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Any Suggestions?

September 20th, 2010

This fall, Mr Chiots and I are planning a trip up through New England. We’re hoping to take in all the wonderful scenery, spend some time hiking, enjoy some delicious local food, see some interesting local things and of course visit LLBean, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, and King Arthur Flour. When we go on vacations like these we usually tent camp and enjoy the quiet simplicity of that kind of vacation. Sitting by the fire in the evening, waking up with the sun, enjoying a relaxing time sans technology.

We were talking about things we wanted to do and thought perhaps opening it up to you for suggestions would be a great idea. No doubt some of you live in New England and some of you have traveled there and discovered wonderful little treasures that we wouldn’t want to miss. We don’t have a specific route picked yet, so any suggestions you make are a possibility. I was hoping to visit Elliot Coleman’s farm stand, but it’s closed at the end of Sept, so no such luck at getting some of his delicious produce, perhaps at a local grocery store. Maybe I’ll visit anyways to take a few photos of his winter garden.

So any suggestions of things to do, places to visit, must see things or local eateries that we must make time for on our trip?

37 Comments to “Any Suggestions?”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Any Suggestions? #miscellaneus #newengland #newenglandsights #travel […]

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  2. Ryan on September 20, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Let me know if you plan on being in New Hampshire I could give you way more info as I live north of Concord and have lived in this state most of my life!

    Good places to eat that if you are near and are driving through up to other parts they are all amazing places to stop!

    Republic – Manchester, NH a farm to chef restaurant

    Cafe Momo – Manchester, NH the only Nepalese restaurant in New England – they grow most of their food in their garden and most meat comes from local farms

    Life Alive – Lowell, MA an organic local eatery – amazing amazing any time I’m in Lowell I go here!

    Pepperland Cafe – South Berwick, Maine – another farm to chef restaurant and scratch house – they make their own ketchup!

    Portsmouth NH has a very large farmers market on Saturday mornings with a lot of inspiring farmers and artists

    If you could tell we only eat at farm to chef restaurants :) Those are the MUST go to places if you are in the area and want to eat local.

    Reply to Ryan's comment

    • Susy on September 20, 2010 at 9:02 am

      Thanks so much, we love restaurants like these as well, although they’re not very common around here!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Tracy on September 20, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Sounds like a wonderful trip- all destinations that I’d like to visit as well. Maybe someday…

    Reply to Tracy's comment

  4. Trish on September 20, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Helen and Scott Nearing’s place, Forest Farm! The Nearings were the original back to the landers, and raised most of their own food. It may not be open to visitors by the time you go, but perhaps you could call and arrange a visit. I went a few years ago. AND, who should their next door neighbor be but Eliot Coleman! They sold him the land for his place. He does not accept formal visitors, but the caretakers at Forest farm said to go look at his garden. We did, and soon Mr. Coleman himself showed up. One more suggestion- take me with you…

    Reply to Trish's comment

    • Susy on September 20, 2010 at 9:09 am

      I’d love to go there. I was just reading the book by the owners that bought it from the Nearings. I’m so glad this place is being preserved!

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Trish on September 20, 2010 at 6:53 pm

        I’m not familiar with that book – what’s it called? I had the idea that the farm was owned by a non profit group – you’re not referring by chance to the first Forest Farm in Vermont by chance?

        to Trish's comment

  5. Caroline on September 20, 2010 at 9:13 am

    New England in fall is spectacular! There are many things to do in my home state of Connecticut including:

    Essex Steam Train (leaf peeping rides begin at the end of the month)

    Mystic, Connecticut (a historic maritime town in southeastern CT)

    Comstock, Ferre & Co. (in Wethersfield, CT, the nation’s oldest continuously operated seed company has recently been reborn and acquired by the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. It now offers a store and events dedicated to preserving gardening traditions)

    Litchfield and the surrounding towns are beautiful, rolling hills, peppered with farms.

    And of course the CT Wine Trail. Grab your passport and spend an afternoon at any of the state’s vineyards.

    Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

    Reply to Caroline's comment

    • Susy on September 20, 2010 at 9:42 am

      I actually have Comstock, Ferre on my Google map of places I want to visit. I’ll have to add all these other wonderful suggestions as well.

