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NEW ENGLAND S U M M E R 201 8

FEASTS & FESTIVALS Savor clam cakes, county fairs

NATURAL WONDERS Hike, bike, ride through scenic vistas

Coastal Charm

Relive history, explore hidden gems The Charles River Esplanade in Boston

RELAXING RESPITE Best B&Bs, hotels, resorts


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NEW ENGLAND

CONTENTS 17

COASTAL WINE TRAIL

Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, R.I.

NEW ENGLAND REGION

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MAINE

FEATURES

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VISIT NEW ENGLAND’S VINEYARDS Take in the sights and sips of the Coastal Wine Trail

NEW HAMPSHIRE VERMONT

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MASSACHUSETTS RHODE ISLAND CONNECTICUT

GETTY IMAGES

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FIND YOUR FESTIVAL Road trip-worthy events offer something for everyone

DISCOVER NEWPORT

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UP FRONT

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BEST REST Add these charming inns to your itinerary

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ANCHORS AWAY Cast off on New England boating adventures

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LIGHT THE WAY Nautical landmarks showcase the region’s history

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Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

This is a product of

DIRECTOR

Jeanette Barrett-Stokes jbstokes@usatoday.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Jerald Council jcouncil@usatoday.com

THE REGION

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MANAGING EDITOR

Michelle Washington mjwashington@usatoday.com

CONNECTICUT Hartford’s dining scene embraces diversity

ISSUE EDITOR

Debbie Williams EDITORS

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Amy Sinatra Ayres Sara Schwartz Tracy Scott Forson

MAINE Casinos bring a touch of Las Vegas to the great outdoors

ISSUE DESIGNER

Miranda Pellicano

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MASSACHUSETTS New tastes mingle alongside traditional Cape Cod fare

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Boston’s attractions transport you back in time

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Make the most of a rainy day in Nantucket

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DESIGNERS

Amira Martin Gina Toole Saunders Lisa M. Zilka CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Susan B. Barnes, Lindsay Cohn, Jonah Flicker, Michelle Gross, Alison Konecki, Lauren Monitz, Nancy Monson, Jenn Morson, Jessica Polizzotti, Crystal Ponti, Rina Rapuano, Jen Rose Smith ADVERTISING VP, ADVERTISING

Patrick Burke | (703) 854-5914 pburke@usatoday.com

Uncover hidden gems on Martha’s Vineyard MAINE OFFICE OF TOURISM

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NEW HAMPSHIRE Winter isn’t the only time to have fun in the mountains

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ACCOUNT DIRECTOR

Justine Madden | (703) 854-5444 jmadden@usatoday.com FINANCE BILLING COORDINATOR

Julie Marco

VERMONT Savor the state’s natural beauty

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RHODE ISLAND Clam cakes offer regional flavors and a variety of tastes

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USA TODAY, its logo and associated graphics are the trademarks of Gannett Co. Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Copyright 2016, USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. Editorial and publication headquarters are at 7950 Jones Branch Dr., McLean, VA 22108, and at (703) 854-3400.

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UP FRONT | BED & BREAKFASTS

New England is known for its charm, history and traditions, and these distinctive inns embrace those qualities and offer a one-of-a-kind lodging experience:

SLEEP INN

Savor the local flavor during a stay at these quaint New England B&Bs

CONNECTICUT

By Lauren Monitz and Debbie Williams

GREEN ACRES B&B

MAINE

The Chadwick Bed & Breakfast

GREEN ACRES B&B This updated 18th-century farmhouse features an outdoor pool, garden and fish pond. A number of dogs and chickens call the property home, and if you’re lucky, your breakfast will include fresh eggs straight from the henhouse. All rooms feature queen-size memory foam mattresses, top-of-the-line bedding and hypoallergenic pillows to make your stay as comfortable as possible. ▶ 444 Bushy Hill Rd., Simsbury; greenacresbnb.com

NEW HAMPSHIRE

LITTLE RIVER BED AND BREAKFAST

LITTLE RIVER BED AND BREAKFAST The quintessential New England town that houses Little River Bed and Breakfast is believed to have inspired Thornton Wilder’s classic American play, Our Town. The charming 1870s farmhouse has been recently renovated and offers four guest rooms. If you’re after adventure, you can hike nearby Grand Monadnock’s 40 miles of trails or kayak the Contoocook River. ▶ 184 Union St., Peterborough; littleriverbedandbreakfast.com

THE CHADWICK BED & BREAKFAST

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THE CHADWICK BED & BREAKFAST With the motto, “Do as little or as much as you’d like,” this property is within walking distance of downtown Portland’s many galleries, shops and restaurants. It’s also close to the seashore and rugged coastline of Acadia National Park, so you can relax and enjoy the waves or soak up the sun on the beach. Known for its gourmet breakfasts, the Chadwick competed in bedandbreakfast.com’s Breakfast Tournament in 2013 and 2016. ▶ 140 Chadwick St., Portland; thechadwick.com

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UP FRONT | BED & BREAKFASTS

VERMONT

RHODE ISLAND

RARE BRICK PHOTOGRAPHY/THE VILLAGE INN OF WOODSTOCK

THE VILLAGE INN OF WOODSTOCK More like a boutique hotel than an inn, this upscale property boasts spa tubs, Turkish towels, Italian bath products, luxurious linens and three-course breakfasts, which are served at private tables in the dining room and on the terrace during warmer weather. An on-site tavern is open to guests only, with complimentary wine served from 4:30-5:30 p.m. daily. ▶ 41 Pleasant St., Woodstock; villageinnofwoodstock.com

CENTENNIAL HOUSE BED AND BREAKFAST Built in 1811 and located at the confluence of Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire, this New England country home is charming, cozy and eco-friendly. In 2012, the inn’s heating system was converted to a computerized wood pellet-fired boiler through a Massachusetts Department of Energy grant program. Inn staff are also diligent about recycling and using environmentally friendly cleaning products, as well as incorporating locally grown food in their recipes. ▶ 94 Main St., Northfield; thecentennialhouse.com

BRISTOL HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST

BRISTOL HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST A quaint, seaside Cape Cod abode, Bristol House lets you celebrate summer in the town that’s home to America’s oldest Fourth of July party. Enjoy a game of croquet on the lawn, dine on the outdoor patio, stroll the backyard garden or walk to nearby Narragansett Bay. With its location just a mile and a half from the downtown area, visitors can easily explore Bristol’s art galleries, antique shops and historic mansions and dine at one of the many local restaurants. ▶ 14 Aaron Ave., Bristol; bristolhousebnb.com

MASSACHUSETTS

CENTENNIAL HOUSE; GETTY IMAGES

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UP FRONT | BOATING ADVENTURES

WATER WONDERS

Experience New England by boat By Amy Sinatra Ayres

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LONG HUNDREDS OF MILES of Atlantic coastline and on stunning lakes nestled among the mountains, New England abounds with opportunities for boating adventures. Whether you want to witness wildlife in action, see how lobstermen work or just enjoy a low-key scenic cruise, you can find it during a visit to this region’s shorelines.

WHISTLING MAN SCHOONER CO.

WHISTLING MAN SCHOONER CO.

VERMONT Not all boating excursions happen on the ocean. Climb aboard the Friend Ship, originally designed for lobstering and cod fishing, to go for a sail on Lake Champlain. Experienced sailors guide your two-hour cruise and tell you about the lake’s historic role in America’s founding. You’ll also get the chance to look in the open waters for “Champ,” Vermont’s very own version of the Loch Ness monster. Daytime cruise tickets are $35 per child (ages 5 to 17) and $50 per adult. Sunset cruises are offered only for those age 13 and up, and tickets are $55 per person. Shorter moonlight and starlight cruises are also offered for those age 13 and up and tickets are $35 per person. Private charters are also available. ▶ 1 College St., Burlington; 802-825-7245; whistlingman.com

7 SEAS WHALE WATCH

7 SEAS WHALE WATCH

MASSACHUSETTS Head to Gloucester, Mass., the legendary fishing village portrayed in the 2000 film The Perfect Storm, to take a trip through the waters of Cape Ann to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Whale watches aboard the Privateer IV are narrated by experienced marine biologists and naturalists. They run daily from mid-April to mid-October, depending on the weather and demand. Each trip is different, but you might catch a glimpse of humpback whales, dolphins, harbor seals, basking sharks, sea turtles and more. Tickets are $32 for kids ages 4-16 (age 3 and under are free), $48 for adults and $42 for seniors (age 60 and up). ▶ 63 Rogers St.; 978-283-1776; 7seaswhalewatch.com

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JEFF DOBBS

LULU LOBSTER BOAT

MAINE Board a traditional Downeast-style lobster boat in Bar Harbor, Maine, for a two-hour tour. You’ll learn about lobster fishing in a demonstration and likely get to do some seal-watching at Egg Rock Lighthouse. Depending on the time of day, you might spot the seals feeding, swimming or playing — or they could be out on the rock ledges, resting. Cruises run two to four times daily between early May and mid-October. Tickets are $20 for kids ages 6-12 (children under age 6 are not permitted), $35 for adults and $32 for active duty military and seniors age 65 and up. Private charters are also available. ▶ 55 West St.; 207-288-3136; lululobsterboat.com

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UP FRONT | LIGHTHOUSES

MAINE With nearly 70 lighthouses in the state, there are plenty of options. One to check out is the Portland Head Light (portlandheadlight.com) in Cape Elizabeth, just outside of downtown Portland. In 1787, the General Court of Massachusetts (then the state’s legislature) provided $750 to begin construction of the lighthouse, and in 1790, Congress approved another $1,500 for its completion. The original 72-foot tower was first lit in January 1791. The lighthouse was automated in 1989, and today visitors can tour the former keepers’ quarters, which is now a museum.

