Travel Destinations

2018 Destination Guide: New England

New England
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April 2018
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By
Susan
Elnicki Wade

Bar Harbor, Maine

Surrounded by Acadia National Park's pine-covered mountains and granite cliffs, this New England seaside gem has attracted visitors since the mid-1800s. Artists chose this beautiful port for painting dramatic seascapes, and America's wealthiest tycoons (Rockefeller, Ford, Vanderbilt and more) built grand summer homes along West Street. Historic lighthouses along the shore keep watch over local maritime treasures from whales to lobstermen. The town is known for elegant architecture amidst quaint shops, pubs and galleries.

Eating: Fine dining options include La Bella Vira at the Harborside Hotel, The Reading Room, Havana, Asticou Inn Restaurant and The Burning Tree Restaurant. Casual fare is available at The Travelin' Lobster, Stewman's Lobster Pond and Paddy's Irish Pub.

Docking: Bar Harbor Regency Hotel & Marina accommodates vessels up to 150 feet, complete with T-shaped floating docks, heated outdoor jacuzzi and pool, tennis courts, and courtesy transportation.

Portland, Maine

As Maine's largest city, Portland presents the charm of a classic seacoast town with a cosmopolitan edge built around museums, a new science center, first-rate symphony orchestra and theater. Its rich maritime history is on display in the restored Old Port District where buildings have been revitalized into chic boutiques, art galleries, luxury spas, brewpubs and innovative restaurants. Portland has been nationally recognized for its vibrant culinary scene and was voted America's Foodiest Small Town by Bon Appétit Magazine.

Eating: To feast upon exceptional New England seafood and spirits, try Eventide Oyster Co., Piccolo and Scales Restaurant. Find more relaxed dining at The Grill Room & Bar, DiMillo's on the Water (a floating restaurant in the harbor), Central Provisions, The Highroller Lobster Co., and Boone's Fish House & Oyster Room.

Docking: Accepting vessels up to 250 feet, Dimillo's Old Port Marina is equipped with floating docks and ValvTect fuel. Courtesy GPCVB

Kennebunkport, Maine

Tucked away between Portland and Portsmouth, this delightful town is home to a pair of U.S. presidents and miles of stunning beaches. Some seaside stretches are covered with white sand; others display dramatic rock formations, yet all of them merge together to forge a spectacular shoreline. Kennebunkport's historic downtown and Dock Square bustle with unique stores, galleries and antique shops. The Intown Trolley chugs past historic sites, including ship captains' homes, St. Ann's Episcopal Church, the Colony Hotel, the Customs House, St. Anthony's Franciscan Monastery, Gooch's Beach and the Bush estate. Nature lovers can hike trails or bird watch at nearby Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge, a salt marsh estuary and favorite landing zone for a menagerie of migratory birds.

Eating: Exquisite organic dishes are served at Earth in the luxurious Hidden Pond Resort. Meals made of local lobster, oysters and other aquatic treats are on tap at The Clam Shack, The Burleigh, The Dory, 95 Ocean and Federal Jack's Brewpub.

Docking: Next to Dock Square, Chicks Marina can accommodate vessels to 165 feet in length.

Boston, Mass.

Founded in 1630, Boston is an urban explorer's playground where skyscrapers meet cobblestone streets and visitors can enjoy endless activities and timeless adventures. As soon as you pull into the harbor, its rich history and culture are at your fingertips with attractions such as the New England Aquarium, Boston Tea Party Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art and Boston Children's Museum.

Eating: Each neighborhood has its own unique character and serves an abundance of ethnic dishes, sophisticated nouvelle cuisine and traditional New England fare. For an exceptional regional culinary experience, check out L'Espalier, Ostra, Menton Restaurant and Meritage Restaurant & Wine Bar.

Docking: Vessels up to 300 feet can find a home at Boston Yacht Haven with a full range of services from multi-phase, mega-yacht power to wave-attenuating floating docks. In Charlestown, right on the Freedom Trail, Constitution Marina offers detailing services, floating docks and a swimming pool, while Charlestown Marina has the capability to host vessels up to 400 feet with upgraded Ipe Decking.

