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Posted: 8/21/2006 3:31:50 AM EDT
The wife and I have a weeks vacation starting on 8/26. We were planning on taking a driving vacation through New England.  Our initial plan is to make it to Niagara Falls on the first day and then drive through the Adirondacks on the second day but from there we just have some general locations we were looking to stop at.


  • Mt. Washington and the Cog Train

  • Looping through Vermont

  • Drive across middle Maine to US1 and then take that down the coast.

  • We would like to see some Moose

  • We are going to stay in Bar Harbor one night and go whale watching

  • I would like to stop at the original L.L. Bean

  • I also want to avoid most of the standard tourist traps.




Our schedule is really fluid, we have found that this make for the best vacations, just do what looks like it would be fun and move on.  I would like to keep the expense as low as possible but I am pretty sure that is not going to happen.
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 4:44:17 AM EDT
[#1]
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 5:09:26 AM EDT
[#2]
I saw Niagra in the middle of winter...it was awesome.

Vermont, I'd go to the Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory.
They have a "flavor graveyard" for the one's that didn't make it.
Say hello to my old favorite, Blackberry Cobbler, if you go.
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 5:14:06 AM EDT
[#3]
If you could drop to a more southerly route West Point is worth a visit.  

If you want to avoid tourist traps I'd avoid the original LL Bean and Bar Harbor (though Acadia NP is nice).  Just up the road from Freeport is Brunswick, ME and Bodouin College (sp).  At the cemetary near there you can find the grave of Col. Chamberlain (20 ME).  

The coastline from Bar Harbor to Eastport is very nice and less crowded.  I have spent a week or so around Eastport/Calais.  Plenty of things to see and somewhat off the beaten path.  There are lots of cheap car ferries around there too so you can cross to Canada easily.  

New Brunswick, across the border from ME, is pretty nice and at one time it was cheaper than Maine.  Not sure if that is still the case.  

GunLvr
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 5:18:20 AM EDT
[#4]

Quoted:
If you could drop to a more southerly route West Point is worth a visit.  

If you want to avoid tourist traps I'd avoid the original LL Bean and Bar Harbor (though Acadia NP is nice).  Just up the road from Freeport is Brunswick, ME and Bodouin College (sp).  At the cemetary near there you can find the grave of Col. Chamberlain (20 ME).  

The coastline from Bar Harbor to Eastport is very nice and less crowded.  I have spent a week or so around Eastport/Calais.  Plenty of things to see and somewhat off the beaten path.  There are lots of cheap car ferries around there too so you can cross to Canada easily.  

New Brunswick, across the border from ME, is pretty nice and at one time it was cheaper than Maine.  Not sure if that is still the case.  

GunLvr


The Calais/Eastport area is beautiful that time of year.  I grew up in Calais.  A canoe trip in the Alagash region of northern Maine will be an unforgettable experience as well.  If you to through Calais to New Brunswick, Canada, be sure to go to St. Andrews.  Beautiful little seaside town that has the freshest seafood you can get.  Brought in several times a day, straight from the sea.

Link Posted: 8/21/2006 5:20:50 AM EDT
[#5]
I may have to got to the Ben and Jerry's Factory mmmm Chunky Monkey.
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 5:23:16 AM EDT
[#6]
I just got back from a 5-day hiking trip around Killington VT.  If you are into hiking there are numerous options in Vermont.  I would recommend you get a book published by the Green Mountain Club called "50 Hikes in Vermont" because you will get a good sampling of hikes throughout the entire state which can give you some seriously nice views!

Mount Mansfield, (near Stowe) 2002


Mount Hunger (about 30 mins from Stowe) 2002


Pico Mountain, 2006


Mount Horrid Outlook, 2006


If you stop by Ben & Jerry's, which is near Stowe (in Waterbury), be sure to stop by and tell them thanks for supporting anti-gun causes and contributing to cop killer Mumia Abul Jamal's defense fund.  That's what I did in 2002 -- went there to drop off the comments and nothing else. You can drop off comments in the reception.

