By the Pricking of my Thumbs, Something Wicked this way comes….William Shakespeare
Sleepy Hollow, New York
We checked out of our hotel in NYC and picked up our rental car to head out on the next leg of our adventure- Road trip! It was not as bad as I had imagined trying to get out of Manhattan so, pretty soon, we were on our way to Sleepy Hollow, NY. This was in October so I had somewhat of a theme going of places we had to hit while we were there- more later.
It was a beautiful drive. Even though it was mid-October, the area was still very green (our tour driver in NYC had told us that Fall came later on the islands so it would be much greener than further inland). It was only about a 45 minute drive up the Hudson River to Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow so we were there by early afternoon. We visited the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, including the Old Dutch Church built in 1697 and the grave site of Washington Irving, the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Next we headed East through Connecticut and up through Massachusetts toward Boston, final destination- Salem. We stopped for lunch at a great little restaurant, The Cedar Street Grille, just over the border in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. We had planned on visiting Old Sturbridge Village, a 19th century historical museum village, but we did not get there in time. Check it out here https://www.osv.org/.
There will always be things you just miss out on, even with the best laid plans on a road trip- but you may also have some unplanned adventures you did not even have on the agenda.
By the time we arrived in Salem, it was raining but we tried to tough it out and go downtown. Defeated by rain, we decided we would have to just come back in the morning even though it would put us behind in my carefully planned itinerary…
The next morning we headed back out to historic Salem and it was much more lively than the previous wet night. Walking down the pedestrian only streets filled with shops and booths selling all kinds of interesting things, we saw lots of people dressed up as witches and other characters. We visited the Witch History Museum for a history lesson with some live characters (and some not so live characters) that tell the story of the Salem witch trials in the late 1600s then went to visit the Salem Cemetery where all the victims of the witch trials are memorialized. The Salem Witch House, which was the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin and the only standing structure with direct ties to the witch trials was very interesting- provided a great look into life during that time in history. And of course, the statue of Samantha from the TV show Bewitched.
On to our next historic site, Lexington and Concord, where the first shot of the Revolutionary War occurred. It was only a short 30 minute drive from Salem, just skirting Boston, to reach Lexington and the Minuteman National Park.
Listen my children and you shall hear, Of the midnight ride of Paul RevereHenry Wadsworth Longfellow
Minuteman National Park, Massachusetts
We started at the Minuteman Visitor Center in Lexington and followed the Battle Trail through the park to Concord to the bridge where the “shot heard round the world” occurred. So many historic sites and homes here that you can walk into, a lot of them having people there to tell the stories. You can walk the entire battle trail that the British followed or you can drive to specific sites along the way- we did a little of both (it is a 5 mile trail). The trail ends in Concord, at the North Bridge, where the battle began and the Minuteman Statue stands.
We then stopped and had lunch in Concord and had the best cornbread I have ever had at the Main Street Market Café- go there!!
On to Cape Cod, behind schedule still….. But worth every minute so far.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Since we were already behind, we headed straight toward Cape Cod but didn’t get there until pretty late. Looking up hotels on Google, most of the accommodations closed by 7pm and we would not be able to check in before the front desk closed but then we lucked out and found Ocean’s Edge Resort! It was destined to be…. I booked a room online, but we were upgraded at check-in to the main house. It was not until the next day that we discovered the treasure we had stumbled upon. https://www.oceanedge.com/
After leaving the resort, we headed toward the coast and further up Cape Cod. The coastline had a rugged beauty with high cliffs, flowers, and lighthouses- We drove out to the Nauset Lighthouse on Nauset Beach for an up close look at the lighthouse then looked down the cliffs to the beach before heading west.
Rhode Island- Newport Car Museum
We didn’t really have any solid plans about what to see in Rhode Island other than coastline and Newport. But, as we were driving, we passed a car museum and decided to turn around and check it out- this is one of those ‘road trip’ spontaneous stops along the way. And it was soooo cool!
Newport, Rhode Island has some amazing mansions and you can do the Cliff Walk, a 3.5 mile walk that takes you along the coast line with the ocean on one side and the mansions on the other. We opted not to take the walk, as the smell of the coast that day, and the cold, was not something we really wanted to deal with at that time but it would be something I would like to do next time we are there.
Connecticut- Mystic Seaport
Next stop was Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. It is the largest maritime museum in the US and has a large collection of historic ships as well as a recreated 19th century seaside village with authentic buildings and shops staffed with storytellers. We didn’t get there until about an hour before closing time so we got a ‘late-comer’ discount but only had a little over an hour to see everything, however, we hit the key points!
We spent the night in Bridgeport, Connecticut as we were catching an early Long Island Ferry back to New York and flying home. Returning the car to the JFK rental return was easy and they even gave us a ride in our rental car to the airport- thanks Hertz!