PDA

View Full Version : New England Vacation Ideas



Matt Meiser
05-31-2009, 11:11 PM
We are planning a vacation to New England this summer. We'll be driving, and towing a camper but we are still considering spending two-three days in the Boston area. We are talking about possibly heading as far north as Warren, ME (bet you can't guess why ;)) But we don't have any definite plans yet and are looking for ideas of must-see things in the region. CT, RI, MA, NH, VT, and ME are all within the realm of possibility. Also if there's any must-see things (besides Niagara Falls--already planning to stop there) in New York along I-90.

Also if anyone has suggestions for camping within reasonable day-trip distance to Boston that would be a much appreciated. In other areas we can trust our Good Sam book, but in urban/suburban areas its better to get advise because the ratings don't take into account the surrounding area or access to the city.

Jim Kountz
05-31-2009, 11:21 PM
Matt, I didnt camp but the wife and I took a 4 day weekend to Boston a few years ago. We stayed in Woburn and caught the trolley into town each day. They give you the .10 cent tour and kind of give you a good idea where everything is. We loved Boston and are planning to go back someday, the history is rich and the food is excellent.

Greg Cuetara
05-31-2009, 11:42 PM
Lots of camping areas up here in Maine. If you can go further up the coast of Maine it is definately worth hitting Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. On the way up there is the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. It is a new cable stayed bridge but has an observatory at the top. Something I have been wanting to get up to but it is still a few hours north of me.

In Portland there is a great area called the old port right down on the water. Some good places to eat and nice shops. Also right outside of Portland is Portland Head Light. One of the most famous and photographed lighthouses in the country.

Also gotta get out and buy some lobsters for a cookout. Let me know if there is anything I can do our help you out with while up here in Maine.

Greg

Eric Larsen
05-31-2009, 11:48 PM
Out of the way places, in no particular order:


http://www.kurumi.com/roads/ct/pics/photo-br-cornwall.jpg

1) West Cornwall, CT for the covered bridge. The town is nice, too. With a great shaker furniture workshop worth stopping at.

2) Concord, NH for the history

3) Old Sturbridge Village, MA, if you're into colonial history (re-enactment).

4) In summer only, the area around the town of Brimfield, MA for the antiques. Check your dates -- see if anything lines up.

5) Mystic, CT -- for the seaport (if you're into tall ships)

6) Manchester, VT -- plenty to see and do, but not TOO touristy.

7) Montpelier, VT -- less to see and do, not at all touristy (probably my favorite town in all of New England). (Edit -- If you make it this far north, it's not too far to Montreal -- one of the world's great cities. But I wouldn't want to drive an RV through downtown Montreal. Day trip it to this one, if you decide to do it. And ask someone to point out a place for poutine and duck. They do it right in Montreal.)

8) Any coastal town in Maine. Take your pick -- Kennebunkport, Ogonquit, Bar Harbor. Doesn't matter -- Maine is great. Stop at any seafood restaurant where the majority of the license plates in the parking lot are from Maine. That strategy works well for ALL New England restaurants. (Edit -- Well, I mean ME plates in ME, NH plates in NH, CT plates in CT, you get what I mean.) Eat where the locals eat. Ask around. Locals know the best spots and are happy to tell you where the good stuff is. Ignore any recommendations of Outback or Olive Garden. Ask for the little drive-ins and small restaurants that make New England such a great area for foodies.

9) Any coastal town in Rhode Island. I love Rhode Island. If your trip coincides with any of the Portugese festivals, go to one. (Edit: In the coastal towns, they sell something called a "Clambake in a Can." It's expensive but worth every penny. Take the 5-gallon can, punch some holes in it with a pocket knife, and put in on a hot BBQ grill for an hour. Heaven on Earth. Google it.)

10) Resist the urge to hit Cape Cod in the summer. The traffic will cause you to pull your hair out. Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are similarly best in shoulder season.

