I highly recommend the back roads but want to point out the obvious. You have to make stops and meet people. So when I visited a small pottery studio in VT, I was instructed to follow this road about 7 miles, then turn left to get to Cambridge NY, and I'd pass the covered bridge on my way. Photo says yes, I did.
She promised quaint little antique shops, and she was right. So the owner of one who sat out front in one of her chairs while we wandered up and down stairs inside directed me to follow the same road which led to Greenwich, NY where I'd turn right at the first light and find a fabulous little sandwich shop immediately on the left.
We finished eating and then took a stroll down the shaded streets, inspecting a home under major renovation with workers everywhere painting and nailing and carrying doors & trim inside and out. We also passed 3 elderly gentlemen sitting on a bench who moments later were standing guard at their school crossing posts. Who knew kids still walked to and from school, and that retired men would gather for a lovely chat before guiding the tiny ones across streets with no traffic. Oh my, the good old days are still here. Now if only I'd had my camera out snapping photos instead of just swooning at the sight of it all.
And he was right of course. We didn't know the ferry schedule and didn't really care. Didn't really have anywhere to be. Well, didn't think about where we needed to be. Which is why we missed 90% of the Competition of Colors where all those lovely old British sports cars drove up to collect their ribbons, have photos taken of them and their cars, and entertain us with stories about how they came to own the cars. And you may be surprised to know that I LOVE that part of the show! Again, I'll plan better the next time. You can count on it!
You should plan to visit Stowe VT in mid-September when the show takes place. Be prepared to sit on those tiny, winding old back roads in traffic jams, and trust me when I tell you it will be great fun because the roads are filled with all these fabulous little cars whizzing by in the opposite direction and parked in every parking lot whether at a hotel, b&b, or restaurant. Oh it was glorious...
I was able to get her out of the car some days. Not many. Wilbur's Chocolate Factory in PA did not tempt her at all, though 3 of us ventured inside and had a lovely time. The Amish Pretzel Factory Tour complete with hands-on instruction making your very own twisted pretzel appealed to only 3 of us. But a tour of Ben & Jerry's in VT brought her out.
Long enough to eat ice cream and have her picture taken.
And when you find a little diner located in a building that also houses the local post office right there behind the loaves of fresh bread and bags of chips, you'll get back in the car and mark it on your GPS. Because a $5 breakfast served all day that included too many home fries, perfect eggs, crispy bacon and toast would definitely have been where you went back for breakfast on Friday morning before the train ride, and again on Friday afternoon for lunch before starting that long trek to Vermont. But because you didn't even bother to find out the name of the (dare I say it) town/village/intersection where said post office and diner were located, or bother to remember the number of the little road just outside Mystic Connecticut that it was on, you won't find it again.
I'll tell you something else we'll do next time...when we visit Boston...and plan to visit Faneuil Hall. We won't pull into a parking deck that we find on the internet offering $12 parking after 5pm. Well, we will, but we won't pull in at 4:40pm. Instead we'll circle around downtown Boston in weekday 5:00 rush hour traffic til the clock chimes 5:00, because after strolling through Faneuil Hall, and eating dinner and buying desserts and chocolates to savor in the hotel room with coffee, we returned to find the parking fee was $36!!!! Might mean you won't have your eyes closed because of the bright setting sun on the waterfront in your photos, but wow, that's a mighty high price to pay for that sunset. $15 per hour for a photo shot seems a bit much. Yes?