Papa Joe and Grandma Jacqui’s New England Road Trip

Papa Joe and I decided to combine a wedding in Connecticut with a road trip. We flew to Boston, drove to the wedding, and then took 2 weeks to explore New England.

The wedding was at the end of August so we were just before the main ‘Fall’ autumn tourist season which was a plus – good weather, the roads/places were not too busy and we were still able to see trees starting to change into their fall colours.

map boston new england trip 2

Our Route —-Boston MA, Norwalk CT, Old Saybrook CT, Sturbridge MA, North Adams MA, Lincoln NH, Durham NH, Boston MA

We left ‘The Mayhems’ at home but discovered some great places to visit if we return with them to New England.

These are some of the highlights of our road trip:-

  • The wedding – set on the shore overlooking Long Island Sound – Magical
  • Boston – a great city to explore on foot. We walked the historic ‘Freedom Trail‘, stopping on the way for freshly filled cannoli from the Little Italy bakeries. Papa Joe and I finished up by having fun throwing tea into the harbour at The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum!
    After that we rested our weary feet with a relaxing cruise along the Charles River.
Charles River Bridges, Having a Boston 'Tea Party' Little Italy Bakery, Old Boston Syate House

Charles River Cruise, Amazing Bridges – -Having a Boston ‘Tea Party’ – – Little Italy Bakery – – The Old Boston State House on The Freedom Trail

  • Taking The Essex Steam Train and River Boat – What a great way to spend the morning leisurely exploring The Connecticut River.
    Afterwards we wandered into picturesque Essex village and had ‘Essex Mud’ ice cream – delicious!

essex steam railway 1


  • Motoroma – classic car show. We had no idea that this event was taking place while we were staying in North Adams. Instead of visiting The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art we spent an enjoyable morning wandering around the old cars. We did make it to the  art gallery in the afternoon and that was also amazing.

motorama north adams


  • Dr Seuss Sculpture Garden Having spent hours reading ‘The Cat In The Hat’ and ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ to various Mayhems we had to visit the sculpture garden set between The Springfield Museums. Theodor ‘Dr Seuss’ Geisel was born in Springfield and used local buildings in the illustrations of his books

dr seuss sculpture

  • Great attractions – history, art, fascinating towns, sweet villages and incredible bridges, beautiful scenery. I know it seems an odd mixture but we loved it all:-

At Mystic Seaport – we spent all day exploring the historic ships and quayside buildings. Thankfully Papa Joe and I were not allowed to climb the rigging!

mystic seaport 2

We experienced ‘1830’s’ rural life at Old Sturbridge Village and learnt all about ‘The Shakers’ at The Hancock Shaker Village.
Portsmouth’s Strawberry Banke Museum showed how town life in a waterfront area changed from the 1790s to the 1950s.

new england living history museums 2

We found Norwalk Aquarium is just the place to jiggle a jelly in the jelly fish touch tank, stroke a shark and watch the harbour seals. The butterflies really took a shine to Papa Joe.

norwalk aquarium

Of course we had to touch the feet of the statues at both Yale and Harvard Universities for luck as we went on tours around the campuses.

yale harvard statues

Theodore Dwight Woolsey, influential President of Yale – – John Harvard, first major benefactor of Harvard

We visited 3 completely contrasting houses.
Gillette Castle is a mock ruin built by the actor who first played Sherlock Holmes.
Hildene was the home of President Lincoln’s son who became chairman of Pullman. You can see a Pullman railroad car in the grounds.
The Castle In The Clouds, an Arts and Crafts building with wonderful views over The New Hampshire Lake District.

3 new england homes

Gillette Castle, Hildene and The Castle In The Clouds. Can you spot President Lincoln among the photographs?

The old covered bridges and the incredible bascule and vertical-lift bridge were fascinating to see.

3 new england bridges

The scenery was spectacular and the weather was just perfect for us to enjoy some hikes in The White Mountains.

white mountains nh

View from Artist Bluff to Echo Lake & Mount Lafayette

New England – we will be back!

Share this post

Leave comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *