Top 10 New England outdoor adventures fill your vacation with zest

New England's top 10 outdoor adventures cover a range limited only by your taste. Some people go for mountain biking, zip lines, canopy tours, mountain coasters, and rock climbing, while other people like to take a quiet drive to a scenic overlook or watch the sun set while sipping wine on a vineyard patio. Here is a sampling of the Top 10 outdoor adventures that lure vacationers and families to the charms of New England.

Sailing from Ports in Rockland, Rockport and Camden, ME, 04843 Phone: 207-374-2993 Toll-Free: 800-807-9463

Maine’s Windjammer Fleet

Escape with Maine's Windjammer fleet for an adventure of a lifetime. Great sailing by day, snug harbors each night with amazing stargazing. See lighthouses, seals and porpoises on every cruise. Explore uninhabited islands and small fishing villages. Take out a rowboat or paddleboard and do some exploring on your own at the end of the day.
Guests are invited to participate in all shipboard activities, from taking a turn at the wheel to raising and lowering sails. The 9 ships in the Maine Windjammer Association have a well-earned reputation for outstanding sailing adventures and delicious down-home cooking. One night everyone goes ashore for a traditional island lobster bake. Three- to six-day cruises available from May through October. Depart from Camden and Rockland.

Villages of East Burke, West Burke & Burke Hollow Burke, VT, 05832 Phone: 802-626-4124

Recreate. Relax. Repeat.

Located in the heart of Vermont’s beautiful Northeast Kingdom, Burke is the perfect Vermont vacation spot for skiing, hiking, biking, snowmobiling, cultural heritage and more, all waiting for you to explore. Recreation galore awaits the adventurous travelers who like to hit the trails. And for those who like a slower pace, take your own time making your own trail discovering all Burke has to offer. Whatever brings you here, you will experience our unparalleled four season destination!

1168 County Road Montpelier, VT, 05602 Phone: Toll-Free: 800-242-2740

See VT Farm Life on a Walk Through Woods and Maple Groves

Vermont is a place of outdoor people and farm life, but if you also like shopping, local history, and unique crafts, you will find all of these on your visit to Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks in Montpelier. Burr Morse, the eighth generation of a family that has farmed this maple grove, greets visitors with tours of the sugarhouse, multimedia displays at a theater in a woodshed, a museum of Vermont farm life, and a country store with plenty of maple treats, gifts, and one-of-a-kind crafts to carry or mail back home. A gentle trail leads right to the “sugarbush” (maple grove). The trail is inhabited by fun folk characters carved by Morse. Sugaring season is February to April, but this theater of Vermont outdoor life is open year-round.

Route 2 Charlemont, MA, 01339 Phone: 800-553-7238

Get outdoors and on the river for great whitewater adventure

Add whitewater rafting to your outdoor adventures this year. Crab Apple offers outings on the Deerfield River in Massachusetts and the Kennebec and Dead Rivers in Maine. You’ll enjoy full day rafting trips on mild Class 1-3 rapids and more aggressive Class 3-4 rapids. Or for those 5 and up, take a half day trip in guided rafts or inflatable kayaks. Friendly and knowledgeable guides share information and stories about local history, wildlife and hydrology all with a personal touch. There’s great food and excellent equipment. In Maine, you’re base camp features lodging, a pub and restaurant, and an outdoor heated pool. Nearby are four Rapid Shot Paintball fields open day and night for excitement of a slightly different kind.

Route 16 at Pinkham Notch Gorham, NH, 03581 Phone: 603-466-3988

Outdoor adventure for summer and winter explorers

Four-season adventure awaits your family at Great Glen Trails in Pinkham Notch. In warmer months, head out on scenic trails for a hike, a run, or bike ride through the majestic White Mountains. Join a guided bird watching tour or paddling trip on the Androscoggin River. In winter, cross country skiing and snowshoeing are the way to get around on a trail system of easy and rolling terrain. Skiers of all abilities can find their own level of activity, challenge, and fun. Trails are groomed with both double tracks and a skating lane and run through the forests at the base of Mount Washington. Or you can jump onto the SnowCoach and tour the mountain in winter from a comfortable seat. Outdoor fun for all tastes!

983 Upton Road Errol, NH, 03579 Phone: 603-215-0002

See views of mountains as you zip along high ropes courses

Explore the Great North Woods through wilderness adventures made for families, school groups, summer campers, and folks of all ages. Shoot down rivers and fly up to the treetops. Ride rapids in rafts and kayaks. A dozen aerial adventures, including two zip lines, will take you high above the ground to fly continuously from start to finish on ropes, wires, platforms, and bridges suspended 12 to 40 feet off the ground. You’ll be secure in a SnapSmart belay system that lets you control the course while you catch glimpses of Mount Washington and the White Mountains. Enjoy the high ropes course alone or combined with other tour programs. Spend a wilderness night in a yurt. Hear the loons. Maybe glimpse a moose.

37 Corey Road -- Route 43 Hancock, MA, 01237 Phone: 413-738-5500 Toll-Free: 800-882-8859

Great outdoor family fun is live and active over four seasons

Jiminy Peak Mountain’s four-season resort offers lodging, shopping, and dining in the Village Center and Country Inn, plus an outdoor heated swimming pool, the In-Touch Day Spa, fitness room, game room, and more. It’s also home to the largest ski and snowboard resort in southern New England. Forty-five trails and nine lifts cater to skiers of all skill levels, and three terrain parks provide rails and jibs for new and experienced park riders. Enjoy outdoor summer fun with a double dose at the adjacent Mountain Adventure Park and Aerial Adventure Park, and plan some activity at the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride and Mountain Segway Tours. This wonderful family place offers memorable mountain resort experiences with outstanding service in remarkably beautiful surroundings.

Route 2 (Mohawk Trail) Charlemont, MA, 01339 Phone: 800-532-7483

Outdoor adventure resort will push your action hunger

Step it up and outdoors at this great adventure resort on the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts. Whether you are interested in whitewater rafting, zip line tours, canoeing, kayaking, biking, or rock climbing, it can be yours. Plan half-day family raft trips or week-long whitewater kayak clinics that match your schedule and taste for adventure. The friendly professional staff, comfortable base camp, and top-notch equipment will ensure that your adventure is memorable. The Outfitters Shop is the Northeast's premier whitewater outlet, with over 100 of the hottest designs in stock. The expert staff can help you select a boat, but the best part is that you can try any boat before you buy it on the Deerfield River right in front of the shop.

545 Beach Road Pittsburg, NH, 03592 Phone: Toll-Free: 866-663-9777

Find an ATV or float plane adventure in remote northern woods

The wilds of the Great North Woods offers the finest in off-highway recreational vehicle fun and excitement. Enjoy the quiet surroundings and abundant wildlife in unspoiled and remote settings. Bear Rock features more than 1,000 miles of the Northeast's largest interconnected ATV trail system with terrain adaptable for all abilities. Also enjoy snowmobiling, horseback riding, fishing, soaring on a high ropes course. Hop in a float plane and transfer over to white water rafts. Explore waterways by canoe or pontoon boat. Hike on beautiful maintained trails and bike on some of the best dirt roads and multi-use trails you’ll ever find. Camp on your own or stay in cabins and lodges, hotels and motels, B&Bs, and even private homes.

60 Loon Mountain Road Lincoln, NH, 03251 Phone: 603-745-6281 Toll-Free: 800-229-5666

Zips, giant climbing web, log jam maze fill a day with action

New Hampshire’s longest scenic gondola skyride to the mountain top is just the start of the action at Loon Mountain. Ride a snow tube down for the excitement that awaits at the base. Trvel a zipline across the Pemigewasset River and into the Aerial Forest Adventure Park. Scale a rock wall, rent a bike, navigate the LogJam Maze, or climb a 30-foot-tall spider web. Young kids will love the bounce house and fun inflatable games at Bunyan’s Bouncin’ Backyard. While you’re at the summit, visit glacial caves and walk a scenic nature trail. Grab lunch or a snack at the Summit Café, which serves up great food and some of the best views of the White Mountains in all of New England.

40 Doaks Lane Marblehead, MA, 01945 Phone: 781-990-3552

Get fit and learn new skills on Marblehead harbor

This warm weather outdoor fun place offers unique adventures on the water in scenic Marblehead. Get fit, learn new skills, improve your balance and confidence all summer long. through relays, board/boat swapping, capsize and rescue and other activities. Season passes run from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend and include programs for every age. Like having a gym membership, you’ll have on-site access to the entire fleet of sit-on-top single and double kayaks and standup paddle boards. There are also special guided sunrise paddles, birthday parties, cove destination treasure hunts, team building activities, snorkeling, swimming, fishing and eco-awareness. Guided Fly Fishing Charters and a Kids Kayak Fishing Camp teach the skills and gear necessary to be a successful angler.

