Tag Archives: Maine

A Visit To New England

As I mentioned yesterday, the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots will match up in Super Bowl LI this weekend. Despite my love for everything Atlanta, I have to admit New England is pretty cool. In fact, take away their football team and it’s pretty fantastic.

Similar to Atlanta, New England is full of fun family activities. You could easily spend a month touring the area and not see everything on your list. It’s a broad area with so much history, culture and diverse landscape. The 6 states that make up the New England area are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

In an effort to summarize the best of the area, I’ve decided to highlight one “can’t miss” attraction from each state. However, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. I look forward to featuring each state separately as our family tours New England later this year.

Massachusetts- Sports: In light of the Patriots Super Bowl appearance, I had to pick sports! Not only do the Patriots actually play in Boston, but the state is home to the beloved Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins. In addition to the 4 professional teams, Massachusetts also has several minor league and college athletic programs.

The Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park, the oldest American ballpark.

Connecticut- Submarine Force Museum: Although very few people have ever had the opportunity to be on a submarine, many are intrigued by them. The Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT is the only one operated by the US Navy. It contains over 30,000 submarine artifacts and photographs. In addition, guests can board the historic submarine Nautilus.

Rhode Island- Newport Cliff Walk: For such a small state, there sure is a lot to do! But you can’t visit Rhode Island without taking the 3.5 mile walk along the breathtaking coast. Much of the walk is paved and visitors will wind their way through tunnels while experiencing stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. The Newport Cliff Walk is part of the National Recreation Trail.

Amazing views of the ocean!

New Hampshire- Theme Parks: It was impossible to single out one of the many New Hampshire Theme parks. Story Land in Glen focuses on all things fairy tale. Each ride is themed around popular childhood stories. Santa’s Village is another New Hampshire amusement park with a Christmas theme. Kids (and adults) will love riding the Skyway Sleigh, the Reindeer Carousel and the Chimney Drop! Lastly, the Whale’s Tale Waterpark is the best in New England. Families can enjoy 11 waterslides, a wave pool and lazy river and a whole kids activity area.

Maine- Acadia National Park: From mountains to coast the beauty of Maine is captured in Acadia National Park, America’s oldest Eastern National Park. The park offers 120 miles of moderate hiking trails, and 27 miles of paved roads. There are two lifeguarded beaches, and a museum containing tons of information about the area. The park also contains Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the US East Coast.

Vermont- Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory: Who doesn’t LOVE ice cream? There aren’t many brands I’d turn down, but I definitely have my favorites. Personally I’d consider myself somewhat of an expert, and Ben & Jerry’s is towards the top of my list. Take a tour of the factory and see where it all started. Better yet, enjoy delicious samples! The factory is in Waterbury, Vermont.

Arguably some of the best ice cream in the world!

What are your favorite family activities in the New England Area?

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Best Places To See Fall Foliage

Best Places For Fall Foliage

As much as I hate to admit it, fall is officially in full swing. Even in the south, leaves are changing and the calendar keeps moving deeper into September.

Though I dislike the cooler weather, even I will admit there’s nothing more beautiful than fall foliage. And nothing cuter than kids with leaves!

I love photographing my kids with leaves!
I love photographing my kids with leaves!

Although I won’t even pretend to understand the complexities behind this weather phenomenon, rumor has it that this year’s fall foliage is expected to be the best in decades.

If you’re looking for some great spots to leaf-view this season, here are 18 places I recommend:

  1. Skyline Drive (Blue Ridge Parkway), Virginia
  2. Napa Valley, California
  3. Litchfield Hills, Connecticut
  4. Great Smokey Mountain National Park, Tennessee
  5. Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, New Mexico
  6. Adirondacks, New York
  7. The Berkshires, Massachusetts
  8. Aspen, Colorado
  9. Acadia National Park, Maine
  10. Lost Maple State Natural Area, Texas
  11. Upper Peninsula, Michigan
  12. The Ozarks, Missouri
  13. Lake Champlain Islands, Vermont
  14. Fayetteville, West Virginia
  15. Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia
  16. Glacier National Park, Montana
  17. Bardstown, Kentucky
  18. Leavenworth, Washington

I know, 18 is an odd number of places to recommend. 10 wasn’t quite enough. Then I ambitiously decided I’d do  50 before realizing there are some states that don’t even deserve honorable mention when it comes to fall foliage (hello, Florida!)  Also, I decided not to duplicate any state. Although, I could have easily listed Vermont locations for all 18 places on the list!

Road trips are my favorite way to view fall foliage. We always try to plan travel during peak leaf changing season even if the foliage itself isn’t our destination. Taking scenic routes on the way to your destination will provide beautiful backdrops.

Always pull your car over at an overlook to snap pictures and capture all the fall colors! And, of course, get a few pictures of your kids with the falling leaves!

Kids + Leaves
Kids + Leaves

Where is your favorite place to view fall foliage?

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