Bang for the Buck: Maine, Vt, NH, MA Oct 4-12.
Road trip from Boston to Cape Cod, MV and Nantucket (on ferry) then driving up Maine coast. Want to see leaves turning in Vt and NH and will be in Boston on Oct 12.
I love lobster and fried clams. I'll go to Woodmans for fried clams.
In Maine: Red's Eats in Wiscasset, Maine Diner in Wells, 2 Lights in Cape Elizabeth. (I'm not sure how far up to drive -- as far as Belfast??)
Vermont for A Single Pebble -- Chinese in Burlington
I don't know yet exactly what route I'll take after leaving the Maine coast. I really want scenic routes to see the best turning leaves. So, Oct 6 I'll leave the Cape for the Maine Coast.
I don't want anything fancy, just good food. Would appreciate your good advice and will report back. (I live in San Francisco, lived on the Cape as a child.)
Several years ago we saw some good looking fried clams at the Miss Lyndon diner in Lyndonville VT. It's near Littleton NH. We were in VT for a fun hike at the Great Vermont Corn Maze in Danville. Maybe someone has a recent report of that diner, esp the fried clams. I think you should do a coast to inland clam comparison. We did not care for the clams at the new Woodman's location in Litchfield NH (next to Manchester) but I think a lot had to do with the noisy location and crowded seating. The clams were good, not great. If your route goes from southern Maine to Concord and then up Rt 93 to the mountains, you could get off at exit 17 and follow Rt 3 to Franklin NH. (when you get to the lights go straight toward Bristol instead of turning right over the bridge to downtown Franklin). I will nominate the Pizza Market for best clams for the buck. The place is kind of scruffy, new owners in an old location but our recent market price clam dinner was under $16 for a good amount of clams. They also let you sub onion rings for fries. We could finish the clams but neither of us could finish the onion rings.
Back track a few miles to Rt 3 and then follow thru Franklin and Tilton where you can get back on Rt 93 at exit 20. We also like the Dipsy Doodle (near exit 19) for lobster rolls even though another hound didn't and said they use vacuum packed meat. It sure tastes fresh to us and my husband still thinks they taste just as good as the recent July lobster roll at Dolphin Marina in South Harpswell ME. The Dipsy is tiny with mostly outdoor seating and does not stay open in winter. It should still be open for foliage traffic.