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College tour

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Lake Oswego, Oregon
posts: 35
reviews: 5
College tour

This is not a strictly Maine question, but needed help planning a college visit tour. Coming from the West coast over spring break (one week) and would like to maximize time seeing colleges. Want to visit Bowdoin and Bates in Maine, and Colgate and Cornell in New York. Should we fly into Maine and then head west through New Hampshire and Vermont or drive down to Boston and head west on the turnpike to reach upstate New York? Then, fly out of NY.

To further complicate things, we have family in Connecticut that we would like to see, if possible. We could fly into Hartford and head directly out on the Mass Turnpike to upstate NY and then east across NH and VT to Maine and then back down to CT. Is it very far (long) to drive across NH and VT to get to Maine?

Hope this is not too confusing. Thank you for your help.

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
posts: 5,699
reviews: 129
1. Re: College tour

From Bowdoin College in Brunswick ME to Cornell in Ithica, NY, the two most distant points of the four colleges you want to visit will take a bit over eight hours of driving time if you go south on I-95 and I-405, then west on the Mass Tpk to New York State.

Taking I-95 south to NH, then using US routes (non-Interstate for the most part) through Manchester NH and Bennington VT (both in the southern end of their respective states) will add an hour (or slightly more) to your driving time between those two points -- If -- and it can be a rather big if that time of year -- you don't run into bad weather along the way. Northern New England has been known to have snow during spring break, which could slow things down a bit....

Another thing to consider, going from Bowdoin to Cornell via the Interstates, and adding a "dip" south of the Mass Turnpike via I-84 through Hartford CT and then using Interstates from there to Cornell also adds about an hour to the original Interstate route....

Finally, if you were thinking about central or northern VT and CT rather than the southern ends of those states, you could bne adding considerable additional travel time.... the further north you go in both those states, the more mountainous the terrain becomes -- and in that part of New England, the mountains run north-south, meaning there are few good routes running east-west due to the cost of building quality roads through the mountainous terrain.

There is no "good" answer to your question --- just a matter of whether or not you're willing to trade time for scenery....

Lake Oswego, Oregon
posts: 35
reviews: 5
2. Re: College tour

Thank you very much for your reply. Your thoughts on traveling the non-Interstate routes through NH and VT were exactly what I wanted to hear. It looks like it could make sense to go that route (more direct), but you confirmed my suspicions that smaller roads combined with possible bad weather could make for a very long trip. Unfortunately our trip is short and we need to be efficient. We'll save the sightseeing for a parents' visit!

Edited: 12:21 am, November 06, 2012
Wolcott, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor
posts: 726
reviews: 125
3. Re: College tour

We live in CT and have a daughter who wanted to check out Bowdoin, Ithaca College and Colgate. It was a lot of driving but we had a week in the spring and it wasn't bad at all. You could fly into CT...see your family, go up to Maine, across to Colgate and then down to Ithaca. Fly out of upstate NY or go back to CT. Bowdoin and Ithaca are about the same driving time from CT...around 4 1/2 hours depending on where you are coming from. We hit no bad weather (April) and actually got to do a little sightseeing (Bailey Island/Lands End near Bowdoin and the gorges around Ithaca).

4. Re: College tour

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