revolutionary road trip

2018-10-8 | Chevy New Roads Magazine

Revolutionary Road

Join us on a historical Revolutionary War road trip from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania in the well-appointed comfort of a Chevrolet Equinox.

As I traverse the bucolic backcountry roads of upstate New York, it’s difficult to fathom that an important battle, one they called the turning point of the American Revolutionary War, was ever fought in these picturesque hills. I’m outside Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in the middle of a three-day road trip that began in Boston, where the embers of American independence first started to burn, and will end in Philadelphia, where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written, establishing this new democratic society, the United States of America.

 

Yet it is the significant Revolutionary War sites—Concord, Saratoga, and Valley Forge—that I am most looking forward to exploring. Once bloody battlefields and winter retreats, they’re now a tranquil blend of rolling hills, stone bridges, sinuous rivers, and green fields, perfectly suited for a long, historically rich drive.

The Details Matter

2.0L

4-CYLINDER TURBO ENGINE AVAILABLE

252

HORSEPOWER

260 LB.-FT 

OF TORQUE

An animated map showing the route from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania.

Day One

Boston to Concord | 19 Miles

Most history buffs start their tour of Boston on the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail that snakes its way to 16 locales that played a pivotal role in securing America’s independence. But I choose an unconventional route, starting my journey with a visit to the Art of the Americas Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts to see the faces of our Founding Fathers. In the galleries on early American paintings, I find Gilbert Stuart’s well-known portrait of a debonair George Washington (The Athenaeum Portrait), 1796, near another large-scale work of Washington crossing the Delaware River. And close by, John Singleton Copley’s acclaimed painting of Paul Revere, 1768, holding a silver teapot.

 

Satisfied that I’ve connected with them, I make my second stop the Freedom Trail. I follow the distinctive red brick line into some of Boston’s most cherished neighborhoods—Beacon Hill’s century-old brownstones and village squares, the North End’s winding streets, and Charlestown, once the site of the Battle of Bunker Hill and now home to America’s most celebrated ship, the USS Constitution. Two of the most important sites of the American Revolution are the Old South Meeting House and the Old State House. On December 16, 1773, some 5,000 citizens came to Old South, spilling out into the streets to protest the Tea Act. When the British refused for the final time to take their tea back home, Samuel Adams rose and said, “Gentlemen, this meeting can do nothing more to save the country.” Thus, the start of the Boston Tea Party. The first bloodshed of the Revolution took place just outside the Old State House. Known as the Boston Massacre, five colonists were killed when a squad of British officers fired into a jeering mob.

 

Next, it’s on to Paul Revere’s house, the oldest standing structure in Boston, and then to the Old North Church, where Robert Newman and Revere’s friend John Pulling were instructed to hang lanterns from the steeple windows to tip off how the British redcoats were arriving: “One, if by land, and two, if by sea.” By sea was the chosen route and, once alerted, Revere quickly paddled across the Charles River, mounted a horse, and raced west. The night was April 18, 1775, and it would lead to the official start of the Revolutionary War.   

Boston to Saratoga Springs

Highlights from this leg of the trip include the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Freedom Trail, the Mohawk Trail, and Saratoga National Historical Park.

I head out in my Chevrolet Equinox following Revere’s route west along Routes 2 and 2A to reach Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord. Where Revere had, literally, a horsepower of 1, the Equinox’s available 2.0-liter turbocharged engine delivers 252 horsepower, which cuts some effort from the journey. I continue along Route 2A into Concord, where charming Colonial-era homes front a village green, to see where Revere was captured by the British (they took his horse but, surprisingly, let him go).

 

My final stop is the historic North Bridge, where local minutemen confronted the large British regimen and ended up killing the first British soldiers in “the shot heard round the world.” Today, the bridge overlooks the Concord River and sprawling fields and is a popular spot to picnic.

Day Two

Concord to Saratoga Springs | 168 Miles
After grabbing a quick coffee, I settle into the oh-so-comfortable ventilated driver’s seat of the Equinox (available with the Driver Confidence and Convenience II Package) and continue along Route 2. I soon arrive in the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts, on the Mohawk Trail, a favorite touring road since it was built in 1914. In Charlemont, the rapids of the Deerfield River come into view, and then I rise high above Deerfield Valley with vistas of farmland and forest below. This is the most scenic stretch of road, between Shelburne Falls and the home of Williams College, Williamstown. Route 7 enters New York state from the east, and a number of winding country roads soon lead to Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater.