Provincetown, Mass.

The best vantage point in Provincetown is at the top of the Pilgrim's Monument, a 252-foot granite structure that commemorates the Mayflower pilgrims' landing here in 1620. The museum tells the tale of their five-week stay in the area before sailing off to Plymouth. For more local lore, Whydah Pirate Museum uses artifacts, treasure and interactive displays to share the story of a slave ship that was overtaken by buccaneers and sank offshore during a storm in 1717. History is a highlight, but the town's gorgeous beaches, walkable dunes and woodland trails are also a big draw. To top it off, the thriving arts community attracts visitors with galleries, theater, music, literary events and hand-crafted goods.

Eating: Locals recommend The Red Inn and Spindler's Restaurant for fine dining and spectacular seafood. The hot spots for comfort cooking and easy atmosphere are The Lobster Pot and Local 186.

Docking: Provincetown Marina in eclectic P-Town accommodates vessels up to 300 feet and offers ample amenities such as a fuel dock, captain's lounge, and upgraded restroom and laundry facilities.

Nantucket, Mass.

This 50-square-mile island is fun to explore on a bicycle. Pedal around at an easy pace to see endless beaches, seaside cottages, captain's mansions, steepled churches, 18th-century lighthouses, designer boutiques, specialty shops, chowder shacks and cobblestone streets that line the historic wharves. Nantucket was once the world's leading port for the whaling industry, which is detailed in a local museum. For an exciting day trip, rent a 4x4 SUV for an off-road adventure along 16 miles of sand roads and beaches to Great Point Light to catch an idyllic sunset.

Eating: When all this sightseeing brings on a thirst, you can plan cocktail hour at Cisco Brewers, Triple Eight Distillery or Nantucket Vineyards. Visiting yachts have many restaurant options that feature local seafood and oysters, such as Brant Point Grill at the White Elephant Hotel, Toppers Restaurant at the Wauwinet Resort, Nantucket Prime, CRU Oyster Bar, The Boarding House and Slip 14 Restaurant.

Docking: In historic Nantucket Harbor, welcoming vessels up to 250 feet, Nantucket Boat Basin offers a full range of luxury amenities including fuel, slip-side cable television and complimentary pet amenities. On-site concierge services are also available to arrange restaurant reservations, excursions and transportation to the island's nearby beaches, charming boutiques and galleries.

Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

From presidents to pop stars, Martha's Vineyard is a vacation haven for affluent travelers who want to relish windswept beaches, red clay cliffs and natural beauty. The islands interior pristine woodlands are ideal for hiking or horseback riding. Horticulturalists flock to Polly Hill Arboretum and Mytoi Gardens. Edgartown bustles as the island's largest town and center of upscale nightlife. Its well-preserved 19th-century buildings serve as a time capsule to when ship captains led whaling fleets into the Atlantic. Trails near Menemsha reveal panoramic views of the rocky ocean edge and delightful fishing villages.

Eating: High-end restaurants include Garde East, Beach Road Restaurant, Red Cat Kitchen at Ken N' Beck and The Sweet Life Café. Casual food is served at Waterside Market, Offshore Ale Co., Copper Wok Pan Asian House & Sushi Bar, Nancy's Restaurant, The Black Dog Tavern and Little House Café.

Docking: Hosting vessels up to 200 feet, Vineyard Haven Marina has ample beach front access, a private waterfront boaters' lounge and on-site massage services.

Newport, R.I.

Newport is home to world-class festivals, music, seafood, tennis, polo and more. The Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile oceanfront path, traces the edge of the sea and passes by elegant Gilded Age mansions built by America's wealthiest families. Colonial Era fans can tour 17th-century churches, forts, windmills and historic buildings from farmhouses to stately residences. Visitors looking to unwind can enjoy stylish pampering at various spas or engage in retail therapy at local boutiques. Liquor connoisseurs can take tours and sample the wares at hot spots such as Newport Storm Brewery, Distilling Company (aged rum) and Vineyards.

