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  1. Default Fall scenic roadtrip from NYC to Boston n back

    Hi AZbuck and all,

    I really enjoyed your great suggestions to a user who was going on a roadtrip from New York to Boston in the summer. I'm going with a friend in mid-October from NYC to Boston for the fall foilage and would love to see the coastline as much as possible. Would you suggest the same type of route in fall (we love a refresher) and also can you suggest another route to take back to NYC from Boston, so we see another different area. Also, what is the best, less crazy direction/road to take out of the city from JFK airport, as we will be leaving and coming back to there. Unless you suggest we leave from the city somewhere? I'd so appreciate your valued suggestions.

    Also, on the way we were going to stop for one night before Boston but are on the fence since it'd be nice to just stay in one city after being in NYC for four days. Is this neccessary, or should we just plan on a good long day trip? If we do stop, where would you suggest we stay over for the night? We also originally wanted to go to Cape Cod, but I've heard that the northern coast of Mass and Salem is just as nice and not so out of the way. Would you suggest Salem and the northern coast at a seperate day trip or can we do it on the way into to Boston? We have five days total from Oct. 14 to the afternoon of the 19th.

    Lots of questions, so I very much appreciate yours and anyone else's suggestions! I'm an avid traveler but this is the first time to the New England states. Any suggestions about Boston and must-see dos and eats, drinks would be appreciated too!

    Thanks so much :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by courtie View Post
    I really enjoyed your great suggestions to a user who was going on a roadtrip from New York to Boston in the summer. I'm going with a friend in mid-October from NYC to Boston for the fall foilage and would love to see the coastline as much as possible. Would you suggest the same type of route in fall (we love a refresher)
    Do you have a link to the specific thread that you are referring to?

    Seeing the coastline as much as possible implies that you will be spending most of your time on US-1.

    We also originally wanted to go to Cape Cod, but I've heard that the northern coast of Mass and Salem is just as nice and not so out of the way. Would you suggest Salem and the northern coast at a separate day trip or can we do it on the way into to Boston?
    If you are going to Salem instead, I would suggest making it a separate day trip, especially if you want to get from New York to Boston in a single day.

    As for your trip back, one option would be to head West on MA-2 through the Mohawk Trail region and then over to I-87 and into New York.

  3. #3

    Default Massachusetts Route

    Hello--I saw this thread and considered making this my first post on RTA.

    I would have to agree that taking the Mohawk Trail through Massachusetts is exceptionally wonderful during the Fall, you should consider this on your return journey.

    The Mohawk State Forest region is especially exciting as you climb through the towns of Drury and Florida at which point the Trail spirits you into the heart of Massachusetts valley and mountain country--make certain you stop off after a hairpin turn in North Adams to catch a glimpse of Mt. Greylock, the Bay State's tallest.

    Unfortunately, the auto road to the top of Mt. Greylock is closed this year for repairs, but if you have the time, a hike to the top is rewarded with some spectacular views of Massachusetts, New York and Vermont. Because the auto road is closed, you may find yourself alone at the top of Massachusetts.

    On your way through North Adams check out the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA). Building 5 is worth the price of admission alone--this converted mill space is the size of several football fields and is currently housing Jenny Holzer PROJECTIONS through November 16th.

    There are also many tourist type stops alone the route, giant indians, lookout towers, shops, maple good stores and the like--check these out too, they may be kitsch but what would a road trip be without a little roadside Americana?

    Best,

    Mike

    PS Don't forget to check out Shelburne Falls, a lot of charm and a few good places to stop and eat--plus the falls make for a great rest stop to simply look and listen.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Default Welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by docsmith View Post
    Hello--I saw this thread and considered making this my first post on RTA.
    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forums!


    Unfortunately, the auto road to the top of Mt. Greylock is closed this year for repairs, but if you have the time, a hike to the top is rewarded with some spectacular views of Massachusetts, New York and Vermont. Because the auto road is closed, you may find yourself alone at the top of Massachusetts.
    Thanks for the information - I wasn't aware of that. I was planning a hike up there sometime soon.