LIGHT THE NIGHT

Historic landmarks are quintessential New England By Susan B. Barnes

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The Stonington Harbor Light (stoningtonhistory. org), also known as the Old Lighthouse, was built in 1840 and maintained its light until 1889; the keepers’ house was used until 1909. When the U.S. government decided to sell the lighthouse and its keepers’ house, the Stonington Historical Society paid $3,650 in 1925 and opened the first lighthouse museum in the country in 1927. Today’s visitors can climb 29 circular steps and a short ladder to reach the top for views of three states on a clear day.

EAT

EAT

Rosemont Market & Bakery’s Cape Elizabeth location on Shore Road is a terrific place to grab a picnic lunch before heading out to the park.

Watch the sun set over Stonington Harbor at Breakwater, a waterfront restaurant with fresh seafood menu items, including a raw bar.

Stonington Harb or Light

STAY The dog-friendly Inn by the Sea is an idyllic spot to sit back and relax with your favorite pup after a full day exploring Cape Elizabeth.

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IGHTHOUSES HAVE BEEN A part of America’s landscape since 1673, when a simple beacon was raised in Nantasket (now Hull), Mass., to help sailors navigate North American waters. Explore our country’s maritime past with a visit to these New England attractions:

CONNECTICUT

ad Portland He

STAY

Light GETTY IMAGES; MAINE OFFICE OF TOURISM; CONNECTICUT OFFICE OF TOURISM

The 18-room Inn at Stonington is ideally located on the village’s waterfront and within walking distance of restaurants, shops and galleries.

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VERMONT

MASSACHUSETTS

NEW HAMPSHIRE

A lighthouse in a land-locked state such as Vermont may seem a bit odd, but the Colchester Reef Lighthouse (newenglandlighthouses.net/ colchester-reef) in Shelburne was built in 1871 to warn mariners of three dangerous reefs found in Lake Champlain. Built with a post-and-beam frame and 1.5-inch-thick iron rods to withstand strong lakeeffect winds, the lighthouse fulfilled its mission until it was equipped with a batterypowered beacon in 1933. The structure fell into disrepair, and in 1952 it was dismantled and resurrected on the grounds of the Shelburne Museum, where it now proudly stands watch over the 220-foot steamboat Ticonderoga.

The Cape Ann Light Station at Thacher Island (thacherisland. org) in Rockport, constructed in 1771, has the distinction of being the last lighthouse built under British rule, and is home to the only operating twin lighthouses in the U.S. The 120-plus-foot granite towers as they stand today were completed in 1861, and the island and its structures were designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in 2001. Visitors to the twin lights can climb the 156 steps to the top for views of the Boston skyline to the south and the mountains of Maine to the northwest.

Before the American Revolution, a 50-foot wooden lighthouse was built in 1771 at Fort William and Mary on Great Island, known today as the town of New Castle, and its original light was cast from three oil lamps. The Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse (portsmouthharborlighthouse. org) was renovated in 1784, and in 1793, President George Washington ordered that the light be maintained at all times. Today, a 48-foot iron lighthouse, erected in 1878, stands on the previous tower’s foundation. This newer lighthouse was assembled inside the original structure, which was eventually removed. Visitors can climb the 44 stairs and seven-rung ladder into the lantern room for a look at the fourth-order Fresnel lens.

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THACHER ISLAND ASSOCIATION

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Portsmouth Harbor

ADDISON ZINNER

SIP Shelburne’s own Fiddlehead Brewing Company typically crafts an original recipe every other week, so there’s always something new to try.

STAY Bring Fido along and stay at the Made INN Vermont, an urban boutique bed- andbreakfast in nearby Burlington’s Historic Hill district.

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Imagine watching the sun rise and set from the comfort and solitude of a lighthouse a mile off the coast of Newport, in Narragansett Bay. That’s just what you’ll enjoy when you reserve one of the five rooms available for overnight stays at the Rose Island Lighthouse (roseisland.org), which was built in 1869 and activated in 1870 (and deactivated in 1971). The lighthouse shares its 18-acre island home with the Fort Hamilton Barracks and a wildlife refuge inhabited by birds and harbor seals. Guests can enjoy beachcombing and explore the tidal pools, lighthouse, barracks and gardens.

Rose Island Light ho

Cape Ann Light Station

Colchester Reef Lighth

RHODE ISLAND

Lighthouse

DISCOVER NEWPORT

JEREMY D’ENTREMONT

EAT Cape Ann Brewing Company is a local hot spot for good food to enjoy while sipping craft brew.

STAY

Although it dates back to the 1850s, the Emerson Inn is anything but antiquated. Instead, its comfy accommodations are complemented by modern-day amenities.

EAT Grab a seat on the outdoor deck at BG’s BoatHouse Restaurant & Marina, order up some chowder or steamers and watch the boats.

STAY The chic Ale House Inn in Portsmouth’s Market Square district is within walking distance of the city’s shops, restaurants and historic sites.

EAT

STAY

Newport’s Broadway District features six blocks of dining options with a variety of offerings.

If you’d rather not spend the night in the lighthouse, but still long for water views, opt for Gurney’s Newport Resort and Marina on Goat Island, which is surrounded by Narragansett Bay.

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By Nancy Monson

Wine Your Way Through

NEW ENGLAND Ta k e i n t h e s i g h t s a n d s i p s o f t h e C o a s t a l W i n e Tr a i l

Coastal Vineyards, Dartmouth, Mass..

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TRETCHING FROM CONNECTICUT THROUGH Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the southeastern New England Coastal Wine Trail (coastalwinetrail.com) and its 14 member vineyards are gaining attention. “This region falls in line with the 42nd parallel, the line of latitude that runs to Seattle, Wash., to the west, and between Bordeaux and Burgundy, France, to the east, so we have a similar growing season to those areas,” says Ian Edwards, principal officer of the trail. The close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound creates a cool, moist environment for the grapes, leading to a delightful variety of reds, whites and specialty blends. To take full advantage of the trail’s offerings, buy a $99 Vintner’s Tasting Ticket, which is good for two wine tastings at each vineyard. Also, pick up a free Coastal Wine Trail Passport at any of the sites and collect stamps from each vineyard. At the end of the year, mail your passport containing at least six stamps to the Coastal Wine Trail to be entered to win prizes ranging from gift certificates to a trip to the Dominican Republic. To sample all of the vineyards at once, attend the trail’s annual Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival, June 16-17 in Westport, Mass. We’ve highlighted some of the smaller wineries on the trail. “They don’t get as much press as the larger ones, but quite often they offer a comparable or even better experience,” notes Edwards. All these destinations, whether big or small, are worth a visit. CO N T I N U E D

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY COASTAL WINE TRAIL

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GREENVALE VINEYARDS

This small, charming vineyard sits alongside the Sakonnet River, and its 27-acre farm is listed on both the Rhode Island State register and the National Register of Historic Places. The vineyard has been producing chardonnay, merlot, cabernet franc, pinot gris and vidal blanc among other wines, since 1982.

Nearby: You can head south into Newport for a host of dining, shopping and lodging options, as well as stroll the iconic Cliff Walk along the ocean. Or you can point north, about 11 miles from Greenvale, to Bristol, home of Blithewold, a lovely mansion and garden on Narragansett Bay. There are several great restaurants in Bristol, including Bar 31, which offers tasty tapas, and the French bistro Le Central, as well as Hope Street, a mini-Newport shopping district.

PRESTON RIDGE VINEYARD

Preston Ridge is as notable for its views of the Connecticut countryside (it’s perched high on the peak of a ridge) as it is for its 10-plus artisan wines. Featured varieties include whites (vidal blanc, riesling), rosés, reds (cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon) and blends. Nearby: Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos, both within 15 minutes of Preston, offer gambling, restaurants, shopping, entertainment and lodging. Try the buffets at the casinos — they’re large and an excellent deal. Hours: Open seasonally Friday 1-9 p.m. (live music 5:30-8:30 p.m.) Saturday 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (live music noon-3 p.m.) ▶ 100 Miller Rd., Preston, CT; 860-383-4278; prestonridgevineyard.com

Hours: April through December, MondaySaturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday noon-5 p.m. Vineyard tours Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.; jazz tastings featuring live music on Saturdays from 1-4 p.m., May 6 through Dec. 9 ▶ 582 Wapping Rd., Portsmouth, R.I.; 401847-3777; greenvale. com

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Nearby: Visit the beach community of Westport — one town over — for some shopping and a sandwich at Partners Village Store and Kitchen, and stop at the DeDee Shattuck Gallery for a look-see at contemporary art. Grab a pizza pie at Ten Cousins Brick Oven (farther down the block on Main Road) or travel on for seafood at The Back Eddy. And be sure to drive over to Horseneck Beach, a quintessential Massachusetts spot with smooth dunes and water for miles on the western end of Buzzards Bay across from Cape Cod. Hours: Open year-round MondayWednesday, noon-5 p.m.; ThursdaySunday, noon-6 p.m.; frequent music events

RUNNING BROOK VINEYARDS & WINERY

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No, Dartmouth isn’t near Dartmouth University in New Hampshire. It’s actually in a quaint area on the south coast of Massachusetts, between Providence and Cape Cod. Running Brook was founded in 1998 and produces chardonnay, vidal blanc, cabernet franc, merlot and pinot noir, putting its own spin on these traditional wines. Running Brook also makes brandy, grappa and liqueurs.

