New England Road Trip
I am planning a trip though Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, driving up from the south. What are the must-see attracions and/or recommended itinerary. Want to stay off the interstates and avoid the populated area--no Boston.
Quabbin Reservoir in Central Mass is beautiful. I live in Barre MA which is near the Quabbin and we go hiking on the trails every weekend. Barre also has some pretty nice places to stay... Nice small town but has many large town ammenities
Quabbin is a definite must see - I guess you will see some of Boston if you see it, as it is primarily Boston's water supply. Driving up from where? Are you coming in from NY or CT? I can suggest a couple of itineraries, but for now:
Some recommended routes, in no particular order:
<li>US 7 - Northern CT through MA (Berkshires) and through VT</li>
<li>US 4 VT</li>
<li>MA 2 (Wester portion/Mohawk trail)</li>
MA 9 West of Worcester is pretty nice, and runs right past the Quabbin. Worcester and East it is a heavily traveled road.
More info later!
Take Rt 100 up VT: it is winding and slow, but it takes you through lots of small towns and mountains. Stop by Stowe and take 108 through the mts to Smuggs. Rockclimbing and the Trapp lodge (Sound of Music). If you pull off by the guy that sells wood etchings on 108, you can hike down to great falls and swim in the VERY COLD pool. TONS of hiking trails through the whole state. Make sure you visit Burlington (lgst town with 30,000) on Lake Champlain and check out Church Street--pedestrian shopping area. Burlington has a great Indian Sunday brunch at Shalimar and a sm. Sunday market. Personally don't like Rt 7 or Rutland.
I will be coming up from Tennessee through Pennsylvania. I plan to stay of westof the NYC area and come into Western Mass.
If you like American history, there is enough to fill six months vacation days in the metro Boston area alone.
The Freedom Trail in Boston is nice, Lexington and Concord, Walden Pond, are just a few of the historical attractions.
Some routes, then!
Ok, assuming you're doing Interstates up until MA (eg. I-84) here's some routes you may want to consider. I'll try to stick with MA as it is my home state. The further East in MA you travel, the more congested it will become. Finally, I-495 is a line of demarcation between the Bostonians and the rest of the state. It used to be MA-128/I-95, but that's changed. I realize you probably won't be able to see all I've listed here, but it's there for consideration. Anyway...
<li>Off of I-84, Taconic Parkway North (exit 16) - no commercial vehicles
<li>East on NY-23 to NY-22 North
<li>East on US-20 into Pittsfield. If you're a history buff, there is Hancock Shaker Village. If you're hungry, head South on US-7 and stop at the Dakota Steakhouse at the Pittsfield-Lenox line. They open at 4pm...awesome prime rib
<li>If you're not hungry, head North on US-7. At Williamstown, you have some options.
Option A is to continue North on US-7 into VT through Bennington (Jack Frost is buried there...I found this out during a morning stroll in April of 1998).
Option B is to head East on MA-2 (aka Mohawk Trail), which heads up out of North Adams and affords a spectacular view of MA, VT, NY and CT. Adams is a former industrial town that has fallen on some pretty rough times (a common theme in the state). If you have time, you can also travel up Mt. Greylock, which is the highest point in the state. Off of MA-2 is the Hoosac Tunnel (very historical). East on MA-2 will lead you into Gardner, the "furniture capital of the world" (cough). Or head South on US-202 for a nice view of the Quabbin. From US-202, East on MA-9 to one of the two entrances to Quabbin (mentioned in Steven King's "Dreamcatcher"). It's a nice drive through the woods and a good place to take a picnic.
East on MA-9 from here brings you through Ware (a mill town...yadda). West Brookfield is a good example of a New England town, old Colonials surrounding a green common complete with fountain, war memorial, and bandstand with free concerts in the Summer. The lay of the land had much to do with determining which towns would be set up this way. W. Brookfield is quite flat, whereas surrounding towns are rather hilly. You'll see a lot of this if you're sticking primarily to state and US routes.
Well, that's enough for now...basically, you can't go wrong with any of the routes marked "scenic" in the atlas.
Provincetown (Cape Cod) in Mass is a must see, If you want to avoid urban areas, you can go to the park at the end of the peninsula, it's gorgeous : the sea is great, the sceneries, sand dunes, etc. If you like hiking and rock climbing, the White Mountains are for you (VT-NH) but I suggest you skip the Mount Washington part, too much tourists and questionnable attractions.
Actually, the White Mtns. are in NH, and the Green Mtns. are in VT. Both nice, but I prefer VT.
DC to Maine
My husband and I are planning a 'youthful quest' roadtrip. Originally from Florida, we are living in VA for a short time and want to use the opportunity to get to Maine in a shorter version of the road trip. We want to enjoy the sights along the way, and are planning on taking about 2 weeks to do it. It will be in mid-August. Neither of us have been north of Maryland. EVER!!! Tell us what we can't miss!