We left the hubbub of the Boston area and our full campground of young families, for the peace and tranquility of the Adirondacks in Upstate New York! We settled in to an RV Park in Lake Luzerne, which is in between Lake George, Saratoga Springs and Glens Falls, New York. Our new campground was virtually empty and we couldn’t get over how quiet it was! It does appear, however, that instead of us feasting on lobsta and chowda, the mosquitoes will be feasting on us 😳
Lake George is a summer resort town full of motels, campsites, mini-golf, restaurants, water sports and outlet shopping. It was once a summer getaway for the rich and famous, but is now more of a fun, family vacation town. Due to its proximity to Lake Champlain, it was considered the gateway between Montreal and New York, so Fort William Henry (1755) was built here for the war between the British and the French.
The Minne-ha-ha is an old steamship paddle-wheeler that cruises the lake.
We drove up Prospect Mountain to check out the ‘100 mile view’, but due to the inclement weather, probably only saw 50 miles or so! 😉
We then drove to Saratoga Springs, which is the Gateway to the Adirondacks, but most famous for its racecourse. Dating back to 1864, The Travers is the oldest major thoroughbred horse race in America. The racecourse doesn’t open until July, but the Harness Racing on the adjacent track was running, so we spent the afternoon at the track!
We then took a drive to Glens Falls in search of Coopers Cave, which inspired author James Fenimore Cooper to write one of his most famous and beloved novels, ‘The Last of the Mohicans’. Tourists are not allowed near the cave anymore, but it was not a wasted trip. Glens Falls is another adorable summer resort town and we did find a fabulous restaurant, Morgan and Co., for a wonderful dinner.
Leaving the State of New York to Vermont, we took the highly rated and incredibly scenic route through the Adirondacks. Well, at least we have to take everyone’s word for it . . . . the weather was dismal, the rain heavy (torrential sums it up), and the low lying cloud hampered any view we might have had. At least it was a relatively short drive, only a few hours, and we made it unscathed. 👍☔️ We’re staying at a campsite just out of Burlington on the island called South Hero, which is part of the Islands of Lake Champlain.
Vermont, famous for its ski resorts, maple syrup and autumn splendor, BUT, most importantly, the birthplace of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream🍦so of course we had to take a factory tour that included yummy samples!
We carried on to Stowe to check out the ski resort there. Stowe Valley has a pass called Smugglers Notch that goes up in to Canada and was used a lot during prohibition to smuggle alcohol down to the US!
And guess what? Do you know where the von Trapp family moved to after they fled Austria in 1938?? Yup, Stowe, Vermont! In 1942 they bought a hilltop farm in Vermont that reminded them of Austria and by 1950 they opened the Trapp Family Lodge as a winter resort for skiers, mainly cross country skiers. Of course, they also recently opened a brewery that we just had to try out – The von Trapp Brewery and Bierhall – Prost 🍻
We did a day trip to visit the Shelburne museum, that was founded by Electra Webb. When Mrs. Webb founded Shelburne Museum in 1947, it was at first a place to preserve her family’s collection of horse-drawn carriages. Before long, however, she realized that she had a rare opportunity to create what she described as a “collection of collections”.
With money not an issue (her family made their fortune in sugar and also married into the Vanderbilt’s) she searched the countryside throughout New England and New York to find historic buildings that would provide appropriate settings for her collections, and she relocated them to the Museum grounds: houses, barns, a meeting house, a one-room schoolhouse, a lighthouse, a jail, a general store, a covered bridge, and the 220-foot steamboat Ticonderoga! We watched a video showing the move of the ‘Ti” from the nearby bay up the distance to the museum. They had to move it in the winter when the ground was frozen and it took 65 days to travel the 2 miles. Well worth checking out if you’re in the area.
We then stopped at the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory. We were too late for a tour to watch them make the bears, but it was a cute place to visit.
** Sunday, June 23rd – we’ve been on the road 3 months! 😎 We’ve driven 10,500 miles / 16,900 kms and have added New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Vermont to our list of States visited.
Sunny weekends are always busy days for a bike ride, but our last day in Vermont and an old rail trail was calling. Typical for us, it was another adventure!
We rode along the trail into Burlington. It was really nice cycling along Lake Champlain.