▶ 335 Old Fall River Rd., North Dartmouth, Mass.; 508985-1998; runningbrook wine.com

STONINGTON VINEYARDS Established in 1987, Stonington Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in Connecticut. It produces a barrelfermented chardonnay, a seaport white and a triad rosé, along with a riesling and cabernet franc. The tasting room was renovated in 2014, and there is a lovely stone patio overlooking the vines where you can enjoy a sunny day. Nearby: Consider driving 10 minutes toward the shoreline to the town of Mystic, where you can shop or go to the aquarium in Olde Mistick Village. Hungry? Head downtown for pizza at Mystic Pizza (of the Julia Roberts’ movie fame) or sample fresh seafood at S&P Oyster Co. or Red 36, both of which overlook the Mystic River. Stay at the Colonial-style Whaler’s Inn on Main Street, which recently renovated its guest rooms. Alternatively, head to Seaport RV Resort and Campground, where you can pitch a tent or park your RV. Hours: Open daily year-round 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (and until 7 p.m. on Saturdays June-October) A summer music series runs Fridays in July and August from 6-9 p.m. ▶ 523 Taugwonk Rd., Stonington, CT; 860-535-1222; stoningtonvineyards.com

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TRAVESSIA

This small winery takes its cues from the artisanal movement, producing wines with minimal intervention. It offers a different experience than the other stops on the wine trail in that its tasting room is located in an urban setting on one of downtown New Bedford’s main streets. Travessia loves to “experiment and push the boundaries,” according to owner and winemaker Marco Montez. It features wines made with Massachusetts-grown grapes such as chardonnay, pinot grigio, riesling, vidal blanc and pinot noir. Nearby: Herman Melville based Moby-Dick on his adventures sailing from New Bedford, a historic whaling town. Learn all about his escapades and see five whale skeletons and the world’s largest ship model at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. New Bedford’s waterfront area is charming, with cobblestone streets, art galleries and shops full of compelling handcrafted items. Try a Massachusetts-style lobster roll (with mayonnaise on a hot dog bun) at Freestones City Grill, the fastest pizza in town at Brick, healthy sandwiches and coffee at Green Bean or tapas at Cork Wine & Tapas Bar. Stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in the waterfront district or catch a Seastreak ferry to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket (no cars allowed). Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday noon-5 p.m. plus additional seasonal hours. ▶ 760 Purchase St., New Bedford, Mass.; 774-929-6534; travessiawine.com

Nearby: Enjoy classic Cape Cod seafood at The Beachcomber in Wellfleet, where you can dine outdoors overlooking the ocean or inside in what was once a lifesaving station. Downtown Wellfleet is a great place to shop for unique jewelry and clothing, or you can keep driving toward the artists’ enclave of Provincetown, the eclectic, outermost tip of the Cape. You’ll find a wide variety of fun, funky shops, galleries and restaurants to entertain you in P-Town, or you can tour the sand dunes, go whale watching, fishing, hiking or biking along beach-side trails.

TRURO VINEYARDS OF CAPE COD

The final stop on the Coastal Wine Trail, Truro is situated in one of Cape Cod’s most unspoiled areas and lies between the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay. Founded in 2007, the vineyards produce reds (zinfandel, merlot, cabernet franc), whites (savignon blanc, chardonnay, vignoles), rose, riesling and special blends. You can buy a cheese spread and wine from the gift shop or lunch from the Blackfish Restaurant’s Crush Pad food truck to eat on-site.

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OTHER VINEYARDS ON THE COASTAL WINE TRAIL Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard ▶ 162 West Main Rd., Little Compton, R.I.; 401-635-8486; sakonnetwine.com Coastal Vineyards ▶ 61 Pardon Hill Rd., South Dartmouth, Mass.; 774-202-4876; coastal-vineyards.com

Jonathan Edwards Winery ▲ 74 Chester Main Rd., North Stonington, Conn.; 860-535-0202; jedwardswinery.com Langworthy Farm Winery ▶ 308 Shore Rd. (Scenic Rte. 1), Westerly, R.I.; 401-322-7791; langworthyfarm.com Maugle Sierra Vineyards ▶ 825-827 Colonial Ledyard Hwy. (CT Rte. 117), Ledyard, Conn.; 860-464-2987; mauglesierravineyards.com Newport Vineyards ▶ 909 East Main Rd. (Rte. 138), Middletown, R.I.; 401-848-5161; newportvineyards.com

Hours: May to October Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m. Tastings every half hour and free tours 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. starting in May through the fall

Saltwater Farm Vineyard ▲ 349 Elm St. (Rte. 1A), Stonington, Conn.; 860-415-9072; saltwaterfarmvineyard.com

▶ 11 Shore Rd., North Truro, Mass.; 508-487-6200; trurovineyardsofcapecod.com

Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery ▶ 417 Hixbridge Rd., Westport, Mass.; 508-636-3423; westportrivers.com

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Find Your

Road trip-worthy events celebrate the diverse flavor of New England By Jen Rose Smith

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nce the new blooms of spring appear, New England comes to life with a variety of outdoor fairs and festivals. Whether you want to spot shooting stars from an island peak or groove to jazz at the edge of the sea, there’s a destination for you. Mark your calendar for these regional gatherings that celebrate music, culture, food, drink and more.

COMMON GROUND COUNTRY FAIR Unity, Maine ▶ mofga.org/thefair A relaxed celebration of all things rural, the Common Ground Country Fair draws a crowd to the tiny town of Unity, where attendees can join workshops on archery, astrology and beekeeping. “Our fair is perfect for someone who’s curious about where their food comes from,” says fair director April Boucher. “We just really want to get people interested.” Attendees show off their barnyard finesse at the Harry S. Truman Games manure pitch, tossing piles of the organic fertilizer in honor of the farmer-turned-U.S. president. Not that you need pitchfork skills to get involved — dress up as a vegetable, insect or animal to join the exuberant, twice-daily Garden Parade that winds through the fairgrounds. When to go: Sept. 21–23 Where to stay: A working fishing port that overflows with great art and seafood, Rockland’s an ideal home base for attending the fair. The stylish and airy rooms at 250 Main Hotel look out across the harbor, and you can watch the sunset from the rooftop bar. En route: There’s only room for 40 at The Lost Kitchen, a grist mill-turned-restaurant with some of Maine’s most sought-after seats. What’s the draw? Awardwinning chef and cookbook author Erin French dazzles with creative takes on local ingredients.

JEAN ENGLISH

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THE DEERFIELD FAIR Deerfield, N.H. ▶ deerfieldfair.com Among the longest-running family fairs in New England, the Deerfield Fair celebrates fall the old-fashioned way, with midway rides, caramel apples and lots of prize-winning produce. According

to fair secretary Debbie Tibbetts, the winning gourd in 2017 weighed in at 1,971 pounds, requiring a flatbed truck for the trip to the fairgrounds. Not that all the star attractions are oversized; New Hampshire apples fill one of the fair’s most beloved treats. “Try the apple crisp,” Tibbetts recommends. “I get it with ice cream, whipped cream — or both.”

When to go: Sept. 27-30 Where to stay: With a bustling waterfront and a historic downtown, nearby Portsmouth makes the perfect home base for visiting the Deerfield Fair. Walking distance from downtown, Martin Hill Inn is sweetly romantic, featuring four-poster beds and deep soaking tubs.

CREATIVE COMMONS

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NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL Fort Adams State Park, R.I. ▶ newportjazz.org As one of the longestrunning jazz festivals in the United States, Newport Jazz Festival’s back catalog reads like a who’s-who of American music. “Newport is the granddaddy of music festivals in America,” says artistic director and jazz bassist Christian McBride. “It has always presented the very best that the jazz community has to offer.” Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra and Dizzy Gillespie have all rocked the crowd here, and McBride likes to keep a fresh perspective on sound: “The best in the jazz world encompasses diversity — you’re going to have a lot of range, from avant-garde to electric and hard-core funk.” The 2018 lineup includes jazz saxophonist Charles Lloyd and singer-songwriter Andra Day, who will perform at outdoor stages at Newport’s historic Fort Adams.

DISCOVER NEWPORT

WELLFLEET OYSTERFEST Wellfleet, Mass. ▶ wellfleetspat.org

When to go: Aug. 3–5 Where to stay: Full of design-inspired riffs on Newport’s grandest era, Gilded is bright and beautiful. Breakfast arrives as a series of small plates and for those who prefer to sleep in, baked goods are available all day.

JULIA CUMES

SEA MUSIC FESTIVAL Mystic, Conn. ▶ mysticseaport.org/ event/sea-music-festival

En route: Step aboard the elegant schooner Aquidneck to sail Narragansett Bay’s East Passage, with outings starting at $30 per person.

