Our New England Road Trip continues in this next installment and it's the most scenic one. We will be driving from North Conway and the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire all the way to Burlington in Vermont, and see some surprises along the way. As you will see we had some rain on this day. It didn't lessen the experience, but we just couldn't walk around as much as we would have liked. We did see a lot though. From the early start in North Conway, to the wonders of a fall forest, Vermont's hills, Montpelier, Stowe and lastly Burlington, where we spent the night. So come along and join us for a scenic drive.
Breakfest and Fall Colors in North ConwayNorth Conway came as a discovery to me. Initially we were supposed to spend the night in Portland (and had a motel booked, which we had to cancel, free of charge luckily), but as plans shifted I realized that we had a short drive one day, and a really long one the next, so a town in the middle had to be found. Once we discovered the outlet mall in North Conway we knew it was the perfect place to sleep in.
The Stairway Cafe. It was very delicious. Once again we got served home fries for breakfast which is very unusual for us, but it was great nonetheless. It was time to move on. We had a longer drive today and lots to see. We tanked gas and drove towards the White Mountain National Forest.
Covered Bridges of New EnglandOne of the great sights in New England were covered bridges. We saw a few during our stay. The one we saw just outside of North Conway was actually a gift shop, but we did stop anyway and took some pictures and headed inside to see what was on display. The river flowing underneath gave a nice reflection of the surrounding fall colors.
White Mountain National ForestProbably the most colorful sights of our trip were in the White Mountain National Forest. While often casually referred to as a park, this is a National Forest, used not only for hiking, camping, and skiing, but for logging and other limited commercial purposes. The forest is the only National Forest located in either New Hampshire or Maine. Most of the major peaks over 4,000 feet high for peak-bagging in New Hampshire are located in the National Forest. Over 100 miles (160 km) of the Appalachian Trail traverses here as well.
Into the ForestWe couldn't just stay at the parking lot. After the car was locked, a narrow walking path took us across the nearby pond and into the fall colored forest. The trails lead much deeper into the woods, we only stayed at the entrance, since we were restricted with time, but were also without hiking gear. We made a lot of images here, only some of which I can post here, otherwise the post would contain hundreds of images. I do hope to show you the outtakes as well one day.
Crossing into VermontThe next state we crossed into was Vermont. Right from the start it charmed us with its beauty. The small villages and amazing fall foliage blended into each other. We stopped for gas and continued towards Montpelier. A part of this trip was driven on the highways so that we could make it in time to Burlington at the end of the day.
MontpelierWe had lunch in Montpelier, which is the state capital of Vermont. Unfortunately the rain stopped us from really exploring the town. One interesting fact about Montpelier is that it's the smallest state capital of any US State. It's much like any other small New England town. Still we had a great time here and an amazing lunch at the Down Home Kitchen restaurant. The most interesting sight of Montpelier is the State Capitol which is the legislative building. It hosts free tours.
StoweNext up was the charming (I'm fully aware that I'm using the word too much, but everything truly was charming, so I have to repeat it :) town Stowe. It's only a 40 minute drive from Burlington. Stowe is host to arts and crafts shows, a balloon festival, and many other special events. The weekend-long British Invasion event is held annually in Stowe during the third week of September. The Stowe Theater Guild, along with Hyde Park Opera House, and the Waterbury Festival Players, offer theatrical productions each summer. Again, the rain on this day hindered me from really exploring the town, but I still got out of the car and took some photos.
Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream FactoryAfter lunch we were craving something sweet, and while in Vermont you can't miss the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory. For 3$ you can take the factory tour or simply buy a scoop of one of the many flavors this ice cream factory is know for. It goes without saying that the ice cream was incredibly delicious.
A Night in BurlingtonWe finally made it to Burlignton. It was after 6 when we got to the hotel. Burlington, although a student city (it is home to the University of Vermont and Champlain College, a small private college), isn't really that cheap which surprised me since all the other towns were relatively affordable. Still the city is really great, especially the Church Street Marketplace at night, which is a glowing walking lane.
Rí Rá Irish Pub. We shared a baked spinach and artichoke dip as well. All very delicious.
The day came to an end and we headed back to our hotel for the night. The next day waited for us, which included a drive through Vermont Route 100 towards New York City. But more on that in the next installment.
End of Part Six
End of Part Six
To be continued...