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Old 04-30-2020, 02:16 PM
 
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My wife and I were planning to travel internationally in August with our 7 year old daughter, but for obvious reasons that's not happening. We live in NY state and are looking for a beautiful place in driving distance to rent a house for a week and explore the outdoors. I realize that they are in opposite directions, but we haven't spent much time in either West Virginia or New Hampshire. Both seem to have nice mountainous areas that aren't too close to huge metropolises, and seem like good picks. (We've spent tons of time in pretty much all other states in the region, and all else equal would like to go someplace new.)

Any preferences between the two with a second grader? We're not counting on being able to visit any sort of indoor attractions or busy towns/villages in light of coronavirus, but are hoping that by late August we can spend a week doing light hiking, maybe taking boat rides, and enjoying scenic views. WV seems more off the beaten path, and we've never stepped foot in that state before. But it also seems perhaps geared more toward adventure travelers, and we're certainly not in that class. NH's lakes region and White Mountains seem very nice, and remind me of parts of Vermont that we've visited. WV seems far less expensive, but it depends upon the region.

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 04-30-2020, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
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Both of these states are beautiful. If you enjoy scenery and outdoor activities, either of them would be a great choice. The mountains in New Hampshire are taller and "pointier" (more prominent) than those of West Virginia, but the valleys feel narrower to me in West Virginia. I don't know if it was just an illusion, but it felt like there were more rivers and streams in West Virginia.

If you go to New Hampshire, the Conway area has Story Land (which may or may not be open), which is perfect for a 7 year old. It also has a scenic railroad, and also you can drive up to the top of Mount Washington. If you go to West Virginia, I would base myself in or near Beckley. There you can visit the Exhibition Coal Mine and also Tamarack (the latter of which might be boring for a kid, but you might like it). Also, you're not far from Pipestem State Park, which includes an aerial tramway that will take you down into the valley of the Bluestone River. If you're looking to get away from it all but still have some of the comforts of civilization, you might do well to get a place in Pipestem and then do a day trip or two over to Beckley.

Honestly, I think you'd do well with either choice. Check out the places I've listed on the internet and maybe you'd find one set of them to be more interesting than the other.
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Old 05-01-2020, 05:31 AM
 
757 posts, read 677,970 times
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Thank you so much Bus Man! Are there any areas in WV we should avoid for safety reasons? Beckley seems to have a very high crime rate, and I want to be extra cautious travelling with a child.
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Old 05-01-2020, 06:39 AM
 
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It might change by August but I personally wouldn't drive to Northern New England with New York plates. You'll be treated as a biohazard.
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
It might change by August but I personally wouldn't drive to Northern New England with New York plates. You'll be treated as a biohazard.
We don't live in NYC. You think by the end of August NYers will not be welcome in NH? I think a lot of hotel and restaurant owners would beg to differ.
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
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Originally Posted by BD1978 View Post
Thank you so much Bus Man! Are there any areas in WV we should avoid for safety reasons? Beckley seems to have a very high crime rate, and I want to be extra cautious travelling with a child.
I wasn't aware of Beckley having a high crime rate. I've been there several times, have had no incidents, and never felt unsafe. I wonder if opioid use is driving the crime rate? Unfortunately, that's an issue in many rural areas.

EDIT: I just looked at C-D's page on Beckley crime. I'm honestly quite surprised that the city is ranked so poorly, as that's nothing at all like the feeling that I get when I'm there. Maybe you'd feel more comfortable if you stayed at the Pipestem State Park. The closest town is Hinton, which has a much lower rate. It's odd, though, because to me Beckley feels more prosperous than Hinton does. Not that Hinton is a dump or anything, but I wouldn't have guessed that there'd be such a difference between the two places.

The funny thing about the "typical" West Virginian is that he's both very friendly and somewhat leery of outsiders. It seems contradictory, but it's the way it is. They know that a tourist isn't a threat to them, whereas someone scoping out their property might be. I've visited the state many times, both for work purposes and for vacationing, and I've never had a single problem with anyone there. Quite the opposite, really. But I don't make it a point of trespassing on private property either.

So, "places to avoid" would be someone's private property, especially deep in the woods. Drive on the public roads; visit the state parks and the commercial establishments; use the public hiking trails; I doubt you'd have any problem at all. But, "No Trespassing" signs are there for a reason; make sure to heed them.

Oh, one more thing to consider. I don't know what your political views are, but most West Virginians are quite conservative. President Trump is very popular there; Joe Biden is not. Jesus Christ is worshipped as Lord and Savior. If you don't share those views, you would do well to keep it to yourself. Talk about the weather; talk about how beautiful you find their state; ask them questions about places to go and things to do; and you'll get along just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BD1978 View Post
We don't live in NYC. You think by the end of August NYers will not be welcome in NH? I think a lot of hotel and restaurant owners would beg to differ.
A New York license plate looks the same whether you're from the City or from Buffalo or anywhere in between. I would hope that things would have died down by August, but it is something to be cognizant of. Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that Rhode Island was requiring all passenger vehicles with New York plates to submit to inspection at the state line?

Last edited by bus man; 05-01-2020 at 10:23 AM..
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
I wasn't aware of Beckley having a high crime rate. I've been there several times, have had no incidents, and never felt unsafe. I wonder if opioid use is driving the crime rate? Unfortunately, that's an issue in many rural areas.

EDIT: I just looked at C-D's page on Beckley crime. I'm honestly quite surprised that the city is ranked so poorly, as that's nothing at all like the feeling that I get when I'm there. Maybe you'd feel more comfortable if you stayed at the Pipestem State Park. The closest town is Hinton, which has a much lower rate. It's odd, though, because to me Beckley feels more prosperous than Hinton does. Not that Hinton is a dump or anything, but I wouldn't have guessed that there'd be such a difference between the two places.

Beckley has a federal prison. That may skew the stats somewhat.
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:56 AM
 
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Thanks again Bus Man - really helpful information. We're definitely the type of people who'd want to be in state parks, on public hiking trails, etc., and we wouldn't in a million years intentionally trespass on anyone's property. My wife and I happen to be Democrats but we're certainly not looking to pick political fights with anyone. Some of our absolute favorite states are red ones (AZ, UT, etc.) and we're very comfortable talking to locals about nature and wildlife and tourist attractions. So no problems there. I'll look into Pipestem State Park. Thank you again!
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Old 05-01-2020, 11:28 AM
 
20,322 posts, read 11,893,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BD1978 View Post
We don't live in NYC. You think by the end of August NYers will not be welcome in NH? I think a lot of hotel and restaurant owners would beg to differ.

It's the license plate. Any New York plate is going to get a pretty poor reception among locals in Northern New England. Massachusetts plates have the same problem. The "go away" sentiment is very strong at the moment. People are afraid. The "I have money. People will like me" thing with out of staters is unlikely to work in 2020. It wouldn't matter if you're from Plattsburgh a jillion miles from the plague. You have NY license plates.
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Old 05-01-2020, 11:37 AM
 
20,322 posts, read 11,893,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post

A New York license plate looks the same whether you're from the City or from Buffalo or anywhere in between. I would hope that things would have died down by August, but it is something to be cognizant of. Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that Rhode Island was requiring all passenger vehicles with New York plates to submit to inspection at the state line?

It wasn't just Rhode Island. Vermont was doing it, too. If a New York plate crossed the border, the state police were stopping everyone asking their intentions. If your intention wasn't to self-quarantine for 2 weeks, you were strongly advised to turn around.


Massachusetts was also pulling over New York plates on I-195 as they crossed the RI line headed to their Cape Cod summer places with the same 14-day quarantine message.
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