MYSTIC SEAPORT

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With just 2,900 year-round residents, Wellfleet goes all out for this celebration of locally grown shellfish, which are prized for their excellent flavor. “Wellfleet oysters have the perfect salinity, and the bay has unique nutrients for them to feed on, with

Maritime work songs fill the salty air at Mystic Seaport, a living museum that preserves and celebrates America’s nautical past. According to festival director and chanteyman Geoff Kaufman, it’s more than a picturesque backdrop.

cold water and fast-moving tides. They’re the golden standard for oysters,” notes Michele Insley, the executive director of Wellfleet SPAT, a nonprofit that supports the event. At OysterFest, shellfish are served by the oyster farmers themselves, who go head-to-head in a fast and furious shucking competition before a cheering crowd. When to go: Oct. 13–14

“We’re able to demonstrate sailors’ work songs and chanteys on board Mystic Seaport’s three tall ships — setting sails, raising a lifeboat with a capstan and raising the anchor with a windlass — all jobs that developed with rhythmic music to help get the job done,” he says. This will be the festival’s 39th year, with performers from Britain, Ireland, France and Iceland bringing their

Where to stay: A grand Victorian mansion with luxe amenities, each room at Eastham’s Inn at the Oaks is different, and some include fireplaces to ward off the autumn chill. En route: Wellfleet is poised at the entrance to Cape Cod National Seashore, which boasts beautiful beaches. The wild cranberries at Head of the Meadow beach turn scarlet in the fall.

own sea music traditions to seven stages by the Mystic River. When to go: June 7–10 Where to stay: Overlooking the Mystic River and walking-distance to Mystic Pizza, guests at the Steamboat Inn wake to the sound of sails and seagulls. The inn’s loaner bikes are the perfect way to cruise to Mystic Seaport.

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VERMONT BREWERS FESTIVAL

ACADIA NIGHT SKY FESTIVAL Acadia National Park, Maine ▶ acadianightskyfestival. com

Burlington Waterfront Park ▶ vermontbrewers.com/ festivals/vermontbrewers-festival-burlington

Far from city lights (and everything else), the five-day astral party kicks off when night falls on Acadia National Park. “This is one of the darkest places east of the Mississippi,” says Alf Anderson, co-chairman of the festival’s marketing committee. “There’s so little around it, and we’ve kept light pollution to a minimum.” The headlining event is a star party atop Cadillac Mountain, where astronomers stay up all night to watch sunrise from the summit — the mountain catches some of America’s very first rays.

Vermont has the most breweries per capita in the United States, and they pour their best at an annual extravaganza on the Burlington waterfront. “We have world-class beer here, and some of the brewers create things that are unique and special just for the festival, so it’s the only place you’re going to find the beer being offered,” says Amy Cronin, Vermont Brewers Association festival and marketing manager. Most of the brewers who attend the event are from within the state, which has earned global recognition for distinctive IPAs that balance bitterness with heady aromatics. And the festival site alone is a destination worth the trip, with gorgeous views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains.

When to go: Sept. 5–9 Where to stay: Walking distance from Bar Harbor’s adorable shops and cafes, the Acacia House Inn offers relaxed elegance, with show-stopping breakfasts featuring produce from Maine farms.

When to go: July 20–21

MAINE OFFICE OF TOURISM

STOWE FOLIAGE ARTS FESTIVAL Stowe, Vt. ▶ stowe.com/activities/ event/stowe-foliage-artsfestival Vermont’s forested mountains turn brilliant just in time for this festival, offering a gorgeous backdrop for more than 150 juried artists. “Stowe in the fall is quite magical. It’s a magnet for STOWE AREA ASSOCIATION

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people from all over the country,” says festival founder Charley Dooley. Walk through the outdoor festival grounds, and you’ll find handmade jewelry, blown glass, fiber arts, photography, painting and more. Just beyond the cluster of tents, Stowe’s mountains soar upwards in a blaze of red maples, birch trees and towering oaks. When to go: Oct. 5–7

Where to stay: Talk festival strategy with Hotel Vermont’s on-site “Beer Concierge,” who can also help arrange brew-themed trips around the state. Rooms are stocked with locally made amenities such as woolen blankets and organic soap.

Where to stay: Like an indulgent summer camp for grownups, Stowe’s Field Guide strikes a balance between sophistication and fun. There’s a roaring fire that’s ideal for evening drinks, and décor is a whimsical take on Vermont’s rustic appeal. En route: Hop a Gondola SkyRide to the top of Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in the state. VERMONT BREWERS ASSOCIATION

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CONNECTICUT | HARTFORD

MILLWRIGHT’S/BSC PHOTO STUDIO

MILLWRIGHT’S

Millwright’s

HARTFORD HEATS UP

Millwright’s resides in a 17th-century mill overlooking a natural waterfall on the Farmington River. Executive chef and owner Tyler Anderson honors the history of the building with his modern take on classic New England fare. His approach to cuisine is highly seasonal, partnering with local farmers and curating dishes based on freshness and availability. ▶ 77 West St., Simsbury; millwrightsrestaurant.com

MILLWRIGHT’S/BSC PHOTO STUDIO

Explore the complex tastes of this capital city By Lindsay Cohn

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ODAY, THE DINING SCENE in Hartford, Conn., reflects the area itself — remaining faithful to its New England roots while embracing a more diverse, innovative approach to food. Connecticut’s capital is also responding to the locavore movement with seasonal menus and an emphasis on farm-to-table ingredients. “One thing that makes our culinary scene unique is our proximity to Connecticut farms, the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound,” says Steven Abrams, partner in Max Restaurant Group. “From the rolling hills of Litchfield to the icy waters of Stonington, our farmers,

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fishermen and food artisans bring us amazing ingredients.” Perhaps the most committed to farm-totable fare is executive chef and owner of Millwright’s Restaurant and Tavern, Tyler Anderson. “The majority of our ingredients are raised, harvested or foraged from local purveyors in New England,” he says. “It stems from a firm belief in knowing where the food we are serving comes from.” Local chefs and restaurateurs have also found a way to marry centuries of tradition with a contemporary culinary sensibility. Hartford boasts some of the nation’s most historic sites, many of which now house the area’s pre-eminent restaurants. Chef Chris Prosperi’s award-winning new American restaurant Métro Bis moved

to the Simsbury 1820 House, a restored inn that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in 2013; ON20 took over the prestigious space on the 20th floor of the Hartford Steam Boiler building in 2008; and Black-Eyed Sally’s has operated out of a 19th-century brick building since it opened in 1995. Nicknamed the Insurance Capital of the World and “Connecticut’s rising star,” Hartford is a rather international city. In fact, if you walk along Franklin Avenue and the surrounding streets, you’ll find cuisines such as Italian, Spanish and Peruvian. When you tour the city, make sure you take in the wide variety of its culinary offerings.

BSC PHOTO STUDIO

ON20 Located on the 20th floor of the Hartford Steam Boiler building, ON20 (formerly the Polytechnic Club) is Hartford’s premier fine dining establishment, renowned for its sophisticated fare, exemplary service and elegant atmosphere. Hartford native and executive chef Jesse Powers serves up progressive cuisine, such as butter-poached Maine lobster with citrus supremes, celery variations and lemongrass sabayon. ▶ 400 Columbus Blvd.; ontwenty.com

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CONNECTICUT | HARTFORD

FENG ASIAN BISTRO & LOUNGE

FENG ASIAN BISTRO AND LOUNGE

KYLE ADAMS

MAX DOWNTOWN Max Downtown is an award-winning steakhouse that’s known as the “crown jewel” of the eight eateries that make up the Max Restaurant Group. Located within walking distance of the old Historic State Capitol, the upscale restaurant offers prime cuts of meat, sustainable seafood and classic cocktails in a grand space. Prime New York strip, smothered in gorgonzola dolce, onions and tomatoes, is a Hartford-area staple. ▶ 185 Asylum St.; maxdowntown.com

Feng Asian Bistro and Lounge offers a variety of Pacific Rim dishes, specialty sushi rolls and creative cocktails in a modern setting, appointed with sleek furnishings, stone walls and industrial steel details. This upscale Asian-fusion bistro has won several culinary awards, in part for creative specialties like the Feng Shui Roll, a combination of tuna, salmon and yellowtail, topped with spicy Alaskan king crab, creamy avocado puree, tobiko and gold flakes. ▶ 93 Asylum St.; fengrestaurant.com

CARBONE’S RISTORANTE

CARBONE’S RISTORANTE Carbone’s has been part of the fabric of Hartford’s culinary scene for nearly 80 years. In 1938, Italy-born brothers Charlie and Anthony Carbone purchased the vacant property adjacent to their gas station and opened Southern Plantation. In the spring of 1961, Charlie, along with his sons, Gaetano and Carl, transformed Southern Plantation from a family-style sandwich shop into an upscale Italian restaurant. The fresh rigatoni with ovencured tomatoes, shrimp, house-made chicken sausage and vodka lobster sauce is a house specialty. ▶ 588 Franklin Ave.; carbonesct.com

CHELSEA KRAMER

CITY STEAM BREWERY CHRIS PROSPERI

MÉTRO BIS Local dining institution Métro Bis touts a mission of “bringing the essence of Paris to New England.” With executive chef and co-owner Christopher Prosperi at the helm, Métro Bis delights diners with upscale cuisine with an emphasis on local ingredients. It’s Zagat ranked as a top Connecticut restaurant, and The New York Times declared it “worth a detour.” ▶ 731 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury; metrobis.com

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The H.H. Richardson brownstone, an 1870s historical landmark, is now home to City Steam Brewery, which features an outdoor beer garden, a billiards and game room, a classic brewery bar and Brew HaHa Comedy Club. The Double burger (mashed potatoes stuffed between two 8-ounce angus beef patties, topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, raw onion and pickle chips) is one of the most popular menu items. Wash it all down with City Steam’s flagship Naughty Nurse Amber Ale. ▶ 942 Main St.; citysteam.biz

CAVEY’S RESTAURANT

CAVEY’S Customers flock across the river to Cavey’s to experience two distinctive cuisines. Upstairs you’ll find Northern Italian dishes, while the downstairs dining room (open for dinner Friday and Saturday, as well as for special events) serves up modern French fare. Every morning, third-generation chef and owner Stephen Cavagnaro visits local farms and farmers markets to select fresh produce and seafood, like native corn and Nantucket Bay scallops. ▶ 45 East Center St., Manchester; caveysrestaurant.com

