Area 51 is a Rest Area on I-93 North just past mile marker 50, about 15 miles north of Concord, MA. It is where the Yankee Candle and the Boston Caravans converge for the Grand Caravan to Attitash. The rest area has two parking areas, one next to I-93 and one to its right. The Caravans meet in the rightmost parking area just beyond the Rest Area’s building. There are rest rooms in the building and a bank of vending machines next to it. Plenty of picnic-ready grassy areas exist as well.
Both Caravans should arrive in the 1:00 pm to 1:15 pm timeframe. We will have a very brief Drivers’ Meeting at 1:45 pm then off to Attitash for an arrival at about 4:30 pm. Of course, there all always folks from VT and NH who drive directly to Area 51 and meet-up with the converging Caravans.
We have created two online MapQuest routes for folks to follow :
Area 51 Direct to Attitash:Driving Directions from Canterbury, New Hampshire to Latitude: 44.077172, Longitude: -71.251734
Area 51 to Attitash via Lakes Region : Driving Directions from Canterbury, New Hampshire to Latitude: 44.077172, Longitude: -71.251734.
The Direct route is generally chosen by most folks and usually creates the largest Caravan. It arrives at Attitash sooner than the Lakes Region route. The Lakes Region route uses back roads to get from Area 51 to Rt. 16. Then it follows Rt. 16 north to Conway where it joins Rt. 112 and Bear Notch Road to Attitash. While this longer route features scenic and twisty roads, it also goes through some traffic “pinch-points” and, thus, may take 3+ hours to get to Attitash. Folks who have never driven the Kancamagus Scenic Byway are encouraged to wait until the Saturday Drives to “spank the Kanc” and, thus, should take the Direct route to Attitash.
You should decide on the route you wish to take well before the day of the caravan. Route maps will not be provided, so you should follow the MapQuest links and print out the maps/driving instructions. Also note that mobile phone service is spotty in this region so do not depend upon a mobile cellular device for accessing the route information. If you have a Garmin GPS, you can download these routes from MapQuest directly to your GPS.