New Hampshire, Vermont or Maine?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by judiz, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    Thinking of taking out summer vacation either in New Hampshire, Vermont or Maine. Would like to hear from others who have been to those states and what they liked or didn't like. We are not interested in hiking or outdoor sports, but like to go to the beach or lake to swim or relax, looking for a quiet place to relax but want to have the option of shopping and good choice of restaurants.
     
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  2. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    I love the Kittery Maine area. Quiet, peaceful, on the seacoast and has outlet shops.
     
  3. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    I'm partial to York and Boothbay Harbor, both in Maine.
     
  4. Integrity

    Integrity Active Member

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    I'd probably choose in this order: Maine, New Hampshire, then Vermont. I'll admit to having spent the least time in Vermont, however.
     
  5. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    I've spent a fair amount of time in Piscataquis County, Maine, which is the least-populated area and probably a little too quiet, actually :lol: It was kind of like I never left the U.P. each time I got there, which made for an interesting vacation. I was sometimes bored though. Going from one of the least-populated places in the country in the woods to one of the least-populated places in the country in the woods did not quite make for the vacation I always wanted as a kid :lol: I have family there, which is why it was always the go-to spot, and I think I'd appreciate it a lot more now that I'm older.

    I think the only place I've been to in Maine that was fairly populated was during day trips to Bar Harbor, which is a cute place but there can be a lot of people there. Definitely a lot of restaurants and shops though. I'm sure there's a quiet place near it; most of Maine is pretty quiet.

    Vermont is gorgeous. My mother had a friend with a farm and a hundred acres on a river next to a mountain and my goal is to emulate that one day :lol: Which will probably never happen. Beautiful, beautiful state. I remember that everyone there was very nice as well.

    I've never been to New Hampshire that I can recall. I would definitely recommend either of the other two. Lobster is so cheap in Maine, so it would probably top the list, haha.
     
  6. mikey

    mikey ...an acquired taste

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    When I was a teenager, my awful parents made us go up to Maine each summer to do these Windjammer schooner cruises up and down the Maine coastline, based out of Camden, I think. It was like being in jail- they made you clean the boat each day, then you had to sit around for hours doing nothing but watch the scenery pass by. I must have read a dozen books each trip. Sometimes, just to rub salt in the wound, the boat would stop on some deserted island so we could have a lobster bake. (Interestingly enough, it was on one of these trips when I discovered that, like my father, I am allergic to shellfish.) To be fair, though, I do remember the food being otherwise pretty good, and I used to steal beer from the galley at night (which, although certainly fun, was not always a good thing since the boat rocked back and forth all night long while we were trying to sleep). Every now and then we saw moose, which was cool, and there's nothing like the sound that loons make.
     
  7. Marney0612

    Marney0612 Member

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    My husband and I are planning a trip to New Hampshire. Does anyone have any recommendations?

    We just returned from the Burlington, Vermont area and we had a great time. There's a great down town area with lots of shops and restaurants. We also liked Manchester.
     
  8. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    Putting in a vote for Vermont -- but then I'm biased, having spent all my summer vacations as a child at my grandmother's farm in east central Vermont (not a lot of what you are looking for there, though) . I will second what Marney said about the Burlington, VT area. And if you have any interest at all in Americana, folk art, or antiques, the Shelburne Museum is a must see. Its over-whelming collections of all sorts of stuff (quilts, tools, toys, decoys, scrimshaw, horse-drawn vehicles, etc.) are exhibited in a village-like setting of 39 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the Museum grounds from other parts of Vermont and New England.

    ETA: If you like ice cream, specifically Ben & Jerry's, you can take a tour of their plant in Waterbury, VT. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
  9. madm

    madm Active Member

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    I recommend seeing all 3 states on a driving trip! About 30 years ago my husband and I bought a book about the Country Inns (B&Bs) of New England, and we set off from our in-laws in New Jersey for about 10 days (in mid May). We had no idea where we'd stay on the way. We looked up places in our book and decided each day or two which ones to call and reserve, based on the descriptions. It was a blast. We met fantastic people at each inn. My favorite spots were in southern Vermont, a North Conway inn near Mt. Washington NH, and the Pentagoet Inn in Castine, Maine on the coast. We drove as far as Acadia National Park. If you stay at B&Bs, you will meet may of the local folks who stop in for cocktails and meals. The only place we didn't like was the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT because it seemed too tacky and commercial for us. We deemed our stay there "trapped in a family lodge".
     