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MAINE | CASINOS

MAKE A TRIP OF IT:

OXFORD CASINO Golfer’s Paradise Two world-class golf courses, Fox Ridge and Poland Spring Resort, are located within a half hour from Oxford Casino. ▶ foxridgegolfclub.com; polandspringinns.com/golfcourse.html McLaughlin Garden & Homestead This historic public garden features mature native flower collections. ▶ 97 & 103 Main St., South Paris; 207-743-8820; mclaughlingarden.org

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NATURAL WINNERS Casinos bring a touch of Las Vegas to the great outdoors

By Crystal Ponti

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ASINOS ARE OFTEN SITUATED in the heart of cities that buzz around the clock. While they can be incredible destinations for fun-filled getaways, it can be a challenge to escape the crowds and nonstop activity. Unless, of course, you’re in Maine. The state has the best of both worlds: two first-class, resort-style casinos and an immediate escape to the great outdoors. Oxford Casino, in the Lakes and Mountains region, and Hollywood Casino Bangor, farther northeast in Maine’s Highlands, offer the amenities and entertainment of Las Vegas casinos, without the big-city chaos. Visitors can play their hand at poker or win big at the slot machines, and then walk or drive a short distance to take in the many natural wonders of Maine.

FOUR SEASONS OF FUN

Perched among rolling hills, Oxford Casino is home to more than 850 reel,

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GETTING THERE Oxford Casino and Hollywood Casino Bangor, located only a few hours apart in two of the most scenic regions of Maine, are surrounded by legendary lakes, mountains and endless miles of rugged coastline. Oxford Casino ▶ 777 Casino Way; 207-539-6700; oxfordcasino.com Hollywood Casino Bangor ▶ 500 Main St.; 877-779-7771; hollywoodcasinobangor.com

poker and video slot machines (ranging from penny to $25 slots) and 28 table games, including craps, roulette and blackjack. Catch a breath between the excitement in one of the casino hotel’s 107 well-appointed rooms and suites.

Hungry? Choose your dining experience. The casino hosts Oxford Grill & Bar, a 140-seat casual restaurant and 12-seat video poker bar; Oxford Express, a grab-and-go restaurant; and Ox Pub, a late-night, full-service bar. And the adventure doesn’t stop there. When you’re done playing inside, step outside directly into nature’s playground. “Our lodge-inspired casino is surrounded by four seasons of recreational activities,” says Jane McClay Hoyt, Oxford Casino’s advertising and public relations coordinator. Close to Oxford are several renowned 18-hole golf courses, including Fox Ridge, ranked by Golf Digest as one of Maine’s top 10 golf courses, and Poland Spring Resort, the oldest resort golf course in the nation. “Only 7 miles from Oxford Casino, Poland Spring’s 500 acres offers magnificent views of the mountains or lakes from all 18 holes,” says Mike Bartley, a self-proclaimed “golf nut” who has

LISA CANE/MAINE WILDLIFE PARK

Maine Wildlife Park This reserve and wildlife sanctuary is home to 30 native species, including moose and white-tailed deer and includes a fish hatchery; tours by appointment. ▶ 56 Game Farm Rd., Gray; 207-657-4977; mainewildlifepark.com

DARRYLANN LEONARD PHOTOGRAPHY

Naples Seaplane Adventures Scenic float plane rides can seat up to five passengers. ▶ 907 Roosevelt Trail, Naples; 207-232-2594; naplesseaplaneadventures.com Oxford Hills Hiking and Walking Trails This area features various trail systems for novice and experienced hikers and two mountainous tracks. ▶ Mount Tire’m and Hawk Mountain; mainetrailfinder.com

CO N T I N U E D

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MAINE | CASINOS

MAKE A TRIP OF IT:

HOLLYWOOD CASINO BANGOR Bangor City Forest This urban forest boasts native trees, wildlife and more than 9 miles of trails and open-access roads to explore by hike, bike or a scenic drive. ▶ Tripp Dr., Bangor; 207-992-4590; cityforest. bangorinfo.com

ROBERT DENTON

Fox Ridge Golf Course GEORGE PEET PHOTOGRAPHY

played the course since 1974. In addition to golf, hiking and walking trails, historic public gardens and waterways can be found in every direction from Oxford Casino. Bike, trek, paddle or swim until your heart’s content. Stroll through some of the oldest white pine and oaks in the area at Ordway Grove or experience quintessential New England as you bike through wooded countryside and along country roads on Tour 22 of Lake Auburn. For a thrilling escapade, explore Maine from the sky aboard a float plane. Naples Seaplane Adventures, about a half-hour drive from the casino, offers 25- and 50-mile scenic flights that begin and end on majestic Long Lake in Naples. “Wildlife is also abundant in the area, making for excellent photo opportunities,” says Hoyt. If you don’t spot any moose, black bears or other native creatures while on your travels, Maine Wildlife Park is only a short drive from Oxford. Owned and operated by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the park is home to countless species of animals that have been injured, orphaned or are unable to live in the wild. The park is open from April to November with special events that include archery classes and harvest parties.

HOLLYWOOD IN MAINE

Farther north, Hollywood Casino Bangor

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features a state-of-the-art gaming floor with nearly 800 Las Vegas-style slot machines,16 table games including live poker and a Race Book simulcast betting parlor. There’s a variety of entertainment options and multiple dining choices, and live harness horse racing takes place May through November. After a full day of gaming action, relax in one of the casino hotel’s deluxe rooms or suites overlooking the Penobscot River or visit the on-premise gift shop featuring a variety of Maine-made products. Although located in Bangor, Maine’s third-largest city and home to author Stephen King, the casino is an immediate gateway to the serenity, beauty and thrill of the Pine Tree state’s countryside. “Hollywood Casino Bangor delivers all the thrills and entertainment of Vegas without having to travel across the country,” says Joseph Moran, Hollywood Casino Bangor’s database marketing manager. “Being situated on the Penobscot River and just north of Acadia National Park, visitors can experience the breathtaking nature Maine has to offer, and finish the night with the flashing lights, local entertainment and A-list cuisine and lodging at Hollywood.” To take in the natural elements, head a short way up the road and discover Bangor City Forest. This unique urban woodland boasts more than 9 miles of trail systems for walking, biking and hiking,

and 680 acres of wildlife habitat. Fields Pond Audubon Center, a short drive from the casino, serves up 200 acres of various terrain. Located on the edge of Field’s Pond, rent or bring along a canoe or kayak for an afternoon of paddling adventure. Birding and full moon canoe trips are available throughout the summer. Bangor is also home to one of Maine’s premier bike tours, The Maine Highlands (Tour 16), and close to several outstanding outdoor recreation areas, including Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin. Planning multiple water and biking excursions? Ski Rack Sports, only a few minutes from the casino, offers daily and weekly rentals of canoes, kayaks and bikes. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, travel down the Penobscot, Maine’s longest river, by kayak with Bullfrog Adventures or take to the sea for a whale, lighthouse or national parks tour. Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. provides fully narrated trips in the Gulf of Maine. “Maine’s limitless outdoor paradise is an added bonus to all entertainment attractions that draw people from all over the world,” says Tony Cameron, director of marketing and communications for the Maine Tourism Association. “Easy access to recreational opportunities, from amazing ocean drives to adventurous wilderness hikes, is unmatched.”

Fields Pond Audubon Center An easy day trip, the center is just a few miles from Hollywood Casino Bangor. Explore 200 acres of walking trails or rent or bring your kayak or canoe for a paddling adventure; rentals available. ▶ 216 Fields Pond Rd., Holden; 207-989-2591; maineaudubon. org/visit/fields-pond The Maine Highlands Bike Tour (Tour 16) Take in views of the Penobscot River, tour historic homes and snap a pic with the famous Paul Bunyan statue. This 12-mile urban loop is recommended for experienced riders only. ▶ exploremaine.org/bike/ highlands/bangor.shtml Bullfrog Adventures Explore the majestic Penobscot by kayak. Guided trips are available for all skill levels. ▶ bullfrogadventures.com Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. Less than an hour’s drive from Bangor, Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. offers puffin and whale-spotting excursions as well as lighthouse and Acadia National Park tours. ▶ 1 West St., Bar Harbor; 207-288-2386; barharborwhales.com

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MASSACHUSETTS | CAPE COD

Lobster Pot

KATHERINE REED

PROVIDED BY PJ’S FAMILY RESTAURANT

CHEQUESSETT CHOCOLATE The owners of this bean-tobar coffee and candy shop (chequessettchocolate.com) work directly with cacao producers to source beans that they turn into a variety of products in-house.

PJ’S FAMILY RESTAURANT PJ’s Family Restaurant (pjscapecod.com) serves fried seafood, lobster rolls and some of the best soft-serve ice cream in the area. Order inside or from the outdoor counter.

MIKE POTENZA/LOBSTER POT

CAPE CUISINE

New tastes mingle alongside traditional fare

PROVIDED BY HAPPY CAMPER

HAPPY CAMPER There are so many dessert items to choose from at Happy Camper (globeater.com), from pie to ice pops to homemade doughnuts, that you’ll have a hard time picking just one.

PROVIDED BY JOEY’S

JOEY’S FOOD TRUCK This truck’s (joeysfoodtruck.com) food is Mexican-inspired and perfect for a picnic at the beach. Choose from a selection of tacos, quesadillas and burritos with fillings like jerk chicken, braised pork or sauteed cod.

