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Brief New England road trip

Ottawa, Canada
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Brief New England road trip

My husband and I would like to do a 3-4 day road trip from Ottawa through some of New England. We've done northern New York before and would like to head east.

Where we go from there is totally open. We have an almost-one-year old so ideally we'd only drive 5-7 hours per day. We prefer scenic routes to efficient ones. :) We'd love to stop at some nice places along the way - whether that's a quaint town for a bite to eat or some parks where we can go for a hike and stretch our legs. We have a hiking pack for our little guy and are both very fit and active, so that's not a problem. We're not picky when it comes to accomodation and don't mind just finding something budget when it's time to stop, but I know this time of year can start getting busy.

We're hoping to go sometime this month - possibly as early as next weekend but likely the weekend of Sept 21-24th. We're not too concerned about seeing the fall colours since we live near the Gatineau Hills and get to see those every year.

We're very open as far as destination goes - Boston? Cape Cod? Providence? We've never been to the US Atlantic Coast (north of Florida, that is). We'd love to do Maine but I'm thinking we'd need more time for that. Our estimated drive to Acadia National Park is 10 hours plus which I think would just be too tight for any decent hiking. I don't think our little guy would tolerate a full 10 hour day of driving.

I will post this in a few other forums as well. Thanks for the help!

Ormond Beach...
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for Vermont
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1. Re: Brief New England road trip

Burlington is a nice first stop that's ~4 hours' drive from Ottawa. Lots on nice restaurants/pubs, cool shops, and a great rec path along Lake Champlain.

Stowe and Woodstock are both nice smaller mtn towns ~1 & 2 hours drive respectively. You can easily get to the coast.... the closest is Portsmouth, NH - about 3.5 hours from Burlington. Then you can drive up the coast as you please. Acadia is ~ 7 hours drive from Burlington.

Enjoy!

West Kingston...
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2. Re: Brief New England road trip

It is far for you but the beaches in southern Rhode Island can not be beat. Camping is available in several areas, including Burlinggame State Park.

The white mountains offer some nice hiking (no need to go all the way up, just strolling along a river gives you nice opportunities to see the woods, enjoy some water time)

Cape Ann, north of Boston is lovely and may be less busy than Cape Cod. There is a lovely, if ancient Motel Bearskin Neck Motor Lodge (reviewed on here)

Gotta run.

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Brief New England road trip

Oooo, thanks for all the suggestions! I have a couple more questions...

1. On the return trip, we could stay in Battleboro or Weston. I don't know anything about either place, is one preferable to a traveler?

2. If we decide to go all the way to Cape Cod, is it worth trying to do Cape Ann as well? What about Portsmouth? If you could only choose 1 or 2, which would you leave off?

3. If we go to Cape Cod, is it worth skipping Rhode Island to see Martha's Vineyard? Again, I don't know anything about these places beyond having heard of them. :)

Thanks!

Woodbridge, VA
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4. Re: Brief New England road trip

You might not want to go to Cape Cod and the islands at the end of the month. Most places there close after Labor day. It's nice to be there when there aren't crowds but there won't be much to do (unless all you want to do is see the lighthouses and drive around). I recommend the first week of June for Cape Cod. Things are open and it's not busy yet.

I personally plan to go to Burlington the last week of Sept. I'll be there for the leaves and scenic drives.

Burlington, Vermont
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5. Re: Brief New England road trip

As a frame of reference, Burlington VT is EXACTLY the mid-point between Ottawa and Boston....distance is approximately 225 miles from Burlington to Boston, and 225 miles from Burlington to Ottawa.

Windsor, Vermont
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6. Re: Brief New England road trip

Check out the Upper Valley area in Central VT/NH! Windsor, Vermont is located right in the heart of this area on the Connecticut River and features the longest wooden covered bridge in the US. It is along a scenic drive known as the Connecticut River Byway. Harpoon Brewery is in town and offers tours on the weekends. They also serve lunch and dinner. Simon Pearce glass blowers are also located in Windsor and offer free tours of their glass making process and pottery. You will also be close to Mt. Ascutney State Park which offers amazing views from the peak (either drive near the top for a short hike or hike from the bottom). The area hosts amazing restaurants in Quechee, Hanover, and Woodstock (all just 20 minutes from Windsor). Not to mention the shopping, antique stores, museums, and many, many outdoor activities. The Upper Valley can’t be missed!

Baltimore, Maryland
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for North Conway
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7. Re: Brief New England road trip

We can name all sorts of places worth visiting but you need to figure out why you want to go. Four days driving 5- 7 hours with a baby. Why did that sound like fun. You would see more if you rented the movie. I suggest a less ambitious itinerary for such a short trip. Maybe southern NH and VT.

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Brief New England road trip

Thanks for all the suggestions! I had no idea places closed after Labour Day, that's a great head's up.

Our main purpose in going is simply - to go. To go on a road trip, see new places and things. Our little guy is a good traveller so far but we don't necessarily have a NEED to do 7 hours in a day. Five really doesn't seem like much to me, but then, we're road trippers... we go more for the journey than the destination. And we prefer to see the real deal than what's on a screen. ;)

Love the suggestion for the Conneticut River Byway and the brew pub (my husband would LOVE that, I'm sure... maybe I'll check out some shops while he goes for a tour??).

Also the tip for Mt. Ascutney is great - we love hiking but since this is more of a (short) road trip that would probably work well (doing the drive with a short hike to the top).

As I'm looking more at our options, I like the idea of staying in and around VT/NH and not trying to get too far south (especially if the tourist-y areas close down). We'd love to see Boston but I'm sure that would be it's own trip (I KNOW my husband would want to see some sports-related events while we're there!). So maybe we'll have to plan a longer Boston/Cape Cod/Rhode Island trip for the future. Hmmm. And a separate Maine trip. Hmmm... to go with all the trips we want to do in Canada... and of course, see NYC at some point.

Why do we have to work? Can't we just travel at will?? :)

conn
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9. Re: Brief New England road trip

Most places on Cape Cod stay open until Columbus day weekend, if you are really interested don't give up on the Cape.

Edited: 04 September 2012, 23:35
10. Re: Brief New England road trip

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