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Monday, July 29, 2013

Roadtrips - The Best Drives in New England

Greetings, Jeep Lovers!
It's late July and we're at the height of summer here in beautiful New England. For a lot of people, that means Road TripTime! It's true that we have some crazy weather here, and winter is not easy...but we are also blessed with some of the most scenic drives in the country. Let's run through a few, so this coming weekend you can pack a basket, grab your shades, fill the tank and hit the road. Don't forget to bring some tunes and maybe even a camera, because these rides will not disappoint. Also, this is a great time to scout out locations you want to return this fall for leaf peeping!

Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire
Our first stop is the 36-mile stretch of road, nationally known as a sportsman's paradise (and let's face it, it's fun to say!). The Kancamagus Highway, also known as Rt. 112, winds through the spectacular White Mountain National Forest and is designated an American Scenic Byway. Definitely a favorite in the Fall, this drive will delight any time of the year, as long as you don't mind leaving it all behind. Take a step back in time to see unspoiled forests, falls, mountains and gorges, all relatively close to civilization. There's lodging, camping and nature activities galore, but even if you never leave the driver's seat, you won't be disappointed. Put this one on your list, for sure. Check directions from where you're coming from; for those of us leaving the dealership, you'll need to get on Rt. 2 East and find your way to Interstate 93N, keeping an eye open for Exit 32, NH112. Enjoy!

Route 6, Massachusetts
A number of our Jeep Lovers are also Beach Lovers, and if you count yourself among them, don't miss the opportunity to ride this 112 mile stretch of road, that meanders through Cape Cod. The National Seashore is ripe with panoramic views, quaint towns and tons of beaches.  Unlike the Kancamagus, this ride is a summer favorite, so be prepared to share the road. However, should you brave the pavement in the height of summer, you'll soon discover why so many people have joined you in your quest. There is something for everyone on Cape Cod. Activities, concerts, fine dining, antiquing, museums and don't forget miles of tidal pools, marshes and sand dunes. A complimentary digital download of the Cape Cod Travel Guide is available at www.capecodchamber.org (no affiliation). After perusing the pages, I'm willing to bet you'll fill up the Jeep and hit the road ASAP. Locals know, a fast-paced trip down I 495 S will pop you right into the mouth of Rt. 6. The rest is summer fun.

Route 100, Vermont
We've given you some great options for North and East. If you don't mind heading West for a bit, you'll be happy to discover Route 100 in Vermont. Another Fall favorite, you can get some great road trip miles under your belt by hitting this one up now. Clocking in at 138 miles of Green Mountain beauty, Route 100 rides all through the state, with old-growth vistas and some of that Yankee heritage we're so ripe with up here. If you're really adventurous, you can take this road all the way to Quebec, but that's beyond the scope of this post. Check out a number of stops on the National Register of Historic Places (including an authentic 19th century village - Weston, VT), see the rushing White and Black Rivers, and keep your notepad handy for places you want to book a ski trip this winter. Route 2 West (AKA the Mohawk Trail - another fine drive) to 112N to 100 (North or South, this is a long road) will get you there. Don't forget to sample some Maple syrups!

Ocean Drive, Newport, RI
Heading South? What this 10-mile stretch of road lacks in distance, it makes up for in opulence. Newport, RI, known as the playground of the rich and famous at the turn of the century, makes for a great daytrip. See how the industry barons lived by touring some of the mansions, relax and grab lunch, but don't forget Ocean Drive! This little loop is a great way to cap off an afternoon, providing some amazing views of the Atlantic and giving you time to ponder how you'll make your millions. A GPS will be helpful here, but to ease confusion, take I 495 S most of the way down. Those willing to do a bit of looking can find a number of ways to get there, however (Hint; I 395 S and MA 146 S will do the trick as well).

Ok, that's enough to get you started. We've covered the main points of the compass and checked out some neighboring states, as well as a few here at home. Use this as a launching pad. There's so many great drives in New England, we couldn't possibly cover them all here. So invest in a full tank of gas and see where your Jeep will bring you. You can't go wrong with a fresh batch of memories and a better understanding of the opportunities to delight your senses, right here in New England. Let us know what you think, or if I missed a favorite of yours, and until next time, stay safe out there!
- J.M. for Lahti's