New England & Minneapolis – 6 States in 7 Days

New England & Minneapolis – 6 States in 7 Days

Back in August 2016, we were invited as guests at a wedding in New Hampshire near Portsmouth. When I was researching flights, I learned about the history of Portsmouth, NH. Paul Revere rode to Portsmouth in December 1774 upon rumors of an impending landing of British troops there, a journey known in history as the Portsmouth Alarm. Although the rumors were false, his ride sparked a rebel success by provoking locals to raid Fort William and Mary, defended by just six soldiers, for its gunpowder supply.

My interest in history spurred me to plan a week long trip to explore New England and have an early babymoon to celebrate 16.5 weeks, while witnessing our friends’ nuptials. Read below and view our driving route through five New England states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Rhode Island). At the end of the trip, we had a layover in Minneapolis so we tacked that city onto our adventure.

I actually wrote this post after coming home from the trip, but the baby came and I never got around to publishing it. Well, here it is! This post includes our actual planned itinerary, summary and details of what we were able to accomplish, as well as my research notes.

By the way, one of my food photographs made it onto the Food Network a few years after our trip. Check out the “The Best Sandwiches in America” and the infamous Chow Mein Burger from Fall River, MA (photo #82 out of 99).

Chow Mein Burger

  • DAY 1 – Thu 8/18: Boston Logan International Airport, 1 Harborside Dr, Boston, MA 02128
    • – Morning – Arrive at 7:45 am. Drive around Fenway Park but can’t go in because there’s a concert later.
      – Afternoon – 28 State Street, Boston, MA 02109 – Tour or self walking tour and then have lunch in Chinatown.
      – Early Afternoon – Portsmouth, NH – Explore the town.
      – Late Afternoon – Eliot, ME – Check into Farmstead B&B is at 4pm.
      Farmstead Bed and Breakfast 999 Goodwin Road, Eliot, ME, 03903
      – Evening – Portsmouth, NH – Cocktail reception on Thursday night.
      7:30 PM, August 18, 2016
      Martingale Wharf Bistro 99 Bow Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801
  • DAY 2 – Fri 8/19: Half day in Maine and half in New Hampshire (Wedding day so not much time to explore)
    • – Morning – Breakfast with our B&B hosts.
      – Mid-morning – York Harbor, York, ME – 30 minutes from the hotel on the coast. We can go here after Friday morning breakfast. Lunch in the area.
      – Afternoon – Portsmouth, NH – Wedding is at 3pm on Friday.
      Wentworth By the Sea Country Club 60 Wentworth Road, Rye, NH 03870
      – Late Night – After-party.
  • DAY 3 – Sat 8/20: Driving day to Vermont
    • – Morning – Breakfast with our B&B hosts. Get on the road to Vermont.
      – Afternoon – Wilmington, VT – Visit farms. Check into B&B is at 3 pm.
      Wilmington Inn & Tavern 41 West Main, Wilmington, VT 05363
  • DAY 4 – Sun 8/21: Driving day to Rhode Island
    • – Morning – Run out on the trail.
      – Breakfast with our B&B hosts. Get on the road to Rhode Island.
      – Late-morning – Stop in Northampton, MA along the way.
      – Afternoon – Newport, RI – Cliff walk and mansion tours. The Ocean Drive is supposed to be nice too. Check into B&B is at 3 pm.
      Artful Lodger 503 Spring Street, Newport, RI, 02840
  • DAY 5 – Mon 8/22: Drive to Boston for flight from Boston Logan International Airport, 1 Harborside Dr, Boston, MA 02128
    • – Morning – Land in Minneapolis and explore!
      – Dinner – The Bachelor Farmer (Nordic food) – Minneapolis.
  • DAY 6 – Tue 8/23: Day in St. Paul
    • – Morning – Breakfast at Mickey’s Dining Cart – St. Paul.
      – Lunch – Hmong Village – St. Paul.
  • DAY 7 – Wed 8/24: Day in Minneapolis
    • – Snack – Afro Deli – Minneapolis.
      – Lunch – Matt’s Bar or Grumpy’s for a Jucy Lucy – Minneapolis.


If you’re able to take a week off, we highly recommend taking a drive through the beautiful states of New England. You can definitely fit in all the states though we only visited five of them: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. I had already been to Connecticut for work on many occasions. The drive through the states really shows you the beauty America has to offer with the greenery, rolling hills, and extremely friendly people. It is also super safe. At many of the places we stopped off at, the doors were unlocked with a note to enter and there was no one manning the store fronts. You purchased your goods by leaving money in a box and went on your merry little way. On the return trip, there was a layover in Minneapolis and I just so happened to win a hotel stay at a fundraiser so we added that city to our vacation.



