A New England RV Road Trip Itinerary

Our Guest Blogger is Joe Laing,  Marketing director for El Monte RV. El Monte RV provides nationwide rentals including rentals in the Boston area.  For more great RV vacation ideas see the blog at  Musings RV Travel

A winter storm may be blowing in your area, but it’s never too early to start planning your first warm weather RV journey. What better way to celebrate the beginning of camping season than with a New England RV road trip? With fascinating coastal regions and an abundance of historic treasures along the way, a New England RV itinerary is limited only by the time you have to travel.

One way to learn what the New England states have to offer RVers is to focus regionally. You could, for instance, plan a trip to coastal Massachusetts that includes historic sites and outdoor recreation. Start your trip at Winter Island Marine Recreational Park in Salem, MA.  The park welcomes RV travelers to stay awhile with an on-site, waterfront RV campground and plenty of places to explore nearby.

Campers will want to photograph Fort Pickering lighthouse, built in 1871, as well as touring the island’s trails for impressive views of Salem Harbor. It’s also a quick jaunt on the trolley into Salem to visit historic neighborhoods and other attractions in the “Witch City.”

While camping by RV in Salem, MA, you’re also just an hour north of Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. This delightful collection of history-studded islands in the harbor deserves at least a day of discovery. Take the ferry from Long Wharf-North in Boston to begin your tour of the islands, or book a guided tour of the Boston Harbor Islands to visit the three historic lighthouses in the harbor.

A favorite activity with RV travelers to the islands is a trip to picturesque Fort Warren on Georges Island. But don’t stop there. While discovering the important role Boston Harbor Island fortifications played during the Civil War, slow down and enjoy the wild beauty of the islands themselves. Whether you’re planning to walk the shell beaches of Bumpkin Island, go sea kayaking around Grape Island or photograph birds among the salt marsh trails at Worlds End, traveling between them is made simple by using the ferry system.

Another idea for a New England RV road trip itinerary is to travel to Portland, Maine and the islands of Casco Bay. Skirt the New Hampshire coast north of Boston on I-95 to Portland; it’s less than two hours’ drive, but slow down the pace and savor the seafood, quaint neighborhoods and the sights along the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, NH before moving on.

Once you’ve arrived in Portland, ME, you’ll see evidence of its rich maritime history everywhere. Make your way to Portland’s waterfront for magnificent views of the Casco Bay islands from the Eastern Prom Pathway. Also take time to visit the city’s Old Port, a lively entertainment district in a charming Victorian setting.

While on the Eastern Prom, book a boat tour at Casco Bay Lines Ferry. You’ll soon discover why RV travelers treasure the unique secrets of Peaks Island, Little Diamond Island and other special spots in Casco Bay. The pleasant island communities, historical attractions like the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum and Fort McKinley and the trails and beaches waiting to be enjoyed will lure you back for more than one visit.

One more tip for getting the most out of your Portland, ME RV camping excursion — take a tour through Portland’s vintage neighborhoods and treasured attractions like the Portland Observatory Museum with the help of  Portland Landmarks

These are just two ideas for New England RV road trip itineraries. Coastal New England’s extraordinary beauty combined with the history and drama played out in these Eastern states make them a natural destination for many enjoyable RV camping excursions.

Our Guest Blogger is Joe Laing,  Marketing director for El Monte RV. El Monte RV provides nationwide rentals including rentals in the Boston area.  For more great RV vacation ideas see the blog at  Musings RV Travel

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Wooden Christmas Tree

Perfect For Year Round Use + Holiday Decorations!

FestiveTree  a small innovative design company out of New Hampshire has launched its online store featuring unique, artisan built Holiday Trees.  A hybrid of sustainability and nature, these trees  offer something that has been seriously lacking when it comes to Christmas trees: choice. Crafted from genuine quality wood, these highly original, modern designs usher in a new age of celebratory symbols.
Owner and designer Mike Sanok says that he was inspired to create the trees as a way to counter the commercialism and waste of Christmas with something simpler and more sustainable. “Some people just don’t want a live Christmas tree anymore. Either their kids are grown or they want something different and more personal.” Sanok believes that artificial trees, which are typically made in China from petroleum sub-products with lead based hazards, are even less of a desirable option for many.

Festive Tree offers a true alternative with its unique designs rooted in artistic and environmental integrity. This is a whole a new kind of holiday tree – one that is environmentally friendly, reusable, and versatile. No messy needles, no driving around to find the right tree year after year. More importantly, says Sanok, each tree is truly a piece of art that can be a family heirloom which will embody the shared memories of families year after year.  Festive Tree designs are ideal because they honor the holiday season in a way that accommodates a variety of religious and cultural traditions.

