Bar Harbor, Maine
Surrounded by Acadia National Park’s pine-covered mountains and granite cliffs, this New England seaside gem has attracted visitors since the mid-1800s. Artists chose this beautiful port for painting dramatic seascapes, and America’s wealthiest tycoons (Rockefeller, Ford, Vanderbilt and more) built grand summer homes along West Street. Historic lighthouses along the shore keep watch over local maritime treasures from whales to lobstermen. The town is known for elegant architecture amidst quaint shops, pubs and galleries.
Eating: Fine dining options include La Bella Vira at the Harborside Hotel, The Reading Room, Havana, Asticou Inn Restaurant and The Burning Tree Restaurant. Casual fare is available at The Travelin’ Lobster, Stewman’s Lobster Pond and Paddy’s Irish Pub.
Docking: Bar Harbor Regency Hotel & Marina accommodates vessels up to 150 feet, complete with T-shaped floating docks, heated outdoor jacuzzi and pool, tennis courts, and courtesy transportation.
As Maine’s largest city, Portland presents the charm of a classic seacoast town with a cosmopolitan edge built around museums, a new science center, first-rate symphony orchestra and theater. Its rich maritime history is on display in the restored Old Port District where buildings have been revitalized into chic boutiques, art galleries, luxury spas, brewpubs and innovative restaurants. Portland has been nationally recognized for its vibrant culinary scene and was voted America’s Foodiest Small Town by Bon Appétit Magazine.
Eating: To feast upon exceptional New England seafood and spirits, try Eventide Oyster Co., Piccolo and Scales Restaurant. Find more relaxed dining at The Grill Room & Bar, DiMillo’s on the Water (a floating restaurant in the harbor), Central Provisions, The Highroller Lobster Co., and Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room.
Docking: Accepting vessels up to 250 feet, Dimillo’s Old Port Marina is equipped with floating docks and ValvTect fuel. Courtesy GPCVB
Tucked away between Portland and Portsmouth, this delightful town is home to a pair of U.S. presidents and miles of stunning beaches. Some seaside stretches are covered with white sand; others display dramatic rock formations, yet all of them merge together to forge a spectacular shoreline. Kennebunkport’s historic downtown and Dock Square bustle with unique stores, galleries and antique shops. The Intown Trolley chugs past historic sites, including ship captains’ homes, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, the Colony Hotel, the Customs House, St. Anthony’s Franciscan Monastery, Gooch’s Beach and the Bush estate. Nature lovers can hike trails or bird watch at nearby Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge, a salt marsh estuary and favorite landing zone for a menagerie of migratory birds.
Eating: Exquisite organic dishes are served at Earth in the luxurious Hidden Pond Resort. Meals made of local lobster, oysters and other aquatic treats are on tap at The Clam Shack, The Burleigh, The Dory, 95 Ocean and Federal Jack’s Brewpub.
Docking: Next to Dock Square, Chicks Marina can accommodate vessels to 165 feet in length.
Founded in 1630, Boston is an urban explorer’s playground where skyscrapers meet cobblestone streets and visitors can enjoy endless activities and timeless adventures. As soon as you pull into the harbor, its rich history and culture are at your fingertips with attractions such as the New England Aquarium, Boston Tea Party Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art and Boston Children’s Museum.
Eating: Each neighborhood has its own unique character and serves an abundance of ethnic dishes, sophisticated nouvelle cuisine and traditional New England fare. For an exceptional regional culinary experience, check out L’Espalier, Ostra, Menton Restaurant and Meritage Restaurant & Wine Bar.
Docking: Vessels up to 300 feet can find a home at Boston Yacht Haven with a full range of services from multi-phase, mega-yacht power to wave-attenuating floating docks. In Charlestown, right on the Freedom Trail, Constitution Marina offers detailing services, floating docks and a swimming pool, while Charlestown Marina has the capability to host vessels up to 400 feet with upgraded Ipe Decking.
The best vantage point in Provincetown is at the top of the Pilgrim’s Monument, a 252-foot granite structure that commemorates the Mayflower pilgrims’ landing here in 1620. The museum tells the tale of their five-week stay in the area before sailing off to Plymouth. For more local lore, Whydah Pirate Museum uses artifacts, treasure and interactive displays to share the story of a slave ship that was overtaken by buccaneers and sank offshore during a storm in 1717. History is a highlight, but the town’s gorgeous beaches, walkable dunes and woodland trails are also a big draw. To top it off, the thriving arts community attracts visitors with galleries, theater, music, literary events and hand-crafted goods.
Eating: Locals recommend The Red Inn and Spindler’s Restaurant for fine dining and spectacular seafood. The hot spots for comfort cooking and easy atmosphere are The Lobster Pot and Local 186.
Docking: Provincetown Marina in eclectic “P-Town” accommodates vessels up to 300 feet and offers ample amenities such as a fuel dock, captain’s lounge, and upgraded restroom and laundry facilities.
