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New England Escapades
We’re lucky enough to live in a place rich with amazing places to go and things to do and see. This means that as a New Englander, when you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway, you certainly have a wealth of choices, especially during the summer. And therein lies the problem! With so many incredible options and, sadly, so little time, how do you decide? We’ve done the hard work for you and narrowed it down to the best of the best. Before you embark on your summer adventure, make sure to check websites for any closures or restrictions that may be in place. Bon voyage!
Bash Bish Falls State Park, Mount Washington
Bash Bish Falls has been a Massachusetts tourist destination for many, many years. You’ll find this gem of a state park in the Southwestern corner of the state. If you’re in the mood for a hike, stop near the entrance and take the short, yet fairly steep, descent to view the falls – you won’t be disappointed. The view from the top is one of the most spectacular you’ll find anywhere in the state.
On Nantucket, bicycles are the main form of transportation. Excellent riding paths abound on the island, and most of them lead directly to the beach, making it a great destination for families on the go. With little ones, take the short path directly to Children’s Beach (where you’ll find a playscape); older kids will appreciate the skate park and watersports at Jetties Beach. Bring your own bikes or rent them on the island.
The Litchfield Hills
Tucked away in Connecticut’s rural Northwest, these gently rolling foothills of the Berkshires have long been a favorite spot to experience stunning fall foliage and other favorite activities. In the summer, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of recreational options, like hiking the Appalachian Trail, water-skiing or fly fishing on the Housatonic or boating or sailing on one of the county’s many pristine lakes. One trip and it’s easy to see that there should be enough to keep you occupied while you appreciate the views around you.
Rich with history and one of the oldest cities in the state, Essex (known then as Saybrook Colony) was settled back in 1635. It’s also a great family destination. If you have a budding train buff, hop on the scenic Essex Steam Train & Riverboat; adults will enjoy the scenery and kids will enjoy the ride. Essex is also famed for its watersports; enjoy the expansive views of the harbor, or if you feel like getting out, you can discover the natural beauty of the Connecticut River on a schooner cruise, eagle boat tour, kayak or canoe.
What kid doesn’t love ice cream? Premium ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s is headquartered in Waterbury, and ice cream lovers of all ages can take a tour and watch the delicious dairy confections being made on-site (and, of course, sample a few). Make your visit complete with a stop at the Vermont Teddy Bear Company store to pick up a friend for life.
Canterbury boasts a diverse range of activities for the entire family. You can go back in time more than 200 years by visiting the Canterbury Shaker Village, where this historical village showcases the traditional Shaker way of life. Take a guided tour of the 29 buildings and learn about the customs and traditions of the utopian Shaker society. On the other side of the coin, take a short, 20-minutes drive to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, in Concord, for a close-up view of the heavens. Young and old alike will thrill to the breathtaking astronomy show.