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Drive from North Conway NH to Woodtock VT to Manchester NH

Northbrook, Illinois
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Drive from North Conway NH to Woodtock VT to Manchester NH

We will be arriving in North Conway on a Monday in October around noon and need to be in Manchester NH by 3:30 on Wednesday. Our thought was to spend some time and over night in North Conway, leave there on Tuesday, drive to Woodstock VT, spend overnight in that area (or other suggestions) on Tuesday and get to Manchester by 3:30 on Wednesday. Is this too ambitious? Is there a good scenic route? Stops on the way? We can't do a lot of walking for too long, but want to enjoy this area at this time of year. Tours? Tram ride? Is the Grand a good place to stay in North Conway?

Hollis, New...
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1. Re: Drive from North Conway NH to Woodtock VT to Manchester NH

It's not too ambitious. I would probably take Route 112 (Kancamagus Highway) all the way through Lincloln, NH. Maybe take a detour up through Franconia Notch and take a short hike--just a leg-stretcher, really--to The Basin. Others may have more specific route suggestions, but any secondary roads will be very scenic.

Nova Scotia
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2. Re: Drive from North Conway NH to Woodtock VT to Manchester NH

Can't offer much on the scenic route other than agree that the Kancamagus Highway would be spectacular to drive in October http://www.kancamagushighway.com/

You don't mention when in October but keep in mind if it is around Columbus Day...that will be peak foliage season and accommodations may be hard to find even midweek.

Personally, I would not stay at the North Conway Grand again. We stayed there, a few yrs ago and found to be overrun with families with kids running everywhere and the rooms looked tired. Read the reviews here to form your own opinion. Our first choice is always the Golden Gables http://www.goldengablesinn.com/ followed by their sister property in Glen, the Golden Apple Inn http://goldenappleinn.com/ or the White Mountain Resort http://www.whitemountainhotel.com/

Central Maine
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3. Re: Drive from North Conway NH to Woodtock VT to Manchester NH

The Grand in North Conway is a great location (rooms were okay but nothing special the last time we stayed there) if you plan to do a lot of shopping at Settler's Green Outlet Stores -- the hotel is located immediately adjacent to (and shares a highway entrance with) the shopping area. But unless you want the convenience of being able to walk from the shopping area directly back to your room, I'd go with one of K.C.'s recommendations.

Northbrook, Illinois
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4. Re: Drive from North Conway NH to Woodtock VT to Manchester NH

Thanks for your input. It's very helpful. The rest of our trip is Boston to Newport, back up north on the coast to Portsmouth, on to Portland, then to North Conway and Stowe, back to Manchester. We have information about all of these stops, but do you have any "don't misses"?

Antrim, New...
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5. Re: Drive from North Conway NH to Woodtock VT to Manchester NH

DOn't know how much time you are taking for all of this. My general thinking is to avoid the one night in each location approach. There is a lot of charm, beauty and special attractions in all the places you are planning to visit. But I would choose fewer and stay longer. If you plan to be in newport, check to see if Fire Water will be taking pace in Providence, RI. Such an amazing event.

Portsmouth or Portland. No need to spend a night in each. Choose one or the other. Woodstock, VT is lovely, but if you trying to split that with NC and getting to Manchester in what sounds like 48 hours, I would drop Woodstock. If you go to Stowe, Woodstock is reasonably on your way back to Manchester. You can stop for lunch or a brief walkaround. Not that you will see everything, but with all the other places, I would not add a night that will draw away from the others.

