We recently took a thousand mile road trip to visit family and friends in New England. It was a much needed trip after a year of quarantine and the arrival of our twins last November. New England has a special place in my heart after living there for 10 years, but it is also one of the most beautiful and fun places to explore. Rhode Island, although the smallest of the New England states, is a great location to anchor yourself for a visit to the region. It is home to some of the most diverse landscapes, food, and events with plenty to explore from its beach towns to the capital city of Providence. It’s also about an hour or a little more from Boston, Plymouth, Old Sturbridge Village, Cape Cod, and Mystic Connecticut. It’s the perfect area to visit in the summer and fall.
Spend a day in Providence having some of the most delicious breakfast at Nick’s on Broadway, followed by a walk around the East side exploring the historical houses of Benefit Street, meander the campus of Brown University or walk the new $22M Pedestrian Bridge. Pick up a sandwich from Geoff’s Superlative Sandwiches or from one of Seven Stars’ many locations and have a picnic along the Providence River or enjoy your lunch with a view of the city from Prospect Park. Spend the afternoon walking through the RISD Museum where you can view over 100,000 pieces of art spread across five buildings before having dinner on Federal Hill at one of the many Italian restaurants. Pick up some dessert from Pastiche before walking down to the river to enjoy it while watching WaterFire, a live art installation that also doubles as a festival. For some added fun you can even take a gondola ride along the river.
Craving a day in nature?
Rhode Island has plenty of State Parks and beaches on which to relax. Take a stroll along the Cliff Walk in Newport, visit the Tennis Hall of Fame, and take in an ocean breeze from the roof top seating at Flo’s Clam Shack for some fresh seafood. You can take a tour of the Rhode Island Lighthouses or hop on the ferry to Block Island and bike around for the day. Want to hike a mountain? Mount Monadnock, one of the most climbed mountains in the world, is about two hours from Providence but well worth the trip. If you can make it to the top the views are breathtaking, especially during the fall. A little closer, Mount Wachusett, is a much easier hike, holds various festivals throughout the year and come winter time it turns into a place to ski.
Walk the Freedom Trail in Boston and while you explore the historical landmarks take in the smells, sounds, and tastes of the city too. If you’re into the beer scene, you can taste and tour many breweries to include Sam Adams, Harpoon, and many others while in the city. Drive 30 minutes northwest and you’ll end up in Lexington and Concord where the Shot Heard Round the World took place. You will also find Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, the Old North Bridge, the site where Paul Revere was captured and the resting place of many famous author’s at Author’s Ridge. A little less than 30 minutes west is the new American Heritage Museum, a 65,000 foot home to tanks, military vehicles, and artifacts from the wars throughout America’s history. Several of the pieces are the only ones on display in America. What is astounding is that most of the collection was donated by one man. They also host battle reenactments and recently received approval to build another building for the airplane exhibits.
If you visit New England in the fall, make sure to visit one of the many orchards in the region to experience apple picking and get an apple cider donut. Plan a visit to Salem, MA and experience where the witch trials took place. Visit a cranberry bog and see how they grow, are harvested, and processed. Take a trip to the Cape to see the lighthouses, humpback whales, and seaside towns. You’ll have the region all to yourself, no fighting tourists. Plan a weekend to visit the Brimfield Flea Market that happens three times a year and take some goodies home with you. Discover small towns and take in the changing colors as you drive around. New England in the fall is a magical place.
New England is a special place, there’s just something about it that is hard to explain sometimes. So if you are looking for a getaway with plenty to do, New England is the place. You could spend a whole month having lots of adventures and relaxing in nature.