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Touring New England

Nottingaham, England
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3 posts
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Touring New England

If anyone can give me and information or ideas I will be so grateful. I will be traveling with my partner and mum. We will be landing at JFK on the 29th September staying in New York till 2nd October. We will then be hiring a car and driving up towards Boston and on to Niagara Falls then back to JFK for a flight on the 11th October. I would like to visit Hyannis Port and maybe Martha's Vineyard. My mum wants to see New England in the fall just not sure where to go for the best views. We would like to go whale watching but not sure on the best one to choose as I've looked at so many. I think we might be best to stay outside Boston and get some sort of public transport in as I've been told that parking is expensive. I know that there will be a lot of driving but it will be split between two people. Is there any place that we should not miss. I have looked at maybe driving to Portland to look at the lighthouse or going to the White Mountain national park and going on the Cog railway up Mount Washington. I am really open to any ideas.

MA
Destination Expert
for New England
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6,195 posts
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1. Re: Touring New England

Hi there - It seems that you have 8-9 days and have a lot of places that you wish to visit in New England. First, just to be sure that you are aware, it takes about 8 hours to drive from Boston to Niagara Falls and about 7 hours from Niagara to NYC. So, that is nearly two whole days out of your trip just for driving. Niagara is on the border with Canada and is not part of New England, so maybe think about it and decide if you want to spend that much time just traveling to get up there and back, not including sightseeing time in Niagara itself.

Second, early October in New England is foliage time. Cape Cod, due to its majority of scrub pines, doesn't have good foliage. October is past high summer season for Cape Cod and the Islands, but it would still be a nice visit, especially on a warm fall day. Are you interested in Hyannisport because of the Kennedy connection? You could stop there overnight on your way from NYC to Boston. The ferry from Hyannis to MV is about $70 pp roundtrip on the fast ferry and about $44 pp on the regular ferry (which gives you less time on MV for a daytrip).

You might consider coming up to Boston for at least two nights (3 if you want to do a whale watch; Boston Harbor cruises does one on a high speed catamaran, but you should still count on half a day for the whale watch), then heading up to Maine to see Portland. Two nights in the Portland area (Two Lights lighthouse is just south of Portland; be sure to stop for a meal at the lobster shack next to it!). Then, drive to the White Mountains in New Hampshire and base yourselves in Jackson, NH for a couple nights for a visit to Mt. Washington and foliage in the White Mountains. Break up your drive back to NYC with an overnight stop in Vermont or in the Berkshires).

Or, you could do the whole loop in reverse, which, as I think about your dates, might be better foliage-wise.

Regarding your Boston hotel, with just a couple nights, it is better to stay in the city to maximize your time than out in the suburbs. It is true that in the city parking is expensive, about $40 per night. However, if you stay in the suburbs, you need to factor in train fare for three people plus parking at the train station. One hotel you might look at is the Hotel Indigo in Newton. It is right off a major highway (95) and right next to a T (subway) station, so you can park your car at the hotel and walk over to hop on the train. It is abut a 35-40 minute ride into the city. But, if you tell us your nightly budget, we can help more with suggestions on where to stay.

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
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2. Re: Touring New England

If you include Portland, ME -- Two Lights Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine is the remaining active lighthouse of what was once a pair of lighthouses (hence the name) on that part of the Maine coast. The other half of the pair has been sold to private owners.... And while you can see the remaining, active half of the original "two lights", it is not as accessible, or generally as photogenic, as the nearby Portland Head Light Lighthouse, also in Cape Elizabeth. When we're in that area, we like to visit Portland Head Light lighthouse for the grounds, the lighthouse, the lighthouse museum housed in the base of the light building, and for photos -- then make the short drive to Two Lights Lobster Shack for lunch. Photos of both lighthouses can be seen by simply doing a Google search on each of them,,,, make your own comparison.... Both are good choices, but didn't want you to miss Portland Head Light if you were in the area.

3. Re: Touring New England

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