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From NY to New England

New York
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From NY to New England

Hello

I am planning a trip from NY to NH, Vermont and Maine in August. We are trying to decide the itinerary so we are not sure which state to go first. We definitely want to go to White Mountain and Arcadia. Can someone recommend other places and things to do? I am traveling with 2 kids, age 13 and 15 boys.

Thanks.

Central Maine
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1. Re: From NY to New England

Knowing how much time you have would help.... no sense in our recommending a two week itinerary if you only have one, etc.....

Antrim, New...
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2. Re: From NY to New England

Acadia National Park is an awesome place and your boys are at a great age for all of you to enjoy some great outdoor activities. If you have bikes, bring them. The cycling is great. There are plenty of bike rental shops, but bringing your own has its advantages in cost and convenience. Amazing paths laid out at the turn of the last century as carriage paths are now bike paths, as easy or difficult as you like. Great hiking. Lake swimming and a chilly ocean beach. Sunrise/sunset viewing from top of Cadillac Mountain. Whale watches. Kayaking. Nature abounds. Great restaurants and shops in the Bar Harbor and the other smaller towns on the Island. Evening entertainment - music, theater, clubs, etc. We have usually gone for a week and rent a summer home or cottage. But there is plenty of lodging on and off the island.

The Whites could easily keep you busy for a week, too, along with dipping down into the Lakes Region - Winnipesaukee, et al. - while you are there. Hiking is great, with many incredible vistas both hiked and conveyed to by car, tram, cog rail, etc. Waterfalls and streams which are swimable. Commercial activities, too, such as zip lines, alpine slide, and more. And as with any good tourist area, food, shops, etc., plus outlet shopping.

If all you have is a week, splitting between Acadia and the White Mountains would be about enough. I think you will have a better time than trying to fit in another one, two or more destinations.

New York
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3. Re: From NY to New England

I am planning a 10 day trip.

Is there any specific whale watch tour you might suggest?

Do you have any recommendation of lodging in White Mountain or Bar Harbor?

Thanks for the information.

Central Maine
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4. Re: From NY to New England

With the amount of time you have and the territory you want to cover, you probably should consider a trip that makes one big loop....

If you're coming from upstate New York, come into VT around Burlington, cross Vermont to the White Mountains of New Hampshire around St Johnsbury, VT and contnue through Littleton NH and then either take I-93 south to Lincoln and Rt 112 east across the Kancamagus Highway to the North Conway/Jackson area... or .. take US 302 down through Pinkham Notch to Glen and on to either Jackson or North Conway. If you're coming from southern New York, pick up I-91 in Hartford CT and take it north into VT -- you could swing west to Rutland, go north to Burlington, and then head east to New Hampshire as above.

When you're ready to continue east into Maine, take NH Rt 16 north from Jackson/North Conway to Gorham NH, then US Rt 2 east to Bethel ME... then ME 26 south to West Paris, ME 219 east to Wayne, ME.... Rt 133 south to Winthrop... US 202 east to Augusta... and ME Rt 3 from Augusta to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. When you're ready to leave Bar Harbor, head south along US Rt 1 to see coastal ME, then either west across the Mass Turnpike back to the NY Thruway for upstate NY, or I-495 to i-90 to I-84 into CT and on to the New York City area....

With ten days, I'd think about::

Day 1 -- NY to Burlington VT

Day 2 -- Burlington VT area -- including Shelburne Museum, Lake Champlain cruise, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream factory and other Burlington area attractions (haven't been there in a few years, so short on specific recommendations)

Day 3 -- Burlington VT to Lincoln or Jackson/North Conway NH (depending on route you choose)

Day 4 -- Seeing White Mtns (make a NH loop that includes Franconia Notch (I-93 area), Rt 112 (Kancamagus Highway), North Conway, US 302 Pinkham Notch (back to I-93) -- start anywhere along the loop you like and just make the circle. Possible "to-do's" today include Mt Washington Cog Railway, Cannon Mountain Tramway, The Flume, Conway Scenic Railway....)

