Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial beginning to the summer season, is upon us. To kick off the summer season we thought that we would put together a couple of lists of places you may want to go and things that you may want to see and do this summer in New England.
10 Places to Go In New England
Looking for someplace fun and interesting to visit this summer? There are so many places in New England that it was hard to come up with a list of just 10…
Bar Harbor / Acadia National Park
First up on our list is Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park in Maine. Overlooking Frenchman Bar Harbor is a wonderful destination in its own right. Add to that the fact that its neighbor on Mt. Desert Island is Acadia National Park and you have a vacation paradise – great food; wonderful activities on the water; hiking and biking the carriage trails of Acadia National Park; the fabulous and scenic rocky coast of Maine; one of the few white sand beaches in Maine (Sand Beach in Acadia National Park); picturesque lighthouses – make sure you leave enough time to see and do it all…
I tend to be a seashore and coast guy but am always amazed when I am in the Berkshires that I do not miss the coast. That is because you never want for fun things to do. Combine the beautiful scenery, bountiful outdoor activities, an unparalleled summer theater and music scene (remember that the BSO spends their summers in the Berkshires at Tanglewood), and wonderful museums like the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, and MassMOCA in North Adams, and you have a recipe for a wonderful summer vacation.
Its nickname is the “Hub of the Universe” for a reason. As a summer destination Boston offers so much. You have an easy drive to beaches in, to the north, and to the south of the city. There is the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area where you can visit a fort or historic lighthouses, explore the coast, hike, camp, fish, picnic or swim within minutes of downtown Boston. Pair that with fabulous restaurants, great theater and live music venues, and wonderful museums and you have a vacation destination that you will not want to leave.
Cape Cod and the Islands
You really cannot think of visiting New England without at least considering a trip to Cape Cod and the Islands. Cape Cod is a summer fun paradise with wonderful beaches including those of the Cape Cod National Seashore, all kinds of activities on and off the water, incredible fresh seafood, and fairs and festivals. Is it any wonder that is one of New England’s most popular summer destinations.
New Hampshire’s Lakes Region
I will admit to being partial to Wolfeboro, NH and Lake Wentworth, but you really can’t go wrong with a visit to anywhere in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. With over 200 lakes and ponds it’s easy to find your own peaceful and beautiful area to kick back and relax.
The Rhode Island Coast
When one thinks of the Rhode Island Coast one typically thinks of the Newport area, Narragansett Bay, and South County. Each has its own character. Each has wonderful beaches and seaside activities. Each would make for a wonderful vacation destination.
In Stowe I would make my base of operations the Trapp Family Lodge – mainly because of my wife’s love for the Sound of Music. It’s still a great choice if your are not a fan of the musical as it is a wonderful place to stay. It is also your gateway wonderful hiking, mountain biking and Vermont’s tallest peak – Mount Mansfield.
White Mountain National Forest
This is your place if you like all things outdoors. Hike, bike, fish, swim, and camp ’til your heart’s content. The White Mountain National Forest is among New England’s most popular summer destinations.
If you like the romance of going down to the sea in ships then you can do no better than setting Mystic, CT as your summer destination. Take a sail; visit the aquarium; visit Mystic seaport. And don’t forget the food. Of course you will want to try the pizza for which the village is so famous, but you would be remiss if you did not also try the seafood…
10 Things to See and Do in New England
No matter where you are in New England you are never far from a good baseball game. From the Burlington Lake Monsters to the Boston Red Sox, there are summer college baseball teams, professional minor league teams, and major league baseball from one end of the region to another. Get out this summer and enjoy the “boys of summer”.
New England has some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States including beaches such as Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod all the way up to Sand Beach in Maine (see New England’s Top Beaches). Wherever you are on New England’s coast your are always close to a beach that will take your breath away.
Mountain biking can be found throughout New England. Make it a point to check out Kingdom Trails in East Burke, VT.
Whether you call it an agricultural fair, county fair, country fair, or state fair – New England’s summer fairs are an annual treasure not to be missed.
There are plenty of wonderful hiking trails in the region’s state parks and national forests. There are also numerous and challenging long distance trails including the New England portion of the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail in Vermont. There is no excuse not to get out there for a good hike.
Want a great way to visit the seashore (and maybe a couple of lakes to boot). Plan a trip visiting some of New England’s nearly 200 lighthouses. Such a journey will take you to wonderful destinations and provide you with spectacular scenery!
New England is home to numerous music festivals including some of the most famous in the country such as the Newport Jazz Festival. Summer is the time to get out and listen to some great tunes and to see some great performances…
New England’s Antique Carousels
New England has some of the oldest antique carousels in the United States (including the two oldest). So Mom and Dad, pack up the kids and Grandma and Grandpa and take a step back in time visiting one of these antique treasures. You will be glad you did. See: New England’s Antique Carousels and New England’s Antique Metal Carousels.
What could be a more fun summertime activity then getting out on the water and paddling a canoe or kayak. Well you are in luck! In addition to the numerous lakes, ponds, and rivers for your paddling pleasure, there are also several long distance paddling trails in New England. Preeminent among these is the Northern Forest Canoe Tail. Stretching from Old Forge New York through Vermont, a little bit of Quebec, New Hampshire, and over to Fort Kent, Maine, the Northern Forest Canoe Trail is the longest paddling trail in the United States. Add to that the Main Island Trail along the coast of Maine, and the trails of the Rhode Island Blueways Alliance and you could be paddling until the leaves start changing color again.
Aside from the beach, nothing says summer as much as summer theater. And there is just so much of it from one end of New England to another. Get out there and take in a great show.
There you have it. A few great things to see and do this summer! Let us know what your favorite is…