Trip Planning

Guide to Northeast Road Trips

Your guide to some great locations in the Northeast to visit on your next road trip.

The following article was originally published on Red Tricycle as part of a partnership with Go RVing. The original post can be found HERE.

‘Tis the season for sunshine, exploring, and making memories! To help you get the most out of your trip, we have everything you need to plan an epic family vacation. Get our guide here!

From New York

Located in Ulster County and just two hours from NYC, Woodstock is of course famous for the 1969 music festival. It maintains its peace and love vibe, while also offering nature, art and locally-produced food. The Catskill Park is a state park (free to enter) with 700,000 acres to explore on hiking trails for all skill levels. No trip to Woodstock is complete without a stroll through town's Tinker Street where you can peruse local art and pick up a tie-dye shirt or two. Enjoy art and nature together at Opus 40 Sculpture Park, then check out the Woodstock Farm Festival for food, music and crafts May through October. The popular Rip Van Winkle Campground campground in nearby Saugerties offers 160-acres of nature, along with programming and events for everyone in the family—and strong Wifi. 

Lake Taghkanic State Park is another beautiful state park, this one located in Columbia County. Lake Taghkanic State Park has everything you need for a family getaway in a natural setting. No matter what your idea of outdoor fun is, you can do it here. Hit the trails for a hike or bike ride, or rent a paddleboat, rowboat or kayak. This park also has a beach for some fun in the sun and cooling off. The good news is you don’t even have to leave; the park has sites to hook up your RV, all of which come with a picnic table and fire ring. See camping info here

Head to Lancaster County, also known as Pennsylvania Dutch Country to learn about the Amish way of life, enjoy pastoral vistas and have some family adventures. You can’t visit Lancaster without experiencing Amish Country; the kids will feel like they’ve stepped back in time. Then head to the Spooky Nook Llama & Alpaca Farm to learn about (and feed!) these fuzzy friends. For a scenic ride on an authentic steam locomotive, hop on the Strasberg Railroad. Located on 63 lush acres (and next door to a 100-acre county park, Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park is as family-friendly as its name sounds. In addition to fun events and programming, you’ll find a water park on-site, and yes, even Yogi himself makes appearances.

You’ve heard it’s “gorges”, and it is, but this bustling college town in the Finger Lakes region is also home to arts and culture. You won’t believe the natural beauty of the area’s famous gorges, waterfalls and swimming holes at Robert Treman State Park or Buttermilk Falls State Park. (Note that swimming opens the first week of July.) For fun indoors, visit the Sciencenter museum, where kids can play and learn with hands-on activities. Then check out the Ithaca Children’s Garden, near the Cayuga Waterfront Trail, where kids can climb a giant turtle, navigate a labyrinth, meet some chickens and more. Rest your head at Spruce Row, just north of Ithaca. This popular park has a pool, programming and a family atmosphere. 

Located in the northwest region of the Finger Lakes Livingston County is where you’ll find Letchworth State Park, the “Grand Canyon of the East”.(In 2017, the park was voted the best attraction in New York State by the readers of USA Today!) Explore the park on its 66 miles of trails, walk along the Genesee River and take in the incredible waterfall views. Other ways to enjoy the park include rafting, horseback riding and even taking to the skies in a hot air balloon. Treat the family to a nice dinner at the park’s historic Glen Iris Inn, founded in 1914.  The good news is that you don’t have to leave this natural splendor—hook up and sleep in the park

From Boston

This Massachusetts destination offers history, seaside and good eats. The kids’ minds will be blown when they see Plymouth Rock is a real thing, and Plimoth Plantation will show them what 17th-century colonial life was like.  Don’t miss the chance to feast on lobster in Cape Cod! Plan to stay at Boston/Cape Cod KOA Holiday. Part of the established KOA brand family, this campsite is just 15 miles from Plymouth and has a pool for cooling off. 

Enjoy surf and sand at Misquamicut State Beach, the state’s most popular beach, with over a half a mile of beachfront. Then explore the tony area of  Watch Hill (keep your eyes peeled for some celebs!). Finally, visit the historic Mystic Seaport and its tall ships and the celebrated aquarium. Ashaway RV Resort is near all of the area attractions and offers a pool, dog run, playground, activities and even a little train to hop on! 

The Granite State is made for road-tripping, with natural wonders and tourist attractions to check out. Ride the Mount Washington Cog Railway, the quirky train that’s been climbing to the “top of New England” for 152 years, then explore one of the state’s incredible wonders, Lost River Gorge. (Make sure to book a reservation in advance!) Lost River Valley Campground in the White Mountains has boat rentals, courts for sports or all kinds, modern playgrounds and updated electric throughout. 

Southern Maine offers classic New England charm, natural seaside beauty and regional attractions. Hike or bike at the Eastern Trail Alliance, a scenic 28-mile trail that connects the historic southern towns along Maine’s southern coast. Then hop in a canoe for bird watching at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center (note that you need to make a reservation). Make a pilgrimage to L.L. Bean HQ in Freeport, then hit a city and explore Portland’s charming Old Port District, where you’ll find unique shops and good local cuisine. Camp by the ocean at Bayley’s, where there’s a nautical-themed mini-golf course, a pool, kayak rentals, and even a “lobster dive” into the pool! 

A great alternative to Acadia National Park, Sebago Lake State Park offers similar natural splendor without the crowds. Hike along cool, shaded trails of the forest, or cover more ground on the park’s bike paths. Then head out of the woods to sandy beaches, where you can also do some boating. For some history, visit the 19th-century Songo Lock located in the park, which is still in operation today. Spend the night at Sebago Lake State Park, one of the state’s first five original state parks. View a map of campsites here

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Freelance Editor & Writer

Mimi is an experienced editor and writer whose work has been published in Refinery29, Thrillist, Glamour, Time Out New York, BizBash,, and books published by Random House, Simon & Schuster, Chronicle Books, Workman Publishing, Time Inc., and Zest Books. Her most important job, however, is being a mom to her kids.