I booked our stays at mostly Bed and Breakfast hotels to indulge in the hospitality of New England. It was the perfect way to experience the culture of the Northeast.

  • Farmstead Bed and Breakfast in Eliot, MN was quaint and comfortable. They had the most awesome blueberry pancakes which you’ll see mentioned in most people’s reviews of the place. It’s an older Bed and Breakfast.
  • The Wilmington Inn was by far the best Bed and Breakfast we had ever stayed at. It was updated and clean, and walking distance to the downtown area. The host was extremely friendly and great to hang out with. She was very understanding when we were late for breakfast. We had gotten lost on our run that morning and had a difficult time finding our way back to the inn.
  • The Artful Lodger in Newport, RI was cozy and in a nice neighborhood. We were able to walk to the mansions and to the downtown restaurants from here.
  • The Radisson Blu in Downtown Minneapolis is a really nice hotel and situated in a convenient location to everything. We were able to walk to Target field.

Newport, RI


For background about each place and to see what else you could fit in, check out the research notes section. Usually we fit in a lot but I was too tired on this trip lugging the big belly.

From the Boston airport, we drove around Boston before heading to New Hampshire. We stopped off at a Dunkin Donut where the guy working there treated me to a donut. I hadn’t had a donut in years so he said the donut was on him. If you have not driven around Boston, be prepared for lots of loops. You can easily miss your exit and then have to go around in a circle to come back around. We knew this from a previous trip, yet, we still found ourselves circling on the loops many times before we were able to exit to see Fenway Park. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to tour it because it was closed in preparation for a concert. After driving around a bit, we went to Chinatown and walked around before having lunch at Winsor Dim Sum Cafe and going to a Hing Shing Bakery. Neither were worth writing home about though I did provide Yelp reviews. We should have stuck with Hei La Moon, the place we had been to before and very much enjoyed. It’s a typical big banquet hall teahouse. The food there is great!

On Day 2, after the blueberry pancake breakfast with our Farmstead Bed and Breakfast hosts, we drove to York, Maine. Maine is kind of what I had imagined it to be. Lots of white people, beaches, and a lighthouse on our drive along the coast. We stopped at Lobster Cove and had lunch overlooking the water. Most restaurants were packed so we pulled out the Google and read some reviews and stopped by one that luckily had an open parking spot. Lobster was served every where including McDonald’s. We opted not to try the fast food version though it was intriguing.

We didn’t get a chance to explore Portsmouth because I was tired much of the time and wanted to rest up for the wedding festivities. I was about 17 weeks pregnant so I opted to stay inside more than I thought I would. Portsmouth is very cute with cobblestoned streets and there were many stores to duck into as well as museums. We had a spectacular dinner at Cure Restaurant with really friendly service and delicious food. They even made me a non-alcoholic drink of a Cranberry Spritzer with specs of ice and served it in a highball so that it felt like I was having a cocktail.

On the road to Vermont, we stopped off at the BEST truck stop we had ever seen or visited. The Common Man Roadside South at the Hooksett Welcome Center and Irving Fuel is AWESOME and was definitely a highlight of the trip for a pregnant lady. It might be a highlight for anyone actually. The truck stop was like no other with a general store and restaurants including a fancy diner. The place was huge!

In Vermont, I had many cheese shops to visit but were only able to visit two. We visited the Vermont Shepherd in Putney, VT. The gift shop is a little shed off the side of the road. It’s super small and quaint, and based on the honor system to purchase cheese. They had a number of cheeses in the fridge and a basket to leave money for payment. The farmland itself is really pretty nestled in the backroads of Vermont. Grafton Village Cheese – Brattleboro Specialty Cheese & Wine Shop located close to Route 91, across from the river and next to the Retreat Petting Farm. We visited their petting farm and ate some of the hard cheeses since at the time, I couldn’t have many of the soft ones. The cheese shop is located at 400 Linden Street (Route 30), Brattleboro, VT. Open daily, 10 am – 6 pm. 802-246-2221 x101.

Vermont Shepherd

Vermont Shepherd in Putney, VT

Wilmington, VT had the best bed and breakfast we had ever stayed at. The Wilmington Inn was updated and clean, and walking distance to the downtown area. The host was extremely friendly and great to hang out with. We enjoyed talking to her and great stay. There’s also a trail to run on close by. From Wilmington, we drove out to Northampton, MA based on a recommendation from a friend who said we had to stop there. We were glad we did because the experience at Dobra Tea (Quaint tearoom with a peaceful vibe offering 100+ exotic loose leaf teas & health-conscious bites, located at 186 Main St, Northampton, MA 01060) was enchanting. It has a large menu of teas to choose from as well as cookies and other small bites. The vibe is very cool.