11) As for Boston -- Union Oyster House get a few dozen oysters and gawk at the history. Walk around a lot. Use the T. Go to Chinatown, the North End, the area around Boyleston St., Government Center for Faneuil Hall and the Liberty Trail. If you're a baseball fan, Fenway is not to be missed -- even if you're a Yankees fan. There is nothing like seeing a game in the Fenway bleachers. You'll have more fun in the bleachers than you will in the box seats.


My advice, park the RV in a few central spots and day-trip it. Also, find a family-run maple syrup sugar shack in Connecticut, Massachusetts or Vermont that is along your route. Prepare for sticker shock, but buy with both hands.

There are New Englanders who know their syrup like Napa people know their chardonnay.

Tim Morton
05-31-2009, 11:55 PM
If you like the water then i would suggest Peters Pond on the cape...we camped there every summer for years....you would want to call now to see if there is any sites available. It is an hour from boston...

http://www.morganrvresorts.com/pages/peters_pond_about

Looking at the website it seems that have been bought out by some cooperate reit, and the website does NOT represent the experiences we always had. Its a smallish family type park with lots of seasonal campers. Low key and not at all fancy...it is right at the edge of the cape so you are close to everything. It has its own beach on a fairly large pond (small lake).

But the ocean is 10 minutes away.

Obviously try and get red sox tickets too:cool:

Carlos Alden
06-01-2009, 1:06 AM
Go see Fort Ticonderoga, about 1.5 hours north of Albany. Fantastic Revolutionary War history.

Roger Newby
06-01-2009, 9:17 AM
If you don't mind going a little south of I-95, The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY is really great. They have regularly scheduled glass blowing demos and all sorts of wonderful displays of various glass art. And there are many nice wood pieces as well. One warning, the gift shop can blow your budget if you aren't careful.:eek:

Roger

Cliff Rohrabacher
06-01-2009, 9:48 AM
If you are going to be driving through Rhode Island be sure to stop for lunch at Evelyn's: 2335 Main Rd, Tiverton. Good fish eats.

Too bad you aren't "really" going to be down Maine or I'd send you to Helen's in Machias That part of Maine where you are going isn't really in Maine at all, it just looks that way on the maps. You aren't in Maine till you are north of Bangor.

John Shuk
06-01-2009, 9:58 AM
Letchworth state park is worth seeing. Not too far from Niagara falls. The grand canyon of the east it's called.

Eric Roberge
06-01-2009, 10:00 AM
Historic Portsmouth NH - Strawberry Banke Museum / Prescott Park area / Downtown

Kennebunkport ME is a very nice area

White Mtns NH - North Conway area (Shopping for the wife)

Have a safe trip!

jerry nazard
06-01-2009, 11:31 AM
The Berkshires in SW Mass.

Chris Weishaar
06-01-2009, 11:33 AM
Matt,

If you make it all the way to Burlington Vermont there is a fun campground right in the city and on the lake. This is the website: http://www.enjoyburlington.com/campground.cfm

You are in the city, but in the woods and on the lake. There is plenty to do in Burlington and the surrounding area. The lake is great, plenty of shopping and dining as well. This year we are celebrating the 400th anniversery of Champlain "discovering" the lake and there are a ton of events and concerts going on. Here is a link for that: http://www.celebratechamplain.org/

Sites close by include the Vermont Teddy Bear company and Ben and Jerry's.

Chris

jeremy levine
06-01-2009, 11:57 AM
Letchworth state park is worth seeing. Not too far from Niagara falls. The grand canyon of the east it's called.


Do this ! It is great. You could also make your way to Lake Placid NY.

Eric Larsen
06-01-2009, 12:39 PM
I'd visit Burlington even if they weren't having any festivals. I can't believe I didn't put that on my previous list!

Burlington is one of those places that when you go there, you find yourself wondering, "Why isn't the population in the millions?" (Then it dawns on you -- January, February and March. :D)

Nate Carey
06-01-2009, 12:55 PM
Matt,

New Bedford, Massachusetts...
http://www.whalingmuseum.org/

...and if you do get to the Burlington, Vermont area...
http://www.shelburnemuseum.org/ ...

