Travel Destinations

2018 Destination Guide: Mid-Atlantic

April 2018
Elnicki Wade

The Hamptons, N.Y.

The Hamptons is a unique amalgamation of seaside hamlets and villages, surrounded by white sand beaches with dramatic dunes. Old World charm peacefully coexists with upscale glitz, producing some of most expensive ZIP codes in America. Land that once grew potatoes now yields grapes for vineyards such as Martha Clara, Duck Walk and Channing Daughters Wine. Its golf courses are first-rate and local restaurants draw some of the world's top chefs.

Eating: There's an abundance of fine eateries, including Bistro Ete, Tutto Il Giorno and Nick & Toni's. Easy-going vibe is found at Almond, Vine Street Café, Citta Nuova, Canal Café and Bostwick's Chowder House.

Docking: On Three Mile Harbor, Halsey's Marina offers space for yachts up to 75 feet and clubhouse access along this quiet, picturesque marina basin. Neighboring Gardiner's Marina can accommodate yachts up to 105 feet.

Sag Harbor, N.Y.

Sag Harbor has morphed from a 19th century whaling port to a lively destination. Quaint cottages and Victorian manors line the streets next to boutiques, galleries and many of the region's best restaurants. The cool waters that surround pristine beaches create an ideal climate for growing crisp, briny oysters. As the hub of dining and nightlife, you'll find a plethora of going out options, from trendy nightclubs and intimate lounges to cigar bars and lazy-day dock bars.

Eating: High-end restaurant recommendations: The American Hotel, Dopo la Spiaggia and Page at 63 Main. Casual spots where locals like to eat include Il Capuccino, Dockside Bar & Grill, Corner Bar, Dock House Restaurant & Fish Market, Wolffer Kitchen & Winery, and The Golden Pear Cafe.

Docking: Near the historic village center, Sag Harbor Yacht Club provides berths for vessels up to 200 feet and fuel.

New York, N.Y.

In 2011, New York launched a 10-year plan to revitalize the city's 520 miles of shoreline. New waterfront developments are bringing the beach back to this urban island where skyscrapers loom in the background. Pier 25 Park on the Hudson River infuses the Lower West Side with outdoor fun including mini-golf, volleyball, skate park and landscaped green areas. Governor's Island, a former military base, has been converted into an historic site and recreation area with bike paths, ballfields, outdoor concerts, sculptures and a grove of red hammocks for relaxing. You'll find lots of new boutiques, bars and great places to eat near the water without cruising into Midtown's sea of humanity.

Eating: Upscale choices: Del Posto, Morimoto, Buddakan, The Park and Old Homestead Steakhouse. Casual digs: Chelsea Ristorante Italiano and White Horse Tavern.

Docking: Located on the Hudson River, vessels up to 350 feet can tie up at MarineMax at Chelsea Piers. Access New York's ultimate playground including Chelsea Piers Fitness, offering everything from an indoor pool and track to ice rink and soccer fields.

Atlantic City, N.J.

The four-mile long boardwalk is America's first seaside promenade and the lifeline to entertainment in this high rollers' heaven, where you come across everything from saltwater taffy to blackjack tables. The Playground offers high-end shopping, from Burberry to Louis Vuitton and a water show of dancing fountains. The revitalized Marina District is a beacon of nightlife centered on resorts such as Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and the luxurious boutique Water Club Hotel. Nearby are iconic attractions including the Monopoly Monument (a giant version of the board game) and Lucy the Elephant (a 65-ton building erected in 1881 in the shape of an elephant).

Eating: Restaurant recommendations are Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse, Chart House, The Deck Bayfront Bar & Restaurant, Lillie's Asian Cuisine, Grotto Ristorante, Dock's Oyster House, Izakaya and Atlantic City Bar & Grill.

Docking: Senator Frank S. Farley State Marina at Golden Nugget Atlantic City Resort has dockage for vessels up to 300 feet, as well as 630 floating slips and ValvTect fuel.

Baltimore, Md.

Museums, thriving arts districts, lively neighborhoods and rich maritime history blend together to create Charm City. Harbor East Marina and Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina are set in prime locations within walking distance of Little Italy, Inner Harbor and Fells Point (a spirited historic district packed with 18th-century buildings, cobblestone streets, hopping restaurants and waterfront bars). While docked, make sure to visit Harbor East, an emerging bayside area with fine dining and ritzy hotels. Savor crab cakes dusted with Old Bay Seasoning at Phillips Seafood or pick steamed Maryland Crabs at Bo Brooks Restaurant.

Eating: Upscale eateries: Charleston Restaurant, Rec Pier Chop House at the Pendry, Ouzo Bay Greek Kouzina, Chingiale Restaurant and La Scala. Casual cuisine: Little Havana, Roy's Hawaiian Fusion, Thames Street Oyster House and Ryleigh's Oyster in Federal Hill. Grab a brew with the locals at Cat's Eye Pub.

