Take an RV Excursion through Cape Cod

This is the perfect time of year to take an RV trip through Cape Cod. The sea breezes are still relatively mild, the sands are warm and the crowds are beginning to thin. Take Route 6A along the Cape and enjoy the lovely landscapes, see some history and perhaps get your feet wet in Nantucket Sound or Cape Cod Bay.

Chatham, MA Cape Cod

Old Harbor Life Saving Station on Cape Cod.

Starting out in Sandwich, you will be embarking on a real adventure. Surrounded by hiking and biking trails, lovely fresh water ponds and sea, Sandwich is an ideal stop for some exploration. You will even find a golf course if you want to play a round. And you can do some whale watching or simply browse the town’s interesting shops.

Barnstable consists of a number of villages, and all are absolutely charming. There are lots of nooks and crannies to investigate, and you shouldn’t miss Centerville and Osterville for some quaint sights. While here visit the Coast Guard Heritage Museum, a former U.S. Custom House. Seeing a working blacksmith shop is a real bonus. And you should check out the oldest wooden jail in America.

Hyannis, Mass. is one of the villages of Barnstable and the largest. It is considered the hub of Cape Cod and is known internationally. This is the spot to pick up gifts for friends as it has some really unique shopping opportunities. Island ferries will take you on more adventures. Don’t miss the John F. Kennedy Museum for a look into history. Amazing photos of the Kennedy family are on display.

Yarmouth, MA will be your next stop. The Cape Cod National Seashore is waiting for you to do some beachcombing and see what small treasures you can find. The historic charm of this village will have you inspired and may even cause you to consider making your vacation longer. There is more than 350 years of history in this small location.

Next comes what may end up being your favorite beach stop, Dennis, Massachusetts. If it isn’t too cool, take a dip and fit in some time to watch for whales or other finny creatures off the shore. If you have brought a bicycle, now is your chance to take the Cape Cod Rail Trail which begins in Dennis. Ride for twenty-two miles through the many famous towns of Cape Cod.

Travel to Brewster and be sure to visit Nickerson State Park with its abundant outdoor recreation opportunities. An eight-mile bike path also connects to the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Swim, watch the birds, or hike throughout the 1900 acres. Then move on to the lovely town of Orleans, Massachusetts. The Atlantic and Cape Cod beaches are inviting, and the gorgeous views of the ocean will bring a peace and tranquility to your hectic days. If you are visiting in mid to late September, you may wish to take in some delightful film festivals while here.

Ready to turn back? We didn’t think so, but it is the end of this journey and you can enjoy the sights all over again as you head back to where you started. And you can always return again for more adventures in Cape Cod.

Picture credits: The picture of Old Harbor Life Saving Station is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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A Summer RV Trip along the Connecticut River Byway

Picture Along the Connecticut River Byway

Along the Connecticut River Byway near Mount Toby and Sunderland, MA

This summer take an RV trip along the Connecticut River Byway to experience the most powerful river trail through New England. You can get a full taste of the history, beauty and heritage of three states as you drive this most fascinating and inspiring route. Outdoor recreation is abundant, and the entire family will find activities and fun things to do along the way. Paddling, fishing, hiking and bird watching – whichever you prefer is available, and more.

Starting in Massachusetts and traveling up through Vermont and New Hampshire, this scenic drive will take approximately 14 hours, depending on how often and how long you stop. When you pass through this landscape of rich farms and historic villages, you get a different view of our heritage. Stop at the Mount Holyoke Range State Park and you can find what hikes are available by stopping in at Notch Visitor Center.

On Mount Holyoke, you should be sure to visit the Summit House which was once a luxurious hotel and is now part of J.A. Skinner State Park. The views from this spot will literally take your breath away. On a clear day you will be able to see all the way into New Hampshire and get a glimpse of Mount Greylock.

In Hadley, Massachusetts, stop in at the Hadley Farm Museum. Here you will discover an incredible collection of early farm vehicles and equipment, all housed in a barn built in 1782. Historic artifacts to see include butter churns, toys, cobbler benches and other furnishings. You will really be taking a step back in time.

If you are ready for some hiking, you can embark upon a portion of the Metacomet Monadnock Mattabesett Trail, a National Scenic Trail offering some outstanding scenery and plenty of other recreation as well. One part of the trail is great for those of all ages and is five miles long (the Route 77 to Route 17 section).

Coming upon quaint New England towns is all part of the adventure. Small communities show you a huge welcome, such as in Canaan, Vermont or other Vermont towns such as Littleton, Brattleboro or Vernon.

When traveling through Vermont, stop at one or more of the many state parks along the way. There is a long list of them. Recommended is Fort Dummer State Park in Brattleboro. This fort in the southern foothills of the beautiful Green Mountains was flooded in 1908 with the building of the dam on the river. It can be viewed from the vista from Sunrise Trail. Quechee State Park is also a place to stop and nearby you can visit the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site and the glass blowing mill and pottery shop. Both parks have campgrounds for RV motorhomes.

When in New Hampshire, find many wonderful places to stop with the family to take in the sights and sounds of New England. Small towns such as Pittsburg, New Hampshire, Bath, Woodsville and Hinsdale invite you into their locale so you can enjoy the hospitality and ambience. The North Woods is an intriguing place and one that provides a multitude of recreation opportunities. Of course, in the winter there is skiing and snow sports, but in summer there are just as many things to do, such as hiking, trout and salmon fishing and much more.

Your route is sure to take you by the Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area, thirteen acres of natural beauty. There are numerous hiking paths along the gorge and you can take some photos of the views. As you hike along through the gorge, notice how the brook flows from a rushing cascade to a gentle stream. It will finally merge with the Connecticut River farther downstream.

In Lancaster, New Hampshire, the John Wingate Weeks Historic Site gives you the opportunity to see a lodge that makes interior decorators melt with envy. Gorgeous picture windows, massive fireplaces of fieldstone! Climb the tower and view the countryside from the observation deck.

Naturally, you will want to get out into the forest and the best way to do that is to take to the trails. Natural wonders are abundant on the Connecticut River Birding Trail (PDF) with numerous stops along the Connecticut River to witness the many species of birds. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is also nearby, a place where Native Americans made their way across the land in their birch-bark canoes. History runs deep here and the sights you see will remind you of that time and time again.

Picture credits: The picture of the Connecticut River Byway is by Christopher Curtis and is from the America’s Byways Website. It is in the public domain.

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Travel to Martha’s Vineyard on a Summer RV Vacation

Picture of State Beach, Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard

State Beach in Oak Bluffs

A summer vacation should be full of outdoor recreation, family sights and activities and lovely scenery. An RV vacation is an added bonus as your family has a great opportunity for bonding and spending quality time together. On Martha’s Vineyard you can have it all. This quaint island off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts is a wonderful destination for a family vacation.

Discover miles of beaches, a thriving art culture, outdoor fun and natural beauty. Explore the little New England villages and browse antique shops, boutiques, and enjoy delicious food. You can camp at the only campground on the island – Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground – where there are full hookups and spacious wooded sites.

Picture of a Sailboat Crossing in Front of Edgartown Lighthouse

Sailboat Crossing in Front of Edgartown Lighthouse

In the seaside village of Edgartown, the shopping and harbor views simply cannot be beat. The homes date back to the early 19th century and the days of whaling. Visit South Beach and the Edgartown Lighthouse while here to get the real feel of this island paradise.

Take the Chappy Ferry from Edgartown to Chappaquiddick. The ferry is called “Chappy” because that is the shortened version of Chappaquiddick, a tranquil and isolated spot to the east where you can ride a bicycle on the many sand tracks which crisscross the island. You will need some small mode of transport to really get around, such as traveling to Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge, but you can also hike it if you don’t mind longer distances.

Picture of the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs, MA

Flying Horses Carousel

Next hit the beach town of Oak Bluffs and experience an old-fashioned merry-go-round, the Flying Horses Carousel, operating continuously since 1876 it is the oldest platform carousel in the United States! This National Historic Landmark is the pride and joy of the town and anyone of any age will enjoy this marvelous ride.