Link Posted: 8/21/2006 5:35:25 AM EDT
[#7]
If you plan on hitting we "southern" NE states, since you're coming the end of August, give Newport RI a swing thru...and Cape Cod.... Just not on the weekend...traffic can be bad on weekends
If history's your thing, Western MA offers Sturbridge Village and in Plymouth, MA, you can visit Plimouth Plantation (home of the pilgrims, people!). City of Providence RI offers some nice nightlife...waterfires and gondola rides on the Providence River. On the Cape, I suggest the Woods Hole area...nice for exploration and quaint shops/dining. If you're staying north, White Mountains, NH is a favorite spot of mine. Just beautiful and I also recommend the bear show at Clark's. The Kangamangus offers offers spectacular views and other fun pit-stops...
If I think of more, I'll post again. Check AAA (if you're a member) for more info too!
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 5:36:57 AM EDT
[#8]
The best place to see moose in New Hampshire is the Connecticut lakes region, but that is about as far north in NH as you can get.  Early morning (4:30-5:30AM) and dusk are by far the best times to "catch" a moose.  

Mount Washington is a great destination, but consider hiking the mountain if it is an option.  Going up over the headwall of Tuckerman's ravine is a real hiking treat.  Still, the cog railway is a neat way of going up the mountain.  

Things I think are worth seeing in Vermont:
Burlington can be a fun town.  Vermont Pub and Brewery is good, as is the "sister brewery" to it called Seven Barrels Brewery in Lebanon, NH.  Route 89 cuts Vermont in two.  Ben & Jerry's has a factory tour that is entertaining, and you can get every different type of Ben & Jerry's ice cream there- plus flavors they are "testing".  

If your wife bakes bread then the King Arthur Flour/ Bakery is a great place.  It is only a couple exits up Route 91 (that road is on the border between NH and Vermont) and is easy to get to off of Route 89.  If you like great bread and baked goods, that is where there are some of the best.  I mention it as it is a great "small" destination to go to.

The White Mountain region of New Hampshire is quite nice and you are visiting in a great time of year.  The beauty of being above treeline and feeling the raw power of 60+mph wind gusts is really great.  Expect it to be cloudy, but still fascinating regardless.

If you head straight across Maine from the White Mountains of NH then you can get to Portland.  Portland's Old Port section has some nice shops for the wife and a few brewpubs worth testing.  North along the coast (avoid Route 1- it is a traffic nightmare in the summer and frankly use the interstate as a way of getting "up" to where you wish to go, then "over" via a smaller road to the coast.)

A really great ride to see the Maine Coast begins in Belfast and heads around up to Bar Harbor.  That will give a good taste of Maine's Down East.    

If you need a gun fix then on the way south through Maine stop at Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, Me.  It has a sizable collection of new and used guns.  Have lunch south of there in Portsmouth, NH.  Portsmouth is a great town to walk around and again, lots of beer options!  Park in the parking garage in the center of town.  It will save you some hassle and the costs are quite reasonable.

Portsmouth also has whale watching trips, so consider that as a secondary option to Maine.

Good luck,
I hope you both enjoy your trip!

Cheese


Link Posted: 8/21/2006 5:40:30 AM EDT
[#9]


+1 on the Kiterry Trading Post. It is what LL Bean used to be before it became homogenized, but I'd still go to LL Bean.  Here's a tip, LL Bean built a huge new building a while ago and thats where most people go, but  down the road is the old LL Bean building where they sell the seconds, extras, and returns and thats where you get old the great deals.

There are a few moose hotspots where they go feeding. I bet you can find them online. Generally, the moose like to stay away from us.

+1 on Bar Harbor and Desert Mountain. One of my best weeks ever was renting a house there.

+1 on Bowdion College.  

