Virginia to Laconia via RT 81

Old Apr 7th, 2010, 04:42 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Virginia to Laconia via RT 81

We are traveling to NH in June. We plan on leaving Richmond, VA on the 11th around 1500 & ride until dark then leave early on the 12th arriving to stay outside of Laconia that night. After staying somewhere for 2 nights ...Concord? we then will travel on towards Maine & Canada. Any thoughts on the travel via 81? We need ideas on places to stay, visit, eat, while traveling the state of NH & others along the way. BTW we are traveling by motorcycle. The idea is to spend 2 days at the rally, then travel up one side of NH & back the other, going into Canada, Maine, etc.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Karen
glashalful is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2010, 04:59 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Curious why you chose Rte 81 from Richmond. Seems a bit out of the way to get up here. (We liked Rte 81 and took it down through western VA on our way to Georgia a year ago, though.) There was construction on I-81 around Wilkes-Barre, PA, by the way.

Why not a more direct route, like I-95?
RetiredVermonter is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2010, 05:30 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Being from Va, I know the horrors of 95 & there is nothing scenic about it; unless you like concrete & traffic jams
Plus there are just to many tolls.
glashalful is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2010, 02:54 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,004
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Aaack, not 95. Sometimes we have gone via Albany to Bennington VT and then across southern VT to Keene NH. More direct would be to come up thru CT, aim for Hartford then Springfield MA then up thru western MA (much nicer scenery) via I91 to Brattleboro VT then over to Keene NH. Most direct for Laconia would be to take Rt 9 to Rt 202. If heading to Concord you can get on Rt 89 or take the scenic route 202 to Rt 127 to Rt 103 (this will become Pleasant St in Concord NH and would be 35mph roads once you get on rt 127 instead of 65mph on Rt 89.
Time-wise, taking I91 thru western MA is pretty good and spares you the heavy traffic. Saturday should actually be less traffic than Friday. Keep in mind current I93 traffic on Friday afternoons is horrendous and is actually stop and go during commuting times (5pm-ish) in Concord NH.
Staying in Concord puts you in a better area for restaurant choices. There will be heavy bike traffic on Rt 106 and I93 all weekend. Staying in Tilton/Winnisquam area puts you closer to Laconia but there is always heavy traffic around exit 20/I93 because of the outlet mall and usual saturday traffic to Laconia. Get a detailed road map because there are some back roads and alternate routes in the Concord to Laconia area.

You can do a nice tour from Concord to seacoast via Rt 4 but watch out for sudden stops in the antique shops area of Northwood NH. (We've never had a problem, this is our favorite route to the coast, we live here, but another visiting fodorite thought traffic was seriously bad.) Real pretty approach thru Durham and over bridges over Great Bay before you get to Rt 95 in Portsmouth. Great grassy park area on Great Bay (Hilton Park) for a rest stop.
Enjoy Maine coast. You can go Portland ME to N Conway NH in about an hour and then visit NH's White Mountains head north to Littleton and then over to VT. Or the route south on NH's side of the CT river is very rural.

Depending on where you decide to stay, chowhound has good recommendations for places to eat.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2010, 07:03 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Traveled 81 through wilkes-barre last week - no construction. Just a lot of trucks all along 81.
davecooker is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2010, 07:39 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,718
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Concord is a nice little city, with several good places to eat. A really good Thai place right downtown - Siam Orchid, two Mexican places - Hermanos & Margaritas (in an old jail),
a fun pub - Cheers, and a very good steak & seafood place - Common Man. If you are staying in the area, don't miss Canterbury Shaker Village very close to Laconia. If you are willing to travel a little up to the White Mountains, there are hundreds of hiking trails, spectacular scenery, and lots to see and do.
zootsi is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2010, 09:21 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Come to the seacoast! It is a beautiful ride from Laconia to Portsmouth, NH. Portsmouth is a seaport town filled with shops and restaurants. Most bikes park downtown in front of “Breaking New Grounds” a coffee shop with out door tables on Market Square. There are so many good places to eat…I have included a link - http://www.portsmouthnh.com/thingstodo/

