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North-Eastern Roadtrip - Late August

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Montreal, Canada
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North-Eastern Roadtrip - Late August


My fiancé and I are planning a roadtrip on the North-Eastern coast of the US in late August. We’d like to visit Massachussets (Boston, Nantucket, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard), and Rhode Island (Providence, Newport), possibly parts of Connecticut (Hartford?).

We’re unsure what’s worth doing and what’s interesting.

Our interests basically are general sightseeing, scenic places, strolling and most importantly professional photography. No museums. We are planning 8 days on the road and one final day in Boston (we’ve been there before and are pretty much only going to eat some pizza at Regina’s and stroll in Beacon Hill).

We are based in Montreal and will rent a car for 9 days, sleeping in Super 8s or B&Bs along the way.

Is there a particular guidebook you would recommend?

What are your suggestions as to the itinerary, the logistics and the activities? Do I need to book accommodation now?

Thanks for your help. Cheers!


Jamestown, Rhode...
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1. Re: North-Eastern Roadtrip - Late August

Your itinery seems a bit ambitious, Nantucket is barely doable in one day due to the long ferry ride. Personally, the town of Nantucket was exquisite, the rest of the island wasn't that nice at all compared to Martha's Vinyard or Block Island. I would pick one island, the Cape, and Newport for a few days, with a day or less in Providence, since its a small, but beautiful city. Hartford isn't very nice, don't know why you would go there. Although, there are nice country areas in Eastern CT, it's so similar to rest of Southern NE, it might be a little out of your way. Westport, MA and Little Compton, RI couldn't compare (more beautiful, more rural though) to any sights in CT. Keep in mind the distances to get out to PTown as well.

Edited: 13 July 2010, 03:58
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2. Re: North-Eastern Roadtrip - Late August

In my opinion the most beautiful and photogenic place is Little Compton, RI. Drive down 77/177 (West Main Rd). I would recommend having lunch at Sakonnet Vineyards. Make your way to the town beach at the end of Shore Rd and then walk east to breathtaking Goosewing Beach. It's a Nature Conservancy property, one of the last remaining working farms along the shore. There is no other way to access it. If you go after 4pm parking is free. Before that they soak you... on weekends it's $20.

Instead of Nantucket you might consider Block Island RI. It's a much shorter ferry ride and a lot cheaper, too. Lots of Victorian architecture, lighthouses, dramatic bluffs towering over beaches... I'd strongly recommend a weekday vs weekend. There will be half the crowds then. Tour the island on bikes if you're fit, scooters if you're not.

In Newport I'd recommend visiting a mansion unless that is too museum-like for you... The Breakers is the best... and taking a walk on Cliff Walk. Try to get out on the water. There are lots of charters available or if you want to go cheap just take a water taxi ride across Newport Harbor. Lots of rich and famous yatchs are docked here. I like to enjoy a drink at The Landing, which overlooks the harbor and is the best spot for boat-watching.

Narragansett RI has some gorgeous coastal scenery, especially the "rocks" at the end of Hazard Ave. Just stay well away from the surf zone. Many have drowned there.

South Kingstown has 3 great places for lunch and dinner all on the same road... Succotash Rd. Cap'n Jacks has the best clam cakes and chowder. The Matunuck Oyster Bar has the best upscale seafood and patio. Jim's Dock has the best view of boat traffic coming and going in the Harbor of Refuge. Jim's is BYOB and get the fish 'n chips.

If you go to Providence, go on a weekend. Much less traffic and it's actually driveable by most city standards. If you plan to see Waterfire, the crowds thin quite a bit after 10pm.

3. Re: North-Eastern Roadtrip - Late August

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