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Thread: Fall in New England

  1. #1
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    Fall in New England

    Just booked flights to Boston for mid to late fall. We're planning to do some driving around much of New England...no real itinerary worked out yet other than to see a game at Fenway. This is a family vacation (with a 4-year-old and 2-year-old) so it definitely won't be primarily photo-centric. But I do hope to get a few opportunities for some nice landscapes (maybe I'll even get lucky and it will be peak leaf season).

    Any suggestions or tips for places to go or things to see?

    Stephen

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    Go to the North end and have dinner at Benevento's

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    Had to google that place...looks good! Italian food is always a good choice and my wife loves to try every margherita pizza she can find...so this may certainly make the list Thanks Jerry.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    So, what are you interested in? New England may be reasonably small, but there is a lot to do here.

    If you are looking for foliage, it can be vary from year to year and week to week. There are a couple of networks that try to identify where is "peak" including the foliage network, Jeff Foliage, and Yankee Magazine. Generally speaking, peak north of the whites is last week of September, my favorite time in the white mtns in NH or Green Mtns in VT is last week of Sept and first weekend of Oct, and then after that, it tends to be better south of the mtns. We've had pretty good years the last 2-3 years, but prior to that was a run of about 6-8 bad years. If heading to the White Mtns with kids, there is Storyland and Santa's village. Also, with kids, if interested in hikes the Lost River Gorge or the Flume in the white mtns are probably the easiest access. If you want views, near Burlington VT a gondola goes to the top of Mt Mansfield and the same in the White Mtns for Cannon Mtn (ski resort lifts that are in operation).

    If interested in lighthouses, Nubble and Portland Head are short drives.

    Depending on when you are here, fall festivals, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, apple picking are all the rage. Usually starting end of September.

    Fall is off peak for cape cod, so a great time to head down and also a time when you can drive your car on a lot of beaches (check local rules)....so a lot of people drive onto beaches and have fires.

    The witch museums of Salem, MA will be getting going in October and can be fun (granted, I haven't done them in 20 years).

    Boston has a pretty good aquarium (its ok, but kid friendly and easy access), the Science Museum is great (again, thinking of kids or big kids like me), and they have good harbor cruises. Jerry already turned you onto the North End. Great Italian. My favorite is actually the pastries. Mikes is the famous one, but Modern may be better. All of that is on Hanover St. in the north end....short walk from the aquarium. As for restuarants in Boston, I'm a fan of Stephanies (a local chain...usually Stephanies on Tremont or Stephanie's on ....). One of my favorite Mexican places is Temazcal over by the seaport. Series of good restaurants over there with a boardwalk with good views of Boston and/or the harbor.

    If I were to do an itinerary, depending on how much time you have:

    2 days in Boston: Aquarium, Museum of Science, Old Ironside, Faneuil Hall, etc.
    Drive up to Conway, North Conway, Lincoln, or Jackson NH, 2 days: Storyland, over to Santa's Village, Flume Gorge or Lost River. Maybe also a train ride out of North Conway. Drive the Kancamagus Hwy and loop through Crawford Notch. If have time, either drive to the top of Mt Washington or take the Cog Railway.
    Over to Burlington VT for 1-2 days, tour Ben & Jerry's factory, go to the top of Mt Mansfield, hang out at Church St in down town Burlington, maybe take a harbor cruise on Lake Champlain.

    Any of those could be expanded or shrunk. And you can add in a number of other things as you'd like.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Brant! Those are some great ideas...I've never heard of most of those places in NH so I'm in the process of checking them out and deciding which to do.