Then we continued traveling south to Newport, RI to explore the mansions that many people told us about. The mansions are straight out of the Great Gatsby era and it’s understandable as to reason they filmed the original movie at the Rosecliff Mansion. We didn’t visit this one but we did visit The Breakers. Since we arrived in Newport in the late afternoon, we decided to walk by The Elms, then to the Forty Steps on the water, and dinner at Midtown Oyster Bar. It came highly recommended. However, we were disappointed with our meal though we liked our waitress. We sat outside on the top deck and looked down at the people walking by. Our stay at The Artful Lodger was really nice and the mansions are truly incredible in the ornateness of it all. How people had the money and creative idea to make a place so elaborate is unbeknownst to me. I think if you’re ever on the East Coast, Newport should be a definite place to include in your itinerary.

The BreakersMansion

Years ago I was looking up random food facts online and came upon the Chow Mein Burger. It sounded disgusting. Then on a trip to Italy, we met a lady from Rhode Island and she confirmed that the area was known for a Chow Mein Burger. Her parents owned a Chinese restaurant and they served it. She, too, thought it was disgusting and never ate it herself. I always wondered what that was so I had a mission to find a restaurant that not simply served it, but served it well. I ended up eating China Star’s Chow Mein sandwich. They’re located at a shopping plaza at 101 President Ave # 4, Fall River, MA 02720. Their sandwich was featured on the Food Network and the Food Network contacted me to use my photo of the sandwich. Check out the “The Best Sandwiches in America” and the infamous Chow Mein Burger from Fall River, MA (photo #82 out of 99). I ordered the sandwich speaking Cantonese to the owner and he did a double take and replied “No…” Then he looked at my husband and asked in English, “Is this for you? Are you from here?” I replied that the sandwich was for both of us and we were from San Francisco and wanted to try it. He told me not to try it and that it’s not the type of food I’m used to. Laughing, I told him I heard about it and had to taste it for myself so I could tell others a Chow Mein Burger really did exist. He laughed, and later, he came by to check on my thoughts of the sandwich. The chop suey piled on a hamburger bun and crunchy chow mein noodles topped with a bun wasn’t bad. It tasted pretty good but I’d never go out of my way to order one. Their Hot & Sour Soup and Kung Pao Chicken was tasty too. I left very happy to have completed my mission with the most positive result.

We caught our flight to Minneapolis and explored just about everything on my itinerary except for stopping off at Matt’s. We weren’t able to make it there before our flight because it was further away than I thought. Minneapolis is home to the largest Hmong population in the U.S. Our Lyft driver dropped us off at Hmong Village and he said that it was considered a dangerous area according to the local’s standards. The driver was from San Francisco and he said it was safer than the Tenderloin but many locals considered it off limits and he said we’d have a difficult time finding a ride back. He was correct because we did have a challenge getting a Lyft to take us back to the city. However, having lunch at Hmong Village was definitely worth it. The “village” is simply a large building with many market and food stalls, filled with lots of people. We walked around to see what was popular amongst those eating and then we set off to locate the stall selling the dish. Everything we had was delicious. We had a great time walking around exploring the goods and wares they were selling and we learned a lot about the Hmongs. They had a community center at the village to help their people with legal advice, medical help, etc. and historical artifacts up on the walls. If you are into culture and want to try new foods, DEFINITELY visit the Hmong Village.


Minneapolis is very clean. We only saw one homeless person the entire time, and no litter nor broken glass, or urine smells. For a large metropolitan city, we were amazed at how well maintained it was. Plus, all the buildings are connected through a skywalk system above the ground. They said it gets so cold during the winter, no one walks outside so they have a interconnected system of glass tunnels above the streets that will take you from one side of the city to the other. We were able to walk from our hotel to the baseball stadium and back as well as to other parts of the city without ever getting wet from the rain. The baseball stadium is quite nice and the tickets for a game were very reasonable. Everyone we met in Minneapolis was extremely friendly and our Lyft driver told us it was because everyone relies on each other during the winter time to help one another in a time of crisis, in either starting their car or shoveling their snow so they they are nice to each other year round.

