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10-17-2018, 02:54 AM   #1
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USA Road Trip

Hi Guys

I am planning a Road Trip in the USA North West

The Plan is to Fly in to Boston, rent a car, drive North to Arcadia NP in Maine, then West to Niagara Falls, then loop back down the Hudson Valley to NYC, out to the Hamptons, across to Rhode Island then back to Boston.

The things I want to shoot are Arcadia NP, White Mountain, Niagara Falls, and NYC.

I really don't know the areas well though, so I'd love to know if anyone knows where to go and what to shoot in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York State - plus Long Island, RI, and Massachusetts

It is early in the planning stages, so all input is welcome

Cheers

Glenn

10-17-2018, 03:55 AM   #2
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Don't get overwhelmed

QuoteOriginally posted by shuttles12000 Quote
Hi Guys

I am planning a Road Trip in the USA North West

The Plan is to Fly in to Boston, rent a car, drive North to Arcadia NP in Maine, then West to Niagara Falls, then loop back down the Hudson Valley to NYC, out to the Hamptons, across to Rhode Island then back to Boston.

The things I want to shoot are Arcadia NP, White Mountain, Niagara Falls, and NYC.

I really don't know the areas well though, so I'd love to know if anyone knows where to go and what to shoot in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York State - plus Long Island, RI, and Massachusetts

It is early in the planning stages, so all input is welcome

Cheers

Glenn
First, I wanted to point our that it is Northeast not Northwest, then i noted where you are from and realized going from the bottom of the planet to the top could cause confusion. As to where and what to shoot I would suggest trying to focus on specific interests (landscape, cityscapes, history, etc) and plan from there. If your interest is general then just wander. I do not think you will be disappointed. Prepare for people and traffic congestion. The distances may seem short but have some food in the car. Travel will probably be slow. Acadia is well worthwhile as is most of the Maine coast. New Hampshire and Vermont are also great landscape subjects. A bit farther west the Adirondacks in New York is much the same. Heading toward Niagara you can travel along the route of the Erie Canal. The area provides a variety of landscapes and too much American history. New York City is a place unto itself. if you like sail boats and maritime history Rhode Island and Connecticut will provide. The time of the year will make a difference of course as will the length (time) of your visit. When and if you can focus on interest and areas I am sure you can get detailed advice on this forum.
10-17-2018, 04:26 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuttles12000 Quote
Hi Guys

I am planning a Road Trip in the USA North West

The Plan is to Fly in to Boston, rent a car, drive North to Arcadia NP in Maine, then West to Niagara Falls, then loop back down the Hudson Valley to NYC, out to the Hamptons, across to Rhode Island then back to Boston.

The things I want to shoot . . . Niagara Falls, . . .

Cheers

Glenn
regarding Niagara Falls

in case you don't know, there are two falls: American ( U S ) and Horseshoe ( Canada )

Niagara Falls - Bing - Travel New York State

Niagara Falls - Bing - Travel Ontario

as well as the rapids before and after the falls

there is a bridge down river from the falls which you can use to cross the river

if interested in military history:


Chippawa Battlefield Park

Chippawa Battlefield Park (Niagara Falls) - 2018 All You Need to Know Before You Go (with PHOTOS) - TripAdvisor

Chippawa Battlefield Park - Things to do | Niagara Falls Canada

__________________


how adventurous are you ?

how do you plan to get from Maine to Niagara ?


if you want to try going from Maine through Quebec and Montreal, that opens more possibilities and remember that Montreal ( Province of Quebec ) is in the part of Canada where French is the official language but:


Language
Although Canada - as a national entity - is officially bilingual, each province adopts its own official provincial language. Quebec is officially a French-speaking province; however, don't be intimidated if you don't speak French. Millions of people visit Quebec every year who speak only English. Non-French-speaking visitors can get by in larger cities, like Quebec City and Montreal, and other popular tourist spots. If you do get off the beaten path, you will encounter people who speak only French, so a phrase book is a good idea. . . .

Travel Information for Quebec, Canada

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the thought of driving and parking in NYC

Last edited by aslyfox; 10-17-2018 at 04:33 AM.
10-17-2018, 05:01 AM   #4
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First off, if you really want to see things and get a feel for the character of a place, only drive on the Interstate highways when you need to make time. Your GPS will of course give you the fastest route on the interstates, so a little map review before you start driving will show you some good alternative routes. . Also, I prefer to eat at local restaurants, not chains like McDonalds, whenever possible, you will usually see more interesting people, and sometimes get tipped to places off the beaten path that you'd otherwise miss. I recommend loading Trip Advisor on your device of choice, I find it has a good balance of informative reviews.

Maine and the rest of New England, along with New York State, are beautiful, but will be cold at least at night, and you might get snow in November, so be prepared. I recommend stopping in Camden Maine and going to the top of the hills overlooking the town and the harbor, an incredible view.

I love Boston, and NYC, but I do not like driving in either city, traffic is often challenging, parking is expensive. Between Boston and NYC, train travel is actually reliable and not too expensive, consider using that, and you get to take pictures rather than watch taillights.

FYI, the best view of the west side of Manhattan is from Liberty State Park in NJ, and IMO, the best way to see as much of NYC as possible is to take a Circle Line boat tour around the whole of Manhattan Island. You get to sit in comfort with your favorite beverage while the view changes, and get to see a lot of landmarks from a unique POV,and hidden treasures you would never see otherwise. Once you get off the boat, you feel like you've seen almost everything on the island, and still have time to hit the inland sites.


Boston is my favorite city, and very walkable, and public transit is reliable, so if you are touring the town, ditch the car. When I visit that city as part of a visit to New England, I usually turn in my car a day or two before I depart, I don't need it or want it. You must see Fenway Park, one of the oldest (1912) baseball parks in America, take the tour, because it is a one of a kind place inside. The neighborhoods around the area have neat architecture, and there are actual fens nearby, now a lovely green space. The waterfront near the Quincy Market is another place to see, as is Boston Common, I've walked all of that in the course of a few hours, stopping to take a lot of pix.

Something you might consider, if you have a free day and a car, is to visit Cape Cod, the arm extending 80 miles into the ocean east of Boston. It's a wonderful place, and the late autumn light and the sea is like nowhere else on earth.

Enjoy your trip, you can't see it all no matter how long you visit, the region you are visiting is vast, but enjoy what you do get to see. I look forward to seeing the resulting photos.


Last edited by robgski; 10-17-2018 at 05:07 AM.
10-17-2018, 05:02 AM   #5
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well someone beat me to the northwest gaff. here are two web sights that will probably be overload for acadia...Joes guide to acadia national park and acadiamagic.com.

Last edited by cpobuttons; 10-17-2018 at 06:39 AM.
10-17-2018, 05:37 AM   #6
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Loads of good advice. Key points I will highlight:

1) Car isn't fun in NYC OR BOSTON
For NYC parking in New Jersey and taking a train or boat into the city is an option if your car is the type you can't turn in.

2) Avoiding turnpike and Interstate travel will take longer but be more rewarding visually. WAZE GPS navigation has a bit more customization to allow you to pick a route, but even Google maps has an avoid highways mode.

3) Eat local. Use Yelp or ask around about food options locals like.

4) The Niagara falls area is nice. Stay in the village of Lewistown there's a nice bed and breakfast there. Be sure to visit the riverfront and art park. My personal view which isn't popular is that the park on the American side of the falls is the best experience, you won't see as breathtaking a view as from Canada but the park is worth the time and effort to explore. Avoid the cave of the winds, the free stairs are accessible after a boat ride and the experience is similar. You will be drenched. The library in Niagara Falls is an architecturally significant building, weird and 70s kitch.

In the Hudson valley try to fit in a trip to here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_of_Franklin_D._Roosevelt_National_Historic_Site

Also the CIA (cooks not spies) is just down the road for a very high end meal with a bit less cost than NYC etc. Not inexpensive even so...
American Bounty Restaurant - Hyde Park, NY - Farm to Table Restaurant
10-17-2018, 08:13 AM   #7
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You left out some crucial information: How much time do you plan to spend? The distances you're planning to cover are huge, so all depends on the time. Also, which time of the year?

Other than that, like the others said, don't drive in New York if you can avoid it.

