we are thinking of a back up plan just in case we end up not hiring. Can you possibly do it by train and bus from Boston?

Our itinery is as follows: arrive Boston 1st Oct stay two days then booked in Woodstock for 2 nights then over to Choacura New Hampshire (excuse my spelling) for 3 nights then back to Boston. I had found a company who will take you for tours around roads less travelled for an afternoon where we could get a glimpse of the scenery away from the major town we are staying in, other than that I was hoping for local buses to go to towns outside of Woodstock or up to Jackson from Choacura or Conway areas. Any help or advise would be appreciated. We can always catch cabs to our accomodation from a bus stop or train station but am not sure where to start looking.

Again, thanks all the way from Australia
Dreams64 is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2011, 07:33 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,080
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi there,

What a long way you are coming! There is no train travel to these destinations. You may be able to work some busses through the Concord (NH) Trailways... but nothing will be direct. Perhaps you could hire a transport or limo service to take you to your destinations, and then book touring busses or private tours from your hotel. I can understand your apprehension, since I would be nervous about driving on the right-hand side of the road, but renting your own car would be the most economical and convenient way of handling your transfers. Wishing you a wonderful trip!
Dreamer2 is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2011, 08:46 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,553
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Dreams64, I remember your posts when planning your itinerary, and how much you were looking forward to your trip.

There are others on this board who can better answer your question as to public transit from Boston to Woodstock, Woodstock to NH, and then back to Boston. I do know that it's certainly not a straightforward proposition!

I understand your trepidation about driving in unfamiliar territory on the "wrong" side of the road. However, it will be the best way to at least get from Point A to B to C to A, even if you leave subsequent backroads mountainy stuff to a tour guide.

One thing you might consider is taking public transit to get outside of Boston, then pick up a rental car. I'd suggest Springfield, MA, but in addition to being a bit of a run-down city, I got lost the last time I was there trying to drive from the train station to the highway! I would look at rental car locations and see what overlaps with public transit: there might be a rental company near the end of the green T line in Riverside; maybe you'd be in luck in Woburn?

And here's hoping someone else will chime in with a more perfect solution!!
ggreen is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2011, 11:21 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 96
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Guys! Any suggestions are welcome as I cannot do the driving and feel my friend will have to handle all of the stress, so I was just checking before we meet up again to finalise all our details whether there was any possiblilty. Its not looking good so we will just have to do it. I am sure once we are out on the larger roads it will be just like driving here. Thanks for your good wishes, and yes it is a long way to come but I have dreamed of this trip for twenty years and will certainly love every moment of it. 6 months till we are off!
Dreams64 is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2011, 03:54 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,905
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The suggestion to take a bus to a location outside of Boston is a good one. You can probably find service to Maanchester or Concord NH or Burlington, VT and hire a car there for local travel.

Best of luck for a happy trip!!
emalloy is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2011, 04:05 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,905
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Greyhound bus company has service from Boston to several locations in New Hampshire and Vermont.
emalloy is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2011, 04:14 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 26,186
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think the OP is staying in Woodstock VT not NH. The foliage tour sounds like a great idea for you. I think the only trouble you might have is getting out of the airport. Once you are on I93 it's a major hwy north and then an easy change to I89 to Vermont. Woodstock is a busy town. As long as you have good directions, you should do fine.

Concord Trailways (NH) has excellent bus service from Logan Airport to Concord. There is cab service in Concord but you may find the car rental agency will meet you at the bus station. The bus picks you up outside your terminal (get a schedule on the website) then makes a stop (maybe 15 minutes) at South Station before heading to Concord. It's called the Logan Express. The one I take doesn't make any other stops before it gets to Concord.

Depending on your arrival time, if you need to spend the night in Concord NH, there are hotels near the bus station but it's too far to walk. (Holiday Inn is downtown and from there you can walk around downtown.)

Bus service between Woodstock and Chochura probably doesn't exist. You'll do fine with a car.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2011, 06:52 AM
  #8  
Doh
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 425
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is train service to Vermont-- trains start in DC, go through Western Mass. (Springfield and Amherst) and up to northern Vt (St. Albans), including a stop at White River Junction (which I think is about 10 miles from Woodstock VT).

Also, the Concord Coach bus lines go from Boston all the way up to Franconia and Littleton. This area is very much in the White Mountains and depending on why you picked Chocurua and Conway you might be as happy in Franconia and Littleton as there. Plymouth is probably to closest bus stop to Chocurua but not that close if that is specifically where you want to go. One thing to keep in mind is that these areas aren't very walkable (they have great hikes, but it isn't that easy to get around solely by foot).

Also, it's always a problem in New Hampshire and VT is going East/West (vs. North/South), I'm not really sure how you would get from Vt. to NH without renting a car.


