New England Travel & Tourism Guide

A travel guide to the cities, sites, and landmarks of the New England region.

The phrase “New England” conjures up images of colorful autumn forests, church steeples, historic cities, and colonial history. These are all part of New England to be sure, but this unique and fascinating region is home to even more. Understanding this region’s culture, climate, history, and sense of place is important before visiting, as millions around the world do every year.

Basics of New England

New England is a region of the Northeast United States consisting of 6 individual states: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Though each state is unique in its own right, they share a common culture and history.

Travel to New England is available by highway, Amtrak, international airports in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and also by sea along with the region’s many ports and harbor cities. New England experiences four distinct seasons which are among the most divergent in the U.S. Temperatures can soar to above 90 degrees in the summer and can drop below the freezing point in wintertime.

New England contains many rural areas, especially in the northern states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Southern New England is more heavily populated and urbanized. The region’s largest cities include Boston, Worcester and Springfield in Massachusetts, Providence in Rhode Island, Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven in Connecticut and Portland in Maine.

One of the oldest regions of the United States to have been settled by colonialists, New England is rich in colonial and early American history. Visitors will find the homes of American patriots, Revolutionary War battlefields and colonial-era landmarks all across New England.

The individual towns and areas of New England vary greatly, from the bustling and cosmopolitan cities like Boston and Providence to quiet, rural areas in northwest Connecticut to charming and historic port towns along the coasts of Maine and Massachusetts.

Connecticut

Connecticut, though a small state, contains many attractions and sites of interest. Two of the state’s biggest draws are Mystic Seaport, a living history whaling village, and Mystic Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the U.S. Connecticut also boasts two huge casinos: Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, the largest casinos in the United States.

Connecticut also is home to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme, Lake Compounce and Quassy amusement parks, the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum in Rocky Hill, and the increasingly vibrant cultural and nightlife scenes of downtown Hartford and New Haven.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the United States, but it still packs many attractions and landmarks.

This state is home to the gorgeous mansions of Newport, the seaside vacation resort of Block Island, miles of top-notch beaches, and the cultural and historic offerings of its capital city, Providence.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts, the largest state in New England in terms of population, boasts a wide array of regions and cities to explore, from the historic to the hip to everything in between.

Cape Cod is renowned for its excellent beaches and seaside views while the Berkshire Hills and famed for their rugged beauty and great skiing during the winter.

Boston contains many historic sites and attractions such as the Paul Revere House, Quincy Market, Fanueil Hall, the New England Aquarium, Fenway Park, Boston Common, and fascinating neighborhoods like the North End, Back Bay, and Beacon Hill.

Other top attractions in Massachusetts include Old Sturbridge Village, Six Flags New England, the island of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, and Minuteman National Historic Park.

Vermont

Vermont, the most rural of the New England states, still holds much to see and do.

The state is noted for its beautiful fall foliage, the Green Mountains, Lake Champlain, the ski resorts of Killington, Okemo, Smuggler’s Notch, Mad River Glen, and the charming and eclectic city of Burlington.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire plays host to the White Mountains, Lake Winnipesaukee, Mount Washington, and the historic port city of Portsmouth.

Other must-see attractions in New Hampshire include Bretton Woods Mountain Resort, the Lakes Region, and the vibrant nightlife and cultural scenes of Manchester, the state’s largest city.

Maine

Maine is known throughout the world for its natural beauty and unique charm.

Here, visitors will find famous sites such as Acadia National Park, the resort town of Bar Harbor, countless lighthouses and rocky shores and the bustling city of Portland.

While in Maine, also make sure to go on a whale watch, sample the local lobster and seafood and take advantage of the state’s wealth of recreational activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, and boating.

With its own unique culture and history, New England is a one of a kind place in the U.S. Whether you prefer the vibrant cosmopolitanism of big cities like Boston, great beaches and seaside towns like the ones in Cape Cod, Rhode Island and Maine, or peaceful rural areas like the ones found in the Green Mountains, the White Mountains or Acadia National Park, New England offers a little something for everyone.

Hotels in Westborough, Massachusetts

The town of Westborough is home to no less than seven historic attractions and offers easy access to nearby Boston and Worcester via I-90 and Route 9.

The town of Westborough in central Massachusetts is located approximately 29 miles west of Boston, playing home to more than 18,000 full-time residents over 22 square miles and no less than seven nationally registered historic places. Several hotels can be found in Westborough, ranging from brand name national chains to locally owned mom-and-pop style properties. These hotels allow visitors easy access to the area’s colonial museums, cafes, shops, and major roadways like I-90. Also, business travelers will find several hotels that are inside or close to the city’s most prominent industrial parks.

Courtyard Boston Westborough

The Marriott-owned Courtyard Boston Westborough just off I-495 is nestled in Technology Park near the Solomon Pond Mall. On-site recreational opportunities include an indoor heated swimming pool plus a children’s pool and 24-hour fitness gym, while executive travelers can make use of a full-service business center and 624 square foot meeting room with a 40-person capacity. Free newspapers are available in the lobby, and reception offers safety deposit boxes and valet dry-cleaning. The property also features a Hertz car rental, airline reservation desk, and café serving hot, cooked-to-order breakfasts. All 95 guest rooms offer a choice of one king or two double beds with pillowtop mattresses, writing desks, premium movie channels, and windows that open. Suites with balconies can also be requested.

Courtyard Boston Westborough
3 Technology Dr.
Westborough, MA 01581
508-836-4800

Extended Stay America Efficiency Studios

The Extended Stay America Efficiency Studios are designed for travelers on longer trips, such as businessmen, with nearby points of interest that include the Worcester Common Outlets and Indian Meadows Golf Course. Guests can enjoy ample parking in a free outdoor lot, on-site laundry facilities and high-speed wireless Internet access throughout the property. In addition, full-service housekeeping is available for guests staying seven or more nights. Several local lunches and dinner spots are situated nearby, including Bertucci’s Brick Oven Pizza and Naked Fish Woodfire Grill. Spacious studios feature separate sleeping, living, and work areas as well as kitchens with microwaves, refrigerators, stoves, cookware, and dining utensils. In addition, one pet is allowed per unit for a small daily fee.

Extended Stay America Efficiency Studios
19 Connector Rd.
Westborough, MA 01581
508-616-0155

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Boston – Westborough

The DoubleTree is convenient to several local business hubs like IBM, Staples and Bose, while the Eco Tarium and Worcester Art Museum are less than 20 minutes by car. Safety deposit boxes and multilingual staff can be found at the front desk, while the hotel’s gift shop/convenience store sells snacks, sundries and souvenirs. A car rental desk is available on-site and a shuttle offers free local area transportation. Corporate guests can also utilize several different meeting rooms, a PC workstation, AV equipment rental and services like faxing, copying and printing. Hotel dining options include an American-style bar and grill or room service. Guest rooms are bathed in soothing beige tones and come equipped with black-out curtains, video games, HBO, plush armchairs with ottomans and speakerphones with private voice mail.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Boston – Westborough
5400 Computer Dr.
Westborough, MA 01581
508-366-5511

Westborough Inn

The family-owned Westborough Inn combines colonial revivalist architecture with modern-day conveniences like Wi-Fi and state-of-the-art fitness equipment. The premises are also within walking distance of several galleries, the local library and the Boston commuter train line. A complimentary continental breakfast is served each morning in a designated room, and Arturo’s Ristorante two minutes away features authentic Italian dinner dishes. Each of the property’s 25 tastefully decorated guest rooms are outfitted with a plush king, queen, or twin-sized beds alongside large screen TVs with satellite service, individual climate controls and en-suite private baths with hair dryers. The inn is a 100 percent nonsmoking property and does not allow pets of any sort.

Westborough Inn
4 Boardman St.
Westborough, MA 01581
508-836-1900

Cape Cod Travel Guide

A travel and tourism guide to Cape Cod’s stunning scenery, popular activities and attractions, and charming towns.

With its charming towns, beautiful beaches, and one-of-a-kind scenery, there’s little doubt why Cape Cod has become one of America’s most popular vacation and travel spots. It’s important to understand, however, Cape Cod’s unique culture and way of life to have the best trip possible. This travel guide explores Cape Cod’s culture and highlights the region’s main tourist attractions and sites of interest.

The Basics

Cape Cod is an arm-shaped peninsula in southeastern Massachusetts. The “Cape,” as it is commonly referred to both by locals and tourists, is divided into fourteen towns and three sections. The “Upper Cape,” ironically the part closest to the mainland, contains the towns of Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth and Mashpee. Further east is the “Mid Cape” and its towns of Barnstable, Yarmouth and Dennis. The rest of Cape Cod, the “Lower Cape,” holds the towns of Harwich, Brewster, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown. It is important to remember the counterintuitive nature of the Upper Cape/ Lower Cape divide.

Cape Cod’s climate is temperate but subject to the whims of the ocean. Culturally it is firmly New England territory, as evidenced in its local accent, colonial New England architecture and small-town feel. The summer months are very tourism heavy so make sure to schedule any hotel or restaurant reservations well in advance.

