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The Northeast

    Two and one-half months into the road trip, we made it to the Northeast.

    Our pace was quick, but doable, up the east coast and we stayed for longer periods in Washington, D.C. and New York City. By the time we finished that leg of the trip, we were all exhausted.

    You don’t really know what to expect with something like this. We planned out each stop and really had no idea when to put in more buffer time or when to keep pushing the pace. You just don’t know these things until you’re in the moment and by that time, the itinerary was already set.

    The week or so we had planned for traveling through Boston, Cape Cod, Cooperstown and Niagara Falls fell in a time period when what we really needed was another vacation from the vacation. Looking back, it is the one and only spot where if we could, we would have absolutely adjusted our itinerary to work in a few rest days to recuperate from the whirlwind of the previous month.

    However, that was not the case and so we pushed on (sort of).

    watch-hillBefore heading north to Boston, we drove through what I’m going to say is the most charming, picturesque, must-go-again place I’ve ever been: Watch Hill, in Westerly, Rhode Island.

    rhodeislandWe drove (with our monstrous trailer) through the town circling again and again searching for a parking spot so we could get out and walk around, but there were none to be found. All the more reason to make another trip, I suppose …

    The next day, we went into Boston, and sadly, we were just not into it. Not because Boston is not gorgeous (it is) or full of fascinating and important history (absolutely), but because we all had head colds, our feet were sore from the miles we walked in NYC and our souls were just a little bit weary.

    bostonOur plans for Boston included taking the Freedom Trail tour – either by bus or foot, we hadn’t decided – but when we arrived at the ticket counter, we looked at one another and at the kids and bagged the whole thing. Instead, we took a walk through the beautiful downtown park.

    boston-parkThe park meets up with Newbury Street, which is full of fancy shops and a few restaurants.

    Again, it was a perfect day for being outside and the shops were all great, but we had just done shops in NYC and noone was super interested. See what I mean? We totally messed up our Boston visit.

    carrotcakeWe did, however, stop into one of the best coffee shops we’ve visited and ate literally the best carrot cake I’ve ever had. It is amazing what a little food will do to a blah attitude. We perked up a bit after that.

    Instead of doing the official Freedom Trail tour, we just drove to a few notable spots.

    churchThe Old North Church is the oldest standing building in Boston and famed for its “One if by Land, Two if by Sea” lantern lighting which announced to the city that the British were indeed coming and the war was beginning. It is history like this that we have been so into, so even though we didn’t do the full deal, I’m so glad we at least made the effort to drive by.

    We then decided on a whim to drive over to Cambridge and check out Harvard University.

    harvardHarvard Square is a cute stretch of shops bustling with activity. We walked through the campus, sat on the library steps and did a little more sight-seeing until heading back to the campground in Plymouth for some chill time.

    The next day, we drove out to Cape Cod.

    cape-codThere are many small towns to visit, and thanks to recommendations from readers, we made our way to Falmouth. The town was just as darling as I expected and it was nice to have a slow-paced look at shops, sit in a french bakery kind of day.

    capecodbeachWe brought along our swim suits hoping to spend the afternoon at the beach. The one everyone suggested (Old Silver Beach) was packed. As in there was not a open spot on the entire beach! It is probably one of those places where you need to get there early in the day to claim your spot and we missed that memo. Instead we found another beach (I’m pretty sure it was just for local residents … but oops!). The scenery was gorgeous with the boats and pretty water.

    Boston and Cape Cod are wonderful, don’t get me wrong. We can’t wait to do-over this portion of the trip because we really just were not in the place to enjoy it.

    After Boston, we drove through the middle of New York to Cooperstown.

    cooperstownsceneryThe drive was so lovely. It was long, but the views of green and blue and puffy clouds and rolling farmland was some of the prettiest we’ve seen.

    Our reason for visiting Cooperstown, NY was the Baseball Hall of Fame and what we found was the quintessential American small town. The main street is lined with baseball-themed shops, restaurants and filled with families and little leaguers. It was such a fun place to be!

    baseballism(See that lefty shirt? I scooped that one up for our lefty. If you are a baseball-lover or have players in your family, do check out this great shop.)

    The Baseball Hall of Fame is wonderfully done and – lucky for us! – we were there just a few days before Seattle Mariner Great Ken Griffey Jr. was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    griffeyWe loved seeing all of the Griffey memorabilia.

    The town of Cooperstown is darling. Old Inns and pretty homes line the streets.

    cooperstownAnd it is all set against Otsego Lake.

    cooperstownlakeThe Northeast was in bloom while we were there with my beloved hydrangeas.

    hydrangeasIt was a great quick little visit.

    We drove the rest of the way across the state to Buffalo on the banks of Niagara Falls. We stayed at a great camp ground where we wished we had one extra day just to play.

    The evening of our arrival before the sun went down we drove out to see Niagara Falls.

    niagara-torontoI had no idea it was just on the other side of Ontario and the skyline was so pretty!

    We viewed the Falls from the U.S. side. I’ve heard its super impressive from the Canadian side, but we didn’t have passports with us. Still, the falls (did you know there are actually three of them?!) were breathtaking. Ryan posted a video on instagram that shows just how beautiful the scenery is.

    niagaraWe admittedly were not able to enjoy this region as much as we wanted. Our hope was to take a day trip up to Maine and we wish we had more time on the Cape as well. This was a good lesson to learn and really the only time when we felt like we were moving too quickly. I think it was more we were just tired after NYC and the excitement of my parents being with us and we needed a mental and physical break.

    So now the Northeast is on our must-visit again soon list.

    18 thoughts on “The Northeast”

    1. I have so enjoyed reading about your adventure. I really admire you, for so many reasons. I was so excited to see that you had journeyed to Upstate NY. We live just about an hour from Cooperstown- it’s a lovely place. Sometimes it’s refreshing to hear an “outsiders'” take on our area: it’s easy to take the beauty for granted sometimes… Wishing you were by the sea, or the mountains… Thanks for sharing your heart with your readers.

    2. You all had a wonderful plan to see the best of the East Coast. I think if I were to tell you to do it over, as a New Englander, I would have told you to go from NYC directly up to Acadia National Park—a long ride, admittedly, but you could have stopped overnight in Portland, ME. Acadia is such an amazing place—oceans, pine trees, lakes, lovely hikes, breathtaking scenery–it would have given you a chance to catch up on some R&R in a place VERY different from any city. Boston and the Cape are great, but EXTREMELY hot and crowded in the summer time. I would highly recommend a trip back in the early fall if possible–September/October is absolutely lovely in Boston and on the Cape too. Come back soon!

    3. We loved Cooperstown! I bought a tee shirt that says, ” Cooperstown, a drinking town with a baseball problem!”
      Sorry you missed Maine….oh this awesome country…a lifetime is not enough to experience it all! You’ve made a start…trust me…you are officially wanderers! Hooray!

    4. We visited the east coast in June! We drove through Pennsylvania (Lancaster County- gorgeous!) & did the Gettysburg tour- (amazing)! We stayed outside of Boston- which was great. We toured Lexington/Concord, Louisa May Alcott’s home,The Old Manse, Salem, Boston, and then drove to Cape Cod. We stayed in Hyannis- gorgeous small town and visited some of the sights. When we left to come home, we decided to stop in Newport, Rhode Island and toured some of the summer “cottages” of families like the Vanderbilts! If you ever get the chance to go back- please do!

    5. Love Baseballism! Didn’t know they had a store at Cooperstown. I have the vintage glove leather tote (a gift from my sweet hubby!) and I can’t recommend it enough. Beautiful and durable!

    6. E- we were in Boston the same time you were and most-likely crossed paths…we too discovered The Thinking Cup and when you return try their whole wheat chocolate chip cookies- they are the bomb!
      Boston is definitely worth another visit there is SO much to do and see for sports, history and arts. When we return we will definitely try the carrot cake and as I sit sipping out of my Thinking Cup mug I will think of your visit and mine to a lovely place which definitely warrants a return visit!

    7. Hi Emily –
      I’m so sorry to hear that you guys had run out of steam by the time you reached Boston! I don’t blame you though – 3 months of nonstop traveling around the US must be exhausting! I live just south of Boston – all my life – and New England is beautiful. In a few years you’ll have to make a return trip – by plane of course :)

    8. I’m so sorry you weren’t really able to enjoy Boston. I was there years ago and it will always be one of my favorite places. So filled with beauty and history. Yes, definitely go back!!

    9. New England shows it’s absolutely best side in summer. All your descriptions of other stops were so great but we here in Boston sure didn’t get that love! Hope you are able to come back someday.

    10. So glad you got a glimpse of the NE and are wanting to go back. You won’t be sorry when you get to go to Maine for more than just a day trip…it’s GORGEOUS….Acadia is a must-see!

      1. Geraldine, thank you for pointing it out. I was just about to comment about it as well. Yeah, Toronto would have been not so impressive, considering it’s about 1 hour and 30 min away. :)

        Emily, definitely come to Canadian side next time – worth it! and the light show in evening is amazing!

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