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Help for a 10 day New England trip in mid / late September

Wakefield, West...
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Help for a 10 day New England trip in mid / late September

Hi all, and thanks in advance for any advice and suggestions!

I'm going to apologise now because we have few ideas of actual places to visit.

Anyway, we're looking at 10 nights next September (setting off from UK around 13th September - flights not yet booked so pretty flexible!) landing in Boston. We're going for my 30th, with no children to cater for and no set budget. We love coastal towns, scenic drives, lakes, mountains and most things you can call "quaint". We'd love to spot some Moose and eagles, and I want to try lobster!

Our partial plan is from the Discover New England "The best fall foliage drive ever" guide. Now don't get me wrong, I like autumn. It's my favourite time of year in not so sunny Yorkshire, but I won't be devastated if not every leaf has turned when we get there: we've used the guide purely to get ideas of where to go.

The plan so far:

Arrive in Boston, drive to Kennebunks, Maine. Stay 1 or 2 nights

Onto Sebago Lake, Maine. Stay 1 night

Onto Gorham, New Hampshire. Stay 1 or 2 nights

Onto Vermont for a few days. This is where I come unstuck. I'm not even sure if Connecticut and Rhode Island have what we're looking for.

After the hazy bit in the middle, we want to head back to Boston, and visit Wakefield and Salem, and spend our final night in an easy driving distance of the airport to get the red eye flight back home. I'm sure I'll be told not to bother with Wakefield, but we literally want to drive through and take a picture of the town sign, as we hail from Wakefield, West Yorkshire :)

I've posted this in all the New England forums, so hopefully will be able to cobble together a pretty good itinery!

Ormond Beach...
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1. Re: Help for a 10 day New England trip in mid / late September

Welcome Rachel & Stephen - Bet you'll enjoy your visit. Boston is a great city with a lot to offer for food, museums, seafood, etc... etc.. You might want to spend your last 2 nights there to relax and take in the town. Two of my favorite places are the Museum of Science - a wonderful hands-on place, and the Gardener Museum - the site of the largest unsolved art heist in our history.

Back to your itinerary.... Gorham isn't a town I'd suggest. It's fine, but caters mostly to hikers and offers little IMHO re: food and lodging choices. Littleton, Bethlehem,or Jefferson are more charming and better nearby options IMO. When you're in the Gorham/Jefferson area, there's my favorite 1 hour waterfall hike from the Appalachia trailhead on Rt. 2 (between those towns). You can go up the east side of Snyder Brook - seeing numerous cascades and several small falls, then go down the west side - easy and scenic. If you don't want to hike, the toll road up Mt. Washington has spectacular views.

In Vermont, Stowe or Woodstock sound like they would be ideal. Both scenic mountain towns. Stowe has more food, pubs, art, and a superb 5 mile rec path... one of our favorite places to go.

Woodstock, Vermont
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2. Re: Help for a 10 day New England trip in mid / late September

Hey up Rachel & Stephen,

I was born in Leeds so I am a GENUINE YORKSHIREMAN...so no bulls excrement from me!

Great idea for your trip but why the red eye flight???? Try and get a daytime flight back from Boston as it avoids the overnight jetlag and is often cheaper on BA. For a great fare if you do overnight check out Delta as they have one Heathrow bound flight a day and it's often half empty. Or are you considering a flight from Manchester UK to JFK and then just another 2 hours drive???? Often JFK bound flights are cheaper than Boston...despite the fact that it is another 45 minutes flying time...go figure? Or you could fly Heathrow to Montreal and drive down...just ideas but Montreal is only 3 hours from Woodstock VT (for there are many other Woodstocks....) or 2 from Stowe....

So your trip....10 nights either clockwise or counter...you are trying to do too much. Consider a drive up to Vermont over to New Hampshire and then to Maine (or reversed), 3 nights in each and then a night in Boston/NYC on arrival or return. If you add on Connecticut & Rhode Island you'll spend all your time in the car....and we do have some great micro-breweries to discover!

Agree with Chris & Liz....skip Gorham and perhaps consider Jackson NH as opposed to North Conway if you discover this route.

More importantly tell us what you want to see...hiking, eating, drinking, slobbing out, water based stuff fly fishing etc, zip lining in NH, historic bits, crafty bits...you get my drift.

Before I moved here from the UK 8 years ago to co-own an inn, I spent 2 years driving all over New England so please do feel free to tap my knowledge on driving distances/routes/things to see and do etc.

One thing is sure...get a great car as petrol here is soooooo cheap and driving is a doddle. Don't think M62 on a bank holiday weekend...think M62 at 02.30 in the morning!

Happy planning.....

Wakefield, West...
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3. Re: Help for a 10 day New England trip in mid / late September

Thanks guys - Gorham is off the list!

We're looking at Aer Lingus - the plan is to spend a day on Dublin before we come out (hubby has never been to Ireland and I worry far too much regarding connecting flights!) I've found Aer Lingus prices for this September reasonable, but as we haven't looked, we're flexible, so I'll look into BA and Delta. And regarding the red eye home - we were thinking of having that bit extra time in the US before heading to the airport,

We like eating, drinking, beginners level walking (I have a dodgy hip, so am very slow. I'm fine wandering around towns, but any serious hiking would have to be assessed on the day!) I'd love to zip line too. I hope this doesn't sound sad, but we really want to absorb the lifestyle and atmosphere, and we're happy to sit and people watch.