Eating: When hunger hits, you can find upscale dining at 22 Bowen's Wine Bar & Grille, The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, Clarke Cooke House and Midtown Oyster Bar. More relaxed atmosphere is at Perro Salado and the Smoke House restaurant.

Docking: In the midst of downtown, Newport Yachting Center hosts vessels up to 140 feet and provides boaters with ValvTect fuel, and access to the pool and health club.

ACTIVITIES IN NEW ENGLAND

Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park Scenic Air Tours, Bar Harbor, Maine

Soar into the skies for a heavenly view of Maine's spectacular coastline, rugged mountains and seaside towns for an experience of flight you won't forget.

Bar Harbor Inn Spa, Bar Harbor, Maine

Let certified spa staff perform their therapeutic magic with a variety of soothing massages, body treatments, facials, manicures and pedicures.

Kennebunkport Festival, Kennebunkport, Maine

Experience the largest multi-day art, food and wine festival featuring more than 30 events and some of the country's top chefs (June 4-9, 2018).

Lucky Catch Lobster Cruises, Portland, Maine

Live the life of a New England waterman pulling up traps filled with lobsters. Cook your catch at home or let chefs in a nearby eatery prepare them for you.

Boston Freedom Trail Boston, Mass.

Walk in the footsteps of our founding fathers along a 2.5 mile urban hike to Revolutionary War sites, churches, museums, burying grounds, celebrated ships and historic markers.

White Elephant Spa, Nantucket, Mass.

The White Elephant Spa offers a revitalizing, refreshing and invigorating experience by using nature's organic ingredients.

Nantucket Film Festival, Nantucket, Mass.

As one of the world's premier cinematic events, movie buffs come from around the globe to preview screenings, signature programs, and interviews with top directors and producers (June 20-25, 2018).

Wequassett Resort & Golf Club, Harwich, Mass.

Designed by Brian Silva, Golf Magazine 1999 architect of the year, the course at Wequassett Golf Club blends perfectly with the Cape's unique topography and natural beauty.

Newport National Golf Club, Middletown, R.I.

Newport National Golf Club offers a dramatic setting overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Sakonnet Passage. The 200-acre landscape nursery is both a championship course and open space tribute to environmental sensitivity.

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Burlington Church Street | Michelle Raponi on Pixabay

Eclectic shops named Anjou & the Little Pear or Common Deer, and restaurants called Zabby & Elf 's Stone Soup or The Skinny Pancake dot the urban landscape. A local artist's satirical comment on the bureaucracy of urban planning called File Under So. Co., Waiting for..., consists of 38 filing cabinets welded together to a 40-foot height. Birds frequently nest in the upper chambers.

History buffs stroll through the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum or the Fleming Museum of Art's multi-era artifact collection while hikers trek the 12.5-mile path at Burlington Waterfront Park, which offers bicycle, rollerblade and kayak rentals. In season, the path connects to the Lake Champlain Islands via bike ferry.

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Burlington Bike Path | Michelle Raponi on Pixabay

Since the 1800s, the Old North End has been the city's melting pot, and global cuisine from Nepalese dumplings to the African Market can be found here today. Between munches, stroll over to historic Elmwood Cemetery, whose residents include Revolutionary War soldiers. Hear their stories and perhaps have a chance encounter with a local spirit on a Queen City Ghostwalk Tour. Liquid spirits rule when the internationally famous, regionally beloved and hidden gem breweries line up for the annual Vermont Brewers Festival. Year round, enjoy homemade bratwurst and drafts at Zero Gravity Craft Beer. At acclaimed Foam Brewers, the patio faces Lake Champlain waterfront and the Adirondack Mountains. Hop on the Sip of Burlington Brew Tour for a dozen tastings and the sights of this dynamic, energetic city.

Where to Dock

Burlington Community Boathouse Marina

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This full-service marina is the centerpiece of a growing waterfront. Amenities include 105 slips up to 65 feet, Splash Café and a fantastic sunset over the Adirondacks.

Burlington Harbor Marina

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With 160 slips (60 transient slips up to 80 feet), this new marina's tranquil harbor setting is convenient to downtown amenities and recreational activities.