357 Morningside Lane Charlestown, NH, 03603 Phone: 603-542-4416

Adventure park pleasures from fishing to paragliding

Soar above the earth in the beautiful Connecticut River Valley at an outdoor activity park that offers a huge range of activities and services. Discover the thrill of a lifetime in hang gliding and paragliding, guided by folks with 30 years of experience in flight instruction. Lessons are offered to people of all skill levels and ages. Enjoy ziplining and canopy tours, laser tag, fishing, swimming, and kayaking. There’s a cozy campground surrounded by old-growth forest where you can pitch your own tent or simply move into a set-up platform tent with full- or queen-size beds. The campground has a large range of play and housekeeping features: fire pits, playing fields, picnic areas, a community kitchen, restrooms, and bathhouse. You’re within easy reach of Boston, Hartford, Montreal, and New York. Great for families, corporate groups, and couples.

66 Thunder Mountain Road Charlemont, MA, 01339 Phone: 413-339-6617

Intense skiing, zipping, rafting, and biking adventures

Whatever your outdoor pleasure, it can be found here: from skiing and snowboarding to tubing, zip lines, white water rafting, and downhill mountain biking. Jump aboard North America’s longest mountain coaster, or strap yourself into one of USA Today’s Top Ten Zip Lines in the United States. Fly above the tree tops at New England's largest zip destination with an introductory Base Tour and a more advanced Mountain Top Tour, and see fabulous views of the valley. The extreme Valley Jump has two half-mile-long zips that rise nearly 200 feet above the ground. Families, bring your kids and play. There are lessons, instructions, and equipment rentals, a family friendly lodging, and the Crazy Horse Bar and Grill for lunch or dinner.

1853 Chocorua Mountain Highway Chocorua, NH, 03817 Phone: 603-367-4427

Zip It to the Max in New Hampshire

The southern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee hasspectacular outdoor adventure. Zipline tours and zip trekking will test your mettle. Start with ground school and safe harnessing by belays. Then take a journey up and move at your own pace through three zip lines and 48 challenges, including swinging beams, tightropes, rolling logs, hanging tires, and cargo nets. Ride with a partner side by side on dual 360-foot lines and hit the 35-foot-high giant swing rock climbing wall. Self navigate through the ZipTrek course with a variety of lines and rope-course challenges. Kids have their own specially designed course no more than 6 inches off the ground with an 80-foot zip line at the finish.

103 U.S. Route 4 Mendon-Killington, VT, 05751 Phone: 802-353-2954

Taking a hike never felt so good

Enjoy fresh air and majestic Green Mountain scenery while you relax in a cozy New England Inn. There’s great hiking for every level along nature walks and wooded trails, including steeper and more-challenging terrain and distances. After a day on the trail, enjoy a massage, facial, and other services in the spa. Programs and activities, including weight loss retreats and mini vacations, are focused on exercise, yoga, and great food. New Life’s certified staff uses the latest techniques and trends to offer a total mind-body tune up. Cozy air-conditioned rooms come with private baths, mini fridge, and computer ports. The resort practices "leave no trace" outdoor etiquette.

105 Haverhill Road Salem, NH, 03079 Phone: 603-893-8300

Mysteries abound at this incredible seacoast site

The forests near Salem, NH are home to this remarkable maze of rocks, stone chambers, and megaliths that may have been left by ancient visitors. But who were they? The question has stymied scholars for generations. The megalith filled pine woods eerily appear to be similar to those built throughout Great Britain by Druid priests. Adding to the mystery is the fact that you'll find megaliths of the same type scattered around New England. This site is one of the largest collections not on private property and not off limits to visitors. Visit the museum and enjoy the orientation film and gift shop that offers books with more information. In winter months the one-hundred-plus acres are also great for snowshoeing.

Depart from Gregg Marine Research Complex, 29 Wentworth Road New Castle, NH Phone:

Portsmouth-born author Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835-1894) grew up in the Isles of Shoals, including Appledore and Star islands, offshore between New Hampshire and Kittery Point, Maine. Her poems first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and she became one of America's favorite authors in the late 1800s. Images of her famous garden return, again and again, in the oil paintings by Childe Hassam. Tours of the garden and Appledore Island are offered by Shoals Marine Lab aboard the research vessel Challenger. This is an island without paved roads, vehicles or amenities, so visitors (age 18 and older) should be prepared to spend the day hiking on rough terrain. The rewards are great.

Corys Lane Portsmouth, RI Phone: 401-847-1000

This garden, a collection of intricate topiaries, is a special delight for children. This small country estate in Portsmouth evolved into a topiary garden under the care of father-and-son superintendents during most of the 20th century. There are more than 80 pieces of topiary throughout the gardens, including animals and birds, geometric figures and ornamental designs, sculpted from California privet, yew, and English boxwood. Today, Green Animals remains as a rare example of a self-sufficient estate combining formal topiaries, vegetable and herb gardens, orchards and a Victorian house overlooking Narragansett Bay. Open seasonally; call ahead for public hours.

3984 Vermont Route 11 Peru, VT, 05152 Phone: 802-824-5522

Bromley’s Summer Sun & Fun Park offers more warm-weather thrills (if not chills) than you can count. Alpine Slide is a triple-track and 2/3 of a mile in length with banked turns and straightaways, rollers and drops; the climbing wall has is multi-faced real-rock with different levels of challenges; the trampoline thing lets you slip into the harness and take trampolining to new heights; space bikes pedal into orbit; the zip line is basically 100 feet of "Yee-Ha!" on a super strong steel cable. The giant swing produces 3Gs of gravitational force. Coming in July 2012, the new Aerial Adventure Park allows you to walk in the treetops.

VERMONT – Grand View Winery

Route 100 Waterbury Center, VT Phone: 802-456-7012

www.grandviewwinery.com/ Grand View Winery on is a family-owned farm winery that produces grape wines and wines from fruits that grow easily and naturally in Vermont. While focusing on fruits that grow easily in Vermont, Grand View produces wines that are not overly sweet. The vineyard’s Strawberry Rhubarb Wine was featured on the NBC Today Show. Moreover, the vineyard is set amid 50-mile views, and replete with flower gardens. Take a lunch to enjoy with a selected wine while sitting outside. The retail shop and tasting room, at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, are open daily, year round.

One Railroad Avenue Essex, CT Phone: 860-767-0103

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat's two-and-a-half -hour journey begins at the historic Essex Station for a narrated round trip into the heart of the unspoiled Connecticut River Valley. The steam locomotive pulls vintage coaches at 20 mph through the towns of Deep River and Chester. At Deep River Landing, passengers board the Becky Thatcher riverboat for a cruise along the Connecticut River. The deep water, coves, inlets, marshes, wildlife, and rocky shoreline are breathtaking. Upon Becky's return to Deep River Landing, the steam train welcomes passengers for the return trip to Essex Station. Trips conducted mid-May to late October.

161 Brownstone Avenue Portland, CT Phone: 866-860-0208

Swimming, snorkeling, rock climbing, cliff jumping, scuba diving, zip lines, kayaking, hiking, biking. That is a partial list of the activities in store at the Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park in Portland. For those of us built for comfort, not risk, the list also includes lounging next to the lake and visits to the snack shack. Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park is Connecticut’s first outdoor adventure park. Equipment is available for rent and activities are supervised by experts. The park sells a General Swimming pass and an Adventure Sports pass, so everyone in your group – from sun-loving platypus to maniac cliff-diver, can enjoy the day.

Moxie Falls, located in the town of The Forks, drops 90 feet before crashing into a deep black pool carved out of stone. This impressive cascade is a great excuse to spend a day hiking in the pristine forests of the region, where visitors will find an impressive network of trails. Supposedly one of the largest waterfalls in the state, Moxie Falls takes its name from the official soft drink of Maine--but don’t be fooled, the falls consist only of pure, uncarbonated water. To get there, take Route 201 into The Forks and turn right on Lake Moxie Road. After about 2 miles, you'll see a parking lot on the left. Follow the trail to the falls.

132 Botanical Gardens Drive Boothbay, ME, 04537 Phone: 207-633-4333

This magnificent collection of gardens, fronted by an airy, spacious welcome center, does more artist work with plants, sculpture, stone, ponds, and fountains than you can imagine. Gardens and meandering walks – including an endearing children’s garden – are a delight to all kinds of visitors – even people who might not consider themselves garden buffs. The names of the garden offer some clues: children’s garden, garden of the five senses, rhododendron & perennial garden, great lawn & ledge garden, kitchen garden, hillside garden, forest pond, meditation garden, shoreland trail, and rose & perennial garden. Best news: the garden is open daily, year-round.

37 Corey Road Hancock, MA Phone:


In winter, Jiminy Peak is the place to ski and snowboard. In summer, it turns into the Mountain Adventure Park, filled with rides and challenges for people who can’t turn down a dare. Among the hair-raising activities are an aerial forest ropes course consisting of five elevated courses; a mountain coaster, consisting of thousands of feet of twisting, turning fun through the woods; an Alpine super slide; a rock climbing wall with automatic belay lines and beginner, intermediate, and expert routes; a Euro-bungy trampoline with swivel harnesses; a zip ride, mountain Segway tours; mountain biking, and – for the sedentary adventurer, scenic tram rides to the summit on a six-passenger chairlift.

Remember when you boarded a train there was a sense of adventure, and getting there was all the fun! Travel back in time to the golden age of railroad travel as you are treated to some of the Cape's unspoiled and hidden beauty, accessible only by the railways. Make a whistle stop in Sandwich -- the Cape's oldest and most charming town -- or ride on through on this two-hour scenic route. Traverse some of the Cape's most picturesque countryside including quaint villages, unspoiled woodlands, sand dunes, cranberry bogs, salt marshes, and the famous Cape Cod Canal.

Sabbaday Falls Picnic Area, Route 112 Waterville, NH Phone:

Sabbaday Brook , on the Kancamagus Pass, drops 40 feet in an unusual and scenic form. The water drops eight feet into a small emerald green pothole. The outlet of the pothole is a slide resulting in a 20-foot horsetail into a tight gorge where it makes a ninety degree turn to the right. The final drop is a 12-foot slide into a deep teal trough that opens into a pale jade green pool below. Walkways, bridges, and stairs make this an easy and safe place to explore. To find it: Sabbaday Falls is the focal point of the Sabbaday Falls Picnic Area, a well marked locale on Route 112, about 11 miles east of Kancamagus Pass, about 3.4 miles west of the Jigger Johnson Campground and about 17 miles west of Conway.

Departs from Washington and North Water streets Norwalk, CT, 06854 Phone: 203-838-9444

From May to September the Norwalk Seaport Association hosts boat tours to the lovely island that is home to the Sheffield Island Lighthouse, one of the best places in New England to feel the world that the lighthouse keepers knew. Visitors can board the association’s catamaran for a cruise to the island then tour the lighthouse, enjoy wildlife at this national wildlife refuge, hunt for shells, dine on a picnic lunch, play on the lawns around the lighthouse, and just have a good time. The lighthouse tower provides magnificent views of Long Island Sound and even New York City on a clear day.

1 West Street Bar Harbor, ME Phone: 207-288-2386

Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. offers several distinct whale watching, sightseeing, light house and nature trips that sail daily throughout the summer. Come witness the awe inspiring beauty of the magnificent mammals of the sea. The Gulf of Maine is home to humpback, finback, and Minke whales. Because of the catamaran's speed visitors arrive at and cover lots of whale-watching territory. The boat’s galley is open during the voyage with food and beverages, including beer and wine.

7 Pond Street Rangeley, ME, 04970 Phone:

This is a super-cool and fun nature store in Rangeley, on the very edge of Haley Pond, where visitors and shopper often hear the cry of loons from the store’s property. The store is nestled deep in the mountains of western Maine, surrounded by crystal clear lakes. The stock include nature-loving gifts, games, music, books, educational toys, and much more. Store also offers kayaks for rent and kayaking classes.

A place for families to bond and enjoy the outdoors together

Camp Common Ground offers a rare week-long vacation getaway set up for the whole family to do fun things together. Founded in 1994, this inter-generational camp provides fun family bonding experiences via traditional summer camp activities, like arts and crafts, music, nature, wellness, and sports. Set on 700 scenic acres in the heart of Vermont, Camp Common Ground celebrates the notion of family in all its styles and forms, and it cultivates a wonderful sense of community among campers. The camp is entirely solar-powered and has a private swimming pond, tennis courts, hiking trails, a campfire pit, and opportunities to learn something you’ve always wanted to do. Your stay includes accommodations in a tent, cabin, or lodge, all meals (local, organic, and vegetarian), and activities.

The Minuteman Bikeway passes through the historic area where the American Revolution began in April 1775. Built by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on an inactive railroad, the trail is often used by local residents as a convenient, eco-friendly way for commuters to reach train stations. The path is 12 feet wide, plowed in the winter time, and includes lots of stops for refreshments and/or restrooms at Depot Park in Bedford, the Lexington Visitor’s Center, Alewife Station, and nearby business districts along the bikeway. Trail access in Bedford is available at the intersection of South Road and Loomis Street (exit 31B from I-95); at Lexington Center and Arlington Center, and at the Alewife T-Station.

139 Saint Gaudens Road Cornish, NH Phone: 603-675-2175

A visit to this national park is a walk through a beautiful, serene property that was home to one of America’s greatest sculptors. Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), created over 150 works of art, from exquisitely carved cameos to heroic-size public monuments. Works such as the "Standing Lincoln" monument and the Shaw Memorial, continue to inspire people today and his design for the 1907 Twenty Dollar Gold Piece, is considered America's most beautiful coin. At this historic site you can see 100 of his artworks in the galleries and on the grounds, from heroic public monuments to expressive portrait reliefs, and the gold coins which changed the look of American coinage. Enjoy summer concerts, explore nature trails, and admire the magnificent views.

105 Haverhill Road Salem, NH Phone: 603-893-8300

It has been determined that America's Stonehenge is an accurate astronomically aligned calendar. It was and still can be, used to determine specific solar and lunar events of the year. Archaeoastronomy is the study of the role of astronomy in ancient cultures. This includes knowing who was responsible for building astronomical observatories and how they were used to effect or influence their lives At America's Stonehenge. We have uncovered a wide range of artifacts including stone tools, pottery, stone and bone pendants, Native American and colonial artifacts.

Refuge Headquarters, 50 Bend Road Charlestown, RI Phone: 401-364-9124

From fishing, to hiking, to photography, Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge has it all. The section of the refuge south of Route 1 is surrounded on three sides by Ninigret Pond, a large salt pond with a dramatic breachway opening to the ocean. At the east entrance, there is a kayak/canoe launch area -- a convenient place to get out on Ninigret Pond and see the refuge from the duck's point of view! The northern section of the refuge, where the Kettle Pond Visitor Center is located, is more forested upland. Watchaug Pond is only a short distance down easy trails from the Visitor Center. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy nature in any way that feels good to you.

RHODE ISLAND – Fishing, whale watching trips

33 State Street Narragansett, RI Phone: 401-783-4988

The Frances Fleet invites adventurous guests aboard its trips to whale watching grounds (in July and August) as well as fishing trips for a half-day, full day overnight, or longer. The deep-sea prey can include cod, fluke, sea bass, striped bass, blues, tuna, squid, blackfish, and scup. Fishing trips are set up to accommodate novices and pros alike, and for fishermen of all ages. Vessels are equipped with the latest electronics, fishing gear, tackle, bait, full service galleys, and cabins and bunk rooms for overnight trips. New England is fishing country; step aboard!

Few structures in America combine architectural ingenuity, economic necessity, and romantic idealism better than the covered bridge. Covered bridges flourished in the United States in the 19th century. Pennsylvania has the most covered bridges, and Vermont, with about 104, has the most for its size. Individual inventiveness played an important role in the proliferation of covered bridges. As the industry grew, builders experimented and adapted each other’s designs in hopes of building stronger bridges with the fewest materials. Covered bridges grew in popularity in the early 20th century and became subjects for artists and advertisers. It is easy to design your own covered bridge driving tour.

Follow the trail of the vine as it winds through some of the most picturesque towns in Connecticut. The Connecticut Wine Trail is a unique collection of Twenty Four Vineyards, each ready to welcome you with hospitality and exceptional award winning wines. The trail is divided into two sections, East and West. To fully enjoy the Wine Trail, plan a few weekends to experience all that each winery has to offer. We invite you to explore this site and see where the trail leads you. You'll find more than just great wine.

Forty-five miles of rustic carriage roads, the gift of philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr., weave around the mountains and valleys of Acadia National Park. Rockefeller wanted to travel via horse and carriage into the heart of Mount Desert Island. His construction from 1913 to 1940 resulted in roads with sweeping vistas and close-up views of the landscape. Rather than flattening hillsides to accommodate the roads, breast walls and retaining walls were built to preserve the line of hillsides and save trees. Rockefeller aligned the roads to follow the contours of the land and to take advantage of scenic views. It is a beautiful drive. Here is a map by the National Park Service.

