If you do not discount the Atlantic Coast as "beach", there sure is fun to be had touring the towns, cities from RI to Maine without going too far, eating lobster, picking blueberries, touring historic towns, going out on a whaling schooner. Boston is a great town, full of fun in the summer and easy to tour by foot, loaded with history.
Then there is hiking any of the mountains -as long as you don't pick one the DOC trips run , touring the pretty Vermont towns and country-side, hitting up part of the Appalachian trail; visiting Lake Champlaign or Lake Winnipesaukee. Even though they are resorts, the various ski resorts offer fun adventures in the summer. Without going far at all you could find plenty to do just in the white mountains: The White Mountains of New Hampshire- Recreation
or VT: The Official Vermont Tourism Site - VermontVacation.com
We've gone to Kennebunkport a couple of times while visiting Dartmouth. Yes, it's a beach, but very different from Hawaii. And next week after graduation I'm heading with my '10 to Montreal. Actually that sounds like a great four-day excursion from Hanover to me- a big city, good restaurants, "European" culture. I'll report back in a couple of weeks!
Boston is worth a day or two
The White Mountains/lots to do and see/lots of fun
Portsmouth and boat trip to Star Island
Sticking around Hanover and visiting Cornish (ST Gaudens estate) Woodstock Vermont, Queechee
Even the "cities" in NH may be worth while. Manchester has lovely art museum and old mills and a minor league baseball team;
If you want a non-nature-oriented interlude, go to Boston. There's an enormous amount of interesting historical/Revolution related sightseeing, several world-class art museums, great Museum of Science and Children's Museum, great restaurants, swan boats and Make Way for Ducklings in the Common/Garden, visit Old North Church where the lanterns were hung for Paul Revere and stop in an Italian cafe for espresso and gelato...lots of stuff for all ages and interests, far too much to list. Very attractive city with many extremely charming sections, very walkable, great public transportation (don't bother to try to drive around in the city).
Location: Somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean
Thanks to all, I think I will go to those websites and start planning. With a D at Wellesley, we have visited Boston, great city, but those drivers do not have any courtesy at all. Touring the Vermont and NH countryside sounds nice, and yes, did not think about Maine, but sounds interesting. I told my son we will sign him up as a lifetime member of the Dartmouth Outing Club so he will always have an excuse to visit later in life. What a great time in a chld's life this is....
Do you like hiking? If so, proceed directly to Acadia National Park on Mount Desert in Maine. If you are interested in canoeing on lakes and hiking, check out Moosehead or Rangely Lake. BTW, if you go to Portsmouth NH and have any interest in history, do not miss Strawbery Banke. It's great. And the seemingly cutesy spelling is actually historically accurate.
On another subject, is anyone else planning to go to sophomore family weekend in July?
There are many, many picturesque towns in Vermont and New Hampshire, and the time of year you will be there is great...between the summer season travelers and the crush of leaf gawkers.
Two New Hampshire tourist experiences from the 19th Century are the Cog Railway trip up Mt. Washington (you won't forget it, though pricey), and The Flume, a stroll along a stream chasm in a state park. Both in New Hampshire.
Interested in history? There is the Canterbury Shaker Village in New Hampshire and the Shelburne Museum, south of Burlington, Vermont. As mentioned, to the east is Maine and the coast. To the west, in upstate New York are the Saratoga battlefield and Fort Ticonderoga.
Distances to these places are short, but the way there is almost always on pokey two-lane roads. I would make sure to enjoy the trip.
Your plan to see your college student after DOC is an excellent one. Just leaving our son off at DOC left my spouse and I needing a stiff drink, which was impossible, given two crying little sisters in the back seat.
^^Yes. During one of our trips to Dartmouth we toured around the area and visited a maple farm nearby in Vermont. They made cheese there too. They gave tours of the place and samples of both syrup and cheese. And of course we bought some to bring back for friends and ourselves.
Unfortunately, the Maple Syrup Season is done (usually February-March)-but there will be some fun farms, cheese (Cabot Cheese in Grafton Vermont) and Maple Syrup places. You could tour Billings Farm in Woodstock Vermont.
Consolation, my child is a year ahead of yours, but we did Sophomore Parents' Weekend last summer and had a wonderful time. By now they have settled in; they have found their friends; and the campus is gorgeous in the summer. I highly recommend it.
Magnum, we just got back from our post-graduation trip to Montreal a couple of days ago. It was a beautiful drive from Hanover up I-89 through northern Vermont. In fact, the mountain scenery was so spectacular (despite the low clouds) that I'd go back just for that. There was no wait for the border-crossing, although the guard sternly questioned- as if we were a threat to Canadian security- why we came all the way from Texas for a three-day visit to Canada... I can't imagine what he'd say to you! In all, it took about 2 and a half to three hours to get to Montreal.
There we walked around old Montreal, went to the basilica, ate WONDERFUL meals and generally enjoyed the French-Canadian culture. The second day we drove around the countryside east of Montreal on the Route des Vins, stopping at various wineries. That was tons of fun, because we visited with the locals at the tasting rooms. Interestingly, some of the employees who interacted with us didn't speak English, so we had to communicate in my (pitiful and unrecognizable) French. We were really in a foreign culture despite being only 4 miles from the Vermont border at that point!
A friend of my son's said we should have gone one more hour and visited Quebec City, instead of Montreal, because it is more charming, a walled city, etc. Since we didn't go there, I can't comment, but think a day in Montreal, followed by a day or two in Quebec City would be an enjoyable and VERY different experience. And honestly, you'll probably never be as close to Montreal/Quebec City (unless it's your primary destination) than when you're at Dartmouth. (As I understand it, the Hanover/Montreal/Quebec City tour is in a triangle, so you'd want to do it that way.)
You have lots of great choices for side trips. And lucky for you, four years and hopefully a few more trips to Hanover, even from your long distance, to take them!
Location: Somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean
Thanks Shazz, that is so enticing. I think they will strip search us after they see our Hawaii Drivers licenses! Although I think we better bring our passports. Yes, this probably be the plan, and maybe up to Quebec then, I remember it as being quaint back when I was visiting as a student. I remember getting stopped by Quebec police speaking French saying, "No Skateboarding on the Plains of Abraham" And then visit the farms of Vermont on the way back. Maybe figure out a way back via Maine....