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6- to 10-Day North New England Tour

Northern New England has its culture, but most people who tour here are looking for outdoor adventure. This itinerary can also be followed as two shorter trips.

Mount Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine
Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine.

The suggested tour itinerary below gives you a good introduction to the three northern New England states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, and is especially good for those interested in the outdoors.

The itinerary may be divided into two shorter independent tours of four days and six days:, or followed as a full 10-day tour:

4-Day Tour

Days 1 through 4 is a short tour of the seacoasts of New Hampshire and Maine, returning to Boston on Day 4 instead of going to Bethel ME.

6-Day Tour

Days 5 through 10 is a six-day tour of New Hampshire and Vermont: drive north from Boston to North Conway NH, and pick up the itinerary at that point on Day 5.

Full 10-Day Tour

Day 1 - NH & Maine Beaches

Head north from Boston on I-93, then I-95, stopping at Portsmouth NH for lunch and a tour of Strawbery Banke and a stop at a New Hampshire beach. Continue to the southern Maine coast for beaches, culture and shopping, staying the night in Ogunquit or Kennebunkport, or, if you prefer, in Portland.

Day 2 - Midcoast Maine

Continue northward along I-95, stopping for some shopping in Freeport, home of L L Bean and many factory outlets. Just before Brunswick, follow US 1, continuing through Bath. Spend part of the day around Boothbay Harbor, or Camden, or Blue Hill, but plan to stay the night in one of Bar Harbor's sumptuous inns.

Day 3 - Acadia & Bar Harbor

Explore Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, with another overnight here.

Day 4 - Inland Maine

Return to Portland and drive north on the Maine Turnpike and Maine Route 26 via Sabbathday Lake and Poland Spring to Bethel, for the night.

Day 5 - NH White Mountains

Follow US 2 west to Gorham NH, then NH 16 south through Pinkham Notch to Glen and North Conway. Have lunch in North Conway, or buy supplies for a picnic, then drive westward along the Kancamagus Highway, the heart of the White Mountains.

Stop for a picnic and a short hike at one of the White Mountain National Forest areas along the highway.

Spend the night at Lincoln or North Woodstock, at the western end of the highway.

Day 6 - Northern Vermont

Drive north from Lincoln through Franconia Notch, stopping to see the Flume Gorge and other natural wonders.

Stop for lunch in Littleton, then head southwest on US 302 into Vermont. You may want to take a look at the Rock of Ages granite quarry and Hope Cemetery in Barre, next to Montpelier. Spend the night in Stowe, Burlington, or Sugarbush Valley.

Day 7 - Central Vermont

Visit the Shelburne Museum south of Burlington, then follow US 7 south through Middlebury and the Middlebury Gap to Hancock, on VT Route 100. Drive south on VT 100, perhaps with a detour to Woodstock or Plymouth. Stay the night in Woodstock, Weston or Grafton.

Day 8 - Southern Vermont

Spend today exploring the beautiful towns and villages of southern Vermont: Manchester, Dorset, Grafton, Newfane, Weston. Spend the night in any one of these.

Day 9 - Berkshire Hills

From Manchester, go south along US 7 via Arlington to Bennington for a visit to Old Bennington, the Bennington Battle Monument, and Bennington Museum. If you have the time, you can slip across the state line to see Williamstown MA and the wonderful Clark Art Institute and/or Mass MoCa in North Adams. Stay the night in Bennington.

Day 10 - Mt Monadnock

Go east along VT Route 9, the Molly Stark Trail, via Marlboro to Brattleboro, perhaps with a detour to Newfane for lunch. Continue via Keene NH and Mount Monadnock back to Boston, or homeward.