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connecticut | maine | massachusetts | new hampshire | rhode island | vermont Discover THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL GUIDE NEW ENGLAND Adventure People & Cultures Then & Now Family Fun Eco-Travel Hidden Gems

YANKEE PUBLISHING INC.

Welcome Contents

There are few places in this world where you can sip your coffee (or mimosa) with your feet dangling off a sailboat watching the sun rise over the ocean, and then find yourself on a hiking trail surrounded by ruggedly beautiful mountains by the afternoon. But that is what a vacation in New England promises: the chance to see and experience everything from sea to shore, from storybook villages to world-class cities—all within a few hours of one another.

Each of the six New England states possesses a unique way of life, and yet they’re all connected by history, tradition, and landscape so rich and varied that whether you come for a week, or a month, or more, every day promises new discoveries. There’s no other destination where so many adventures for all ages can be found in such a small area. You can fill your appetite with fresh harvests from the land and sea, and tap your toes to local music pouring through the air in small towns and cities alike. You can immerse yourself in the history and heritage of people who have long called this place home, and also explore the New England of today, a mosaic of cultures that continuously enrich the region with new flavors, ideas, and experiences. You can come play in a winter wonderland, delight in the fresh blooms and festivals of spring and summer, or dive into the wonderful colors of New England’s famous fall foliage season.

New England is the full package, celebrating diversity and sustainability, a place that is worth returning to again and again. I am thrilled that you want to discover more about our home and the stories that we have to share.

On behalf of the great states of Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut, I welcome you to New England!

1121 Main St., P.O. Box 520 Dublin, NH 03444 603-563-8111; newengland.com

Discover New England copyright 2023 by Yankee Publishing Inc.; all rights reserved.

PUBLISHER

Brook Holmberg EDITOR

Mel Allen

ART DIRECTOR

Katharine Van Itallie

PHOTO EDITOR

Heather Marcus

MANAGING EDITOR

Jenn Johnson

TRAVEL EDITOR

Kim Knox Beckius

MARKETING DIRECTOR

Kate Hathaway Weeks

SENIOR ADVERTISING MANAGER

Valerie Lithgow

PRODUCTION MANAGER

Brian Johnson

SENIOR PRODUCTION ARTIST

Jennifer Freeman

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Robert Curley

ON THE COVER Day-sailing off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island. Photograph by Maria Burton

7 ADVENTURE

8 On the Water: From surfing on the coast to rafting on mighty inland rivers, water sports enthusiasts can get their fill in New England.

10 Winter Thrills: When the temperatures drop, these outdoor (and indoor!) diversions offer a world of excitement.

11 Bucket-List Trails: New England invites exploring with these famously scenic routes to travel by foot or by bike.

15 PEOPLE & CULTURES

16 Indigenous Heritage: Join in celebrating the art, music, languages, and stories of New England’s first peoples.

18 World Cultures: Dive into this region’s rich collection of global influences—in food, festivals, and much more.

19 Black History: Learning centers and landmarks bring the many contributions of Black New Englanders to light.

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THEN & NOW

24 Heritage Foods: New England’s traditional drinks and dishes are also a modern-day food lover’s delight.

26 Timeless Stages: Historic theater venues provide thrilling showcases for today’s performing talents.

27 Living History: Step back in time at immersive museums that breathe new life into New England’s past.

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PHOTO: CATE BROWN Cyclists cruise alongside the Atlantic on the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

31 FAMILY FUN

32 Stay & Play: Planning a trip with extended family? New England’s resorts can be your home away from home.

34 All-Ages Cruises: Get out on the water with gentle sightseeing voyages perfect for travelers young and old.

35 Scenic Strolls: Take a walk through some of New England’s loveliest landscapes at a pace everyone can enjoy.

39 ECO-TRAVEL

40 Eco-Friendly Hotels: Environmental innovation plus classic hospitality provide the best night’s sleep.

41 Green Experiences: Get closer to the earth with farmfresh dining, off-the-grid overnight stays, and more.

42 Wildlife Encounters: Delve into New England’s varied habitats and native species on these learning adventures.

46 HIDDEN GEMS

48 Art Discoveries: Beyond the big-name museums are amazing masterpieces and collections worth seeking out.

50 Secret Gardens: The most unexpected places often hold blooming wonders that are worth the drive.

51 Behind-the-Scenes Food: Special trails for gourmands lead right to the source of New England’s best food and drink.

54 RESOURCES

Ready to experience all that New England has to offer? The state tourism officials for each individual state— Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont—have compiled need-to-know information and essential contacts to get you started.

NEW ENGLAND

Tucked into the northeast corner of the United States, New England is a region of tall mountains, rich farmland, wind-swept seacoasts, and everything in between. Steeped in history and full of spirit, it is home to some of the nation’s most popular attractions, universities, and sports teams. Four distinct seasons and the perfect mix of big cities and small towns make New England a favorite travel destination.

Start planning your getaway today!

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ISLAND Bangor Portland Eastport The Forks Lewiston Auburn Bethel Kittery Kennebunkport Freeport Brunswick Rockland Camden Millinocket Houlton Boothbay Harbor Bath Ogunquit Deer Isle Madawaska Rangeley Greenville BOSTON Bar Harbor Presque Isle AUGUSTA ★ MONTPELIER ★ CONCORD ★ ★ ★ Burlington Stowe Manchester Rutland Woodstock Quechee Newport Pittsfield Lenox Gloucester Plymouth Provincetown Salem Portsmouth Worcester Springfield Stockbridge Lowell Northampton Brattleboro Bennington HARTFORD ★ PROVIDENCE Newport Warwick Mystic New London Essex Old Saybrook New Haven Litchfield Bridgeport Keene Watch Hill Westerly Narragansett Hanover North Conway Bretton Woods Whitefield Jackson Lincoln Tilton Meredith Wolfeboro Manchester Merrimack Berlin Dixville Notch St. Albans Killington Shelburne Deerfield Sturbridge Williamstown North Adams New Bedford Falmouth Hyannis Chatham Moosehead Lake Lake Winnipesaukee Lake Champlain Mount Desert Island Quabbin Reservoir Green Mountains White Mountains Mount Washington Berkshire Hills Litchfield Hills Acadia National Park Mount Katahdin Baxter State Park ▲ ▲ Block Island Martha’s Vineyard Nantucket Cape Cod MASSACHUSETTS CONNECTICUT VERMONT NEW HAMPSHIRE MAINE ISLAND RHODE Atlantic Ocean Gulf of Maine 0 miles 48 31 62 93 124 154 96 0 km 1 inch = 48 miles (approx.) 1 cm = 31 km (approx.) 2 112 100 7 7 7 16 16 100 CANADA Montreal Boston New York Philadelphia Washington DC Atlanta Orlando Miami Chicago Toronto
Contents
top photo Discover the artistry of Native American craft at Maine’s Abbe Museum, the first museum in the state to be affiliated with the worldfamous Smithsonian Institution. (See “Indigenous Heritage,” p. 16)
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lower photo Part of the Connecticut Wine Trail, Holmberg Orchards & Winery in Gales Ferry offers wine lovers an off-the-beaten-path experience. (See “Behind-the-Scenes Food,” p. 51)
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PHOTOS: MI’KMAQ BEADED PURSE FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE ABBE MUSEUM, BAR HARBOR, MAINE [#92-07] (TOP); WINTER CAPLANSON (BOTTOM)

Adventure

Nowhere else in America will travelers find so many choices for adventure in such a compact region as they do in New England. You can stand on the summit of a grand mountain and, after your descent, be within a two-hour drive (or less!) of the ocean, where you can cast off in a sea kayak for wild, tree-lined islands. The famed Appalachian Trail winds through nearly all the New England states, part of a firstclass hiking scene here. Whitewater rafting and deep-sea fishing draw enthusiasts from around the world. Sailors far and wide know that this region’s coastal waters and lovely harbors are without rival.

New England adventures are entwined with the changing seasons. Winter brings thick blankets of snow to this region’s pioneering ski areas, which have produced some of the most decorated Olympic and World Cup champions in history. In summer, beaches invite surfing and paddleboarding, while thousands of pristine lakes dot the landscape— it’s seemingly impossible to be anywhere in New England without a sparkling lake nearby. Fall trekking can become an adventure all its own, as the most dramatic foliage color in the world begs you to dive in and explore by foot, bike, boat, and even zipline.