Congrats on visiting New England-- I always want to suggest it to visitors from Oz-- hope you have a great time.
Doh is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2011, 07:46 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,553
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't try to take the train to Vermont: it's infrequent and it seems every time I've looked at it, part of the route is under construction and you have to switch to a bus anyway. Not to mention you'd have to get to western MA just to take it - and that's no easy feat in itself! (Somehow, going East/West in New England on public transit just isn't easy unless it's along the CT coast - LOL.)

But it sounds like dhfrost has a good suggestion for the bus to Concord, NH. (Just make sure you know it's NH and not MA! A prominent conservative politician just made that mistake in a very public gaffe haha.) Also, since you say you'll be spending a few days in Boston first, you could probably get that bus from its stop at South Station instead of going back out to the airport...

If you look on a map, it's not painfully far from Concord, NH to Woodstock, VT, and roads should be good to drive on at that time of year.

Since most all of our rental cars are automatic transmission, it will be one less thing for your friend to have to manage while driving. And as twisted as it sounds(!), both the fair amount of traffic on NE roads and the fact that MA drivers are known for driving slow in the left (should be fastest) lane should work in your favor! You can go pretty much as slowly as you'd like until your friend gets the hang of things.
ggreen is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2011, 08:57 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No - you really need a ar. Train service is minimal to nonexistent. And buses stick to major highways - won;t let you see small towns and countryside.

All rental ars are automatic (don;t know if that helps or hurts) but I've driven on the wrong side several times and had no problems. The keys are:

Don;t do it right off a plane - have acouple of days to get used to the opposite side

Don;t do it if really tired - when your usual habits may take over
nytraveler is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2011, 09:04 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,829
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As far as I know, there's no way to reach Woodstock VT via public transportation.

There are buses (Greyhound and/or similar lines) that go to Hanover/Lebanon NH as well as White River Junction and Montpelier and Burlington VT. But getting to other towns in the vicinity (Cornish, Woodstock, Norwich) requires a car.
bachslunch is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2011, 11:17 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 419
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Technically it is possible to reach Woodstock area by bus and limo.
There is frequent ( every 2 hrs ) service on Dartmouth Coach from Logan airport that will take you to Lebabnon, NH.
http://www.dartmouthcoach.com/schedules.html
From there you can arrange a limo to take you to Woodstock.
http://www.apexcarservice.com/
or http://www.avante1.com/
But you will need to arrange for a car rental if you want to travel to some of the scenic areas in Northern NH and VT.
You can arrange for this car at the Lebabnon, NH airport if you wish.
http://flyleb.com/services/local-ser...al-information
Enjoy your stay!
joethekay is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2011, 12:07 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Having grown up in Vermont I think the best advice is to rent a car both from a getting where you want to go perspective and from a touring around perspective. You'll really need a car to get to hiking spots and other attractions. Plus its the best way to see the country side. Just get in the car and get lost!

I've travelled to Ireland a couple of times and rented a car (one time it was a manual!). I know it can be intimidating but really once you get going you'll find it to be ok. The hardest part is intersections. Just follow the cue of other drivers and keep the driver towards the middle of the road. Really it will be ok

Enjoy your trip. It's beautiful country!
Michelle_Harmon is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2011, 12:22 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are nervous, I strongly suggest that you book your car from Concord, NH and take the bus there. Otherwise, driving from Boston is not really difficult. If you rent in Park Square, you can be on the I-93 motorway north with very little difficulty. The junctions are very well marked, and once you are north of Boston, it is a good ride except at rush hour (3 PM and later).

You cannot get to Chocorua from Woodstock without going all the way back to Boston from Lebanon, NH, sort of like going from the Lake District in England back to London in order to get to York.

The motorways in this area, particularly Interstate 89 (Concord, NH to Woodstock, VT)are not heavily travelled. The smaller roads are even less traveled, and one of the chief glories of this area is the ability to follow smaller roads to see where they take you.

Many of the back roads are like B roads in the UK, and the rest are like older A routes but without the traffic. A friend of a friend has set out to drive every inch of unpaved road in Vermont. He is progressing well, but he has plenty to go! It is very rural, quite a lot like North Wales or Yorkshire.

Take courage! You can do it!
Ackislander is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2011, 04:27 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 96
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thankyou all for your welcoming comments. I will investigate all recommended options for our back up plan but I thnk at the end of the day, we will hve to summon the courage, hire the car and just go - I know we will miss out on a lot if we dont and that is not the intention, we want to see as much of Vermont and New Hampshire as we can in the 5 days we are spending up there, I for one will never be back again so thanks for all your encouragement! I'll let you all know how it went
Dreams64 is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2011, 07:23 AM
  #16  
jod
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dreams64, I realize I'm late to the party here, but I'm seeing all kinds of information as to how you should travel to Woodstock. You mention you will be travelling to VT and NH. You may not realize that there is a Woodstock, VT and a Woodstock, NH. I assume you mean Woodstock, NH since you will be travelling to Chocoura. I have a house on Main street Woodstock, NH. You won't believe how many lost folk are dissapointed when I tell them they're in the wrong state. It's about 1 1/2 hours to the Woodstock Inn in Woodstock VT. To add to the confusion there is also a Woodstock Inn here in Woodstock, NH. It is also known as the Woodstock Inn and Station, or locally as simply "The Station"

As for travelling in these parts of NH don't even think of trying to get a cab, or bus service. There are no trains here except short run tourist scenic trains travelling ~30km round trip.

