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  1. Default New York City to Bar Harbor in September


    I'm planning a road trip with my cousin from New York City to Bar Harbor and back in September for about a week. I have never been to New England and would really appreciate some tips on the best scenic roads, which towns to visit, things to do and what not to miss.
    We will also probably stop at Boston for a day on our way to Maine, but that's all we got so far. I know that the trip a long time away, but I like to plan ahead. We are looking forward to seeing some fall colors, visit the best beaches, see some berries and apple farms, do some star-gazing (if there's any good spots to do so), visit Acadia National Park, enjoy nature in general, also see the architecture of the towns we visit, , visit museums, enjoy some night life (but not too much, ha). Basically the whole spectrum of things to do when on a trip, haha.
    I would really love some tips! And feel free to include anything that I might have missed.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Since you have some months to plan this trip, the best thing you could do right now is to get hold of some good maps and decide how long you want to stay where and how far you would like to drive each day. With all you mentioned you want to see and experience, a week in that area would have you on the move most of the time. September could be a little early for good autumn colours, the best of which typically are in October.

    You might like to spend some time looking arounjd the forums. There are many threads in the planning forums covering trips to New England.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default One Possible One Week Tour

    There are, as Lifey points out, many threads regarding RoadTrips through New England. You can find several of them gathered up here. In your particular case, and because New England is much more compact than most people realize, you can do a fairly comprehensive once-over-lightly sampler of much of it.

    I'd probably start by taking a full day to enjoy some of the coast on the way up to Boston. However, strangely enough you do this by initially heading away from the coast! That's because the eastern Connecticut shore along Long Island Sound is incredibly built up and I-95 can be a traffic nightmare. Instead, head north out of NYC on I 684 to I-84 east to Hartford and then use CT-2/CT-11/CT-82/CT-85 to get back to the coast at New London. Mystic is worth a stop, if only to walk along Route 1, enjoy the town, and have some home-made ice cream. You could also have lobster served in the true New England style at Abbott's in nearby Noank. Continue along US-1 passing several seaside state parks in Rhode Island to RI-138 across Narragansett Bay and into Newport where you can visit the 'Cottages' before using RI-24/MA-81 to US-6 and Cape Cod. Then head up to Boston on MA-3. Obviously, you can't do all that in a single day, and you don't want to spend any more than a day getting to Boston, but you can pick a highlight or two to visit on your way.

    The drive from Boston to Bar Harbor is another that can be done in a day, or you could easily take a week. Since you don't have a week for just this section, I'll suggest a couple of shorter 'excursions' off I-95/US-1 that won't eat up a lot of your time but will let you see the Maine coast. The first would be almost as soon as you enter Maine. Leave I-95 and take US-1 up to York, then US-1A through town to the Nubble on Cape Neddick before continuing on and returning to I-95. At Portland take I-295 to US-1 which follows the coast (as well as it can). This is the 'rock-ribbed' coast of Maine with many peninsulas and inlets and you should try to explore at least one. My personal favorite for a quick trip such as this would be to take ME-130 south from Damariscotta past Colonial Pemaquid and then back north on ME-32 to Waldoboro and US-1. ME-3 will provide the route into Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

    If you spend a day on each of the two driving segments and a day each in Boston and Bar Harbor, you'll be left with about four days, more or less, for a quick driving tour through New England to check out where you might like to return to at some later date. For that I'd suggest that you head inland, over some mountains, across some rivers, and along some lakes. A great general route through northern New England that does just that is US-2 from Bangor ME to Burlington VT. A scenic drive in its own right, this road will also take you to or near the Shelburne Birches, the Mount Washington Auto Road, Stowe VT (Ben and Jerry's, Trapp Family Lodge and others), to Burlington. A restful ferry across Lake Champlain would then set you up for a fairly quick and easy return to NYC via I-87 through the Adirondacks and along the Hudson.

    As Lifey mentioned, you'll be a bit too early to see full fall color, but that will be compensated for a bit by the fact that you'll be traveling during the lull between summer and leaf-peeping seasons and thus wont have too much traffic to fight.


  4. Default

    Thanks so much for the help, guys! I'll be sure to look the New England threads and the places AZBuck suggested.
    We're planning to travel in late september, so I was hoping to see at least a bit of the fall foliage. I'm thinking of spending a night or two in some town along the way to Bar Harbor. Which one should I pick? Historical towns would be great!

    Thanks again!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Damariscotta

    Damariscotta is roughly halfway between Boston and Bar Harbor if you take the coastal routing I suggested. That would let you visit York, Portland and/or Freeport on your first day's drive, and then take in Pemaquid and perhaps even take a ferry over to Vinalhaven and back on your second. Damariscotta and its immediate neighbor, New Castle, are about as cute and historic a setting as you're likely to find on that stretch of road.


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