    There are also many tourist type stops alone the route, giant indians, lookout towers, shops, maple good stores and the like--check these out too, they may be kitsch but what would a road trip be without a little roadside Americana?
    This is true, though many of the places have closed up over the years. In fact, I recently saw a real estate listing for one of the trading posts up there. But this road is close to what I imagine the heyday of traveling along the open road to be like - tacky tourist shops, lookout towers, etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Default Coastline and an Alternative

    It's always tough to start what is supposed to be a relaxing vacation with the hassles of getting out of a busy airport in a major city. This is compounded in your case by the fact that JFk sits on the southern shore of Long Island and the standard route out would have you driving back through Queens and the Bronx before you even get to the joy that is I-95 up the Connecticut coast between Greenwich and New Haven. So let me offer an alternative. When you leave the airport, immediately head east on NY-27, the Southern (Belt) Parkway. Stay with the parkway when NY-27 exits. Just past Babylon, take the Sagtikos Parkway north for about 3 miles to I-495 (the Long Island Expressway) east. Stay on I-495 until it ends and then follow NY-25 to the northeastern tip of Long Island at Orient Point where you can catch a ferry to New London, CT. Going this way saves you a fair number of miles of driving, avoids the heart of NYC, gives you a nice cruise across Long Island Sound and deposits you at the start of some of the best spots on the CT/RI coast. Once on the mainland continue east through Mystic (the Seaport, Mystic Pizza and Abbott's) and Newport (the Cottages) before heading up to Boston and the Maine Coast.

    On the way back, Tim's suggestion of the Mohawk Trail is certainly one of the more scenic roads around and the Berkshires should be starting to hit peak color by mid-October. There are many other possibilities, but your time is limited, and I agree that this would be your best bet.
    .
    AZBuck

  6. #6

    Default Mt. Greylock

    Thanks for the welcome!

    Just a side note about Mt. Greylock.

    A friend and I hiked Greylock at the end of March--while Boston's ice and snow had melted by this time Greylock was still covered with three feet of snow at the top.

    What started as a whim quickly turned into an adventure--the top was near alpine conditions with wind, crusty snow and rime ice on all tree branches.

    We started early to avoid any other hikers--what we found at the top was amazing. It appeared, by the lack of footprints or any other signs, that we hadn't been preceded by any others for some time.

    The only hikers at the top of Massachusetts--had the road been open I'm not sure we could have been so fortunate.

    I'm a big advocate of off-season travel for just this reason.

    Best,

    Mike

  7. #7
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    Default Off-Season Travel

    Mike,

    I will add my thanks to you for this good local intel as well. I've been fortunate to be able to go to lots of places that are often over-run in the summer months. One time, I day-walked up to Half Dome in Yosemite NP in the winter, incredibly unprepared for the changing weather conditions -- but it was VERY memorable.

    Mark

  8. Default

    Thanks so much to all of your for your awesome suggestions, especially about the Mohawk Trail for the return trip and an alternative to leaveing JFK. Here are just a few more questions:

    * We don't have to rent the car from JFK. We will be in NYC for the first four days and chose to rent a car from the airport because it's cheaper, and we'd thought it'd be easier to rent the car from there and return it at the airport as we fly back home. Do you guys think this is the best option? And what is the best route from the Mohawk Trail to JFK? How long would it take to see the highlights for the trip back?

    * Lastly, should we spend a night on the coast -- let's say RI on the way to Boston or another suggestion? Is it worth it or do you think we can see all in one day and just stay in Boston late that night so we don't havet o move again? We're allowing a night/day and a half now to Boston and just driving back in one day on the way back to NYC. Sound good and enough?

    Thanks again for your help!

  9. #9
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    Mar 2005
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    Default Cars and Roads

    Actually, having a car in New York City can be more trouble than it's worth, so if it saves you money then wait until you're ready to leave the city before renting it. You should also look at whether it would be possible to rent from a location near where you're staying in the city and dropping off at the airport without incurring a large one-way fee. Otherwise you'll have to see which makes more logistical and financial sense, taking a cab (or the subway) out to the airport to pick up the car at the start, or taking a cab to the airport at the end.

    In any event, unless you pick the car up the evening before you leave the city and get an early start the next morning, I'd plan on staying overnight somewhere in Rhode Island. The problem is that it's 250 miles or so from Manhattan to Boston if you follow the coast and stop in Mystic and Newport, so that's 5 hours of driving, plus you can easily spend far more than half a day in Mystic and Newport. But by the same token, if you just hit the highlights and spend just a few hours in each place you can easily be in Providence by evening.

    The route back from the Mohawk Trail to New York is simplicity itself. The Mowhawk Trail is MA-2. Just continue westward into New York (NY-2) to North Petersburg and take NY-22 south to I-90, the New York Thruway (toll). Take that west one exit to the Taconic Parkway south. This is a nice scenic road that will deliver you to the northern suburbs of New York. At that point, I'd recommend taking I-84 east to I-684 south into the city at which point you'll need to map your own way into the city or out to the airport. There are just too many expressways in the metro area to give you exact directions without knowing precisely where you're going.

    AZBuck

  10. Default

    thanks heaps for the suggestions, much appreciated.

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