If you plan on cooking lobster youself I recommend getting the chickens rather than the 1.5 lb + lobster which are sold at a higher per pound rate.  When I had cookouts, I would get two chix per person and save money. Fresh lobster, cooked right really is heaven on earth.  

Biker week is over already so there is no need to avoid Weirs Beach.  

Rent a boat (preferably a sail boat) on Lake Winnipesauki.

Go swimming in the Atlantic in Maine.

Leave a note on Justice Souter's door telling him you would like to build a hotel on his property and that the eminent domain process will soon start.
Link Posted: 8/21/2006 6:04:15 AM EDT
[#10]
If you make it to Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park is great ... Even if you're on a schedule and don't have the entire day to spend there, you can take the summit road to the top of Cadillac Mountain for some fantastic views.

If you like lobster and are up in that area try Thurstons Lobster Pound ... It's off the beaten path, and kind of a local secret.

LL Bean and Freeport is a good stop, but definitely tourist heavy, so prepare yourself. A lot of people don't realize it, but LL Bean is actually open 24/7, so, if you happen to roll into town late at night, you could absolutely go shopping at 2am if you wanted to and it will be much less crowded (I've done this, it's pretty surreal) ... A little further down the coast (if you continue South on Rte 1) You'll find Kittery Trading Post which IMHO is a better stop than LL Bean, Primarily due to the massive gun room on the second floor.
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 9:37:34 AM EDT
[#11]

Quoted:
The Calais/Eastport area is beautiful that time of year.  I grew up in Calais.  A canoe trip in the Alagash region of northern Maine will be an unforgettable experience as well.  If you to through Calais to New Brunswick, Canada, be sure to go to St. Andrews.  Beautiful little seaside town that has the freshest seafood you can get.  Brought in several times a day, straight from the sea.



You may be related to some friends of mine.  Regarding St. Andrews, there is a big old Hotel there (Algonquin), hard to miss since it must be the biggest structure in town.  At one time they had an excellent Sunday breakfast buffet.  People would drive 100 miles to eat there.  The price of the buffet has gone way up so I can't recommend it as a bargain anymore, but the hotel and dining room might be worth seeing.  The place is about 10 blocks inland from the harbor, which is also very nice.  There are whale-watching excursions from places like St. Andrews and Eastport too.  

GunLvr
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 9:50:36 AM EDT
[#12]
Lily Bay is a great place to see Moose as is Baxter State Park.  If your vehicle is up to it, take a drive on the Golden Road, you will truly be in the middle of nowhere there.

Oh and do find some Seafood restaurants, mmm Clam Chowder (pronounced Chowdah), steamed clams dipped in butter and a cold beer.

Link Posted: 8/22/2006 9:54:13 AM EDT
[#13]

Quoted:

Quoted:
The Calais/Eastport area is beautiful that time of year.  I grew up in Calais.  A canoe trip in the Alagash region of northern Maine will be an unforgettable experience as well.  If you to through Calais to New Brunswick, Canada, be sure to go to St. Andrews.  Beautiful little seaside town that has the freshest seafood you can get.  Brought in several times a day, straight from the sea.



You may be related to some friends of mine.  Regarding St. Andrews, there is a big old Hotel there (Algonquin), hard to miss since it must be the biggest structure in town.  At one time they had an excellent Sunday breakfast buffet.  People would drive 100 miles to eat there.  The price of the buffet has gone way up so I can't recommend it as a bargain anymore, but the hotel and dining room might be worth seeing.  The place is about 10 blocks inland from the harbor, which is also very nice.  There are whale-watching excursions from places like St. Andrews and Eastport too.  

