With warm temperatures predicted for Mother’s Day, why not take mom for a scenic drive? There certainly isn’t a lack of beautiful, historic places to see in our picturesque neck of the woods. We tell you about six scenic drives spanning four states across New England. So pack your picnic basket , grab your camera, and hit the open road.
Route 127 on the North Shore
There is plenty to see along Route 127 on the North Shore, including Independence and Lynch Parks in Beverly, a beautiful scenic vista across the street from Endicott College, the village-like charm and wealthy mansions of Beverly Farms, and the quaint shops and beauty of Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea. If mom wants to walk for a bit, the village of Magnolia in Gloucester is a perfect place to take a nice stroll near the water. Don’t forget to check out Magnolia Castle, built between 1926 and 1929. Take in the terrific ocean view at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester. Get your camera ready as you approach “Motif No. 1,’’ the iconic dark red fishing shack on Bearskin Neck wharf, one of the most photographed buildings in the region. Take a GPS tour of scenic Route 127.
Kancamagus Highway in N.H.
Take mom into the White Mountains via the scenic Kancamagus Highway, which has been designated an American Scenic Byway. The 34.5-mile drive along Route 112 in northern New Hampshire is full of history and beauty.
One TripAdvisor traveler called the drive “the epitome of New Hampshire/New England beauty,’’ and we couldn’t agree more. One of the highlights of the drive is the breathtaking Mount Washington Resort (pictured) set against the backdrop of the majestic White Mountains. Other scenic points of interest include Swift River Lower Falls, where you can cool off in the river, the historic Russell-Colbath Historic Homestead, a 19th century farmhouse in Albany, N.H., and the CL Graham/Wangan Grounds Scenic Overlook, which boasts amazing vews from the highest point on the Kancamagus Highway
Get more info from www.kancamagushighway.com.
Historic Ten Mile Drive in Newport, RI
Head straight to Newport if crashing waves and gorgeous mansions strike mom’s fancy. There is a historic ten mile drive that allows you to gawk at gorgeous estates such as The Breakers (pictured), The Elms, Marble House, and more, as well as breathtaking ocean views. You’ll pass by beaches, parks, yacht clubs, museums, and more. Fort Adams is a great place to see the spectacular view of Newport Harbor. For a detailed list of sights you will see and roads you will travel, check out oceandrivenewport.com.
If mom wants to stretch her legs, tackle the spectacular Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile public access walkway that borders the shore line.
Old King’s Highway in Cape Cod, Mass.
Route 6A, also known as “Old King’s Highway,’’ is a 34-mile drive along the coast. It oozes New England charm, from the quaint villages and towns, bed and breakfasts and seaside restaurants, to pristine lighthouses, harbors, and spectacular ocean views.
Cape Cod was highlighted in National Geographic’s “Drives of a Lifetime Series,’’ and for good reason.
The ride is breathtaking, with stunning views of the Atlantic and classic images of dunes. As expected, the drive is full of history. Author Henry David Thoreau once called Coast Guard Beach “The Great Beach.’’ Legend says that this is the first beach seen by the Pilgrims from the Mayflower in 1620. The Atwood-Higgins House, built in 1730, is widely believed to be the oldest house on the Lower Cape. Pictured is the Race Point Lighthouse at the tip of the Cape, built in 1876. Explore Sandwich, the oldest town on the Cape, check out the Cape’s most expansive inland preserve at Nickerson State Park, treat mom to a wine tasting at Truro Vineyards, and more.
Scenic Route 100 Byway in Vermont
Cruise to Vermont and meander along the Scenic Route 100 Byway, a 138-mile stretch that encompasses 20 towns in the heart of the Green Mountains. It was called one of “the most scenic drives in New England’’ by Yankee Magazine. Mom will be delighted by green parks, winding rivers, gorgeous mountains, white-steepled churches, quaint homes, charming towns, and pristine farmland at every twist and turn. Stop in Stowe to browse art galleries, antiques, shops, and get a bite. If you are spending the night, there are plenty of bed and breakfasts and inns to choose from. If mom is a fan of “The Sound of Music,’’ surprise her with an overnight stay at the Trapp Family Lodge . Check out the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth Notch (pictured), the homestead of our 30th president. Spend time in one or more of the many parks, trails, lakes, ponds, and rivers you will pass by. Oh, and stop in Waterbury to treat mom to a Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory tour and tasting. For more hot spots, follow this tour from Wilmington to Newport, courtesy of myscenicdrives.com.
Acadia National Park in Maine
If mom is craving mountains and sea, drive the beautiful 27-mile Acadia National Park Loop in Maine, which offers incredible views of ocean, forests, and mountains. The 30,300-acre park is located on Mount Desert island along the coast of Maine, 264 miles from Boston. So you’ll probably want to make a weekend of it. There are plenty of places to stay in Bar Harbor. Check out some of the top-rated hotels via TripAdvisor. Once at the park, you’ll find spectacular views along this rocky coast where ocean and mountains collide. Pictured is the summit of Cadillac Mountain. At 1,530 feet, the mountain is the tallest along the eastern coast of the United States. To enhance your experience, you can buy an audio tour of the Park Loop Road on CD at Hulls Cove Visitor Center. Or arrange a guided bus tour. Feeling adventurous? Hike or bike along the 45 miles of carriage roads (no cars allowed).