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  1. Default New England Roadtrip in October

    Hello community,

    I found this forum recently and want to share my upcoming roadtrip through the north east of the states.

    We are four people from germany and want to enjoy the indian summer from october 4th to 18th. We have a rental booked for 11 days and our trip is 90% planned out (appr. 1800 mi).

    I want to share the route and hope that I get some suggestions and improvements on it.

    We arrive at JFK airport NYC at noon on october 4th. We directly pick up our rental and drive all the way to Ithaca, NY for the first night. That's sure plenty of driving but we really want to visit niagara falls so we are commited that the first two days is a lot of driving.

    October 5: Niagara Falls and driving back to Utica, NY
    October 6: On the road through Adirondacks mountains - spending night in Lake Placid
    October 7: On the road through White Mountains - spending night in North Conway
    October 8: On the road to Bar Harbor, ME (going up on mount washington) - spending night in Bar Harbor, NH
    October 9: Spending the day in Acadia National Park
    October 10: On the road heading south on the coast - night tbd
    October 11: Boston, MA - accommodation tbd
    October 12: Boston, MA - accommodation tbd
    October 13: On the road through Cape Cod and nearby countryside - night tbd
    October 14: On the road to New York City - perhaps Shopping at Woodbury Common Premium Outlet - night tdb
    October 15: New York City - night booked
    October 16: New York City - night booked
    October 17: New York City - night booked
    October 18: Flying back

    What do you think about this route? We are mainly interessted in landscapes, nature and nice old little towns. We definitely wanna see a lot of indian summer foliage.

    So far we just booked the first night and the nights in New York City. Do you think we need to book further accommodations or are we good with booking every night for the next?

    Thanks in advance, appreciate any help.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I strongly, strongly, recommend you cancel your reservation for that first day. Trying to drive 300 miles after a trans-atlantic flight is an incredibly bad idea. If you arrive at noon, and factor in the time to get through Customs and get the rental car, you won't be getting out on the road until about 2. At that point, you will have already been traveling for well over 12 hours, factoring in flight time and time at the airport, and your body will think that it is already about 9pm. That's not the point where you want to then try to embark on a drive that is going to take you a good 5 hours when you factor in traffic as you travel across New York City. Not only are you all going to be exhausted, and in no condition to be safe drivers, but you're setting yourself up to be exhausted throughout your entire trip, and unable to enjoy what you are seeing.

    Your plans for your second day would severely compound the problem. After arriving at a hotel in Ithica when your body thinks it is around 2am, you're planning to drive another 400 miles on day 2 and make time to see the Falls? Not only are you going to still be beyond exhausted and jetlagged, you're barely going to have enough time to take a quick look at the falls before you need to get back on the road.

    It would make far more sense to start your trip with a night in NYC, where if you have more energy than would be expected, you can do some siteseeing, without being locked into hundreds of miles of travel. You could then push everything else back, and only spend 2 nights in NYC at the end.

    As far as the rest of your trip goes, I'd say "rushed" still seems to be a huge theme. New England is an area where you really need a little time to get a feel for things. On top of that, October is peak tourist season that there will be thousands of other travelers who will also be out looking at foliage, which will make it pretty much impossible to race through these areas. Because of those other tourist, it is likely that reservations could be a good idea, but you need to be careful that you're not locking yourself into a trip that's too much to enjoy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Midnight Departure?

    I have to agree with Michael on those first couple of days. By the time you clear customs, pick up your rental, and get out of the airport, it is going to be 2:00 or even 3:00 PM local time. But that is 9:00 PM in Germany! You will have been up for at least 16-17 hours already at that point. You then plan to drive into, through and out of New York City at the height of rush hour. And then, after spending a minimum of two hours in mind-numbing stop-and-go traffic, at 11:00 PM according to your body clock, you are going to set out on a five-hour drive on unfamiliar roads in the dark? Nothing about that seems like a good idea.

    A more logical plan would have you taking advantage of the time change by bedding down near the airport as soon as you arrive. Don't even bother to try to fight New York traffic. Get to the hotel early in the evening (local time, late at night body time); get a good night's sleep; and set out early the next morning, well before morning rush hour if possible. With no stopover in Ithaca, Niagara Falls is only about seven hours from New York, including a lunch break. You can still arrive in Niagara Falls early in the afternoon on the 5th of October, but this way you will get there refreshed and more importantly - safely.

    Once you get into your RoadTrip, there are a few places in New England that I heartily recommend. But you would need to devote a day or two more to this portion of your trip than you currently have allocated. I would also strongly recommend that you have your accommodations booked as soon as possible for the Adirondacks and rural New England. You will be traveling at the very height of 'leef-peeping' season and there will be few, if any, vacancies at the last minute.

    You've got a great trip ahead of you. Just get yourselves sorted out at the beginning so that you're using the time change rather than fighting it and you'll have a wonderful time.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 09-04-2013 at 09:59 AM. Reason: Corrected times

  4. #4


    I have heard that Europe has roads as the autobahn where there are no speed limits. In NY and New England have posted speed limits so you will not as far as you plan to.

    Even if you get out of the airport at a decent time your schedule will have you miss seeing the falls at night, seeing the falls from the Canadian side. Basically you are allowing yourself just enough time to see the water, hear the roar. Take some photos. Buy the shirt. So you can say all that when you get back home.

    You will kill a day driving from Niagara to Lake Placid. Depending on which roads you take will impact the views. However you will not get to stop a lot. Also There are many things you can see based in Lake Placid though just spending the night there to sleep you will miss a lot of sights.

    I think you will need to be more flexible with your schedule.

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