Adventure is the best kind of escape—let New England open the door and show you how much fun it can be.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE: First established in 1819, the Crawford Path offers an eye-opening journey through the Presidential Range on the way to the summit of Mount Washington. (See “Bucket-List Trails,” p. 11)

ON THE WATER

From mighty inland rivers to the always-in-motion Atlantic Ocean, the waters of New England have long invited adventure seekers. How will you add a splash of H₂O to your itinerary? Here are a few ideas:

In RHODE ISLAND, nicknamed “The Ocean State,” sparkling Narragansett Bay is a top adventure destination. Sailing fans converge on the city of Newport, which hosted the celebrated America’s Cup race for more than 50 years. Many former champion yachts still glide across these waters, operated by tour companies that offer not only sightseeing cruises but also the thrill of racing experiences. For those who prefer to get their feet wet in the sport of surfing, great news: Southern New England’s most vigorous swells are found in Rhode Island, most notably in Narragansett, a laid-back beach town where local surfers are eager to share knowledge with newcomers. At the Peter Pan Surf School, run by Rhode Island surfing champ Peter Panagiotis, you’ll find excellent instruction all year long.

MAINE calls to paddlers with adventures both mild and wild. Coastal kayaking abounds in southern Maine, a region that is home to the state’s two largest salt marshes; plus, all along Maine’s 3,500mile (5,633km) coast there are beautiful islands within paddling distance, a string of gems highlighted by the first-ever U.S. water trail, the Maine Island Trail. Moving the focus inland, it’s easy to see why Maine is considered the epicenter of New England’s whitewater rafting scene. The Penobscot, Kennebec, and Dead rivers are famed for their Class III, IV, and V rapids, as well as the longest unbroken stretch of whitewater in the eastern United States. From May to October, local outfitters offer guided trips suitable for beginners and up.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND.ORG/ON-THE-WATER

MOUNTAIN BIKING DESTINATIONS

AMANDA ARLING

Cyclist and co-owner of the Village Inn at Kingdom Trails in East Burke, Vermont

“People from all over North America, if not the world, have heard of Kingdom Trails. This trail network of more than 100 miles (161km) is unique because most of the land was donated by private owners. The trail system traverses a ridgeline that offers beautiful views of Vermont’s iconic Green Mountains and Lake Willoughby. And you’ll experience a community entirely built around mountain biking and enjoying the great outdoors.

“In New Hampshire, Bear Brook State Park has a wonderful trail system, while in Rhode Island, there’s something for everyone at Woody Hill, just outside of Westerly: flowy double-track for novice riders, flat and fast single-track for riders who like purpose-built trails, and some really big technical features on the more advanced trails.

“People don’t often think of Connecticut as a mountain biking destination, but Bluff Point and Haley Farm State Park, near Mystic, are among my favorites because not only are the trails fun and interesting (and very technical), but you also get really gorgeous views of Long Island Sound.

“My top pick in Maine is actually Acadia National Park You don’t necessarily need a mountain bike on the park’s historic carriage trails; you’d also be perfectly content on a gravel bike or a road bike with wider tires. While these aren’t technical, challenging rides, you’re experiencing some of New England’s most beautiful scenery.

RHODE ISLAND: Surfers gather on the ocean in view of Narragansett’s Point Judith Lighthouse.

“At Thunder Mountain in western Massachusetts, you get to put your bike on a chairlift. If you’ve never tried downhill mountain biking, it’s a great place to learn, while experienced riders will love the technical flow trails.”

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MAINE: Whitewater paddlers feel the rush on a Penobscot River guided trip led by North Country Outdoors.
Adventure
Local Knowledge
Discover New England 9 PHOTOS: NORTH COUNTRY RIVERS (LEFT); PJ DOUGHERTY (RIGHT); CHRIS SHANE (PREVIOUS PAGE)

WINTER THRILLS

While some of the best ski resorts in the United States can be found in New England, you don’t need to be an Alpine skier or snowboarder to make this region your winter playground. When the temperature drops and the snowflakes fall, you can fill your New England getaway with a full spectrum of outdoor activities, each with its own special thrill.

There are vast snowmobile trail networks in northern New England, and—with the help of rentals and lessons from area outfitters—even those who have never ridden one of these “motorcycles on skis” can still be part of this exciting winter scene. In VERMONT, you can explore nearly 5,000 miles (8047km) of snowmobiling trails across both public and private land, revealing places you normally wouldn’t see otherwise. Another way to discover hidden landscapes: booking a Vermont dogsledding tour, and embarking on a wild ride across frozen fields behind a pack of eager huskies and malamutes.

Ice climbing, on the other hand, provides an entirely different kind of thrill. New England is home to a number of ice climbing destinations—including those in the White Mountains and the Green Mountains—but the sport isn’t limited to the region’s highest terrain. Beginner-friendly ice formations can be found in New England’s southernmost state, CONNECTICUT, and outfitters such as Connecticut-based Ascent Climbing will be happy to demonstrate that the seemingly impossible is actually quite doable, with the right tools and a confidence boost from an experienced guide.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND.ORG/WINTER-THRILLS

BUCKETLIST TRAILS

New England offers hiking and cycling trails of all kinds, and for all kinds of adventurers—but a few of these trails do stand out from the rest. They may be steeped in history, or they may simply traverse the most scenic spots imaginable. All of them, though, help define the heart and soul of this region.

In NEW HAMPSHIRE , there are a number of ways to get to the top of the Northeast’s tallest peak, Mount Washington (6,288 feet/1,916m). The most unforgettable route might be the Crawford Path, first established more than 200 years ago. It offers the full White Mountains experience in one hike: steep ascents, boulder-strewn peaks, and wide-open plateaus where hikers can linger and take in the panoramic views before pushing on to the top. The White Mountains don’t disappoint when it comes to bike paths, either: The Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail is a stunning 83-mile (133.5km) cycling route spanning the region’s northern half, passing through nearly a dozen little mountain towns along the way. You could do

it in a day, but why rush? Pack a camping tent, or enjoy the warm welcome at a local lodging establishment. New England’s best coastal biking adventures, meanwhile, can be found in MASSACHUSETTS —and specifically, on the famed Cape Cod peninsula. Both flat and paved, the 27.5-mile (44km) Cape Cod Rail Trail runs through seven towns on Cape Cod, from Yarmouth to Wellfleet, with so many options for rest and refreshments breaks that you would be lucky to finish the full route in a weekend. There are plenty of offshoot trails, too, and at the end of the ride lies the Cape Cod National Seashore, one of the most treasured U.S. national parks. For a shorter ride that packs just as much scenic appeal, head to the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth—an almost perfect encapsulation of the Cape’s natural beauty in one simple, easy-to-cruise 10.7-mile (17km) ride.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND.ORG/BUCKET-LIST-TRAILS

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MASSACHUSETTS: Along with the longer Cape Cod Rail Trail, the Shining Sea Bikeway offers a unique perspective on the beauty of the Cape. ▲ CONNECTICUT: An ice climber makes his way up a gleaming wall of ice in Peoples State Forest, Barkhamsted, during a guided expedition with Ascent Climbing.
Adventure
VERMONT: See the winter landscape in a whole new way on a dogsled tour, like those offered by Eden Dog Sledding Adventures in the Northeast Kingdom.
Adventure
▲ PHOTOS: EDEN DOG SLEDDING (LEFT); NATE MCKENZIE/ASCENT CLIMBING (RIGHT) PHOTO: CATE BROWN
JOURNEY ALONG THE MASSACHUSETTS LIGHTHOUSE TRAIL Get your itinerary at VisitMA.com
Nauset Light, Eastham, Cape Cod Photo by: Paul Scharff

People & Cultures

One of the rewards of traveling through New England’s connected yet distinctly different states is not so much what you see, but rather who you meet. Visitors can find many opportunities here to learn about and celebrate an array of cultures, faiths, races, and identities. Among the benefits of exploring this progressive, welcoming region is that you’ll encounter diverse people who have stories to share—and you’ll feel seen and heard, too.

Larger cities—like Boston, Providence, and Portland—offer the greatest variety of ethnic restaurants, multicultural performances, and shops owned by entrepreneurs of all backgrounds. By contrast, when you want to learn more about New England’s indigenous heritage, which stretches back millennia, or to understand the challenges that African-Americans overcame to build communities and make lasting contributions, you may find yourself on an odyssey to unexpected and fascinating places. This sort of quest is exactly why many of us long to travel the world: to appreciate not only people’s differences but also our shared humanity.

And if you plan your visit to coincide with a festival inspired by a colorful global culture, your time in New England can feel like two trips in one. That’s tremendous value, both in terms of making the most of your vacation and building crosscultural connections that will enrich your life for years to come.

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MASSACHUSETTS: Gifted to the city of Boston by Taiwan in 1982, a traditional paifang gate marks the entrance to the only historic Chinatown neighborhood in New England. (See “World Cultures,” p. 18)

FUN & FRIENDLY LGBTQ GETAWAYS

ANDREW

COLLINS

Travel writer based part-time in New Hampshire and author of numerous guidebooks, including Ultimate Road Trips USA & Canada

“Boston, Massachusetts, is undisputedly New England’s top LGBTQ urban destination, especially the historic South End, with its hopping gay bars and buzzy bistros—but don’t miss Jamaica Plain, a diverse, slightly offthe-beaten-path neighborhood with cool indie boutiques and cafés. Another great bet for city lovers is Providence, Rhode Island, which puts on an amazing Pride Festival each June; it features one of the world’s only nighttime Pride parades. And near the stately Gothic buildings of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, you can mingle at Partners and 168 York Street Café, two of the Northeast’s oldest LGBTQ bars.

“Among gay resort towns, Provincetown, Massachusetts, needs no introduction, but keep in mind that the off-season is more appealing if you’re seeking a quiet, romantic escape. My favorite way to explore the stunning Cape Cod National Seashore is on a sunset excursion offered by Art’s Dune Tours. Farther north, the artsy coastal town of Ogunquit, Maine, feels like a mini Provincetown, with its festive beach scene and several LGBTQ-frequented bars and restaurants.

“In the White Mountains, Franconia, Bethlehem, and Littleton New Hampshire, form a cluster of LGBTQwelcoming villages that are minutes from amazing skiing, hiking, and leaf-peeping.

“The pretty mountain getaway of Stowe, Vermont, offers plenty to see and do year-round, but it truly comes alive as an LGBTQ vacation spot during January’s Winter Rendezvous, New England’s biggest gay ski week. Make a side trip to Burlington, which has several inclusive bars and cafés and a stunning waterfront park overlooking Lake Champlain.”

INDIGENOUS HERITAGE

For more than 11,000 years before first contact with Europeans, native peoples lived in what is now New England. The fish and game they harvested and the crops they cultivated all remain important to this region today; likewise, many of the names they bestowed upon the lands and waters here remain, 400 years after the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Even more important, the culture of indigenous people lives on, as proud members of New England’s Algonquian tribes work to preserve their art, music, languages, and stories. Each of the New England states offers opportunities for you to learn about these traditions, and to support their preservation.

more than 12,000 years of Native American culture and history.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND .ORG/INDIGENOUS-HERITAGE

The largest Native American museum in the United States can be found in CONNECTICUT, where the Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Ledyard takes visitors on an interactive journey that begins with the last Ice Age and concludes with a close-up look at the tribe today. As owners of remarkably successful entertainment and hospitality businesses—including nearby Foxwoods, one of the largest resort casinos in North America—the Mashantucket Pequots continuously invest in telling their survival story in unique ways.

Visitors to MAINE can explore the story and culture of the Wabanaki tribe— “The People of the First Light”—at the Abbe Museum, which has two seasonal locations in Bar Harbor: a small outpost in Acadia National Park and a highly regarded Smithsonian-affiliated facility downtown. The museum’s collection of works by Wabanaki basket makers is particularly strong, and you can purchase finely woven baskets by some of today’s leading artisans.

CONNECTICUT: A dancer performs at Schemitzun, a summer harvest festival held on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation.

People & Cultures
Local Knowledge
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MAINE: A view of the dramatic Bar Harbor location of the Abbe Museum, whose collections represent PHOTOS: AP PHOTO/JESSICA HILL (ABOVE); TARA RICE (RIGHT); ISTOCK.COM/TRAVELVIEW (PREVIOUS PAGE)

People & Cultures

WORLD CULTURES

The old notion of America as a melting pot, where immigrants are assimilated into a singular culture, has fallen away. In today’s New England, cultural diversity is respected and celebrated, even as people of different backgrounds come together within larger communities. The benefit, for both residents and visitors, is the sheer array of cuisines to savor, ethnic neighborhoods to explore, and cultural events to attend within this compact region.

In Boston, the capital of MASSACHUSETTS, the first Chinese immigrants to arrive were predominantly male laborers; now, residents are a mix of newcomers and generations-old Asian-American families. In office since 2021, Michelle Wu is Boston’s first Asian-American mayor. All this will inform your visit to Boston’s Chinatown, which traces its origins to the 1870s and is one of the oldest neighborhoods of its kind in the United States. Enjoy feasting at one of the many authentic restaurants, or schedule your visit to include

the annual Chinese New Year Parade (the Lunar New Year is in January or February each year), when you’ll marvel at the pageantry of lion dancers and other performers.

RHODE ISLAND’s most evocative neighborhood is Federal Hill in Providence, which has long been the hub of the city’s Italian community. DePasquale Square—with its flowers, fountain, and European-style outdoor cafés—is the beating heart of this “Little Italy.” You’ll want to watch pasta makers at work at Venda Ravioli, taste the traditional breads and other delicacies baked in 100-year-old brick ovens at Scialo Brothers Bakery, snap photographs against the backdrop of massive painted murals, shop at Italian markets, and sip espresso drinks and nibble Italian pastries at Pastiche Fine Desserts.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND.ORG/WORLD-CULTURES

People & Cultures

BLACK HISTORY

African-Americans’ experiences in New England, as told by learning centers and landmarks across the region, are complex and compelling. There are tragic stories, but tales of triumph and heroism as well: The famed Amistad rebellion, for example, is so gripping that it inspired a major motion picture. New exhibits continually bring forward narratives too long left untold, speaking to us about universal themes—family, community, culture— and about Black New Englanders’ past and present contributions.

When you visit the African Burying Ground Memorial Park in Portsmouth, NEW HAMPSHIRE , you’ll see the work of acclaimed sculptor Jerome Meadows, who created life-sized male and female figures reaching toward each other from opposite sides of a slab. It’s an emotional artwork symbolizing both the separation and the resilience of the Africans who once arrived in this port city as captives. The memorial park can be your starting point for a self-guided tour of 23 additional sites along the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, or you can book one of the guided tours offered in Portsmouth and beyond by the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire.

Before slavery was abolished, New England was the site of many stops on the Underground Railroad, with one of the best-preserved examples found in VERMONT. At Ferrisburgh’s Rokeby Museum, you’ll be introduced (by way of a multimedia exhibit) to Simon and Jesse, two “passengers” on the Underground Railroad who found safe shelter and employment at this Quaker farm. Tour the grounds, and you’ll learn even more about how fugitives from slavery became part of their new communities.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND .ORG/BLACK-HISTORY

▲ VERMONT: The story of two fugitives from slavery comes to life in the permanent exhibit “Free & Safe: The Underground Railroad in Vermont” at Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh.

▼ NEW HAMPSHIRE: This poignant sculpture marks the entry to Portsmouth’s African Burying Ground Memorial Park, on the site of the only African burying ground of its kind in New England.

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RHODE ISLAND: Summer crowds soak up the atmosphere in Federal Hill, Providence’s “Little Italy” district. PHOTO: © DAVID DELPOIO/USA TODAY NETWORK PHOTOS: KELLY BURGESS (TOP); DEBBIE ECKERT/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO (BOTTOM)

Just West of Untrampled and North of Breathtaking

The Forks

Then & Now

As America’s most historic region, New England has also been one of its most innovative. It was here that the country’s Industrial Revolution took root, and environmentalism first arose. New England gave us such gadgets as the can opener and the microwave oven, culinary inventions like fried clams and lobster rolls, and game-changers that make the world feel smaller, like the telephone and Facebook. The world of the present meets the spirit of the past in so many ways in New England. Living history museums offer modern-day visitors an unforgettable immersion into how people went about their daily lives centuries ago. Gloriously restored performance halls invite you to experience cutting-edge shows alongside beloved classics. You can even savor a literal taste of New England history as you order up regional treats like coffee milk and steamed cheeseburgers, made just as they have been for generations. Yes, history is an essential part of New England’s fabric, but it’s always entwined with modern appeal. So whether you’re watching a blacksmith demonstrate heritage techniques, wandering the historic home of an author whose words still resonate today, or simply sitting down to pancakes topped with maple syrup made by an eighthgeneration farm, you are bridging eras in ways that are both simple and profound—and perfectly of this moment.

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CONNECTICUT: Visitors to Mystic Seaport Museum are transported back to the Age of Sail not only by floating exhibits such as the 1882 tall ship Joseph Conrad, but also by skilled craftspeople demonstrating the trades of that era, from shipbuilding to blacksmithing. (See “Living History,” p. 27)

MAINE: Originally used by Maine’s native peoples as fishing bait and fertilizer, lobsters are today a prized delicacy and a culinary highlight of many travelers’ visits to the state.

HERITAGE FOODS

Many of New England’s culinary traditions trace their origins to Colonial times, when European settlers’ own food sensibilities became mixed with what they learned from native peoples about preparing the bounty harvested from land and sea. As you travel through the New England states, you’ll have abundant opportunities to taste history.

A genuinely indigenous food, maple syrup was first produced by Native Americans, who marked the harvest with a “sugar moon” celebration of the last full moon before spring. These days, sugarhouses—often run as small-scale, family-run operations— produce maple syrup in every New England state, with VERMONT being the biggest producer not only in this region, but in the entire nation. However, the differences in maple syrup vary less by geography than by grade: Golden, Amber, Dark, or Very Dark (the darker the syrup, the stronger the maple flavor). Just don’t confuse any of these with the artificial “pancake syrup” sold in supermarkets. No self-respecting New England breakfast spot would dream of serving anything but the real thing.