In short you need to hire a car and let us know which Woodstock you mean and I may be of more help.

Regards,

Jim
jod is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2011, 01:19 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 96
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your input Jim - yes through my research I have found there are two Weoodstocks - the one we are staying in is in Vermont then we plan to drive over to New Hampshire (Chocurua) from there its back to Boston. We have resigned on hiring a car and only hope its not too stressful. I think from NH we will drive to Portsmouth and then back down to Boston from there. I hope to visit Jackson NH from our Chocurua accomodation. Whilst in Vermont I hope to maybe drive to a few quaint towns nearby - any good suggestions welcome. I have been planning this trip a lifetime and now have 110 days to go so now with all accomodation booked its up to the universe to provide my perfect trip!
Cheers
Dreams64 is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2011, 07:33 AM
  #18  
jod
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I’m sure you’ll do fine with the car hire. The roads in the North Country are generally 2 lanes.

From Woodstock, VT to Jackson, NH I have my preference which is different from the route bing.com/maps shows. I like to drive over the mountain passes instead of the Interstates. Either way a stop at the Queechee gorge is nice stop. It won’t take too long to park and walk over the bridge and view down into the gorge. If you can find a place to park…

Next stop I would make is into Hanover, NH. This is home to Dartmouth College. The town green is nice. There are a few restaurants and shops. The area is quintessential New England.

From Hanover proceed north on route 10 to Woodsville, NH. This road travels through some small NH villages. In Woodsville just after town on route 10 go right onto route 112. This is the beginning of the Kancamagus highway. The first part follows the swift river to Kinsman Notch. Just before Kinsman Notch on the right there is a car park with views to the west at a Beaver Pond. Continuing along route 112 a short distance from the summit on the left is Lost River gorge. These are caves with or without guided tours. It is a nice take. Follow route 112 into the village of North Woodstock. There is parking in a lot just across from the traffic lights at the intersection of Rts 113/ 3. There are a few restaurants and shops here. A couple of km’s north on Rt 3 is the “world famous” Clarks Trading Post. The Clarks have a small attraction with trained black bears. They raise bears that have been orphaned. Its unique.

From Woodstock, NH to Jackson. You have 2 choices either, continue east along Rt 112 over some spectacular mountain passes with tremendous views to left on Bear Notch Road to Rt 302 east to Rt 16 north to Jacskon, or continue north on Rt 3 through Franconia Notch. Be mindful to follow the signs for Rt 3. In Twin Mt, NH take Rt 302 east towards Rt 16 north to Jackson. If you continue along Rt 3 through Franconia Notch you will pass by the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, NH. If you do go this way you must stop into the hotel and walk around. This is one of the “Grand Hotels” from the early 1900’s.

Either route there are easy short hikes along the route from Woodstock, VT to Jackson, NH. You will be travelling during the height of fall foliage. Artist Bluff at the end of Franconia Notch is a 10 minute hike to see views all around. Arethusa Falls is on Rt 302 between Bretton Woods and Bartlett, NH. Sabaday Falls is on Rt 112 between Lincoln, NH and Bear Notch Rd.

I avoid North Conway like the plague since there are so many tourist and traffic lights on Rt 16. There are a couple of route bypassing the congestion if you ask. Either take West Side Road to Conway from Glen, NH or there is the North-South Rd which parallels Rt 16 in North Conway avoiding most of the congestion.

As you can tell I could take a few days getting from place to place here.

Keep to the right while on the road and have fun.

Jim
jod is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2011, 09:39 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm sending this reply from work, so I need to be brief. Having lived and loved living in NH since I was a newlywed 30 yrs ago, I would highly recommend renting a car, if you can handle driving on the other side of the road. I agree wholeheartedly with Jim's itinerary. He suggests some of the prettiest roads in northern NH. I would also add Mount Washington to your list, if the weather is not too nasty. Since you're going in October, the tour to the summit may be closed for the season, but if not, it will certainly take your breath away! Make sure you're dressed for snow and wind though! Enjoy!
NHKathy is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2011, 02:10 PM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 96
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thankyou so much for your time Jim and NHKathy and everyone who has helped me earlier. With all these suggestions I can go away feeling like I have been guided by friends. I sincerely know that with your help and advise my friend and I are in for a most wonderful trip. As long as we remember to keep to the right LOL!

On return I will give an 'Aussie' account of our trip and what we ended up doing/seeing.

Its time now to just relax and enjoy the ride...x
Dreams64 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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