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Local vacation spots offer low-cost alternatives

Staff Columnist

Published: Monday, June 14, 2010

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 16:08

The summer is finally here and to many it may seem that planning an out-of-state vacation is not feasible, given the current economic situation in the U.S. But you'll be bored to death at home. There are many places to vacation locally without placing extra strain on your wallet. 

There are many cheap options in New England that go further than a day at Six Flags.  For those who like to fish, there area number of sites in Connecticut perfect for trout and bass fishing in the summer months.  Looking for a larger catch? Go deep- sea fishing; there are several companies in towns on the shore, like New London, that thrive on people chartering their boats for fishing expeditions, where you can catch anything from a 10 pound cod to a 66 pound striper.  The best part about these deep-sea fishing trips is that the crew of the boat will fillet the fresh catch so that you can enjoy it at home.  If you want to go out on a boat but not fish, there are companies that will take groups out whale watching in the northern waters off of Maine and New Hampshire. 

If you don't feel like you have sea-legs, but are still looking for a fun day by the water, head to the beach.  In New England, there are several wonderful beaches that are open to the public for free or a small fee. Among these are Sound View Beach in Old Lyme, Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly, R.I., Narragansett, R.I., and Hampton Beach in N.H.  New England also has some of the most popular beaches in the United States. People travel from all over the country to visit Cape Cod and the little islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. 

You can even take hikes along the Appalachian Trail, which extends through every state in New England and is quite beautiful during the summer, with remarkable views and foliage.

New England is also home to many historical locations, from big cities like Boston, to small towns like Wethersfield, Conn., and Sturbridge Village. Wethersfield, the first settled town in Connecticut, holds the Webb-Dean-Steven's museum, based in the houses of Joseph Webb, a important merchant whose land was briefly used as a headquarters' for General Washington when his troops passed through Connecticut, Silas Deane, a Connecticut politician who served as a delegate to the Continental Congress, revolutionary America's first diplomat to France, and Isaac Stevens, a wealthy Wethersfield merchant from the early 19th century. 

In Hartford, there are the Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe house museums, which showcase the lives of two of America's most influential writers of the 19th century. Their houses are arranged as closely as they can be to the period when they lived.  For those of you who are into more modern history, check out the U.S.S. Nautilus and the Submarine Force Museum in Groton, or Battleship Cove in Massachusetts, home of several WWII and Cold War Naval ships from both the United States and Soviet Russia, or the New England Air Museum at Bradley International Airport.

If you just look a little closer to home you can find that there are some pretty exciting places in New England for everyone, from the avid fisherman or hiker and everyone in between.  Even in Connecticut, which has been described to me as boring, has plenty of activities to explore and learn about.

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