Lobster is another long-time staple of this region, with MAINE as the undisputed king: Posting an annual catch of about 100 million pounds (45.3 million kg), the state’s lobster industry is by far the largest in the United States. There are fishing fleets up and down the Maine coastline, which is also home to top-notch seafood eateries that range from McLoons, a casual seaside shack in South Thomaston, to Eventide Oyster Co., a nationally recognized restaurant in downtown Portland.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND.ORG/HERITAGE-FOODS

VERMONT: Producing more maple syrup than any other U.S. state, Vermont is keeping alive a tradition that goes back centuries.

Local Knowledge IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF NEW ENGLAND WRITERS

KIM KNOX BECKIUS

Yankee travel editor and author of New England’s Historic Homes & Gardens

“So many giants of the literary world spent all or part of their lives in New England, and the organizations that preserve their homes do a fine job of keeping their words relevant today. If I could take you to one place in each state where authors’ legacies still loom large, we’d start in my home city—Hartford, Connecticut—and tour the Mark Twain House, where immortal characters like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn sprang to life, and Stowe Center, home to Harriet Beecher Stowe, abolitionist author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin “We’d swing by Providence, Rhode Island, to wander College Hill in search of the houses and haunts associated with science fiction author H.P. Lovecraft. In Concord, Massachusetts, meanwhile, we’d explore the Old Manse, the Ralph Waldo Emerson House, Walden Pond and, finally, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where fans leave pencils on the graves of Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne. We’d tour Little Women author Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, too.

“Maine’s first historic house museum, the Wadsworth–Longfellow House in Portland, was where a young Henry Wadsworth Longfellow soaked up the stories of early America he’d retell in poems like ‘Paul Revere’s Ride.’

Speaking of beloved New England poets, we’ll be sure to visit the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, where we’ll spy the ‘Mending Wall’ from Frost’s well-known verse.

“And if you’ve planned ahead and booked a stay at Naulakha in Dummerston, Vermont, I’ll leave you there, in the 1892 home where Rudyard Kipling penned The Jungle Book, to sit at the author’s desk and write postcards.”

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PHOTOS: MARK FLEMING (LEFT); VERMONT MAPLE SUGAR MAKERS ASSOCIATION (RIGHT); STAN TESS/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO (PREVIOUS PAGE)

TIMELESS STAGES LIVING HISTORY

There’s something downright magical about seeing the talent of today performing in theaters that have welcomed generation after generation of audiences. And far from being clustered only in Boston’s Theater District, New England’s timeless stages can be found in a wide range of scenic locales that lure vacationers and visiting Broadway actors alike. If you’re fortunate enough to time your visit to include a show, it could end up being your vacation’s dramatic highlight.

Summer stock theater is not a New England invention, but it has become nearly synonymous with this region—and no more so than at the Cape Playhouse in MASSACHUSETTS, the longestrunning professional summer theater in the United States. When it was founded in Dennis in 1927, the playhouse offered Broadway actors a venue where they could work during the slow summer season, and stars like Bette Davis and Henry Fonda eagerly took up the offer. Another theater tradition can be found in the Massachusetts Berkshires, where the stately neoclassical Adams Memorial Theatre at Williams College has hosted the world-famous Williamstown Theatre Festival since 1955. Several shows that premiered at the festival, including The Bridges of Madison County and The Elephant Man, later went on to Broadway acclaim.

Theater lovers have felt at home in NEW HAMPSHIRE’s Lakes Region for more than a century. Opened in 1914, the Venetian-themed Colonial Theatre in Laconia originally held live performances before it was converted to a movie house. Closed for nearly two decades, it was painstakingly restored and reopened in 2021 and—true to its legacy—now presents a mix of live theater, comedy, and movies. A bit farther north, in Tamworth, The Barnstormers still assembles a professional troupe each summer, just as it has since 1931, when it was co-founded by President Grover Cleveland’s youngest son. In the former Main Street shop that has been the ensemble’s permanent home since 1935, you’ll see top talent from around the country performing in a heartwarming play or perhaps a musical, and you’ll experience a sense of connection only possible in a theater with fewer than 300 seats.

While bringing the past to life is the mission of any good historical museum, some of New England’s best-loved attractions stand out for offering a true immersion in the world of yesteryear. As you interact with interpreters dressed in period clothing, try your hand at traditional crafts, and get up close with heritage farm breeds, you’ll experience life as it was lived in New England’s early settlements, seafaring villages, working farmsteads, and architecturally rich towns.

Early American farmers weren’t peasants, but many weren’t the rugged individualists of popular myth, either. Those who worked as tenant farmers had to pay to raise crops on land they didn’t own, and they could often be evicted without warning. This tenuous way to make a living is explored at RHODE ISLAND’s Coggeshall Farm Museum, a living history museum established on the site of a former salt-marsh tenant farm in Bristol. Fields and restored farm buildings dating to the 18th century are populated by costumed interpreters, who

will invite you to join in creating old-time crafts. Plus, kids will love visiting the heritage-breed pigs and sheep.

At Mystic Seaport Museum in CONNECTICUT, visitors can wander the streets of a re-created maritime village typical of 19th-century New England, stopping along the way to watch carpenters restore antique boats at the Preservation Shipyard, learn about blacksmithing and other trades that once served the shipbuilding industry here, and step aboard historic vessels that include the Charles W. Morgan, the world’s last surviving wooden whaling ship. The museum’s tour boats, including the coal-fired steamboat Sabino, provide the opportunity to see the entire Seaport Village from the water, while Spouter Tavern on the waterfront serves up Moby Dick

inspired nostalgia along with local beers and, of course, New England clam chowder.

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Then & Now Then & Now
▲ MASSACHUSETTS: Founded nearly 70 years ago, the Williamstown Theatre Festival regularly attracts top-name actors, such Bradley Cooper and Uma Thurman.
➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND.ORG/ TIMELESS-STAGES ➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND.ORG/LIVING-HISTORY
▼ NEW HAMPSHIRE: Intricate decorative flourishes hark back to another era at the stunningly restored Colonial Theatre in Laconia.
PHOTOS: DANIEL RADER (TOP); MATT LAMBROS (BOTTOM) PHOTO: © THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL/USA TODAY NETWORK
RHODE ISLAND: Get a glimpse of the lives of 18th-century tenant farmers—and meet some of the livestock they would have tended—at Bristol’s Coggeshall Farm Museum.

Family Fun

The years fly by. The children grow up. And when you look back, it is often the time spent together while far away from home that lights up your memories.

New England delivers a wonderful backdrop for that highlight reel of experiences shared with family, whether you’re traveling with toddlers or teenagers, grown children or grandparents. It’s a region where simple pleasures abound season after season, with things like scenic cruises, walks by the sea, and classic amusement rides to delight the kid in everyone.

New England’s family-oriented resorts have a long history of welcoming multigenerational groups, and you’ll love how they offer “unplugged” recreational activities for all ages while also fostering the sense of togetherness that is too often reserved for holidays or special occasions. It’s no wonder many guests book a return visit for the following year before they check out. You can almost imagine your children finding their way back with children of their own one day, carrying on a new tradition.

So, gather your relatives for the best kind of family meeting—the kind where you flip through the pages of this guide and begin dreaming of a New England vacation that holds something for everyone, and everything you need to strengthen family ties.

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VERMONT: Young ones will thrill to the sensation of gliding across the water while older travelers drink in the scenery on a Northern Star Cruises tour of Lake Memphremagog, a lovely glacial lake that straddles the U.S.-Canadian border. (See “All-Ages Cruises,” p. 34)

EXPLORING CLASSIC AMUSEMENT PARKS

ARTHUR LEVINE

Massachusettsbased theme park and travel journalist; creator of the blog Arthur’s About Theme Parks (aboutthemeparks.fun)

“You can step back in time at Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire, which opened in 1902. Its wonderful ‘woodie,’ Yankee Cannonball, first thrilled coaster fans in 1936. Two delightful midcentury parks, both geared to families with young children, can be found in New Hampshire’s White Mountains: the lovingly preserved Santa’s Village in Jefferson, and Story Land in Glen, which pays homage to classic nursery rhymes and fables.

“In Massachusetts, head to Six Flags New England in Agawam. While it offers modern-day coaster thrills such as Superman The Ride and Wicked Cyclone, you can experience its historical roots (it dates back to 1870) by taking a ride on the circa-1940s wooden coaster, Thunderbolt. Also consider visiting Salem Willows in Salem. So small it barely qualifies as an amusement park, this vintage spot has perhaps the world’s best popcorn (made in a gasfired, early-20th-century popper), as well as a charming carousel.