North Conway is busy and commercial. If you want to be int he middle of the commerce, outlets, long strip, then stay there. Otherwise, I would opt for one of the towns on either the Rte 16 side of the White Mtns. - Jackson, Glen or Bartlett. Or, stay on the Franconis Notch side - Lincoln/Woodstock (NH). There is so much to see in drives, easy hikes and general exploring that you will easily consume two days. In Franconia Notch - The Basin, The Flume, Cannon Mtn Tram to the summit. Breakfast at Polly's Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, Woodstock Inn and Brewery. On the Rte 16 side, get familiar with Riveer Raod to bypass the congestion of NC. But NC does have plenty to offer in dining, shopping and night life. Also many hikes from River Road and other access - Diana's Baths. Other will suggest more. Cathedral Ledge, maybe. Also, north through Pinkham Notch on Rte 16 is the Mt Washington Road to the summit of the highest peak in the northeast. Or, take the Cog Railroad from Crawford Notch - Rte 302. Moat Mountain BBQ and Brew Pub is another great place to eat, especially if local brew is your interest.

Hollis, New...
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6. Re: Drive from North Conway NH to Woodtock VT to Manchester NH

A gentle correction in case you look into Providence: The attraction is WaterFire, not Fire Water (although that is available).

Central Maine
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7. Re: Drive from North Conway NH to Woodtock VT to Manchester NH

Between Portsmouth NH and Portland ME -- I'd ccnsider stops at The Nubble Lighthouse in York, ME; Perkin's Cove in Ogunquit, ME: and Dock Square in Kennebunkport ME, with maybe a ride down Ocean Ave in Kennebunkport to check out the summer home of Pres George Bush (no tours, but a nice roadside turnout with a decent view of the place for those who are interested.) (Above locations can be Googled for more info).

Would agree with NextStops that, unless you have a specific reason for doing so, you really don't need an overnight in Portsmouth NH and an overnight in Portland ME... Portsmouth is under three hours driving time from Newport, RI -- so with a decent start in the morning you can be in Portsmouth for lunch, spend a little time there, see The Nubble, Perkin's Cove and Kennebunkport, then hop on I-95 and still be in Portland in tome for dinner. Do a little sightseeing in Portland the next morning, then head to North Conway and still have time to look around a little after you get there...

Antrim, New...
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8. Re: Drive from North Conway NH to Woodtock VT to Manchester NH

Oops. Thanks wpsaukee. :-) Wate Fire.

Jackson, New...
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9. Re: Drive from North Conway NH to Woodtock VT to Manchester NH

Don't limit your search for a North Conway hotel to North Conway also look into Bartlett and Jackson just outside of town. Much more scenic areas. (You will love the Hike to Diana's Bath very Easy and Cathedral Ledge is accessible by car with great views.) Getting to Manchester is tough, since there is no direct route. I have done the drive in just under 5 hours with just stops for gas and Pee breaks. This is the route I would take. Bartlett Village to Bear Notch Road to The Kancamungus Highway to Lincoln south on 93, then West on 25, to 91 to Hanover continue south to Bellows Falls and Route 11 then into Manchester. If it were me I would cut out the overnight on the way and just get an early start and stop along the way in in Hanover for lunch.

Georgia
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10. Re: Drive from North Conway NH to Woodtock VT to Manchester NH

re: "On the Rte 16 side, get familiar with Riveer Raod to bypass the congestion of NC."

This is a great suggestion. You'll likely find a lot of traffic in North Conway and on a busy weekend you might spend over an hour trying to get thru the commercial area.

Just to add on a bit. Go to googlemaps and search for River Rd. You'll see that it comes right into the middle of N. Conway, maybe a couple hundred yards north of the train depot.

Now technically speaking, the other road you want to look up is Westside Road. It leaves Rt 16 in downtown Conway to the west/north and travels appx 10 miles completely bypassing N. Conway. It joins Rt 302 just west/north of Glen. Appx 1/2 way you'll see where it meets River Rd (near Echo Lake) about a mile or so from N.Conway.

Just north of that point is a road that heads up to Cathedral Ledge - a must see in my opinion. Leave a donation at the box at the bottom. Also you'll like see a number of cars pulled over near the ledge before going up hill. Look closely up on the ledge and you'll see people climbing. That's a must-see too. Then just a little further up the road is trail head for Diana's Bath (.6m of level path).