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Road trip from Tennessee to Maine

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Road trip from Tennessee to Maine


My family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) will be heading from Nashville, TN to Maine in late May/early June. We will have 12 days total for the round trip. So far we plan to stop in Niagara Falls for a day and an overnight, would like to see Vermont, Mt. Washington and New Hampshire, and Acadia National Park.

Ideally, we would drive at most 8 hrs in a day and the majority of our trip will be spent in Maine. Can anyone recommend a few sights to see in Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine? Or perhaps a couple quick stops to make along the way? My children will be 9, 6, and 4 when we travel. They are used to road trips and loved our trip to the Dakotas this year. We enjoy hiking, nature/being outside, historical places, things off the beaten path, etc.

Thanks for any help or advice you can offer!

4 replies to this topic
Bangkok, Thailand
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841 reviews
1. Re: Road trip from Tennessee to Maine


The driving time is about 45 hours or 6 days. You could consider destinations:

White Mountains

Acadia NP



Your kids may like beaches in Maine.

Edited: 16 October 2018, 13:35
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2. Re: Road trip from Tennessee to Maine

You will want to have passports to be able to cross over to the Canadian side to see the views from that side of the falls.

You're looking at about 12 hours from Nashville to NF, so could get to Akron or Cleveland on day 1, then to NF by mid-day of day 2.

Day 3 - See things at NF you didn't see the previous afternoon, then head east, you could get as far as Albany (5 hours).

Day 4 - take NY rte 7 to Vermont rte 9 to Bennington, then up VT rte 7 to Manchester (2 hours) and visit Hildene, home of Abe Lincoln's son. From there take rte 11 over to scenic route 100 north, then rte 100A to Plymouth, where you could visit the Calvin Coolidge historic site, then continue on to Quechee Gorge, and walk along the gorge. You should be able to find lodging in this area or in nearby West Lebanon, which has plenty of restaurants and some hotels.

Day 5 - take rte 4 east to rte 118 to rte 25 to Plymouth, NH and visit Polar Caves, which is on the Rumney side of Plymouth - fun place for kids. the drive will take an hour, and you'll spend 2 hours there.

From Plymouth head up I-93 to Franconia Notch, do the short hike to the Basin. You may or may not want to pay ($$) to hike the Flume Gorge - I think its worthwhile, others think its a bit overpriced. It'll take a couple of hours. You could also take the cable tram up to the top of Cannon Mountain. Stay in the Lincoln, NH area that night.

Day 6 - head east on rte 112, the Kancamagus Highway. Stop at the scenic overlooks, Rocky Gorge, Lower Falls. Head up rte 16 to Mount Washington - if the peak is clear, you could drive up or take the van ride up. If it's clouded over, or after, continue north to Gorham, then head east on rte 2 (or start this the next day) into Maine

Day 7 - continue on rte 2 to Skowhegan, then on I-95 to Bangor, then down rte 1A to rte 3 to Acadia.

Day 8 & 9 - Acadia. be sure and visit the Oceanarium (lobster hatchery) - kids will like. Try to get up early one morning and watch sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain.

You might want to start your long drive back on day 9 - the most direct route shows this at 22 hours wheels rolling, so you'll have 2 long days (more than 8 hours each day) to get back to Nashville by late on day 12.

Edited: 16 October 2018, 19:37
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3. Re: Road trip from Tennessee to Maine

if you can fit it in- the Shelburne Museum in VT is great for the whole family.

Vestal, New York
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for Auburn, Finger Lakes
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4. Re: Road trip from Tennessee to Maine

The White Mountains in NH is a family friendly area.

Western Maine is much more off the beaten path than the coast and is a beautiful part of the state. Consider the Rangeley Lakes area or the Sebago Lake area further south.

Maine Wildlife Park (west of Portland) is a good stop with kids in tow.

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