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Wiscasset, Maine is one of the prettiest villages in the State with great restaurants and interesting shops. If you like Maine lobster then this is a great place to check out. The town has a long and proud history and saw it as one of the early contenders to be the State Capital of Maine, driven by its marine industry. Once the winds of changes drove this business back to a cottage industry, Wiscasset returned to a sleepier state. In the time of the town’s great wealth some large houses were built, some of which are now in the hands of a trust and can be visited.
Augusta is the State capital of Maine. It is quite a sleepy city but we decided to head there to check out Old Fort Western which was established in 1754. Today, it is a living museum and National Historic Landmark. Located in downtown Augusta it is the oldest surviving wood fort in New England,
Located in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Mount Washington is the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi. The summit is extremely exposed which results in some wild and unpredictable weather. Even in the summer, it can be very cold and windy on top of Mount Washington. For many years the highest measured wind speed record was held by the weather station on the mountain’s summit! This is a very accessible mountain and you can get to the top several ways; on foot, by road or take the cog railway. The latter is an great experience and in our opinion the most fun (hiking would be good too but I am not sure we’re up for it these days)
The White Mountains of northern New Hampshire is incredibly beautiful. One of the highlights of the area is Flume Gorge, State Park. There is a 2-mile self-guided nature walk through the Flume Gorge, a spectacular natural chasm. Along the way, there are covered bridges, amazing waterfalls, a scenic natural pool, and gorgeous mountain views.
Whilst we follow a mainly plant-based diet we are occasionally tempted to stray. Back in 2007 (prior to changing our diet), I had visited Polly’s Pancake Parlor with the children, but Karen missed our visit. So, when the opportunity arose to visit again 14 years later it was too good an opportunity to miss. Much had changed about the Parlor itself – but the food was still amazing!
We have had the great opportunity to twice visit the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury, Vermont. A lot had changed in the nearly 15 years between our visits! The second time around was during the Covid-19 pandemic so we couldn’t go and see the production lines but it was great to visit the ‘flavour graveyard’ and see the place where it all began – sort of!
Knead Bakery is located fairly close to downtown Burlington, Vermont. It is a great place to grab some takeout baked items or simply sit down and enjoy the ambience of this converted industrial space and sample their delicious plant-based food.
Looking for a family day out that works for those simply wanting to go for a stunning hike but also for the more adventurous then Ausable Chasm in upstate New York is an ideal destination. Labelled the ‘Grand Canyon, just a few miles from Lake Champlain offers hiking & biking trails, tubing/rafting and a heart-stopping adventure trail that takes you on rope bridges a few feet above the boiling waters of the Ausable River as it thunders through a narrow canyon.
Fort Ticonderoga in Upstate New York has a long and colourful history and was at different times occupied by the French, British and American Revolutionary forces. Its position overlooking Lake Champlain, a significant waterway connecting the St Lawrence River to the Hudson River system made it a strategic location to control the movement of goods and military during times of war. Today, it is a beautifully restored museum and tourist attraction for history buffs and families alike.
If you are travelling through upstate New York you might want to take a trip into the small town of Ticonderoga to visit the Star Trek Original Series Set-Tour. You might ask why is it in Ticonderoga – and you’ll need to go for yourself to find out! This is not just a place for Trekkies to visit it is a fascinating insight into TV history. its authenticity has been confirmed by members of the original cast, including William Shatner (Captain James T Kirk) who makes regular visits here.
If you are visiting the Thousand Islands region of New York and looking for somewhere affordable to stay then the Wooden Boat Inn is Clayton is a good option. There are a handful of rooms and a cottage. The rooms are cosy (i.e. small) but comfortable. There are common areas, including a kitchen to prepare food. The Inn is centrally located and is within easy walking distance from the main downtown where there are plenty of shops and restaurants.
The Thousand Islands region of New York is located in the far north of the State bordering Canada. The border runs through the St Lawrence River which runs from Lake Ontario out to the North Atlantic. There are over 1800 islands in the channel, ranging from tiny to large ones. The area was popular with the rich at the turn of the 20th Century. There are two castles on these islands which are open to the public.
New York’s Finger Lakes Region is a beautiful part of upstate New York, with eleven lakes that run roughly north to south framed by lush green rolling hills. The area is famed for its wines and natural beauty. There are many things to see and do in the area including some amazing State Parks with incredible waterfalls and several cultural highlights including the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rockwell Museum.
In July 1848 a group of 300 people gathered in the city of Seneca Falls, New York for a convention on women’s rights. At the end of this convention 100 people; 68 women and 32 men signed the Declaration of Sentiments which laid out how society, in particular men, subjugated women and what the reformists would like to see change. Unfortunately, it took another 70 years for American women to get suffrage with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 2020.
We arrived in Syracuse hungry and ready to start knawing our own legs so we were happy to discover there were a couple of vegan restaurants to choose from. After a bit of umming and ahhing we decided on Razzle Dazzle, ‘Our Vegan Corner’ to try out their vegan soul food offerings
The Wings of Eagles Discovery Centre in Horseheads, New York is a small aerospace museum and education centre. If you love aircraft and science then this is a great place to spend and hours two. It is family-friendly, especially if your children are a little older.
When the city of Syracuse, New York started installing traffic lights in the 1920s the Irish community didn’t take kindly to the set of lights put up on a busy intersection on Tipperary Hill. They did not like the fact that the ‘red light’, which they associated with the British, was above the ‘green light’ – green being the colour of the Irish. So, some youths in the area threw stones, breaking the red lamp. The city replaced the lamp only for it to be smashed again. The city eventually gave up flipping the light so the green light was at the top. These upside-down lights remain until this day and have become a local attraction.
If you are in the Finger Lakes Region near Ithaca then you might want to check out Gourdlandia. This is the storefront and workshop of Graham Ottoson, a former mid-wife turned gourd artist. She takes gourds grown in her garden, dries them out and turns them into beautifully carved lamps, bowls and other gourd oddities.
Watkins Glen is a small town on the bottom tip of Seneca Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region, known for its outstanding beauty and winemaking. Watkins Glen draws people to the area as the location of the Watkins Glen International Raceway which often hosts NASCAR events. Our reason for visiting was nothing to do with racing – we were in search of natural beauty in the form of the amazing Watkins Glen State Park and its nineteen waterfalls
I love trains, especially steam locomotives so I was totally thrilled to find out that our New England road trip took us through Scranton, Pennsylvania home to the Steamtown National Historic Site which is full of old locomotives, rolling stock and a museum tracing the role the railroad played in the development of the United States.
The Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton is a tribute to the first mass transit systems that enabled people to move from their homes in suburbs into American cities, enabling their meteoric growth. Eventually, the trolleys were replaced as automobiles became mass-produced. This museum preserves the history of this gentler form of transport, offering a chance to see some restored trolleys and also the opportunity to take a ride through Scranton and see some of the important historical sites there.