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  1. Default Summer New England trip...I am completly lost...10 days from BOS to BOS

    Dear all,

    I am from Madagascar and I will be travelling to New England in August and would definitely need a bit of help as I really don't know how to organise my trip. We are a mid-30's couple, keen to discover a small par of the States.

    First of all we will be arriving in Boston on August 3rd at 3.20 pm and leaving from Boston on August 13th at 6 pm...then we fly to Paris and back to Madagascar (altogether 20 hours...)

    I have read that Cape Cod will be busy and the whole coast too.

    Here are the things I am looking for
    - small charming villages
    - good food....
    - nice sceneries
    - national parks for 3-4 hours walks maximum.

    And the things I am not looking for
    - hords of tourists
    - trafic jams

    I like driving so driving is not a problem.

    I have thought the following itineraries.

    Aug 3 drive to Acadia upon arrival (enough time?)
    Aug 4 Acadia
    Aug 5 Portland or freeport (shopping + Portland)
    Aug 6 Kennebunkport
    Aug 7 Kennebunkport
    Aug 8 Portsmouth
    Aug 9 Conway or Jackson (White Mountains)
    Aug 10 conway or Jackson (White Mountains)
    Aug 11 Boston
    Aug 12 Boston

    Maybe some places listed above don't deserve 1 or even 2 nights


    Aug 3 Acadia
    Aug 4 Acadia
    Aug 5 Acadia
    Aug 6 Freeport/Portland
    Aug 7 Conway or Jackson
    Aug 8 Conway or Jackson
    Aug 9 Cape Code
    Aug 10 Cape Code
    Aug 11 Boston
    Aug 12 Boston

    Please feel free to send me your best advices.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    I would not try to go anywhere after your arrival in the afternoon. Plan on spending your first night in a hotel on or near the Boston airport to get acclimatized to the time change, and pick up your rental car the next morning. It's about a 6 hour drive to Acadia, probably longer if you take US-1 up the coast from Brunswick (highly recommended for scenery and small towns) instead of staying on the Interstate to Bangor then taking 1A to the park. By the time you claim your luggage and get through customs/immigration, it's going to be the height of evening rush hour, and Boston traffic is absolutely miserable. Book a hotel that has a free airport shuttle.

    Other than that, either one of your itineraries is quite doable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Take It Easy, Especially At the Start

    I absolutely agree with glc that you should not try to do any traveling immediately upon your arrival in Boston. Take a (free) shuttle to a local hotel, get a good night's sleep, and then take a (free) shuttle back to the airport to pick up your rental car late the next morning after you're rested and the traffic has died down. Even then, I wouldn't try to get too far the next day, certainly not all the way to Acadia. There's simply too much to see on the way. Take it easy on your first day and take a leisurely drive out around Cape Ann north of Boston (and far less crowded than Cape Cod), stop to stroll around New Castle and Portsmouth, NH. drive up the shore on US-1 (and even smaller roads such as US-1A, ME-103, and ME-9 stopping at such sights as the Nubble Light, Ogunquit, Biddeford Pool and Old Orchard Beach. Spend the night in Portland, a town with a great waterfront and an underrated nightlife. Finally, on your 'third' day, your body will have pretty much adjusted to the time change and you can finish the drive to Acadia while still taking the time to explore some of the many peninsulas that stick out into the Atlantic. A personal favorite of mine is to take ME-130 south from Damariscotta out to the tip of Pemaquid Point and then return to US-1 at Waldoboro via ME-32.

    Next, rather then heading for Conway, take the road less traveled to some towns less visited. Take ME-3 up to Bangor and then US-2 west across the Longfellow Mountains of Maine to the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Gorham. Enjoy some hikes in the mountains (Check out the Appalachian Trail Mountain Club headquarters at Pinkham Notch) and certainly drive the Kancamagus Highway (NH-112). You would then return to Boston at your own pace either down the Merrimac Valley following US-3 or through the Lakes Region on some combination of NH-11/NH-25/NH-109/NH-28 ending up on I-93 into the Boston area.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-07-2011 at 10:10 PM.

  4. Default

    Hello, thanks for your help...

    does this planning would be better.

    Day 1: drive Boston to Portsmouth
    Day 2: Portland
    Day 3: Boothbay Habour
    Day 4: Boothbay Harbour
    Day 5: Bar Harbor
    Day 5: Bar Harbor
    Day 6: White Mountains
    Day 7: White Mountains
    Day 8: Boston
    Day 9: Boston
    Day 10: departure...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default day 1

    It would look like you are still planning to get out on the road the day you arrive?

    I have to agree that that is not a very good idea, as you will be jet lagged, and based on the time of your arrival, you'd be getting on the road at the peak of Boston Rush Hour (and Boston is one the worst cities for traffic that I've ever been in). That's just a miserable, and not very safe, way to start a roadtrip.

    If anything, reverse your plans so that you are starting your trip in Boston, and then head directly to the airport from the White Mountains or wherever else you end up the night before.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Stay put at first

    I'll add to the recommendation to stay put in Boston after your arrival. You state you don't want traffic jams; it's unreasonable not to expect to be in at least one or two when heading out of Boston. In fact, during Summer along the New England coast you are bound to run into this every now and again. It's also tourist season so that's when the most people are on the road - depending on what you mean by "hoards of tourists" you may have to adjust your expectations. This isn't meant to discourage you, as the reason for the area's popularity is its charming qualities, but just to prepare you to making necessary adjustments to your mindset.

  7. Default


    thanks for your recommandation.

    I have changed the first stop and will head up to Rockport, MA which seems to be quite close to Boston. So even if there are trafic jams around Boston, I may be able to reach Rockport before 7 pm if my flights arrive at 3.20 pm. I hope so.

    I am also considering starting my trip with Boston...thanks Mickael

    At the end of the would be better to stay in Boston if you recommend to do so. How long would it take to reach Rockport at this time of the day? 4pm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I think 7pm could about the earliest you get there.

    I think you are really overestimating how quickly you'll get out of the airport for one. By the time you deplane, claim your baggage, go through customs, and then deal with fun at the rental car counter it would be pretty remarkable if you are on the road by 4pm. (and that's assuming you don't have any flight delays) Realistically, its going to be 4:30 going on 5 by the time you are on the road.

    So you'd be driving 40 miles in the true peak of Rush Hour, as everyone will be trying to get out of the city. Not only is that going to likely take 1.5-2 hours, but its going to be 2 hours of the most stressful driving you can do (major city rush hour traffic in an unfamiliar place). On top of that, your body is going to think it is after midnight and you'll have the fatigue of a transcontinental flight dragging you down more.

    You've now had 4 people strongly recommend that you stay in Boston, and I'll just urge you again to heed that advice.

  9. Default

    perfect...I will do so.

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