“Connecticut offers two classic amusement parks: Lake Compounce in Bristol, which opened in 1846 and is the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the country, and Quassy in Middlebury, one of the few remaining ‘trolley parks.’ The two lakeside parks both offer top-ranked, old-school wooden coasters.

“Dating back to 1967, Funtown Splashtown U.S.A. in Saco, Maine, features the wooden coaster Excalibur. And while the country’s smallest state, Rhode Island, no longer has any amusement parks, children can ride the Flying Horses, one of the country’s oldest carousels, in Watch Hill.”

Family Fun

STAY & PLAY

MASSACHUSETTS: From swimming to tennis to a life-size chess set, there’s no end of fun at Winnetu Oceanside Resort, on Martha’s Vineyard.

Planning a trip with extended family couldn’t be easier when you choose a New England resort as your home away from home. The region’s top destinations cater to groups large and small with activities for all ages and a range of lodging options to suit varying needs and budgets. Best of all, when you choose to stay at one of these expansive properties—with helpful staff and amenities galore—you’ll have endless opportunities to play, dine, and discover new things about each other.

Some of New England’s grandest and most family-friendly beach resorts can be found in MASSACHUSETTS, in the Cape & Islands region. On Martha’s Vineyard, for instance, Winnetu Oceanside Resort is a seasonal favorite where supervised programs can keep kids busy all morning, allowing parents and grandparents to enjoy spa treatments, tennis matches, and water taxi trips to Edgartown for shopping. The traditional New England clambakes are an unforgettable experience for the whole clan.

Or maybe you prefer to ski, and your kids love to snowboard (or are longing to learn). But what will the non-skiers in your group do while you’re on the slopes? Stay at one of NEW HAMPSHIRE’s major ski resorts, and you’ll find plenty for everyone to do. At the state’s largest ski area, Bretton Woods, those who are not keen on downhill skiing can go Nordic skiing or snowshoeing or try an activity that requires even less exertion, like snow tubing. South of Bretton Woods, you’ll find a similarly diverse line-up of recreation and accommodations at Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln. Plus, New England Disabled Sports, located at both Loon and Bretton Woods, offers instruction for children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities, making winter fun more accessible to all.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND.ORG/STAY-AND-PLAY

Discover New England 33
Knowledge
Local
32 Discover New England
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Beginning skiers can easily find their footing at Bretton Woods, which offers group lessons as well as private instruction. PHOTOS: ROSEMARY TUFANKJIAN (ABOVE); LOON MOUNTAIN RESORT (RIGHT); RICK DESROCHERS (PREVIOUS PAGE)

ALL-AGES CRUISES

So much of New England’s history, character, and lifestyle is tied to boating. If you never leave shore, you’re truly missing out on some of the region’s most exhilarating experiences. In every New England state, there are gentle voyages ideal for all ages of travelers. Some cruises invite passengers to be a bit more active—helping to hoist the sails, for instance, or pitching in with making meals. But on all of these expeditions, you can simply sit back and enjoy stunning scenery and a feeling of escape from life on land, even if you hoist nothing heavier than a pair of binoculars or a glass of wine.

CONNECTICUT ’s most iconic riverboat, the Becky Thatcher, was built to resemble the type of steamboat that Mark Twain piloted on the Mississippi

River during the mid-19th century. At Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, you and your family will get a thrill out of boarding a historic train for a rail ride from Essex to Deep River, where you’ll board the Becky Thatcher for a second dose of nostalgia. Choose railing-side seats on one of three decks, and relax as attractions like Gillette Castle glide into view. You can catch the tree swallows’ dramatic dance on late summer and early fall evenings, or, as the colors of autumn deepen, choose this cruise as your family’s most memorable leafpeeping excursion.

In VERMONT ’s remote Northeast Kingdom, sit back and relax as you relish

the uniqueness of New England’s only international lake cruise. Northern Star Cruises offers two-hour scenic outings on Lake Memphremagog, which come with the added thrill of crossing both the 45th parallel, located halfway between the equator and the North Pole, and the border between the U.S. and Canada. And if you’ve ever taken a ferry to sightsee—rather than merely to get from Point A to Point B—you’ll love Lake Champlain Ferries’ crossing from Burlington to Port Kent, New York, which offers as dazzling an experience as any scenic cruise; plus, it’s an affordable way for the whole family to get out onto New England’s largest lake.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND.ORG/CRUISING-NEW-ENGLAND

Family Fun

SCENIC STROLLS

Families who go on walks together find themselves growing closer with each step and each breath of fresh air. They are discovering nature’s astonishing variety together: the sounds and movement of wildlife, the mysteries of the plant world, the beauty of sweeping landscape views. And when the terrain is gentle, and the pace is one that all ages can handle, you notice smaller things you might miss on a more vigorous hike. In New England, many of the most popular scenic strolls are walks with a history; they are paths that have been trod by generations.

sometimes-slippery rocks. Explore even a short segment of the Cliff Walk, though, and you’ll marvel at the same splendid ocean views that were enjoyed by some of America’s wealthiest families back at the turn of the 20th century.

RHODE ISLAND:

One of New England’s most famous ocean strolls, Newport’s Cliff Walk delivers maximum scenery for minimal effort.

Take RHODE ISLAND’s Cliff Walk, a 3.5mile (5.6km) coastal pathway that traverses the backyards of Newport’s famed Gilded Age mansions. The first two miles (3.2km) of the Cliff Walk, which begins near First Beach, are easy for walkers of all abilities; the southern stretch may be more appealing to adventurous types, as it calls for some scrambling over

Up in MAINE , sprawling Acadia National Park is criss-crossed with historic carriage roads that are perfect for relaxed walking— along with biking and even horse-drawn carriage rides. For those who’d like to venture into the woods, the Jesup Path and Hemlock Path Loop offer two mostly level trails through lovely stands of white birch and hemlock, with views of Dorr Mountain interspersed throughout. The wooden boardwalk and wide, gravel portions are great for families and are wheelchair-accessible.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND.ORG/ SCENIC-STROLLS

34 Discover New England Discover New England 35
Family Fun
MAINE: On the Jesup Path, an easy boardwalk trail leads visitors into the natural splendor of Acadia National Park. CONNECTICUT: Cruise back into the age of steamboat travel on the Becky Thatcher a signature attraction on the Connecticut River.
PHOTOS: ERIN MCGINN/DISCOVER NEWPORT (LEFT); BENJAMIN WILLIAMSON, COURTESY OF DOWN EAST (RIGHT) PHOTO: SUSAN COLE KELLY (TOP)

Eco-Travel➼

New England is the most densely forested region in the United States, but it’s not just all those trees that make this area “green.” The world’s first wind farm was built right here, in New Hampshire, back in 1980. Massachusetts claims the earliest solar-powered house (1948), while North America’s first offshore wind farm was established off the coast of Rhode Island (2016). More recently, in a ranking of U.S. states by their recycling rates, New England took four of the top five spots.

Speaking of green achievements, Connecticut is where you’ll find Hotel Marcel, the nation’s first net-zero hotel, which bypasses fossil fuels entirely in running its nine-story, 165-guestroom facility. It sets the standard in a region already populated with hotels and inns known for sustainable building practices and energy efficiency (lists of “green hotels,” in fact, are often included on state tourism websites).

And even as earth-conscious travelers have their pick of places to stay in New England, there’s an array of immersive and exciting ecotravel activities, too—from taking a self-powered tour by bike or kayak; to celebrating local agriculture with a farm dinner or farm stay; to getting a close-up look at native wildlife and learning how to protect these species and their habitats.

All in all, New England offers a spirit of environmental innovation and awareness in cities large and small, easing the way for travelers wanting to visit these places while leaving a small footprint—and, of course, having the trip of a lifetime.

Discover New England 39
MAINE: Bikers and hikers who enjoy an immersive backwoods experience can trek from one off-the-grid shelter to the next on the Maine Huts & Trails system in western Maine. (See “Green Experiences,” p. 41)

ECO-FRIENDLY HOTELS

There may be no more basic need for vacationers than finding the right lodging—and for ecominded guests, New England offers many hotels with LEED certification, low-waste operations, and creative earth-friendly initiatives. In summary, when you are looking for a place to lay your head for the night, New England’s green hotels will make sure your conscience rests easy, too.

In CONNECTICUT, the city that hosts one of the world’s best universities, Yale, also offers a master class in sustainable hospitality: New Haven’s Hotel Marcel, which opened in 2022, is the first net-zero hotel in the nation. Set in a landmark 1967 Brutalist-style building

designed by Marcel Breuer, the 165room hotel is completely sustained by an array of 1,000 solar panels. Repurposed building materials have been used throughout, while new additions—tripleglazed windows, upgraded temperature and air quality controls—help make the vintage building supremely energyefficient. The restaurant serves local fare alongside biodynamic and organic wines, and 12 Tesla Superchargers and universal level-two chargers are ready to power up guests’ electric cars.

