Now that summer is here, most people will try to escape the heat by heading north—but for those in New England, there isn’t much more north to travel without a passport. Luckily, there are several places where New Englanders can go to cool off.
Sherwood Island State Park (Connecticut)
Located in Westport, Sherwood Island State Park is Connecticut’s first state park. Visitors are welcome to swim in the Long Island Sound (with lifeguards on duty Wednesday through Sunday) or enjoy a picnic in the shady picnic grove. Once you are through swimming, you can head back into Westport to eat or shop in the air conditioning.
Short Sands Beach (Maine)
The York region of Maine is home to a number of beaches, but one of the best is Short Sands Beach. This beach is road-trip-friendly, with large areas for metered parking and private parking lots, as well as restrooms and outdoor showers at the beach itself. During the summer, Short Sands also hosts evening concerts at the gazebo, and there are shops and food within walking distance. Plus, you always have the option to hop on the York Trolley and head over to neighboring Long Sands Beach.
Acadia National Park (Maine)
In Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park is home to two lifeguard-staffed beaches. First, there is Echo Lake Beach, which offers guests warmer-water swimming. The second, on the ocean, is called Sand Beach, and offers swimming for those who just need to cool off, as the ocean is typically 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If you get hungry, the park offers indoor dining facilities at Jordan Pond House, or you could visit one of the many establishments in one of the local communities.
Whale’s Tale Waterpark (New Hampshire)
Not everywhere in New England is near the beach, of course. Servicing the area around Lincoln, Whale’s Tale Waterpark offers a baker’s dozen water attractions including slides like The Downpour, The Plunge, and Harpoon Express. The park also offers more sedate ways to cool off like Jonah’s Escape or Willie’s Wild Waves. Hone your surfing skills at the new Yakua Beach surfing simulator or rent your own cabana. Whatever you choose to do, parking is free.
Polar Caves (New Hampshire)
If you don’t feel like getting wet, you can always escape the heat underground at Polar Caves in Rumney. These caves and crevasses were created when the glaciers retreated at the end of the last ice age, and now you can use them to escape the oppressive sun. There are nine granite caves, including one called the Ice Cave, where the “last of winter’s ice” holds on, even in the depths of summer. Visitors can also get their hands wet by “mining” for gemstones at the Baker River Mining Sluice, to show what it was like for the miners of the gold rush.
Despite the northern location, New England can get hot in the summer. So, it’s a good thing that there are so many great ways to cool off, in the water and out of it.
This article is presented by Colonial Honda of Dartmouth in N. Dartmouth, Massachusetts.