Vermont or New Hampshire in early October?

Old Aug 12th, 2005, 04:58 PM
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Vermont or New Hampshire in early October?

Having never been, we are planning a trip to see the spectacular fall foliage of either Vermont or New Hampshire. We will be travelling during the first or second weekend of October, and will be there a very brief time (1-2 days). Any thoughts regarding which area would be a better choice? Additionally, which airport should we fly into -- Burlington, Albany, or Manchester? Pros/cons? Thanks for your help.
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Old Aug 13th, 2005, 05:04 AM
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Fly into Manchester (MHT). You will probably get the best airfare plus it's a great location for the start of foliage viewing. Just be aware that north of Manchester on Rt 93 is a toll booth which will be heavily backed up on Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Plan an alternate route. Since you do not have reservations yet, I'm afraid you might have to call around to find a place that still has availability. If you come the second weekend in October (Columbus Day Weekend) it is PRIME foliage time in central VT and NH and probably still excellent in NH's White Mountains. Rt 89 heads west to Vermont from Rt 93 just a little bit south of Concord. You could be in Burlington VT in 3 hours but it is not necessary to go that far. I think I would recommend driving to Norwich or Montpelier VT area for an overnight. Rt 89 is beautiful even though it's an interstate limited access highway. Vermont has rolling green hills and smaller mountains. Lunch at Simon Pierce in Queechee VT is elegant plus it's a beautiful spot next to falls which they use to generate power for their building. It's an interesting stop even if you don't eat there. Then head over to NH early in the morning for a drive thru the White Mountains. I usually like the view as you head north and the mountains get closer and closer. I would not bother trying to go over to North Conway since you are traveling on a weekend. The traffic is going to be extremely heavy. But if you start early and approach from the north (i.e. Littleton NH) to head south you might find traffic lighter southbound. It is very easy to visit both states. South of Manchester NH is very built up/industrial. Even if you can only find hotel rooms in Manchester, you can still do a drive into VT and back as an easy day trip. There are some great restaurants in Manchester and the old mill buildings are beautiful, even the view from the highway. If you are interested in an old-fashioned agricultural fair in one of the most beautiful areas of New England, the Sandwich (NH) Fair is Columbus Day weekend. It is just northwest of the big lake, Lake Winnipesaukee but otherwise, avoid this area due to heavy traffic congestion. Also, get a very good map. If you like to take a slow and easy ride, you could take Rt 103 from Concord NH thru some pretty little towns and then get on Rt 89 in Warner to head to VT ... or you could continue to New London, a very pretty college town and then get on Rt 89. At this point you are at the beginning of the mountains. You will start seeing mountains in the distance from Rt 93 after the toll booth and before you get to Concord.
There will be lots of beautiful foliage all over the place but you better find lodging ASAP.
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Old Aug 13th, 2005, 05:47 AM
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This is such a popular time of year in those areas, your options for flights and accomodations might be limited. Look into these options before you get too far along in planning your itinerary.
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Old Aug 13th, 2005, 08:54 AM
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I agree with Anonymous, get your tickets first, then we will help you. Don't rule out flying to Hartford, CT or Montreal. We used to get good air fares flying to Montreal when we wanted to visit Vermont. Chose airport base on price if this is important. I know there use to be direct flights from Chicago to BTV and ALB. New hampshire, vermont and Adirondacks in New york state are spectacular places to visit in October. let us know when you get your tickets. You need to make your hotel reservation asap.
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Old Sep 9th, 2005, 05:31 PM
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If you are going to vermont you can also fly in to albany. that is where a lot of my friends fly into when they come to visit me here in vt.
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Old Sep 9th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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How far is Albany from NH and the White Mountains?

I'm already trying to get an idea for a family trip next fall(with my then 3yr old and 1 yr old). Because of the children..i like to stay in Suite Hotels which means we are restricted to the city. I was looking at Manchester but maybe Albany would also be a choice. Do they have Embassy or Homewood Suites?

