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4 day New England road trip

Washington, DC
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4 day New England road trip


My husband and I are taking a four day road trip in mid-October (flying in and out of Hartford CT) to the the New England vicinity. We've never visited the Northeast and need some advice on how to put together an economical road trip. We'd really like to spend one day in Boston and then spend the rest exploring New Hampshire and Vermont, maybe setting foot briefly on the southern coast of Maine.

Any advice, ideas, off-the-beaten-path hiking or driving, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


Winchester, MA
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1. Re: 4 day New England road trip


May I suggest Campton, New Hampshire. At the start of the White Mountains, right of Interstate 93 so you could day trip to Vermont and go over the Kank to Conway and into Maine. Wife and I just found a great B&B there - great rates also. Campton Inn - www.camptonbb.com Hope you enjoy our corner of the world!

Antrim, New...
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2. Re: 4 day New England road trip

That is an ambitious agenda, unless all you want to do is set foot ;-) Coming into Hartford, I would recommend southwestern NH and southern VT. Less driving than the Campton area, which is lovely, mind you, but another couple of hours beyond the area I am suggesting.

The area I am talking about is about 1.5 hours from Bradley airport. Straight up I-91 is Brattleboro, VT. Wilmington, VT is a half hour west on Rte 9. Keene, NH is about 25 minutes east on Rte 9, and Peterborough is another 25 minutes east of Keene. From Keene, you can be in Boston in 1.5 to 2 hours. You can also drive the same time to the NH coast, then down to Boston in about an hour +. Boston to Bradley Airport is about 1.5 hours. This is a nice circle, though you may find southwest NH (known as the Monadnock Region - named for Mt. Monadnock) and southern VT too nice to leave. And frankly, Boston deserves more than a day.

The time you will be here, the fall colors should be peaking in southern New Hampshire/VT. The Monadnock region is a beautiful part of the state with many lovely small towns and surprising little treasures everywhere. One major event that you may be in time for is the Keene Pumpkin Festival Oct.20.


People from all over the area bring jack-o-lanterns all day long and they are arrayed up and down Main Street (keene claims the widest Main Street in the country) and up on 3 and 4 story scaffoldings and lit at night. Keene has held the Guinness World Record for many of the years since they started the festival for the most lit jack-o-lanterns in one place - as many as 29,000+. Hotel reservations in Keene may not be available at this point, but it is worth a try. But you could easily drive in from the surrounding area. There are many B&Bs and inns in the area. It is a crowded event, but a lot of fun, with food and other concessions, live music and fireworks at night after they announce the count. The city has gotten real good at putting on this event, with shuttle busses taking people in from outlying parking lots, etc. And they have spread things out so it does not feel so crowded.

Other than that, Keene is a lovely city with a broad Main Street and many local shops. Peterborough to the east is a small town with an upscale feel - arts, antiques, an outstanding bookstore - Toadstool Books (with branch stores in Milford and Keene). There are great restaurants for a gourmet lunch or dinner. There is a lot of good hiking in the area, including Mt Monadnock, which claims to be the second most climbed mountain inthe world after Mt Fuji in Japan ( I don't know who comes up with these statistics). But many other hikes and strolls to get you out in nature.

There are some lovely inns and B&Bs in Peterborouogh, Hancock, Jaffrey and elsewhere. Covered bridges. Head north of Keene to Walpole, home of BUrdick's Chocolates, cafe and restaurant. They are quite well known, but there are several other excellent chocolateers in the area towns. This is just a great area to explore.

Brattleboro, VT is a great city similar in size to Keene wtih a vibrant downtown, great shops and restaurants, night life, live music, etc. For one of the most picturesque drives in New England, continue west on Rte 9 to Wilmington, VT, an attractive and touristy town, and then head north through the mountains on Rte 100. You can head all the way up to Woodstock, VT, east over to Hanover, NH (home of Dartmouth COllege) and back down I-91 to Brattleboro or take I-89 all the way to to Concord, NH and over to the seacoast or south on I-93 to Boston. That will be a lot of driving. You can also take a shorter more local loop up the West Townsend, VT and back down to Brattleboro.

This would be a very rewarding and relaxing few days, a rural, Currier and Ives experience of Northern New England.

3. Re: 4 day New England road trip

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