Route: Newport, RI to New Bedford to Hyannis Port to Plymouth Plantation. Duration 4 Days. Time of Year: Spring Summer (May).
“Sometimes in life, fear is the only obstacle”
@aubreymarcus said this on a podcast I was listening to on this road trip and it really spoke to me. I was suuuuuper nervous to do this semi-ambitious road trip with 3 small kiddos (ages 7,4 and 2) by myself. I mean, it really intimidated me big time. I decided to go for it though, for a plethora of reasons, and it was really good for me/us all. First, it was incredible. Second, I really felt like I had accomplished something and conquered a fear, which is really something!
Anyhoo- here are the down and dirty road trip deets, with some <hopefully> helpful tips! I may be biased, but I think it’s worth doing. I’m sure I missed a ton, but there’s always a next time ❤️. Here’s what we did.
Day 1: drove 3.5 hrs in the afternoon to get to Newport RI from West Point NY. I tuckered the kids out in the morning by having them play outside, go to the park etc. so they slept a good portion of the drive, which was really nice! No potty breaks and we arrived in Newport around 4, which gave us enough time to do the Cliff Walk on day 1 🤗. I recommend starting on the North End and parking by the beach. There’s more parking and it’s free if you can park at the beach. Some parts of this hike are a little dangerous for littles, but it’s easy to keep a watchful eye. Additionally much of the path is railed off so it’s easy to keep them on the path, which isn’t dangerous at all. My guys are just little daredevils, so they did things like this:
But also safe things like this!
This is probably still one of my most favorite family hikes/pathways of all time. The path is paved, which makes for easy walking and is literally on the edge of a cliff, right alongside the ocean. There’s just something about that ocean air that puts you in good spirits. I felt safe enough to let the kids run, jump and frolic along the path and even let them do some exploring on a few of the cliffs.
There are also GORGEOUS Vanderbuilt era mansions lining this cliff walk that are just magnificent to observe. I believe you can go inside some of them, but there was no way I was doing that with my “just spent 4 hours riding in a car rambunctious crew”- ya feel me? Maybe next time!
Day 2 we checked out downtown Newport for a bit, did some thrifting and then drove 1hr to New Bedford to see the Whaling Museum, which was fun. There were really awesome whaling ship replicas, full size whale skeletons, an incredible kids play area and tons of History/Moby Dick type stuff. You can really geek out big time here. I will warn you though, parking is TIGHT. Make sure you’re ON your parallel parking game!
Anyhoo, the museum really got us in the right mood for Hyannis Port, where the highlight of the trip awaited: A Whale Watching Cruise. Little did we know just how incredible that was going to be.
But I digress… let’s get to Hyannis first! We left New Bedford around 4pm and drove about 1.5hrs to Hyannis where we spent the night at The Best Western Cape Cod Hotel. Nothing too fancy, but it had a Continental Breakfast and a pool… my two main search criteria, lol.
This my friends. This cruise was life. It was scheduled to take 3 hours, but took a 5.5 hours because there were so many endangered Seywhales that they had to slow down so as not to disturb them. It was long, but full of whale sightings and well worth it. We took our shameless Natgeo #whaleselfies. Picked up some Chik Fil A afterwards, like good Americans and headed to Plymouth Rock right away. I won’t lie, I was pretty tired, but it was only about 90 minutes away so we decided to go for it!
Day 4 we decided to visit the Plimoth Plantation Living Museum in the morning, which was perfect. Short enough to do in the morning and still leave time to get back home at a decent hour. It was also an outside activity, which is a huge plus, because it tuckers the kiddos out and gives them some fresh air before they spend hours sitting in a car. The kids really loved this Museum and were fascinated by the stories of the “settlers” and absolutely loved playing house in these Early settler Home replicas. Drove 4 hours home afterwards and every.single.kid fell asleep!
We stayed at @holidayinnexpress on Newport and @bestwestern on Hyannis. Nothing fancy, but these were our speed. Awesome little continental breakfasts complete with eggs, pancakes etc. All the hotels had pools, which we went to pretty much every morning (where I got a little yoga in) and night!