We’ve made it! In the next few weeks, the 2014-2015 school year will be coming to a close and summer will thankfully return. On the first day of vacation, it seems like the warm weather will linger indefinitely, but the weeks seem to have a sneaky way of flying by and for some reason September reappears on the calender in the blink of an eye. The best way to fully embrace summer is to pack each day with activities that you’ll remember long after the pools have been covered and flip-flops packed away. Day trips are usually inexpensive and don’t require a lot of travel, but still provide a chance to get away from regular life and see new things! Hanover is the perfect location for easy access to numerous memorable day trip destinations you’re sure to love.
1. Chatham, Cape Cod
Visiting Cape Cod anytime from June to August will surely provide you with a hefty dose of New England summer. Late nights on the dock, fried clams, boat rides: the Cape has it all. One of my favorite areas to visit is Chatham, located only 40 minutes away. A cute downtown shopping square will set you up with everything you need for the day: a book for the beach from the Chatham Bookstore, penny candy from Candy Manor, and many great restaurants and cafes to choose from. This little town boasts more than just a beach (although it is certainly not to difficult to spend a day in the sun on those sandy dunes), Chatham has its own wildlife refuge, offers boat rides out to Monomoy Island, and even claims two large museums: The Old Atwood House Museum and the Chatham Railroad Museum. If you are feeling active, bring your bike and pedal for as much (or as little) of the 20 mile Rail Trail as you would like. This bike-only trail winds through the woods on the path of what was once an old railroad.
2. The Newport Mansions
Located an hour and a half away in Newport, Rhode Island, this is definitely a trip worth taking at some point in your life. A collection of nine “houses” (that term used loosely), the mansions were built as summer cottages for the wealthiest businessmen of the Gilded Age and their families. These architectural wonders are no mere bungalows; owned by families including the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts, these houses certainly have the wow-factor going for them. With tours that lead you through sprawling gardens, grand ballrooms, servants quarters, and dignified libraries, you can get a glimpse into the lives of America’s richest in the early 1900s. After touring the estates, it’s only a two minute drive to the city of Newport where you can get lunch on the water!
3. College Tour in Boston
Although they hate to admit it, incoming seniors and freshmen do have one thing alike: they will both have to participate in the college search. This prospect can seem daunting to many, but taken one school at a time, narrowing down your list is really quite simple. Boston is under an hour away from Hanover, and houses some of the best schools in the country. Boston College, Boston University, Emerson College, Northeastern University, Harvard College, Berklee College of Music, and Tufts University are all located within a 20-mile radius of each other, not to mention tens of others. With so many diverse schools to choose from, you’re bound to find something you like. This summer is the perfect opportunity for a day in Boston touring the many schools it has to offer and exploring the city!
4. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth is a really fun waterfront town in New Hampshire with lots to fill your day. Just two hours drive north of us, this little town has artsy galleries, cute boutiques, and restaurants galore. If you are into history, there are many historic house museums open for tours all summer. Prescott Park in the center of town is the perfect place to grab an ice cream and sit with a good book or do some people watching. The city’s location on the water is perfect for taking a boat cruise out to the lighthouse or taking a ride on one of Portsmouth’s famous tugboats!
5. The North End
Famous to all New Englanders for its Italian heritage, the North End is the place to be on religious festival days. The processions and celebrations begin on June 1st with a feast for Santa Maria Di Anzano and don’t end until early October. Taking the train into the North End on one of these days is a guaranteed good time. Any restaurant you find will have delicious Italian food, and you can pick up homemade gelato from a street vendor for walking around the city. The best part of the night is seeing the streets decorated in Italian flags and watching the people show their ancestral pride.