Crusin Lake Suapee with Sunapee Cruises

There’s a place where the air is cleaner, the water is clearer and the harbor is like a movie set! There’s just something magical about this place!  Where is this place?  Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire. Lake Sunapee is listed under the “1,000 Places to See Before you Die“.

What’s a great way to find out about the history, lore, beauty and points of interest and lighthouses of Lake Sunapee while experiencing the great outdoors? Aboard  Sunapee Cruises  is the correct answer!

MV Mt. Sunapee II  – 2 Hour Narrative Boat Tours

Memorial Day Weekend – Columbus Day departs from the Sunapee Harbor at 2pm Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Memorial Day – June 15th – Boats leave Sat & Sun at 2pm.

June 16th – Labor Day – Boats depart Daily at 2pm

**Tickets to the Narrative boat ride may be bought 1 hour in advance at boat. You can purchase Dinner  Cruise tickets in advance by clicking on link above and making a reservation.

Dinner Cruises aboard the MV Kearsarge – 2 hour Dinner Buffet Cruise

This 2 hour buffet dinner with the captain as your guide offers 2 levels of enclosed dining. A full bar is also available with dinner cruises. Dinner Cruises are available from May through October.  Charter boats for special occasions and weddings are also available.

 

Memorial Day Weekend – Fri, Sat & Sun departs at 6:30pm

June 2nd – 14th Sat & Sun only departs 6:30 pm

June 14 – Labor Day cruises departing Tuesday – Sunday at 6:30pm

Both the sightseeing tour  and the dinner cruise are very enjoyable and  memorable experiences.  The MV Kearsarge also is available for weddings, parties and charted events of up to 75 people. Season passes are also now available!

Photos By Melissa Tyler

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Boston Harbor Cruises

Want to know  a  unique way to see an learn about the Boston coastline?  Then take a Boston Harbor Cruise!  There’s many different type of cruises available and they all fit into your sight-seeing schedule.

1812 Bicentennial Celebration

Tall Ships and naval vessels from across the world are coming to Boston June 30 – July 6 to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, the historic role played by the US

Navy and our very own USS Constitution in the conflict, and the composing of our national anthem – The Star Spangled Banner

USS Constitution

Visit one of Boston’s most treasured landmarks, the USS Constitution. This 45-minute, informative tour brings you up close and personal with “Old Ironsides” at her home in the Charlestown Navy Yard and offers the option to disembark for a tour of the famous ship and accompanying Naval Museum. Other highlights of the tour include the Bunker Hill Monument, the site of The Boston Tea Party, and the Old North Church.

March 31 – November 25 – Daily, every hour on the half hour from 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Historic Boston Sight-Seeing Tour

Discover the historic and contemporary milestones of Boston’s inner and outer harbors during this fun, informative, fully narrated 90-minute tour. From the hero tales of the Revolutionary War to the local legends of the sea, you’ll be entertained and enthralled. See how the harbor was transformed to one of the cleanest harbors in the country. Other highlights you’ll see include the nation’s oldest continuously manned lighthouse, the Harbor Islands National Park Area, Boston’s working port and examples of extravagant waterfront living.

May 12 – September 3 –Daily – 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM

September 4 – September 30 – Weekends Only – 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM

Charles River & Locks Cruise

A narrated 90-minute tour of Boston’s Inner Harbor and the Charles River. Your tour will take you by the USS Constitution, Bunker Hill Monument and Old North Church before proceeding through the Charles River Locks. As you sail along the Charles River enjoy spectacular views of the Boston and Cambridge skylines. Points of interest along the Charles River include the world’s widest cable-stayed bridge, Esplanade Park, M.I.T., Beacon Hill, and Back Bay.

June 23rd – September 2nd – Weekdays – 12:00 PM, Weekends – 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM & 2:00 PM

Sunset Cruise

A spectacular sunset adds a whole new dimension to this fully narrated, 90-minute sightseeing tour. With this cruise you’ll be introduced to all the history, sights and lore that Boston Harbor has to offer, plus you’ll be on hand to witness the USS Constitution’s traditional sunset ritual as she fires her cannon and lowers her flag ceremoniously signaling the day’s end.

May 12th – September 3rd – Daily – 7:00 PM

September 4rth – September 23rd – Thursday – Sunday – 6:00 PM

Lighthouse Cruise

A large and important part of New England’s heritage are the lighthouses which once kept sailors from navigating too close to shore. Many of these structures remain standing and in use today, and Boston Harbor Cruises is pleased to take you to them.

