Summer Vacation GEMS in New England!
Well Ethnic Online readers, Summer is officially here! Let’s get on the move. We deserve a little break. For your summer fun and relaxation here are our 5 favorite picks for catching good times. No worries about air fare New Englanders, these State Parks and beaches are all in New England!
Don’t forget your SPF and hats and tons of H2O to keep you healthy and beautiful. If you happen to visit our list or any on your list of favorite hotspots let us know via, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook we would love to see your pictures and who knows you may even see yourself on one of the pages of Ethnic Online. Happy trails and enjoy your summer all!
OCKPORT BEACH - ROCKPORT MA
This space has always been one of my personal favorites growing up in Boston. Rockport offers 7 different beaches stretching over the vast Atlantic shoreline. My personal favorite then and, would suggest for the EO family on the move now would be hands down FRONT BEACH. This stretch of beach offers eateries, Rockport’s infamous salt-water taffy, tons of art, lovely shops at decent prices, mostly made by locals.
Rockport also features a number of festivals many on Cape Ann; New England’s oldest seaport. Mavis Staples of the Staples Singers once headlined at Front Beach's very own Shali Liu Performance Center. Definitely a family hotspot, but don’t forget there are 6 other beaches with features of their own.
CRANE BEACH, IPSWICH MA
This serine shoreline is 6 miles of protected beach. Presented as a gift from Chicago and Bridgeport, CT manufacturer Richard Crane, Ipswich residents may enter this year-round wildlife preserve and beach free. For all others a mere fee of $25 is allotted to enjoy the home of protected birds such as the piping plover that nears extinction. Plum Island is visible and reachable at low tide that provides another whole adventure.
This gifted beach is accessible via the Purple Ipswich Line (MBTA COMMUTER RAIL) then a short bus ride on sunny days directly from the station. Even better is you’ll only pay $2 as a walk on fee. See you there!!! Look for me at the refreshment stand!
OLD ORCHARD BEACH, ORCHARD BEACH ME
Ok, this concept may confuse, and then blow you away. Old Orchard Beach is in York County, Maine because the beach itself became so populated with summer condos, beachfront properties, etc. it is what is called a CDP or Census Designated Place.
The beach, though spacious, is so concentrated it had to be incorporated for census reasons. Old Orchard Beach is full of history and kid friendly attractions. A newly built Ferris wheel, a 25,000 sq ft arcade, and 25 rides for adults and children makes it a winner for the whole family This “Garden by the Sea” can also be reached by Amtrak’s “Down-easter” with a stop right at Old Orchard Beach, accessible by North Station. Go for it!!!!!
BLOCK ISLAND, RHODE ISLAND
Though technically part of Rhode Island, this actual island is deeply rooted by 3 states, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and of course Rhode Island. Long Island’s coast is just 14 miles east, making Block Island a tourist destination to be reckoned with. While being drenched in history, Block Island has a ton for you and your families’ enjoyment.
I will give you the abridged version of some things to get into, the rest I dare you to discover on your own. So, like most small islands of the east coast the lighthouses are as monumental as the wars fought on the islands by Natives and Europeans, along with settlers. You can tour two very popular ones, both updated.
The nature both nautical and land, brings visitors to one of the protected places on the list consisting of twelve sites in the Western Hemisphere called, The Last Great Places. Year-round residents make the island very welcoming, as well other yearly seasonal visitors. Diving for wrecks, cycling over 40% of the island's protected conserves, hiking, observing a boat race on yacht week or enjoying the anticipated Fourth of July Parade, or simply chilling on one of the beaches are popular and worthwhile activities for EO vacationers.
I would be the one to miss the last ferry out, so I would stay at one of the quaint B&B’s on the island. Visiting Block Island will give you all you would want from a small postcolonial town “all grown up”. Yes, that was abridged version, it will take at least the weekend to take it all in. Book ahead and look for me and my family there, it’s one of our favorites.
QUECHEE GORGE, QUECHEE VT
Yes, this place is as cool as it sounds. Also dubbed, “Vermont’s little Grand Canyon.” Besides the obvious, just thought I’d mention this town has an antique mall! WOW! Quechee ( KEE-CHEE) gorge was naturally carved out 13,000 years ago and is 165 ft deep.
While touring this protected state park look for markings on caves, they are often seen there from eons before. Some have called it one of the best places to whitewater raft. Like Old Orchard Quechee is also a CDP for censor purposes. Ottauqucehee River flows through the park/gorge and houses a planned community.
If none of these grab you and like me you love blown glass, the townhouses Simon Pearce glass blowing studio and a restaurant in the old mill named after the town. The shear majesty of the gorge may just lead you to pack a lunch and explore. That can be done too; park rangers lead a tour of the gorge daily. The covered bridge connecting Woodstock to Rutland is, newly rebuilt and that has even been said to be “picturesque.“ Bring your bikes or just you and yours and explore the “Grand Canyon of Vermont and say it 3 times fast.
Enjoy and don’t forget to send your pics to Ethnic Online for our “Photo Gallery”