Lee Schierer
06-01-2009, 1:41 PM
In Boston go see Old Ironsides. She's a beauty.

Lots of covered bridges in Vermont and New Hampsire. You can climb Mt. Washington too. Beautiful view from the top and going up. Not for the timid driver though.

If you go to the Falls, plan on going to the Canadian side as they have a better view than we do. You'll need passports though. Plan on doing lots of walking as parking near the Falls is costly and crowded.

As you go past Erie, PA stop in and see the Brig Niagara. She's home ported there.

Matt Meiser
06-01-2009, 1:52 PM
If you go to the Falls, plan on going to the Canadian side as they have a better view than we do. You'll need passports though.

We had wanted to do that, but my passport is expired and my wife and daughter don't have them. I'd forgotten all about the upcoming change in ID requirements and was disappointed to see that they went into effect today when I checked last night.

I wouldn't not want to be crossing today! I'd bet there are some long lines.

Plus, you can get into Canada without your passport, but not return home.

BTW, keep the ideas coming. I've started adding things we are interested in to a Google Map so we can determine where to stay and a route.

Lee Schierer
06-01-2009, 2:05 PM
We had wanted to do that, but my passport is expired and my wife and daughter don't have them. I'd forgotten all about the upcoming change in ID requirements and was disappointed to see that they went into effect today when I checked last night.

I wouldn't not want to be crossing today! I'd bet there are some long lines.

Plus, you can get into Canada without your passport, but not return home.

BTW, keep the ideas coming. I've started adding things we are interested in to a Google Map so we can determine where to stay and a route.

I recommend the Maid of The Mist, but not the cavern tours. You get great views from the boats, but only wet from the cavern tours.

Carlos Alden
06-01-2009, 3:17 PM
Oh yeah, if you go through Buffalo to get to Niagara Falls stop at The Anchor Bar on Main St. It's where Buffalo Wings came from. The real deal. I grew up in that part of the world and the pizza and wings were tremendous. The only other pizza I've had that came close was in New York City.

When I moved to San Francisco I went into deep pizza mourning.

Anchor Bar
1047 Main St
Buffalo, NY 14209
(716) 332-4917

Carlos

Tom Kelley
06-01-2009, 4:38 PM
Matt, the answer is easy. Just go to Acadia National Park. There will only be one problem. You won't want to leave!
Tom

John Fricke
06-01-2009, 5:47 PM
Matt,
Looks like you better add a week or 2 to your itinerary.

Matt Meiser
06-01-2009, 11:13 PM
John, I think you are right--I wish we had the time.

Jim Becker
06-01-2009, 11:35 PM
Visit Andy Hoyt in ME! And Acadia NP is wonderful. Drive a little farther north to the Bay of Fundy if you have time!

Matt Meiser
06-18-2009, 9:35 AM
Well, we decided that John is right so we are pretty much going to Maine on vacation. We are going to spend two nights in Sturbridge, MA and go to Old Sturbridge Village. And on the way home we'll probably stop somewhere in New York for a day. We are going to spend a few days on Mt. Desert Island (couldn't get an RV camp site at Acadia) and a few days near Freeport. We are planning to stop at Lie Nielsen on the way by there. And we set up a tour of the Thomas Moser shop (the woodworking shop, not the furniture store) when we are staying in Freeport.

We decided Boston is a trip in itself, and might not be the best camping trip so we'll go there another time.

Leo Voisine
06-18-2009, 11:07 AM
Well, we decided that John is right so we are pretty much going to Maine on vacation. We are going to spend two nights in Sturbridge, MA and go to Old Sturbridge Village. And on the way home we'll probably stop somewhere in New York for a day. We are going to spend a few days on Mt. Desert Island (couldn't get an RV camp site at Acadia) and a few days near Freeport. We are planning to stop at Lie Nielsen on the way by there. And we set up a tour of the Thomas Moser shop (the woodworking shop, not the furniture store) when we are staying in Freeport.