 

By 1777, the mighty British army had taken the cities of New York and Philadelphia, forcing the colonists into the countryside. On September 19th, British troops came upon the farm of John Freeman, a loyalist who had gone north to meet up with British General John Burgoyne’s army. There, some 8,000 Americans under the helm of General Horatio Gates and Colonel Daniel Morgan were waiting. Burgoyne was hoping that British forces from New York City would help out, but that never happened, and on October 17, 1777, he surrendered to Gates—the first time the British army surrendered. The victory helped persuade the French to join sides with the Americans.

 

Behind the wheel of the Equinox, I pleasantly navigate the 10-mile park loop to visit the Freeman Farm Overlook and the shores of the Hudson River. Deer now roam the countryside, peacefully nibbling grass on this hallowed ground. After learning about so much bloodshed, I feel a bit guilty spending the night in comfort at the Adelphi Hotel in nearby Saratoga Springs, which was recently restored to its Victorian era charm. I enjoy a tasty burger at the bar, Morrissey’s, named after John Morrissey, a prizefighter, gangster, entrepreneur, and congressman who gave up the ghost while sitting at the old Adelphi Hotel bar.

Where Revere had, literally, a horsepower of 1, the Equinox’s available 2.0L turbocharged engine delivers 252 horsepower, which cuts some effort from the journey.

Saratoga Springs to Valley Forge to Philadelphia
On this leg of the journey, our writer crosses the Delaware and takes a break at Valley Forge—much like George Washington—before ending his trip at Independence Hall.

Day Three

Saratoga Springs to Valley Forge to Philadelphia | 281 miles

The New York State Thruway south of Albany is one of the most picturesque stretches of highway in the Northeast, dotted with vineyards, dairy farms, and the Catskill Mountains. I maneuver the Equinox onto the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey, merge into the car-only section of I-95 South to avoid the big rigs, and soon cross the Delaware like George Washington to reach Pennsylvania.

 

Valley Forge is where Washington and his troops would wait out the winter of 1777–78. He arrived in late December with 11,000 soldiers, which I learn created the fourth largest city in America at that time. Only two years into a long war, the Continental Army was already plagued by inadequate funds to supply food, clothing, and equipment to the soldiers. By the time they would leave for battle in June 1778, some 2,000 men had died of typhoid, influenza, and other diseases.

 

My final stop, 20 miles away, is downtown Philadelphia. Inside the new Museum of the American Revolution, whose second-floor galleries chronologically recap our battle for freedom, I retrace my stops from Boston to Concord to Saratoga to Valley Forge and now Philly. I then walk over to my last significant stop, Independence Hall. Inside these venerable walls, Thomas Jefferson would spend 17 days putting his thoughts on paper to create the Declaration of Independence, which included 86 changes before it was adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776. Once the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, it would still take another four years before the Constitution was signed in this same room and our country became the United States of America.

 

I end my trip at City Tavern, a reconstruction of the original built in 1773. Waiters dressed in Colonial garb serve recipes from that time period, including raspberry shrub, a popular drink. I raise a toast to the brave and brilliant men who fought for and created a republic that still adheres to the United States Constitution 231 years later. Then I dig into my rabbit stew.

Lodging & Dining

CONCORD

The Hawthorne Inn

462 Lexington Road

hawthorneinnconcord.com

Built in the 1860s on land once owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson, this seven-room upscale B&B is less than a five-minute drive to Old North Bridge.

 

80 Thoreau

80 Thoreau Street

80thoreau.com

Bostonians flock to the suburbs for the farm-to-table salads, grilled sirloin and swordfish, and impeccable service found at this dining room above the Concord train depot.

SARATOGA SPRINGS

The Adelphi Hotel

365 Broadway

theadelphihotel.com

Smack dab in the heart of downtown, the Adelphi is within easy walking distance to restaurants, bars, shops, and the race track.

 

15 Church

15 Church Street

15churchrestaurant.com

Sesame-crusted tuna and a heavenly burger are just a few of the options at this longstanding Saratoga hot spot. Head to the bar before dinner for the weekday happy hour.

PHILADELPHIA

City Tavern

138 South 2nd Street

citytavern.com

Listen to a live harpist as you sample the tenderloin tips, pork chop,
roasted duck, or rabbit paired with hot-out-of-the-oven bread. Save room for
fruit cobbler with cinnamon ice cream.  

STORY: STEPHEN JERMANOK / PHOTOGRAPHY: CHRIS STRALEY / ILLUSTRATION: MAX MAJOROS

*The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Available on LT and Premier. Not available on L and LS.

  • With available 2.0L Turbo engine

  • Based on initial vehicle movement. With available 8-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission and Z51 Performance Package.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • EPA-estimated 28 City/39 Hwy MPG

  • With second row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Read the vehicles Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Does not detect people or items. Always check rear seat before exiting.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay, Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks for Apple Inc, registered in the U.S. and other countries.