From Portsmouth you can head to New Castle (the lighthouse might be open) then south through Rye, NH on 1A following the coast. There are areas to stop view the ocean and Isle of Shoals. Houses to your right, ocean to your left and there is nothing but beach between you and the waves. “Seasonal places to eat. Everything you could need or want year round is within 15 mins inland of the road. Overall, this is a very motorcycle friendly area. High concentration of resident bike owners ... a great place to ride!” Our route takes us down through Hampton Beach, Seabrook and into Newburyport, MA. Another great seaport town with restaurants and shops.

We often ride north from Portsmouth to Kittery, ME picking up 103 then winding our way to York, ME. Great breakfast spot is Rick’s Café in York. 1A continues north past beautiful beaches and the Nubble (lighthouse) to another of our favorite spots; Perkins Cove a very quaint, very New England spot. Be aware in the summer there is much traffic around Ogunquit. Continuing north you will make it to Portland, ME. Be sure to visit the “Old Port”.

The White Mountains provide wonderful rides but take the time to visit the coast. It is only an hour and a half or so ride from Laconia. Well worth the time.
Softail388 is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2010, 04:40 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank all of you so much for the great feedback; our trip is becoming more exciting everyday...can't wait! We definitely will travel to the Seacoast, it sounds beautiful. Hey Softail388, any thoughts on lodging along the coast? We only plan to stay in Laconia 2 nights. I know many hotels are booked due to the rally. Thanks again all,
Karen
glashalful is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2010, 09:37 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Portsmouth offers many types of lodging. There are the higher end hotels in town like the Sheraton, the Hilton Garden Inn and the Wentworth by the Sea in New Castle as well as countless B&B’s up and down the coast. There are chains around like the Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn, Anchorage Inn and the Port Inn where you get a clean room and a hot shower. Of course there are many Mom and Pop places along the beach that are always fun and offer great experiences! Not sure what you are looking for so here’s a link - http://www.portsmouthnh.com/lodging/index.cfm that might be helpful.

If you get the chance, be sure to go to the top of Mount Washington. We went to the top once on a motorcycle – amazing ride! Have a safe trip and enjoy the Northeast – it is beautiful in the summer.

I saw your post because we travel the 81 route when traveling NH to FL or the other way round. It’s a long story but we’ve done the trip several times although not on our bikes...not yet anyway. My husband much prefers the westerly route 81 to 77 avoiding most of 95. He says less traffic, no tolls and much prettier scenery and I have to agree...especially on the scenery. We will be heading up from FL in April and I was looking for places to stay around the Lexington, VA area. Any suggestions welcomed!
Softail388 is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2010, 06:57 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,380
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When running I-81 in VA, pick up one of those Roomsaver guides you find at rest areas. Shop for what looks good and check them out.

Other option is Priceline (if you're traveling with a laptop and access to wifi.) We scored the Hilton Head Island Resort back in Feb. for $55--did it on a Weds. evening for a Thursday evening stay.
bookhall is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2010, 06:06 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,088
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Any time we travel to/through Richmond from Woodstock, we use I-81 & I-64 rather than I-66, rte 17 and I-95.

In your case it would be shorter and quicker if you avoided I-81 in VA and used I-95 or 95 into 301 to Baltimore, took I-83 out of Baltimore and picked up I-81 in Harrisonburg, PA.
ronkala is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
familythattravels
United States
5
Jun 16th, 2015 01:26 AM
All_over_the_place
United States
5
Jul 8th, 2011 06:09 PM
persimmondeb
United States
4
May 20th, 2008 05:08 AM
wliwl
United States
5
Oct 19th, 2007 04:26 PM
Wilbur
United States
15
Sep 30th, 2007 11:25 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 - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -