Q – Joyce D. of North Reading, Massachusetts inquires: My husband and I, and our 9-year-old son are trying to plan a driving trip from Boston to Canada at the end of August. We will be traveling in an RV and staying in campgrounds. We are interested in swimming and watersports, hiking and biking and experiencing nature and culture. Do you have any ideas for us?
A – Given your interests and requests for a vacation offering a different culture and natural attractions, we have mapped out an itinerary that I think (and hope) will be of great interest to you family.
It sounds like you want a road trip that goes through the northeastern US and possibly into Canada, so we concentrated on Quebec province because it is much more ‘foreign’ and offers a different culture than Ontario. I have suggested a few local B&Bs that should feel homey for your son because we were not sure if you were traveling in your own RV.
Some suggestions for you starting out from Massachusetts:
Drive along Rt. 93 and 89 North about 175 miles to Waterbury, VT. Some things of interest along the way are: The Robert Frost Farm in Derry, NH, Ruggles Mine in Grafton, NH, the Museum of Family Camping in Allenstown, NH, the White River Junction Way Point, and the Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks just outside of Montpelier, VT. Note that all of these attractions/sights are not on your route and they require slight detours off the highway. However, if any of them are of interest to you, please check them out.
Upon reaching Waterbury, a must see is the Ben & Jerry Ice Cream Factory Tour (one of our favorites – don’t miss the Flavor Graveyard!) Also stop by the Cold Hollow Cider Mill and the Waterbury Center State Park where, if the weather is nice, you could get some lakefront “beach” time. Stay at the Thatcher Brooke Inn, a renovated Victorian House that is now a B&B.
Next will be the nearly 200-mile drive up 89 to Montreal, Quebec Canada. For suggestions on what to do while in this great city, FTF has some articles: “Montreal Activities and Attractions“ and “Montreal Hotels and Resorts” and “Montreal Restaurants.”
After a day or two in town, drive east along Canada’s Route 20 until you hit Quebec city about 170 miles away. If you haven’t had your fill of Canadian city life, you can spend a day in town here. See FTF for “Quebec City Activities and Attractions.
However, Quebec City is just a minor stop on this leg. Head further north up Route 73 to Jacques-Cartier National Park. Visit this site to learn more about the Wildlife Reserve that is nearby and accommodations for your stay.
After a few days here its time to venture into Maine. Some suggestions for your time in this very large state: the Northern Outdoors in The Forks, which offers guests a wide variety of river rafting experiences as well as cabins to stay in; or a favorite of all nature-loving families, is Acadia National Park. As for a city to visit, see FTF for our story “Presenting Portland, Maine.” You must squeeze in at least one good lobster meal during your time in Maine, Camden is known for its great seafood dinners, although you really can’t go wrong anywhere in the state.
Let us know what you think and if we can be of more help. And by all means, let us know how your vacation goes, or blog about it on the site, so your travels can be shared with other families.
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