GunLvr


IM me with the names of some of your friends...Calais only has 3500 to 4000k people.  I am sure I know a few of them.
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 9:56:55 AM EDT
[#14]
I guess I need to explore around the NE more.  I have only been here a year and half, sounds like some interesting places!
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 10:07:23 AM EDT
[#15]
My wife, daughter, and I go to New England every year in October.  Most of the time is spent in Maine.  For moose, we usually go up to the Moosehead Lake region, and normally we find them, usually at dawn and at dusk.  Bar Harbor is great also.  Try and get to Acadia National Park too, if you have time.  Bill
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 11:11:56 AM EDT
[#16]
They put on a pretty good Airshow on Saturdays:

www.oldrhinebeck.org/

Take a tour here:

www.ciachef.edu/

See how the other half lived:

www.nps.gov/vama/

Revel in the glory of one of Americas greatest socialists!

www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/

Pretty good Museum here:

www.usma.edu/Museum/

Lots to do here in the east and all these are within an hour drive of where I live.
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 12:56:31 PM EDT
[#17]
There's lots to do around the Adirondacks, you could swing by Lake George, which is quite the tourist trap but theres a lot of cool historical places and hidden things. Ft. William Henry is cool to walk through for instance.

Definitely go to the Ben & Jerry's factory, the VT Teddy Bear factory is pretty close to there as well, it's interesting to say the least, your wife would probably enjoy it.
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 4:32:15 PM EDT
[#18]
I would normally say come see Boston.  Lots of interesting sites to be seen.
Old Ironsides
Faneuil Hall
Harbor Islands
But the "Big Dig" fiasco has caused a mini disaster zone on Boston streets. Stay clear.

If you like warships and subs. Battleship Cove
Link Posted: 8/22/2006 7:01:08 PM EDT
[#19]
This is normally a wonderful time of the year to be in NE.  On the Ogunquit/Kittery area, best you should also see Perkins Cove (southern Ogunquit.)  Then I would snack at Bob's clam house next to Kittery trading posy as opposed to the weathervane... just personal and traditional for us.  A devine meal and evil carbo's can be had in the Perkins Cove at XC's... 5 star food and a 10 star view.  If you drink, check out the New Hampshire liquor store prices as they are state controled and booze not wine is cheap. Sometimes 20% lower than NYS wholesale!  Have a great and safe vacation.
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 3:52:37 AM EDT
[#20]

Quoted:
I would normally say come see Boston.  Lots of interesting sites to be seen.
Old Ironsides
Faneuil Hall
Harbor Islands
But the "Big Dig" fiasco has caused a mini disaster zone on Boston streets. Stay clear.

If you like warships and subs. Battleship Cove


Nothing personal but I going to  avoid Boston and most of Mass.  Between The Big Dig and the traffic I don't have any desire to be near there.   I would like to go out on Cape Cod but other than that I think I will be scooting on down the coast.
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 4:06:43 AM EDT
[#21]

Quoted:

Quoted:
I would normally say come see Boston.  Lots of interesting sites to be seen.
Old Ironsides
Faneuil Hall
Harbor Islands
But the "Big Dig" fiasco has caused a mini disaster zone on Boston streets. Stay clear.

If you like warships and subs. Battleship Cove


Nothing personal but I going to  avoid Boston and most of Mass.  Between The Big Dig and the traffic I don't have any desire to be near there.   I would like to go out on Cape Cod but other than that I think I will be scooting on down the coast.


Um...Battleship Cove is really NOWHERE near Boston or the dig...and really is an AWESOME destination in Fall River, MA. While in Fall River, explore the Lizzie Borden museum...macabre fun!
Mystic Seaport in CT is also a great place...just over the RI border.
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 4:13:54 AM EDT
[#22]

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
I would normally say come see Boston.  Lots of interesting sites to be seen.
Old Ironsides
Faneuil Hall
Harbor Islands
But the "Big Dig" fiasco has caused a mini disaster zone on Boston streets. Stay clear.

If you like warships and subs. Battleship Cove


Nothing personal but I going to  avoid Boston and most of Mass.  Between The Big Dig and the traffic I don't have any desire to be near there.   I would like to go out on Cape Cod but other than that I think I will be scooting on down the coast.


