Where do you recommend visiting for summer day-trips or weekend drives?
While most people in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire prefer going to Cape Cod, the Lakes Region of N.H. and Southeastern Maine, the Travel Channel named the “7 Wonders of New England.” Why not plan a day trip to Newburyport or a weekend away to the other destinations and explore these “7 Wonders of New England” (distance each way from Haverhill is indicated in parentheses).
According to Gas Buddy, the average price of gas this week is $2.68 per gallon. Traveling in your vehicle is generally the most economical way to go and allows for more luggage than other modes of transportation.
1. The Cog Railway, Mt. Washington, N.H. (120 miles) This is the world’s first mountain-climbing train and you can get a spectacular panoramic view on this spectacular 3-hour guided tour up to the highest mountain peak in New England. You get to spend an hour at the top of the 6,288-foot high peak. Now passengers can choose to take the three-hour round trip in a vintage coach powered by a historic steam locomotive or the more modern and eco-friendly biodiesel engines.
2. Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine (250 miles) Acadia National Park contains more than 120 miles of historic hiking trails. Many of these trails were established by local village improvement societies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Today many of the historic features, such as stonework, are still visible. The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Visitors hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.
3. Mystic Seaport, CT (137 miles) Another great summer destination on the water, with loads of shopping and the renown Mystic Pizza, made famous by the movie of the same name, starring Julia Roberts in her first title role! The pizza is wonderful, as is the view from this quaint seaport.
4. Stowe, VT (178 miles) featuring the Trapp Family Lodge and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory is a great place to visit in the summer. There is a zip-line adventure, shopping, dining, and loads of outdoor activities for the novice or the athlete.
5. Kancamagus Highway in Lincoln, NH (120 miles) is by far one of the most majestic drives you will ever take in the entire country, though best in fall foliage season. The highway, designated an American Scenic Byway, is 34.5miles long and is part of the White Mountain National Forest loaded with trails, campgrounds and water falls. Just one word of caution, cell coverage may be an issue so plan ahead with necessary supplies and a bathroom stop!
6. Newburyport & Plum Island (18 miles) is a fun day of dining and shopping in the quaint downtown area while Plum Island has beautiful beaches, kayaking and bird watching. It lends itself to music festivals, shopping, walking and touring. Newburyport offers a beautiful view of the sunset, sitting on the benches on the downtown boardwalk at night or enjoy the sunset view from Plum Island.
7. The Casco Bay Islands in Maine (246 miles) A little more complicated to access, these seven islands are off the coast of Maine. There is year-round ferry service from Portland to these charming islands filled with beaches, dining, campgrounds, arts and culture.
I still love the old favorites. But it’s always nice to visit a new place and see amazing new sites. Like most die-hard New Englanders, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. But most of us don’t take the time to explore new places. Why not spend the rest of the summer seeing these beautiful 7 Wonders of New England? If you go to any of these 7 Wonders, share your photos with us on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
Before you go, be sure to pack up your emergency items. I wrote about preventing overheating in my Ask Gary blog last week and some key items to have with you. Be sure to read that column before you leave. Haven’t had your car checked yet this summer? Be sure your vehicle is ready for your trip. We’ll check it out so you can enjoy the trip and have peace of mind. If you do need the AC serviced, check out our specials on line. We at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion want to be sure you have a fun and safe trip. If you need to schedule maintenance, you can schedule online or by phone.
Happy traveling and safe driving as you explore some new summer sites! I can’t wait to see your photos!