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • Annie on September 21, 2010 at 9:21 am

      I agree with Caroline! Connecticut is worth a visit in the fall as the northwest hills of Litchfield County are the foothills to the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. Woodbury (my hometown and an antiques haven), Litchfiled, Kent, Washington, Roxbury, Bethlehem, Morris, New Preston are all beautiful towns. Lake Waramaug is a stunning place to be in the fall. I was married there at a vineyard overlooking the lake. Hopkins Inn and Hopkins Vineyard are great places to stop. Routes 7, 6 and 63 are some great windy scenic roads. Up in the northwest corner there are more picturesque towns: Sharon, Lakeville, Canaan. The northwest corner is a great place to drive through b/c New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut all have borders here. Enjoy your trip to New England!

      Reply to Annie's comment

  6. kristin @ going country on September 20, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Maine! I really want to visit Maine–it’s on my list. A surprisingly far drive for us, though.

    But if you’re driving through New York, you could always visit Blackrock. We’re practically a tourist destination ourselves. :-)

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

    • Susy on September 20, 2010 at 9:43 am

      Yes you are, always entertaining things going on there.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. misti on September 20, 2010 at 10:14 am

    I don’t know when you are going but you should hit up the White Mountains and Katahdin in Maine. The 100 Mile Wilderness is awesome and if you go down a forest road you should check out the Gulf Hagas. There are some awesome falls and beautiful scenery.

    On the coast of Maine Bar Harbor is quite touristy but there are some smaller, quainter towns to check out.

    Reply to misti's comment

  8. Ginger on September 20, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    If you are in Vermont, I recommend Woodstock and the surrounding area. We lived there and had a natural foods store there in the 70’s. Also Skunk Hollow Tavern in nearby Hartland Four Corners is a great place to stop in for a pint and some good food–I used to wait tables there a long time ago.

    Reply to Ginger's comment

  9. LB on September 20, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I worked at Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge for a summer. It’s a great place to see moose, loons, and bald eagles. Plus, the Rapid River, which feeds into the lake is a famous flyfishing spot. There’s a teepee campground on the New Hampshire side of the lake with a lot of charm, and you can reserve canoe-in campsites.

    Reply to LB's comment

  10. Miranda on September 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Oooooh – yes yes yes! Waterbury Vermont. Home of Ben and Jerry’s, Cabot Creamery, and some delicious apple press type place. Those places are all very fun to visit, BUT the highlight of our trip to Waterbury (and the reason we absolutely must go back sometime in the next 5 years) is a restaurant/brewery called The Alchemist. I know you aren’t much of a drinker – but this place is worth it if you like beer in the least. The food = amazing and cheap. The beer = amazing and perfectly paired with the food.
    Please go there, because i can’t afford to fly back to Vermont any time soon!

    Reply to Miranda's comment

    • Stacy on September 20, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      The Alchemist! Yes!!

      Reply to Stacy's comment

  11. Kim on September 20, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I live real close to the Johnny’s in Maine. Honestly the retail store is not much. If your in the area I could send you my cell # if you wanted to come visit our farm. Common Ground Fair is awesome event to attend but it is this coming weekend. MOFGA’s website may be a good resource for you as far as place/events to attend. Acadia National Park is a MUST visit if you are coming here. Hope this helps. I will send you more info if I think of another must visit here in Maine.

    Reply to Kim's comment

    • Susy on September 20, 2010 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks for the tip, we will be hitting Acadia (we’ve been a few times before and LOVED it). I might take you up on your offer for a visit :)

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. Nate Finch on September 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    If you’re here then, Fryeburg Fair, Fryeburg, ME. Oct. 3-10. It’s one of the biggest fairs in New England. A lot of fun, and plenty of camping and beautiful scenery nearby, lots of livestock, oxen pulls, tractor pulls, etc.

    Franconia Notch is a gorgeous section of mountains in NH with plenty of interesting things in the area to see and do.

    I would think that a trip to the ocean would be almost required, being from Ohio. Luckily, if you’re going to Freeport, you’re right there. Maine has beautiful rocky coastline pretty much everywhere. Just go east, and stay outside of big towns (not too hard ;)

    Also, there’s the Appalachian Trail, which runs all through New England, and ends atop Mt. Katahdin.

    The Portland “waterfront” district is pretty cool to walk around – tons of great little independent shops, seafood right off the boat (you can get a whole lobster for $10 if you don’t mind eating on picnic tables).

    You can also take cheap ($10-ish) ferries from Portland Harbor out to the islands, which are really beautiful.

    Plymouth Plantation is interesting if you like those historic recreation towns. Plymouth Rock is just that – a rock. Don’t go out of your way to see it.