Activities & Attractions

Cape Cod contains a number of tourist attractions and sites of interest. The Cape is well known for its pristine beaches, especially Cape Cod National Seashore. With its 40 miles of beaches and walking paths in and around Provincetown, the Cape Cod National Seashore is truly a natural gem and a must-see for all visitors.

Outdoor activities are also a popular option on Cape Cod. Travelers will find plenty of beach trails, bike trails, fishing spots, prime boating areas, and golf courses. Cape Cod in fact boasts 27 public and 15 private golf courses.

Whale watching is another popular activity. The waters off Cape Cod hold many kinds of whales, including Humpback Whales, Fin Whales and North Atlantic Right Whales. It is almost guaranteed that you’ll see at least some whales, and sightings are often thrilling and spectacular. These whale watch excursions are based out of Provincetown and Barnstable.

Shoppers will find plenty of outlets in Cape Cod. Provincetown, Orleans, Barnstable and Sandwich are the best places to shop on Cape Cod, but all towns have plenty of unique stores of every kind, from antiques to souvenirs to books and games.

Cape Cod is also well known for its famous lighthouses. Race Point in Provincetown, Cape Cod Light in Truro and Sandy Neck Light in Barnstable are three of the best known, but there are even more to explore as well.

Cape Cod offers many art galleries, museums and cultural experiences as well. Pay a visit to the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster, and the countless art galleries of Provincetown. Additionally, the Naukabout Music Festival is usually held in the first weekend of August in the village of East Falmouth.

Cruises and water sports are also popular activities for vacationers. Try parasailing in Provincetown, Yarmouth, and Falmouth. Chatham offers seal cruises as well, and don’t forget about ferry service to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

Cape Cod’s towns are also attractions in and of themselves. Barnstable serves as The Cape’s main commercial and transportation center, while Sandwich is widely known for its antique shops and Truro for its breathtaking cliff dunes and stunning scenery. Perhaps the most popular town in all of Cape Cod is Provincetown, located at The Cape’s tip. This eclectic town, commonly called “P-Town,” is home to a plethora of art galleries, unique shops, and beautiful beaches. Check out Pilgrim Monument for stunning views of the area and explore the Provincetown Museum to take in the town’s rich history and culture. Provincetown is well known for its large gay and lesbian population, so keep an open and tolerant mind while visiting.

Visit Cape Cod

With its charming towns, stunning scenery, and gorgeous beaches, Cape Cod is a great place to visit. All of these attractions and more await visitors to this unique region. Whether you go in the height of the tourist-heavy summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day or the less crowded spring or fall, just remember to schedule enough time to see all of Cape Cod’s great attractions!

Read more at Suite101: Cape Cod Travel Guide | Suite101.com http://suite101.com/article/cape-cod-travel-guide-a366352#ixzz1zew2Nvvx

Massachusetts Travel and Tourism Guide

Few states offer as much history, culture, and sites of interest as Massachusetts. From the historic and charming towns of the Greater Boston area to the stunning beaches of Cape Cod to the beautiful Berkshire Mountains, Massachusetts has it all. Understanding the state’s history, culture and sense of place are important before visiting, however.

Massachusetts is located in the northeastern United States in the New England region. Transportation is provided by highways, airports such as Logan International Airport in Boston and Bradley International Airport in neighboring Connecticut, and trains like Amtrak.

Massachusetts experiences four distinct seasons. The state also has a wide mix of areas, from huge, cosmopolitan cities like Boston to the quaint, rural villages of the Berkshires. Culturally, it is firmly New England territory, and this impacts everything from residents’ cuisine to sports teams and dialects.

Greater Boston

Greater Boston is a sprawling metropolitan area anchored by the state’s largest and capital city, Boston. The city of Boston itself is home to many attractions. Sports fans should pay a visit to historic Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. Boston also contains many museums and theaters, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, the USS Constitution Museum, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Boston is home to many beautiful parks such as Boston Common, and also is home to many historic sites such as the Old North Church and the Paul Revere House. Finally, no visit to Boston is complete without visiting its historic and unique neighborhoods. The North End offers a dizzying array of Italian restaurants and eateries, while Beacon Hill and Back Bay contain many upscale shops and stunning architecture. Downtown Boston is also home to Fanueil Hall and many sites on the Freedom Trail, a walking tour of the city’s historic sites and landmarks.

Nearby, Cambridge is home to two prestigious universities: Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge is home to many high-end shops and restaurants, as well as the MIT Museum, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the Longfellow National Historic Site.

Other sites of interest in Greater Boston and the surrounding area include Minuteman National Historic Park in Lexington, Adams National Historic Park in Quincy, the many spooky attractions and historical sites of Salem, and Plymouth Harbor, Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth and Battleship Cove in Fall River.