Day 5 -- New Hampshire to Bar Harbor Possibllities "along the way" (but be mindful they all take time so will increase your driving time today) -- Mt Washington Auto Road, Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory, John's Ice Cream on Rt 3 in Liberty ME (decadent hand-packed, hard-serve!).

Day 6 -- Seeing Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park (More than 2 days worth of things to do -- stop at Acadia National Park Headquarters on your way into town for help with which places you really want to see while you're there and how to make the best use of the time you have available).

Day 7 -- Seeing Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park

Day 8 -- Bar Harbor to Portland ME Possible stops along the way today might include Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory, Mt Battie Auto Road in Camden Hills State Park, Camden harbor waterfront, Rockland breakwater and lighthouse, L.L. Bean in Freeport

Day 9 -- Touring Portland area in morning; south to Portsmouth NH in afternoon. visiting southern Maine coast along the way Morning could include a visit to Portland Head Light lighthouse, Portland's Old Port District, or even a ride to an island on Casco Bay Lines ferry; afternoon could include Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, Old Orchard/Kennebunk/York Beach, and The Nubble Lighthouse in York.

Day 10 -- From Portsmouth home to New York.....

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5. Re: From NY to New England

Thanks. I usually do the hotel booking and my husband does the itinerary. We are leaving in 3 weeks and he is procrastinating. This is great information.

Antrim, New...
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6. Re: From NY to New England

Whale watching - I believe there is one company in Bar Harbor that does the Whale watches and I think they do two runs a day. It is about a 3 - 4 hour cruise. They go about 25 miles out to sea. The water can get choppy and temp will definitely be colder than in the harbor and in the bay. Bring warm clothing, foolish though you may feel in port. If any of you are at all prone to seasickness, take dramamine when you get on board. It REALLY works. (Unfortunately, I know...)

as for lodging, there is a lot in both The White Mountains and in the Acadia area - plenty on the island and a lot along the approach road between Ellsworth and the Island. There are many ways to find lodging:

Google Lodging White Mountains or each of the anchor towns - Conway/North Conway, Lincoln/Woodstock, Jackson, Attitach, Twein Mountain. Likewise, Google Lodging Acadia National Park and/or Bar Harbor.

www.visitnh.gov is the NH Tourism website and has excellent info, including excellent lodging links.

In the Mt Desert area, I am pretty sure there is a Chamber of Commerce site that maintains a lot of very useful and relevant info, including lodging info and links.

Understand that people refer to Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park interchangeably, which can be confusing or misleading. Acadia is the National Park located on Mt Desert Island and Bar Harbor is the largest of several towns on the Island.

In both the Whites and Mt Desert areas you will find a lot of different kinds of lodging, from chain hotels to small mom-and-pop motels, independent hotels ranging from the luxurious to the cheesy, and all kinds of B&Bs and Inns. Choices will depend on your budget and preferences. Do some searching and see what appeals. Check the TA Reviews. And certainly post here and in the Maine/Bar Harbor Forum with any questions about specific places that you are wondering about.

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7. Re: From NY to New England

For the kids - Conway Adventure Park is supposed to be amazing, and I think Attitash Adventure Park is around there, too. They have ziplining, alpine slides, ropes courses, etc.

New York
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8. Re: From NY to New England

Here is our plan but let me your thoughts.

My husband like museums but I cut some of them out of the trip as the kids will be bored.

Leaving from Long Island, New York

Day Num Activity

1 Home -> Port Kent, NY

Port Kent,NY via ferry Burlington VT

Overnight at: Burlington

2 Shelburne Museum ‎ - Shelburne,VT‎

Ben & Jerry's, Waterbury, VT

Overnight: Montpeliere, VT

3 Stowe, VT

Auto Toll Road

Mt. Mansfield

Overnight: Western wht mountains

4 Western White mountains

Franconia Notch State Park ‎

Flume Gorge

Overnight: Western wht mountains

5 White Mountain National Forest

Mt. Washington

Overnight: Bangor, ME

6 Arcadia National Park

Overnight: Bangor, ME

7 Bangor -> Boothbay via US 1

Overnight: Boothbay

8 Boothbay/Bath

Bath - Maine maritime museum

Boothbay - harbor

Boothbay - costal maine botanical gardens

Overnight: Portland, ME

9 Portland narrow gauge RR

Museum of art

Victorian mansion

Overnight: portland

10 Portland, ME -> Home

Antrim, New...
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9. Re: From NY to New England

