Everyone has different agendas and wishlists, and so, for what it is worth, here is a trip report of our holiday. I did my planning mainly with the help of Trip Advisor (yea!!), Lonely Planet Guides (New England & Trips) and lots of great websites (my favourites were http://www.visitnewengland.com/ and http://byways.org/ and http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurants/ )
We are a senior (ouch, that hurt) Aussie couple. We are more into history than art, more into photography than shopping, more into road food than fine dining, more into rural than urban.
My husband has a mobility problem and this was an important consideration with our planning, especially finding accessible accommodation. (It would be a real bonus if accommodation noted if they had ground floor rooms. I got bleary eyed from checking pictures and info on websites and used a lot of time emailing.) As the road trip accounted for 19 nights of accommodation, and wasn’t the sum total of our holiday, I was also looking for accommodation that was reasonable in price (and for this in particular Trip Advisor was excellent).
In a forum I was lurking in recently a poster did their trip report by posting what she planned and what they actually did. It was a great way to report! I am going to change that a little to “What We Did” and “What We Would Change”.
More specific restaurant and attraction reviews will follow in TA.
WHAT WE DID
We did a 1300mi (or around 2000 km) road trip through the New England states from October 23 till November 11. We did a loop, setting out from and returning to Boston.
We had pre-booked a car from Alamo and all of our accommodation. We took our own GPS. I also picked up some maps from AAA. And I had already planned the road trip on Google.
Boston MA > Portsmouth NH : 1 night
Portsmouth > Portland ME : 1 night
Bar Harbor > North Conway NH : 1 night (last minute change)
North Conway > Woodstock VT : 1 night
Woodstock > Great Barrington MA : 2 nights
Great Barrington > Mystic CT : 2 nights
Mystic > Newport RI : 3 nights
Newport > Concord MA : 2 nights
Concord > Boston MA : 1 night
We were originally booked for 5 nights in Bar Harbor and 2 nights in North Conway but Hurricane Sandy gave us reason to wait and see if bigger changes were necessary. We were lucky and our thoughts were with those who bore the brunt of what was known as Frankenstorm.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
Yes! We would have loved to have been in the New England for the peak colour!! (This was an add-on holiday to a visit to family on the West coast and that dictated our travel dates). But not to worry … there were pluses (like no crowds)
With the rental car, I had checked and even printed out the fine detail from the Alamo website, but when we picked up the car they refused the extra driver at no cost (even though site said it was a perk of being in their “Insiders Club”). We were told that our Alamo included insurance (which as Aussies we have to take) didn’t cover it. An extra driver just about doubled the cost so DH was to be the only driver. Next time I would get confirmation via email. The strange thing was that we had just handed in our Alamo rental in San Francisco where we were both listed with no extra charge!! Someone was wrong but we were too tired to argue the point and needed to be on our way.
We were very happy with what we saw and did on our road trip. In fact, we are hard pressed to say what our favourite part was. But we may, when pushed over a wine or two, consider some tweaks, eg Portsmouth : 2 nights; Bar Harbor : 4 nights; Mystic : 2 nights; Great Barrington : 3 nights