On the southwestern shoreline of RHODE ISLAND, luxury and sustainability go hand in hand at the Weekapaug Inn, located in the town of Westerly. This Relais & Châteaux

property has shaped its landscape to help protect nearby Quonochontaug Pond, with vegetated buffers of native plants and erosion-fighting stone borders; plus, the resort’s stateof-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system runs on a closed loop to avoid impacting the sensitive coastal environment. Dining initiatives are another highlight: No food travels more than 155 miles (250km) to reach the property’s kitchens, and all food scraps are composted and repurposed into soil for farms in the region.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND .ORG/ECO-FRIENDLY-HOTELS

CONNECTICUT:

The brand-new Hotel Marcel in New Haven delivers green lodgings with a midcenturymodern flair.

RHODE ISLAND: Even while pampering its guests, the Weekapaug Inn in Westerly works to tread lightly on its coastal surroundings.

Eco-Travel

EXPERIENCES

Even for travelers whose first priorities are relaxation and recreation, a vacation in New England offers many opportunities to reduce one’s impact on the region while still enjoying it to the fullest. You can buy locally crafted artwork and gifts, and savor food and drink that’s grown or made right here. Feel the power of wind on a sailboat cruise. Tackle a nature-made obstacle course by hiking through the mountains. With a little planning, however, you can discover even deeper experiences that connect you to New England— and the environment—in meaningful and memorable ways. You can leave the car behind and cover plenty of ground under your own power with a point-to-point walking or biking excursion. In western MAINE , for example, outdoor enthusiasts have access to a New England backwoods variation on the European “hut hiking” concept: Maine Huts & Trails, whose four off-the-grid eco-lodges are situated along an 80-mile (129km) trail system and offer rustic stopovers for hikers, bikers, skiers, and snowshoers as they pass through. (And, of course, there are the Appalachian Mountain Club’s

“high huts” in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the oldest and best-known mountain hut system in the country.) Agritourism is another key part of the green travel scene, with farms across New England opening their doors to educate, feed, and even host travelers. While farm tours and overnight stays are plentiful across the region, the purest “eat local” experience may be had at farm-based restaurants, which surround diners with the landscape in which their meals’ ingredients were raised and harvested. A great example of this can be found in VERMONT, at the Woodstock Inn & Resort: Here, the bounty of the inn’s organic farm, Kelly Way Gardens, not only goes directly into the meals enjoyed by resort guests but also is featured in special reservation-only dinners hosted right on the farm. Called the Red Barn Dinner Series, these events celebrate the contributions of local cheesemakers, farmers, beekeepers, and dairymen for a true farm-to-fork experience.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND.ORG/GREEN-EXPERIENCES

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Eco-Travel GREEN
Discover New England 41
VERMONT: Local flavor is the guiding idea at the Woodstock Inn & Resort, which bases its menus on what’s in season at its organic farm.
PHOTOS: SEAMUS PAYNE (LEFT); WEEKAPAUG INN (RIGHT); MAINE HUTS & TRAILS (PREVIOUS PAGE) PHOTO: WOODSTOCK INN & RESORT

MASSACHUSETTS: Few sights are as majestic as a whale breaching the ocean’s surface, as shown by this humpback leaping in view of a tour boat in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS

The ways in which you can explore New England’s wildlife are as rich and varied as the species that make their home in this region, from black bears and eagles to whales and great white sharks. Nature centers, wildlife sanctuaries, and guided tours all help bring visitors closer to these animals while also offering education about how to preserve and protect them and their habitat. And the best thing? You can’t go wrong with whatever adventure you choose, because you’ll almost certainly see something extraordinary, and learn things that will stay with you long after you’ve returned home.

MASSACHUSETTS is ranked as one of the top 10 whale-watching spots in the world for good reason: Just 25 nautical miles from Boston is the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, an 842-square-mile (2,180km²) refuge that provides a home for many kinds of marine life but most notably humpback, pilot, and blue whales, which come here to feed from spring through fall. And getting out to see these majestic animals couldn’t be easier, since whale-watching tours operate all along the state’s coast, from the North Shore to Cape Cod.

Massachusetts waters are also the seasonal home of another famous resident of the deep, the great white shark. The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC) on Cape Cod operates two educational centers, in Chatham and in Provincetown, with exhibits designed to engage visitors and teach them about shark research, conservation, and natural history. AWSC also leads private onthe-water tours for those hoping to glimpse great white sharks in their natural environment. Passengers get an up-close view of the group’s groundbreaking work, plus a chance to help out with vital research.

BIRD-WATCHING HOT SPOTS

Bryant says that people might be surprised by the number of great birding spots in Boston, including Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Belle Isle Marsh Reservation in East Boston, and Millennium Park in West Roxbury. But his go-to spot is Franklin Park, “a gorgeous green space of 485 acres (196ha) right in Boston with all these amazing natural habitats,” he says. “There’s Scarborough Pond and a big wooded area that’s literally called The Wilderness. You’re going to see a lot of songbirds—many different thrushes, for example, and Eastern towhees.”

The lineup also includes year-round favorites like the tufted titmouse and the black-capped chickadee.

The haunting call of the loon is a signature summer sound in New England, and in NEW HAMPSHIRE’s Lakes District these eye-catching black-and-white water birds have given the region an identity all its own.

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness offers the ideal introduction to the loon, which was driven to near extinction in parts of New England in the late 19th century and is still considered a threatened species in New Hampshire. On tours that span the breadth of beautiful Squam Lake, one of the center’s naturalists and a Loon Preservation Committee biologist help teach passengers about the birds and their habitat, as they keep an eye out for loons and even the occasional bald eagle.

In Connecticut, Barn Island Wildlife Management Area in Stonington is the state’s largest coastal management area, offering feeding and nesting habitats for several Connecticutspecific birds, such as seaside and saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrows and king rails. “There are warblers all over the place, too, like yellow and Cape May warblers,” Bryant says.

Rhode Island offers a few more of Bryant’s favorite options. In Middletown, Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge is a 242-acre (98ha) property that’s home to more than 200 bird species, including sea ducks, loons, gulls, cormorants, and other waterfowl who winter here. “And during spring migration, it’s very active,” he says, with species such as snow buntings, horned larks, and thrushes all making Sachuest Point a stop on their way north. At the nearby Norman Bird Sanctuary, meanwhile, 40 acres of grassland habitat have been restored for a range of species, including Savannah sparrows, bobolinks and Eastern kingbirds.

Local Knowledge
Eco-Travel Discover New England 43
➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND .ORG/WILDLIFE-ENCOUNTERS
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Preservation efforts have helped the state’s loon population rebound from fewer than 100 nesting pairs in the 1970s to more than triple that number today. PHOTOS: NOAA/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO (LEFT); MARK FLEMING (ABOVE)

Hidden Gems ➼

When traveling to new destinations, people often seek out the most famous and popular attractions—places they have read about, places where they will enjoy the company of many other newcomers following in the footsteps of generations of visitors. Each state in New England can claim these kinds of famous attractions, from world-renowned art museums to the historic villages and lighthouses that have been immortalized in postcards. But there is a special delight reserved for visitors to New England who seek out the roads less traveled. They will discover the treasures beloved by local residents, the hidden places that await anyone who takes the time to explore what so many others pass by. The small, rural art museum with a trove of Impressionist masterpieces. An old trolley bridge reborn as a lovely garden walk across a river. Family farms where ice cream is made by hand, using milk and cream from the cows grazing in pastures nearby. Often, the sweetest travel memories come from such unexpected moments and hours filled with wonder. They will stay with you, these gifts of hidden but muchloved New England gems.

RHODE ISLAND: Just a half-hour drive from Newport brings flower lovers to Blithewold, a former coastal estate now open to the public as a house museum and arboretum. With springtime comes the added bonus of seeing Blithewold’s 50,000-plus daffodils in bloom.

(See “Secret Gardens, p. 50)

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FINDING UNEXPECTED PHOTO OPS

“Some of the best shots that we’ve made on photo tours have come in places like Truro and Provincetown, Massachusetts, out on the dunes of the Outer Cape. It’s the part of Massachusetts that doesn’t look like any other part of Massachusetts—or New England, really. There’s a magic light out there.

“When I ran photo tours in Acadia National Park, I’d always take people to the Schoodic Peninsula, which is not on Mount Desert Island at all. It’s a part of Acadia that’s still wild, and you can see the raw energy of the ocean waves, just crashing against the granite cliffs.

“New Englanders go crazy for flowers, probably because they bloom for such a short time here. You definitely have to be ready for when it happens. Lupines are my favorite flower, and while most people go up to Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, if you know when to look for them, you can find lupines in many places, even just driving up the coast of Maine.

“One of my favorite little green spaces in the heart of Boston is North Point Park, on the Cambridge side of the Charles River. You can get great photos of the Zakim Bridge there, and enjoy the flowers and weeping willows and little canals. It’s a real treasure.

