My medical-school-studying husband and I need a vacation. With his crazy schedule and my two jobs, we're looking forward to taking a really special trip together this fall.
Here are the facts:
Dates available to travel: October 16th to November 21st
Type of trip: Road Trip with 3ish weeks in New England
Starting point: southern California
California to St. Louis Missouri (to visit friends)
to New England (for 3 weeks of leaves and lobster)
to NYC (to visit friends)
to Washington D.C. (for conference Nov 13-17)
back to California
Budget: $3500 (are we crazy?)
Food; interesting experiences like communal dining, supper clubs, etc; reading; hiking (moderate); seeing leaves; farmers markets; eating pie; antiques; cool adventures
Here are the things we need advice about:
1. We'd like to stay for 3-ish weeks in New England. I'm thinking a waterfront cottage (1-2 bedrooms because friends might come out for a weekend) in Portsmouth New Hampshire might be good. I'm open to other towns. I'm open to part of the trip in one spot and part in another. I'm having a tough time finding an affordable rental that doesn't have gross furnishings, however. We'd love a place that we can take day-trips from to do some hiking, see leaves, eat pie, and generally enjoy ourselves. We'd also like a place with a pretty good kitchen because we'll probably mostly eat in and we love to cook. Any vacation rental websites would be appreciated. I've looked at A TON but I'm not finding quite the right place yet.
2. Is 3 weeks too long in New England? Should we take more time driving across the US or try going up into Canada? Should we pick one spot for 3 weeks or 3 spots for 1 week each? Any suggestions? We've never been to New England. We don't need TONS to do (we're not really into night life) but we also don't want to be isolated.
3. What interesting activities should we plan? I'd like a little bit of adventure like a day on a lobster boat, cranberry bogging, or shadowing an artisan bread maker. I'd just like to do some (not too pricey) unique New Englandy things.
4. I've noticed a lot of rentals are closed during this season. Is that typical of beach towns? Should we look for a place more inland instead?
5. In my ideal romantic life, I have visions of us driving a really cool old International Scout (that has been reupholstered and is comfy, of course) on this trip. I could imagine sleeping in it a bit on our way across the country and think of all the stuff I could haul home in it. My husband thinks I'm crazy. Please discuss.
So, impart your wisdom. We need it!