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.

Old Harbor Life Saving Station on 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 Primer on New England Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage Along the Ellis River in Jackson New Hampshire

Fall Foliage Along the Ellis River in Jackson New Hampshire

By Travel New England

It is that time of year again. The days are getting shorter. The shadows are getting longer. There is a chill to the evening air. We are once again moving into fall in New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, and VT); and with fall comes Mother Nature’s annual show – fall foliage. The hills and valleys, lake shores and riverbanks are about to come alive with vibrant oranges, yellows, and reds as the trees start to get ready for winter.

For those of you who wonder, it is the length of the day that triggers this annual event. Shorter days in late summer and early fall signal deciduous trees to stop producing chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what gives leaves their green color. As the production of chlorophyll decreases and stops the green color fades and other pigments already present in the leaves show.

If you are planning a visit to new England this fall to do a little “leaf peeping” your are probably wondering when is the best time. The date to keep in mind would be Columbus Day Weekend – October 6 through 8 for 2012. Columbus Day Weekend is when the leaves are typically just pre-peak, at peak, or slightly post-peak depending on where you are in New England. As a general rule, the leaves change earlier in Northern New England (ME, NH and VT), and later in Southern New England and along the coast. So on Columbus Day Weekend, Northern New England should be at or just slightly past peak and providing spectacular scenery. Massachusetts should also be at peak, while Connecticut and Rhode Island and Cape Cod should be slightly pre-peak. No matter how you slice it, the colors everywhere should be great.

But where to go to view the fall colors? Almost anywhere will reward you with beautiful color, but there are some places generally recognized as “go to” places for fall foliage viewing. Route 100 in Vermont and the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire are fairly universally believed to provide some of the best fall foliage viewing anywhere on the planet. Suffice it to say that in New Hampshire anywhere in the Lakes Region or the White Mountains and White Mountain National Forest will reward you with great foliage. The same is true of the Green Mountains and Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont.

There are many wonderful places in Maine for great foliage viewing, but you may want to think about a fall visit to Acadia National Park where the fabulous fall colors go all the way down to Maine’s rugged and picturesque rocky coast.

In Massachusetts consider taking a drive along the Mohawk Trail, one of the oldest roads in the United States that runs from Greenfield to Williamstown. You will find plenty of great fall scenery along the way.

Moving into southern New England, the Connecticut State Route 169 Byway is great for fall foliage viewing and in the little State of Rhode Island you may want to consider a drive through the Blackstone River Valley.

These are just a few ideas of where to find great foliage, but the truth of the matter is you will find it pretty much anywhere in New England. Mother Nature does all of the hard work, you just need to grab your camera and hit the road. That great fall scene could be just around the corner…

About the Author
This article was written by Travel New England. You can visit their website for more great fall foliage drives (http://www.travel-new-england.com/new-england-fall-foliage-drives/), and be sure to check out their Fall Foliage Report and Map for the latest foliage conditions.

Picture credits: The picture of fall foliage along the Ellis River in Jackson, New Hampshire is courtesy of Travel New England.

Posted in Connecticut RV Camping Vacation, Fall Foliage, Maine RV Camping Vacation, Massachusetts RV Camping Vacation, New Hampshire RV Camping Vacation, Rhode Island RV Camping Vacation, Vermont RV Camping Vacation | Tagged | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Connecticut RV Camping Vacation, Maine RV Camping Vacation, Massachusetts RV Camping Vacation, New Hampshire RV Camping Vacation, Rhode Island RV Camping Vacation, Vermont RV Camping Vacation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park

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.

Posted in Maine RV Camping Vacation, Massachusetts RV Camping Vacation, National Parks, New Hampshire RV Camping Vacation | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hit the New England Trails

How about hitting a trail for New England Vacation fun? New England offers many different types of trails for many different types of vacation experiences. Following are the major trails that you can hit for New England vacation fun and adventure.

Outdoor Trails

If you like your trails rugged and outdoors then New England has some great challenges for you:

  • Appalachian Trail – If hiking is your thing there are 733.9 miles of the Appalachian Trail that run through Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The Maine part of the trail is generally considered to be the most difficult in the entire trail.
  • Long Trail – If the Appalachian Trail is not enough hiking for you, how about tackling America’s oldest long distance trail, the Long Trail. This trail is 273 miles long running the entire north to south distance of Vermont. There are also 175 miles of side trails.
  • Northern Forest Canoe Trail – Not to leave paddlers out of the picture, New England is home to nearly 80% of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a 740 mile long canoe and kayak trail that runs from New York to Maine.

Driving Trails

If you prefer more of a highways and byways type of trail, New England still does no disappoint. In New England you will find:

  • National Scenic Byways – There are 9 National Scenic Byways in New England in all states but Rhode Island. One, the Connecticut River Byway, runs through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
  • State Scenic Byways – Not to be outdone by the federal government, several of the New England states also have their own scenic byway programs. So check out Maine’s Byways, New Hampshire’s Scenic Drives and Rides, and Vermont’s Byways.

Winter Trail

While probably not as much interest to an RVing crowd, we would be remiss if we did not mention another trail that really shines in the winter time. That would be the Catamount Trail. The Catamount Trail is North America’s longest back country cross country ski trail running 300 miles – the entire north to south distance of Vermont.

So there you have it. If you want to hit a trail for a New England Vacation, the above should keep you busy for a long time.

This blog post was kindly provided to us by Travel New England. See their website for additional New England Vacation ideas.

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