“Photographing autumn in Vermont is a tough one, since Instagram tends to spoon-feed people a lot of famous Vermont locations that they think they need to see. My advice? Think of an autumn theme you want to explore—like covered bridges or farms or waterfalls— and actually get a map, maybe a local map from a visitors center, and start driving. See what you can find! For me, the most valuable thing about photography is the idea of discovering something for yourself.”

Hidden Gems

ART DISCOVERIES

Each New England state offers visitors the chance to experience top-notch art museums, including some that have achieved international acclaim. It’s certainly no surprise that famous universities such as Harvard and Yale boast masterpiece collections, or that Boston’s venerable Museum of Fine Arts is a worldclass institution. You won’t want to skip these marquee attractions, of course—but you may also find a special thrill in discovering great art in less well-known places.

In NEW HAMPSHIRE , no one should miss the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College in Hanover, a gleaming, multistory showcase that recently underwent $50 million in renovations and expansions. But while on the Dartmouth campus, art lovers should seek out a hidden gem located on the lower level of nearby Baker Library. There waits The Epic of American Civilization, a sprawling 1930s masterpiece by the Mexican painter José Clemente Orozco. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 2013, the mural’s 24 panels cover nearly 3,200 square feet (297m²) of wall space, with recorded audio available to help you take it all in. An entirely different one-of-a-kind art experience can be found in VERMONT ’s Northeast Kingdom, in the small town of St. Johnsbury. In 2000, artist Stephen Huneck created a chapel devoted to dogs, decorated with his whimsical artwork, on what would come to be known as Dog Mountain. Envisioned as a place where people can celebrate the bond they have with their pets, Dog Mountain has also become a mecca for art enthusiasts, who marvel at Huneck’s stained glass, paintings, and sculptures; visitors often leave mementos of their own dogs on the chapel’s walls, creating a massive, emotional piece of public art. Another small-town cache of art beckons in southern Vermont, where the Bennington Museum holds the world’s biggest collection of works by the legendary American folk artist Grandma Moses.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND.ORG/ART-DISCOVERIES

NEW HAMPSHIRE:

A detail of José Clemente Orozco’s landmark mural series, The Epic of American Civilization, at Dartmouth College.

Local Knowledge
48 Discover New England
PHOTOS: THE EPIC OF AMERICAN CIVILIZATION, COURTESY OF HOOD MUSEUM OF ART, DARTMOUTH | COMMISSIONED BY THE TRUSTEES OF DARTMOUTH COLLEGE | P.934.13.15 (ABOVE); OLIVER PARINI (RIGHT); MATT KALINOWSKI (PREVIOUS PAGE)
VERMONT: In St. Johnsbury, visitors’ tributes to long-lost pets fill the chapel walls at Dog Mountain, the creation of the late Vermont folk artist Stephen Huneck.

SECRET GARDENS

For travelers who can happily spend blissful hours in a garden, there are famous examples situated right in the heart of the region’s best-known cities, including Arnold Arboretum in Boston, Massachusetts, and Elizabeth Park in Hartford, Connecticut. But if you prefer to stroll through smaller-scale or more off-the-beaten-path botanical attractions, the following gardens may inspire the feeling you’ve walked into your own exclusive oasis.

For a MASSACHUSETTS photo op like no other, head to the town of Shelburne Falls. There, a 1908 trolley bridge over the Deerfield River has been transformed into the Bridge of Flowers, a footbridge filled with plants whose color evolves across seasons, from the first crocuses and daffodils of spring to the last ornamental kales of late fall. For a year-round escape, there’s the Botanic Garden of Smith College in Northampton: It encompasses a number of outdoor attractions but the crowning jewel is the 12,000-square-foot

BEHIND-THE-SCENES FOOD

As delicious as well-crafted food and drink can be, somehow it’s even more satisfying when you understand where these things come from. There’s a special feeling in connecting with the makers, or seeing how things are harvested, or learning the history of a dish or a foodway. Luckily, there are many opportunities across New England to get this kind of “insider” look at local drinking and dining, ensuring that you capture the region’s true flavor on your travels.

CONNECTICUT may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of vineyards, but insiders know that this small coastal state has a surprisingly robust wine scene. The Connecticut Wine Trail connects more than 20 local purveyors, making it easy to find tasting rooms and meet the makers. Many vineyards also have enticements to linger awhile: In Wallingford, for example, you can dine al fresco at Paradise Hills Vineyard, then head over to nearby Gouveia

CONNECTICUT: Sunset casts a golden glow over the Tuscanstyle tasting room at Paradise Hills Vineyard in Wallingford.

(1,115m²) Lyman Conservatory and its wild array of tropical, subtropical, and desert plants.

In RHODE ISLAND, a quirky man-made wonder can be found among the palatial Newport Mansions properties. Green Animals in Portsmouth is a topiary garden whose roots go back to the 1870s, and where humble shrubs have been transformed into a fantastical zoo of unicorns, camels, and elephants. Another Newport-area stunner is Blithewold, a historic 32-acre (13ha) estate overlooking Narragansett Bay in Bristol. Built as a summer home for a Pennsylvania coal baron, it has not only amazing ocean views but also more than 500 species of trees and shrubs; highlights include a weeping pagoda tree and a 100-foot (30.5m) giant sequoia that’s thought to be the largest on the East Coast.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND.ORG/SECRET-GARDENS

Vineyards for local live music as part of its Sunday concert series. For a biggerpicture view, the Coastal Wine Trail of Southeastern New England connects seaside wineries in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. And while the vibrancy of New England’s wine scene might be a revelation for some, few will be surprised by the popularity of its seafood, especially in MAINE . Take a deep dive on the Maine Oyster Trail, an interactive guide to the state’s oyster industry that encompasses tours of natural habitats and oyster farms as well as visits to raw bars and markets. The trail’s trip planner lets you customize an itinerary to your interests and location, from sea kayaking in Brunswick to oyster tastings in Damariscotta.

➼ Read more: DISCOVERNEWENGLAND .ORG/BEHIND-THE-SCENES-FOOD

50 Discover New England Discover New England 51
Hidden Gems Hidden Gems MAINE: A freshly harvested feast at Glidden Point Oyster Farms in Edgecomb. MASSACHUSETTS: Lush greenery floats high above the water at the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls.
PHOTO:
ISTOCK.COM/ALIZADASTUDIOS PHOTOS: VISIT MAINE (TOP); WINTER CAPLANSON (BOTTOM)
RI Providence VisitRhodeIsland.com

There’s an energy here like nowhere else. There’s a radiance to the shoreline and a grandeur to the mountains. Rich flavors color a world-class culinary scene. Bold music, fashion, and film make a vibrant backdrop. From multicultural festivals to heritage destinations, diversity is in our DNA—and it’s celebrated. Feel the richness of culture and the spark of adrenaline. It’s all right in Connecticut.

CAPITAL: Hartford

REGIONAL TOURISM COUNCILS

Fairfield County > ctvisit.com/fairfield

Greater New Haven > ctvisit.com/new_haven

Litchfield Hills > ctvisit.com/litchfield

Mystic Country > ctvisit.com/mystic

Greater Hartford > ctvisit.com/hartford

Maine

Nearly as large as the other five New England states combined, Maine offers more than 32,000 square miles of exploration and adventure. Bird watching or paddling in spring, discovering a new mountain path or coastal village in the summer, delighting in the glorious colors of autumn, and enjoying the deep snows of winter, it’s easy to see why Maine’s outdoor activities are unparalleled. Much of Maine’s culture emanates from the sea, and the state’s maritime heritage is readily seen—lobstermen and their buoys dot the shore and windjammers cruise the coastline daily. Maine embraces all that is authentic, unique, and simple, and Mainers take pride and are inspired by the wide-open spaces of the state’s deep woods and vibrant coastline. Visitors come to Maine to discover their own inspiration— whether it’s the joy of finding the best locally crafted beer or handmade gift, the soul-restoring calm of watching the sun rise over the Atlantic, or the thrill of summiting a mountain peak.

