Summer is peak season for many resorts and hotels in the Northeast as the cities empty out and travelers relax on the beach, in the woods and on the golf course. Still, there are deals available at hotels and top resorts if you can travel midweek or at the last minute. And, the late summer period between Labor Day and the beginning of fall foliage in early October is a great time to find deals.
One thing to remember is that just because there’s no snow on the ground doesn’t mean there’s no fun to be had in New England. The region’s natural beauty lends itself to activities for all ages through the summer well into the autumn months.
Here are some New England activities worth booking a trip around in the next few months:
* Spend some time exploring nature as the National Park Service offers free entrance days at more than 100 national parks. Acadia National Park in Maine, the Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts and the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in New Hampshire are among the sites on the list. Enjoy their beauty free of charge on Aug. 14-15 and Sept. 25.
* Take in a free performance of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” under the stars when Connecticut Free Shakespeare presents a week of performances Aug. 4-8 at the Guilford Green. Additional shows will be performed Aug. 12 and 14-15 at the Old Saybrook Town Hall Green. Grab a blanket and get lost in the language of the Bard!
* Get the palate and the butter ready for the Maine Lobster Festival on Aug. 4-8 in Rockland’s Harbor Park. This event, now in its 63rd consecutive year, is one of the highlights of the summer in New England. Boasting tons of steamed Maine lobsters, a parade, waterfront activities, harbor cruises, kids activities and international lobster crate race, this festival has something for everyone.
* Break out those bicycles and hit over 45 miles of trails in Killington, Vermont, for adrenaline-pumping mountain biking. Killington Resort is a leading mountain biking site on the East Coast, especially for downhill riding. For beginners and experts alike, trails such as Toughy Boy, Whit’s Wiggle and Rabbit Run provide fantastic scenery and all the exercise one could want. Hit the trails through Oct. 13.
* You’ve eaten them and drank their juice, but have you seen how they’re harvested? Cape Cod’s annual Cranberry Harvest Celebration is the perfect opportunity to see how these little pieces of nature’s candy are collected and turned into delicious treats. This year, visitors can take cranberry bog tours, helicopter rides and pony rides as well as see cooking demonstrations, shop for crafts, take in music performances and play games. Travel up to Wareham, Massachusetts, for a fun and unique experience Oct. 9-10.