Expert members of the American Lighthouse Foundation narrate our tours. They begin in Boston with passes by Long Island Head Light and Deer Island Light, and then a pass by Boston Light, the oldest lighthouse station in America. Heading north, the tour will pass by Graves Light, Hospital Point Light, Marblehead Light, Fort Pickering Light, Baker’s Island Light, Eastern Point Light, Ten Pound Island Light, Straitsmouth Island Light and more. The Northern Lights tour culminates with a view of Thacher Island, site of the only still operating twin lighthouses left in the country.

*See website for details on different 5 hour cruises.

Daily Luncheon Cruise

With BHC’s Luncheon Cruise, you not only enjoy a sumptuous buffet, it’s the only cruise that also lets you feast on the sights and sounds of Boston’s Historic Past.

An engaging narrator will join you on-board this two-hour tour through Boston’s Inner and Outer Harbor. All kinds of fun, informative anecdotes of the city’s history. Throughout the cruise, you’re invited to explore the vessel and its three spacious decks for the best views of Boston and its many highlights, including the USS Constitution, Old North Church, Boston Light and the Boston Harbor Islands.

May 21st – September 3rd –Weekdays – 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM (boarding begins at 11:30 AM)

Weekend Brunch Cruise with David Coffin

Picture a superbly prepared brunch. Now imagine you’re enjoying that splendid cuisine aboard a smartly appointed cruise boat. As you savor the menu and drink in the ocean views from three spacious decks, you also feast on many of Boston’s treasured landmarks – the USS Constitution, Old North Church, Boston Light and the Boston Harbor Islands. You will also see firsthand how Boston became home to one of the cleanest harbors in the country.

Throughout this leisurely two-hour tour of Boston’s Inner and Outer Harbor, local performer and raconteur, David Coffin, will share with you his unique take on Boston’s rich and vibrant history. Sounds like a fun and relaxing way to spend your Saturday or Sunday.

May 26th – October 8th – Weekends – 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM (boarding begins at 11:30 AM)

Entertainment Cruises

See incredible sights, experience theater on the water, or dance the night away, whichever you choose we guarantee there’s fun on these cruises for everyone.

Summer Harbor Salsa Cruise Series

This may be, by far, Boston’s hottest harbor dance cruise. Each week during the summer, SalsaBoston.com along with Avive Productions and Boston Harbor Cruises invites you to meet people, learn to dance and take in the city’s unbelievable skyline. Dockside pre-party featuring salsa lessons and tropical cocktails. Once you’re on board, there are two decks of dancing with DJ D. Martinez spinning Salsa on the mid-deck and DJ Mike Mercado spinning Latin on the lower deck all evening. An authentic Latin buffet on board. And don’t forget the after-cruise party at Mojitos Lounge with free admission for cruise attendees.

Boston Ghost Cruise

Join the world-famous Mystery Cafe and Boston Harbor Cruises as you climb aboard the Boston Ghost Cruise for a thrilling, frightening, and fun journey into terror.

A professional troop brings the legends and folklore of Boston Harbor to life. Or should we say, death? See the actual sites that gave rise to tales of bloody betrayal, disastrous shipwrecks, gruesome executions, and terrifying ghostly encounters. Stephen King, eat your heart out.

Boston Harbor Mystery Cruise

It’s three hours of food, fun and fantasy on Boston Harbor as we introduce an all-new murder mystery dinner cruise.

But this Mystery Cruise is hardly your typical sit-down dinner (although it does offer gourmet food stations). It’s a cocktail party format where you witness a murder, search the boat, question the characters and solve the crime. Think of it as Agatha Christie meets Alfred Hitchcock meets CSI:Boston Harbor. Wow, maybe there’s a reality show somewhere in there.

History of Boston Harbor Cruises

Matthew “Matty” Hughes claims two important places in history. At the tender age of 16 he became the youngest licensed captain ever in the port of Boston, and in 1926 he founded New England’s premier cruise company, what is today the nation’s largest private operator of passenger vessels, Boston Harbor Cruises.

Given Matty’s glorious obsession with boats and Boston Harbor, no one was surprised when, soon after obtaining his license, he struck a deal with a local boat owner to operate the M/V Nelly with two full-time employees on a 30-minute cruise of the Charles River at a cost of 10¢.

For the next 16 years, area residents, in an attempt to escape the oppressive summer heat in their Boston flats, created a steady stream of seasonal customers for Matty and his cruises. Service had to be interrupted though in 1942 when Matty enlisted in the United States Navy, serving as a Seabee through the end of World War II.

Returning home from service in 1945, Matty resumed operations at Boston Harbor Cruises, expanding the business to operate vessels inside Boston Harbor and on the Charles River. For more than a decade these sightseeing excursions ran three times daily for a fare of $2.00. It was during this era that Boston Harbor Cruises became a true family run enterprise with Matty’s daughters, Rookie and Rita, coming on board, followed closely by their kids.

