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Recommended Tent Camping Sites for 2011 - MA
Massachusetts Tent Camping Trip
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Once, US-6 was the nation’s longest continuous stretch of road. The highway even managed to survive the onslaught of construction as highways changed, were cut up, or turned into interstates. Known as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, today US-6 is still the second longest highway in America as it travels more than 3,500 miles from California to the tip of Cape Cod. US-6 makes a brief but memorable pass through Massachusetts as it heads through the region south of Boston to Provincetown on the Cape’s tip.
Your Massachusetts tent camping tour begins in the ethnically diverse town of New Bedford, located along the waters of Buzzard’s Bay. Get started by introducing yourself to the Massachusetts whaling industry at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, which boasts the world’s largest ship model. The museum houses hundreds of historical artifacts and unique works of art that provide a glimpse into this adventurous and dangerous industry. Not ready to get back into the rig yet? Take a stroll along the water by visiting one of several docks that feature attractions for the entire family. To get ready, stop by the Waterfront Visitors Center on Fisherman’s Pier. Next, visit Tonnessen Park and then amble over to State Pier to tour a retired Coast Guard ship. A New Bedford landmark for you consider seeing is the Milk Bottle Ice Cream Parlor. Be on the lookout for the giant milk bottle, certainly one of the oddest buildings you’ll come across on the road. This building is so famous it was once featured on a PBS documentary about roadside oddities.
Consider a trip to the venerable leisure hub of Martha’s Vineyard, a favorite for vacationers and day-trippers alike. Ferries regularly leave from New Bedford. Cars can be rented on the island, but you might choose instead to “go native” and explore the island by renting a bicycle from one of the many rental shops in sight as soon as you get off the ferry.
Heading east you’ll soon find yourself in the nostalgic wonderland known as Cape Cod. Let your foot off the gas here and slow down to enjoy the sights and wonders around ever corner. Start in the town of Sandwich, with a visit to the Thornton W. Burgess Museum and Nature Center. Once home to the author most famous for his “Peter Rabbit and Briar Patch” stories, the museum and gardens are a magical part of Cape Cod serenity where it seems children’s stories actually do live. Revisit more childhood nostalgia at the Yesteryears Doll Museum, which boasts dozens of historic and unusual dolls collected from around the world. Cape Cod Campresort & Cabins is one of the Massachusetts tent campgrounds to check out in this area.
Keep trekking east along US-6 and you’ll reach the furthest part of Cape Cod. At Eastham be sure to visit an authentic 1869 school house. This one-room site is evidence of what life was like on Cape Cod during the late 19th century. Also here are historic artifacts from the whaling, fishing, and farming industries that were so critical to the growth of Cape Cod. While in town, seek out the 1783 Grist Mill, the oldest windmill on the Cape. Nature lovers will relish this part of the world that features the Cape Cod National Seashore. More than 27,000 acres of marshland, woodland and, of course, plenty of pristine beaches, call out for your lengthy exploration.
Much the same can be found at Wellfleet, a charming seaside town. But really, aren’t they all charming around here? More outdoor appreciation can be had at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and its more than 1,000 acres of salt marshes and woodlands.
Your final stop along US-6 will be at the very northern tip of Cape Cod in the village of Provincetown, or “P-Town” as the locals call it. Get aboard a local cruiser and enjoy a whale watching tour, a favorite pastime for visitors to this region. A one-of-a-kind Cape Cod experience can be enjoyed at the Expedition “Whydah” Sea Lab and Learning Center. Here, learn about the Whydah, an actual pirate ship that sank off the Cape Cod coast, its priceless cargo lost. Today, the recovery of the ship’s cargo is designated a National Geographic Society Special Event, which has turned the archaeological search into an interactive museum – the only one of its kind. Afterwards, an appropriate place to end your US-6 journey has to be the place where it all began…almost. In 1620 the Pilgrims landed in Cape Cod, much to their dismay. Eventually, they pressed onward and sailed across Massachusetts Bay until they reached Plymouth. But Provincetown is very proud of this footnote in American history. More about the Pilgrims brief stay in P-Town can be explored at the impressive Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. There are a couple Massachusetts tent campgrounds to check out in this area.
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