The Ultimate New England Travel Guide for Summer

Yankee magazine explored all of New England to find the most beautiful places, the best meals, and the coziest spots to spend the night. Find out where we went, and what we ate, in our 2019 Summer Travel Issue

Lake Winnipesaukee

Yankee magazine explored all of New England to find the most beautiful places, the best meals, and the coziest spots to spend the night. Find out where we went, and what we ate, in our 2019 Summer Travel Issue

The Yankee Magazine 2019 Summer Travel Issue includes Yankee’s Best of New England – 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards, which features nearly 200 of our favorite places to visit, vacation, dine, and explore in each New England state. With your Yankee All-Access Charter Membership, you can start reading the Yankee Magazine 2019 Summer Travel Issue immediately. We scoured each state in New England, looking for the best mountain trails, small beach towns, hidden diners, family adventures, and quiet weekend getaways. We found some of the best spots for summer fun, whether you want fresh seafood from a family-owned waterfront clam shack, thrilling adventures, artisan crafts, or a luxurious hotel experience.
  • Discover a 96-year-old family farm where you can find over 60 dairy-made ice cream flavors.
  • Step back in time at a living history museum.
  • Learn about sustainable aquaculture at an artisanal oyster farm.
  • Spend the night in a hotel built in 1716.
  • Try your hand at goat yoga – or just enjoy feeding the baby goats at a 200-year-old farm.
  • Pick up fresh produce, buttery baked goods, and farmhouse cheese from 50-plus vendors at a farmers’ market.
  • Take a day hike that climbs 1,600 vertical feet or rent a sea kayak and take a two-hour sunset tour.
Find all the fun, and so much more, in the Yankee Magazine 2019 Summer Travel Issue. After all, there’s no place like New England in the summer, and we don’t want you to miss a thing. And don’t forget, as part of the Yankee Magazine 2019 Summer Travel Issue, you get Yankee’s Best of New England – 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards, which includes our top picks in every New England state. Here’s a small sample of what you can expect.
Lobster Rolls with Butter on Picnic Table
©Yankee Magazine/Mark Fleming

Best of Connecticut

If you’re planning a full day of fun, you need a good breakfast, and there’s no better spot than a small bakery in Hartford. Start with a Connecticut-roasted coffee and a gourmet doughnut or playful breakfast treat from their resident pastry chef. Make sure you save room for lunch, though. You won’t want to miss the hot lobster and steak roll with garlic aioli over in Fairfield. There’s more to Connecticut than good food, though, like a 150,000-square-foot factory that now houses the East Coast’s largest motorcycle museum. The old textile mill, gorgeously restored with high-gloss wood floors and brick walls, is the perfect backdrop for a collection of vintage and modern bikes. Or if you’re looking for a high-flying adventure, step off a 350-foot rooftop and zipline for a mile over the lush treetops of an ancient cedar forest. When all that action tires you out, slip underneath the down comforters at a central-Connecticut inn. The peg-joined timber columns may give away the inn’s 1734 construction, but the scratch-baked breakfast goodies make for a perfectly modern luxury experience. What else can you do in Connecticut? Play with goats, learn to make soap, tour an artisanal oyster farm, or enjoy fresh-made ice cream at a fifth-generation family farm. Find two dozen of our favorites in the Best of Connecticut – 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards.

Best of Rhode Island

Right next door to Connecticut is the smallest state in the union: Rhode Island. Don’t let the square mileage fool you, though. Rhode Island is big on summer fun, starting, naturally, with water. The Ocean State has nearly 400 miles of coastline, so it’s no surprise that a day at the beach is a true Rhode Island experience. One beach, however, is more tropically-inspired than most. With pristine sand, turquoise water, tiki bars, and seafood straight from the Atlantic Ocean, this saltwater destination could be a perfect summer day or an unforgettable vacation. You don’t have to spend the day on the beach to enjoy Rhode Island, however. There’s a 220-acre hiking destination hiding not far from the waterfront. One four-mile trail will take you through a jungle of wild rhododendrons, up and down steep natural steps, and across glacial boulders for views that have graced the silver screen. When all that activity gets the best of you, head to an 1888 firehouse-turned-inn for relaxing in-room spa services before bed, then wake up to a gourmet breakfast. And speaking of breakfast, don’t miss the cash-only, all-day-breakfast spot that’s known for its retro decor and butterscotch coconut and almond pancakes. In fact, Rhode Island is often heralded for its culinary scene, but did you know there’s a brewery where they grow their own hops? Or a living history museum that will transport you to 1799? For the kids, there’s an ice cream shop with flavors like Dinosaur Crunch and Purple Cow. Find out where they are, and discover nearly 30 of our most-loved Rhode Island destinations in Best of Rhode Island – 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards, which is just one part of the Yankee Magazine 2019 Summer Travel Issue. Nantucket, Massachusetts

Best of Massachusetts

Heading north, Massachusetts has plenty of attractions to choose from. Some, in fact, offer quite a thrill. Nestled in the Berkshire mountains is an old-fashioned roller coaster that’s unlike anything you’ve experienced at an amusement park. The 1,580-foot climb is tranquil enough, but the dips, twists, corkscrews, and dives on the way down North America’s longest mountain coaster track makes the leafy trees look like a blur. Don’t worry. There’s something for the less adventurous among us, too, like an evening sipping spiced rum and cider in a dark wood-paneled tavern built in 1716. After your beverage, climb the stairs and walk the original wide-plank pine floors to spend the night underneath a hand-hewn post-and-beam ceiling. Don’t forget the ice cream, either! Like Connecticut and Rhode Island, a summer outing in Massachusetts wouldn’t be complete without trying one of the 60 hand-made ice cream flavors at a 75-year-old dairy in the center of the state. Savor butter pecan scoops loaded with whole pecans or dig into an old-school banana split. You really can’t go wrong! There’s so much more to enjoy in Massachusetts, including a barbecue joint with local brews on tap, French toast and live jazz at an 1892 general store, a small hotel with homemade granola on the breakfast buffet, and immersive historical experiences. The Best of Massachusetts – 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards has the top secret locations of all these destinations.