CAPITAL: Augusta

REGIONAL TOURISM COUNCILS

The Maine Beaches > themainebeaches.com

Portland & Casco Bay > visitportland.com

Maine Lakes & Mountains > mainelakesandmountains.com

CONTACT

Connecticut Office of Tourism 450 Columbus Blvd., Suite 5 Hartford, CT USA 06103

TOURISM INFORMATION

888-288-4748

CTvisit.com

Kennebec Valley > kennebecvalley.org

MidCoast & Islands > mainesmidcoast.com

The Maine Highlands > themainehighlands.com

DownEast & Acadia > downeastacadia.com

Aroostook County > visitaroostook.com

CONTACT

Maine Office of Tourism

59 State House Station

Augusta, ME USA 04330

TOURISM INFORMATION

888-624-6345

877-624-6331 (TTY)

VisitMaine.com

54 Discover New England Discover New England 55 Discover
Discover Connecticut
PHOTO: WINKY LEWIS FOR YANKEE MAGAZINE

Massachusetts

Stunning natural beauty, quaint villages, fascinating arts and culture, home to over 45 lighthouses, academic excellence and innovation, local culinary experiences, the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, and the birthplace of basketball— Massachusetts is a four-season destination that has it all. Explore Greater Boston’s history, neighborhoods and innovation. From Cape Ann to Cape Cod and the Islands, find sandy beaches, coastal cottages, and the freshest seafood. Western and Central Massachusetts boast treetop adventures, gorgeous foliage and winter hikes, outdoor excursions, and an arts and culture scene to rival any major metropolis. Escape to a Massachusetts wellness resort or cozy B&B, get pampered in contemporary luxury, or relax at a serene oceanfront retreat. With six major tourism regions offering distinct charm and unique adventures, embark on a road trip through the Bay State. Plan your trip to Massachusetts today.

CAPITAL: Boston

REGIONAL TOURISM COUNCILS

Greater Boston > bostonusa.com

North of Boston North of Boston > northofboston.org

Greater Merrimack Valley > merrimackvalley.org

South of Boston

Southeastern MA > visitsemass.com

Plymouth County > seeplymouth.com

Cape Cod & The Islands

Cape Cod > capecodchamber.org

Martha’s Vineyard > mvy.com

Nantucket > nantucketchamber.org

Central Massachusetts

MetroWest > metrowestvisitors.org

Visit North Central Massachusetts/Johnny Appleseed Country > visitnorthcentral.com

Discover Central Massachusetts > discovercentralma.org

Western Massachusetts

Explore Western Mass/Greater Springfield > explorewesternmass.com

Hampshire County > visithampshirecounty.com

Franklin County > franklincc.org

The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts > berkshires.org

Mohawk Trail > mohawktrail.com

CONTACT

Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

136 Blackstone St., 5th Floor

Boston, MA USA 02109

TOURISM INFORMATION

VisitMA.com

From the towering peaks in the White Mountains to pristine rivers and lakes to sandy beaches along the Seacoast, New Hampshire is a four-season vacation destination offering visitors variety within proximity. >> Visit our historic cities, beachside towns, and quaint villages for mouth-watering farm-to-table dinners complete with sudsy local craft brew or wines from nearby vineyards. If you’re up for some shopping, pop into a boutique shop, head for the outlets, or stop in at one of our general stores to browse for New Hampshire–made treasures—all of it tax-free! Immerse yourself in history at one of our colonial villages or Revolutionary War sites. Or for something a little more modern, attend a music festival, check out a local theater production, or head to one of the museums on the Heritage Museum Trail. Experience the best New England has to offer all within one place, New Hampshire.

CAPITAL: Concord

REGIONAL TOURISM COUNCILS

Seacoast > portsmouthchamber.org, hamptonchamber.org

Lakes > lakesregion.org, lakesregionchamber.org

White Mountains > visitwhitemountains.com, visitwm.com

Great North Woods > northerngatewaychamber.org, androscogginvalleychamber.com

Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee > lakesunapeeregionchamber.com, uppervalleybusinessalliance.com

Monadnock > keenechamber.com, monadnocktravel.com

Merrimack Valley > concordnhchamber.com, manchesterchamber.org

CONTACT

New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism 100 N. Main St. Concord, NH USA 03301

TOURISM INFORMATION

603-271-2665

VisitNH.gov

56 Discover New England Discover New England 57
Discover
Discover
New Hampshire

Discover

Rhode Island

Rhode Island sends out its beacon of welcome from some of North America’s most picturesque lighthouses and 400 miles of its silvery shore. Its coastline gives easy access to naturalists, paddlers, beach lovers, and boaters who enjoy its waterways. South County boasts almost two dozen public, sandy beaches with rolling surf along the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors revel in Block Island’s majestic bluffs and dramatic views. Newport, known as the City by the Sea, offers a historic seaport, Gilded Age mansions, and the breathtaking Cliff Walk that winds its way along the ocean cliffs. Providence, the state’s capital, buzzes from its Ivy League universities, arts, theater, vibrant nightlife and thriving culinary scene. It lights up during Waterfire, when people gather along the banks of Providence’s three rivers to see more than 100 floating bonfires. Blackstone Valley, in northern Rhode Island, possesses some of the country’s most important historic sites, including Slater Mill, recognized as the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. Most of the state’s charm is tucked away in its forests, coves, bays, islands, and country roads, which is why Brand USA named Rhode Island one of “America’s Best-Kept Secrets in 2023.”

CAPITAL: Providence

REGIONAL TOURISM COUNCILS

Blackstone Valley > tourblackstone.com

Greater Providence/Bristol County > goprovidence.com

Warwick > visitwarwickri.com

South County > southcountyri.com

Newport County > discovernewport.org, newportout.com

Block Island > blockislandinfo.com

CONTACT

Rhode Island Tourism Division

315 Iron Horse Way

Providence, RI USA 02908

TOURISM INFORMATION

800-556-2484

VisitRhodeIsland.com

Vermont is a place unlike any other, where life is better when you slow down, look around, and simply take notice. Vermont’s rural landscapes offer plenty of space to enjoy the mountain views and explore our lakes, ponds, and trails in any season. Day or night, our historic downtowns are waiting to welcome you with fun-to-find treasures, farm-to-table culinary delights, and world-class craft beverages. Vermont can inspire, restore, and bring you to a whole new state.

CAPITAL: Montpelier

REGIONAL TOURISM COUNCILS

Champlain Valley > addisoncounty.com

Lower Connecticut River Valley > lovebrattleborovt.com

Upper Connecticut River Valley > woodstockvt.com

Greater Burlington > helloburlingtonvt.com

The Shires > exploretheshires.com

Northeast Kingdom > northeastkingdom.com

Champlain Islands > champlainislands.com/region-index

Capitol Region > montpelieralive.com

Northwest Vermont > downtownsaintalbans.com

Okemo Valley > yourplaceinvermont.com

Deerfield Valley > visitvermont.com

Upper Green Mountains > bestofvtroute100.com

Stone Valley > realrutland.com

CONTACT

Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing One National Life Dr., 6th Floor Montpelier, VT USA 05620

TOURISM INFORMATION

800-837-6668

VermontVacation.com

58 Discover New England Discover New England 59
Discover Vermont

Articles inside

Massachusetts

1min
page 29

Maine

1min
page 28

BEHIND-THE-SCENES FOOD

2min
pages 26-28

SECRET GARDENS

1min
page 26

ART DISCOVERIES

1min
page 25

Hidden Gems ➼

2min
pages 24-25

WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS

2min
pages 22-23

EXPERIENCES

1min
pages 21-22

ECO-FRIENDLY HOTELS

1min
page 21

Eco-Travel➼

1min
page 20

SCENIC STROLLS

1min
page 18

ALL-AGES CRUISES

1min
page 18

STAY & PLAY

1min
page 17

Family Fun

1min
pages 16-17

TIMELESS STAGES LIVING HISTORY

2min
page 14

HERITAGE FOODS

2min
page 13

Then & Now

1min
pages 12-13

BLACK HISTORY

1min
page 10

WORLD CULTURES

1min
page 10

INDIGENOUS HERITAGE

1min
pages 9-10

People & Cultures

2min
pages 8-9

BUCKETLIST TRAILS

1min
pages 6-7

WINTER THRILLS

1min
page 6

ON THE WATER

2min
page 5

Adventure

1min
page 4

Welcome Contents

3min
pages 2-3

Massachusetts

1min
page 29

Maine

1min
page 28

BEHIND-THE-SCENES FOOD

2min
pages 26-28

SECRET GARDENS

1min
page 26

ART DISCOVERIES

1min
page 25

Hidden Gems ➼

2min
pages 24-25

WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS

2min
pages 22-23

EXPERIENCES

1min
pages 21-22

ECO-FRIENDLY HOTELS

1min
page 21

Eco-Travel➼

1min
page 20

SCENIC STROLLS

1min
page 18

ALL-AGES CRUISES

1min
page 18

STAY & PLAY

1min
page 17

Family Fun

1min
pages 16-17

TIMELESS STAGES LIVING HISTORY

2min
page 14

HERITAGE FOODS

2min
page 13

Then & Now

1min
pages 12-13

BLACK HISTORY

1min
page 10

WORLD CULTURES

1min
page 10

INDIGENOUS HERITAGE

1min
pages 9-10

People & Cultures

2min
pages 8-9

BUCKETLIST TRAILS

1min
pages 6-7

WINTER THRILLS

1min
page 6

ON THE WATER

2min
page 5

Adventure

1min
page 4

Welcome Contents

3min
pages 2-3
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