    We fly into Boston on Sept 13th and leave on the 27th. So what we're thinking is to head north and spend a couple days on the coast (thinking somewhere between Portsmouth and Portland). I believe there are some nice beaches there for the kids (they'll like playing in the sand even if the weather is too cold to swim) and lighthouses and scenic coastline for any photo ops. Then head to the mountains in NH for some of the things you mentioned above. After that I think we'd like to work our way south, eventually down to Rhode Island or southeastern Connecticut (around Mystic). Not sure what to see between NH and RI though...would be nice to stop for a day or two somewhere between (Springfield MA?) but I don't really know what is there. Then we'll head back to Boston for the last few days before flying out. We've been to Boston a few times already so we have an idea of what to see there: we're going to a Red Sox/Blue Jays game at Fenway, likely go to the science museum, maybe ride the ducks, public gardens, Old Ironside, etc. Seems like there are lots of things there to keep the kids entertained. Like the suggestions for food...that is definitely always a hit. Agree about the good pastries in the North end...we were turned on to those on our last visit (but I can't remember exactly which place). I'll have to check out the Stephanie's place too!

    Any further suggestions are always welcome!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Hi Stephen,

    The best beach around New Hampshire is, IMO, in Parker River National Wildlife Reserve on Plume Island just outside of Newburyport, MA. You may recall having seen pics from John (Neuro), BillW, and myself from Parker River. Great for birds (egrets, herons, hawks, etc), but...it also has great beaches. They have 7 lots 6 of which give access to the beach. The temps around mid-Sept are sometimes perfect (mid 70s/low 80s), but, of course, it can also be too cool. Parker river would be more of your "rustic" beach with limited to zero amenities. Between Portsmouth and Portland, there is only really one sand beach that I am aware of, and it is near the Nubble light, and that is York Beach in York ME. That beach is built up with some boardwalks and amenities (not as built up as Hampton Beach in NH). North of there, you tend to go to rocky beaches. There is Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, ME. That is a nice walk between the rocky shores of ME and houses. Some good restaurants too. I've actually only driven by York Beach. We tend to do Parker River or Salsbury beach in MA, or Seabrook, Jenness, or one of the Hampton Beaches in NH or head to RI.

    Middle Mass, really depends on what you are interested, there are some nice waterfalls along the NH/MA border. There is a Science Center/Ecotarium (http://www.ecotarium.org/) I've heard good things about in Worcester. Then there is "Old Sturbridge Village," which is one of "living museums" where they are doing live reenactments of life set in historic times/Old New England. Similar places are Strawberry Bank in Portsmouth, NH or there is one in Plymouth, MA.

    Getting into RI, I can help again. A few items. Providence, RI is underestimated, it is actually pretty nice. They have some good restaurants, nice walk along the river, and I can usually find reasonably priced hotels (granted, always less expensive outside city). Also, they have the water fire, which is a nice combination of neat for the family and photo opps. Granted, it can be crowded But, for tourism, I'd head to Newport. Thames street is a nice walk. Great bridge. Having lunch or dinner on the deck (not inside...no reservations for the deck), or just sitting on the chairs looking at the bay from Castle hill is a summer tradition for me (good for well behaved kids, granted, I was there with my nieces two years ago who were not well behaved and the staff were great). Then you have first/second beaches in Newport (we tend to go to second beach), the cliff walk, and Newport Mansions. I've never done Fort Adams, but probably should. Also, there are some nice walks at Sachuest Point. Then, nearby on Jamestown Island, you can check out a lighthouse/museum at Beavertail State Park. The other big thing in RI is taking the ferry to Block Island. As for beaches, you can pretty much pick'em. RI has some great beaches. I know some that like Scarborough State Beach, but other than the beaches in Newport, we tend to go to the beaches on the south shore (Matunuck to Charlestown).

    Let me know as you get closer if you want ideas for quick waterfalls, etc. Surprisingly, there are a number of waterfalls that are easy walks from parking all over New England..err...I mean I struggle and suffer to hike to all the waterfalls you see me taking pictures of....it would never be within a 100 ft walk of parking.....


    Having trouble inserting links, so I'll just add them below:

    http://waterfire.org/schedule/2017-w...vent-schedule/
    http://www.castlehillinn.com/
    http://www.cliffwalk.com/
    http://www.newportmansions.org/

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    Hey Brant;

    Just wanted to say thank-you again for the great suggestions. I've been back to this thread a few times to keep track of the various suggestions! We leave tomorrow morning, so I think we're pretty much set (although I'll probably reference this thread again during the trip ).

    Stephen

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Glad to help.

    Have fun!

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