We're from Oregon, and making our first tour of New England (part of a Peace Corps reunion group). We've been looking over the board for suggestions and it seems much of the information on places we are going is somewhat dated. We don't know if we should trust posts going back two or three years -- we know how things change quickly out here.
What can you teach us about eating local in the small towns? I am a food writer (cookbooks) interested in local products. Portland, Oregon, where we live, is very focused on shopping locally. The occasional upscale is fine but we really like the idea of everything from those funky diners (we don't have out here to finding the best Vermont cheeses. We are, alas, a bit selective on wine and probably won't go with the berry things we see made in NE wineries -- so are there good wine shops on our route where we can pick up California, Oregon, Washington and/or European wines? If you love wine, tell us where to meet you for a glass -- I've already found Meritage wine bar in Portland, where we are staying one night.
We will be spending several days in Boston (I'll ask there separately) then head up the coast of Maine to Portland, and then around Bar Harbor or Winter Harbor. (Note: One big drawback is a shellfish allergy here.) Any recent food finds -- that bread at the Farmer's Market, cafe that changed hands, old favorite?
Or for the towns on the Skowhegan, Bethel and Franconia/St. Johnsbury route the next day?
Then through Montpelier, Woodstock to visit friends, Rutland, Bennington, Lenox?
Hartford, the Connecticut coast, Narragansett?
Cape Cod and Provincetown?
Finally Providence, maybe (is that worth a night?).
We've never been to your home and we are very excited about seeing as much as possible, and eating well. Any suggestions on the best towns to sleep on that route also welcome - one needs a good breakfast place to walk to. We are not young, we are not interested in spending $200+ a night for the grand lodges when we will be in and out, but we are adventurous.
Your thoughts are very much appreciated; while visiting we promise to be good guests, share our best Oregon and Washington wine tips, and cheer for the Sox!