Best of Vermont

Speaking of top secret, did you know you can sleep in the treetops in Vermont? Climb the stairs to experience life at new heights, or relax with a cold Vermont beer and take in the view from your bedroom deck. You can get another spectacular view from one of Vermont’s glacial lakes. Nestled between two peaks are the spring-fed, pristine waters of one of the state’s most iconic destinations. The natural sandy beach is an ideal location for letting the kids play in the water or just relaxing under the summer sun. Lest you think Vermont is all sleeping in the trees and snoozing on the lakefront, make sure you don’t miss out on another truly Vermont experience: a one-of-a-kind museum. On the outside, this Vermont museum just looks like an old barn. Inside, however, you’ll find illuminating exhibitions around everything from dust to safety pins, matches, keys, and mirrors. It may be a bit cluttered, but is there anywhere else you can learn the vivid details of the history of the toothbrush? Not that we know of. You probably want to know where that is, too. Well, the only way to find out is to read Best of Vermont – 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards, as part of the Yankee Magazine 2019 Summer Travel Issue. You’ll also want to find out about the solar-powered bakery, the 225-year-old inn known for serving produce from their on-site garden, and one of the most unique bookstore-cafés on the east coast. Flume Gorge, New Hampshire

Best of New Hampshire

Along with Vermont, New Hampshire is also known for wonderful bakeries, including one filled with fresh loaves of sourdough and rye bread made from local heirloom grains. Diners, too, stay local in New Hampshire, with one dog-friendly spot sourcing their pasture-to-table meats from a family farm just five miles down the road. When you’re looking for a place to stay, go upscale with a hotel that offers a private spa and two dine-in restaurants, then drift off to sleep in a room with a nearly 360-degree view of the ocean. If rugged is your preference, a White Mountain lodge gives you the option of your own room or a bunk room, along with guided hikes and ranger programs. Wherever you stay, make sure you bring your hiking boots for a 10-mile loop that takes you up two high summits, through an impossibly beautiful mountain pass, and by two mirrored lakes. It’s a rigorous trail, but the varied terrain and breathtaking scenery are worth the effort. You can have indoor fun in New Hampshire, too. Kids can explore the human genome at a science center. You can sip a Smuttynose while you peruse the aisles at a used bookstore, or enjoy real buttered popcorn and a silent movie. Where? Get the Granite State lowdown in Best of New Hampshire – 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards.

Best of Maine

We don’t want to pit New Hampshire and Maine against each other, but while you can get popcorn with real butter in New Hampshire, one cinema in Maine claims to have “the best popcorn in the known universe.” You’ll have to decide for yourself on that one, but we can tell you there’s a three-screen theatre that’s a prime location for first-run independent and international films. And for book lovers, you can also find independent and small-press books on the shelves at a small shop about an hour down the road. Take part in a book discussion or attend an author’s reading to get the real feel of a day in the life. Along with bookstores, Maine is famous for its rugged coastline. Even the lodging pays tribute to the ocean with one family-friendly inn offering cottages with front doors that open onto the beach, while another provides a long front porch and rocking chairs for patrons to relax and watch the lobster boats. Those lobster boats aren’t just for scenery, either. Some of them supply the main ingredient to a legendary five-course lobster tasting menu at an upscale Parisian-inspired bistro. Try the coconut-lobster bisque or a lobster salad with crunchy jicama and spicy nasturtium leaves. Looking for lunch in Portland? Want to know where you can find ice cream made at a family farm? Ready to try your hand at sea kayaking? You guessed it. It’s all in the Best of Maine – 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards. Don’t worry. We make it easy to get to each one of the New England states in Yankee’s Best of New England – 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards, from our 2019 Summer Issue. As part of your Yankee All-Access Charter Membership, you’ll get access to the Yankee Magazine 2019 Summer Travel Issue, where you can get the inside scoop on approximately 200 summer destinations that you don’t want to miss. We’ll share our favorite clam shack locations, where we found the best lobster rolls, the secret hiking trails that offer spectacular views, the most luxurious hotel accommodations and the low key spots for a peaceful night under the stars. The Yankee Magazine 2019 Summer Travel Issue, including Yankee’s Best of New England – 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards, is your key to discovering the hidden wonders and famous destinations of New England, whether you’re a local or a visitor. From the forests of Vermont to the shores of Connecticut, explore New England with us. Your Yankee All-Access Charter Membership takes you across New England to explore and discover. With it, you get instant access to Yankee’s Best of New England – 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards, including everything in the Yankee Magazine 2019 Summer Travel Issue as well as:
©Yankee Magazine/Mark Fleming