Are you considering a summer getaway? Pack your bags and head around New England! During the late summer, the weather is still warm enough for beach days, yet fewer people vacationing means you have more elbow room to enjoy your New England road trip. Not sure what part of New England you want to visit? One of these three road trips may be the ideal choice for you.
Criss-Cross Cape Cod
Beautiful beaches, quaint small towns, shopping galore, and amazing seafood makes Cape Cod the perfect summer road trip. The Cape is actually made up of 15 Massachusetts towns, each worth a visit. The drive from Sandwich at one end of Cape Cod to Provincetown at the other end takes about 90 minutes if you drive straight through. Ideally, you’ll want to break up the drive into several days to allow plenty of time to see the sights.
While in Sandwich, enjoy the view at East Sandwich Beach and learn about the history of the area at the Sandwich Glass Museum and the Heritage Museum and Garden. Next up, stop by Hyannis. The town is home to the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum and offers ferry service to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
During your trip across the Cape, be sure to stop for a break at Marconi Beach, part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. The Beach’s 40-foot-tall sand dunes provide an impressive backdrop for selfies and offer the ideal vantage point to view the New England shoreline.
A trip to Provincetown, or “Ptown” as the locals call it,” is an excellent way to end your Cape Cod road trip. Located at the northern end of Cape Cod on Cape Cod Bay, the town is as lively as it is picturesque. During the day, browse shops and galleries housed in brightly colored homes or sunbathe on the beach. As the sun goes down, head to one of Provincetown’s upscale restaurants for an amazing meal or sip a cocktail while you watch the sunset over the bay.
Need more options? Blogger Sarah Fay offers advice on the best beaches, shopping, and excursions on the Cape.
Meander Through Maine
You’ll know you’re definitely not in New Jersey anymore when you spot the moose warning signs as you cross the border into Maine. More than 60,000 of these majestic animals live in the state, many of them in northern and western Maine.
Ogunquit, which translates to “beautiful place by the sea” in the Abenaki language, makes an excellent first stop for your New England road trip. The town boasts a large public beach, quaint inns, and luxurious hotels, a vibrant shopping and dining area, and the Marginal Way, a cliff-top path that leads to a small fishing village and shopping area.
As you travel north, stop by Kennebunkport for a leisurely lunch or spend the night in scenic Boothbay Harbor. From there, continue your drive north to Bar Harbor. The historic town offers views of Frenchman’s Bay and Cadillac Mountain and is a convenient place to stay if you plan to explore Acadia National Park. While you’re in town, sign up for a whale-watching excursion, hike the trails in the national park, or explore the area on a rented bike or scooter.
Take a New England City Road Trip
Does your ideal New England vacation include trips to museums and historic sites, fine dining, and luxurious hotels? A road trip to a few of New England’s most interesting cities may be the ideal getaway for you.
Providence, Rhode Island, a four-hour drive from Central New Jersey, is a good place to begin your trip. The city, founded in 1636, is home to a thriving arts community, first-class restaurants, museums, and other attractions. (Follow @goprovidence for ideas about things to do in the city.) While you’re in Providence, check if WaterFire will be offered during your visit. The unique display includes nearly 100 bonfires set to carefully curated music on the three rivers in downtown Providence.
A road trip to New England cities wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Boston. While you’re in Beantown, visit the historic sites on the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail, catch a show in the theater district, check out the Make Way for Ducklings statues at the Public Garden, or immerse yourself in history at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum.
Next, head north to Burlington, Vermont. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, the city offers a mixture of cultural and outdoor activities. The Shelburne Museum and the Ethan Allen Homestead provide a glimpse into Burlington’s history, while the four-block Church Street Marketplace offers shopping and dining amidst a historical backdrop.