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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Vevey, switzerland
    Posts
    7

    Default New York 6 days road trip

    Hi there,

    I've planned to visit NYC from 6 to 13th of June with a friend. But as I come from Europe, I decided to come one week earlier for a little road trip starting and ending in NYC

    - I made LA - vegas - Grand Canyon last December
    - I leaved in Toronto few years ago and already visited Niagara Falls, Montreal and Quebec.
    - as I will visit NYC one week later I would rather focus on nature

    I first planned New England but the landscapes seems to be a little like in Switzerland (my homeland), am I wrong? What about going to Shenandoah National Park ?

    And why not taking a plane to Miami for my roadtrip.

    Thanks in advance for your advices... There are to many options in this beautiful country!

    Cheers, Adrian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default What's Available

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are several areas that you could explore on a week-long RoadTrip from New York City. Each would let you see a number of scenic, historic, or otherwise interesting sites while traveling at a very relaxed pace. My personal favorite would be New England, but then I lived there for about a dozen years. Nearly as high in my book would be the Delmarva Peninsula and Tidewater Virginia, an area that includes shoreline, wildlife refuges, historic sites, and our nation's capital. Yet another option would be the central Appalachian Mountains with great scenic drives like the Blue Ridge Parkway, caves, stately homes such as Monticello and Ashland, and a couple of underutilized national parks: Catoctin Mountain and Shenandoah. Yet a fourth possibility is to explore upstate New York including the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains, the Finger Lakes region and the Thousand Islands area along the US-Canada border formed by the St. Lawrence River. If I knew a bit more about what you were looking for or trying to avoid, I could probably help you narrow it down a bit more, or tell you specific places in each of the above areas that you might enjoy. But I wouldn't recommend going much father afield than I've already discussed or you'd just be spending more time in the car and less time actually seeing and doing stuff.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Vevey, switzerland
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Thanks AZBuck,

    I take some time to decide, I'll definitely visit New England. Your links were very helpful!

    Here are my interests:

    - beatiful landscapes specially mountains
    - food: to cook is my passion!
    - why not accompany lobster-fishers?
    - nature in general, to balance the visit of NYC the week after
    - some short treks less than 3 hours
    - history but much more by meeting natives / inhabitants than by visiting museums

    Can you please challenge my planning for a 5 to 6 days trip starting at JFK airport:

    - shopping in jersey garden outlet Newark
    - mystic CT
    - Newport RI
    - Cape cod ? Not sure
    - Portsmouth
    - Portland
    - White mountains
    - Albany and down the Hudson valley

    I first wanted to go to Acadia instead of white mountain but it's quite a drive, what do you think? Hudson valley I'm not yet convinced...

    I'm really very open, if someone has a better advice !

    Thanks in advance for your help,

    Adrian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    We personally loved Acadia, which has opportunities for short hikes if you like. Late May/early June may be a little early for lobster, though someone else may know a little more about that. (We were there in early July, 3 years ago, and you found lobster everywhere!) If you are planning to stay anywhere in coastal or Portland Maine area on a weekend, GET RESERVATIONS.

    If you are into history, Boston is full of early American historic sites. We have several here who can point you in the right direction.


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Generalities and Specifics

    It looks to me as though you've done a very good job in general of putting together a nice New England RoadTrip. The specific places you've listed as places you plan to visit, and the roads that will tie them together, go a long way towards meeting your interests. Let me make just a few observations, comments, and recommendations.

    Since you will be visiting New York City later, your shopping in Newark should wait until the end of the RoadTrip portion of your trip. There's no need to be carrying all of your purchases along with you. Therefore, I'd suggest you head east from JFK airport out along Long Island on the Southern Parkway to the Suffolk Parkway north to I-495/NY-25 east to Orient Point. From Orient Point you'd catch the ferry over to New London CT. Such a start to your trip would allow you to bypass New York City (and all its traffic), the eastern Connecticut coastline (and all its traffic) and get a good start on your RoadTrip. You will still see a fair amount of traffic going this way and you will have ample opportunities to find a hotel for your first night's stop after your long trans-Atlantic flight.

    After New London, US-1 is a fairly scenic road through Mystic and along the Rhode Island coast, but you'll need to take RI-138 over a stunning bridge onto Conanicut Island on which Newport sits, and over another bridge on the other side of the island back to the mainland, up to Fall River and then MA-24 towards Boston. I would not recommend going to Cape Cod in June. It will be very crowded and very expensive. Also, the Cape can only be reached by one of two bridges over the Cape Cod Canal which tend to get backed up in the summer. Instead, once you've skirted Boston on I-95/MA-128, you can continue on MA-128 onto Cape Ann, visit Gloucester and Rockport, and then hit Plum Island north of there for a 'New England coast' that is a bit more relaxed.