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By Jonah Flicker

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T’S AN EARLY EVENING in July, and a line is already snaking out the door of the Lobster Pot (ptownlobsterpot.com), a popular New England seafood restaurant in Provincetown, Mass. Lobster Pot opened about 75 years ago in this town at the tip of Cape Cod, with a prime location right next to the harbor where the ferry from Boston docks. The dining scene on the Outer Cape is changing, with modern restaurants, food trucks and boutique coffee shops opening. Still, classics like The Lobster Pot, even though closed during the off-season, continue to thrive. “This shows how some things stay solid and based on tradition, while there are always new opportunities for foodies and chefs alike,” says Mike Potenza, the restaurant’s director of marketing. Eating on the Outer Cape

once mostly meant red sauce Italian, ice cream and fried seafood, but now there are beer gardens, Southeast Asian cuisine, single-origin coffee, bean-to-bar chocolate and prix fixe chefs’ menus. The key to operating a long-lasting restaurant on the Outer Cape is a combination of hard work and access to fresh seafood, according to Potenza.“Vacation dollars are precious,” he says. “Fresh seafood is the lifeblood of our operation. Our name and location alone create a sense of expectation that everything will be right out of the ocean, and taste like it.” In North Truro, Mass., Montano’s Restaurant (montanos.com) is another old-school establishment — one that stays open all year. This Italian eatery serves pasta made fresh daily, something in which owner Bob Montano takes a great deal of pride. He’s trying to keep pace with the

changing face of Outer Cape dining. “Twenty years ago, most restaurants on the Outer Cape were obviously seafood restaurants,” he says. “And while those still dominate the scene, we see many other types.” The ability to adapt to changing tastes has ensured that a restaurant like his can survive this predominantly tourist-driven economy. “Living in a seasonally driven area makes this much more challenging for the owner and staff, which may take the restaurant longer to receive its ultimate success,” Montano says. The bottom line is that an abundance of dining options are now available throughout the summer months. Looking for classic soft serve, oysters or seafood rolls? You don’t have to look far. And if you prefer an expertly made cappuccino, a farm-to-table meal or even locally distilled spirits, you’re also in luck.

AMBER LORD

THE SQUEALING PIG Fish and chips is a classic done right at The Squealing Pig (facebook.com/ TheSquealingPigProvincetown), a casual bar and eatery. A light batter coats the haddock, served with homemade tartar sauce.

DAVID DANZIGER

MOBY DICK’S Moby Dick’s (mobydicksrestaurant. com) has been around for more than 30 years and remains one of the most popular destinations for classic Cape Cod fare, including lobster, oysters and fried fish.

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MASSACHUSETTS | BOSTON

STEEPED B IN HISTORY

By Jessica Polizzotti OSTON IS OVERRUN WITH exciting opportunities to explore America’s past. A visit to the city brings history to life through guided tours, mapped routes and DIY exploration. It’s easy to connect with the past while exploring Boston in the present. Here is just a sampling of the many must-see attractions:

These Boston attractions will transport you back in time

THE FREEDOM TRAIL

Boston skyline

Put on comfortable shoes and experience the 2.5-mile route full of historical information. The trail starts at Boston Common but can easily be picked up at any point along the way by following signs throughout the city. The path allows you to visit sites important to the city’s history, including the Paul Revere House, the statue of Benjamin Franklin and the site of the Boston Massacre. Should you have any questions, the men and women dressed in colonial attire will be glad to answer them. Guided tours are available for a fee. ▶ thefreedomtrail.org

BOSTON TEA PARTY SHIPS AND MUSEUM

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It was not just one night that led patriots to take matters into their own hands, it was the continued lack of freedoms and representation that brought about the Tea Party. Relive the catalyst to the American Revolution and see memorabilia from the time and event. The museum holds insight into America’s path to becoming a free country. This tour is an interactive experience that starts with a gathering at a replica of the Old South Meeting House led by actors in period garb and continues on to re-created vessels where you’ll become a patriot and toss tea into the sea. After getting to know the ships, you’ll move into the museum where short films depict the Tea Party and its aftermath. After your tour, visit nearby Abigail’s Tea Room for a tasting. ▶ bostonteapartyship.com

OLD NORTH CHURCH

This is the spot where Paul Revere’s famous two-lantern signal warned Cambridge residents that the British were approaching by sea on the night of April 18, 1775. The oldest church building in Boston, Old North Church still remains an active Episcopal church, allowing visitors not only the chance to tour the site, but even attend Mass. In the building, designed by William Price from a study of Christopher Wren’s London churches, you’ll find private benches boxed in with family names that help paint a picture of the past. An excellent museum is hidden in the back of the gift shop next door. ▶ oldnorth.com

USS CONSTITUTION

Climb aboard “Old Ironsides” and see why this ship was able to live through its time at war. Constructed in the North End using bolts, spikes and other fittings from Paul Revere’s foundry, the vessel is steeped with Boston history. One of the U.S. Navy’s six original frigates, the USS Constitution is currently the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat. This impressive craft is open for free guided tours, which are narrated by active-duty sailors. Turning annually on the Fourth of July, Old Ironsides remains a marvel on Boston Harbor. ▶ ussconstitutionmuseum.org

GRANARY BURYING GROUND The Granary Burying Ground is a small cemetery that serves as the final resting place for a number of people whose acts or character changed American history. Situated near a pre-Revolutionary grain storehouse, the cemetery houses the graves of such historical figures as Paul Revere, John Hancock, citizens killed in the Boston Massacre and the woman whose tales earned her the moniker “Mother Goose.” Other notable graves include those of Benjamin Franklin’s parents and Sam Adams. A stop on the Freedom Trail, you can visit as part of a tour or on your own. ▶ thefreedomtrail.org/freedomtrail/granary-burying-ground.shtml

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MASSACHUSETTS | NANTUCKET

RAINY DAYS IN NANTUCKET

INDOOR ITINERARY THE DOWNYFLAKE DOUGHNUTS ▶ 18 Sparks Ave. 508-228-4533 thedownyflake.com

Explore the island’s beauty, even when it’s wet outside Brant Point lighthouse, Nantucket

WHALING MUSEUM ▶ 13 Broad St. 508-228-1894 nha.org/sites THE TAVERN ▶ 4 Harbor Square 508-228-1266 nantuckettavern.com NANTUCKET ISLAND TOURS ▶ 34 Straight Wharf 508-228-0334 nantucketbustours. com/contact.html THE BEAN ▶ 4 India St. 508-228-6215 mkt.com/the-bean-26 NANTUCKET BOOKWORKS ▶ 25 Broad St. 508-228-4000 nantucketbookworks. com NANTUCKET DREAMLAND THEATER ▶ 17 South Water St. 508-228-1784 nantucketdreamland.org

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By Jenn Morson

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HE “LITTLE GRAY LADY of the Sea,” as Nantucket has been nicknamed, is a fantastic vacation destination for all things outdoors, including beach activities, bike rides and golf. But when the forecast calls for rain, here’s a plan to salvage your day: If you wake up to drizzle, The Downyflake Doughnuts offers breakfast options that incorporate local fare, such as Portuguese French toast and eggs with linguica. Try their freshly baked doughnuts for a sweet treat before heading into town. The Whaling Museum opens daily at 10 a.m., and houses a 46-foot sperm whale skeleton as well as several island history exhibits. Children are invited to craft in the

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museum’s Discovery Room. After learning about the history of Nantucket, you’ll want to refuel at The Tavern with a lobster roll. Ask to be seated upstairs so you can watch the ferries come into Nantucket Harbor. After lunch, tour the island by bus with Nantucket Island Tours and learn about Sankaty Head Lighthouse, the Old Mill and the moors, which are particularly perfect on a rainy day. Upon your return to town, stop at The Bean for an afternoon coffee before browsing the local boutiques. You’ll want to take your time perusing Nantucket Bookworks, which features titles by a wide variety of local authors on its well-stocked shelves. And children will love the store’s Barnaby’s Place, where local children’s author Wendy Rouillard regularly signs books and offers

healthy treats to young readers. While you search for a good beach read, kids can color at the counter and ask Rouillard questions about her beloved character, Barnaby Bear. Another favorite rainy-day destination is Nantucket Dreamland Theater, a modern movie theater and performing arts center with a rich history. The building was constructed in 1832 as a Quaker meeting house, and now shows current movies and hosts live performances, so be sure to check the schedule. Don’t eat too much popcorn, however, because after the show you’ll want to grab dinner at The Brotherhood of Thieves. The clam chowder and fish and chips are best enjoyed in the basement, which is designed to resemble an 1840s whaling bar. After such an exciting day, you’ll be ready to relax on the beach when the sun returns.

