So, I did as all good New Yorkers do in the summer: I left.
There is a scene in one of my favorite movies “Something Borrowed” (also a favorite book), that shows the main characters fleeing their NY apartments in the heat of the summer to escape to a beach house in the Hamptons. They call out the “mass exodus” of New Yorkers to these local beach towns during the hazy summer heat.
It’s no lie. Many New Yorkers follow suit and get the heck out, off those sizzling sidewalks and out of the sauna like heat of the subways in order to seek out those cool ocean beeezes where they can lay back, relax, and soak up those rays in peace.
While I don’t visit the Hamptons (not opposed, just have never been), I head a little farther north to my home state of Rhode Island. Less commercial than the Jersey Shore with a more coastal New England atmosphere, lil’Rhody has been my travel destination of choice for many years. Most importantly, because my family is there, but also because of the beautiful beaches, delicious foods, and shopping areas it has to offer!
In addition to RI, we made a last minute trip to New Hampshire where I hadn’t been in probably almost 10 years, but was a favorite vacation destination of my family and friends growing up and continues to be to this day.
So, I’d love to share some of our traveling adventures from this summer. Even though we didn’t get to everything that we wanted (the weather was a little iffy this year, right?), we did have a great July and August. Maybe it’ll give you some ideas of things to do for next summer! I know I’m planning mine already because, as I’ve said before, summer is my favorite season.
1. The Eagle Mountain House
While in Rhode Island for my 30th birthday, mid-working on an online class in my mother’s living room, we made a last minute decision to hit the road and drive up to New Hampshire the following day. So, while I should have been working on a unit plan for my class, I instead researched hotels with open rooms for the next few days.
I came across the Eagle Mountain House giving a great deal: book one room, get the next night half price. I was sold! In the mountains of Jackson, New Hampshire, this hotel gave the perfect, quaint old hotel experience complete with complimentary coffee and cookies.
Also, the pool guy told us that Stephen King stayed there and that it was the hotel that inspired him to write “The Shining” so that’s pretty cool… or creepy I suppose as well.
2. The North Conway Grand
After The Eagle Mountain House, we spent a few nights at The North Conway Grand hotel situated right in North Conway (sorry, no pictures!). I would stay here again in a heartbeat! This hotel had 3 pools, one of which was indoor and had adult swim only at night from 10 to 11 pm, 2 hot tubs, a fire pit, a delicious restaurant with a bar and buffet breakfast, a gym, and more! Not to mention, it’s located right next to an outdoor outlet mall. If you are looking for somewhere to stay in North Conway, stay here. Also, if you have kids, this is your spot!
3. Wildcat Mountain
This was one of the most beautiful places I’ve been. Located just past Mt. Washington, Wildcat Mountain offered many different activities including zip lining and a gondola that took you to the top of the mountain.
First, we went zip lining which was just one, long straight ride. The views were spectacular! I was nervous, but it was definitely one of my favorite things we did all summer.
After that we rode the gondola to the top of the mountain. If I thought the views from the zip lining were beautiful, then these were incredible! Just check out the pictures.
Attitash has been a favorite destination since I was young. Unfortunately I don’t have many pictures (I didn’t know yet I would be starting a blog!), but they had a mountain coaster which was essentially a self controlled roller coaster that you ride down in a sled. It was awesome. We also rode the Alpine Slide (a cement slide that you ride down the mountain in a sled) and the water slides. If you go (which you should) I suggest getting the day pass and packing your own picnic lunch to bring!
5. The Mount Washington Hotel
If there is a more beautiful or grand hotel, than I’ve yet to see it. Nestled in the foot of Mount Washington, this hotel boasts multiple restaurants, bars, and not to mention the spectacular views! We opted to sit on the deck and split a turkey club (no pictures again, sorry!). Even though we didn’t stay at the hotel, it still made for a great day trip!
***Sorry some of the pictures are a little dark in the forefront, but they are really all about the background views anyway!
5. Mount Washington and The Cog Railway
The cog railway that runs up Mount Washington, the tallest peak in New England, is the first mountain climbing cog railway. My advice: sit on the left on the way up and the right on the way down. Those sides give you the best views of the neighboring mountains and deep ravines. Also, bring a sweatshirt and pants! You get to spend about an hour at the top of the mountain and it can get pretty cold.
6. Narragansett, RI
August brought me back home to good old Rhode Island! A month of living and breathing the beach, sunshine (except it actually rained and was cloudy a lot this year), and salt air is what I look forward to all year round. Now, I actually go to a private beach (you need to be a resident in the neighborhood to go), but if you are looking for a beautiful beach in RI some are Narragansett Town Beach, 1st/2nd/or 3rd Beach, East Matunuck State Beach, Captain Roger Wheeler State Beach, any beach on Block Island, and there are many more!
7. The Washington County Fair
Ferris wheels, roller coasters, carnival games, and the Rhode Island classic: Dough Boys! If you happen to be in Rhode Island during mid August, you should make a point to check out the Washington County Fair on Richmond Townhouse Rd in Richmond. Live events include an ox pull, square dancing, live music performances, and more. There are also farm museums featuring locally grown veggies and flowers, food stands including pulled pork sandwiches and freshly made strawberry shortcakes, and stands selling everything from handmade jewelry to printed t-shirts and more.
Overall, if you are looking for a fun night and happen to be around (especially with little ones) then this should be added to you list!
Admission is $11.00 for adults and tickets can be purchased at the entrance, but be sure to have your cash on you because tickets and mostly everything else will require cash only. Kids under 10 and parking are free!
To me, there is nothing like a New England summer. Between the beaches, mountains, fairs, and just laid back, enjoying life kind of feeling, New England knows how to do summer.
I’m always giving friends looking to escape the city my tips for visiting New England, especially during the hot months, and I hope this post can give you some great ideas for next year!
So, until next summer…
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