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  1. Default Would appreciate ideas for New England Road Trip

    My girlfriend and I taking a New England roadtrip over the summer. We will be departing from Philadelphia. The trip will probably be 7-10 days.

    Right now, we do not have a set itinerary set. We need help with this. I am hoping some of the members of this forum can give us some suggestions.

    Here are some of our initial thoughts on the trip....maybe this will help direct suggestions
    - We LOVE eating at great and unique restaurants. We want to find the "hidden gem" restaurants, eat a good Maine lobster, etc. We want to get some good New England style food
    - We'd like to travel on some scenic routes
    - We'd like to know some cool stuff to do in Boston MA, Providence RI
    - We'd like to see the sun come up in Maine. I hear here is some place where you can see the sun come up 1st on the East Coast.

    We are in our mid 20s and have only been on one road trip before.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Easy...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Well, you can start with these ideas and pick the ones that appeal to you most. As to your specific questions:

    There are any number of old-line lobster shacks all along the coast from Boston sown east along the Maine coast. The two that I am most familiar with are Newicks's in Dover, NH and Warren's in Kittery, ME, but there are plenty of others. The best are pretty simple, both in decor and menu. Ideally, they should be on the water, have friendly staff and minimal 'finery'.

    Umm... You actually have to work to find a non-scenic route in northern New England, but one of my favorite 'unknown' routes is ME-129/ME-128/ME-32 loop from Damariscotta down to Pemaquid Point and back up to Waldoboro.

    I don't know much about Providence, I'd actually probably recommend Newport over it in any event, but in Boston start with the Freedom Trail. That and a pilgrimage to Fenway would top my list.

    Maine always experiences the first sunrise in the US but where exactly that occurs changes with the seasons. Sometimes it's at Mars Hill way up beyond even the northern terminus of I-95. Sometimes it's at Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, and sometimes it's at Quoddy Head. Quoddy is the easternmost point in the US, and Acadia is gorgeous. Either would do for a wonderful sunrise and I wouldn't sweat that I might be a minute or two later than somewhere else on a particular day.


  3. Default

    I'd also check out Newport, RI. There's a nice scenic drive along the sea cliff that has amazing houses and beautiful views. The town is also a great place to walk around.

    My family went there just a few years ago after being recommended by a friend. We weren't sure what to expect but we loved it and hope to go again.

  4. Default

    Providence, RI offers something really unique - "Waterfire." It takes place in downtown Providence at least 6 - 8 times during the summer, usually on a Friday or Saturday evening. One hundred bonfires are lit in braziers in the middle of the river and the whole downtown area is alive with street performers, local food favorites, music piped throughout the riverwalk area and usually outdoor dancing on a portable dance floor (swing, salsa, ballroom) to live music (with free demonstrations and lessons). All the ambiance is free - you need to buy your own food, of course. If you don't care for the street vendor food, Providence is known for its awesome restaurants. It is a surreal experience and not to be missed. Visit the Waterfire website. Waterfire beats Newport hands down. (Take it from a Rhode Islander.)

    If you like biking, may I suggest two bike paths: East Bay Bikepath which begins in East Providence and runs 17 miles south through Barrington, Warren and Bristol, RI. It offers lovely views of the rivers and bays. If you are here over July Fourth it is a great way to get to the Bristol Parade, the oldest Fourth of July parade in the country (lasts about 2-3 hours!) without having the hassle of fighting the traffic.

    The other bike path is in the northern part of the state, easily accessed from either Rt. 122 just off I-295, which loops around Providence, or from the rest stop on I-295 north. It's called the Blackstone Valley Bikepath and runs for 10 miles or so along the Blackstone River from the Cumberland/Central Falls border to the north, ending in Woonsocket. It is shaded most of the way, very quiet and lovely.

    The Blackstone River was where the American Industrial Revolution began - the river is one of the steepest in the U.S. and powered the many early textile mills. I hear that this summer this bikepath will be extended temporarily to the south along city streets through Central Falls (yes, that is the infamous town which had the high school where all the teachers were fired last year because it was a chronically low-performing school) and into Pawtucket where the first textile mill in America was built by Samuel Slater. The mill has been preserved and has a museum with it. At the northern end of the bikepath is the Heritage Museum in Woonsocket which tells the story of how French Canadian farmers were recruited to come to Woonsocket and work in the mills there. So, if you like history, the Blackstone Valley area is a good place to check out.

    By the way - RI is very small. It is only about 15 miles from Providence to Woonsocket and maybe a little more from Providence to Bristol, so you can cover a lot of territory without a lot of time on the road.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-23-2011 at 01:01 PM. Reason: added some white space for clarity

  5. Default

    I would also recommend Newport there is so much to do, but before getting to Newport, if you are coming up Interstate 95, stop in Mystic, CT. There is a great aquarium but beyond that there is Mystic seaport which is a recreation of the seaport town from the 1800's very nice and Also dowtown is the Mystic Pizza, yes from the movie of the same name. The pizza is one of the best I and my family have had.
    Happy Motoring and enjoy everything New England has to offer, which is more than you could spend a lifetime doing.

  6. #6


    If you would venture more inland into New Hampshire you can ride along the Kancamagus Highway between Lincoln and Conway. Being in my mid 20's, and 24 when I did this trip in 2009, I appreciate cheap things that take all day. You can spend a day going through the trails and stopping at the scenic overlooks of the Kanc and take in breakfast in Conway at dinner at Lincoln while packing a lunch for the trails. It's considerably cooler on the Kanc than it is in the towns on each end of the 30 mile road so bring a jacket when you go. It was in the mid 40s in late August due to elevation.

    Portland is also a great sea town in Maine with plenty to do. Me and my now fiance took a light house boat road. We also checked out Old Orchard Beach. These places were cold even in late August with the wind off of the water

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Cambirdge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK



    My girlfriend and I did New England a couple of years ago. Things that stick in my mind are whale tours from Cape Cod, the lobster in Portland and tours of Salem. We did loads of other stuff too, but we found these to be the bits we remember most. :-)


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Vermont

    One of my favorite things to do is to take some time to travel the two lanes of Vermont. It's remote and peaceful, yet there's always some small place to stop and have a good meal, or to pull over and enjoy the scenery.

    Every now and then we'll drive up to the Burlington area and spend the day at a beach on Lake Champlain. Sure, the water is cold, but the views of the Adirondack Mountains over in New York can't be beat.

    I have yet to have a bad lobster in Maine - you could pick any of 100 places and pretty much be guaranteed you're going to have a good meal. That said, I do like to go to the smaller places - those restaurants that don't have parking for 100 cars.

    The Waterfire suggestion is a good one as well. Every now and then they also have live jazz bands which add to the experience.

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