This 50-square-mile island is fun to explore on a bicycle. Pedal around at an easy pace to see endless beaches, seaside cottages, captain’s mansions, steepled churches, 18th-century lighthouses, designer boutiques, specialty shops, chowder shacks and cobblestone streets that line the historic wharves. Nantucket was once the world’s leading port for the whaling industry, which is detailed in a local museum. For an exciting day trip, rent a 4×4 SUV for an off-road adventure along 16 miles of sand roads and beaches to Great Point Light to catch an idyllic sunset.
Eating: When all this sightseeing brings on a thirst, you can plan cocktail hour at Cisco Brewers, Triple Eight Distillery or Nantucket Vineyards. Visiting yachts have many restaurant options that feature local seafood and oysters, such as Brant Point Grill at the White Elephant Hotel, Toppers Restaurant at the Wauwinet Resort, Nantucket Prime, CRU Oyster Bar, The Boarding House and Slip 14 Restaurant.
Docking: In historic Nantucket Harbor, welcoming vessels up to 250 feet, Nantucket Boat Basin offers a full range of luxury amenities including fuel, slip-side cable television and complimentary pet amenities. On-site concierge services are also available to arrange restaurant reservations, excursions and transportation to the island’s nearby beaches, charming boutiques and galleries.
Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
From presidents to pop stars, Martha’s Vineyard is a vacation haven for affluent travelers who want to relish windswept beaches, red clay cliffs and natural beauty. The islands interior pristine woodlands are ideal for hiking or horseback riding. Horticulturalists flock to Polly Hill Arboretum and Mytoi Gardens. Edgartown bustles as the island’s largest town and center of upscale nightlife. Its well-preserved 19th-century buildings serve as a time capsule to when ship captains led whaling fleets into the Atlantic. Trails near Menemsha reveal panoramic views of the rocky ocean edge and delightful fishing villages.
Eating: High-end restaurants include Garde East, Beach Road Restaurant, Red Cat Kitchen at Ken N’ Beck and The Sweet Life Café. Casual food is served at Waterside Market, Offshore Ale Co., Copper Wok Pan Asian House & Sushi Bar, Nancy’s Restaurant, The Black Dog Tavern and Little House Café.
Docking: Hosting vessels up to 200 feet, Vineyard Haven Marina has ample beach front access, a private waterfront boaters’ lounge and on-site massage services.
Newport is home to world-class festivals, music, seafood, tennis, polo and more. The Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile oceanfront path, traces the edge of the sea and passes by elegant Gilded Age mansions built by America’s wealthiest families. Colonial Era fans can tour 17th-century churches, forts, windmills and historic buildings from farmhouses to stately residences. Visitors looking to unwind can enjoy stylish pampering at various spas or engage in retail therapy at local boutiques. Liquor connoisseurs can take tours and sample the wares at hot spots such as Newport Storm Brewery, Distilling Company (aged rum) and Vineyards.
Eating: When hunger hits, you can find upscale dining at 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille, The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, Clarke Cooke House and Midtown Oyster Bar. More relaxed atmosphere is at Perro Salado and the Smoke House restaurant.
Docking: In the midst of downtown, Newport Yachting Center hosts vessels up to 140 feet and provides boaters with ValvTect fuel, and access to the pool and health club.
ACTIVITIES IN NEW ENGLAND
Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park Scenic Air Tours, Bar Harbor, Maine
Soar into the skies for a heavenly view of Maine’s spectacular coastline, rugged mountains and seaside towns for an experience of flight you won’t forget.
Bar Harbor Inn Spa, Bar Harbor, Maine
Let certified spa staff perform their therapeutic magic with a variety of soothing massages, body treatments, facials, manicures and pedicures.
Kennebunkport Festival, Kennebunkport, Maine
Experience the largest multi-day art, food and wine festival featuring more than 30 events and some of the country’s top chefs (June 4-9, 2018).
Lucky Catch Lobster Cruises, Portland, Maine
Live the life of a New England waterman pulling up traps filled with lobsters. Cook your catch at home or let chefs in a nearby eatery prepare them for you.
Boston Freedom Trail Boston, Mass.
Walk in the footsteps of our founding fathers along a 2.5 mile urban hike to Revolutionary War sites, churches, museums, burying grounds, celebrated ships and historic markers.
White Elephant Spa, Nantucket, Mass.
The White Elephant Spa offers a revitalizing, refreshing and invigorating experience by using nature’s organic ingredients.
Nantucket Film Festival, Nantucket, Mass.
As one of the world’s premier cinematic events, movie buffs come from around the globe to preview screenings, signature programs, and interviews with top directors and producers (June 20-25, 2018).
Wequassett Resort & Golf Club, Harwich, Mass.
Designed by Brian Silva, Golf Magazine 1999 architect of the year, the course at Wequassett Golf Club blends perfectly with the Cape’s unique topography and natural beauty.
Newport National Golf Club, Middletown, R.I.
Newport National Golf Club offers a dramatic setting overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Sakonnet Passage. The 200-acre landscape nursery is both a championship course and open space tribute to environmental sensitivity.