19 December 2014
Immerse yourself in New England’s famous landscapes and “magical light,” wander the halls of some of the most opulent mansions in America, and explore historic seaports and colonial villages. On this tour of the smallest, most compact and historic region of America, you can do all this and still take in the views from the highest mountain and wiggle your toes in the sand on the loveliest beaches. From quiet communities to glitzy towns, from lakes to the famous beaches of Cape Cod, you’ll discover some of the region’s greatest treasures and “off the beaten track” attractions, carefully choreographed to unfold the story of New England seamlessly over 10 sweet days. And before you start your journey you spend a memorable time in the wonderful city of Boston.
Your adventure begins as soon as you get off the plane in Boston. Life in this great city is much more exciting than a tea party these days and you will be spoilt for things to see and do. After checking into your hotel in the city don't waste any time and go out exploring. In the evening dine out on seafood specialities at one of the city's many fine restaurants or see a show at one of the quirky theatres.
Boston is so full of history and you can experience much of it on a walking tour. By following the red footprints on the pavements along the city's Heritage Trail you can enjoy it at at your own pace. When your feet start aching hop on board the T - Boston's lovely old underground rail system - and let the trains take the strain. Also enjoy a romantic Swan Boat ride on the lake at Boston Common before calling in at the original Cheers bar for a well-earned beer.
Hit the road today and begin your tour with a drive from Boston on the Essex Heritage Scenic Byway to Rockport. Along the 64-mile Byway, you’ll find historic seaports, colonial era farms and villages, an abundance of period architecture, and signature rocky seacoast. Visit the historic town of Salem, scene of the famous witch trials of 1694, before arriving at Rockport, situated on a rocky peninsula that has long appealed to artists for its dramatic beauty and “magical light” and to visitors for its long stretches of lovely beaches.
Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire, has been a destination for travellers escaping the summer heat in Boston and New York City for more than a hundred years. Three surrounding mountain ranges and the wooded shoreline reflect in the crystal clear spring-fed water. You can take advantage of the views and enjoy all manner of water sports. The route from Wolfeboro to Holderness is based on an ancient Native American road cut out for horse travel in 1771. Enjoy the drive – this is one of a kind scenery.
Some of the most scenic drives in New England await you today in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Pick up the beautiful Kancamagus Highway just north of Waterville Valley, and then take scenic Route 16 towards Mount Washington, the highest peak in New England. Take your time to appreciate the astounding scenic beauty all around. Mt Washington itself is very accessible, whether by hiking, driving or riding the historic Cog Railway train.
Drive through southern New England today on the way to Newport. Visit interesting and historic sites such as Hancock Shaker Village, Sturbridge Village, and Mystic Seaport. In Newport you will see how opulence reigned for decades during the Gilded Age. The wonderful estates along the cliffs were the “summer cottages” of the rich and famous from New York and Philadelphia who descended on Newport for a summer social season. The Vanderbilt’s Marble House reportedly cost 11 million dollars to build in 1892.
On your way to Cape Cod today, stop at the New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park. The cobblestone streets and brick facades of the mid-18th century’s pre-eminent whaling port carry you in the footsteps of Moby Dick author Herman Melville who shipped out of here in 1847 aboard a whaler bound for the Pacific. Start at the National Park Visitor Centre to orient yourself.
Cape Cod is larger than most people imagine. The Upper Cape, closest to the Massachusetts mainland, is home to Sandwich and Falmouth, and the famous Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Hyannis, of Kennedy fame, is located Mid-Cape. The narrow portion of land where it bends sharply north is considered the Lower Cape. The Outer Cape has 40 miles of pristine sandy beach, marshes, ponds and uplands. Lighthouses, cultural landscapes and wild cranberry bogs offer a glimpse of Cape Cod’s past.
On the way back to Boston for your flight home today, plan to stop at Plimoth Plantation, a recreation of the community built in 1627 by English colonists, and Plymouth Rock, which honours their courage. As you leave for home, know that you have taken the road less travelled and experienced some of New England’s greatest treasures and best-kept secrets.
Standard fr £413pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated