An RV Trip to some Lovely State Forests in Massachusetts

A fall vacation in Massachusetts may be just the thing to reset your clock and begin a new adventure for the year. An RV vacation through some of the state parks and forests is even better, as you can travel in style and comfort, many inconveniences simply eliminated. Start out in Lenox, Massachusetts to enjoy the autumn beauty of Berkshire County. After exploring the city, you can discover great hiking trails in Kennedy Park. This is a wonderful spot for a family picnic too!

Sign Entering Lenox MA

Entering Lenox MA

Just to the east of Lenox is October Mountain State Forest where you can get into the forest and see nature at its autumn best. Trek through Schermerhorn Gorge for some incredible scenery. Wildlife watching is something that attracts many to this woodland. The Appalachian Trail moves through this area, too, so if you have time, you can hike some miles on this famous trail to experience the exciting Massachusetts wilderness.

North of Lenox, the Pittsfield State Forest is where the streams invite fishermen to take advantage of the great weather. Berry Pond is up at more than 2,000 feet in elevation and is a great place to find the fish biting. Drive to the top of Berry Mountain for some wonderful views. In the northeast corner of the forest, discover Balance Rock State Park with its limestone boulder balanced so precariously on the bedrock.

Continue north to visit Mount Greylock State Reservation, the highest point in the state. You will get some panoramic views here across Berkshire County and beyond. Although the Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower is closed for the season, the memorial chamber at ground level is open to enjoy.

Once complete with your visit at Mount Greylock, head east on Highway 2 towards Boston. You will run into Interstate 90 which will take you right back to the city. However, as you drive Highway 2, stop at Mohawk Trail State Forest  so you can see fabulous gorges carved deep in the rock, mountain ridges and a wide variety of animal and plant life. Trout fishing here is excellent.

Next stop is Erving State Forest with many outdoor activities for the RV vacationer. Try boating on the lake, hiking the forest woodlands or fishing from the shore. Many woodland trails offer destinations of scenic interest, so you will definitely want to put on the hiking shoes and get outside and move through nature’s surrounds.

Drop down south to stop at Lake Wyola State Park. The word “Wyola” is a Native American word for “quiet waters,” and you’ll see why when you arrive. Here are forty acres of peace and solitude on a lovely autumn day. It is the perfect ending to a perfect RV getaway. Now you can head back to the city ready to take on life once again. There is nothing like an autumn vacation in Massachusetts to give you a whole new outlook and energy.

Picture credits: The picture of entering Lenox, MA is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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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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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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An Excursion to a Fascinating Island off the Massachusetts Coast

Picture of NantucketWhile on a RV Vacation to Cape Cod you may want to set aside a day for an excursion to the Island of Nantucket. This is a beautiful and historic island off the coast of Massachusetts where you can enjoy a number of activities and much scenic beauty.

You can get there on the Hyannis-Nantucket Ferry. When you reach Nantucket Island you may want to stop right away and have some great beer at the Cisco Brewers. This will ready you for more adventures as you explore this amazing island. A great place to visit is the Egan Maritime Institute where you will find the maritime stories of Nantucket. Shipping artifacts and other collections showcase the seafaring history of the island.

Of course, you may want to take some bike tours of the gorgeous landscapes or history walks, but museums always provide a unique view into your location, and make the trip that much more special. At the Lightship Basket Museum you can wander a garden that contains plants that were more than likely planted there in the 1820s. You can also tour the museum inside.

A favorite of visitors to this historic island is the Whaling Museum. Explore the 1847 restored candle factory and go up to the observation deck on the rooftop and look out over Nantucket Harbor. Commemorated at the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum are the many mariners who risked their lives to save shipwrecked souls. Learn about famous shipwrecks and the equipment used to save seafarers who were in trouble.

Many people visit Nantucket just for the beaches. These pristine stretches of sandy shores show a special beauty and most have gentle surf which is perfect for kids to enjoy. All of them have wonderful views of the sound or harbor. On the northern part of the island, Dionis Beach is only three miles from town, and you can ride a bike for a little exercise in reaching your destination. In season there is a lifeguard on duty. Two other popular north shore beaches are 40th Pole and the Brant Point beach. This latter is not a spot for swimming as it has a strong current, but you can visit the Brant Point Light Station.

On the south shore, you will find the beaches that face the Atlantic and have heavier surf. One of the most popular beaches on the island is Surfside Beach with a lifeguard, food service and showers. Kite flying is great here! Cisco Beach is wonderful if you love to surf, but note that rip currents are strong here. Not the best beach for families with kids. Close by is Hummock Pond. This is a perfect place for some kayaking if the winds aren’t too strong.

Take your time and explore, explore, explore. There is a lot to see and do on Nantucket and you won’t want to miss a thing before taking the ferry back to the mainland.

Picture credits: The picture of Nantucket is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

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An Historic RV Trip to Boston

For those who love the historical stories of earlier days and how this country was founded, an RV trip to Boston is just the thing. Even for those who haven’t spent a lot of time looking into U.S. history, this trip is well worth your time. You can find an excellent RV resort south of Boston in Foxboro, MA. At Normandy Farms Camping Resort you can establish your home base while you set your own schedule to explore Boston.

When you first hit the city, the best way to get a taste of all the things to see and do here is to take a Boston Duck Tour. You board an amphibious landing vehicle, just like those used in World War II, and get a narrated tour of the places that make Boston famous. Choose between 60 and 80-minute tours, depending on how much you’d like to see.

All visitors must put the Freedom Trail on their itinerary. This is the richest in history, showcasing the American Revolution and the brave people who shaped our world. The first stop is usually Boston Common, where British troops camped. You will see other historic sites such as the State House, Park Street Church and the Granary Burying Ground, the third oldest in Boston. Because of the expense, families would bury about twenty bodies to each grave. This is where Paul Revere is buried and you can visit and pay your respects.

Part of your Freedom Trail walk will include King’s Chapel and Burying Ground. Here is where many colonists found their final resting place. One of the oldest structures in Boston is also on your tour – the Old Corner Book Store.

A fascinating place to see is the site of the Boston Massacre, the spot where five colonists were killed by British regulars. Don’t miss Faneuil Hall as you move on down this historic route.

Paul Revere’s ride takes on new meaning when you visit the Paul Revere House. You will also see a bell, mortar and bolt all made by Paul Revere & Sons. Carry on then to the Bunker Hill Monument. This site was where the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought and those famous words were shouted, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!”

Once you finish seeing all there is to see in Boston, you can drive northwest to Lexington to the Minuteman National Historic Park. While in the area, it would be a shame to miss this incredible spot on a Boston vacation. Here was the opening battle of the Revolution, and you can experience an exciting reenactment by checking ahead for dates and times. While in the park, be sure to see the Old North Bridge. This is another famous place – the site of “the shot heard round the world.”

You can head on home now as you’ve seen the best sampling of historic places in and around Boston. There are more, but you can always come back again and enjoy another fabulous RV getaway.

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Vacation Idea – Help Fenway Park Celebrate its 100th Birthday

By Travel New England

Picture of Fenway ParkOn April 16, 1912 the front page of the Boston Daily Globe read “Titanic Sinks, 1500 Die”. Five days later on April 21, 1912 the Globe ran an article on the April 20 opening and first major league baseball game at the new home of the Boston Red SoxFenway Park. Both events celebrate their 100th anniversary this year. Both happened before almost all of the major historical events of the 20th century.

On opening day April 20, 1912 the home town team defeated the New York Highlanders, now the New York Yankees, 7 to 6 in 11 innings, starting the long-standing rivalry between the two teams. It should be noted, however, that while this was the first major league game in Fenway, the first baseball game actually happened on April 9 when the Sox played and defeated the baseball team of Harvard University 2 to 0.

Here’s a great vacation idea, how about planning an adventure to help the Nation’s oldest major league ballpark celebrate its 100th birthday? Opening day for 100th anniversary season of Fenway Park is April 13 when the Sox will play the Tampa Bay Rays.

Major activities planned by the ball club to celebrate Fenway’s 100th include:

  • April 19, 2012: Free Fenway Park Open House – This is a free event for fans to come see Fenway Park, enjoy historical artifacts, photographs and banners, and meet Red Sox legends.
  • April 20, 2012: 100th Birthday of Fenway Park – You guessed it. Just as they did 100 years ago, the Red Sox will play the Yankees. The game will start as it did in 1912 at 3:05 PM. There will be a pre-game ceremony celebrating the Sox and their venerable ballpark.
  • May 2, 2012: Throwback Day against the Oakland Athletics – The two teams will wear throwback uniforms from 1936.

Can’t make these events? Fret not. There will be 81 games played in Fenway this year, and, as always, tours of Fenway Park are available every day.

So head to Boston this spring or summer to celebrate a little bit of baseball history.

About the Author

This guest post was written by Travel New England. Travel New England is a great source for New England vacation ideas. If your travel plans do bring you east to help Fenway Park celebrate its birthday you may want to check out their Massachusetts vacation pages to find other things to do while there.

Photo credits: The picture of Fenway Park is by Jared Vincent from Wikimedia Commons. It is is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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Scenic Train Rides for New England Fall Foliage

One of the joys of RV travel is that you get to see a lot of the great outdoors – well, at least everyone but the driver, who is hopefully keeping their eyes on the road. So if you would like to get out from behind the wheel and let someone else do the driving, how about a scenic train ride.

Scenic trains are a wonderful way to see fall foliage in New England. Following is a list of the scenic train rides in New England:

Any of these would provide a fun and relaxing way to take in fall foliage in a very diverse set of environments. So get out from behind the wheel and let someone else drive…

About the Author
This blog post was provided by Travel New England. Be sure to check out their new New England Fall Foliage and New England Fall Foliage Drives sections.

Posted in Connecticut RV Camping, Connecticut RV Vacation, MA RV Vacation, Maine RV Camping, Maine RV Vacation, NH RV Camping, NH RV Vacation, Rhode Island RV Vacation, RI RV Camping, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, Vermont RV Camping, Vermont RV Vacation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ten Ways to Spend a Week RV Camping Near Boston

Boston, Massachusetts is another place our RV rental customers love to visit. Surrounded by the beauty of Cape Cod, the rivers of Western Massachusetts and hundreds of sites with historic interest, Boston is an exciting place to spend at least a week RV camping. Pick up your Boston RV rental and then hit the road! By the way, if you’re planning to stay at least one night, Kings’ Campground on pristine Lake Manchaug promises a delightful stay.

  1. The Deerfield River, two hours west of Boston, offers adventurous RVers the perfect whitewater rafting venue. Whether you’re looking for Class IV rapids or a milder, family-style float trip, the three dammed areas of the Deerfield promise beautiful scenery and plenty of rafting fun. VisitMassachusetts.com has helpful information on whitewater rafting outfitters.
  2. Hoping for a place that includes history, scenic beauty and enough variety to keep the whole RV camping crew busy? Essex National Heritage Area is a five hundred square mile area in Northeast Massachusetts that encompasses historic sites like Balch House, oldest standing house in North America, beautiful beaches like Crane Beach in Ipswich and hundreds of miles of trails such as the Bay Circuit Trail.
  3. Minute Man National Historical Park – Step back into Revolutionary War history by exploring the park celebrating the skirmish that started it all. Bike along five-mile Battle Road Trail and visit spots that played a big role in the early Revolution, like Hartwell Tavern and Concord’s North Bridge.
  4. Looking forward to magnificent views of the Connecticut River and the Berkshires? Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation in Northwestern Massachusetts has the vistas you’re hoping to find. Set up camp at White Birch Campground, just down the road in Whately, MA, and then hit the trails with camera in hand!
  5. The shark and ray touch tank are just one reason to visit the New England Aquarium on Boston’s Central Wharf. Take a catamaran whale watching tour or simply lose yourself in the beauty of this first-class aquarium’s well-planned exhibits.
  6. Old Sturbridge Village, a quick hour west of Boston, is a living history exhibit that lets your family explore 18th and 19th century New England life. Quinebaug Cove Campground on Brimfield Reservoir is minutes away from Old Sturbridge Village, and also gives RV campers the chance to fish, swim and hike a picturesque Massachusetts lake.
  7. Another fascinating peek into America’s early white settlement can be had at Plimouth Plantation, an hour from Boston. Park your RV in the spacious RV parking area and tour the fabulous Mayflower II, a replica of the ship that first brought Pilgrims here in 1620. RV travelers also report that the 17th century village and the rare animal farm keep them coming back.
  8. Just up the coast from Boston in the Northshore area, the seaside village of Salisbury, MA features sandy beaches, outdoor recreation on the Merrimack River and lots of vintage appeal. Black Bear Campground in Salisbury is close to dozens of regional attractions.
  9. Scusset Beach State Reservation makes a wonderful stop of your Boston RV camping trip! Camp at the RV campground on-site and then walk or bike along the Cape Cod Canal. Be sure to bring a camera, the sunrise is spectacular! See here for additional beaches on Cape Cod.
  10. Wells State Park offers Boston RV camping fans the chance to stretch out among the trees in a beautiful campground. Campers have access to a nice swimming beach on Walker Pond, where you can also canoe and fish. And don’t miss the view from Carpenter Rocks!
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A New England RV Vacation – It’s Not that Big, Move Around a Bit