Where to Dine

Honey Road

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Savor sophisticated Mediterranean small plates, cocktails and creative desserts in a comfy tavern setting.

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Burlington Church Street | Needpix

The Farmhouse Tap & Grill

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This farm-to-table gastropub dishes up local burgers, charcuterie and innovative specials. Sip on local brews in the beer garden.

RíRá

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According to Irish playwright Brendan Behan, The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you. RíRá fuses classic Irish with pub grub to satisfy the first two.

Leunig's Bistro & Café

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Step inside the lush garden courtyard to watch fresh local fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood transform into classic French dishes. Come enjoy a romantic evening meal.

Hen of the Wood

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Enjoy a true Vermont dining experience in a romantic, rustic atmosphere adjacent to the Hotel Vermont.

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Discover the Island Charm of Cuttyhunk, Massachusetts
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Cuttyhunk Island | tkesner1 on Flickr

"It's like 1960 --you're stepping back in time," notes Captain Jono Billings, who owns and operates the Cuttyhunk Ferry out of New Bedford, about 18 miles north of Cuttyhunk Island, a 580-acre arc of stone and sand that's the westernmost of the Elizabeth Islands that lie between Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound.

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A 70-foot stone tower was constructed in 1902 commemorating the 300th anniversary of that historic landing. After passing through the hands of several English earls and dukes, Peleg Slocum purchased the island in 1693, and her family continued to live on Cuttyhunk for the next 165 years.

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Cuttyhunk Island - destinations - marinalife
Cuttyhunk Island | Ben McLaughlin

Fishing isn't the only way to interact with nature on Cuttyhunk. Half the island is a nature preserve, home to a variety of birds and mammals, as well as wildflowers, sweet peas, bayberry and a host of other flora. Plenty of hiking trails wind through the landscape that's largely craggy and reflects Cuttyhunk's glacial origins. It's covered with the same kind of rocks and stones found in the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont.

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Where to Dock

Cuttyhunk Marina

508-990-7578

The marina offers 50 transient slips that can accommodate vessels up to 110 feet and have freshwater hookups and 30- and 50-amp electricity capability. About 50 moorings accommodate vessels up to 50 feet. Pump out, ice, picnic area and restrooms are available.

Frog Pond Marine Moorings

508-992-7530

This mooring field is located in the outer harbor off the port side of Bell 6 upon entering Cuttyhunk. Bright white balls mark the moorings, which are first-come, first-serve. Tie up to any mooring that doesn't say PRIVATE, and the mooring collector will come to your boat to collect a $45 rental fee.

Jenkins Moorings

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Located in the outer harbor to the right of the channel's entrance, moorings are first-come, first-serve during the high season. If you spend the night, call and they'll deliver fresh oysters and raw-bar items to your boat.

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Cuttyhunk Café

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This coffee shop is located on the town fish dock. Start your day with coffee and pastries, pick up chowder and sandwiches for lunch, and finish the day chowing down on fresh lobster boils with corn, potatoes, onion, chorizo and steamers.

Cuttyhunk Fishing Club

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Just south of town on Cemetery Road, this B&B offers the best breakfasts/brunches on the island, and you don't have to be a guest to enjoy it. They don't take reservations, so grab a cup of coffee and an Adirondack chair while you wait for your table and enjoy the porch with a million-dollar view.

Cuttyhunk Island Market

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Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., this rustic spot offers all the essentials: dry goods, sundries, bread, dairy, fresh veggies, plus 10-inch subs with a bag of chips. We may be small, but we have it all.

Cuttyhunk Shellfish Farms

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This floating raw bar provides fresh Cuttyhunk oysters and clams, along with stuffed quahog and hot clam chowder to boaters during the summer, delivered right to your boat. Call them on VHF Channel 72 or stop in at their shack on the fish dock during the day to place your order.

Soprano's Pizza

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The only sit-down restaurant on Cuttyhunk, this in-season eatery serves gourmet brick oven pizzas and seafood specials. Think a pizza oven held hostage in a garage, four picnic tables in a driveway lit by tiki torches, and a croaking bullfrog in the pond! Can't beat that kind of ambiance.

