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New England tour

Vicenza, Italy
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New England tour

Hi everybody, I'm Marzia and I'm from Italy.

I'm planning a travel to New England in August and I need some advice.

My itinerary approximately is this:

3 nights near Boston, so I can visit Salem, Gloucester and Rockport Ma.

2 nights near North Woodstock NE to visit White Mountains and the lake region.

3 nights near Brunswick to visit Boothbay, Camden and Rockport ME, Pemaquid point etc.

and finally 2 nights near Ogunquit ME to relax and see the Maine coast.

I'd like to know if it is feasible or I have to remove some destinations.

The itinerary is interesting or I should change something?

Thanks to all who help me

Marzia

Phippsburg, Maine
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235 posts
110 reviews
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1. Re: New England tour

The 3 nights you are planning in Brunswick means you will be spending most of your time parked on RT 1, the main coastal route that connects the midcoast towns and peninsulas, which moves extremely slowly in high summer.

There is a pinch point at Wiscasset that can take a very long time to get through by car going both ways that's best to try to avoid. You will have enough time to get to each of your destinations and back from Brunswick in a day but not much time left over to actually do anything.

Perhaps consider basing yourself more centrally, say Damariscotta or the Pemaquid Peninsula to minimize your travel times unless it's your ambition to just take pictures from your car.

Have a great trip!

Bar Harbor, Maine
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2. Re: New England tour

To see the White Mountains, I'd stay in Jackson, New Hampshire. You will find some nice inns and B&Bs there in a rural, scenic, very small town. The day I left that region, I would travel a northerly route across the state of Maine on Highway 2 and go all the way to Acadia National Park. That's about a four or five hour drive.

I see that you have lots of small towns that you are visiting. But to really see the beauty of the Maine Coast it would be the perfect idea to visit Maine's only National Park. That will give you lots of public access to the shore line and great scenic vistas as well as easy walks and hiking. There are also a number of boat tours available that allows you to see the shore from the other side.

I'd spend three nights in the Acadia area, maybe in Bar Harbor, which has the most tourist amenities. When I left Acadia, I'd take a slow drive down coastal route one, stopping in Camden for lunch and continuing on down to Boothbay to see the gardens. Spend just one night in Boothbay and then the next morning continue on down the coast to Ogunquit for one more night in Maine.

North Shore, MA
Destination Expert
for Salem
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5,573 posts
172 reviews
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3. Re: New England tour

A question about the 3 nights near Boston: Do you plan to spend any time in Boston itself? If so, you may want to spend a couple of nights in Boston before renting a car and heading north. That way you will not lose time commuting into Boston and it will make the Boston experience nicer; the higher hotel costs may be offset by the savings on the rental car for those days. Salem is an easy day trip from Boston via commuter rail or ferry, but you could also stop after you leave Boston and head north. Gloucester and Rockport are also on the commuter rail line to Boston, but you will be able to see much more of the coast by driving.

Vicenza, Italy
4 posts
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4. Re: New England tour

Thank you to everybody for your answers!

I have been in Boston years ago, so this time I thought to spend most of the time visiting the towns near the big city. I am tempted to go by ferry from Salem but I don't know if it worth...also Concord is in my mind. Lot to see and not enough time!

To reply to bonniemaev I thought to go to North Woodstock to see The lost river gorge because I have been intrigued by the pictures I saw and in Italy there's nothing like it.

I'm thinking of changing my itinerary coming up to Acadia NP but I fear that there is too much Km to be done and I prefer to visit a few places than spend so much time in the car to see nothing.

Thank you for any other suggestion

Marzia

North Shore, MA
Destination Expert
for Salem
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5,573 posts
172 reviews
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5. Re: New England tour

Hi Marzia, You could certainly take the ferry from Salem into Boston for a day of sightseeing. It's a scenic trip, although you'll be seeing lots of coast and have other opportunities for boat trips as you head farther north. Some folks take the ferry in one direction and the commuter rail in the other; this saves a little money and time as the commuter rail is less expensive and faster (30 minutes compared to an hour on the ferry).

If you decide to stick with the North Woodstock plan, Concord, Mass will be a relatively short detour off your route north. Or, I suppose it could be a day trip from your base north of Boston--if there are enough days! There's never enough time, is there?!

Bar Harbor, Maine
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6. Re: New England tour

Notice the first reply to your questions. Truly, you would be spending much less time in the car and in traffic if you spent the extra hour on the front end to make it to the Acadia National Park area and spent those three nights that you have scheduled for Brunswick, Boothbay, Camden, and Rockport in Acadia instead. Instead of traveling around seeing various towns and getting glimpses of ocean you would be able to stay put and see stunning scenery all within a ten mile radius.

But it depends on what you want to see and do. If you are into photography and hiking and kayaking and nature, come to Acadia. If you are into shopping, strolling small towns, coffee shops, museums, various harbors, then go ahead and see Camden and Boothbay and Rockport.

As for the White Mountains and that river gorge, you will be able to do a very nice tour of many of the highlights in the White Mountains on your full day in the area, whether you stay in Jackson, North Conway, North Woodstock, or Franconia. Be sure to drive through Crawford Notch on Highway 302 and Franconia Notch on Interstate 93. Also Highway 112, known as the Kancamagus Highway, which goes over the mountains rather than through a pass. I think Franconia Notch has got to be one of the very few places in the USA where an Interstate highway has to neck down to one lane each way because of the narrowness of the mountain pass. On 302 you will find the railway that goes up to the top of Mount Washington, the highest peak.

7. Re: New England tour

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