Friday, April 7, 2017

US 1: New England (minus Maine)

US 1 is a long road, and this week we're focusing on the 300-ish mile stretch between New York City and Kittery, Maine.


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

Even though this is a pretty congested stretch of US 1, there is a lot to see along the way:  quaint New England towns, large metropolises (or is it metropoli? and is it redundant to call a metropolis large?), and miles of coastline after the road curves back toward the coast for the first time since Florida.


A note on the weather:  I've been to the Northeast in May several times, and I can never recall it being so cold and wet for so long on any of those trips.  You might have noticed in our pictures that once we got to Fredericksburg, VA the sun found a really good hiding place, where it stayed for almost 2 weeks.  The damp cold really got to us some days, and we wound up buying some warm clothes on clearance after a week or so of wearing the same ones over and over.  I was perpetually in search of a great bowl of tomato basil soup or a cup of hot chocolate to warm myself up.  Though it made lousy travel weather, the cloudy skies that resulted from the slow moving system look pretty cool in most of our pictures.

New York
Once again, our route strayed from US 1 as we followed the Hudson River out of NYC through Sleepy Hollow to West Point.  After a day at the US Military Academy, we continued east, rejoining US 1 just before we entered Connecticut around Greenwich in heavy afternoon traffic.  We'll share that detour another time.

back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

Connecticut
In Norwalk, Highway 1 traffic zips by a unique grocery store with a small petting zoo type setup out in front of it.  


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

I don't know how much fun the animals were having, but it was such an interesting and bizarre sight that we had to turn around and visit the store, Stew Leonard's.  


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

Inside, it was like the Disney World of grocery stores.  Animatronic figures (including a Mickey Mouse, if I remember correctly) hung from the ceiling or danced above food displays. 

back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

While there, we bought some fresh squeezed orange juice and homemade rice cakes for the road.


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine
Among the fresh items available at Stew Leonard's are half gallons of milk, bottled right in the store.
If you're a fan of the Dan Patrick Show, you'll probably know that the show broadcasts from an unassuming building in Milford, CT.  As we passed through at dinnertime, we took a little walk through town, and found what must be the Man Cave as a result of the large amount of equipment we could see through a window above a little shop.  We pass a lot of time on the road listening to the DP show, so it was pretty cool to see where (we think) the show happens.


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine
There are also an awful lot of wires attached to this particular building.
In Westbrook, you'll pass one of our favorite restaurants in the US.  Stop and say hello - and enjoy tasty home cooked food with a great view.



A short drive off of US 1 along the Mystic River delivers drivers to Mystic Seaport, a museum containing an 1800s coastal town, a shipyard, and hundreds of historic ships and boats.
  
back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

I went once with my parents when I was about 12 and thought it was really cool.  It was cold and windy and we needed to get back on the road, so we chose not to pay the admission to visit on this trip - so we only walked through the free areas and gift shop.

Another high point in Connecticut is the lighthouse in Stonington, just off 1A (the offshoot of US 1 that goes through the small coastal towns).  It is appropriately made of stone, and with its short tower and attached lightkeeper's residence, it's a unique one.  It wasn't open to visitors when we were traveling, but during the summer months you can visit the nation's first lighthouse museum!


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

Rhode Island
As the smallest state, it's easy to make quick time through Rhode Island.  


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

Near Kingston, we made the decision to detour from US 1 yet again, which slightly lengthened the amount of time we were in Rhode Island.  Neither of us had ever been to Cape Cod in Massachusetts, so we chose to head East on RI 138 toward the Cape on the way to Boston instead of taking the more direct route on US 1.  

It started to pour rain as we drove into the coastal town of Tiverton, where we took a short break from the road.  



Nick went for a run in the downpour while I worked on some blog stuff at a coffee shop.  After warming up with a cup of coffee, we continued on our way toward Cape Cod.

Massachusetts
It was slow going in the rain and we didn't even make it a third of a way out on the Cape, turning North on Massachusetts Hwy 130 in Cotuit, a few miles before Hyannis.  From Hwy 130, Hwy 3 took us to Plymouth and Quincy before continuing into Boston.  We'll go back to Cape Cod sometime when the weather is better!

The shingled houses that line the roads through this area look so inviting.  I especially liked these two on opposite ends of the square footage spectrum.


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

It was still cold (37*F), wet (pouring), and windy (wind gusts up to 23 mph) by the time we reached Plymouth.  


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

We only took a quick peek at Plymouth Rock, which was getting battered by angry waves, then headed for the warmth of the Pilgrim Hall Museum.  


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

The museum features informative displays with artifacts from the Mayflower and Plymouth Colony, and is definitely worth spending a few hours touring on a visit to Plymouth.


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine
As we left Plymouth, we pulled over to check our route and caught this seagull taking a little rest.

About 30 miles up the road in Quincy, Adams National Historical Park covers the lives of John and John Quincy Adams, the second and sixth Presidents of the United States.  