Cape Cod and the Islands

Cape Cod and the Islands offer small-town charm and excellent seaside views. The eclectic Provincetown is home to many unique shops and restaurants as well as Cape Cod National Seashore. Truro is home to Cape Cod Light while Sandwich features many antique shops and interesting stores. Recreation and leisure opportunities on Cape Cod include hiking, biking, whale watching, swimming, boating, and fishing.

Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are two islands off Cape Cod that boast many attractions of their own. Nantucket is known for its beautiful beaches and historic landmarks such as Brant Point Light, Maria Mitchell Aquarium, and the Nantucket Whaling Museum.

Martha’s Vineyard has many spectacular beaches and ocean views. It also holds a number of charming towns like Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Tisbury.

Pioneer Valley and Central Massachusetts

The Pioneer Valley and Central Massachusetts are home to a number of interesting cities and sites.

Sturbridge is home to Old Sturbridge Village, a living history museum. Nearby, Princeton plays host to Mount Wachusett Ski Area.

Worcester, the second-largest city in Massachusetts, holds a number of attractions such as the Worcester Art Museum, the Worcester Historical Museum, and the Higgins Armory Museum.

The Pioneer Valley is centered around the city of Springfield. Springfield boats the Basketball Hall of Fame, the Springfield Armory National Park, Forest Park, and the numerous museums of The Quadrangle.

Other interesting towns in the Pioneer Valley include historic Deerfield, eclectic Northampton, and the quaint college city of Amherst.

The Berkshires

The Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts also called the Berkshire Hills or simply the Berkshires, offer rural charm and stunning mountain views. The area boasts a huge number of recreational and leisure options, including the Jiminy Peak Resort in Hancock, Mount Greylock State Preservation, Western Gateway Heritage State Park, and Natural Bridge State Park.

Don’t forget about the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, the huge performing arts center of Tanglewood in Lenox, and the region’s countless hiking trails, biking trails, lakes, and nature preserves.

Visit Massachusetts

Massachusetts offers what few states can: a unique blend of history, culture, and charm all rolled into one package. Whether you go skiing in the Berkshires, swimming off Martha’s Vineyard, or exploring the historic streets of Boston, Massachusetts will always keep you busy, and probably coming back for more.

Cape Cod in the Winter

Avoid the crowds of high season and discover Cape Cod in the wintertime! There are plenty of activities as well as restaurants to choose from.

Most visitors to Cape Cod come in the summer to indulge in ice cream, beaches, boat rides, and mini-golf. Although the Cape is beautiful and full of fun things to do in the summer, it is also a wonderful place to visit in the winter. There are even some benefits of visiting Cape Cod in the winter: no traffic on Route 28 or parking fees at the beach!

Indoor Activities

  • Try Ice Skating at Patrick M. Butler Memorial Rink in Hyannis. Public skating is offered Monday-Friday 9:30am – 2:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 2:10-4:00pm. The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for kids. You can also rent skates for $4, or get your skates sharpened for $5. For more information, visit Hyannis Youth and Community Center.
  • Warm-up with some wine tasting at Truro Vineyards. They are open seven days a week from 11:00-5:00 (Sunday 12:00-5:00), May- Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, Truro Vineyards stays open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until mid-December. They offer wine tasting every half an hour. They also have a shop filled with great wine accessories, as well as other local gifts, perfect for those holiday gifts. For more information, visit their website.
  • Visit some local museums. The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum costs $5 to enter and showcases JFK’s time spent on his family compound in Hyannisport. The Cape Cod Art Museum, located in Dennis is open Thursday-Sunday throughout the winter.
  • Take a day trip to Nantucket. The high-speed ferry out of Hyannis runs year-round. Once you get to Nantucket, you can visit the Nantucket Whaling Museum. It does close in January but reopens again on February 4, 2012.

Outdoor Activities

  • Nickerson State Park has beaches and bike paths for summer enjoyment, but in the winter it’s still a great place for a hike. Once the snow comes, put on snowshoes in order to enjoy the park. You can also enjoy some sledding as well. Nickerson State Park is located in Brewster on Route 6a.
  • Speaking of sledding, there are many other hills to choose from throughout the Cape. The many Cape Cod golf courses provide excellent sledding opportunities as well as “The Hill” at the Courthouse in Barnstable Village or Mount Perry in Sandwich.
  • The Zooquarium in Yarmouth is a fun place for the whole family all winter long. The indoor aquarium has fish tanks to stare into, as well as a small “touch pond” with sea stars, crabs, and more. Outside is a petting zoo complete with food to feed the llamas and goats. The “Zoorific Theater” presents hourly shows that teach children about alligators, hedgehogs, skunks, etc, and allow them to pet these creatures after.