    Reply to Nate Finch's comment

    • Susy on September 20, 2010 at 4:07 pm

      Sounds like you know all about the area. I forgot you guys lived up there. We’re definitely planning on driving up the coast, so beautiful!

      The fair sounds exciting. We missed our local fair this year, we were very sad.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. CW on September 20, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Hi I live in MO and my husband and I just returned last week from a 12 day motorcycle trip to Maine. We went to Niagara Falls, NY and thru Vermont with a stop at King Arthur which was great! We stayed at a bed and breakfast in Maine and did a day trip to LL Bean. Not enough time spent there but it is really great shopping.

    Reply to CW's comment

    • Susy on September 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

      Wow, I don’t think I could make that long of a journey on a bike.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. Lee on September 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    I second the comment that you should visit one of the islands off the coast of Maine. Monhegan is fabulous as are many others. We stopped at the Boothbay Botanical Garden for the first time this summer and loved it. I’m not sure what it’s like in the fall. We’ve always loved the Queechee area of VT and I’d love to do a local food tour of Vermont sometime.

    Reply to Lee's comment

  15. Joan on September 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm


    I live in Maine, and it is a beautiful place! If you can get here during fall foliage season, you will love it. But it’s great anytime, and by mid-October most of the tourists clear out and you’ll have it almost all to yourselves.

    It’s unfortunate that you’ll miss the Common Ground Fair this weekend, but on October 23rd, MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) hosts the Great Maine Apple Day. It’s a lot of fun, and a chance to taste dozens (hundreds?) of different types of apples. Here’s a link to the website:

    Some places to see:
    – near LL Bean’s, drive some of the back roads to the coast. There are some beautiful little villages that you would never imagine being so close to the outlets in Freeport

    – Popham or Reed State Parks, both near Bath. These are nice long beaches. Too cold to swim in now, but lovely when the tourists are gone and you can walk along them. I prefer Popham, but if you like big waves, Reed is better. Or, visit Morse Mountain which is near Popham. You hike about 2 miles before coming to a beautiful little beach with very few people.

    – Pemaquid Point area and the Damariscotta peninsula. Okay, I’m biased because I live here, but it is a beautiful area, and Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is one of the prettiest anywhere.

    – Camden is your typical touristy town, but it is a truly beautiful area. Drive or hike to the top of Mt. Battie for a view of the surrounding bay. Camping is available just outside of town in Camden Hills State Park.

    – Ferries! Either the Portland ferries, or the best of all in my opinion – the ride out to Vinalhaven from Rockland. The ride to Vinalhaven goes through a beautiful passage of rocks and small islands and is wonderful even in the rain. You don’t even have to get off the ferry if you just want a nice tour of the Maine coast, but if you get off in Vinalhaven you can walk to a Nature Conservancy preserve, or just walk into town for an ice cream and shopping. If you bring bikes along (or take your car on the ferry) you can ride around the island and stop at some beautiful rock quarries which in the summer are wonderful to swim in.

    – Monhegan Island – another ferry ride, but the island is the attraction here… You can go out and back on the mailboat from Port Clyde or (if it hasn’t shut down yet) on the Hardy Boat from New Harbor. It’s a birders paradise, and has hiking trails criss-crossing the entire island. Very few cars are on the island, and they are limited to the downtown area.

    – Deer Isle – this is a hidden spot that very few people know about, but is very scenic. Eliot Coleman’s place, and the Nearings, is down here. Definately worth a few days.

    – Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park of course.

    If you think you’ll go inland too, let me know and I’ll give you more ideas. Making a trip up to Quebec City in Canada is really fun, and you’d be almost sure of seeing many moose on the trip.

    If you’d like a place to camp in Bremen (near Damariscotta, on the Pemaquid Peninsula), you are welcome to camp on our 100+ acres. We have kayaks and a canoe and access to a lake, which you also are welcome to use.


    Reply to Joan's comment

  16. Patrice Wassmann on September 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Well if you are in VT anywhere near where I live I’d love to have you visit! Look for Lincoln, VT on google maps. It is SO beautiful here! And we have a guest room!

    Reply to Patrice Wassmann's comment

  17. Stacy on September 20, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    The Shelbourne Museum is totally worth a stop in. It’s hard to explain – you just have to look at their website:

    It’s kind of crazy – so many different buildings and exhibits. (A lighthouse and a steamboat! On land!) We had a blast.

