Discover Colonial America on One Tank in Massachusetts

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October 14, 2009

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is one of the most populated states in all of New England. This state bulges at the seams with American history, but is equally full of artistic and musical attractions. There’s also a vast array of natural wonders to be enjoyed by even the most timid of outdoor adventurers. This One Tank RV Trip from Woodall’s will show you that a trek through the Bay State will be a vacation to remember.

MA-route-mapSalisbury Beach
Salisbury Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the state and it’s not difficult to see why. Resting at the north end of the Massachusetts coast, this quiet community is a haven for those seeking a restful escape. One can walk along four miles of pristine beach, or explore the nearby bird sanctuaries and watch the seals that frolic off the coast. If you enjoy being on the water, the Merrimack River is an ideal place to take a sailboat or maybe try your hand at landing a few fish. A trip to Salisbury Plains will be well worth it, as local farmers maintain fruit and vegetable stands that offer the best of the recent harvests.

The fishing community of Gloucester is another popular lure to visitors – no pun intended – and lies south of Salisbury Plains. Head west on SR-1 for 5 miles, then merge with the southbound MA-1A for another 5 miles after which you’ll take the eastbound MA-133 for 8 miles into town. Gloucester is known as America’s Oldest Seaport, and its coastal waters have long provided some of the best seafood in the region. Whale watching is a popular past-time here, and there’s no shortage of seafaring shuttles to take you to the best viewing spots. The north part of town is also host to the Hammond Castle Museum, which has an impressive collection of European art. The entire area is incredibly scenic, making the drive itself a pleasant experience. There are plenty of trails for hiking and biking, and the local waters are fine places to go swimming or boating in all but the late fall and winter months.

Continuing on, venture west on the 128 for 12 miles, then merge with the southbound Highway 35 for 6 miles, which takes you through some picturesque territory until you arrive in Salem. You’ll remember this town as the infamous site of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. While it’s true there are many interesting sites associated with these events, such as the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, this historic town has much more to offer visitors. Salem Willows is a park that runs alongside a waterfront promenade and features an array of white willow trees that are more than two centuries old. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the quiet calm as you look out across the waters off Salem Sound. The historic districts of Washington Square, Derby Street, and Lafayette Street provide a look at some incredibly well-preserved and restored homes from days gone by. Salem’s own tall ship, Friendship, is a reconstruction of a 170-ft. three-master and is docked at Derby Wharf. Tours are available and the Friendship frequently sails off the coast of Essex County. There’s nothing like being on the deck of one of these magnificent vessels as they cruise the waters under full sail.

From Salem travel east on Highway 114 for 3 miles, then merge with the eastbound 128 and follow it for 18 miles. Take the offramp for the southbound CR-4 and take it for 2 miles into the city limits of Lexington. This birthplace of the American Revolution is jam-packed with monuments and historical sites. Visit the Lexington Battle Green, where the first shots were fired, then venture over to the Buckman and Monroe Taverns, which served as headquarters and field hospitals for the Minutemen. The National Heritage Museum is worth a look for its displays, exhibits and extensive library of Revolutionary War material. You may need a few days in Lexington to fully immerse yourself in our nation’s struggle for independence.

Just as the first settlers were drawn to the shores of Massachusetts, you may find yourself visiting the Bay State over and over again. With such a rich and diverse collection of activities, natural wonders and historical sites, you’ll never run out of things to do!

Where to Stay: The Beach Rose RV Park in Salisbury Beach has 50 full-hookup RV campsites offering 20/30/50 amp service. The Cape Ann Campsite in Gloucester is a pet-friendly RV park with spacious RV campsites (some full-hookup sites available). If you find yourself heading down to Cape Cod after this One Tank Trip, the Cape Cod Campresort & Cabins is a nice place to park the RV.

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