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Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

Pittsburgh...
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Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

Hello,

I've never traveled to the northern states in New England and I'm trying to plan a mini-road trip this summer to see a bit of all 3 states.

I was thinking about travelling in July Wed-Sun, and flying into Manchester, NH. I don't really want to drive more than 2 and 1/2 hours in any day. I'd like to do the coast (possibly Kennebunkport) and visit somewhere in Vermont.

It'll just be my husband and I. We like the outdoors, but aren't into camping. We also like finding places with good food. Any Vermont suggestions? Right now I was thinking about Brattleboro or possibly visiting Dartmouth and popping over into VT, but I'm open to anything that might be interesting.

Thanks!

Burlington, Vermont
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1. Re: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

Based on what you want to see, and to maximize what you can see with the least amount of driving, see if you can fly into Burlington, VT (BTV) and out of Portland, ME (PWM). Try a site like expedia (or any other similar site) where you can book flights with different departures like this. Often it is not more expensive (or sometimes cheaper) than roundtrip to and from one city.

The only advantage to Manchester NH is if you can fly direct from where you are, which looks like you are in Pittsburgh. Flights to BTV and from PWN will require a change, probably in PHL. But if Manchester requires a stop too, then I don't see the reason to fly in there. It's a bit south of where you ideally want to be, and then you'll be doing backtracking to see all three of these states.

Burlington Vermont has excellent food and a small but very lively and vibrant downtown on the shore of Lake Champlain. From here, you can travel through the Green Mountains of Vermont -- Stowe is a popular stop. Straight on through the White Mountains of New Hampshire (stop in Jackson NH) and on to the coast of Maine before flying out of PWN.

Just a thought to consider....

New Hampshire
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2. Re: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

Manchester airport is a good choice, easy to get in and out, and a short hop to the Maine coast. Kennebunkport is a nice destination. Lots of scenic coastline, beaches, lighthouses, good places to eat in the area. However it does get busy in mid summer. Other towns close by to check out would include York, Ogunqut, and Portsmouth NH. From the seacoast you could head over to NH's White Mountains which have some spectacular hikes and drives. Lots of alpine like scenery. Another alternative is to head to the Dartmouth area, which has some great restaurants, quiet country roads, and is centally located to explore both NH & Vt. Close by is the very scenic Cornish-Windsor covered bridge, and the breathtaking Mt Ascutney auto road.

Some good places to eat in this area would include the Elixer in White River, Three Tomatoes in Lebanon, Sushi-Ya and Molly's in Hanover, and the Norwich Inn in Norwich.

From the Dartmouth area it's a quick trip to Woodstock Vt, a cutesy, picture perfect town with plenty of good restaurants and shopping. Close by is the Billings Farm Museum and Rockefeller National Park.

Brattleboro has an urban counter-culture vibe and is a fun stop for an afternoon There is a very good Thai restaurant in the center of town

Chester, Vermont
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3. Re: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

From Manchester NH, you MUST visit Mt Washington up rt 302, take the cog train up the mountain......continue on rt 302 into VT and enjoy the green mountains on rt 100....a scenic drive you will enjoy because of the villages along the spine of VT....a MUST visit village is Weston, home of the VT Country store. Maine and the coast is best enjoyed from Acadia National Park in central Maine....but that is a 6 hour drive from so. VT

enjoy!

Pittsburgh...
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4. Re: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

Thanks for the advice. I had considered flying into Burlington and out of Portland...but it's more expensive to drop off a rental at a different airport. I will be flying from Pittsburgh. I had initially thought about flying into Boston (direct flight), but then realized that would probably mean too much driving.

So I will only really have 4 nights (I'll arrive Wednesday evening and leave probably around noon on Sunday).

Where do you suggest I stay (towns)? I was thinking maybe 2/3 nights at the shore and maybe 1/2 nights inland, but I'm open to suggestions.

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5. Re: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

Going back to food suggestions in Vermont, (also beautiful outdoor spots), you should check out Shelburne Farms. This is a huge preserved piece of land at the southern end of Burlington. There is farmland, agriculture demonstrations including festivals, cheese-making etc, and a huge historic inn with a restaurant. The food at the restaurant is really good. At least visit it if you are in the area, to see the spectacular views and the way an old "gentleman's farm" was set up around 1900. However, this is pretty far north and you may not have time.

Advice on how to structure your visit -- I'd start with a map and focus on Highway 89. It starts from the southeast (roughly, the north shore of Massachusetts) and heads northwest into northern Vermont. If you make this your axis, I think your idea will work. Fly in to Boston (?) rent a car, and head to Vermont using Route 89. You could look at staying around Woodstock, perhaps, so you don't have to drive all the way north. Where 89 enters Vermont, this is also close to Hanover, NH, the location of Dartmouth College. Spend a day and a half in this area. Woodstock is especially beautiful. There are other lovely towns around there, too.

Then head back down 89, and you're free to visit any place from about Marblehead and up the northern coast of Massachusetts, up to Portsmouth NH, and perhaps southern Maine.

Then you can quite easily get back to Boston to fly home again, after returning the car.

Burlington, Vermont
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6. Re: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

The Maine coast and the White Mountains of New Hampshire are plenty of ground to cover if flying into Manchester so you'll probably want to save VT for another time.

port republic
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7. Re: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

Portland me is a great foodie town, worth a night. as for the coast, I find the Maine coast north of Portland to be more spectacular than the areas south of portland, but the beaches are to the south.

Pittsburgh...
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8. Re: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

Thanks for all the things to consider.

Maybe I should try just Maine/NH this time around and leave Vermont for another trip. I was really hoping to get all 3 in (I'm trying to see all 50 states by the time I'm 50), but now I'm not sure.

So many of you suggest heading into the White Mountains...would it be a crime to skip that and just have my trip be Manchester Airport- Kennebunkport - Hanover, NH/Norwich VT - Manchester Airport?

Ormond Beach...
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9. Re: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

If you like beautiful outdoor scenery, then yes... it would be a shame not to at least do a drive-by of some of the White Mtns. I especially like the northern presidentials - a favorite 1 hr waterfall hike is up one side of Snyder Brook and down the other, starting and ending at the Appalachia Trailhead parking lot on Rt. 2 between Gorham and Jefferson. Super pretty hike with dozens of little falls and cascades, and very doable for anyone who's relatively fit.

New Hampshire
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10. Re: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine

Here's something to consider - If you base yourself in some place in or near Hanover, NH, the White Mountains are about 1 an hour away. Vermont is literally across the river. If you want something more rural than Hanover (pop. 8000), look at Lyme NH, just 8 miles up the road. There are two very nice Inns right on the tranquil green - Dowd's and the Lyme Inn.