Friday, September 4, 2009

Labor Day Weekend New England Travel Suggestions

Article and photo of York's Wild Kingdom Zoo and Fun Park, York Beach, Maine, by Eric H.

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Labor Day Weekend sure did arrive in a hurry this summer, didn't it? With the 2009 summer traveling by at seemingly the speed of light, we now reside at a transitional time of the season where school starts for many, the leaves are about to change, and the chance for snow is potentially closer to us in days than this past Memorial Day Weekend.

It is still summer, however, and the days still feel that way with its bright sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. Summer activities in New England remain open in full glory over the Labor Day Weekend and, here, we have five travel recommendations we think you'll like:

A. York's Wild Kingdom Zoo and Fun Park, York Beach, Maine - The surprisingly large zoo part of York's Wild Kingdom Zoo and Fun Park ranks amongst the best in New England, and the rides provide a more than acceptable mix of traditional amusements. The Zoo's lions, tigers and bears share residence with unusual animals like the two toed sloth, Patagonian Cavy, Capybaras, African Crested Porcupine and Patas Monkey -- as well as a "top-flight" aviary with a great variety of birds. Amusements feature all the "bells and whistles," like the merry-go-round, 90 ft. slide, Ferris wheel, bumper cars and boats, a haunted house, miniature golf, batting cages, boat rides, and arcade games. What a fun way to spend an entire morning, afternoon or full day, depending upon your ambitions and energy level! York's Wild Kingdom Zoo and Fun Park, Route 1, York Beach, Maine. Tel.: 207-363-4911

B Hopkinton State Fair, Concotook, N.H. - A Labor Day Weekend tradition in New Hampshire, the Hopkinton State Fair takes place from Sept. 3-7 and will be filled with agricultural, motocross, demolition derby, musical and magical events as well as a midway with plenty of rides. Now in its 94th year, the fair continues to be of local legendary status in the Granite State.

C. Craigville Beach, Centerville, Mass. - Cape Cod features many of New England's finest beaches, but for some reason we regard Craigville Beach as one of the best. Perhaps it's the relatively quiet, family-friendly atmosphere with not too many show-offs, or maybe the great stretch of soft sand that seems quintessentially Cape Cod. It could be the warm waters, or the easy access to the bustling travel destination of Hyannis where there's so much to do. Then, again, it could be the location -- somewhat isolated, making Craigville Beach seem like your own discovery (although the crowds might suggest otherwise). Additionally, lifeguards patrol the area and restrooms and showers are available, thus making Craigville Beach safe and convenient, too. All in all, Craigville Beach is the kind of beach you'd want to visit in Cape Cod -- and that's saying a lot given all the public beach competition in this famed vacation region. Craigville Beach, Craigville Beach Rd., Centerville, MA. Tel. 508-790-6345.

D. Old Orchard Beach, Maine - After all these years, Old Orchard Beach continues to bring in the summer crowds with its unusually long stretch of Maine beach, boardwalk, and the Pier area extending 500 feet over the Atlantic Ocean (featuring shops, fast food and fun and games). Around town, you will find all the miniature golf, games, amusements, and rides, fried dough, pizza, cotton candy, hot dogs, ice cream and souvenirs you could ever want. This is a trip back in time that remains timeless.

E. Canobie Lake Park - What was once a run-of-the-mill but fun amusement park is now a major "destination" with more than 85 rides, games, live entertainment and attractions. One of the more popular attractions is Castaway Island, a large water play complex with water cannons, nine water slides, waterfalls, and myriad other ways of getting wet on a hot summer's day (weather permitting). This Labor Day Weekend, fireworks will take place on Saturday night at 9:30 p.m.! Canobie Lake Park · Canobie Lake Prk, 85 N. Policy Street,Salem, NH. Tel. (603) 893-3506

Do you have a favorite New England Labor Day Weekend travel activity? Please feel free to post here -- we'd love to hear from you!

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