Um...Battleship Cove is really NOWHERE near Boston or the dig...and really is an AWESOME destination in Fall River, MA. While in Fall River, explore the Lizzie Borden museum...macabre fun!
Mystic Seaport in CT is also a great place...just over the RI border.


I need to look a map.

I love the suggestions given here, I would love to see the battleships.  Will I get 40 whacks if I don't go to the Borden museum?  I only have 10 days and with all the great suggestions I am running out of time.
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 4:57:26 AM EDT
[#23]
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 5:25:09 AM EDT
[#24]

Quoted:

  • Mt. Washington and the Cog Train

  • We would like to see some Moose



  • Actually the backroads around the Cog Railway base are a place I've seen moose twice.  As others have said, dusk or dawn.  You want to find low swampy areas on one or both sides of the road.  Moose habitat.

    Someone suggested boating on Lake Winnipesaukee.  It's a big lake which can be as rough as an ocean on a windy day.  Better option is to take the mailboat - the Sophie C - from Weirs Beach.  Slow paced and a good look at island life.  Avoid the Mount Washington.  Floating tourist trap IMO.
    Link Posted: 8/23/2006 5:29:06 AM EDT
    [#25]
    The second location in Fall River worth visiting- if you ride motorcycles- is the Vanson Leather factory.  Custom leather for riding of almost every description.  They have a used/off rack and the deals are considerable.  
    Link Posted: 8/23/2006 6:52:17 AM EDT
    [#26]
    One other Vermont/New York border destination that I liked a great deal-
    Fort Ticonderoga.  The Fort has been reconstructed and they did a great job.  Standing on the ramparts you can see why they chose the location.  You can shell any vessels trying to sneak by on Lake Champlain.  I would not recommend you do this today.  In fact, you might get a tersely worded letter if you do such a thing.  So beware.  Then again, you hit a jetskier and you get a fruit basket.  That could be just a rumor, though.

    There is a lot of history in that fort.  You can still smell the blackpowder in the storage areas.  The powder magazine blew up once, if I remember correctly.

    If you like WW1 airplanes, or are an aviation buff then the above recommendation for Rhinebeck Aerodrome is a great place.  They have complete rebuilds of WWI aircraft (and earlier) that they fly.  They also have many hangers of old original aircraft- think the Smithsonian, only dirtier.  Frankly I prefer my history with some dust on it, and the collection of old engines is amazing.  Great place- off the Taconic State parkway.  If you ride the Taconic state parkway you MUST be aware of deer.  Seriously, deer strikes are a daily thing.

    Again, enjoy the trip.
    Cheese

    Link Posted: 8/23/2006 6:58:02 AM EDT
    [#27]

    Quoted:

    Fort Ticonderoga.  


    Absolute must stop added to my list. Thanks
    Link Posted: 8/23/2006 7:24:54 AM EDT
    [#28]
    Years ago they had a table in the museum at Fort Ticonderoga.  It had blood stains on it.  A family had been murdered and scalped at that table- the stains were clearly visible.  There was also the scalp of a white woman on display.  

    When I returned for a visit I couldn't find that table, so I asked a woman who "worked" there (really a volunteer, as you would expect in a museum) where it had gone.  She laughed and showed me where it was- it was being used as a display stand.

    Did people complain?  I don't know.  PC crap?  Maybe.

    It was pretty striking, that much I can tell you.  

    The firearms in the museum will give you an erection that lasts at least three days, so beware.

    One other note- bring a picnic lunch- places to eat can be a bit sketchy.  The grounds are beautiful and it is neat to see the remnants of the trenches/battle lines.  

    I do envy your trip!
    Cheese
    Link Posted: 8/23/2006 7:33:15 AM EDT
    [#29]
    We did a trip like this when we went to Wyoming and it was great.  We will stop in a small town and get some bread and lunch meat for a picnic lunch everyday and keep a cooler in the car.  

    As I said earlier I am trying to keep the trip fairly cheap.

    I am really looking forward to it too.
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