Target Field

The U.S. city with the largest population of Somalis is Minneapolis so, we of course, had to try some of their staples. We went to the Afro Deli to snack on Sambusas, little fried pastry pouches filled with beef, chicken, or lentils and served with Somali-style chili and cilantro-based hot sauce. There was a long line but we’re glad we waited and gave them a try. We walked around the downtown farmer’s market while chomping on the Sambusas. Just a couple more notes, the food at Mickey’s Dining Car and the Bachelor Farmer was awesome. Include both on your trip if you can. We had brunch at Hell’s Kitchen and tried their Minneapolis Icon dishes of: Walleye Hash & Eggs, Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes, and Toasted Sausage Bread. All were great! Lastly, we did get to try the Jucy Lucy but not at Matt’s. We tried the gooey, cheeseburger at Grumpy’s Bar and Grill. Thrillist listed Grumpy’s as one of the best places to grab one of these cheeseburgers with a melted core of cheese inside the meat patty instead of on top. It was yummy!

We hope you get a chance to explore New England and Minneapolis! Have fun!

Jucy Lucy

Jucy Lucy at Grumpy’s Bar in Minneapolis, MN

  • Boston Fenway Park
    “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark” is uniquely nestled in the city of Boston. Fenway Park is a place where dreams are made, traditions are celebrated and baseball is forever. See the home of Red Sox Legends, Williams, Yaz, Fisk and Rice. Visit Pesky’s Pole and sit atop the world famous Green Monster which stands 37 feet 2 inches high overlooking leftfield. Our experienced tour guides will provide a thrilling, one hour, walking tour of Fenway Park. Bilingual tours are available in Spanish and Japanese with advance notice. We welcome all fans to Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox and the pulse of Red Sox Nation. Cost is $25 a person
  • Boston Freedom Trail
    The walking tour of the Freedom Trail begins at the visitor’s center at Boston Commons (a park). You can pick up a walking map at the visitor’s center and also purchase a much-needed bottle of water before you start. The walking tour is only 2.5 miles but it seems much longer because you will want to stop and see different places.
    • – Tours Available – See all of the landmarks on the Freedom Trail and admire the beauty of Copley Square on this 2-hour walking tour. Start at the beginning of the Freedom Trail and make your way to Back Bay and Boston Common. Then, visit Copley Square for an enchanting walking tour of Boston.
      – Departure Point 28 State Street (Across from the Old State House)
      – Departure Time 10am, $25 a person, Same time and starting point, $15 for the Downtown Freedom Trail Walking 70 Minute Tour in Boston
  • Boston Chinatown
    It is the only surviving historic ethnic Chinese enclave in New England since the demise of the Chinatowns in Providence, Rhode Island and Portland, Maine after the 1950s.
  • York and York Harbor, Maine
    York, Maine is one of the nation’s oldest cities, originally settled in 1624 by the Abenaki who called the town “Agamenticus”, a term they used to refer to the York River. After being incorporated in 1642, York became the second oldest town in Maine (after Kittery). York’s rich history, beautiful beaches, great shopping and delicious restaurants make it one of the top vacation destinations in Maine every year. There is a lot to see in York including its several different villages: York Beach, York Village, York Harbor and Cape Neddick. York has a great location on the Southern Maine Coast and is one of the first towns in Maine off interstate 95. It is just over an hour north of Boston and five hours north of New York City, making it the perfect drive to a New England getaway. There so many things to do in York, you should stay a week.
  • York Beach
    Beach goers will love York’s beaches. Long Sands is best known for its 2 mile stretch of white sand and good surfing action, while Short Sands Beach is popular for its amusement park atmosphere with a carousel, playground and arcade plus restaurants, shops and the Golden Rod candy shop that you can walk to and watch them make salt water taffy (since 1896).
  • York Harbor
    In York Harbor, you will find seaside inns and resorts, plus York Harbor Beach with a gentle surf and views of the Atlantic along with the comings and goings of the boats out of the harbor to York River. Walks across York’s Wiggly Bridge on York River or along the Cliff Walk are great ways to explore York’s waterfront and coastline.
  • Cape Neddick
    Cape Neddick is a must visit in York. The 1879 Nubble Light is the focal point of Cape Neddick, the most photographed lighthouse in the country arguably. A visit to Sohier Park puts you in close proximity to the island Lighthouse, and also gives you views of Boon Island Light. So you can’t actually go in the lighthouse, it is an island just off shore. The Nubble’s Park, which features benches for relaxing and reading and picnicing, is a favorite of residents and visitors alike.
  • Other York Attractions
