The White Mountains is one of our favourite places in New England. There is always something to do regardless of the season. And let's be real, the views of the mountains never gets old. With mild temperatures on the forecast for the weekend, we decided to head north and enjoy some winter hiking and cross-country skiing in the Whites ("whites" indeed as there certainly was no shortage of snow).
Martha's Vineyard is an island located just south of Cape Cod. It is well-known for being a (not so secret) hideaway for the rich and famous and for the filming of Jaws. So you know this island means business: in terms of money and great white sharks. There is always a tradeoff between visiting a popular destination in peak season versus shoulder (or off-season). On one hand, the only way to enjoy the fabulous beaches in the Vineyard is during the summer months. But you'll be sharing with swarms of other people. And if you visit during the shoulder season, temperatures are too cool to enjoy the water, but the roads, restaurants, and trails are noticeably quieter. We went with the quieter option and visited in October.
As the largest of the New England states, Maine offers a wide variety of hiking opportunities and options through diverse terrain. We initially planned a four-day backpacking excursion along the Grafton Notch Loop. While the distance itself was not particularly daunting (60km over four days), one thing we (foolishly) did not factor in was the substantial change in elevation. Being located in the White Mountains (key word being mountains) should have tipped us off. Needless to say, we had to re-examine our (not-so) well-thought-out plans.
Cape Cod (often referred to as just “The Cape”) is a hooked-shaped peninsula off the eastern coast of Massachusetts. Jutting out into the Atlantic ocean, with its abundance of pristine sandy beaches, it’s no surprise that thousands of locals and tourists alike flock here every summer in an effort to beat the heat. With a heat advisory on the forecast for the weekend coupled with the fact that high-season was not quite in full-swing, the timing was just right to visit the Cape.
Hocus Pocus is one of my all-time favourite movies. Ever. Set in the historic town of Salem, the movie follows a group of kids who inadvertently awake the Sanderson Sisters - a trio of witches who wreaked havoc hundreds of years ago by sucking the souls out of little children. The kids, along with the help of a talking cat and a friendly zombie named Billy, must defeat the witches by sunrise to prevent the sisters' powers from fully being restored.
Located along the rugged coast in Maine, Acadia National Park offers of variety of trails that weave their way up, down, and around mountains, through lush forests, and along a granite shoreline, all the while providing panoramic glimpses of the lively Atlantic Ocean. We visited Acadia once before last fall after the Labour Day long weekend and had such a wonderful time (with minimal crowds and pleasant weather) so we planned another visit to coincide with the other shoulder season – the spring.
They don't call it the city that never sleeps for nothing. With over 8.5 million people, New York City is bursting with culture, class, coolness, and crowds. It has been referred to as many names and nicknames over the years: New Amsterdam, the Big Apple, the Melting Pot, Gotham, NYC, but one thing remains: it is still the land of opportunity. And opportunity to sightsee.
Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States. It is home to the entire federal government, including the Congress, the Supreme Court and the President. There are numerous museums and national monuments scattered along the city that highlight the history and important people that helped shape this country into what we see today. Many of these museums and monuments are clustered in an area known as the National Mall - a 2 mile strip that extends from the State Capital building to the Lincoln Memorial. And it's all free.
Vermont is renowned for its skiing across the New England area. This should come as no surprise given that its name is derived from "mont vert" in French, which translates to green mountain. With over 30 alpine (downhill) and nordic (cross-country) ski centres, there are endless opportunities to enjoy the abundance of snow and mountainous terrain in this Green Mountain State. And hey, if skiing isn't your thing, Vermont is also famous for its cheese, maple syrup and ice cream.
The first thing that may to come to mind when you hear the word Adirondack might be Adirondack chairs - or as we Canadians like to call them - Muskoka chairs. Located in upstate New York, Adirondack Park spans over 6 million acres and is considered to be the largest park in the Lower 48. It was here in the thick of nature that inspired some dude to design and create the perfect cottage lounging Adirondack chairs.