2020 has been a bumpy ride for travel lovers.
But as restaurants, hotels and public parks start reopening with social distancing guidelines in place, a road trip could be a welcome escape for many eager to get outside safely in time for Memorial Day weekend.
Here are some of the best routes to follow in the North East.
New York’s Catskills
Put your worries in cruise control while driving up New York’s scenic Route 30 to the Catskills. Bring your own canoes and kayaks and marvel at the 16-mile-long Pepacton Reservoir at the southern tip of Catskill Park. Refuel with a trip to the Phoenicia Diner for pancakes, a landmark favorite known for its seasonal ingredients used in classic diner food.
If you're inclined to stay awhile, a number of lodges and hotels have started to reopen in the coming weeks. Scribners, a mountain lodge in the heart of the Catskills, located in the town of Hunter, is welcoming back guests beginning June 5.
These roads lead to fresh seafood. Set your GPS to Gloucester, Massachusetts’ oldest seaport in the U.S., and follow Route 127A to Route 127 along the coast just north of Boston. You’ll then head inland toward Essex on Route 133 on the way to Newburyport on Route 1. On the way, enjoy scenic views of Gloucester’s Good Harbor Beach, one of the most picturesque in New England and known for its fishing village Rockport.
Work up an appetite for fried clams at Woodman’s of Essex or belly up to a lobster roll at Bob Lobster in Newburyport off the Plum Island Turnpike. Other highlights along the way include The Clam Box in Ipswich, 30 miles north of Boston, known for its namesake clams, oysters, scallops and shrimp.
This 63 mile-long hiking trail opened in 1914 with 50,000 sprawling acres of forest between the Hudson and Connecticut River valleys in Western Massachusetts. For a view of the mountainous terrain, start in Williamstown in the northwestern corner of the Berkshires. Route 2 East in the Northern Berkshires passes through the center of North Adams where drivers can marvel at Victorian homes.
New Jersey beaches are open for Memorial Day. The garden state’s beloved beaches such as Point Pleasant Beach, Seaside Heights and Ashbury Park will start allowing people back onto the sand in phased reopenings. Activities on the beach will be limited to walking, jogging, surfing and fishing.