Restaurants

  • Inaho is a popular Japanese restaurant in Yarmouthport on Route 6a. Make sure to call ahead for a reservation, this restaurant is busy even in the winter months!
  • Roadhouse Cafe in Hyannis was rated “Best Fine Dining Restaurant in the Mid-Cape” by Cape Cod Life Magazine 2010.
  • Osteria La Civetta is an Italian restaurant and wine bar located in downtown Falmouth.
  • Anejo is a Mexican bistro and tequila bar, also located in Falmouth. The bar is often busy even in the winter, and the guacamole made right at your table is definitely worth trying out.
  • Ocean House in Dennisport is a perfect place to enjoy the ocean view even in the cold winter weather. You can also enjoy small and large plates of seafood, meat, and vegetarian food with an Asian inspired influence.

It’s worth considering a trip to Cape Cod in the winter. You will enjoy the benefits of offseasons cheaper accommodations but you will still have plenty of options to choose from. Cape Cod often has a milder winter than the Boston area, so you may find that you are able to enjoy walks on the beach or even a round of golf if you are really lucky!

Plymouth, Massachusetts: Journey to the Birth of a Nation

In December of 1620, a group of 99 English settlers landed on a wilderness shore of a new continent. What they started there grew into the United States.

Plymouth, in the first winter of the settlement — from December through spring of 1621– was a place of cold and privation, when half of the new settlers died. Immediately they set about building a common house with materials at hand. Soon thereafter they started work on their homes. The Quadricentennial of their landing will be celebrated in 2020.

A sketch of the settlement made by the Pilgrim leader, and Governor, William Bradford showed a small group of houses surrounded by an elongated stockade fence. The base of the settlement was on Cole Hill, a small hill that rose directly from the seashore. Through the center ran a rough street which they named Leyden Street in honor of the Dutch town that had given the Separatists safety after their flight from England.

Spring forward almost four centuries to the present day and their original settlement is gone, replaced by the more permanent structures that they and their descendants, built as the colony grew. But in Plymouth, it is possible to go back in time to experience what those first settlers’ lives were like.

Plimoth Plantation

In 1947 a young archaeologist named Henry Hornblower II set about to recreate the environment of the first settlers. The first phase was the erection of a pair of English cottages and a fort on the waterfront a short distance from the historic town center. On ground carefully chosen to mimic the topography of the original site, a copy of the settlement was laid out and built following Governor Bradford’s sketch. The settlement today is as real as it was almost 400 years ago.

In the slightly more than a half-century since Hornblower started to fulfill his dream, Plimoth Plantation has achieved his goal, allowing present-day visitors to journey back to the early years and witness the reality of those hard first years. Equally important to the mission of Plimoth Plantation is its emphasis on the presence and culture of the native Wampanoags who helped the colony to survive that first horrible winter. A native family settlement adjacent to the Pilgrim fort lets visitors experience their lives.

Plymouth as a Repository of a Legacy

An attractive and vibrant town, Plymouth still derives a good deal of its livelihood from the First Settler connection. The waterfront where the newcomers first settled now has parks with monuments to their courage and commitment. The original houses, built quickly, were replaced within a decade or two with the second generation of more permanent homes. Some of those second-generation houses still stand, one dating from about 1640.

Elsewhere in town, the streets are lined with houses from the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and one home remains that were built from the wood and timbers of the original defensive fort. Where the fort stood there now is a cemetery containing the graves of all but the earliest of the settlers to die here, including Governor Bradford. Several of the historic homes are museums and Pilgrim Hall is a multi-faceted museum contains paintings, artwork and personal furnishings and belongings used by these intrepid colonists.

Public art throughout the town includes bronze statues to many of the major figures of this first permanent settlement, not only the English settlers but the Native Americans as well. A full replica of their vessel, Mayflower II, floats at the dock in the harbor and the rock upon which they are said to have first placed a foot on the new land is enshrined nearby in a classical Greek temple.

A New England Vacation Getaway for All Ages

Plymouth should be high on the list of destinations for travelers who want to experience and savor American history at the actual location where it took place. Here European settlers and Native Americans lived in peace for about a half-century, and here those first settlers signed the first written pact among ordinary people establishing a working democracy. For visitors, there is the added attraction that Plymouth also is a beautiful small New England town where they can enjoy the New England seacoast while getting a taste of its history, eat lobster in the rough at the town’s best-known seafood restaurant. Wood’s Seafood or take a whale watching or fishing cruise in Cape Cod Bay.