BROTHERHOOD OF THIEVES ▶ 23 Broad St. 508-228-2551 brotherhoodofthieves. com

TIM EHRENBERG/NANTUCKET BOOK PARTNERS

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MASSACHUSETTS | MARTHA’S VINEYARD

HIDDEN GEMS Uncover local treasures on Martha’s Vineyard By Michelle Gross

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HE COLONY OF MARTHA’S Vineyard lies just 7 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Measuring 25 miles long and 9 miles wide, the island’s rich seafaring history, beautiful beaches and laid-back island vibe have long made it a magnet for celebrities, presidents and travelers all seeking the idyllic New England getaway. “I love that in less than three hours I can be in a totally different place,” says Boston-based writer and longtime Vineyard visitor Kim Foley MacKinnon. “Once you’re on the ferry, it feels like you’re leaving all your cares behind.” What this pint-sized island lacks in size, it more than makes up for in local gems, including an array of farmto-table eateries, an eclectic art scene and a sense of truly getting away from it all — if you know where to go. For charming accommodations, no place will make you feel more at home than Lambert’s Cove Inn, Farm & Restaurant. Located off a lone road and set amongst lush forest and idyllic meadows in the town of West Tisbury, the 15-guest room inn also boasts an award-winning restaurant and private access to Lambert’s Cove Beach. For breakfast, head over to Scottish Bakehouse and order “the works” to get your breakfast sandwich piled high with farm-fresh eggs, bacon, tomato, spinach and onions, and don’t be surprised if you happen to run into a visiting celebrity or two. Moving further up-island, there’s perhaps no better

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VISIT THESE VINEYARD DESTINATIONS CHICKEN ALLEY THRIFT SHOP ▶ 38 Lagoon Pond Rd., Vineyard Haven; mvcommunityservices. com CHILMARK GENERAL STORE ▶ 7 State Rd., Chilmark; chilmarkgeneralstore.com FEATHERSTONE CENTER FOR THE ARTS ▶ 30 Featherstone Lane, Oak Bluffs; featherstoneart.org GRACE CHURCH PARISH ▶ 36 Woodlawn Ave., Vineyard Haven; episcopalchurch.org/parish/ grace-episcopal-churchvineyard-haven-ma LAMBERT’S COVE INN, FARM & RESTAURANT ▶ 90 Manaquayak Rd., Vineyard Haven; lambertscoveinn.com MARTHA’S VINEYARD GLASSWORKS ▶ 683 State Rd., West Tisbury; mvglassworks.com MYTOI GARDENS ▶ 41 Dike Rd., Edgartown; thetrustees.org/placesto-visit/cape-codislands/mytoi.html SCOTTISH BAKEHOUSE ▶ 977 State Rd., Vineyard Haven; scottishbakehousemv.com

porch to post up on after a long day at the beach than the one at the Chilmark General Store. And make sure you try their freshly baked pizza, which is arguably the best in town. To satisfy your lobster roll fix, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Friday during summer months, Grace Church Parish in Vineyard Haven offers $20 lobster roll dinners, including chips and a drink, as part of its fundraising program. You can dine in or walk the short distance to Owen Park Beach to take in the sunset. For some eclectic shopping finds, check out Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Thrift Shop in Vineyard Haven off Lagoon Pond Road. More commonly known as Chicken Alley, the secondhand store’s proceeds support a variety of community services. With a thriving community of artists on the island, you can find beautiful one-of-a kind handcrafted pieces at Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks just off State Road in North Tisbury. At the heart of the island’s cultural community, Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs hosts a number of events, including classes, gallery showings, flea markets and music nights all summer. And if you’re looking to relax and unwind even further, grab the ferry from Edgartown to Chappaquiddick Island and visit Mytoi Gardens, a beautiful Japanese-style oasis where you can meditate or take a peaceful walk through the pine forest and salt marshes.

Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks MICHIKO MAEKAWA WEINER

Scottish Bakehouse JOCELYN FILLEY

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NEW HAMPSHIRE | RECREATION

SUMMER SLOPES

Winter isn’t the only time to have fun in the New Hampshire mountains By Rina Rapuano

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EW HAMPSHIRE SKI RESORTS generally conjure images of snow, skis, steaming hot chocolate by the fireplace and a flurry of gloves and hats. But more and more, these winter wonderlands are investing a lot of money, effort and creativity into luring customers back during the off-season. From zip lines to summer tubing to bungee trampolines, these spots now ensure you don’t need to know a bunny slope from a black diamond to enjoy their activities.

For instance, Attitash Mountain Resort (attitash. com) in Bartlett, N.H., features the Nor’Easter mountain roller coaster that winds through maple and pine trees and an Alpine slide that meanders through wildflowers. There are also zip lines and five water slides. According to Greg Fisher, director of marketing and events at Peak Resorts Inc. (peakresorts.com), which operates Attitash, the idea of going beyond gondola rides and lifts up the peak started to gain CO N T I N U E D

Attitash Mountain Resort PROVIDED BY ATTITASH MOUNTAIN RESORT

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NEW HAMPSHIRE | RECREATION

IF YOU GO When visiting Attitash or Cranmore Mountain resorts, nearby breweries like Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brewing Co. (moatmountain.com) offer pub fare, or you can opt for the more romantic White Mountain Cider Co. (ciderconh.com). The RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain (riverwalkresortatloon. com) features Seven Birches Winery and La Vista Italian restaurant. For something a bit more casual, try nearby Black Mountain Burger Co. (blackmtnburger. com) or Gypsy Café (gypsycaferestaurant.com).

Cranmore Mountain Resort

Loon Mountain Resort

Loon Mountain Resort JOSH BOGARDUS; SHERRI HARKIN; MATT HINKLEY

popularity about a decade ago. “Summer business has become a much bigger deal and an industry practice within the last 10 years or so,” he says. “Most resorts, if they did do summer attractions, it usually revolved around some sort of lift thing like mountain biking.” He notes that Attitash was a trailblazer when it installed its Alpine slide back in the 1970s, and he describes that experience as kind of a mile-long luge without the ice. “There’s a handbrake to slow down and control your speed,” he says. “It’s pretty exhilarating. It’s great for adults young and old and is kind of timeless.” Aside from all the bells and whistles that have been added to enhance summer fun, Greg Kwasnik, communications manager for Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln, points out a very practical reason why a visit to the mountains of New Hampshire is a great idea during the dog days. “The weather is pretty ideal,” he says. “Usually, it’s in the mid-70s and partly

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sunny. We’re typically 10 degrees cooler than southern New England, so people tend to come up here to escape the heat.” While in the area, he suggests checking out the abundant craft brewing options, such as Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery (woodstockinnnh.com) in North Woodstock, about 3 miles from Loon Mountain, and One Love Brewery (onelovebrewery.com) in downtown Lincoln. Come fall, both Attitash and Loon host Oktoberfest celebrations and other events in addition to the spectacular leaf displays that Mother Nature provides. Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway (cranmore.com) has also made summer diversion a priority. Marketing communications manager Megan Penny says the 75-year-old resort was purchased by Fairbank Group nearly 10 years ago, and summer programming was implemented because it was so successful at the company’s other ski properties. Cranmore offers amenities such as a giant swing, zip line, climbing wall, summer tubing and aerial ropes courses,

and Penny says the mountain coaster is probably the resort’s most beloved summer feature. “You’re in the woods for a little bit, and you get a good view of wildflowers,” she says. “You’re kind of hidden and then come around the corners and have a good view of other mountains while you’re coming down the track. It’s probably five to seven minutes long, depending on your speed.” You’d think that with all these flashy new options, old-school pastimes like nature hikes, mountain biking and peacefully enjoying stunning views of the surrounding mountaintops might have fallen by the wayside — but you’d be wrong. As exciting as it is to zip over the river and through the woods, Kwasnik says even the zip lines and coasters can’t compete with a good, old-fashioned ride up the mountain. “The most popular attraction is definitely the gondola,” he says of Loon Mountain Resort. “It’s something everyone can do, from little kids to grandparents.”

Lodging options for Attitash and Cranmore Mountain resorts include the White Birch Inn (whitebirchinnnh.com) and North Conway Grand Hotel (northconwaygrand. com). The highly rated InnSeason Resorts Pollard Brook (innseason. com) is close to Loon Mountain Resort, as is the RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain.

Attitash Mountain Resort’s sister property, Wildcat Mountain Ski Area, (skiwildcat.com) in Gorham also offers gondola rides and a zip line. — Rina Rapuano

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VERMONT | WILDLIFE

Clyde River

EXPLORE VERMONT

TOM ROGERS

Take a walk on the wildlife side

By Tom Rogers

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HE QUINTESSENTIAL VERMONT EXPERIENCE of traipsing through a silent forest, catching views of magnificent mountaintops and letting loose of the daily binds of life’s responsibilities can be had at wildlife management areas (WMA) — little-known places where you can truly unwind in a remote, natural setting. These areas can be found in every corner of the state with the largest, West Mountain WMA, found in the Northeast Kingdom towns of Maidstone, Ferdinand and Brunswick. West Mountain offers nearly 23,000 acres of land to explore and shares borders with a commercial working forest and a national wildlife refuge. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, through partnerships with a consortium of conservation organizations and state

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programs, and through local and federal tax revenue, helps protect and maintain these lands, raising millions and preserving thousands of acres. Paul Hamelin, a Vermont Fish & Wildlife biologist in the St. Johnsbury district, works to improve habitat and access on WMAs and believes they are great places for people to enjoy the outdoors. “If you’re up for adventure away from the well-known trails, you can have an experience at a WMA where you have the woods to yourself and never see another person all day long,” Hamelin says. “You can travel where no sounds of civilization intrude. It’s a great place to go and really get away, collect your thoughts and focus on the natural world.” For example, while the mountain bike or ski trails of Burke Mountain are often bustling with people on busy weekends,

Hamelin says that some prefer the other side of the mountain, where they can slip away to the path less traveled and enjoy the endless bogs and boreal forests of Victory Basin WMA. Wildlife management areas generally do not contain marked trail systems, instead promoting what Hamelin refers to as “dispersed recreation” — encouraging people to explore the landscape in their own way. Hamelin believes WMAs provide refuge from the outside world and are places to rejuvenate. “It’s hard sometimes to tear ourselves away from our devices,” he says. “It takes patience to learn the best places to catch beaver or muskrat, or how to track a deer through the snow. These natural spaces encourage people to slow down and spend time relearning the rhythms of nature.” CO N T I N U E D

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VERMONT | WILDLIFE

Victory Basin WMA

Clyde River

A LEADER IN CONSERVATION

PHOTOS BY TOM ROGERS

A BIRD LOVER’S PARADISE

Vermont’s wildlife management areas are home to a diverse group of plants and animals.