There's a whole lot to see in that part of the world, I'll add the Berkshires, the Adirondacks, the Catskills...
Kingston on the Hudson is a very interesting town, in Poughkeepsie there's the stunning ex-railroad-now-pedestrian bridge...
11-12-2018, 03:23 AM   #8
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I was planning six weeks around September or October - Probably September.
We don't get fall colours in my part of Australia, so I'd like to see some. I understand that's about the right time of year depending on location/altitude
Cape Cod sounds nice. I'm open to any ideas
I have done road trips in the USA before. The South West all the way up to Oregon and back. I don't mind driving in the Cities, although I've only done LA, Portland and San Francisco. I tend to base myself in a single location and explore, then move on to another area.
It sounds like Boston and NYC are worth a few days each, but maybe I can just train between the two rather than drive.
The USA is so big, there's so many options.
Thank you all so far

11-12-2018, 04:22 AM   #9
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quick google search,

The 10 Best Fall Foliage Drives In Massachusetts

10 Country Roads In Massachusetts That Are Pure Bliss In The Fall

Fall Foliage in New York | Autumn Leaves, Scenic Drives

New York Fall Foliage Report
Vibrant Peak Foliage Reaching Final Destinations in New York State
Peak foliage arriving on Long Island and in New York City, and making final stops in Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley

I'm sure " the locals " can fill in the details

__________________________________

as you may know from your experience trying to drive in NYC or any major US city isn't only the traffic but the cost of parking, if you can find it.

I would research public transit options in and between the cities and get a car only for road trips
11-15-2018, 10:01 PM   #10
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I see a few issues with your plan.

1. Acadia foliage is coastal so it peaks later. Not really a big deal as Acadia is picturesque in any season. Just something to consider if going there first.

2. Foliage in the Northeast has a very long season (mid September to mid November) and if you are smart about it you could enjoy peak foliage your entire trip.

Typically the Niagara region peaks pretty late (late October). As does the finger lakes. Whereas the Adirondacks and White Mountains, Northern Maine Woods (Katadyn), will be in peak before Columbus Day (often as early as late September at elevation). NYC and Long Island tend to peak closer to the end of October into November.

City wise. I grew up in the NY Metro and still visit family in the confines of the city. Parking, driving and generally getting around, and all that doesn't really seem all that horrible to me -if necessary. That being said, one of the first things I did after returning home from college was move away. New York is a great place to visit, but living there is a different ball game. So take that with a grain of salt. With NYC you can easily leave your car at a commuter train station in the suburbs north, east or west of the city and take a train in and then bus or subway around town or rent a citi bike. You can also drive into one of the outer boroughs such as the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens and park fairly easily. NYC, unlike Boston is set in a sensible grid layout so navigation makes sense. Perhaps a Bostonian will make Boston a little less horrible sounding.

11-15-2018, 10:30 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuttles12000 Quote
It sounds like Boston and NYC are worth a few days each...
I did an 8-day vacation in NYC, taking the cheap ($3.00) shuttle from my Super 8 motel in Bergen NJ across the river to the Port Authority bus terminal a couple blocks from Times Square. I had the NYPass.com and their list of attractions as a major guide. Their guides/maps resources have expanded. I saw a lot but missed a lot.

Here are 1300 photos for ideas :-)

https://specialk.slickpic.com/albums/NewYorkCity12/?grid
.
.
11-16-2018, 06:33 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuttles12000 Quote
I was planning six weeks around September or October - Probably September.
We don't get fall colours in my part of Australia, so I'd like to see some. I understand that's about the right time of year depending on location/altitude
Cape Cod sounds nice. I'm open to any ideas

It sounds like Boston and NYC are worth a few days each, but maybe I can just train between the two rather than drive.
The USA is so big, there's so many options.
Thank you all so far
The forests and mountains outside of NYC and Boston will give you a tremendous range of colors, October is usually the best month.

I'm a little prejudiced about Cape Cod since I lived there for 5 years, one could spend 2-4 weeks there alone to really see it all. The light on Cape Cod, especially in late Sept and through October has an indescribable quality that makes the blend of sea, sky and land the makes up the cape, especially at the easternmost end, feel like a magical place. I lived in Provincetown, located at land's end on the cape, and would hike or take a boat out to the very tip where the lighthouse is located. With the Bay on one side, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, you can see the sun rise and set over water, and a stormy day makes for dramatic waves. While I lived there, I di not own a car, walking or baking was very easy in such a small town. Even now when I visit I take a bus or boat from Boston, it leaves me more time to enjoy the scenery and not have to concentrate on driving. Further west or "up cape" there are many nice towns like Chatham and Well Fleet, and Nauset Beach is a great location for towering dunes and crashing waves on the Atlantic side. On the edge of the Cape Cod Canal, at Falmouth, one can walk along the canal and often see large ships transiting from Boston to southern ports. All the Cape Town date back to the early 1600's so there Is a lot of history, and a unique architectural style in many of the old houses.


