This has been a long pending post but hey, better late than never! We decide to chase fall foliage this year and decided to take off on a road trip with a 20 month old. It has been the most bittersweet journey we’ve ever had! Traveling with a toddler can never be a bed full of roses; expect those thorns pricking you every now and then. It was the most exhausting trip with the toddler but one of the best places we’ve ever visited. Read on..
Boston is a typical big American city where it’s always rush hour. We stayed right in the heart of the city and managed some good time amidst the rains and the cold wave.
Tips for Boston: Boston is a great city to explore with kids. The public transport is quite solid, with buses and trains connecting the entire city and the suburbs. It’s best to keep a relaxed itinerary, it rained almost throughout our stay in Boston so we had to skip many places and run a lot. But we still
did it and our little champ managed very well.
Stay in Boston: Unlike in other big cities, where we stayed in the suburbs, we decided to stay right in Downtown Boston. We absolutely loved the experience and highly recommend it to everyone!
We took the AMTRAK from Boston to Portland and back. It was a brilliant experience to ride the train in the US. It was extremely comfortable and we thoroughly enjoyed this unique journey! Our toddler wasn’t feeling it though!
Portland is hands down, the prettiest towns in the US I’ve been to thus far. It has some fantastic activities for kids & families. It also has some great food and lively ambiance in the evenings. Portland Head Lighthouse is a great experience for kids and adults. They also have a great outdoor play area, so be prepared to spend half a day out here. Deering Oaks Park is beautiful, with some great live shows in Summer & Fall.
Tips for Portland: Make sure to ride the ferry and visit one of the islands off Portland. We went to Peaks Island, which is supposed to be the best when traveling with kids. It’s a fantastic island to walk around, explore the small shops and pretty lanes.
Stay in Portland: We stayed at a cute lil artistic Air BnB in the heart of the city. It’s easy to walk around in the town and drive to the areas of interest. We had amazing Indian Food at Taj Indian Cuisine. The place was buzzing and we absolutely loved the food.
I wish I went absolutely no where else on earth but just spent another couple of days at White Mountains. It’s one of the most scenic places I’ve ever seen – coming very close to Switzerland and the German Black forest mountains. The fall colors were truly breathtaking and our hotel was one-of-a-kind, right up in the mountains, complete with a heated pool! If you’re ever in the north eastern region, make this a stop. The White Mountains are a year-round attraction, they have gorgeous waterfalls in the summer and are the perfect ski-resort destination in peak winters. And in between, Fall and Spring in White Mountains will truly make you happy. We managed to get the peak fall foliage view here and are truly mesmerized by what we saw.
Tips for White Mountains: Make sure to check out the Foliage tracker on Visit New Hampshire for the best drives and live updates. Our personal favorite was the Kancamagus Highway – it is one of the most breathtaking drives and we were lucky to catch peak foliage right here. Convenience stores are quite less in number, so make sure to stock up on essentials in one of the bigger cities. Whatever the season is, make sure to spend 2-3 days up in the mountains.
Stay in White Mountains: Grand Summit Hotel, Attitash. This is hands down the best hotel we’ve ever been to (well, maybe right after Mt. Rigi in Switzerland).
Bar Harbour & Acadia National Park
Another breathtaking place in the far north eastern part of Maine. It has one of the most spectacular sunrises and the best mountains for trekking or cycling. Fall in Maine was delayed a couple of weeks thanks to the weather this year, but we got to catch some glimpses of mild fall colors across Bar Harbour. We spent 2 nights here and drove further North towards Bangor & Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Relief in search of some more turning leaves.
Tips for Bar Harbour: It’s a beautiful and peaceful but very touristy National Park area. It’s great for trekking with kids, and they have organized trails that will cover the entire length & breadth of the island within a couple of days. There’s a horse trail that you can pre-purchase, we saw mostly extremely old folks enjoying the horse ride.
Stay in Bar Harbour: It is extremely commercial, full of hotels & motels across the city. We chose one with a great view but we had minimal luxuries. But the hotel had a great breakfast that set the perfect tone for each day. Please go to the BEST Pizza place in town – Rosalie’s. What a great place!!
We were over-ambitious to have planned a tight itinerary but little did we know months earlier when we booked, how the tides would change and the terrible twos would rise to the occasion!
Food arrangements during a road trip with a toddler:
- Daily fruit basket
- Toddler-friendly snacks
- Juices and Fruit pouches
Tips on managing a toddler at a road trip:
Don’t do it. If you must, then read on to know what we’ve learnt from our recent travels:
- Make sure they’re always well fed. Don’t worry too much about nutrition at this point, but try to have some handy nutri-bars or gummies. Before embarking on the trip, try to get the kids used to some of the good stuff like 2-3 fruits like Bananas and Oranges that should be easily available and relatively less equipment required to consume them
- If they’re still in diapers, make sure to always keep enough diapers and wipes on hand at all times. You will never know when disaster strikes, and sometimes you can barely make it to the next exit
- Plan a relatively easy schedule. Don’t overload yourself or the kids. Enjoy a couple of good places instead of covering it all.
- Make an informed decision if AirBnb or hotels work better for your family. We used hotels in most locations and had to get a Air BnB in Portland, Maine the last minute. It was beautiful and very artistic unfortunately not the most kid-friendly place. I had checked with the host if the place was kid-friendly and she assured that kids have been there before. But the amount of “things” to explore in that apartment were far too many. Sans the kid, we would’ve totally been chilling with the very hospitable host.
- Make sure the Car seat is well taken care of and secured perfectly to the car.
Read a detailed post on managing a road trip with kids.
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