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

The bus tour includes the birthplaces of both Johns, located a stone's throw away from each other, and the house across town that John and Abigail eventually retired to.  


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

Each house is a bit larger and a bit grander than the one before it.  It was so interesting to move forward both in time and in means as we moved from house to house.  


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

A couple months after visiting the park, we watched the HBO series John Adams, an entertaining and informative series on the lives of John and Abigail and their family.  It made our visit to the houses in Quincy really come alive as some of the scenes are shot either at the real places or at excellent backlot replicas.

We'll skip our day in Boston for now to keep this post moving, but have no fear:  it will appear on the blog in the future!  

New Hampshire
New Hampshire is another quick state to pass through, containing less than 20 miles of US 1.

back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

It's a noteworthy stretch, though, especially if you divert onto 1A or 1B, which we did.  


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

Though the visibility was low and the wind and rain made terrible travel weather, the views were something.  

back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

Large houses stretched along the road to our left with craggy, rocky shoreline to our right.

back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

In spite of the nasty weather, there were a few people out braving the cold to catch a few waves.


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine

Maine
Upon reaching the New Hampshire-Maine border, you've only covered roughly half the distance between New York City and Calais, Maine (pronounced by the locals like the callus you get on your foot, not like the name of the town in France for which I assume it's named). 


back roads road trip: US Highway 1 through New England: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine
The Memorial Bridge carries US 1 across the Piscataqua River into Kittery, Maine.  Notice the inscription: it was built in 1923 when WWI was still the Great War.

In an effort to keep you interested in US 1, I'm stopping here.  We'll be back next week to share the drive on US 1 along the coast of Maine.  In the meantime, you can catch up on our previous US 1 posts here!





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19 comments:

  1. We did a 2 month road trip through the New England states, including Maine, so many of your photos were familiar.

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  2. Wow that looked a cold but interesting road trip. Can't believe someone was surfing too, must be mad! We have not seen much of the states but look forward to visiting in the future, so pinned for future reference. #WeekendWanderlust

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    1. I know, I couldn't believe there were surfers out in that weather! The US is a big place with lots to see. You'll enjoy it!

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  3. I love a good New England road trip - we took a few when my oldest daughter lived in Boston. And we're headed back to New York and Connecticutt this spring - soon! And I've never had good weather when we went - always windy and feeling chilled to the bone. I guess that's what I'll expect and if it's better this time, then I'll be happy. ( The last time we were in Mystic at the end of June, the high for the day was 55 and they were closing the lobster pound we were at early due to high winds!!)

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    1. How wonderful to have children living in different parts of the country so you have an excuse to travel! Hope the weather for your trip this year will be different!

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  4. We spent 2 months exploring the New England states. It was a great road trip.

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    1. To spend that much time in an area would be such a fun way to travel!

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  5. Stew Leonard's looks so awesome and quirky, we will have to add that to our America road trip itinerary for the future. They must have some yummy cheese and local produce. Eat some delicious lobster for us (it sucks on the West coast). Awesome post guys :)

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    1. Oh, there will be lobster! You'll get a kick out of Stew Leonard's, for sure.

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  6. Rhode Island looks so cute and quaint! I love it!! With my parents living in Kentucky now, hopefully each time we go home for a visit, we can explore more of the East coast! #feetdotravel
    (www.caliglobetrotter.com)

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    1. There are a lot of beautiful drives in Kentucky, too - especially if you like driving past fields full of horses! It's nice to have relatives living in locations that allow you to more easily travel to new places while visiting!

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  7. Such a beautiful stretch of the US 1 and New England is somewhere I've always wanted to visit - especially in the autumn to see the stunning leaf colours! You guys had another incredible drive and I love reading about shops like Stew Leonard's!

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    1. The leaves up there are certainly beautiful in the fall. When my brother was in college in New York, we always drove from SC to visit him instead of flying, so I had four good years of seeing the leaves at their peak. I was in middle school though and didn't really appreciate them. It would be fun to go see them now as an adult. Funky stores like Stew's are some of the wonderful surprises that come with traveling!

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  8. What a great article on a road trip on US1. Great tips on where to stop and eat and places to visit. I would love to take a road trip up to New England and I will pin this for later. Thanks for sharing! :-) #feetdotravel

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    1. You are welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it!!

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  9. Loved this post and your photographs! Although we have visited most of the major cities on the east and west coasts we really would love to do a long road and rail trip around the states (like a year) - so much to see! #feetdotravel

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    1. It's funny how after visiting every state on one trip, the country seems both larger and smaller at the same time. A year would be awesome for really having time to slow down and spend time in lots of towns and cities!

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  10. Unfortunate that the weather was cold and wet. Other than that, sounds like a great trip! Lovely photos especially the one with the seagull.

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    1. Yeah, I'd rather have lousy weather than not have the opportunity to take the trip, but the difference from our weather at home was quite a surprise to us! Thanks; I love that one with the seagull, too!

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