    York also draws a large golfing crowd each year, with top Maine golf courses like the 18-Hole The Ledges Golf Club or York Golf and Tennis Club. York’s Wild Kingdom will keep the kids entertained with Maine’s largest zoo and an amusement park full of rides, games and mini-golf. Kayakers will enjoy rowing down York River, 13-miles of smooth sailing that flows directly into the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Mount Agamenticus
    Nature lovers will enjoy Mount Agamenticus, the tallest mountain on the Southern Maine Coast at 692’ above sea level. This was once a ski area called Big A. Now, Mount Agamenticus is enjoyed by hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders and picnickers, making the short hike to the summit for views as far as Boston, Cape Elizabeth and Mount Washington. You can hike up Mt A or drive for a picnic with a view.
  • Museums of Old York, Maine
    York is incredibly historic, as the nation’s first chartered city in 1641 and the first incorporated city in 1642. History comes to life here and kids and adults alike will all enjoy the Museums of Old York. Here you can step back in time to New England colonial life 300 years ago. The Old York Historical Society operates several museums consisting of nine historic buildings. These buildings include the Old Gaol, which is the nation’s oldest royal prison. Visitors can also tour the Old Schoolhouse and Jefferds’ Tavern. The museums include historical New England artwork, original architecture and antiques dating back to the 1600s.
  • Adams Family Farm – 15 Higley Hill Rd, Wilmington, VT 05363 802-464-3762
    • – 2016 Summer Rates & Hours: 7 days a week 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. There are picnic tables available to bring your lunch with you. Your admission helps with; animal care, feed, bedding, and vet care
      – Visiting the Animals: Adults: $7.50 Children (age 2-12): $6.50 Pony Rides (children ages 2-12): $5.00 *Admission to the farm is required for pony rides*
      – Visit the Animals & Wagon Ride: Adults: $11.95 Children (age 2-12): $10.95
      – Farm Experience Package (includes fishing): Ages 2-102: $19.95 Reservations required, call us or stop in.
  • Wheeler Farm – Cheese Stand – 36 Woffenden Rd, Wilmington, VT 05363 Phone: (802) 464-5225
    The Wheeler farm in Wilmington is Vermont’s oldest existing dairy farm. One of the signature family farms in the Cabot Creamery farm coop, the Wheeler Farm is a great destination for all things dairy in Vermont. Their Vermont farm stand offers some of the finest in cheeses and dairy products anywhere, all fresh and ready-made. The Wheeler Farm also has a sugar house where they make their own maple syrup and other maple products, so be sure to pick up some syrup or candies while you’re there.
  • Robb Family Farms in 827 Ames Hill Rd, Brattleboro, VT 05301 – Meat and maple syrup
    For more than 100 years, the Robb Family Farm has been entertaining—and feeding—the people of southern Vermont. During the spring you can visit their famous sugar house and watch the maple syrup making process take place, and in the fall you can visit their Vermont farm stand and pick up hearty cuts of delicious Vermont beef. The farm stand also sells a variety of maple syrups, candies and gift baskets throughout the year, so be sure to stop by and take a look at everything they have to offer!
  • The Bachelor Farmer (Nordic Food) 50 North Second Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401 Cross Street: North First Street (612) 206-3920
  • Mickey’s Dining Cart (Diner Food) 36 W. 7th Street, St. Paul, MN
    • – Open 24 hours, 365 Day – The movie Mighty Ducks was filmed here as were other movies.
  • Butcher and the Boar 1121 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
    • – B&tB’s foot-long hot dog – a house-made dog topped with a spicy chow-chow, crispy shoestring potatoes, mayo, mustard, and cilantro served on a brioche bun from Salty Tart.
  • Matt’s Bar 3500 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407
    • – Circa-1954, cash-only beer & burger joint celebrated for its cheese-stuffed patty, the Jucy Lucy.
      – Jucy Lucy – A Jucy Lucy [sic] or Juicy Lucy is a cheeseburger that has the cheese inside the meat patty instead of on top, resulting in a melted core of cheese within the patty. Two bars in Minneapolis claim to be the inventor of the burger, though other bars and restaurants have created their own interpretations.
      – Matt’s Bar is a restaurant in south Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is known as one of two businesses that created the Jucy Lucy. Obama ate there.
  • Target Field – #2 place to visit on TripAdvisor
  • Hmong Village 1001 Johnson Pkwy – Dayton’s Bluff, Saint Paul, MN 55106 Phone number (651) 771-7886
    • – Hmong Food – With the country’s largest population of Hmong immigrants comes the country’s best Hmong market.
  • Afro Deli 1939 South 5th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55454
    • – Sambusas – These little fried pastry pouches are flavor bombs that are straight cravable. Filled with beef, chicken, or lentils and served with Somali-style chili and cilantro-based hot sauce called basbas, these things are beyond worth heading to campus for.