Tuesday, June 2, 2009

2009 New England Diner Tour - Itinerary

Initial plans for this summer's New England Diner Tour are complete. And right away you'll notice sacrilege: the absence of Jersey diners - and not even a stop in Maryland, which, as any fan of Barry Levinson's Baltimore-based movies knows, occupies a symbolic centrality in our collective geography of great diner locations.

That's the problem with our focus on New England. We've chosen to concentrate our attention further north and dedicate more time to New York, New Jersey, and Maryland next time.

One other thing: While the original theme of our family's 2009 adventures focused on diners, we've broadened our criteria to include swell drive-in theaters, fascinating historical sites, goofy roadside attractions, and even a jaunt to Montreal (presuming the feds return my renewed passport by mail on time). So where are we going?

The path starts in Philadelphia (where we got the best deal on flights), heads north through the Catskills and Adirondacks to Montreal, returns south for two-day U-turns in Vermont and New Hampshire, swings north and then south along the coast of Maine, drops into Massachusetts for a couple days, and then cruises through Rhode Island and Connecticut before returning to Philly.

Without providing too much exhaustive detail, here's a tentative list of highlights (including a handful of must-visit motels) for our two-week trip. See anything in the New England region that's obviously missing? Please post a comment.


Philadelphia: Geno's Steaks and Pat's King of Steaks (cheesesteak paradise)
Philadelphia: Independence Hall
Philadelphia: Reading Terminal Market
Orefield: Shankweiler's Drive-in (longest running drive-in theater in USA)

New York

New Paltz: "America's Oldest Street": Huguenot Street
Red Hook: "Fork in the Road" and Giant Prozac
Red Hook: Village Diner
Mt. Tremper: Kate's Lazy Meadow Motel
Massena: 56 Auto Drive-In
Massena: Blue Spruce Motel


No specific plans yet. We'll park at the Grande Bibliotheque de Montreal, ride the metro, and see everything we can for about three days. Our only plan is lodging: two nights at Le Relais Lyonnais. Here's a trip back to '96 when we made our first trip to Montreal.


Colchester: Libby's Blue Line Diner
Burlington: World's Largest Filing Cabinet
Castleton: Birdseye Diner
Covered bridges tour of southwestern Vermont
Brattleboro: Chelsea Royal Diner
Bellows Falls: Santa's Land (well... maybe)
Bellows Falls: Miss Bellows Falls Diner
St. Johnsbury: Dog Chapel

New Hampshire

Washington: Town Green
Claremont: Daddypops Tumble Inn Diner
Keene: Lindy's Diner
Keene: Rocky Brook Motel & Cottages
Hinsdale: License Plate House
Hinsdale: Northfield Drive-In
Manchester: Red Arrow Diner
Tilton: Tilt'n Diner
Lincoln: Clark's Trading Post
Mount Washington Auto Road


Bethel international sign
Gardiner: A-I Diner
Brooksville: Bagaduce Lunch
Waldoboro: Moody's Diner
Wiscasset: Red's Eats
Freeport: Maine Idyll Motor Court (where they don't take credit cards, but they do take personal checks - Cottage 5)


Salem: Salem Diner
Salem: Bewitched statue
Somerville: Rosebud Diner
Wellesley: Babson Globe
Concord: Walden Pond
Worcester: Edgemere Diner (supposedly reopened as "The Edge" - hmmm....)
Worcester: Kenmore Diner
Worcester: Miss Worcester Diner
Worcester: Boulevard Diner
Middleboro: Sisson's Diner
Plymouth: Plymouth Rock
New Bedford: Shawmut Diner
Fall River: Al Mac's Diner

Rhode Island

East Greenwich: Jigger's Diner (famous for Johnnycakes!)
Pawtucket: Modern Diner
Providence: Haven Brothers
North Smithfield: Rustic Drive-in
North Attleboro: Arns Park Motel


Newington: Olympia Diner
Middletown: O'Rourke's Diner
Noank: Abbot's Lobster in the Rough
Guilford: Town Green
Fairfield: Super Duper Weenie World

No, we probably won't visit all of these sites. But we'll sure try! Once more, any suggestions? Let me know...


FitToSeeJane said...

Wow! When are you leaving? It will be fun to follow along on the blog.

Andrew Wood said...

We're leaving late July for two weeks. The blog will likely not summarize our day-to-day activities, but there will be a website that covers it all. :-)

Brett Lucas said...

Andrew - If you get the chance, hit one of the two remaining Howard Johnson's restaurants in either Lake George or Lake Placid, New York. Who knows how much longer they will last.



Lissie said...

You might want to take a looksee at THESE...reviews of restaurants in Montreal....the recommended ones, as well as those to avoid.

Andrew Wood said...

Awesome link. I've just taken a brief glance, but it appears that the site you've suggested has lots of useful tips about dining in Montreal. Thanks for sharing!

Andrew Wood said...

Brett, I don't know why I neglected to respond to your recommendation.

As it turns out, we did initially have the Lake Placid HoJos on the itinerary. It got shoved off recently, but I can foresee a way to add it back on. I agree with you entirely: It's important to support these places while we still can.

Andrew Wood said...

Update! Here's the link to our completed diner tour: