This Local-ish Travel & Reading List Is Day Trip Goals, So Get Your Fam & Friends Together
An End Of Summer Local-ish Reading & Travel List
Somehow, I looked up to discover that it is already August 8th and the summer is nearly over. After 10 years living abroad, my children will begin school near our home in Connecticut on the 29th.
I am looking for work and working on a host of projects. We are all suddenly feeling compelled to get out there and see and do our New England Summer before it is too late. Here's my local-ish reading and travel list for the remainder of the summer, start the car.
A classic and easy day trip, reading Thoreau's Walden at Walden Pond is a must for every New England Family. At just under an hour from Providence, pack a picnic, your copy of Walden, and the swimsuits, as taking a dip in these famous waters is completely fine. The parking lot isn't huge and it can get crowded, so phone the park before you head out to make sure you can get a spot. Over the years, I've found Walden ideal for late-afternoon excursions, especially early in the week.
The John Updike classic Witches of Eastwick is set in Rhode Island, but the 1987 film with Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Jack Nicholson was made in the adorable town of Cohasset, MA. This jewel-like berg of gorgeous ocean views and spectacular houses sits just north of Scituate on route 3A. Take a wander down Main Street to get the vibe of village life or go away from the shore and walk the trails in Whitney and Thayer Woods, part of the Wompatuck State Park. Linger over a few chapters of Updike while sipping a glass of wine at Atlantica. It's a good-quality typical New England fish restaurant, but its views of Cohasset Harbor elevate this spot to something a bit magical.
The novels Spartina and Compass Rose by John Casey are set in South County, Rhode Island. The protagonist of Compass Rose is the state natural resources officer for the Great Swamp Management Area and reading these beautiful, complex stories will send you down South for a long over due walk in this extraordinary part of the Ocean State. Don't forget a visit to the eerie and surprisingly moving Great Swamp Fight Monument just off route 2. Spartina is set at sea with lots of details of the fishing communities that dot South County. I wont wade into the debate of which fish-market is best, but take a wander around Point Judith and feel yourself in the setting of this wonderful novel.
Most of our summer visits to New England have not been complete without at least one trip to the Pequot Museum in Ledyard, CT. This comprehensive historical museum details the lives of Native peoples in the area up through the present casino developments and increased economic power of the Connecticut tribes. Without Reservation by Jeff Benedict is a gripping tale of the legal, social and cultural factors which went into the creation of this world's largest casino. You may find yourself unable to put the book down. It's not without controversy, so I'd also suggest reading Revenge of the Pequots by Kim Eisler for a bit of balance. Regardless of your opinion on this casino's development, the museum and its grounds are a wonderful way to spend a day.
I don't recommend reading and driving, but if someone in your crowd can read aloud while in motion, it's always a great way to make the miles fly on a short road trip. Have a terrific remainder of the summer!
More About Silvia
Silvia DiPippo-Aldredge is a writer and a home-schooling mother of three teenagers. A RI native, her family now divides its time between Dubai, UAE and Putnam, CT. She writes about books, the arts, and the intersection of cultures in the Middle East.