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  1. #1

    Default New England 1st week of October

    hi everyone,

    I'm glad to be again on this forum after some time, US roadtrips are my favourite and I know I can always count on RoadtripAmerica!

    My girlfriend decided she would like to see the Fall foliage: I tried to convince her we could go to the park nearby, but she prefers New England ;)

    We'll be flying from London, UK to Boston on Sat 29th September , spending 3 nights in Boston then hitting the road to visit New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

    I've started looking at itinerary options; I was thinking of driving on Tuesday morning (Early) towards the White Mountains, spending 2 nights in North Conway after visiting small towns and driving through scenic byways; on Thursday, driving to Bar Harbour and Acadia National Park, spending night there; Friday, down on the coast to Portland; Saturday morning, maybe visiting Salem and another town before heading to Boston airport for our return flight. Total 7 nights.
    The other way round (Maine then White Mountains to Boston) is also an option.

    I've just started planning (Website and guides) and I'm getting an idea of the distances and places to see. Some questions if you could help me please:
    - is the above high-level itinerary too stretch and should I maybe skip Acadia? what do you think?
    - I read accommodation in New England at that time of the year is a bit more difficult to find, do you suggest to book every night well in advance (possibly at this time already)? Nice inns or more basic Motels? Any recommendation?
    - any recommendation on nice towns/places of interest, anything we should not miss?
    - how's traffic around/leaving Boston at rush hour weekdays and heading to Logan on a Saturday afternoon?
    - how does it work with highway tolls? are they cash-only or do they accept cards ?

    I'm not new to US roadtrips (2011 Denver>Vegas>SFO and 2014 Denver->Yellowstone->Tennessee->Atlanta), New England is an area I always wanted to visit and I'm sure it will be an amazing experience.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestion, I will share my final plan later on.

    Pier

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,505

    Default

    Leaving Boston on a weekday rush hour is miserable. You might consider not renting a car till you are ready to leave Boston, use public transportation to and from the airport and in the city. I would think the better hotels would have an airport shuttle. Driving in Boston can be difficult and confusing, and the drivers are very aggressive. Heading to Logan on a Saturday afternoon shouldn't be too bad.

    You can pay cash tolls or rent an EZ-Pass transponder with the car. If you rent the EZ-Pass, find out what the rental company charges for it over and above the toll rate. I don't think any of the toll booths in the northeast accept cards.

  3. #3

    Default

    Will be using public transport in Boston. Car is rented from the Tuesday morning, when i'll be heading out.
    Thanks for your response and tips, glc!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,544

    Default Anti-Clockwise

    There are a couple of reasons to do this trip in the anti-clockwise order of Boston, Acadia, White Mountains, Boston. First, this would have you traveling up the coast of Maine with the ocean on your side of the road, making vistas a shade better and pulling off and back onto the main road that much easier. It also means that you'll see a shade less traffic by driving it mid-week rather than on the weekend. More importantly, it means that you'll be getting into the mountains a bit later in your trip and that's going to be important as your trip is planned for a week or two before traditional 'peak' foliage season (traditionally around mid-October) so every day you delay arriving in the mountains (where the best foliage will be) will make your girlfriend that much happier.

    But even though you won't be traveling at peak foliage, fall still sees a lot of tourist traffic in northern New England. You will need to make reservations and now is not too early to start. For a trip such as yours, where you'll only be a few days in each place, I'd suggest B&Bs where you'll get a chance to meet some locals and get the best info on what's happening while you're there. By the same token, the main roads (I-95, US-1, NH-16, I-93, NH-112) are going to be a bit congested but the beauty is that almost any road will do just as well to show you the scenery and the charm of northern New England. Plan your routes accordingly.

    New England is surprisingly compact, so this is not too much to try to do in a week, although of course you'll always wish that you had more time. For example, Boston to Bar Harbor, Bar Harbor to the White Mountains, and the White Mountains back to Boston are all roughly half day drives allowing you to take very a leisurely route and pace yet still have time for a stop or two on each of your main driving legs. and finally for some suggestions for some of the best of New England, be sure to read through the many posts on that area written by New Englanders and linked to HERE.

    AZBuck

  5. #5

    Default

    Many thanks AZBuck! duly noted...and i'm reading the other posts right now.
    best
    Pier

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