New England

The Best 5 New Things to Do in New England in 2022

Discover 2022’s most exciting new outdoor attractions, museums, and getaway properties.

By Kim Knox Beckius

May 31 2022

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Wild Acadia Camping Resort | Best 5 New Things to Do in New England in 2022

Photo Credit : Courtesy of Wild Acadia Camping Resort
If you’re heading into the summer of ’22 determined to rack up unique experiences, we’ll guide you to the best of what’s entirely new to do in New England. Be among the first to make memories at properties that offer both nostalgic and modern appeal, visit a new museum that will turn you into a virtual sailor (if not a real-life one), and play in the water in unforgettable ways, from paddling perpetual rapids to being wowed by a new water coaster.
Wild Acadia Camping Resort | Best 5 New Things to Do in New England in 2022
Photo Credit : Courtesy of Wild Acadia Camping Resort

The Best 5 New Things to Do in New England in 2022

Stay and Play at Wild Acadia Camping Resort Trenton, ME

It took a pandemic to spark the development of Maine’s first “stay here, play here” campground. Opening in mid-June, Wild Acadia Camping Resort offers 90 newly created sites including 70 with full hookups. Here’s the bonus for families: Whether you bring a tent or your RV, your summertime camping fee includes free access to Wild Acadia Fun Park, where you can whoosh down two 300-foot waterslides, fly through the surrounding woods on an 800-foot zipline, play unlimited rounds of mini golf, and conquer the climbing wall and the Forest Walk ropes course. Trampolines, water balloon catapults, and an all-new water playground with a dumping bucket keep kids squealing with excitement, too. There’s a new pool just for campers, plus a camp store and a café with healthy options from breakfast through dinner. You will want to venture beyond the resort, though: Acadia — New England’s most visited national park — is just 15 minutes down the road.
Bluebird Dennisport | Best 5 New Things to Do in New England in 2022
Photo Credit : Bluebird by Lark

Re-create the Classic Cape Cod Beach Trip Dennisport, MA

You might not own a wood-paneled station wagon, but you can treat your loved ones (pets included) to the same windows-rolled-down, bound-for-the-beach glee you experienced decades ago on trips with your parents and siblings. Bluebird by Lark, a fast-growing collection of made-over ’60s-era motor lodges, opens its Dennisport property in May, and with the ocean just a block away, its 49 rooms and 10 two-bedroom cottages will be popular with budget-minded beach lovers this summer. While nostalgia is Bluebird’s selling point, you’ll appreciate that rooms are freshly styled with contemporary practicality and comfort in mind. That means you’ll rest easy and awake refreshed, ready to partake in all of the mid-Cape’s summer rituals, from shows at the Cape Playhouse to fresh-fruit-topped scoops at Sundae School Ice Cream.
Mill City Park | Best 5 New Things to Do in New England in 2022
Photo Credit : Kathryn Mae

Paddle New England’s First Whitewater Park Franklin, NH

The nonprofit Mill City Park may be the first attraction of its kind in New England, but it was modeled after the roughly 300 whitewater parks in the country, including many that operate on Colorado’s rivers. The Winnipesaukee River drops steeply as it flows through Franklin, a former mill town, but it is a river-bottom wall, installed last fall, that now keeps the waters in the heart of downtown in a state of constant froth. Eventually, there will be a second of these “foam pile” waves for whitewater enthusiasts to paddle, plus a tall wave for surfers and boogie boarders. Park expansion plans also include development of trails and campsites on lands along the riverbank, where Mother Nature is working overtime to reclaim industrial relics. Even if you don’t need rental equipment or instruction, stop into Outdoor New England to chat with owner and park founder Marty Parichand and his knowledgeable staff. His passion for the sport is not only propelling this project, it’s turning a community around.
The Sailing Museum | Best 5 New Things to Do in New England in 2022
Photo Credit : Courtesy of The Sailing Museum

Breeze Through The Sailing Museum Newport, RI

Opening May 10 in the castle-like 1894 Armory building on Newport’s waterfront, The Sailing Museum is a fitting addition for New England’s yachting capital. Here, you’ll dive into sailing’s past and its high-tech future — one that is more accessible to all ages than you might have imagined. There are interactive exhibits devoted to wind and water, the mental and physical challenges of the sport, ocean stewardship, and more. Volunteer docents have anecdotes to share, as do celebrated members of the National Sailing Hall of Fame and America’s Cup Hall of Fame, whom you’ll meet virtually. And when a major sailing race is happening anywhere around the globe, a 96-inch video screen gives you a front-row seat.

Ride Rocket Rapids at Quassy Amusement and Waterpark Middlebury, CT

When you ride Connecticut’s first water coaster, you’ll be water-blasted up inclines, plunged through tunnels, and swirled at dizzying speed around the banked walls of bowl-shaped “FlyingSAUCER” elements. Rocket Rapids is set for a Memorial Day weekend debut at Quassy Amusement and Waterpark, and it’s a game changer for this 114-year-old family destination on the south shore of Lake Quassapaug. The single largest investment in the park’s long history, it adds state-of-the-art exhilaration to the Splash Away Bay waterpark’s collection of kiddie amusements, thrill rides, and water slides of all sizes. Whether you purchase combo tickets or waterpark-only admission, you can picnic on the beach, swim in the sparkling-clean lake, and appreciate the power of water to calm your heart rate, too.