For Northeasterners, March is just weird. On the one hand, Spring is right around the corner. On the other, temps in the single digits still linger and the days zig and zag between snow squalls and sunny thaws. It’s confusing. But as March gives way to April and May, the region offers up a fresh crop of seasonal adventures that call to road trippers from far and wide. If you’re hoping to be one of them, now’s the time to rent your 15-passenger van and get organized. Because there are lots of destinations to choose from, and lots of fun to plan. A few possibilities:
Ocean Grove, New JerseyLooking for a mellow time with a historic vibe? Look no further than Ocean Grove. Located in the heart of the Jersey Shore (and within arm’s reach to Atlantic City, Manhattan and Philadelphia), Ocean Grove is an oasis of pristine beaches, tree-lined streets and quaint boardwalks. The town was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and entered into the New Jersey State Register of Historic Places just a year later. This means you’ll find the largest assemblage of authentic Victorian architecture in the nation. Not to mention the Great Auditorium, home to one of the 20 largest pipe organs in the world. And if the pipe organ doesn’t quite cut it, fun-wise—you’re only about a half-hour away from Six Flags Great Adventure. So have no fear.
Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, MaineOcean cliffs. Rocky beaches. Glacier‐formed lakes and valleys. Bar Harbor, just a five-hour drive from Boston, has it all. And whether it’s a walking tour, a narrated bus trip, or a cruise on a tall ship, there are plenty of ways to take in the fresh Spring air and get to know the area. The best part? Acadia National Park can be accessed right from downtown Bar Harbor. One of the most popular parks in the country, Acadia hosts 3.5 million visitors every year. It’s home to 27 miles of historic motor roads, 158 miles of hiking trails, and 45 miles of carriage roads. You’ll also find Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the North Atlantic seaboard. So, lots to do and see. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to explore.
Cornwall, ConnecticutWhen it comes to quaint, Cornwall may have the market cornered. Five villages; one of the last covered bridges in Connecticut; miles of trails, state forests and nature preserves—you’ll find it all right here. And if hiking’s your thing, there’s no better time than Spring to check out the scenery. Difficulty varies trail to trail, but there are enough options here to find the perfect trail for any skill level. If you’d prefer to travel by bicycle, you’re in luck. A lightly trafficked (and hilly) network of country roads connects Cornwall’s villages and gives you the perfect chance to soak in the countryside. Heralded as the “Greenest Town in CT,” you’ll find no shortage of peaceful outdoor fun. When you’re ready to shake off the last flakes of snow and get some much-needed sunshine on your face, consider the Northeast in Spring. There’s plenty for the outdoor adventurer and leisurely tourist alike—and a 15-passenger van waiting to make the trip a memorable one.
No matter where in New England you travel, you’re in for a treat. The views, the fresh air—it’s only a van trip away.