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A road tour through 6 states in a summer state of mind.
Leaving Philadelphia early we were here in time for a picnic lunch. Beautiful town and a lovely view from the monument.
Be sure and see Robert Frost's gravesite. Say a poem, read a verse, sing a hymn - you'll travel in time.
Full service, inexpensive gas as well as snacks (baked goods, smoothies, coffee) and cool motor memorabilia. The men's room says "Diesel" and the women's room "Ethyl."
It was raining so instead of hiking we shopped. Lots of fun stuff here, free samples and a sale room as well. Penny candy is awesome - we bought 6 different flavors of malted milk balls and Black Jack gum - lots of retro toys.
Great food to eat now (daughter tried some chicken salad and creme brulee, son had fruit salad and macaroni and cheese) or later but no indoor seating. We filled our picnic cooler.
Cheap and convenient if you want something other than a B&B - think clean but dated. There are probably much nicer places to stay in Montpelier, but for $60 it was fine for the night.
Free cider and good donuts. Wouldn't want to be here when a tour bus pulls in. Also stopped at the nearby Cabot Cheese Store for samples of cheese & Lake Champlain chocolates - yum!
You've got to stop here - fun for all ages - our daughter especially loved the Flavor Graveyard. The museum displays were interesting and the tasting flavor - turtle fudge!
After eating our way through the Waterbury area we just wandered country roads till we arrived here. The artists' consignment/antique store had a treasure trove of things we liked...maple syrup, homemade mustards, a beautiful turned wood, jewelry, quilted pieces, and felting.,,all of the prices were very reasonable. My daughter spent hours absorbed in a 1930s Better Homes magazine that she bought for $3. Three movies have been filmed in this tiny town - the latest was "The Spitfire Grill."
Great spot for photography.
This beautiful drive through the White Mountains is full of scenic views as well as long and short hikes (we recommend Sabbaday Falls if you are on a tight schedule like us).
There's nothing like staying at an Appalachian Mountain Club Lodge - the family style dinner conversation (very good food included with your room) is full of hiking advice (everyone at our table had hiked in the Himalayas - yikes!) and the lodge is family friendly. Be sure & walk the lovely Lost Pond Trail, Crystal Cascades and Glenn Ellis Falls - all very accessible and scenic.
Okay - this was scary - but memorable. Our rental car had been upgraded to a small SUV and we were glad when we did this drive. At the top the lovely summer day was gone, replaced by damp, cold and cloud cover that made it hard to see the road or even walk to the visitor center. Great weather museum inside and we brought postcards to write, while sipping hot chocolate, and send from the mountain's postbox. Not a drive for the squeamish as there are no guardrails. Below the cloudline the sun was warm and the views were expansive.
We loved the inn and it was nice to have a separate room from the children at a low price. The location was great - we walked around town, listened to the band concert and had pizza at Rosalie's. In the morning, I had a beautiful walk along the shore path and picked up breakfast (bakery and a nearby grocers) on my way back to the inn. The Bar Harbor Inn has a great location but for ~$110 for a 2 room suite the Quimby was a bargain. Very friendly staff and the coffee was ready for me in the lobby after my walk.
What can I say - this park is a gem. Start at the visitor center, see the film and get an audiotape tour or a brochure and then travel and stop as you are moved. We printed an online source used by tourguides and read from it off and on throughout the day. We gave the kids plenty of time to walk in the woods, climb on rocks, and look through tidepools. You can easily spend a week here (or even a summer) but we made it one great day. Highlights included the Wild Gardens of Acadia, peregrine watching at the Precipice (we remember it as a great hike but it is closed during nesting season), Ship Harbor Trail, the Blowhole, the Wonderland Trail and a drive up Mt Cadillac.
An authentic lobster pound experience - if it is seafood chowder day don't miss it, aromatic creamy broth filled with lobster, scallops, shrimp and fish. Our corn was just average but the lobsters were excellent.
We spent nights 3 and 4 with great friends who have relocated to this quaint town. You can hike (or drive) up the cliff to a wonderful view of Penobscot Bay where there is a marker to Edna St. Vincent Millay who was inspired by this sight. The town is full of quaint shops and there are boats for rent. We took kayaks to explore the small isle in the bay. Dinner and drinks at The Waterfront were the end to a great visit.
On our way south we stopped at this legendary shopping mecca and scored some deals at the LL Bean Outlet store. You could spend a lot of time shopping here if you wished - lots of outlet stores.
Having seen this place on the Food Channel we thought it would be fun. We ordered large samplers with a special request for the "big bellied clams" Well, after a couple of those everyone was reaching for the shrimp - I don't even want to think about what was in those big bellies :)
It was hot and humid so other then the movie in the visitor center we didn't do much in the Maritime District. My daughter wanted to visit a witch museum so we chose The Witch History Museum - hokey but entertaining.
On a hot day this is a perfect refuge. I had been here as a teenager in 1980 but the museum has been rebuilt and the architecture is a magnificent blend of the historic structure and innovative new space. The collection of treasures from the clipper ship days is extensive - my children marveled at the carved ivory and there is a family guide available for impatient youngsters.
We drove clockwise around the Cape stopping in Rockport and Gloucester for dinner at the Boulevard Ocean View - Portuguese dining, low on price and atmosphere but high on taste. Salad is iceberg lettuce with saltines but I saw a Grama eating out of an iron pot and mimicked her order - wonderful mussels!
Okay, finding this place was also scary. Going through the tunnel that was under repair, finding our exit, then a round-about, we were happy to get there and enjoy the warm cookies. Call for directions. About ~$110/night with $9 for parking and only 4 miles from the center of town. We were able to drop off our rental car on day 2 and use the hotel shuttle - they have a location in the theater district so you can take shuttles in and out of town, as well as airport shuttles (there is also a T-stop). Very quiet, comfortable beds, restaurant in lobby for breakfast. View was mostly of parking lot and then Bay.
Great family attraction - enjoyed a sail, the planetarium, many exhibits and the 11-year-old got to be a pirate. More than you can see in one visit.
How many states have we visited?
We were too late in the day to tour a mansion but still enjoyed the Cliff Walk and driving around town - all for free!
The crowds were out in Newport and we didn't want to wait in line...as we drove Northeast we saw a fish market with a guy directing parking and rapidly pulled in - that many cars, something must be good. We dashed in as a storm broke and had a fabulous shore dinner, the locals love this place, either eat-in or to-go.
Start early and get a guide - we used The Complete Guide to Boston's Freedom Trail - bought used on Amazon. Stop when you want...we lingered at a Border's and in the Old State House. We blew through Quincy Market after getting lunch and saved it for our way back. More volunteer opportunities at the Revere house. In the North End we were the only customers in an Italian Deli for some olives for snacks and we cased the restaurant window's menus (and we talked to some locals moving furniture.) When we returned from Charlestown ready for dinner there was a line in front of Giacomo's but we made the first seating.
On our to-do list for this trip was an authentic North End Italian meal. But after walking all day and with 2 kids along we didn't want tres elegant - Giacomo's was perfect. My son still talks about his Lobster Fra Diavalo. The only flaw - you may feel a bit rushed as the diners in line (no reservations, no credit) stare at you through the window. Get some canolis for dessert at Mike's pastry. Then we went back to Quincy market to shop and watch street performers.
And we had every intention of going into town to go to church but I didn't have the heart to wake up this sleeping family - thank heavens our flight wasn;t until 2:00pm and the hotel has an airport shuttle, We did enjoy a meal at The Legal Seafood test kitchen at the airport.
This was a great taste of what New England has to offer but we could have easily spent a week at any of our stops. A nice mix of urban and outdoor experiences at a moderate cost.