Docking: Baltimore's Inner Harbor is home to revamped Harbor East Marina with proximity to the city's finest retailers. Yachts up to 200 feet can be accommodated. Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina offers fuel and dockage for vessels up to 350 feet. With floating docks and a health club, Baltimore Lighthouse Point Marina offers fuel and dockage for vessels up to 350 feet. Tidewater Yacht Service, located in the growing Port Covington area of Baltimore, is a full service boat repair and service center with dockage for yachts up to 200 feet (18-foot dock depth).

Annapolis, Md.

Annapolis is steeped in rich Colonial and maritime heritage that attracts hoards of history buffs who get to relish its graceful charm. A trail of unique boutiques and eateries lead from the governor's mansion down the hill to the City Dock where boats of all shapes and sizes bob in the water. Across Spa Creek Bridge is Eastport, a charming seaside community that once prospered from the ship-building industry. Today its narrow streets are lined with vintage houses and local watering holes.

Eating: Fine dining: Harry Browne's, Osteria 177 and O'Leary's Restaurant. Local seafood and casual fare: Boatyard Bar & Grill, Middleton Tavern, McGarvey's Saloon & Oyster Bar, and The Point. For steamed crabs, visit Jimmy Cantler's. Toss back a few with local sailors at Davis' Pub.

Docking: Annapolis Yacht Basin accommodates yachts up to 240 feet and includes three deep-water face docks and five high-speed fuel pumps. Also, Horn Point Harbor on Back Creek in Eastport is an ideal stop with easy access to the Chesapeake Bay.

St. Michaels, Md.

St. Michaels is one of the loveliest local harbors thanks to Victorian homes, historic churches and sites, and specialty shops. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum presents regional history through interactive exhibits. Quench your thirst with Lyon Distilling Co.'s small-batch rum and whiskey or Eastern Shore Brewery's craft beer. The Inn at Perry Cabin offers an elegant retreat with a spa that will gently rub away your worries.

Eating: Upscale restaurants include Limoncello, Bistro St. Michaels and Stars at the Inn at Perry Cabin. Relaxed waterfront atmosphere: Harbourside Grill and Lighthouse Oyster Bar & Grill. For crabs, go to St. Michaels Crab & Steak House; for fresh oysters, visit Awful Arthur's Seafood Co. Toast a memorable waterfront sunset with cocktails at Foxy's Harbor Grille.

Docking: St. Michaels Marina hosts two main piers totaling more than 300 feet to accommodate large yachts. The marina recently rolled out its Yacht Butler service to provide a wide range of personalized services to visitors.

Washington, DC

For decades, DC has been committed to sprucing up its waterfront. National Harbor was the first new venture with 100+ shops, restaurants and hotels. Next for restoration was the Navy Yard, which has packed the streets between the Nationals' baseball stadium and U.S. Navy Museum with restaurants, bars, a brewery and winery, and a pedestrian trail along the Anacostia River. At The Wharf, development for Phase 1 is complete along the Potomac River, retaining the beloved Maine Avenue Fish Market but adding hip music venues, pubs, restaurants, boutiques, an indie bookstore and more all in walking distance to Smithsonian museums and monuments.

Eating: At The Wharf, fine dining favorites are Del Mar de Fabio Trabocchi and Requin; casual fare includes Hank's Oyster Bar and Kirwan's Irish Pub. Navy Yard upscale eateries include Whaley's and Osteria Morini; relaxed food is served at Salt Line and Blue Jacket Arsenal Brewery. National Harbor high-end cuisine: Fish by José Andrés and Bond 45; casual meals: Walrus & Oyster Ale House.

Docking: The Wharf Gangplank Marina offers floating docks and piers to host vessels up 125 feet. The Yards Marina offers alongside dockage up to 120 feet and concrete floating docks. National Harbor Marina has space for yachts up to 200 feet, along with floating docks and fuel.


The High Line, New York, N.Y.

This magnificent example of urban landscape architecture takes you above the streets of Manhattan's West Side on an old elevated freight rail line through a public park filled with thousands of gorgeous flowers, trees and sculptures, while offering unforgettable views of the Hudson River.

Tribeca Film Festival, New York, N.Y.

Co-founded by Robert De Niro, the week-long event holds screenings, lectures and interviews with the movie industry's A-list and newcomers to showcase the latest documentaries, features and short films (April 18-29, 2018).

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.

As the oldest incorporated golf club and one of the five founding members of the United States Golf Association, Shinnecock makes the most of the region's natural topography. The private golf club is hosting the U.S. Open Championships this year.

National Aquarium, Baltimore, M.D.

This outstanding marine life sanctuary holds 20,000 different animals from bullfrogs, clownfish and seahorses to crocodiles, stingrays and sharks. Special exhibits of coral reefs, rainforests, jellyfish invasions, extreme Australian wildlife and daily life of dolphins are interactive and engaging.

2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Washington, D.C.

Bringing the top talent from the American and National League, the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game is set to take place at Nationals Park this summer (July 17, 2018).

The Great Chesapeake Balloon & Wine Festival, Easton, M.D.

For three days on Maryland's Eastern Shore you can watch a flotilla of hot air balloons soar up into the sky. Located in the town of Cordova at the Triple Creek Winery, you can sip a chardonnay, listen to bands and take a tethered balloon ride (Aug. 3-5, 2018).

Antique & Classic Boat Festival, St. Michaels, M.D.

Hosted by Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the Chesapeake Bay's finest classic boats, national and maritime treasures and entertainment combine to exhibit at this waterfront festival (June 15-17, 2018).

District Winery, Washington, D.C.

At this newcomer to the Navy Yards, you can take a tour through the metal tanks and wooden casks to observe the process from vine to bottle with grapes grown across the nation. Pick your favorite of its seven wines.

Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.

In 1950, Arena Stage put on its first show in an old movie house and later moved to the gymnasium of the former Heurich Brewery. Today its home is across the street from The Wharf in a renovated performing arts complex. DC's local cultural treasure is a pioneer in regional theater and continues to produce plays by American writers.

D.C. Jazz Festival, Washington, D.C.

This festival presents the jazz world's most acclaimed artists to emerging talent from around the country and DC metro area. The schedule is filled with 125 performances and 40 venues (June 8-17, 2018).

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Explore the Spirited Lakefront of Burlington, VT

A vibrant, compact city hugging the eastern shoreline of Lake Champlain, Burlington abounds in scenic beauty, four-season recreation, a college town vibe, arts and culture, and a quirky character all its own.

Burlington - destinations - marinalife
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.

burlington - destinations - marinalife
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


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


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


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

burlington - destinations - marinalife
Burlington Church Street | Needpix

The Farmhouse Tap & Grill


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



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


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


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

Ever wish you could hop in a time machine and go back 50 or 60 years to experience a less frenetic pace of life? It's not as far-fetched as it might sound. There's a place off the coast of Massachusetts where you can do just that ... at least for a weekend.

Cuttyhunk Island - destinations - marinalife
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.

For such a small place, Cuttyhunk has a long, colorful history. In 1602 --nearly 20 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock -- Bartholomew Gosnold sailed from Falmouth, England to establish a colony in the New World, explored the areas near present-day Kennebunkport, Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, and built a small fort on what he christened Cuttyhunk Island.

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.

In 1865, a group of Rhode Island fishing enthusiasts bought a large portion of the island and built the Cuttyhunk Club and a few fishing stands, enhancing its reputation as a prime spot for sport fishing. In fact, two 73-pound, world-record striped bass have been caught off Cuttyhunk in 1913 and more recently in 1967.

Local fishermen know all the qualities and quirks of the area's waters, offering their services to visiting anglers and acting as expert navigators for ships sailing into New Bedford Harbor, piloting them through the dangerous Sow and Pig Reef on the west end of the island.

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.

Although largely a day-tripper destination, visitors can overnight on Cuttyhunk with some advance planning. Most boaters prefer to stay aboard their own craft if properly outfitted, but limited accommodations are on land as well. Avalon, the Inn on Cuttyhunk Island, offers seven rooms, while Cuttyhunk Fishing Club has eight. A few cottage and house rentals are also available through Pete's Place Rentals.

Where to Dock

Cuttyhunk Marina


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


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


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.

Where to Dine

Cuttyhunk Café


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


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


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


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


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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Savor the Southern Charm in Wilmington, North Carolina

Like its neighbors to the south Charleston and Savannah Wilmington, North Carolina, has become a magnet for tourists and transplants looking for authentic Southern culture, cuisine and climate.

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

Microbreweries and brew pubs are booming here, and two are worth checking out: Front Street Brewery (craft beers and hand scratched food) and Pour Taproom & Bar (60+ different craft beers and ciders).Wilmington's Azalea Festival in April and October's Riverfest are just two of the local can't-miss events, along with other cultural happenings throughout the year. Popular spots include Greenfield Lake Park (check the live music schedule at the park's busy amphitheater), Arlie Gardens (botanical gardens, trails, birding and events) and the world-class Cameron Art Museum.For an interesting side-trip, visit Bald Head Island at Cape Fear's southern tip. The remote village is only accessible by ferry from nearby Southport, and cars are not allowed on the island. The island is nationally recognized for sea turtle nesting activity. Accommodations are available at the Marsh Harbor Inn and the Inn at Bald Head Island. A handful of restaurants serve everything from to-go meals and pub fare to wine-bar and cantina-style cuisine.

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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