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Thursday, October 13, 2022


Spending some time in New England in the Fall has always been on the proverbial list.  I've never been to that part of the country and from the pictures I'd seen over the years, I knew it would be memorable....especially for a gal whose favorite season is Fall.

For those who know me, I do A LOT of research prior to my travel.  Not knowing when I may return, I try to make my trips a totally immersive experience and take in as much as I can.   It also makes it extra special when it's our annual Mother/Daughter vacation.  

I knew Fall color in that part of the country is later than here in Colorado, so I landed on September 26-October 5.  As it turned out, Mother Nature did a fantastic job of showing off for us!

Here's the itinerary I developed: 
  • Day 1 - Fly from Denver to Boston
  • Day 2 - Explore Salem, then drive to Lincoln, New Hampshire
  • Day 3 - Scenic drive to Manchester, Vermont
  • Day 4 - Scenic drive to Stowe, Vermont (stay 3 trips)
  • Day 5 - Scenic drive to Burlington, Vermont and Shelburne Farms
  • Day 6 - Scenic drive around Stowe/Mt. Mansfield/covered bridges
  • Day 7 - Scenic drive Stowe, Vermont to North Woodstock, New Hampshire
  • Day 8 - Scenic drive via the Kancamangus highway to Kennebunkport, Maine
  • Day 9 - Scenic drive via Coastal Route 1 to Boston
  • Day 10 - Fly Boston to Denver  
FYI- My scenic drives have multiple stops along the way                       


Must See's:
Salem (self-guided historical walking tour)
Montpelier State House
Hildene- Lincoln Home
Echo Lake
Woodstock, VT
Vermont Country Store
Granville Gulf Reservation State Forest
Flume Gorge (trip highlight)
Shelburne Farms, Shelburne winery
Ben and Jerry's 
Von Trapp Bierhall and Brewery
Mt. Mansfield 
Covered bridges (so many between New Hampshire and VT.....I narrowed it down to five in Stowe)
Cafe' Lafayette dinner train (trip highlight-it's a splurge)
Driving the Kancamangus Hwy
Rockport, New Hampshire

Skip It:
(we did all these and would skip them based upon our experience)
Salem Witch Museum
Burlington, VT
Gondola ride at Mt. Mansfield in Stowe

Kennebunkport, Maine (many stores/restaurants were closed...bus loads of people being dropped off)
Stowe (as a place to stay....find lodging elsewhere...DEFINITELY do a day trip to the area)                                                                                       

We learned the hard way that many restaurants close at 2 or 3p.   Most of the lodges/inns I booked provided some type of breakfast.  So we'd eat and take off on the scenic ride I had planned for the day....then, by the time we finished it would be mid-afternoon and we had a hard time finding somewhere to have lunch.  No fun being hangry on vacation.  TIP- Do a little research...and pack some snacks in the car.  

Kennebunkport was a disappointment as I shared....but the seafood was amazing.  We split a lobster roll and each had a cup of clam chowder from the one restaurant we found open for lunch.   We chose to go back to the same place (Mabel's) for dinner and split lobster mac and cheese and crab cakes.  Both meals were delicious!

We drove a total of 1,361 miles on this trip, and were mesmerized by the color.  I love Fall in Colorado, don't get me wrong...but the east coast Fall is completely different and you just have to experience it to understand what I mean.  

I did well with the lodges/inns I booked in Vermont and New Hampshire...they were pricey, but I expected that based upon the time of year.   The two worst hotels were those I booked in the Boston area on the outbound and return.   The meals prices caught me completely off guard...but dining out everywhere right now is crazy.  

We both enjoyed New Hampshire more than Vermont was a little quainter, quieter, and the scenery was better, probably because of the terrain.  It's very hilly, and the drives through the state were breathtaking!                                                                                                                                        

The 2023 Mother/Daughter trip is seven months from now.  Flights and hotels are booked and I've already got a pretty well planned itinerary.  Can't come soon enough for me!

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