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  1. Default Last Minute New England Road Trip

    Planning a 5 day getaway to New England. (leaving from Pittsburgh area) Would like to visit Salem and some quaint towns. Leaf peeping, of course! Interested in more scenic drive than the Interstates. Suggested routes would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2


    Welcome to RTA!

    My alternative to I-95 would be Route 1, which parallels it along the coast, but goes through those scenic and quaint towns like Niantic, Mystic, Stonington, Charlestown and Narragansett. It then goes north through Providence and up to Boston and, of course, Salem. I don't know how far north you want to go from there, but do go east to Gloucester and Rockport. Another possibility is to head south down Route 3 to Cape Cod. You truly will fall in love with it.

    I hope you have accommodations, since New England is 'booked up' during the fall foliage season. I'd work on that first along that southerly routing, and use some of the aids on the website to help you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Trade-Offs

    Unfortunately, with only five days at your disposal, it really isn't possible to get to New England via a "more scenic drive [rather] than the Interstates", do the same coming home and still have enough time for Salem, quaint towns, leaf-peeping, etc. Using the Interstates (PA-28 to I-80/I-81/I-84/I-90/I-95/MA-128) it's just over 600 miles from Pittsburgh to Salem. That's farther than we would really recommend trying to drive in a day, particularly if you want to be out and about the next day. So you might want to consider pulling up after your long drive somewhere around Worcester to get a good night's sleep before continuing on into Salem in the morning (AFTER rush hour if this is a weekday!)

    Salem is probably best known for the 'witch trials', but they really didn't occur there, but in Danvers (which changed its name). So what's available, besides a memorial to those killed, is a fair bit of schlock. Some people love it, but don't expect authentic history. What is unique about Salem is its Maritime Heritage. There is also a decent urban walking trail that goes through the old section of town where many of the sea captains and shippers had their homes.

    Assuming you spend a day or so in Salem and then want to tour quaint New England, as well as set yourselves up for a slightly shorter drive home, here's what I'd suggest. Basically plan on a meandering drive through southern New Hampshire and Vermont finishing up in the Albany/Troy NY area for your last night before making the long drive home. You're still going to want to use Interstates (I-93) to get out of the Boston metro area and up to around Concord NH, but then roads like US-202, NH-31 past Pillsbury State Park, NH-10/NH-103 to the Connecticut River Valley, VT-131 to Ludlow, VT-100 down through the Green Mountains (the Calvin Coolidge Homestead is just north of the VT-131/VT-100 junction), and VT-9/NY-7 will get you (scenically and through some quaint towns) to Albany/Troy. From there, I-88/NY-17/US-220/US-6/PA-66/PA-68/PA-8 (or similar) will provide a scenic but doable route back to Pittsburgh.


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