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Bald Head Island - wilmington north carolina - marinalife
Bald Head Island Harbor | Wikimedia Commons

Many boaters are familiar with the area's barrier islands and beaches such as Topsail, Wrightsville, Carolina, Kure, Bald Head, but not so much the city itself, located about 30 miles upstream from where Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean.The Eastern Siouan people occupied the area when the first Europeans arrived in the early 1500s and Giovanni da Verrazzano explored the North American coast. His maps and travel accounts comprise the earliest description of North Carolina's land and people.The city of Wilmington (then called New Carthage) was founded in 1739 on the banks of Cape Fear River. Its name comes from Sir Richard Grenville's 1585 expedition when he sailed to Roanoke Island and his ship was stranded behind the cape. The crew was afraid they'd wreck, giving rise to the name Cape Fear.Also known as the Port City, Wilmington is experiencing a building boom and renaissance, with its well-preserved downtown and a bustling Port City waterfront area augmented by new condos and reclaimed riverside acreage that has been turned into parks, piers and promenades. Across from the city's Riverwalk you can find the Battleship North Carolina Memorial and tour this famous warship.Front Street, Wilmington's thriving commercial thorough-fare, is lined with chic shops, bars and restaurants populated by a mix of locals, UNC Wilmington college students and out-of-towners looking for R&R after a day of shopping, sight-seeing or cooling out at the beaches. Looking for lunch or a light alternative to a full-course dinner? Try Fun Bowl for ramen and poke bowl, Slice of Life Pizzeria & Pub for pizza, wings and subs, or Beer Barrio for Mexican dishes.

Azaleas - wilmington north carolina - marinalife
Azaleas in full bloom | Kristina Gain on Pexels

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Where to Dock

Cape Fear Marina910-772-9277Part of Off the Hook Yacht Services, this gated 70-slip marina offers water, pump-out and electric hookup at every slip, and the fully equipped dock house has shower and laundry facilities. Repair and refit services are also available.Dockside Marina910-256-3579About one mile north of Masonboro Inlet near Wrightsville Beach, the marina has 180 feet of floating transient dockage and access to shore power, water and wireless Internet. It's close to local grocers, ATMs, laundries, hotels and marine stores, and the highly rated Dockside Restaurant.Port City Marina910-251-6151This full-service marina with 200+ floating concrete wet slips accommodates boats up to 400 feet and is in the heart of downtown. It offers rapid-fill fuel service, electric, free Wi-Fi, gated entrance, video surveillance, pump-out, on-site store and more. Marina Grill is steps away from the docks.Wilmington Marine Center910-395-5055Services include gas, water, electric, pump-out, wireless internet and more. The marina is in an enclosed basin off the Cape Fear River, offering 130 slips with fixed and floating docks for vessels up to 120 feet.

Where to Dine

Caprice Bistro910-815-0810For authentic French cuisine, the chef delivers classics such as escargot, crepes and mussels, as well as boeuf bourguignon, duck confit and lamb shank tagine. Locals flock to this hidden gem that celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.Circa 1922910-762-1922A lush, romantic spot that sources ingredients for imaginative dishes from local farmers and seafood merchants. Serving a mix of small plates (charred octopus, beef carpaccio, tuna tataki) and classics like paella, scallops and short ribs, the emphasis is on seasonal American fare with a European flair.Indochine910-251-9229This Far East café serves a mix of Thai and Vietnamese cuisine: satay, dumplings, pad Thai, nine different curries, bulgogi and braised catfish in an exotic, art-filled setting. Save room for sticky rice topped with warm coconut sauce and mangoes.Pilot House910-343-0200This Wilmington institution serves indigenous seafood and fowl, and the area menu includes everything from down-home cooking to Cajun and traditional Southern fare with a contemporary twist, in a restored 19th century house with a riverside terrace.Seabird910-769-5996Seafood rules at the sleek and chic Seabird, and fish, oysters and shellfish dominate the menu. Try the smoked catfish and oyster pie, or the swordfish schnitzel. Landlubbers can opt for sorghum pork ribs or grilled bavette steak.

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