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Throughout New England many worthwhile destinations are located within a tank-full of gas of one another. Massachusetts and its offerings are no different. Where else can you leave a bustling, historical metropolis and then get lost among sprawling sand beaches and endless protected green space? Well, on this trip you can, as we take you from the city environs of Boston to the rustic and inspiring peninsula of Cape Cod.
Okay, so Boston isn’t the friendliest place for big rigs, but that’s no reason you shouldn’t try to explore New England’s capital city. Maybe you’ll want to park that motorhome and take a cab or carriage, or walk off the calories from the morning funnel cakes? If it’s your first trip to “Beantown”, be sure to get history’s perspective to appreciate Boston’s contribution to the formation of the United States. A great way to do that is by walking the Freedom Trail, a series of historical markers and sites tracing some of the most important events in our nation’s history. Some highlight destinations in the heart of Old Boston include the Paul Revere House and the Old State House, site of the Boston Massacre. Other city highlights include the Boston Common and Public Garden, the New England Aquarium, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
We love Boston, but let’s get outta town on southbound I-93 for a few minutes before jumping on US-3A south as it traces Massachusetts Bay. One of America’s oldest settlements is the town of Duxbury. Founded in 1637 after some Pilgrims found Plymouth, well, a little too crowded, today, the town is popular for its stellar, nine-mile beach along the bay.
Just south of Duxbury is where this whole “America” thing got started. You have heard about Plymouth, haven’t you? History buffs will no doubt enjoy a visit to the impressive Plimouth Plantation, a living-history museum that recreates the 1620-era village. Moreover, visitors can check out the Mayflower II, a replica of the 17th-century vessel that brought the Pilgrims to America, at (where else?) Plymouth Rock.
Pick up US-6A east from Plymouth towards Cape Cod and your first stop on the peninsula, at Sandwich. As the first town settled on Cape Cod, the main attraction here is a visit to the Sandwich Glass Museum, home to a truly awesome collection of more than 5,000 pieces of glassworks produced by the Sandwich Company during the 19th-century.
Skirting the northern shores of the Cape, be sure to make a stop at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster. While you’re in the city limits, you might want to learn about firefighting history at the impressive New England Fire and History Museum, which nicely presents the equipment, and captures the history, of these brave men and women, from Revolutionary War times to modern day.
In the town of Orleans, pick up US-6 as it heads north some 30 miles to the tip of the Cape. In just a few miles there will be nothing beyond the Cape Cod National Seashore. Hey, things could be worse. Yes, you’re going to need to simply put up with mile after mile of stunning flora and fauna thriving in endless acres of protected seashore, cedar swamps, and sprawling wetlands, all the way to Provincetown. We suggest a visit to the Salt Pond Visitors Center near Eastham to get caught up on what else to see and do along the seashore. However, we might also recommend visits to such standout places as the inspiring, windswept Province Lands Area, the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail, and Marconi Beach near South Wellfleet.
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