There's no better place to celebrate the change of the seasons than in a quaint New England town. Better yet, cruise along the coast this spring so you don't have to choose just one! Read on for regional waterfront events fit for wildlife enthusiasts, art lovers, foodies and race aficionados alike. We think you'll love the rich maritime history woven into every one of these events.
Nantucket Island, MA
Celebrate spring with fun for the whole family at the 2022 Nantucket Daffodil Festival. Visit the greenhouses at Bartlett's Farm for the 46th Annual Daffodil Show, attend the Nantucket Garden Club's antique car parade and tailgate, or see kids' daffodil-donned rides in the bike parade.
New Haven, CT
Dock in scenic New Haven to attend this lively festival in historic Wooster Square Park. Beside the beautiful cherry blossoms symbolic of the beginning of spring, take in the tunes of R&B, Latin, and Caribbean music groups and check out local food and artists. You'll find activities for your little ones and four-legged friends, too.
April 29-May 1
Hosted at the Safe Harbor Essex Island Marina, the 2021 show raised over $22,000 in funds for Sails Up 4 Cancer. This year, they plan to not only double that number but also add to their event line-up. In addition to the show's inventory, look forward to the first-ever Taste of Essex exhibits and seminars on the Newport Bermuda race and Fishing the Sound and beyond.
Any time this season, book a whale watching excursion with Captain John Boats' Whale Watch Plymouth. Cruise the Cape Cod Bay and Stellwagen Bank and witness the many species of gentle giants in the area: humpback, right, finback, pilot and minke.
On the first Sunday of May every year, downtown Portsmouth transforms into an interactive playground for kids of all ages. Sponsored and hosted by merchants and volunteers from across the seacoast, local nonprofit Pro Portsmouth creates a map from A to Z for kids to scavenge fun activities while exploring shops and restaurants and celebrating at the Block Party on Pleasant. Prior to the event, a traditional logo contest allows kids to showcase their skills for a chance to have their artwork displayed as the face of the festival's maps and t-shirts.
Joyce's Craft Shows hosts 16 New Hampshire shows throughout the year presenting exhibitors from across New England and focusing on American- made arts. The season kicks off with the Lakes Region Spring Craft Fair held at the Tangier Outlets in Tilton. More than 90 exhibitors fill the area displaying everything from home décor to handmade jewelry. Held outside under canopies, this event is free and pet-friendly.
Make your way to Bowen's Wharf for a weekend of dining and imbibing on the waterfront. Sample freshly shucked oysters from 45 aquafarms across the state and seafood from local restaurants.
Spend this spring basking in the natural beauty of Down East Maine's Cobscook Bay area. Witness a breathtaking birding experience during peak spring migration and breeding season with four days of guided hikes, presentations and boat tours led by local experts. Explore a variety of habitats and species in sanctuaries such as Roosevelt Campobello International Park, Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Machias Seal Island (home to Atlantic puffins) and much more.
June 4-5Cruise to Provincetown, the first great fishing port on the eastern seaboard, for your first New England regatta of the season! Watch schooners, catboats, modern yachts and boats race, tour historic vessels, and join the mini-triathlon if you're feeling athletic.
What used to be a food and wine fest has evolved into a weeklong lineup of local art, top chefs from around Maine and live music in the seaside village of Kennebunkport. Visit the historic Goat Island Lighthouse off Cape Porpoise while you're there.
Nantucket Island, MA
Celebrate Nantucket Preservation Month by learning about the diverse flora and fauna on the island. Join scientists, researchers and naturalists for ecological field trips, research data collection and take in the breathtaking island scenery.
Branford, CTJune 17-19There's no better way to spend Father's Day than a weekend-long festival on the historic Branford Town Green. Expect something for the entire family: a car show, road race, craft fair, live music, food and kid's activities. While you're in Branford, sample a local brewery or explore Thimble Islands.
Most of Provincetown's fishermen immigrated from Portugal. The city's custom of honoring its fishing community has expanded into a four-day cultural celebration. Don't miss this colorful, lively gathering of New England boaters both on and off the water.
Round out your New England spring by spending a weekend at the Mystic Seaport Museum, the largest maritime museum in the country. Enjoy skilled craftsmen's creations, hear from storied sailors, and enjoy Mystic's charm and shipbuilding history.