Warmer temps and just a few weeks left of school – I can’t wait! I LOVE when the kids get out of school for the summer – no routine, no racing to get places on time, lots of relaxing at the cottage and summer trips…love it! By the time school gets out, I’m as ready as my kids are for a break in routine and a change of scenery, which is why, we almost always pack up and head out of town right away (and even a few days before it’s over). It’s become a tradition of ours and we all count down the days. I love it when my youngest comes to me early in June and asks, “Ok, Mom…where are we going and when do we leave?”
Clearly, I have summer vacation on the brain – two weeks ago, I wrote about our favorite family campgrounds and today I’m writing about places in New England we love to visit! We have a special tie to New England, having lived several years in New Hampshire, so it’s typically the direction in which we head when we pack up the truck and head out in late June. Aside from visiting friends, we like to find different places to explore – either favorite spots from when we lived there, or places we wished we’d visited during that time and never did. Here are a few of our favorites that aren’t the typical hot vacation spots:
Wallis Sands State Beach, NH – Wallis Sands isn’t one of the big, fancy beaches that draws all the tourists – which is why we love it. This was one of our favorite summer hangouts when we lived in NH and it’s continued to be one of our favorite beaches long since we’ve moved back to Nova Scotia. Beautiful soft, white sand, a good sized beach, canteen and a big parking lot – we always found this to be a bonus because we didn’t have to worry about parking and dragging the kids and all their stuff very far once we got there. They do charge a fee to park ($15), but I never minded paying because it seemed to me to be a great price for a family outing that we all enjoy so much!
Little Compton, RI – We were really looking for something off our ‘beaten path’ when we chose this one, with warm ocean waters and we were far from disappointed. We spent a week in this wonderful little town and fell in love. Th lovely house we rented was a ten minute walk to the most beautiful private beach, with the coolest beach rocks (so many of which we took home with us!) and yep – warm water! The town had some great places to eat, we grabbed lobsters right off the dock one night and there were lots of places to buy local produce…we loved it. We also spend an amazing day in Newport (just a 40 minute drive), taking in the Cliff Walk (a 3.5 mile walk along the ocean, in front of the many Newport mansions) and also did a tour of The Breakers (the “most impressive” Newport mansion). We were there four summers ago now (time flies!) and the kids still talk about it all the time.
Damariscotta, ME – This is one of our favorite little communities along the coast of Maine and because we have great friends who live in a neighboring town, we’re lucky enough to get to check it out most summers, on our way home from NH. It’s a very typical coastal town in Maine (likely why we love it so much) – beautiful views of the ocean, boats coming and going and local vendors galore. Damariscotta has many great restaurants to chose from (we always have a hard time picking!) and countless little shops lining the main street. River cruises, kayak rentals, museums, galleries…if you’re lucky enough to get to visit this beautiful town/area, you’ll find no shortage of things to do while you’re there!
Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA – Our first visit to the Cape was last summer and we loved it. We picked a spot in North Falmouth, on Old Silver Beach – WOW! I think this was the kids’ favorite beach spot ever…and we’ve been to a lot of great beaches! The sand was so incredibly soft, you couldn’t help but keep rubbing your feet in it and the water was so warm, in spite of the not-so-perfect weather we had during our stay. When we were able to pull the kids from the (warm) water, we drove into town one night to grab a bite and loved looking at the little (and big!) unique houses along the way. We loved it all, but the beach was definitely the attraction for the kids – they said it was like a mini southern vacation, without going down south!
These spots come highly recommended by the Burke family for your summer bucket list – I’m sure your family will love them as much as we did!
What are some of your favorite places to visit during summer vacation?