When we took my daughter last year we went to Conn>Mass>lower Vermont touring the State Parks. It was beautiful. I want to go furthur north next year.
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Old Sep 10th, 2005, 03:49 AM
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alliegator, do you mean you would like Albany, NY to be your base and make day trips to NH from there? Ifyou want to be more North fly to BTV but Burlington is still too far to make day trips to White Mtn. It will take you about three hours one way to get to Mt, Washington. In Albany you can stay in Residence Inn.Burlington has Residence Inn too.
I think Manchrster, NH is the best place to fly into for visiting NH including White Mountains
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Old Sep 10th, 2005, 04:31 AM
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you should look into some of the ski areas they still rent their condos that time of year and you can be right in the middle of things attitash in NH is right near the presidentials. also you should be able to find something in north conway NH. other ski areas to investigate for lodging are Loon in NH Cannon in NH, waterville valley NH in vt Killinton resorts, sugarbush, stowe these may have exactly what you want.
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Old Sep 10th, 2005, 05:44 AM
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I would like to make one of the cities our base and take day trips from there. Last year we made HArtford our base and that worked out well for Conn>Mass>south Vermont (although South Vermont was pushing it).

Thanks for the idea about the ski condo. Maybe I can check VRBO.com and can find a better location then the city.

If I stayed in a condo near the ski resorts...how far for day trips to the surrounding States..like Vermont to NH or vice versa? Are there any "Not to miss places" such as parks, waterfalls etc?

I'm thinking we probably want to limit ourselves to NH and Vermont next year but if Albany isn't too far away, then that could be an option. I'd like to spend 4 full days touring around and I think we will go mid-late week to avoid too much traffic.

When is the best time to see the foliage in central/north VT & NH? I was thinking the first or second week of October.
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Old Sep 10th, 2005, 06:26 AM
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Hi Alliegator,

You've got the right time of year, but you never know exactly when "peak" will be - like cherry blossoms! I like to err on the early side, because then you may have green mixed with the color, rather than brown and bare mixed with color. Therefore, I always go with the first week of Oct, but many others will advise the second week.

Flying into Albany would place you for southern VT and NH (such as Keene), but not for the White Mountains. You definitely want to fly into Manchester, NH.

I'd try to get suite or condo style lodging around Lake Winnepesauke or Lincoln, NH. You'd probably be under 60 miles to either VT or Maine, but driving time would likely be about double that to cross the border. And the Concord area is a good place to stay if you want to be 60-75 min from VT, the White Mts., the seacoast, and Boston (but you'd need more than 3-4 days, obviously.)

If you want a splurge, the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods has family suites. It's a beautiful historic hotel in a gorgeous setting. Meals are included in the price, and it has kids programs/activities, but it's not as "centrally" located if you want to tour some of southern NH/VT. (Like last year, VT would be "pushing it!" )

Things not to miss? One of my favorites is Lost River in the Lincoln area. It's a beautiful trailed walk/hike through the woods with some cool caves; also the kids can "pan for gold" outside the lodge. The park where the Old Man used to be is still a pretty stop, The Flume is lovely, ride the Gondola up Loon Mt., take a foliage cruise around Lake Winne (on the Mt. Washington steamship), etc. Also about 15 min from Concord is the Mt. Kearsage Indian Museum in Warner.

Hope this helps start your planning!




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Old Sep 10th, 2005, 09:22 AM
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Thanks dreamer2! I now have some locations to start looking at. The steamship and gondola sounds like nice activities with toddlers. The driving times don't sound too bad. I think next year I will bring a cooler with some sandwichs/food, so maybe we can stop and eat at some parks. Last year there wasn't many places to eat in the country, especially with toddlers.

I agree with going early. The foliage in South Vermont was pretty sparse last year during the second week of October because it had been raining. So I'd rather see some then none. Like you said though, you can never predict the foliage.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 04:38 PM
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If you have kids the North Conway area is a better choice - both Storyland and the Alpine slide are still open on weekends and there are lots of easier kid friendly hikes in the area including Jackson Falls which is steps away (I picked up a great book called Nature Walks in the White Mountains which gives great kid's hikes).

There is a lot of traffic in N. Conway but if you find the new North South road (or West Side Road) you can easily get around it....

We stay in Jackson a quaint little town about a mile from Storyland. The Wentworth Hotel has 2 and 3 bedroom condos that you can rent thru them (or get the same condos a bit cheaper thru topnotchrentals.com or Badger Reality -they are privatly owned and some owners have them with different agents). If these are booked Nordic Village a bit outside of Jackson (in Glen maybe?) is also nice.

Also if you are traveling without kids check out the Snowflake Inn in Jackson. We went there last weekend, they had an open house as part of Applefest. The place is very cute - no kids allowed, homemade baked goodies, massages, breakfast and dinner included in the price. Jacuzzi tub/candles in the middle of each room. Huge fireplace in the lobby and a pool table/game room. Very tastefully decorated and the owners seemed very nice we chatted for awhile with them.
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