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New England 16 day tour

Cleethorpes, United...
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New England 16 day tour

today, 9:54

As someone pointed out on one of these forums, New England is not state, so I felt obliged to post this question on most of the New England states in the hope of receiving some good advice.

We are in our mid 60s but active. We like photography, history, short hikes and good scenery. We are planning a trip around New England starting in the last week of September 2013. We will stay in a mixture of B&Bs and hotels. Our itinerary is being put together but we are having difficulties. These are our ideas to date:

Day 1: Fly from the UK to Boston.

Day 2: Spend the day in Boston.

Day3: Pick up the hire car and travel north into Maine taking in the coastal attractions and stay overnight possibly just to the north of

Portland.

Day 4: Travel to the Bar Harbor area

Day 5: Spend the day in Acadia NP and stay another night in the Bar Harbor area.

Day 6: Travel west towards Augusta then find a scenic route to the Fryeburg area.

Day7: Drive a scenic loop north of Fryeburg and return to Fryeburg for a second night.

Day8: Drive the Kancamagus highway across New Hampshire then on to Montpelier, Vermont.

Day9: Drive a scenic loop north from Montpelier and return to spend a second night there.

Day 10: Drive south on highway 100 and stay somewhere near Rutland.

Day 11: Find a scenic route to the Bennington area. Stay overnight.

Day12: Find a scenic route to the Pittsfield, Mass area.

Day 13: Drive scenic loop from Pittsfield and return to spend a second night there.

Day 14: Drive to Mystic, Connecticut

Day15: Spend the day in the Mystic area

Day16: Return to Boston taking in Concord/Lexington where that minor disagreement between our two nations got a little heated.

My queries are:

1: Do most B&Bs/ hotels insist on a minimum of 2 nights at this time of year?

2: Does anyone have advice on scenic loop drives from Fryeburg, Montpelier and Pittsfield?

3: Does anyone have suggestions for short hikes in these areas and other areas that we will pass through?

4: Is there enough in the Mystic area to occupy us for a whole day?

Thanks, and sorry this is such a long message.

Ron

South Windsor...
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11. Re: New England 16 day tour

Somehow the link above in my post is not working. Type the link on the address bar of your browser to reach the page.

New York City
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12. Re: New England 16 day tour

Re Vermont being like Berkshires:

Vermont has mountains, Berkshires have (high)hills. Berkshires has more cultural attractions (world class summer classical music, year-round classical music, two excellent art museums). In my opinion, the Vermont towns are more picturesque, but the Berkshires has some lovely towns as well (Lenox, West Stockbridge and Great Barrington are my favorites, Stockbridge is touristy)

Cleethorpes, United...
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13. Re: New England 16 day tour

Thanks OutdoodsAdventure for your comments. My wife has been busy looking at suitable places to stay on this trip. Not having been to this part of the US before, we are looking forward to exploring New England later in the year.

We have made bookings for 3 nights in Bar Harbour and 2 in Newport, Rhode Island so far. She has been looking at the Jackson NH area but not booked anything so far. It's mainly B&B accommodation that she has in mind. I see that the towns/villages you mentioned in Massachusetts are all within about 10 miles of each other. I'm sure that will give her quite a few options to look at. Our trip has now been extended to 16 nights in hotels/ B&Bs and 17 days touring after taking advice from people such as yourself. Now we're having 3 nights at Acadia to give us 2 days to explore there.

Thanks again,

Ron

New York City
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14. Re: New England 16 day tour

We're outdoors people and photographers, and also enjoy history. I think your itinerary looks great! But if I could make a few suggestions:

- Bar Harbor is very touristy (tshirt shops) but it is convenient for visiting Scadia National Park

- try to get on some boats - maybe a windjammer trip or rent a small sailboat. There are many lovely bays on the coast of Maine.

- it won't be THAT cold in October, but be prepared for misty days (great for photography of course)

- go to the Farnswoth museum to see what the great American romantic painters make of Maine

- spend less time on the road

- if it were me, I would drop Newport. It's mostly about seeing the great houses of the 19c robber barons. Interior decoration, not history.

