Happy New Year everyone! 2020 was quite the strange and difficult year for just about everyone. It was also the year of domestic travel, socially distanced adventures, and exploring more locally. All of my international trips and plans, which included Japan, Colombia, and Canada were cancelled, due to the pandemic. While it’s been disappointing to say the least, it allowed for a unique opportunity to explore places nearby that I never found the time to before! Here are some of my favorite adventures of 2020, in no particular order:
10. Kayaking and Beach Adventures Near Home (Seacoast, New Hampshire)
Kayaking has become one of my favorite activities during the spring and summer months. This year, it became my saving grace after being in quarantine for most of the year. I am fortunate enough to have a river in my backyard, in which I explored quite frequently this year.
9. Road Trip Pit Stops in Rhode Island (Providence and Newport, Rhode Island)
I’ve lived in New England my entire life and have somehow never managed to drive 2 hours to the tiny New England state of Rhode Island until now! I immediately fell in love with Newport’s coastal beaches and cliff walk.
8. Touring the Lizzie Borden’s Home and B&B (Fall River, Massachusetts)
I love visiting historical and spooky places. The B&B is the actual home of the Borden family. We toured during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the B&B was only open for tours at the time (you can otherwise stay in one of the rooms overnight!). The B&B Museum is the original house where the 1892 brutal, double murders had taken place, where Andrew and Abby Borden were found on that ghastly August 4th morning in Fall River, Massachusetts. To this day, it is unknown whether Lizzie truly committed this heinous crime and what the motives were for taking both Andrew and Abby’s lives. I personally found the tour rather interesting and a little bit spooky!
7. Learning to paddleboard at home! (New Hampshire)
I’ve been wanting to try paddle boarding for years and I’m so happy I finally did this year! We rented our boards for a few hours from The Wandering Paddler who delivered them right to our location of interest! Paddle boarding is a great way to test your balance and core muscles, as well as enjoy the water from a different perspective.
6. Hiking Along Maine’s Coast (Camden, Maine)
Nothing beats having both the mountains and the sea! Camden, Maine includes hiking trails for all hiking levels. For those who’d prefer not to hike, visitors have the option to drive to the top for some amazing views at Camden Hills State Park. After spending more time indoors this year, it was quite therapeutic to climb these trails.
5. Visiting the Annual Sand Sculptures (Hampton Beach, NH)
An annual tradition in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, 200 tons of imported sand is dumped on the beach (usually during the end of August) and sculptures work their magic! The sculptures usually last about 2 weeks and are illuminated at night.
4. Exploring Fort Knox (Bucksport, Maine)
The Fort Knox Historic Site features one of the best-preserved examples of coastal defense fortifications constructed in the mid-1800s. It is America’s first fort named after Major General Henry Knox. The fort garrisoned its first troops from 1863 to 1866. These troops were mostly volunteers undergoing training before being sent to their active posts, and included members of the celebrated 20th Maine. Troops were also briefly stationed at the fort during the Spanish-American war in 1898, but never saw military action. This historical site is open from May to October for a small entrance fee and is well worth it for history buffs.
3. Acadia National Park (Bar Harbor, Maine)
I was so happy to visit my first US National Park this year! Acadia is the only national park in the northeast and it definitely does not disappoint. The best way to see and experience Acadia National Park is to drive the 27 mile Scenic Park Loop Route. Some of my favorite sites I enjoyed were Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and the summit views off Cadillac Mountain.
2. Whale Watching (Gloucester, Massachusetts)
This trip had been so nostalgic for me. As an avid animal lover, I had not been on a whale watch since I was 10 and I’m so happy I went on another excursion 20 years later! We chose 7 Seas Whale Watch in Gloucester, Massachusetts, which were absolutely phenomenal. We were fortunate enough to see an abundance of wildlife, including mother and baby humpback whales sleeping and dolphins playfully swimming along the bow!
1.Exploring the New Hampshire Seacoast with our new pup and road trip buddy! (Seacoast, New Hampshire)
In October, we adopted our first pup from our local animal shelter, a beagle mix named Sophie! She is the sweetest thing and has brought so much joy in our lives, especially during these difficult times. We can’t wait to have her join us on future road trips (we’re hoping to visit the Adirondacks on Memorial Day weekend, contingent on COVID).