I was starting to think I'd be setting myself up for too much driving if we covered all states, so Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire seem to be the best choice. I might be naive, but I've been looking at inns and B&B's, and I was quite shocked at the prices! Obviously I'm limited to looking at places that have a website, but we figured booking the accommodation in advance would be more sensible given we would be going at a popular time.

I had to laugh with your M62 comment David - I might have to practice driving an automatic first!!

Woodstock, Vermont
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4. Re: Help for a 10 day New England trip in mid / late September

Aer Lingus do indeed have some good prices so that's a great idea and the advantage is that you clear US immigration in Ireland, so when you land in the US you are just a domestic flight and don't have the 1+hour wait to get into the country.

As too lodging prices...something I know a lot about as I co-own and inn, how much are you looking to spend? Motels can seem cheaper but when you factor in the breakfast and usually free teas etc they start looking poorer value, and don't forget most States have a 9% or more lodging tax to be added onto your quoted prices, which from memory in Boston will be nearer 15%....

Do pre-book as at least that way you get what you want at a price you want to pay.....

Happy planning....

Wakefield, West...
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5. Re: Help for a 10 day New England trip in mid / late September

I guess we'd thought of $150 including breakfast, but reckon we'll have to up that to nearer $200 to get a nice place. I keep finding guest houses that include afternoon tea in the price, which would be wasted on us!

I hadn't realised we'd clear US immigration by flying from Ireland - bonus!

Burlington, Vermont
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6. Re: Help for a 10 day New England trip in mid / late September

I think you have a good plan to limit your trip to Boston and then Maine - New Hampshire - Vermont. There's a lot to explore in these states. You might want to consider a couple of nights on the Maine coast. I would actually head further up the coast -- to the north of Portland -- where I find it to be a little more authentic and scenic. I spent a week in Boothbay Harbor last summer and it was wonderful. We stayed here and it was really great. http://www.sprucepointinn.com/

From the Maine coast you can make your way over to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, with a stop at Sebago lake if you want (I've never been there). In the White Mountains, Jackson is a great little town with some very nice inns and B&B's.

From the White Mountains head to Vermont on Route 302, which is very scenic as you head through Crawford Notch. Get your zip line ride in at Bretton Woods. brettonwoods.com/activities/…overview

Next head on over to Vermont. I'd make it to Burlington for a night as I hear from people visiting the area that it's often the highlight of their trip. It's worth it to splurge for a lakeview room at the Marriot or Hilton right in downtown. marriott.com/hotels/… …hilton.com/en/…index.html

From Burlington, I'd head back on Interstate 89 to Waterbury, and pick up Route 100 south. I'd then meander through small towns and mountains to Southern Vermont and then you can work your way east back to Boston.. A couple of places I've stayed along that route are http://www.theroundbarn.com/ and tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g57334-d82637-R…

Woodstock, Vermont
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7. Re: Help for a 10 day New England trip in mid / late September

Oh but there is tea and tea!

And take it from this Yorkshireman who imports his own tea bags & tea as I like it strong, even if you can get Yorkshire Gold and Jacksons on Amazon here.....the local water is really hard and makes an excellent cuppa....but many places have never heard of an electric kettle, so the water is often tepid and heated in a microwave....PLEASE!!!!!

How can folk from Yorkshire say afternoon tea would be wasted on them, I even make my own scones and get imported clotted cream!!!

Any way up....you get it included in the price and could probably have coffee, coke or iced tea etc.

For $200 you should find some good options and motels might appear cheap but once the taxes and service charges (often in excess of 20%) are added they don't come out as such good value.

Wakefield, West...
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8. Re: Help for a 10 day New England trip in mid / late September

Don't get me wrong, I love tea! I just thought we'd be out and about, so wouldn't be in to enjoy it!

Talking of strong tea, do you know if we would we be able to bring teabags into the country, or would this be a big customs "no-no"?

Woodstock, Vermont
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9. Re: Help for a 10 day New England trip in mid / late September

Morning Rachel & Stephen,

This I do know a lot about as I'm the British guy who takes tea to Boston! Simply declare it on your customs form when you arrive, or in your case if you fly with Aer Lingus when you depart the Irish 'oversea' territory, and you should have no problem. I've brought two cases, that over 3500 tea bags in before now.

However you can get nearly all UK tea suppliers here from the dreadful PG & Tetley to Jackson's all on Amazon. I'm partial to Betty's of Harrogate Kawzulu....and I've even got that off Amazon USA!

Leeds
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10. Re: Help for a 10 day New England trip in mid / late September

Hi, everybody from Yorkshire. We are due into Boston early September and have planned the following route portland, bar barbor, jackson , burlington, newport , cape cod, back to boston before returning to Leeds. We have decided to book in B@B as they appeared to better value than the hotels.

Kevin