    Reply to Stacy's comment

  18. Kara on September 20, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    We lived in Portland for a number of years and here are some of my favorite things to do:

    -eat, eat, eat at the wonderfully delicious restaurants in Portland. My favorites include Bar Lola(for the “Eat Me” prix fixe), Duckfat (for fries), Standard Bakery (for croissants), Novare Res (for beer), Miyake (for sushi), Fore Street (for their oysters or foie gras) or Micuccis or Flatbread (for their pizza).
    -get bagels at Scratch Bakery and take a wlak on Willard Beach in S. Portland.
    -farmers markets on Saturdays mornings in Deering Oaks or Wednesday mornings in Monument Square
    -pack a picnic, take the ferry to Peaks Island, and ride bikes around the island. There is a wonderful stone beach on the south side of the island.
    -hunt for seaglass at Crescent Beach State Park or Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth
    -take a hike at Wolfe Neck State Park outside of Freeport and/or Mt. Megunticook in Camden.

    Whatever you do, you will enjoy Maine’s natural beauty. It is truly unsurpassed.

    Reply to Kara's comment

  19. Ryan on September 20, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    I loved jackman maine the camping at the old sawmill site was wonderful. We had a great tour of a small sawmill there. And we took a plane ride looking for moose and had trouble landing because deer had moved onto the runway.

    Or visit sugar mountain farm in VT

    Reply to Ryan's comment

  20. heather on September 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    You should visit Letchworth State Park in N.Y. It doesn’t get nearly as much notoriety as it deserves, but it has three great waterfalls and is sometimes referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East” It would be beautiful this time of the year as they have a wonderful trail with lots of trees that walks next to the falls.

    The park is also pretty close to the Fingerlakes — if you wanted to do a wine tour that would be a great spot. New York is the nation’s third-largest grape-producing state, behind California, and second-largest wine producer by volume.

    Reply to heather's comment

  21. Lee on September 21, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Another suggestion for Maine- we went out with a lobsterman while we were in Vinalhaven. Was a great experience.

    Reply to Lee's comment

  22. Kaytee on September 22, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    If you do end up coming through NY (which I recommend. More to see/do in NY than through PA), I would recommend taking Route 7 (we picked it up by Albany) into Vermont (it turns into Route 9) and taking that through Vermont and New Hampshire. It’s gorgeous, goes right through the Green Mountains (a MUST see, especially this time of year) and there’s lots to do and see along the way.

    Reply to Kaytee's comment

  23. Jennifer Fisk on September 23, 2010 at 7:59 am

    The Nearings are about 1 mile before Eliot Coleman’s. One of my best friends has a homestead between them. Well worth the trip of 45 minutes from Blue Hill and the ride throught Harborside is fabulous. You should make it to Acadia National Park for at least one day. Excellent hiking all over the Island. Another destination for someone like you could be Tide Mill Farm in Edmunds. It is the quintessential salt water farm in the real Downeast Maine. The farther you get north of Portland the more small farm homesteady organic agriculture you will see. The Common Ground Fair is this weekend and that has become an annual destination for a very large number of people. It is a wonderful experience. should get you to the website.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  24. Wenchypoo on September 23, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Maybe you could seek out the original Tightwad Gazette author, Amy Dacyczyn? She’s up in Maine somewhere, and retired, so she probably would have time for you.

    Reply to Wenchypoo's comment

  25. Getting There | Chiot's Run on October 12, 2010 at 4:48 am

    […] As I wrote about earlier, Mr Chiots and I are headed on vacation to New England for a while. We have a GPS that we use for our business. It makes our lives much easier when we’re heading out for a job knowing that we’ll get there and we don’t have to worry about printing out maps and directions. About 99% of the time it gets us right where we need to go. When traveling on vacation however, we much prefer to use a road atlas, particularly county road maps if we can find them. We like to take the road less traveled, and the GPS doesn’t like that too much. We’ve also found that when trying to find camp grounds and other out of the way places it’s not as accurate as it is in the city. And sometimes depending on the weather it quits all together. I also love maps because you can see the bigger picture unlike our GPS. I love having the atlas on my lap and enjoy charting our progress along with way with roads, exits and towns. When you’re driving the back way it’s also nice to be able to watch the roads to make sure you’re headed in the right direction. […]

    Reply to Getting There | Chiot’s Run's comment

  26. Just Call us the Gerhke’s | Chiot's Run on February 8, 2011 at 8:46 am

    […] through the northern states isn’t an option in the winter. Since you all had such great tips for our trip to New England, I figured I’d ask for any great tips, restaurants, places to see and things to do on our trip. […]

    Reply to Just Call us the Gerhke’s | Chiot’s Run's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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