Around 1960, the family made a decision to switch the emphasis of their cruises to deep-sea fishing expeditions. Passengers would charter day and overnight trips for the amazing price of $6 for a full day in order to be able to cast their lines in search of cod, haddock, halibut, blue fish, tuna and more.

Fishing charters remained the company’s specialty until the late 1970s when Boston’s waterfront exploded with development. Tourist attractions such as the New England Aquarium and Faneuil Hall Marketplace brought a record number of visitors to the waterfront, and to Matty’s front door. Given this new opportunity, Boston Harbor Cruises moved back into the sightseeing market, but this time it would be Matty’s grandchildren, including current principles Rick and Chris Nolan who would be at the helm.

In the 1980s, their leadership was instrumental in BHC securing a contract with the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority to provide water transportation services between downtown Boston and Charlestown, a heavily traveled commuter route. This transformed BHC from a seasonal business to a year-round venture transporting more than 200,000 additional passengers each year. Since then, the MBTA has awarded 4 additional commuter ferry contracts to the company, the largest carrying 4,000 passengers per day.

Today, the company continues to grow with Rick, Chris and great-granddaughter Alison Nolan as its managing partners. They’ve parlayed their 93 years of maritime operations and management into building a fleet that has operated successfully in Massachusetts Bay, New York, Rhode Island, The US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

BHC’s 250 employees uphold the company’s hard-won reputation for safety and courtesy by incorporating the most high-tech, up-to-date advancements in customer service, technology and training. This extra effort ensures all 21 BHC vessels are ready for the 264 scheduled weekday morning departures they make each year, and that the more than 2 million passengers who travel with BHC get the most enjoyable trip possible.

 

 

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Boston TV & Movie Sets Tour


 With the mild winter we had and Spring under way…it’s time to get out and enjoy the warm weather to come!

Boston TV & Movie Sets Tours offers the perfect opportunity for locals and tourists alike to experience Boston in a way that only they can offer!

Sit on the famous park bench from Good Will Hunting. Have a drink at the original Cheers! See one of  Jack Nicholson’s mob hangouts in The Departed. Discover the street of the Blown Away car crash.  See the buildings used in  Boston  Legal and Alley McBeal.  Boston TV & Movie Bus  and Walking  tours are available! Note two different tours are available.

Boston TV & Move Bus Tour – all leaving from Boston Commons   This is an Approximately 3 hours tour visiting over 40 sites.

January – March: Saturdays at 11 am
April – May: Saturday & Sunday at 11am
June – August: Thurs – Sunday at 11am
September – October: Saturday & Sunday at 11am
November – December: Saturday at 11am

Boston Movie Mile Walking Tours – all departing from Boston Commons. This is a 1.5 hour tour visiting over 30 sites.  

April – May: Saturday & Sunday at 2:30pm
June – August: Friday – Sunday at 2:30pm
September – October: Saturday at 2:30pm

 

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A New England RV Road Trip Itinerary

Our Guest Blogger is Joe Laing,  Marketing director for El Monte RV. El Monte RV provides nationwide rentals including rentals in the Boston area.  For more great RV vacation ideas see the blog at  Musings RV Travel

A winter storm may be blowing in your area, but it’s never too early to start planning your first warm weather RV journey. What better way to celebrate the beginning of camping season than with a New England RV road trip? With fascinating coastal regions and an abundance of historic treasures along the way, a New England RV itinerary is limited only by the time you have to travel.

One way to learn what the New England states have to offer RVers is to focus regionally. You could, for instance, plan a trip to coastal Massachusetts that includes historic sites and outdoor recreation. Start your trip at Winter Island Marine Recreational Park in Salem, MA.  The park welcomes RV travelers to stay awhile with an on-site, waterfront RV campground and plenty of places to explore nearby.

Campers will want to photograph Fort Pickering lighthouse, built in 1871, as well as touring the island’s trails for impressive views of Salem Harbor. It’s also a quick jaunt on the trolley into Salem to visit historic neighborhoods and other attractions in the “Witch City.”

While camping by RV in Salem, MA, you’re also just an hour north of Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. This delightful collection of history-studded islands in the harbor deserves at least a day of discovery. Take the ferry from Long Wharf-North in Boston to begin your tour of the islands, or book a guided tour of the Boston Harbor Islands to visit the three historic lighthouses in the harbor.