Gorgeous coastal views are available at Chilmark and roads lead to fishing villages where you can get seafood fresh from the sea. Be sure to have your camera ready to shoot some photos of the peaceful scenery where stone fences line the hills. Take Middle Road to get some views of the farm lying along the Atlantic shoreline.

Picture of the Aquinnah Cliffs on Martha's Vineyard

The Aquinnah Cliffs

Aquinnah Cliffs is another must-see. Take a bus to get to these amazing cliffs and Gay Head Lighthouse. Aquinnah’s isolation makes it a great place to go to avoid any crowded tourist areas. An inspiring town to say the least!

Vineyard Haven, part of the Town of Tisbury, also boasts a lighthouse, the West Chop Lighthouse, with magnificent views. Again, be sure to have your camera ready as you’ll want to share these moments with friends back home.

Yes, Martha’s Vineyard is a place of beauty, inspiration and lots of history. This is where you can explore by foot, on a bike, or take the public transportation system to get where you want to go. At night you can settle down in your RV motorhome with the family and relive the fun you had during your day of adventures. You won’t want to leave to go home once you arrive. But you can always return once again to experience the unique and serene Martha’s Vineyard.

Picture credits: All pictures in this post are courtesy of Travel New England.

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Summer College Baseball: A Great Way to See New England

By Robert Pirozzi, Travel New England

Picture of a baseball home plateEvery summer college baseball players all over the country head off to play summer ball in wooden bat summer college baseball leagues. For fans of the game, these games are a great way to see guys who will become the stars of tomorrow…

New England is no stranger to summer college baseball. There are no fewer than three leagues that field teams in across New England. The great thing about summer ball is that while taking in some of these games you can also visit some of the best vacation spots in the region!

Start on Cape Cod

Cape Cod, one of the country’s top vacation destinations, is also home to the famous Cape Cod Baseball League. Founded in 1885, the Cape Cod Baseball League has seen the likes of greats such as Nomar Garciaparra, Thurman Munson, Mark Texeira, and Jason Varitek. The league fields 10 teams across the Cape so you are never far from a game, and best of all – you’re on the Cape with great beaches and so much more summer fun…

Take a Side Trip to Martha’s Vineyard

If you have not had enough sun and fun on the Cape, you can always hop the ferry over to “the Vineyard” where you will find more sun and fun and another summer College Baseball team. This time it is the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks who use the Martha’s Vineyard High School field for their home games. The Sharks are members of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. While on-island be sure to check out the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs – it’s the oldest platform carousel in the United States.

Staying with a Coastal Theme

If you want to keep your vacation close to the coast you are in luck. Both the Futures Collegiate Baseball League and the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) field teams in cities and towns along the coast. Where can you go? How about:

  • Old Orchard Beach, Maine to see the Raging Tide.
  • Newport, Rhode Island to see the Gulls. Be sure to check out Newport’s famous mansions while there.
  • South Kingston in Rhode Island’s beautiful South County to see the Ocean State Waves.
  • Groton, Connecticut to see the Mystic Schooners. While in the area, be sure to check out Mystic Seaport.

Time for Some Mountains

If you have tired of the seacoast how about heading to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. This beautiful region is home to the North Adams Steeplecats and the Pittsfield Suns. While in the Berkshires you may want to take in some of the great theater for which the region is so famous, or visit one of the areas fabulous museums such as the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, or the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASSMoCA) in North Adams.

If that is not enough you can head to Montpelier in the foothills of the Green Mountains in Vermont to take in the Vermont Mountaineers. You are in the State Capital of Vermont and a stone throw from all this beautiful region has to offer.

There you have it. By simply following America’s pastime in its simplest and least expensive form – summer college ball – you can take in some of the best vacation spots that New England has to offer.

About the Author

Robert Pirozzi is the Publisher of the website Travel New England. He lives with his wife and son in a suburb west of Boston.

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