Small, unique Northeast towns to visit for a long weekend
My idea of a great vacation is relaxing in a cute and angelic walkable town with lots to see and do. In the past, I needed to take a vacation...from my week long vacation! I felt that if I didn't see everything I would be missing out on something. As I grew older, I realized that there are some great towns and cities that are just a few hours away from New York. They're idyllic, too - You can walk around and take in views of historical buildings, snack on mouth-watering treats and stop in a plethora of cute boutiques. Below are three of my favorite places to go when I need a little vacation away from home.
The Hamptons in New York
Just last month, my husband and I went on a long weekend to South Hampton. We stayed at the Southampton Inn. The hotel is a great place to stay with your family and walking distance from all the boutiques and restaurants. We also toured this old historical home right in the middle of town called the Southampton Historical Museum located at 17 Meeting House Lane (off of Main Street) in Southampton.
Each area of the Hamptons is just a few streets long - walkable and calming. We also visited Easthampton, Westhampton and Bridgehampton. Each town was just as cute as the next. They all have that small-town charm. However, if you don't want to spend a lot of money you definitely need to go off-season. From Memorial Day to Labor Day the prices are a bit outrageous. So, keep that in mind; but, as long as you're off-season these lovely towns are easily accessible and financially doable.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth, NH is known for its waterfront views, historic sites and tax-free shopping. The city of Portsmouth sits just 60 miles north of Boston and is one of the nation's oldest cities, settled in 1623. It served as an epicenter for the rail and sea industries and was a focal point on the Eastern seaboard until the late 1800s.
Today, the region is noteworthy for its beautiful historic charm and many attractions. The seaport city overlooks the mouth of the beautiful river that divides New Hampshire and Maine. Top of the list to check-out in Portsmouth is a guided tour (or a solo walk) along the Portsmouth Harbor Trail. The path passes more than 70 historic, scenic sites and provides a taste of the local charm and culture. Another great way to take in the scenes is by boat - a wonderful way to see the city's charm. While there, you also have to visit Strawbery Banke. This 10-acre living history museum allows you to tour the historic buildings, enjoy the interactive exhibits, and take in the beautiful gardens.
Downtown Portsmouth has cute boutiques and shops you can peruse and the streets hold a variety of art, antiques, clothing, local goodies, books, fine jewelry, and more. Market Square is located in the center of downtown and is the start of many local walking tours. Visit the galleries, browse the old-fashioned shops, and explore one of the many 17th-century buildings.
Whether you're in the mood for fine dining or a casual bite, Portsmouth has a ton of tasty options for any foodie, as the city is home to dozens of restaurants featuring just about every cuisine imaginable.
Many movies have been filmed in Mystic, CT. - most notably one of my favorites, Mystic Pizza. You have to try the pizza when you go there. (Spoiler Alert: the Mystic Pizza restaurant doesn't look like the one in the movie though.) There are lots of attractions in Mystic, nearby Stonington, and along the Southeastern CT seashore. Some attractions that I loved were the Mystic Seaport and the Mystic aquarium. I also loved the Mystic village. All the shops were charming and the people were extremely nice. It's such a quaint town that you can walk around for hours. There are also many historical museums that you can tour with your family. The one thing that we didn't get to enjoy is a beautiful boat ride along the shore. That will be the first thing on my list next time I get to enjoy Mystic, CT.
I hope that you can enjoy one of these charming areas in the near future. For those folks in the Northeast, these are obviously more easily reachable; however, these are wonderful destinations in-and-of-themselves for any out-of-towners looking for some small-town Northeast charm as well. These are places have character, sea breezes, charm and they'll beckon you to come back again and again!
Happy and safe travels this Memorial Day weekend, guys!