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Please help 7 day itinerary...Boston and NE early October

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Please help 7 day itinerary...Boston and NE early October

I had posted this on the Boston forum but have been advised to post on New England Forum. We would appreciate any advice with regards to the following plan for 7 days (incl Boston) in the New England area:

We will be coming from Montreal (3rd October) and noted that there is a Greyhound Bus service to Burlington VT. So....

Night 1 -Burlington VT Hire car

Night 2/3 - Arcadia National Park (somewhere near here)

Night 4 - Portland (or near)

Nights 5/6/7 -Boston

If we could stay somewhere just out of Boston (but near public transport) so that we can spend the first day there driving down to Cape Cod....is that feasible?

Then drop the car off and spend the next day or so public transport/walking around Boston.

Then get train to New York.

We would really value your thoughts on this please.

Sincerely

Bil

Central Maine
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1. Re: Please help 7 day itinerary...Boston and NE early October

My first impression is that you've built in a lot of driving time with minimal time to enjoy places along the way or even your destinations once you get there... For example, Burlington VT to Acadia (no letter "r") is a six and one-half hour drive -- just driving time, not counting time for stops for gas for the car, food for you, sightseeing at any of the great White Mountains sights in New Hampshire.... and with your early October timing, you're bound to encounter some great fall foliage along the way -- and the additional traffic that comes with it.

Likewise with your thought of a day-trip down-and-back from the outskirts of Boston to Cape Cod.... but that depends on "where" on the Cape you hope to go. To us, the true beauty of the Cape is not at the end closest to Boston, but out at the Cape Cod National Seashore toward Wellfleet and Provincetown.... and that area of the Cape is a two hour drive (under ideal driving conditions with no traffic tie-ups en route). So you'd be looking at two hours driving down (preferably mid-morning to avoid the morning commuter rush hour in Boston -- which can be a real mess almost anytime) -- a few hours there -- and then two hours back, either early enough to avoid the evening rush hour (meaning you really would have only an hour or so on the Cape itself) or after the evening rush hour, making for a very long day.

Touring anywhere in New England offers chances to see great scenery in a variety of settings -- but to many of us, the real value comes in being able to "stop and smell the roses (or mountain air or sea air) along the way.. It's a unique experience to take a short hike into a New England forest during foliage season -- or to sit on a bench, sand dune or rock on the National Seashore and listen to the wind, waves and sea birds.... With the schedule you've proposed, you should be able to say you "saw" New England and Cape Cod (mostly through the car windshield), but it's doubtful you'll have time to "experience" much of it.

I'd be tempted to re-think the day for Cape Cod (minimal Fall foliage there and it can get cool for beach activities there in October) and use that day to add a stop-over somewhere between Burlington, VT and Acadia National Park in Maine -- places like Jackson, New Hampshire or Bethel, Maine come to mind as great spots to exoerience New England fall foliage at its best -- with travel times short enough to let you make some stops-along-the-way each day....

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2. Re: Please help 7 day itinerary...Boston and NE early October

Thank you for this advice! We can drop Cape Cod off the plan. I wonder if you would mind commenting on the following proposed itinerary

Bus from Montreal to Burlington on the 3rd October

1 night -Burlington. Hire car

2 nights -White Mountains..Lincoln? or?

1 night - Portland

3 nights - Boston (or only 2 nights and add one to one of the above?) Drop off car

Many thanks for any help

Sincerely

Bil

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3. Re: Please help 7 day itinerary...Boston and NE early October

Bil, I think this is a much better plan! It will give you a chance to see and experience several areas of New England rather than just drive by them. I prefer the Lincoln side of the White Mountains, but sometimes stay on the eastern side in Conway or Jackson. With two nights I don't think it matters too much which you choose. When you're in Portland, you can drive just a little bit north and see some of Maine's rocky peninsulas (you can see what I mean on a map). Really pretty. Folks here will give you some more specific suggestions. Will the three nights in Boston give you two days in the city? If so, I'd stick with that plan rather than add a night someplace else. Perhaps someday you can return and see more of Maine, including Acadia (and once you've been there, you'll want to return again and again!).

MOTG, my suggestions earlier in the day on the Boston forum were similar to yours above. One difference is that you seem to drive a little faster than I do! ;-)

Central Maine
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4. Re: Please help 7 day itinerary...Boston and NE early October

Bil -- I agree... much better plan than the original... Rt128 likes the Lincoln side of the White Mountains; I prefer the Jackson/North Conway side... but either one will give you great access to local loop drives that will let you see the scenery and foliage. May boil down to a matter of where you can get the lodging you want for the dates you want.... Let us know where you end up staying and we can help with local scenery and drives.... Portland will make a great Maine base for you.... again options for seeing local sights and scenery.

Rt128 -- Was trying to be a bit optimistic on my driving times so as not to totally discourage Bil.... Probably did understimate Cape Cod travel times.... and sometimes forget that it sometimes takes folks who don't drive Maine roads as often as I do longer to get from here-to-there than it does me... Thanks for the reminder that I need to temper my estimates a bit...

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5. Re: Please help 7 day itinerary...Boston and NE early October

MOTG, I'm sure you drive at very reasonable speeds! My driving seems to follow the same pattern as the rest of me as I get older--everything is slower. ;-) And, fortunately Bil doesn't seem to be easily discouraged, but rather welcomes all information and works with it.

Bil, I had suggested somewhere that you might detour to a Newburyport or Ipswich, MA beach for a short stop on your way to Boston. You'll be going right by Newburyport, so that's the easier one. Here is a link to the Parker River (Plum Island) website (watch the video to get an idea its varied terrain and simple beauty):

http://www.fws.gov/refuge/parker_river/

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6. Re: Please help 7 day itinerary...Boston and NE early October

Thank you very much to both of you for taking the time and trouble to be so helpful. We really do appreciate it.

Will now get to booking accommodation.

Thank you again

Sincerely

Bil

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7. Re: Please help 7 day itinerary...Boston and NE early October

We have booked into Burlington for 1 night and then Lincoln for 2 nights.

Still working on Maine Coast for one night (before we go to Boston) as there seems to be so many beautiful possibilities: Camden in the north, rockland, Boothbay etc down to Portland and everywhere in between!!!

Bil

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8. Re: Please help 7 day itinerary...Boston and NE early October

Camden and Rockland are close enough together you can stay in either place and still enjoy the other... but Camden-Rockland, Boothbay Harbor or Portland are all good choices.... Camden has a great little harbor and nice downtown; Rockland is a bit more of a working harbor but has a nice breakwater with a lighthouse at the end of it that you can walk to and is a real "foodie" town. Boothbay Harbor has a slightly more commercial feel than Camden but is a nice mix of working and pleasure boats with a nice village feel to it. Portland is the largest of the four (by far), but has a great "feel" for a small city... a great restored Old Port District and is definitely a huge "foodie" destination....with great places like Portland Head Light lighthouse, Maine Audobon's Gilsland Farm, the Casco Bay Islands, and Wolf's Neck State Park in Freeport all nearby.

Really can't go wrong with any of them....

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9. Re: Please help 7 day itinerary...Boston and NE early October

Thanks a million MOTG! We value your expertise very much.

Sincerely

Bil

10. Re: Please help 7 day itinerary...Boston and NE early October

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