    Portsmouth is a great place to get a bit of history in a comfortable setting. Among its attractions are Strawbery Banke, the John Paul Jones House, the USS Albacore, and the Nubble Light in nearby York ME. Since Portsmouth and Rye Harbor to its south is where I used to go lobstering from, I will also tell you that going out on a lobster boat is neither readily available nor particularly fun. Lobster boats tend to be small, cramped working vessels that smell of rotting fish heads (the preferred bait), sweat, and salt water. You would only be in the way of the working fishermen who are living on a very small margin to begin with, and just the liability insurance they would need to carry 'tourists' would destroy their livelihood. Just enjoy their catch (for which they get around 10% or less of what you're paying) in one of the many traditional restaurants such as Abbott's in Noank (near Mystic) or Warren's or Newick's in the Portsmouth area.

    I agree with you that trying to add Acadia to this trip would result in more driving and is probably not worth the extra effort. Heading inland from Portland towards the White (new Hampshire) and Green (Vermont) Mountains is where scenic nature and hiking opportunities really start to open up. US-302 is as good a road as any as far as Center Conway NH. From there, take NH-113 to Conway and NH-112, the Kancamagus Highway west to Lincoln and Franconia Notch State Park. A favorite hike of mine is the walk back into the Flume.

    US-2 across Vermont will take you through Montpelier, home to the New England Culinary Institute, as good a place as any to indulge your foody tenancies. Montpelier is also the only state capital in the US without a McDonald's or Burger King. This is also the area that will probably most remind you of home. In fact the mountains just north of Montpelier attracted one of your neighbors from Austria about 70 years ago as the von Trapps opened their lodge in nearby Stowe VT.

    Continuing on to Burlington and then down the chain of lakes and the Hudson River to New York is where you'll find as much history as anywhere on your trip. During the many wars between the English and French in North America, and during America's War of Independence from England, this was a major commercial route and the site of many forts and battles over the years. I would particularly recommend Forts Ticonderoga and William Henry (in Lake George). This is also perhaps the most scenic route into the New York City area and makes it relatively easy to go to Newark for your shopping spree just before entering New York for the final week of your trip.

    AZBuck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Vevey, switzerland
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Hi and thanks AZBuck for your great help!

    I took some time planning and trying different roads. Here is my plan:

    Day 1: JFK airport -> New london or mystic CT (via orient point) -> 2:00 drive + 1:20 ferry
    Day 2: New london or mystic CT -> Gloucester / cape Ann (via Newport) -> 3:30 drive
    Day 3: Gloucester / cape Ann -> conway (via portsmouth, portland) -> 3:30 drive
    Day 4: Conway -> Burlington (via lincoln, franconia notch state park (the flume) and Montpelier) -> 3:15 drive
    Day 5: Burlington -> Catskill (via Forts Ticonderoga and William Henry) -> 3:40 drive
    Day 6: Catskill -> JFK (via Outlet The Mills at Jersey Gardens) -> 3:30 drive

    Do you agree with my overnight stops or do anyone has better ideas (especially not sure about Catskill).

    Furthermore, thanks for your feedback on a lobster tour, you convinced me! It's better to enjoy the food than bothering the fishermen. It exists some organized tours but could also be boring I guess.

    Finally, I guess you listed the restaurants for lobster beginning by your personally preferred one ?

    Adrian

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Well Paced

    The itinerary you've laid out should let you see quite a bit of the best of New England, although as a sampler rather than seeing any one thing in depth. I think you'll enjoy it.

    I am a bit surprised at the number of lobster boat tours available, but I think I was correct in telling you that they are not your typical tourist boats. They are small, they will rock and sway quite a bit on the ocean, they will smell, and hauling traps (which many of them list as an 'activity') is hard work. I have eaten in each of the three lobster pounds that I recommended. Both Abbott's and Newick's are traditional, no-frills places where you will eat at long picnic style tables covered in red and white checked table cloths with a bare minimum of utensils and 'plate'ware. Abbott's (Connecticut) has a better water view since Newick's (New Hampshire) is a bit inland on the Bellamy River/Great Bay. Warren's (Maine but, like Newick's, in the Portsmouth area) is a shade more upscale and sits on a back channel of the Piscataqua River with views of the harbor and Portsmouth Navy Yard. Those are the ones I am most familiar with, that are long standing and family owned, and that I think will give you the best sense of what traditional New England lobster restaurant is supposed to be like.

    As far as the Catskills go, you won't have time to explore them at length, but Woodstock NY is probably as good a place as any to settle down for the night. It's not too far off the main roads down the Hudson Valley, it is within the larger confines of Catskills State Park, it's a pleasant town to walk through, and gives access to a number of small roads leading back into the woods.

    On a side note and since you're going to be spending a night in Conway NH, I will note that there are also a number of factory outlet stores in North Conway, just up the road.

    AZBuck

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