Road Trips to Northern New Hampshire and Vermont

Jeff has been on the road checking for fall foliage, so last week and this week we hit the road.  Last week we went to Northern New Hampshire and back again in one day.  Phew, long day!  If you want updates on how the foliage is doing, you can find that at Jeff’s blog, all things fall foliage, all the time.

A trip to northern New Hampshire isn’t complete without a stop at Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire.  Breakfast or lunch can’t be beaten.  We took a ride over the Kancamagus Highway and returned home.

Polly's pancake parlor

Polly’s pancake parlor on Route 117 in Sugar Hill

When we went foliage was just getting started so we vowed to come back the next week.  This time we decided to spend the night and make it a two-day trip.

On our first day, we scooted over to the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont, checking out Long Pond in Westmore, Vermont and taking some back country dirt roads, coming across some amazing mountain views.

I’ve been trying to get Jeff over to the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury, Vermont for years now, so we finally made time for that.  The Fairbanks family pretty much built St. Johnsbury and one of them was a collector of stuffed animals (as in taxidermy).  It was a thing in the Victorian times and the prominent exhibit there, so if you don’t like dead things, probably not the place for you.

Fairbanks Natural History Museum

Fairbanks Natural History Museum

However, there are some animals in the exhibit that don’t exist any longer, so it is a chance to view them.  And where else will you be able to examine the differences between a brown bear, black bear, and a polar bear up close?  And a full-size bison so life like you think he’s going to turn his head any second?

Unfortunately, the moved the Fairbanks scales to another facility. Jeff was interested in learning more about the scales as they have one at the Salem Maritime Historical Site.  We’ll have to make another trip to St. Johnsbury for that.

We stayed at a place I have admired every time we drive through Littleton, NH, the Thayer’s Inn.  You really can’t miss it when you drive through downtown, with its beautiful, stately columns.

Thayer Inn Littleton NH

Thayer Inn Littleton NH

Thayer Inn is like your favorite pair of old shoes, a little wear, but very comfortable.  Yes. there is some chipped paint, even peeling wallpaper, funky shower knobs, but the bed is comfortable, the place is clean and the people are friendly. Sleep where presidents and the famous have stayed.  Sit on the balcony and watch the world go by.

We ate at the on-site restaurant, the Grille One-Eleven downstairs.  It’s a homey, pub atmosphere with good specials.

Dinner at Thayer's 1-Eleven

Dinner at Thayer’s 1-Eleven

Pollyanna was here

Behind the inn, there is access to the river walk with some interesting interactive exhibits and a walking bridge over the river.  Across and a bit down the street is the public library where a statue of the 1913 best seller in children’s literature character, Pollyanna, is outside the door.

Pollyanna in Littleton New Hampshire

Pollyanna in Littleton New Hampshire

The author, Eleanor H. Porter was born and raised in Littleton,  New Hampshire.  The name Pollyanna is now in the dictionary as a word to describe an excessively cheerful or optimistic person.  How can you not be cheerful in a charming little town like Littleton?

We traveled back over the Kanc and the foliage was nice around Mt. Washington, but it still has a way to go. Where will we travel next week? And what will we find? Ask Jeff Maybe he knows…


Lisa Folger
Pewter and Periwinkles my Art blog
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About Lisa Folger

I grew up on a dairy farm in northern Vermont. All my ancestors are French Canadian and immigrated to the US in the late 1800's-early 1900's. I enjoy digging into my family history, and am proud of my heritage. I moved to New Hampshire to be closer to the ocean and now live in Salem MA with my husband, Jeff 'Foliage' Folger and our cat, Captain. I enjoy renovating furniture and updating our condo, and have another blog called Pewter and Periwinkles, where I post about the style of decorating I like and the things I make. I also enjoy crafting art dolls and sculpture of fantasy creatures. I use lessons I learned creating Halloween props with Jeff in creating my creatures.

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