We stopped at a fun bistro that just happened to have Bluegrass Brunch going on, so we really enjoyed our break and the music. And no stop would be complete without ice cream – or as they call it in Vermont – a creamee .🍦
Burlington is a college town with a lot of young hipsters – crap, we’re getting old!! Vegetarian, Vegan, Hemp, au natural, serious cyclists, runners, Subaru’s and ice cream!
We were only 45 minutes from the Canadian Border and 2 hours away from Montreal, which totally explained why most of the tourists were visiting from Quebec and speaking French! What did surprise us was that a few of the tourist attractions we were at spoke, or had directions, in English and French. We just weren’t expecting that in Vermont.
Vermont is beautiful and sure reminds us of BC. We’re not quite ready to return to Canada, so we carry on our journey.
We love chocolate, obviously, and enjoy many, many different brands, but, as good as they all our, our ultimate favourite is Lindt. Well, who knew that the USA factory for Lindt chocolate was in Stratham, New Hampshire??? We left with a mere 8 pounds of assorted chocolates and would have bought more if our fridge was bigger! 🤪
We continued driving on to the Portland, Maine area, which will be home for the next few days.
We took a drive along the coast to check out the Nubble Lighthouse. Cape Neddick Point is at the north end of Long Sands Beach in the village of York, and it’s at this ‘nub’ of land that the lighthouse was built in 1879.
We continued our drive to see the seaside villages of Kennebunkport and Old Orchard Beach. It was a bit rainy and not too busy, but still difficult to find parking. Can only imagine how busy it is in the summer with good weather! But, the lobster rolls were delicious!
We did a trip to Portland and then Freeport. Freeport is where the retail company L.L.Bean was founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean – yes, that’s his real name! Bean had developed a waterproof boot, which is a combination of lightweight leather uppers and rubber bottoms, that he sold to hunters and it was know as the Bean Boot, or the Maine Hunting Shoe. The stores now specialize in clothing, and outdoor recreation equipment.
The town of Freeport basically consists of hundreds of brand-name outlets and local boutiques housed in charming brick buildings, some dating back as far as the 18th century. It is also known for its fabulous cuisine. We feasted, again, on lobster and it was delicious! 🦞
There’s a really nice rail trail close to our campsite, so we had an easy ride along the Great Eastern Trail and a relaxing day enjoying the area.
We left the Portland area and relocated to the Bangor area in a town called Holden.
We spent the afternoon exploring Fort Knox! The other Fort Knox, since we never made it to Kentucky! This Fort was built on the shores of the Penobscot River and the intention was protection from the British, and later, the Confederates. It took 25 years to build (1844-1869) and was very well built, but the funny thing about this Fort, it was never used for battle and never actually housed troops!
Crossing the river is the Penobscot Narrows Bridge which replaced the old bridge in 2007. It is a 2,120 feet long, cable-stayed bridge with an observation tower at the top. We had a beautiful view of the surrounding area, 447 feet above the ground!
Another lobster feast in the town of Ellsworth at a fun restaurant called the Union River Lobster Pot. Their specialty is a lobster pot with steamed lobster, clams, potatoes and corn. Messy but really good! 👍
We took a day to explore Bar Harbor – pronounced Bah Hahbah by the locals 🤪A cute town with quaint shops and lots of restaurants featuring Lobster! 🦞We were lucky that the cruise ships weren’t in port as it wasn’t too busy and we were able to wander the streets. We found a popular restaurant called Side Street Cafe and enjoyed one more feast of Lobster Rolls!
We left Bar Harbor and took a drive through Acadia National Park and up Cadillac Mountain, which just happens to be the highest point (1530 feet) located within 25 miles of the Atlantic Shoreline, all the way from Cape Breton to Mexico! It is also the spot where the first light of the sun hits the USA, so is a very busy destination early in the morning as people flock to watch the sunrise. We didn’t. 😉
Our Eastern Adventure of the United States 🇺🇸 has come to an end. We have thoroughly enjoyed the beauty, history and culture of this part of the country and are thrilled that we were finally able to experience some of what the East Coast has to offer and places we have always wanted to see!
Our adventure continues . . . . . Canada, here we come! 🇨🇦