For those of you not from New England, the first thing you need to realize is that the region is not very big. You can reasonably drive from one end of New England to another in less than a day. For example, a drive from Greenwich, CT to Bar Harbor, ME is slightly over 8 hours. From Providence, RI to Burlington, VT is slightly over 4 and half hours.

So when planning a New England RV vacation you might want to think about visiting many different places, especially if you are going to be there a while. It is not at all unreasonable to start your vacation visiting the Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts and ending it up at Acadia National Park in Maine. As a matter of fact, that would make an excellent New England RV vacation.

Start your vacation at the Cape Cod National Seashore. While the National Sea Shore does not have camping right on the property, there are numerous Cape Cod campgrounds for you to choose from while visiting the Cape. Make sure to visit some of the Cape’s 14 lighthouses while there, including Nauset Light which is located in the National Seashore.

From Cape Cod head north and take in the Lakes Region in New Hampshire and then on up to the White Mountain National Forest. There are numerous New Hampshire campgrounds along the way to accommodate you while passing through these gorgeous regions of New Hampshire. The lakes region gives you endless opportunities for water sports, while the White Mountain National Forest introduces you to some tremendous mountain scenery. You may also want to visit White Mountain State Park perched on the summit of the Northeast’s highest peak – Mount Washington.

From New Hampshire head east into Maine to take in Acadia National Park, the northeast’s only National Park and the first National Park east of the Mississippi. Campgrounds exist in the park and near the park for your stay.

Along the way you will drive approximately 500 miles (without side trips), and you will have gone from sandy beach, marshes, and ponds to beautiful lakes, to breath taking mountain scenery, to Maine’s fabled rocky coast. You will probably want to take two weeks to do each region justice, but it can be done in less time.

This is but one example of the great RV vacation you can put together in New England visiting numerous locations. So get out a map, pick a bunch of destinations, and get going. You really will not have to drive that much…

This article was kindly provided to us by Travel New England.

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Massachusetts Fall Foliage Resources

Picture of Fall Foliage in Southborough, MA

Fall Foliage in Southborough, MA

Heading into the weekend of October 16 finds Northern New England with peak or moving past peak foliage conditions. The exception to that would be coastal Maine and southeastern New Hampshire. Central Vermont is moving past peak.

With that, the focus will turn south. Massachusetts should be an excellent leaf viewing destination this weekend with conditions starting to peak. We thought we would share some Massachusetts fall foliage resources with you to help you plan a weekend excursion:

Some great towns to visit for fall foliage viewing would include Amherst, Shelburne Falls, and Williamstown, all three of which were ranked among the Top 25 Foliage Towns in New England by Yankee Magazine (October, 2010).

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