We are a Scandinavian couple, both 34, doing a road trip in New England, arriving on Oct 1st and leaving on Oct 18th. I usually plan our trips way ahead of time but this time different circumstances left us a bit undecided until just recently.
We have previously been to NYC and DC multiple times and last fall we did a 3,5 week road trip in Southwestern US. We had the time of our lives but I did feel that I planned too much into some days and it was hard to calculate the driving time needed at times because of traveling on small roads and stopping a lot.
This time we don’t want to drive more than 2-3 hours a day (not included stops) except one day having to get from point A to B.
Our interests are seeing the fall foliage, short hikes (1-2 hour), good local restaurants, try some lobster, costal scenery, beaches and lighthouses, cute towns and waterfalls. As for sleeping arrangements we are flexible and used to staying at budget motels. We prefer lower costs for sleeping and spend more money on eating well and activities during the day.
This is what I've roughly planned so far:
Day 1: Arrive in Boston, relax
Day 2: sightseeing Boston, get over jetlag
Day 3: pick up car (in city or at the airport?), Salem, Cape Ann, stay in Portsmouth NH
Day 4: drive up to Conway
Day 5: Kancamagus Hwy full day, stopping a lot, short hikes, stay in Lincoln/N Woodstock
Day 6: Cannon Mtn aerial tramway, Flume Gorge, drive to Montpellier, covered bridges in Northfield Falls
Day 7: Drive VT 100, pass by Waitsfield, Warren, Killington (not sure how much distance we will cover in one day)
Day 8: Weston, Grafton (again how much time, where spend the night?)
Day 9: all day drive from southern VT to Mystic CT (advice on best route, fastest or scenic?)
Day 10: explore Mystic, drive to Newport RI
Day 11: rest in Newport, car free day, cliff walk, renting bikes?
Day 12: drive to Cape Cod (not sure where to stay) I don’t feel we have to visit Provincetown due to the distance there and back or is it a must see?
Day 13: explore some of Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard over the day (this will be Columbus Day, lots of crowds, traffic?)
Day 14: drive to Boston via Plymouth Rock early morning, leave the car and fly to X
Please tell me if you think we should leave something out or add something. I hate to plan too much into this trip as I did last time. I don’t want to feel like all we do is drive which we still might feel around day 6-7-8.
Do you recommend booking accommodation ahead of time? We would like to be flexible around day 6-7-8 as I’m not sure how much ground we will cover each day.
Well, on to the next part of the journey. Just to explain, I originally thought we would get at least one more week off work, therefore planning to also drive south. We were going to fly from Boston to Richmond, pick up a car, drive Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville, Charleston, Savannah, St Augustine, Kennedy Space Center, Miami, going home from there. I ended up cutting out Florida, then BRP. We still want to visit Savannah (or Charleston).
The weather in October in New England is the same or slightly warmer then back home and we wanted to end our vacation somewhere warm/a bit tropical. We are also curious about the South, southern cuisine, oak trees covered in moss, architecture and way of life.
After the NE road trip we have four nights and three full days until we have to fly back home. So the options we are considering are:
1. Add another night somewhere in NE to make the trip less rushed. If so where? Add another day or two in Boston in the end. This will be Oct 16-17th, close to the Head of Charles weekend, problems finding hotels? We won’t use a car in Boston.
2. Fly from Boston to NYC. We like the city a lot but didn’t plan on visiting this time. We will have no problem spending three days there but it feels like a slightly boring option. Last time we visited was May 2012.
3. Flying to Savannah, involves changing flights, more expensive tickets, three days there, then fly to Atlanta the day of departure and fly back to Europe.
4. Flying to Miami, a 3,5 hour direct flight, costs the same as the Savannah ticket. Warm weather and we will be able to swim in the ocean. Must rent a car? I’m sure we will be tired of driving by then. Hurricane season?
On the other hand I’m sure we will be back another time and do Florida, the South and maybe BRP. Any input will be much appreciated. Thanks. /Ella