  10. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    Add in upstate New York and Lake George to the driving trip! :)

    O-
     
  11. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    A third recommendation on Burlington, VT. The city is indeed lovely and fun, and from there you can go to Ben& Jerry's (about an hour away?) and Lake Champlain. If you're interested in history, you can take the bridge (is there still a bridge? Or is that the one that got washed out in the flooding a couple years back?) over to Ticonderoga, NY (south and east of Burlington). If you like to hike, drive to Mt Mansfield or Camels Hump. If you're longing for a day in French Canada, drive about 2 hrs and you're in Montreal.

    Also, if you like completely pretty drives, Vermont does NOT allow billboards. You notice this mostly when you head into other states and are slapped with a huge slew of billboards. :lol:
     
  12. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

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    There is a bridge across Lake Champlain to NY near Ticonderoga. The old one was closed a few years ago and demolished (not related to flooding, though a few historic bridges were destroyed by Irene, which is probably what you're thinking of) and the new one opened last year I think.

    Maine doesn't allow billboards either. I also don't remember ever seeing billboards when I've driven through New Hampshire and I always know when I cross into Massachusetts because there are a whole bunch of them right as you cross the state line. Maybe there are in some places in NH but not along the major highways or any of the state highways I've driven on through mostly small towns.
     
  13. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    Thank you everyone for your imput
     
  14. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    Not Lake George, too built-up and commercialized. You gotta go farther north, like Keene Valley, or Saranac Lake areas.
     
  15. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    Lots of trips to Maine but few to the other 2 states. I enjoyed Moosehead Lake in Maine so much! I've been there twice....and went on an early morning moose hunt - not to shoot with guns, of course, but with cameras! Our guide called himself "The Moose Whisperer." He was a riot! Loved Camden but Boothbay Harbour and Bar Harbour were just too touristy for me.

    We did enjoy taking the "Cat" (not sure it runs any more) up to Nova Scotia for the day. Also enjoyed driving up to Quebec City....now I'm getting too far afield. I need to go back to QC after I brush up on my French....

    Definitely try Moosehead Lake. Enough to do but you can do absolutely nothing if you like. And just gorgeous country! I'd go in early fall. Driving through all of the pristine little Maine villages was something I will never forget, with the beautiful foliage. Guess that's tourist season though. It didn't seem too crowded.
     
  16. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

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    Maine, followed by Vermont. I ran a very successful seven day convention around the Portland, Maine Area for more than 300 people. If you use Portland as your home base, you can get to great places within 1/2 hour - 2 hours, i.e. Kennebunkport, Freeport, all of the great little coastal towns, including Camden, which is gorgeous. Portland is also known for its great restaurants and have more micro=breweries per capita than any other city. There is also quite a few things one can do in the Port area of Portland, including the CASCO bay tours, which are very relaxing. If you want to do something more involved, you go out lobstering with an actual lobster fisherman. You can catch your own lobster if you have a place to cook it. Some of our conventioneers cooked their lobsters out in the parking lot. Lots of great coastal restaurants, lighthouse tours, etc.

    If you want something more, head up the coast to Bar Harbor and Acadia state park.
     
  17. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    We vacationed at Lake George last year, beautiful but we didn't chose the best hotel and too little to do at night if you weren't into the arcades or shopping on the main street.
     
  18. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    If you thought there was too little to do at Lake George then don't go to Keene or Saranac. There's even less to do there. Both are primarily for sportmen or folks who want peace and quiet.
     
  19. Reuven

    Reuven Official FSU Alte Kacher

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    The Cat does not run anymore. There are rumblings about restoring ferry service to N.S. though.

    Portland is also a pedestrian friendly town. It's a pretty compact downtown makes it very easy to get to shops, especially in the Old Port area and the waterfront.
     
  20. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    Keene, Saranac. Not my faves.

    O-
     
  21. madm

    madm Active Member

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    The L.L.Bean store in Freeport, Maine is awesome, if you are an outdoorsy type or just want to buy some well-made clothing! It's open 24 hours a day.
     
  22. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    Can't you get from Vermont to Lake Placid by ferry?
     
  23. Marney0612

    Marney0612 Member

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    You can take a ferry across Lake Champlain. Lake Placid is a bit inland though, maybe a 45 minute drive (I don't remember exactly, but there's definitely a bit of a drive). I love Lake Placid though, we do a long weekend there every year.

    We are planning a trip to Maine in a few weeks. We are still working on the details. In the past, we've done Ogunquit and Bar Harbor. We've loved both, but may try something different this year.