Looks like a reasonable enough itinerary. A bit too much moving around for my liking, but everyone is different. You may find yourselves wishing you were spending more time in each area.

You might consider staying the second night in Burlington, rather than Montpelier. All of your destinations in that area are pretty close together. Montpelier is a nice enough city, but Burlington has much more to offer and is not that far from Montpelier. No significant impact on your next day's drive.

You might consider staying an extra night in the White Mtns, rather than striking off for Acadia after a day of touring, driving, hiking and whatever. The Whites are beautiful and have so much to do. You may be happy not to rush off. The drive from the Whites to Acadia is about 4 hours+, most of it along slow two lane roads. Many compelling places to stop along the way. Also, after about 9PM, it will be difficult to find an open gas station or place to eat.

On the Acadia leg, I would consider an overnight stop closer than Bangor. Bangor is over an hour from Bar Harbor. If you can stay on Mt. Desert Island, or at least somewhere along Rte 3 between Ellsworth and MDI, you will spend less time driving to and from MDI. Also, it is nice to have the option of going back to your hotel for a break or to get what you need for the next activity. I would also encourage another day on Acadia.

Of course, the extra night in the Whites, and the extra time on Acadia, will have to be taken from somewhere else. I would skip the overnight in Boothbay. Leave Acadia in the AM and mosey on down through Boothbay to Portland. Spend the next day and night in Portland and environs as planned.

A couple of driving things to keep in mind. I assume that you are doing the usual week with an overlap of two weekends...like everyone else. And there are various places where you will encounter everyone else with the result that, as a New Yorker, you are well familiar with. Make a reservation on the Burlington Ferry, or at least call them to decide if this is essential. Also make lodging reservations ahead, especially on weekends and especially in Acadia.

I don't know what your budget is, but if it works for you, I recommend lodging as much in the middle of things as possible. This gives you quick and easy access to the places you want to be. In Burlington stay in the downtown area near the Lake. I already talked about Acadia. In Portland, ME, stay downtown in the Old Port section of the city. Burlington and Portland are very cool cities that you and your kids will enjoy, and it is great to walk out and be a part of it.

Finally driving from Acadia and eventually Home. Driving Rte 1 is a nice idea, but it can get very slow and tedious. You go through a lot of towns where the speed limit drops to 30 or 35, and there may be the occasional light. The farther down the coast you get, the more touristed the areas get and the more traffic, slow speeds and lights you will encounter. It can be especially bad on the weekend, as vacationers leave or head to their cottages, etc.

From Acadia down to about Camden, the drive is enjoyable. After Camden, the roads get a bit more crowded. But by Damariscotta, you are entering the prime coastal range, all the way on south to the NH border. Driving is slow. The area from Bath to Brunswick has a more dense population and can get real snarled up. And then it is a slow meander down the coast to Portland.

I am not telling you not to drive Rte 1, but be prepared, have some sense of specific destinations, and maybe jump back over to I-95 to make up time. While distances around the Burlington/Stowe area, and around the White Mtns. can be fairly small and easily traversed, the coast of Maine is deceptively long - 1500 miles if you stretch it out from Calais in the north to Kittery in the south. Acadia is about midpoint in this coastline. And while Rte 1 is not 1500 miles long, it is the main road that residents and tourists alike must use to get to the many small towns sprinkled throughout this craggy coast.

New York
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10. Re: From NY to New England

After reading several guide books and the forum information we are rethinking our plan. We are trying to do too much and rushing around. We will eliminate Vermont on this trip. So we will spend an extra day on white mountains.