4 Standish Street Provincetown, MA Phone: 800-894-1951

For three generations, the family-run Art’s Dune Tours has been taking spellbound visitors on tours of the dunes of the Provincelands, a marvelous, otherworldly place of sky, sea, dune grass, and wind-sculpted dunes. On the tours, you will travel through the majestic dunes where your guide points out the dune shacks where famous artists and writers lived and found inspiration. You will pass the remains of the Peaked Hill Life Saving Station and learn how life savers enacted their heroic efforts to save the lives of thousands from shipwrecks. Access by the public to the dunes is limited, so this is the way to see this marvelous landscape.

A leisurely walk through a world-class, history-rich city with many designated stops at fascinating places, from an old cemetery to classic, elegant churches. All this, along with educational value, enough space and variety for active kids, plenty of snacking opps along the way. Boston's Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile trail connecting 16 of the country's most significant historic sites linked to the American Revolution. Between April and November, you can take a 90-minute walking tour along the trail with a lively and informative 18th century costumed guide. Stop include The Boston Common, The State House,Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House The Old North Church, Copp's Hill Burying Ground, Bunker Hill Monument, and the USS Constitution.

23 Science Center Road Holderness, NH, 03245 Phone: 603-968-7194

Through live animal exhibits, natural science education programs, and lake cruises, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center has brought visitors in touch with the natural world of the Lake region of New Hampshire for more than 40 years. Open meadows, mature forests, and marsh boardwalks connect interactive natural exhibits that are the homes of native animals reside: black bears, mountain lions, raptors, river otters, bobcats, and more. On a day visit of the center, adults and children can take a Science Center Lake Cruise, enjoy the beauty of Kirkwood Gardens, see an animal exhibit or hear a mini-talk, have a snack at Kirkwood Cafe, and shop naturally in the Howling Coyote Gift Shop.

With help from the Conway Scenic Railroad, you can enjoy a ride on vintage trains traveling over historic tracks in the heart of New Hampshire's White Mountains. On the Valley Train, you’ll journey on historic rail routes from the 1874 train station in North Conway Village to either Conway or Bartlett and back again. On the Notch Train, you’ll travel on what was once the Maine Central Railroad’s famed Mountain Division line, on tracks that were laid in the 1870s. Enjoy some of the most dramatic natural scenery in the East as you travel through spectacular Crawford Notch – past sheer bluffs, steep ravines, cascading brooks and streams, panoramic mountain vistas – en route to Crawford and Fabyan stations. Fun for all ages.

Start at 117 Memorial Blvd. Newport, RI Phone: 401-845-5300

The Newport Cliff Walk is a 3.5-mile winding path along Newport’s shoreline with breathtaking views of Narragansett Bay and the rocky coves below. The walk runs from Bailey's Beach to First Beach, with public access points at Bellevue Avenue, Ledge Road, Marine Avenue, Ruggles Avenue, Ruggles Avenue, Sheppard Avenue, Webster Street, and Narragansett Avenue. The walk skirts the edges of some of the city’s mansions, including Beechwood, Rosecliff, Marble House, The Breakers, Ochre Court, and Rough Point. Much of the walk is easy paved paths but some parts have unpaved sections and rugged paths. Best section for viewing with limited time is Narragansett Avenue to Ruggles Avenue.

off Route 108 Stowe, VT Phone:

The sequence of cascades that is Bingham Falls in Stowe, Vermont is special not just for its otherwordly quality, but because the public almost lost access to it a few years back when a land developer had plans to build a resort on the property. That plan was thwarted and adventurers can still enjoy the pristine beauty of the falls, and those brave enough can take a dip in the natural rock pool below Bingham's 25-foot cascade. To Find It: The falls are located a short hike off Route 108 in Stowe, about 1.5 miles southeast of Smugglers Notch. There is a path leading downhill from a fairly large turnout. The sound of roaring water assures you that you are in the right place.

The spectacular Quechee Gorge in Central Vermont – sometime called the Grand Canyon of the East – attracts spectators of all kinds. One heart-stopping way to see the gorge and the vast, forested beauty of its surroundings is from a hot air balloon. This is really the adventure of a lifetime. Balloons of Vermont , among other businesses, will take intrepid travelers above the treetops over the Ottauquechee River and the upper valley region for an unforgettable show in the most serene, majestic flying machine knows to man. The Quechee Balloon Festival, with lots of non-ballooning fun, like music, crafts, and children’s activities, takes place in June, and ballooning will be a central theme, but Balloons of Vermont takes people up over the gorge year-round.