First time headed to NE in fall .Want to fly to Boston and sightsee @ 3days. then up through Vermont--fall color, some of Maine, Quebec--Montreal? then week in timeshare in N.H.
With week in timeshare, and approx. one more week, is that time to do all? Suggestions appreciated.
That's a lot of territory to cover! Many think of fall foliage in New England and rarely consider the scenic beauty of the seacoast - my personal favorite. Up until Columbus Day, Monday, October 12, 2009 towns and villages along the entire New England seacoast from eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island to Massachusetts, New Hampshire and southern Maine are thriving. Take a fall stroll on the beach or boardwalk, dine alfresco on New England clam chowder, whole belly clams, lobster, fish & chips:
Let's not forget Octoberfest. Many of the towns listed have some festivity. Newport, Rhode Island is one of them. Boston of course, thrives anytime of the year. Among many historic places of interest, don't miss Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market. We love to stay at Marriott's Boston Custom House.
Over the past two years we have been exploring the Connecticut River Valley from Essex to Hartford.* One of the attractions in Essex is the Steam Train which becomes the North Pole Express after Thanksgiving. The Steam Train is so popular, we have yet to get tickets. Main St, Middletown, CT the home of Wesleyan is stunning in the fall.
We're shifting focus this year and planning trips along the Hudson Valley to Lake Champlain, Burlington VT and Montreal. Tips are welcome!
Sounds like a great trip!
You have great ideas, enjoy Concord, NH, S. Conway, NH., and Stowe, Vermont!
The trip to Montreal can be a challenge if you are not ready for customs, and have everything you need for the experience. Hope you enjoy a "Green Mountain" breakfast with "Corn Cob" smoked meats!
In 1609 Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River which is being commemorated by Celebrate New York 400 Years, but Vermont commemorates the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's exploration of the region and the lake that bears his name. More like an inland sea that connects to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Waterway in Canada, Lake Champlain has been a center of commerce for 4 centuries. Lumber and stone from Vermont made its way to Europe by boat.
Lake Champlain is bordered by communities in upstate New York on the west and communities in Vermont on the east. One of my favorite places to visit is Burlington, VT. Burlington Harbor in particular is the host of the Vermont Lake Champlain Quadricentennial and the recent Burlington International Waterfront Festival July 2-14,2009.
Upon returning from our vacation, we drove up to Burlington for the weekend and stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott Burlington Harbor. The Courtyard and Hilton next door overlook the Burlington waterfront and the Adirondack Mountains to the west. We redeemed points for our stay and enjoyed an upgrade to a high floor with a lake view.
The Courtyard Burlington Harbor is very upscale, contemporary and the rooms are classic Courtyard with darkwood stained furnishings and brightly colored accents. The lobby, lounge and cafe area are located on the second floor so that the lake is visible throughout. A fireplace lounge is the centerpiece of the lobby with carved Vermont stone abstract sculptures. Over the weekend and alternate weekends during the Quadricentennial celebration, the Courtyard hosts a jazz band - an unexpected but welcome treat.
If you're looking to explore New England, I highly recommend visiting Burlington, VT and staying at the Courtyard Burlington Harbor. Within a 5 block walking radius, there are shops, restaurants, cafes and boutiques. Church St. is closed to vehicles and pedestrians only making for a very festive atmosphere. Stay tuned for photos!
Having lived in Maine for fifteen years I can offer some suggestions. Fall is the best time for a trip. It's too crowded in the summer, but in the early fall you get the best of everything -- good weather, changing leaves, etc. You can start with the Portland Waterfront, which is fantastic. Then if you travel up to the midcoast, you'll see some of the seascape Maine is famous for while enjoying some lobsters in Rockland or Camden. And don't miss Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. It's great for hiking, spectacular views, and history.
I strongly recommend continuing up to Québec. It's only about a 4-hour drive from central Maine on route 201. The landscape along the route of mountains and lakes is beautiful. I have been many times and last November stayed at the Marriott Courtyard, which is a little hard to find but was a lovely hotel. Québec is the only part of North America that feels European. From the Plains of Abraham and the cliffs overlooking the Saint Lawrence you can almost feel what it is must have been like in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. There are great museums of early French-Canadian and Indian heritage. And the restaurants are wonderful! I strongly recommend Le Continental and Aux Anciens Canadiens.
Montréal is also a great city, though it doesn't have the same old world feel as Québec. It's also better combined with a Vermont trip because it's further from Maine because of the mountains.
While on business in New England or the mid-Atlantic consider extending your trip for leisure to enjoy the natural scenic beauty of the lakes, mountains, river valleys and seacoast of the area. Autumn in North America in particular is a time when the days get shorter and temperatures plunge. The decrease in daylight and cold trigger trees to shed their leaves. Once verdant and green, the leaves turn into brilliant colors of gold, red and orange.
With clear skies forecast, I had the opportunity to experience central New Hampshire. Our roadtrip started last Thursday, just in time to experience the peaking of color in this area. The map below from Weather.com* provided a guide on where to set a destination. Not shown are I-89, I-91 and I-93 which crisscross Vermont and New Hampshire. I selected I-93 for three reasons:
* Normal Peak Times for Fall Color Courtesy of Weather.com
Marriott associates are very knowledgeable. Don't let a Front Desk badge deceive you, most we interacted with can double as concierge offering tips about what to see, expected travel time and where to dine. Being near the Atlantic, choice seafood is unbelievably fresh, plentiful and affordable.
In several prior posts, I mentioned places to stay in New Hampshire. This time we stayed at the year-old Fairfield Inn & Suites Hooksett and the brand new Towneplace Suites Gilford. Both have king suites, refrigerators, microwaves, complimentary internet and complimentary breakfast including waffles. Aside from the fact that broadband at the Towneplace Suites Gilford is browser dependent (Internet Explorer), these properties deliver a smooth check-in, spotless contemporary and smoke-free rooms with flat panel TVs and have extremely professional, knowledgeable and friendly associates.
Further north in the White Mountains there is a brand new Residence Inn in North Conway. We hope to stay there soon.
See also: Fall Foliage - New Hampshire
To set the mood for your trip check out my friend's FLIKR series on Fall in New England and have a wonderful time:
New England Hotel discussion including Vermont!
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