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  • Receive 1 month or 3 GB of 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot data (whichever comes first). Service varies with conditions and location. Requires active connected service. See onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • With 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine. Based on GM Large SUV segment and EPA-estimated MPG highway: 23 (2WD), 22 (4WD).

  • EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Sonic with 1.8L engine and 5-speed manual transmission 26/35; with 1.8L engine and 6-speed automatic transmission 25/34; with 1.4L engine and 6-speed manual transmission 28/37; with 1.4L engine and 6-speed automatic transmission 27/35.

  • EPA-estimated 53-mile range based on 106 MPGe combined city/highway (electric); 367-mile extended range based on 42 MPG combined city/highway (gas). Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain and driving technique.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • MyLink functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Do not use summer-only tires in winter conditions, as it would adversely affect vehicle safety, performance and durability. Use only GM-approved tire and wheel combinations. Unapproved combinations may change the vehicle’s performance characteristics. For important tire and wheel information, go to my.chevrolet.com/learn/tires or see your dealer.

  • Dependability based on longevity: 1987 – July 2017 full-size pickup registrations.

  • Dependability based on longevity: 1987–July 2017 full-size pickup registrations.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution

  • EPA-estimated 29 MPG city/39 highway with 5-speed manual transmission and 30 MPG city/38 highway with available Continuously Variable Transmission

  • EPA-estimated 29 MPG city/38 highway with 5-speed manual transmission and 30 MPG city/38 highway with available Continuously Variable Transmission.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • EPA estimate for Sonic with available 6-speed automatic transmission.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Connected Services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan, and 1 month/3 GB of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to User Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell service and GPS signals. OnStar links to emergency services. Visit onstar.com for more details.

  • Model year 2018 and newer vehicles include: 1 month of OnStar Safety & Security Plan and 1 month of Chevrolet Connected Services which include navigation services, Remote Access Plan and 1 month or 3 gigabytes of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to user terms and limitations. Visit onstar.com for more details. Data plans offered by AT&T. Availability subject to change.

  • Connected Services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan, and 1 month/3 GB of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Data plan offered by AT&T. Services subject to user terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell service, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  Visit onstar.com for more details.

  • If you decide to continue service after your trial, the subscription plan you choose will automatically renew thereafter and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at siriusxm.com. All fees and programming subject to change. Sirius, XM, SiriusXM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA-estimated 238-mile EV range. Your actual range may vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain, and driving technique.

  • With second row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA-estimated 238-mile EV range. Your actual range may vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain, and conditions.

  • Read your vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Read your vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • EPA-estimated MPG highway for Cruze Sedan with 1.4L 4-cylinder engine and transmission.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • If you decide to continue service after your trial, your selected subscription plan will automatically renew thereafter. You will be charged at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at siriusxm.com. All fees and programming subject to change. ©2018 Sirius XM Radio Inc. All rights reserved.

  • EPA-estimated MPG highway for Cruze Sedan with 1.4L 4-cylinder engine.

  • EPA-estimated 37 MPG highway for Cruze Premier Hatchback.

  • Cargo space for Cruze Hatch with rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA-estimated 53-mile range based on 106 MPGe combined city/highway (electric); 367-mile extended range based on 42 MPG combined city/highway (gas). Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain and driving technique.

  • EPA-estimated 53-mile range based on 106 MPGe combined city/highway (electric); 367-mile extended range based on 42 MPG combined city/highway (gas). Your actual range will vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain and driving conditions.

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • EPA-estimated 1.5L engine 29 MPG city/36 highway.

  • Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for vehicle and smartphone compatibility.

  • Available late 2018.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • EPA-estimated 18 MPG city/ 27 MPG highway 3.6FWD.

  • With second and third row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA-estimated 18 MPG city/ 27 MPG highway 3.6FWD.

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • The system wirelessly charges one PMA- or Qi-compatible mobile device. Some devices require an adaptor or back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for details.

  • EPA-estimated 25 MPG city/31 highway (FWD models).

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • With second and third row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • With 5.3L EcoTec 3 engine. EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Suburban 2WD 15/22, 4WD14/21.

  • Based on GM Large SUV segment. With 5.3L EcoTec 3 engine. EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Tahoe 2WD 15/22, 4WD 15/21.

  • With second and third row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Colorado 2WD with available Duramax 2.8L Turbo-Diesel 4-cylinder engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner's Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • 308 horsepower with available 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner's Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • 308 horsepower with standard 3.6L V6 engine.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

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