We decided Boston is a trip in itself, and might not be the best camping trip so we'll go there another time.


Ask a lifelong New Englander - that loves New England where to visit - Did I ever tell you I love New England? Uh maybe knot - yet - but I will be,

Diane and I decided to just stay home and visit - or revisit our own back yard.

I grew up in New Bedford - actually walked to the whaling museum many mnay times.

Boston - LONG WARF -- has more that you could possibly do in one day - or two weeks for that matter. Park at the New England Aquarium parking garage. Bring a VERY larg bag full of money. Within walking distance - again - there is more than you could possibly do - but you could go eat in America's OLDEST resteraunt. Seafood - very good. Tea Party, OLD State house, Boston Common, Duck boat rides, lots of Boston harbor cruises, about 500 restaurants with 1/4 mile, Faniel Hall marketplace. And so much more.

Western Mass - there is a nicely restored Old Shaker village - Hancock Shaker Village. In woodworking we often talk about Shaker Furniture - well this is a gold mine.

Newport Rhode Island is an AWESOME place to visit. LOTS to do and see.

Marthas Vinyard

Cape Cod

Nantucket

Providence - is up and coming - look for the water fires - really nice.

email me if ya want.

Greg Cuetara
06-18-2009, 11:31 PM
Enjoy the Thomas Moser shop. Let me know how it is as it is about 2 miles from my house and I have never been there.

Orion Henderson
06-19-2009, 11:29 AM
Bar Harbor in Maine is well worth the trip IMHO. The national park there is great-get to the top of Cadillac mountain for sunrise. Not that I have ever actually made it that early, but still. They have good campgrounds-just make sure you book in advance.

Newport, RI is worth a few days. The mansion walk is a must see and I would make sure to visit http://www.theballandclaw.com/ in Newport as well-Jeffrey Greene makes about the finest examples of Goddard and Townshend style furniture being made today. He is a true master.

And of course you can always visit Horton Brasses:-) in Cromwell, CT. Not much to see though.

I have always loved the cape. But it does get crowded. Still worth it to me though and I will probably be going this summer. It is really an essential NE summer spot. I don't really like going for a whole week, but 3 days is just about right.

If you make it to VT, the Northeast Kingdom-East Burke, St. Johnsbury, etc are great for pretty much any outdoor activity if that is what you like. The NE Kingdom is north of I-89 along I-91 and east of Montpelier more or less.

Nancy Laird
06-19-2009, 11:58 AM
Matt, LOML and I made a trip to the Boston area several years ago, and we were camping out of the back of our pick-up then!! We stayed here: http://www.trailerlifedirectory.com/travel/campgroundsandrvparks/GeneralInfo.aspx?city=Boston&state=MA&country=USA&cgid=731004535&cgcity=Monson&cgstate=MA&type=&g=GS%20Park&ad=535&or=False&vt=&adExp=False&pdfExp=False

It was an easy drive into Boston, and also not far from Old Sturbridge Village. It was a nice park (then), and looks like it may have improved since then. We enjoyed our stay there. If you're going into Boston, be sure to visit the USS Constitution, Fanuel Hall, and the Commons. Those are definitely don't-miss things to see. There is a walking tour of Boston that you can follow, including Old North Church and other such sites.

Have a great trip. I envy you. Just stay off the freeways during rush hour!!!

Walter Plummer
06-21-2009, 11:26 AM
Matt, I have you covered.
fairfeildantiquesmall.com.
fortknox.maineguide.com
Route 1 from Belfast to Ellsworth is just one long flea market in the summer.
And the best for last: jonesport-wood.com. Liberty is the largest store. Capt.Tinkers the smallest. and the BEST stuff is at the Hull`s Cove store on Mt.Desert Island. Don`t you love it when a plan comes together?:D

John Shuk
06-21-2009, 1:14 PM
Wave to my wife and kids as you pass by South Portland/Scarborough.