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New England's Top Animal Adventures

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Are you an animal lover? There are many opportunities for up-close interaction with New England's fauna. Here are some animal adventures you're sure to find memorable.

1. Meet the Clydesdales Up Close

Clydesdale Camera Day in Merrimack, New Hampshire
© 2006 Kim Knox Beckius, licensed to About.com
The Budweiser Clydesdales are the beverage industry's most recognizable mascots, and you can meet these famous horses by visiting the Clydesdale Hamlet at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

2. Sleep with Alpacas

Alpaca Personalities
© 2011 Kim Knox Beckius
Colonial Hill Alpaca Farm in Petersham, Massachusetts, has a store where you'll find one-of-a-kind apparel and gifts made from alpaca fiber. For a truly memorable animal experience, though, families and couples can book B&B accommodations at the farm, and spend a day or two observing these gentle creatures and exploring this picturesque corner of Massachusetts.

3. Hug a Beluga... Really!

Have you ever hugged a beluga whale, patted her on the tongue and tickled the roof of her mouth? I have. Really. You're probably wondering: "Kim, how on Earth did you wind up in a tank with a beluga whale and, more importantly, how can I do this, too?" I'll tell you, and share great photos from my beluga adventure.

4. Visit Stephen Huneck's Dog Chapel in Vermont

Dog Chapel Vermont - Stained Glass
© 2002 Kim Knox Beckius
If you own a dog or have ever loved a dog, put Stephen Huneck's Dog Chapel in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, at the top of your list of places to visit in New England. Take your dog along if you can. Whether or not you make your pup sit in a pew, his prayers will be answered when he discovers the nature trails, swimming ponds and other delights of the 400 scenic acres that surround the chapel on Dog Mountain.

5. A Maine Lobster Boat Adventure

Maine Lobster Boat Tours - See How Maine Lobstermen Do Their Jobs - Photo
© 2006 Kim Knox Beckius
Ever wondered what a lobsterman's day is like? Want to learn all about Maine's delicious and mysterious crustaceans? Are you dying to know how to tell a male from a female lobster? Then come along on this photo tour, or book your own spot aboard the Captain Jack Lobster Boat Adventure out of Rockland, Maine.

6. Make a Date with a Penguin... But Don't Dress Up!

Penguin Close-up Photo
© 2012 Kim Knox Beckius
How close will you get to a penguin if you book a Penguin Encounter at Connecticut's Mystic Aquarium? Close enough that you might go home wearing a souvenir! So... leave your tux at home, but don't miss the chance to find out how penguins communicate, what webbed feet feel like and how you can make a difference for these always dressed to impress endangered birds.

7. Maine Moose Safari

© 1998 Kim Knox Beckius
Back in 1998, my About.com colleague, Debby Fowles, and I went on what is still one of my most memorable New England adventures--a Maine Moose Safari with Maine-ly Photos. If you've always wanted to see moose in the wild, I highly recommend this tour.

8. Go on Safari in Connecticut

© 2010 Kim Knox Beckius
Embark on a drive-through safari at Action Wildlife, an animal attraction in Goshen, Connecticut, that also features a petting zoo, museum and fascinating collection of live exotic animals including some on the verge of extinction.

9. Hike with Llamas in Central Massachusetts

Llama Photo
© 2001 Kim Knox Beckius
Not every animal makes an ideal hiking buddy... but one New England farm is home to four-legged trekking companions who are bright, agile, low-key and as eager to hit the trail as you are. Better yet, they'll carry all of your stuff.

10. Motoring Through Moose Alley

Moose Alley New Hampshire Photo
© 2002 Kim Knox Beckius
They don't call the stretch of Route 3 that runs from Pittsburg, New Hampshire, to the Canadian border "Moose Alley" for nothing. If you're visiting New England and you want to see moose, this scenic road is one of the most reliable options.

11. New England's Oldest Zoo

Dromedary camel picture
© 2005 Kim Knox Beckius
Roger Williams Park Zoo's 40 acres are home to a diverse collection of nearly 1,000 animals representing more than 150 species. A "menagerie" was first introduced at the park in 1872, just one year after the property was bequeathed to the City of Providence by Betsy Williams in memory of her great-great-grandfather and Rhode Island founder, Roger Williams.

12. See Some Pretty Wild Turkeys

© 2010 Kim Knox Beckius
For about 50 years, travelers have been making a pilgrimage to Gozzi's Turkey Farm in Guilford, Connecticut, in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Wouldn't you like to see turkeys that have dazzlingly taken on DayGlo shades?

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