Back in early March—in anticipation of spring break for kids and families—we blogged about how to staycation like a pro. We hope you picked up some good tips for your own upcoming staycations, whenever they may be!
Why are we bringing this up now? Well, that blog had a quick little paragraph about going on day trips. We were thinking—that really deserves its own blog!
There’s such a rich variety of history, amusements, and fun activities within easy range of a car or train ride. If you’ve got some time off coming, or just want to do something a little different with your Saturday, why not try one of these awesome ideas?
Explore a Historic New England Town
The Connecticut shore of Long Island Sound is dotted with dozens of quaint, remarkable small towns brimming with historic architecture, small shops and museums, and great restaurants. Maybe you already live in one! Aside from our home base in Milford, our shortlist probably includes Mystic (a historic shipbuilding village), Madison (great beaches!), and Old Saybrook (dozens of colonial-era homes and scenic views).
If you love old colonial homes but also wouldn’t mind touring a Gilded Age mansion or three, there’s also Newport, Rhode Island. At about two hours away, it’s on the edge of what might be considered day-trip-able, but definitely worth it if you’re a history buff (or just looking to do a little exploring).
Go to an Amusement Park
Residents of the New Haven area are lucky—we have not one, but TWO awesome amusement parks within a 90-minute drive.
If you’re an aggressive thrill seeker, you’ll probably want to make the slightly longer trek out to Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts. The star attraction, of course, is Superman the Ride (formerly known as Bizarro), a 77 mile-per-hour out-and-back twister that many consider the best roller coaster on the entire planet earth. But there are 11 other coasters to try, too, plus a good selection of thrill rides, kids’ rides, and shows.
On the other hand, if you’ve got the little ones along—or you’re only looking to spend half a day—you might choose Lake Compounce in Bristol instead. The oldest continuously operating amusement park in America (opened in 1846), it’s still one of the best traditional park experiences anywhere. You might not get Superman, but Boulder Dash—arguably the best wood-tracked roller coaster on planet earth—is hardly a compromise for thrill seekers. (We also recommend Wildcat, which is still fun even after more than 90 years of service.) Plus, the park is closer to home, awesome for kids, and you can usually see and do pretty much everything in a 3- to 4-hour visit.
Go for a Hike
There’s really nothing like spending a day out on the trail. Fresh air, warm sunlight, a picnic overlooking a ridge … you get the idea. Going for a long walk or hike is excellent exercise, perfect for those suffering from diabetes or neuropathy. And if you’re getting sick of your regular route, a great mountain trail—Sleeping Giant, West Rock, or Mount Higby, to name three—is only a few miles away. We recently blogged about five great hiking trails within striking distance of New Haven—check it out if you’re interested!
If you really want to commune with nature, we can’t recommend Block Island, Rhode Island highly enough. Ferry service leaves from Point Judith, RI and takes just less than an hour (or half an hour if you use the high-speed service. Named by the Nature Conservancy as one the “Last 12 Great Places” in the entire Western Hemisphere, the 10 square mile island boasts a small town center, 17 miles of beaches, two historic lighthouses, and some of the best hiking, cycling, and fishing anywhere.
Spend a Day in the Big Apple
Two hours on a train is all you need to get to the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the world’s largest commercial district and center of historic and cultural landmarks.
Do you like art? Great news! You’ve got options. You’ve got the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met), which pretty much exceeds the scope of “day trip” all on its own. (There are over 2 million works in the permanent collection.) But you’ve also got the Guggenheim and the MoMA. We also love the Frick Collection, which is small enough to breeze through in an hour but is absolutely packed with extraordinary masterworks.
Of course, that’s only a small sliver of what’s available. Take in the sights from the top of 30 Rock. Check out a big Broadway show—or an experimental play at a downtown theatre. Enjoy some improv with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Visit Lady Liberty herself. Eat some sushi off a conveyor belt. Whatever you like to do, you can probably do it here.
Like the big city, but maybe not that big? Hartford, Boston, Providence, and arguably even Philadelphia are also feasible day trips.
What Do You Like to Do?
No doubt we’ve just scratched the surface. There’s so much more out there. The Connecticut Wine Trail! The Mark Twain House in Hartford! Two Roads Brewing! Whatever you love to do, we can almost guarantee there’s someplace great nearby to explore.
Of course, if your feet hurt, your will to explore might be a lot lower than usual.
(Ooh … nice segue!)If foot pain is beginning to narrow your lifestyle and keep you from the active lifestyle you love, give us a call today. Dr. Sanjay Patel will be happy to help you get back on your feet. You can schedule at offices in Milford or Hamden by calling (203) 876-7736.