Stamford...
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15. Re: New England 16 day tour

Totally disagree with outdoorsadventure about Newport; google the cliff walk - sounds like that's right up your alley; do a sailing trip, maybe visit the fort. Very picturesque town - great for walking - lots of good shops and restaurants, I've only ever done one mansion on the inside - breakers and it was very interesting. Definitely do the cliff walk. Have fun!! :)

Auburn, NH
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16. Re: New England 16 day tour

If you like waterfalls, while in Jackson, NH make sure to check out Jackson Falls. It's alongside the road, and absolutely beautiful. Then take route 16 north a bit to Glen Ellis Falls. It's a bit tricky to find, kind of like a trail entrance, but it's marked. There are MANY stairs, but it's very worth it. Gorgeous. For a great view, look into the gondola at Wildcat ski area in Jackson. Not sure of the exact operating dates, but it's well worth it if it's running. You get a fantastic view of Mt. Washington, the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River. Also consider driving through Crawford Notch while in NH. Spectacular.

As far as the NH/VT/Berkshires debate, you're going to find many schools of thought, based on where we all live. As a NH resident, I take the White Mountains over the Green Mountains of VT. That being said, you will find many picturesque, and quaint (small) towns, in all 3 areas. The Berkshires is a bit more "rolling hills" than the White and Green Mountains, but a beautiful area just the same. Again, many quiet, picturesque towns. The Berkshires is very much a "summer" area, but you will still be able to see the towns themselves, and some of the museums will still be open. If you like Norman Rockwell art, there's a great Norman Rockwell museum. I believe it's in Stockbridge.

As far as Newport goes, you either love it or you hate it. There are great opportunities to be outside (Cliff Walk and Fort Adams), and there is plenty of history to be seen. Much of the history is in the mansions, which are nothing short of pure opulence. That being said, there are fantastic audio tours available, at least at the main mansions, that talk about the owners of the mansions, and the time period. The mansions are certainly a lesson in excessive interior decorating, but both the decor and the architecture are spectacular.

Cleethorpes, United...
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17. Re: New England 16 day tour

Thanks for all the input and interesting debate. I must say that I'm much impressed by all the comments I've received following my original question. Things have moved on for us with my wife now having booked all our accommodation for our trip. I have googled all the places mentioned above so I have some idea of where we will spend time, with some indoor options such as those museums if the weather is inclement. We are going to Newport and the Cliff Walk sounds interesting (good reviews on trip advisor).

We do like a good waterfall and there seem to be lots in the White Mountains. Glen Ellis Falls I see is just north of Jackson and I like the look of Crawford Notch SP. It looks as though we can have a good day out from Jackson without having to search around too much. Of course, the main reason for our visit is to see all those colourful trees in their autumn shades, but we just have to hope Mother Nature will cooperate in that respect. Thanks once more for all the advice.

Ron

Oslo
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18. Re: New England 16 day tour

mystic yes. def. worth the stop for the day. looks like u will be sitting in the car all the time anyway.

Manchester
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19. Re: New England 16 day tour

Helo

I hope you had a great trip. We are hoping to do exactly the same type of trip this year flying from the UK to Boston early september 2014 for our silver wedding I would appreciate it very much If I could get in touch with you to have a chat about what you learnt on your trip, any information on accommodation car hire must see places etc you could pass on

Many thanks

Brian

Cleethorpes, United...
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20. Re: New England 16 day tour

No problem. What would you like to know? Our trip went very well. We left the UK on 24 September and returned on 10 October. It was the autumn colours we were hoping to see and we were fortunate in that respect. The colours work their way down from the north and when we arrived in Boston at that time the colours had not arrived. We reached Bar Harbor in Maine on 27 Sept and the colours were arriving that far north. We were in New Hampshire and Vermont between 30 Sept and 6 Oct and the colours were spectacular, although we were told that the show was nothing out of the ordinary. Further south in Massachusetts, towards the end of our trip, the colours were not as good. What I'm saying really, is that you might consider going later in September rather than early September if you are 'leaf peeping'.

If there's anything else you'd like to know about accommodation or itinerary I'd be happy to chat.

Regard, Ron