Dead Creek is a popular destination for birdwatchers.

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Perhaps the best-known WMA in the state is Dead Creek in Addison. Despite its name, the creek is flourishing with frogs, turtles and, most notably, birds. Its series of dams and impoundments, specifically used to raise and lower the water levels, attracts different bird species throughout the year — 240 have been spotted there — making it one of the most bird-rich places in the state and a regional destination among avid bird-watchers. Ducks nest among the creek’s reeds and rushes. Shorebirds, such as plovers and sandpipers, stop over on their annual migration and pull a few grubs out of the sand. Access for bird-watchers continues to increase at WMAs. Gale Meadows WMA in Londonderry and Winhall, and Little Otter Creek in Ferrisburgh, are best explored by canoe or kayak. Others can be easily toured on foot. For example, a nature trail at Eagle Point in Derby leads the way through grasslands to a wetland viewing platform. A new boardwalk and viewing area provide easy access to Moose Bog at Wenlock WMA in Ferdinand, giving consideration to those with mobility limitations. And a new visitor center at Dead Creek is scheduled to welcome the public this fall.

FEAST UPON THE LAND

As the locavore movement continues to gain traction in Vermont, many health-conscious residents are looking to the wild landscape as a food source. Wildlife management areas encourage

these activities, permitting all forms of regulated hunting, fishing, trapping or foraging. The options for creating a wild buffet are nearly endless. From foraging for morel mushrooms, wild leeks, blueberries or fiddleheads, to hunting for grouse, ducks, deer or turkey, to fishing for trout, salmon or perch, WMAs present a cornucopia of wild edibles for personal enjoyment (though collection for commercial use is prohibited). Biologists carry out a variety of management practices to improve habitat for many of these plant and animal species. Fish & Wildlife staff prescribe small sections of forest to be cut down and regrown, sometimes referred to as “patchcuts,” to create places for ruffed grouse to feed and nest. They restore wetlands for ducks and geese by plugging ditches in old hayfields, allowing the water to back up and the native plants to return. They also oversee prescribed burns that cause wild blueberries to flourish, something first practiced by Native American tribes in the Northeast prior to European colonization. “Rather than removing the forest and tilling the land, we’re working with nature to promote a variety of wild food sources,” says Hamelin. “In the process, we create a habitat that allows thousands of other species to live right alongside the wild plants and animals that people enjoy eating.”

Vermont was the first state in the Eastern U.S. to acquire land specifically for wildlife habitat protection. The state’s first wildlife habitat purchase was made in 1920 for what is now called the Sandbar Wildlife Management Area in Milton, along the shoreline of Lake Champlain. Since that time, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has conserved 93 areas that cover roughly 140,000 acres of forests, wetlands, meadows and riverbanks. “For generations, Vermonters have had the foresight to conserve important habitat for a range of species, from waterfowl to rare plants, and this tradition continues to grow even now nearly a century later,” says Jane Lazorchak, a Fish & Wildlife biologist who works with department staff to acquire habitat for permanent protection. “The land we protect will ensure Vermont remains a place where wildlife still have a place to call home, and where Vermonters of all ages can catch a glimpse of them while in the woods, and can still hear loons and hermit thrushes calling in the spring.” — Tom Rogers

Tom Rogers coordinates information and outreach for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

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RHODE ISLAND | FOOD

Clam cakes at Flo’s Clam Shack

MOVE OVER, LOBSTER ROLL

SETINMOTION.COM

Clam cakes offer regional flavor and a variety of tastes By Alison Konecki

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ID SOMEBODY SAY CLAM cakes? “When you mention clam cakes to someone who’s familiar with them, you’ll get a big smile,” says Komes Rozes, owner of Flo’s Clam Shack in Middletown, R.I. A sort of savory fritter, Rhode Island clam cakes are deceptively simple. Little more than clams, flour, eggs and milk or water, the true magic of clam cakes is in the alchemy of textures — the crispy, deep-fried exterior, fluffy interior and the briny chew of clam. Outside

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of Rhode Island, clam cakes are virtually unknown. If lobster rolls have been able to make their way down the coast of Maine and into the hearts and stomachs of seafood lovers the country over, and clam chowder is a popular seafood staple, why hasn’t the humble clam cake managed to cross state lines? Rozes isn’t sure why the clam cake is exclusive to Rhode Island, but he has a theory. Although soft-shell clams are plentiful throughout New England waters, they have a taste and texture too delicate

for clam cakes. Rather, it’s the rich, salty, ocean taste and meatier bite of the quahogs (hard-shell clams) found in abundance off Rhode Island’s shores that truly characterize a clam cake. “Only Rhode Island has the ‘original’ clam cake because the quahogs from Narragansett Bay are the finest in the world,” Rozes says. When the steely winter ocean begins warming to a rich blue and blooms of colorful umbrellas dot the shoreline, clam cake season unofficially begins. Although CO N T I N U E D

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RHODE ISLAND | FOOD

CLAM CAKE DESTINATIONS Great clam cakes are available throughout Rhode Island, but for the best overall experience, head to these coastal eateries: ANTHONY’S SEAFOOD MARKET AND RESTAURANT A great option for wintertime cravings, Anthony’s serves up clam cakes and incredible chowder year-round, even when most of Rhode Island’s clam shacks are shuttered for the winter. ▶ 963 Aquidneck Ave., Middletown; 401-846-9620; anthonysseafood.net AUNT CARRIE’S Aunt Carrie’s, now in its fourth generation of family ownership, is one of Rhode Island’s oldest and most beloved clam shacks. For the full Aunt Carrie’s experience, the menu says, you have to have the “award-winning” clam cakes. You can order them by the half or full dozen or get a chowder combo that comes with three of the tasty treats. ▶ 1240 Ocean Rd., Narragansett; 401-783-7930; auntcarriesri.com Iggy’s clam cakes

DIY CLAM CAKES Can’t make it to Rhode Island soon enough to quell your craving for these fried delights? Try making a batch using a mix from Kenyon’s Grist Mill in West Kingston, R.I., (kenyonsgristmill. com) in your own kitchen.

they are enjoyed year-round, clam cakes, also called fritters, soar in popularity during the summer. “Clam cakes remind everyone of some of (their) best times growing up in Rhode Island,” says Rozes. “Days at the beach, clambakes ... memories of summertime fun.” After tumbling through seaweedstreaked waves and baking on towels under the hot sun, nothing satisfies hungry bellies quite like clam cakes fresh from the fryer and dipped into cups of creamy chowder (or rather, “chowda” — this is New England after all). “If you’re having a beach day, it’s a foregone conclusion that you’ll be getting clam cakes,” says Rhode Islander Pete Raleigh. “It’s part of the experience.” Indeed, even though clam cake mixes are available (Kenyon’s Grist Mill and Iggy’s Doughboys & Chowder House both make popular versions), and clamming in shallow tidewaters across the state is not uncommon, clam cakes are largely enjoyed at local clam shacks. Anthony’s Seafood in Middletown uses Narragansett Beer in its clam cake

PETER HASSEL PHOTOGRAPHY (2); KENYON’S GRIST MILL

batter “for a grown-up taste,” according to owner Stephen Bucolo. Aunt Carrie’s in Narragansett fries the patties in beef shortening. In addition to the requisite quahogs, Flo’s version includes a few chopped soft-shell clams for sweetness. Every clam shack has a slightly different recipe — subtleties that often cause Rhode Islanders to swear allegiance to one place or another — but what remains consistent no matter where you go is the emphasis on fresh, local clams. Often, the quahogs are dug the very day they are served, right off the shore from the restaurants where they are cooked. This landscape, with its tides rushing in and out, warm summer sun and ocean brine is what nourishes Rhode Island’s quahogs day after day. It’s why a taste of clam cakes becomes something far more elemental — the experience of Rhode Island itself.

FLO’S CLAM SHACK After a day in the waves at Sachuest Beach (known locally as Second Beach), head to Flo’s for perhaps the best clam cake deal in the state. Their combo #1 pairs three clam cakes with a cup of chowder and a draft beer or soda for $7.50. ▶ 4 Wave Ave., Middletown; 401-847-8141; flosclamshacks.com IGGY’S DOUGHBOYS & CHOWDER HOUSE Iggy’s fries up delicious clam cakes and has the market cornered on merchandise, including T-shirts, hats, mugs and aprons. Homesick Rhode Islanders or the culinary curious can order the “Taste of Iggy’s,” which includes a half gallon of chowder and a half dozen each of clam cakes, stuffies (stuffed clams) and doughboys (fried dough). ▶ 1151 Point Judith Rd., Narragansett; 401-783-5608; iggysdoughboys.com MONAHAN’S CLAM SHACK BY THE SEA Located off the Narragansett seawall overlooking Narragansett Beach, Monahan’s is hands down the most scenically situated of Rhode Island’s clam shacks. Clam cakes and other seafood favorites can be enjoyed on the adjacent picnic tables, or taken to-go and enjoyed as you stroll along the seawall. ▶ 190 Ocean Rd., Narragansett; 401-782-2524; monahansri.com — Alison Konecki

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