As for travel between Boston and NYC, it is the one place in the US where train travel is practical and reliable, and travel by train between the two would be much more enjoyable and probably faster than fighting traffic usually is between the two. You could also travel to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC from NYC by train in about 6 hours All those cities have much to recommend seeing for their history and architecture as well. If however, you were driving out of NYC , you could go to the Jersey Shore and down to Cape May, which are fantastic to visit in the off-season, most places are still open, but far fewer crowds, and the pace is slower. In September-October, New Jersey also has a lot of fall color, and many beautiful areas from mountains to ocean. The problem is, that is not what you see when you drive through the state on the most direct route Anyway, I lived there as well, and I love hiking in the Ramapo mountains and visiting High Point park. I have family in New Jersey, I enjoy visiting all the places only the locals know, and eating the best food in the world, from diner style to real Italian, to fresh pierogies. No wonder I have to hike so much when I am there.

Another option from NYC is to take either train, or the Day Liner boat up the Hudson River. From the Boat you would see the same sort of landscape the inspired the Hudson River school of painting, absolutely breathtaking, with incredible fall colors. IF you drove up Route 9 along the Hudson, you'd pass through dozens of lovely small towns, and on the west side of the Hudson river there is Bear Mountain State Park, with its restored carousel and huge ski lodge near the large lake. You could continue north through NY State,, then turn east into Massachusetts, or into Vermont, and head east through the most storybook landscape of fall foliage, and continue back to Boston.


IT 's too bad the winter weather is rapidly approaching, I really feel the need for a road trip now. I live in Virginia, south of the areas I described, but no less interesting and beautiful, especially in spring and fall. Come summer, the heat and humidity can be a bit much, but at least it's very green.
02-09-2019, 01:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuttles12000 Quote
Hi Guys

I am planning a Road Trip in the USA North West

The Plan is to Fly in to Boston, rent a car, drive North to Arcadia NP in Maine, then West to Niagara Falls, then loop back down the Hudson Valley to NYC, out to the Hamptons, across to Rhode Island then back to Boston.

The things I want to shoot are Arcadia NP, White Mountain, Niagara Falls, and NYC.

I really don't know the areas well though, so I'd love to know if anyone knows where to go and what to shoot in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York State - plus Long Island, RI, and Massachusetts

It is early in the planning stages, so all input is welcome

Cheers

Glenn
Hi Glenn,
Did a similar trip last year, Oct 8 -18 (2018). We flew into Hartford Ct from Vegas, picked up cars and drove, places we visited:
Williamstown Ma > North Conway/Conway> Rangely Lake> Acadia NP> Portland Me to drop off vehicles and fly out. Some of our group flew to New York for a few days. We specifically avoided cities as we were a convoy of three vehicles and it was enough trouble keeping everyone together without going into major cities.
Trip was amazing, the fall colors were stunning and our timing was pretty right. If I was to do it again I would spend more time in & around North Conway, use it as base and work from there. Rangeley Lake was only over night and could have spent more time exploring that. Acadia was OK, but as far as fall colours went.... not a patch on North Conway / Williamstown (Berkshires). Acadia is also very touristy and you probably have equally good coastlines in Tassie.
If you want some more info on places we stayed at etc send me an email or PM .happy to pass on what we learnt.
Cheers
Grant
02-17-2019, 08:10 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by shuttles12000 Quote
I really don't know the areas well though, so I'd love to know if anyone knows where to go and what to shoot in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York State - plus Long Island, RI, and Massachusetts
If going through RI, there are a lot of photo opportunities in Newport. The cliff walk, in particular, offers spectacular shots of 19th century mansions. Newport, RI's Cliff Walk combines ocean views, mansions, and a rocky shore line into a 3.5 mile Federally listed Recreational Walk.
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