Festive Trees are between three and four feet in height and can be completely dismantled and stored after the holidays. Made of quality fine woods, three unique tree designs are offered this year: The People’s Tree; The Norwegian; and the Puzzle Tree.
Pictured here is the People’s Tree. This design stands about four feet in height and captures a sense of motion in nature. Indeed, the artful shape of the boughs resembles the wings of winter birds in flight. This stunning tree emanates a peaceful, meditative energy that will resonate throughout any home. Ideal for primary residences, city abodes, condos, lake and beach homes.


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Inn to Inn Cookie and Candy Tour

Celebrating 15th Anniversary with Trees, Treats and Treasures!

WHEN: December 10th – 11th,

TIME: 11am – 4pm

Popular Mt Washington Valley, NH Inn to Inn holiday cookie tour will offer holiday decorating ideas & trees, recipe cards, collectors ornaments, prizes plus plenty of sweet treats.

“C” is not only for Christmas but also for cookies, candy, collectors’ ornaments and cards with recipes this holiday season in Mt. Washington Valley.  When innkeepers from the Country Inns in the White Mountains wish their guests sweet dreams on the second weekend in December they can guarantee that visions of sugar plums, holiday cookies and beautifully decorated trees will dance in their heads. December 10-11, 2011 is the weekend the Country Inns in the White Mountains assure holiday revelers the ultimate in sweet dreams at the 15th Annual Inn to Inn Holiday Cookie and Candy Tour® held from 11 am to 4 pm on both Saturday and Sunday.   Participants will not only tour inns decked in all their holiday finery offering signature decorations, holiday cookies and candies, but this year they will also view beautifully decorated trees created by local businesses in honor of their favorite nonprofit organization.  With a “Let It Snow” theme, collector’s brass snowflake ornaments and recipe collections from each inn will round out the opportunities for tour goers. To celebrate the 15th anniversary of this event, a cookbook collection of recipes from all 15 years of cookie tours will be given to overnight guests taking advantage of the Cookie Tour package. Chosen by editors of New Hampshire Magazine as “The Best Sugar High”, here’s one chance to participate in the ultimate cookie walk.

Each of the twelve inns on the 15th Annual Inn to Inn Cookie & Candy Tour will feature original holiday cookies and candies, along with exquisite decorations offering tour goers the bonus of taking home holiday decorating ideas as well as scrumptious cookie and candy recipes for themselves.  The participating inns have developed original recipes for everything from sweet to savory holiday treats, with each inn featuring a new recipe for this year’s tour. Additionally, tour participants visiting all 12 properties will receive a keepsake brass snowflake ornament, intended to be the sixth in a collection of Cookie Tour ornaments to be distributed in years hereafter.  This year, local businesses will be recruited to create and sponsor decorated trees. Participating businesses will either internally create the themed trees or recruit artists or school groups to create them. Tour goers will then vote for their favorite, and the winning tree will receive $300, $200 or $100 donations for the non-profit organization to which the tree is dedicated. The tour stretches from Harts Location, to Chocorua, NH, with twelve inns opening their doors to those in search of fabulous holiday treats, recipes and decorating ideas.  No inn is more than fifteen minutes from the next, with many much closer.  Additionally, this year two businesses have joined in the tour. Enjoy samples of cookies and candy from Grammy Gordon’s Bakery and White Mountain Café.

Each participating inn will offer a Cookie Tour package.

Packages will include: Two nights accommodations, Breakfast each morning, two Cookie Tour tickets (a $54 value), Best of 15 Years Cookie Tour Cookbook, Discount voucher for Valley Originals 23 Restaurants  (Buy one entrée and the second of equal or lesser value is 50% off ), VIP pass for Settlers Green Shopping Outlets, Grand Prize  – A chance to win a grand prize valued at over $1000 of gifts and prizes donated from Country Inns in the White Mountains, Basket Creations, Applebee’s, Solar Fun 2010, Inn at Ellis River, Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce, Settlers’ Green Outlet Village,White Mountain Café and Jewelry Store. Some inns have added dinners to their packages. For a complete list of cookie tour packages: http://www.countryinnsinthewhitemountains.com/holiday_cookie_tour_packages.htm

Tour tickets are available in advance by reserving a lodging package from participating inns and this is the best way to secure a ticket for a weekend of cookie, candy and holiday tree fun. Those not wishing to reserve an overnight package may purchase tickets December 1-6, 2011 for $27 per person by calling 800-338-1356 or  603-356-2642. Tickets reserved by phone will be available for pick up at designated pick up locations.  Tickets are limited.  Any unreserved tickets will be sold for $27 per person on the day of the event at the 1785 Inn, Notchland Inn and Riverbend Inn.   Those interested in booking the Inn to Inn Holiday Cookie & Candy Tour package may make reservations at the inn of their choice.  To learn more about the tour and the inns’ lodging packages, call 800-338-1356 or  603-356-2642.

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