A favorite activity with RV travelers to the islands is a trip to picturesque Fort Warren on Georges Island. But don’t stop there. While discovering the important role Boston Harbor Island fortifications played during the Civil War, slow down and enjoy the wild beauty of the islands themselves. Whether you’re planning to walk the shell beaches of Bumpkin Island, go sea kayaking around Grape Island or photograph birds among the salt marsh trails at Worlds End, traveling between them is made simple by using the ferry system.

Another idea for a New England RV road trip itinerary is to travel to Portland, Maine and the islands of Casco Bay. Skirt the New Hampshire coast north of Boston on I-95 to Portland; it’s less than two hours’ drive, but slow down the pace and savor the seafood, quaint neighborhoods and the sights along the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, NH before moving on.

Once you’ve arrived in Portland, ME, you’ll see evidence of its rich maritime history everywhere. Make your way to Portland’s waterfront for magnificent views of the Casco Bay islands from the Eastern Prom Pathway. Also take time to visit the city’s Old Port, a lively entertainment district in a charming Victorian setting.

While on the Eastern Prom, book a boat tour at Casco Bay Lines Ferry. You’ll soon discover why RV travelers treasure the unique secrets of Peaks Island, Little Diamond Island and other special spots in Casco Bay. The pleasant island communities, historical attractions like the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum and Fort McKinley and the trails and beaches waiting to be enjoyed will lure you back for more than one visit.

One more tip for getting the most out of your Portland, ME RV camping excursion — take a tour through Portland’s vintage neighborhoods and treasured attractions like the Portland Observatory Museum with the help of  Portland Landmarks

These are just two ideas for New England RV road trip itineraries. Coastal New England’s extraordinary beauty combined with the history and drama played out in these Eastern states make them a natural destination for many enjoyable RV camping excursions.

Our Guest Blogger is Joe Laing,  Marketing director for El Monte RV. El Monte RV provides nationwide rentals including rentals in the Boston area.  For more great RV vacation ideas see the blog at  Musings RV Travel

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Inn to Inn Cookie and Candy Tour

Celebrating 15th Anniversary with Trees, Treats and Treasures!

WHEN: December 10th – 11th,

TIME: 11am – 4pm

Popular Mt Washington Valley, NH Inn to Inn holiday cookie tour will offer holiday decorating ideas & trees, recipe cards, collectors ornaments, prizes plus plenty of sweet treats.

“C” is not only for Christmas but also for cookies, candy, collectors’ ornaments and cards with recipes this holiday season in Mt. Washington Valley.  When innkeepers from the Country Inns in the White Mountains wish their guests sweet dreams on the second weekend in December they can guarantee that visions of sugar plums, holiday cookies and beautifully decorated trees will dance in their heads. December 10-11, 2011 is the weekend the Country Inns in the White Mountains assure holiday revelers the ultimate in sweet dreams at the 15th Annual Inn to Inn Holiday Cookie and Candy Tour® held from 11 am to 4 pm on both Saturday and Sunday.   Participants will not only tour inns decked in all their holiday finery offering signature decorations, holiday cookies and candies, but this year they will also view beautifully decorated trees created by local businesses in honor of their favorite nonprofit organization.  With a “Let It Snow” theme, collector’s brass snowflake ornaments and recipe collections from each inn will round out the opportunities for tour goers. To celebrate the 15th anniversary of this event, a cookbook collection of recipes from all 15 years of cookie tours will be given to overnight guests taking advantage of the Cookie Tour package. Chosen by editors of New Hampshire Magazine as “The Best Sugar High”, here’s one chance to participate in the ultimate cookie walk.

Each of the twelve inns on the 15th Annual Inn to Inn Cookie & Candy Tour will feature original holiday cookies and candies, along with exquisite decorations offering tour goers the bonus of taking home holiday decorating ideas as well as scrumptious cookie and candy recipes for themselves.  The participating inns have developed original recipes for everything from sweet to savory holiday treats, with each inn featuring a new recipe for this year’s tour. Additionally, tour participants visiting all 12 properties will receive a keepsake brass snowflake ornament, intended to be the sixth in a collection of Cookie Tour ornaments to be distributed in years hereafter.  This year, local businesses will be recruited to create and sponsor decorated trees. Participating businesses will either internally create the themed trees or recruit artists or school groups to create them. Tour goers will then vote for their favorite, and the winning tree will receive $300, $200 or $100 donations for the non-profit organization to which the tree is dedicated. The tour stretches from Harts Location, to Chocorua, NH, with twelve inns opening their doors to those in search of fabulous holiday treats, recipes and decorating ideas.  No inn is more than fifteen minutes from the next, with many much closer.  Additionally, this year two businesses have joined in the tour. Enjoy samples of cookies and candy from Grammy Gordon’s Bakery and White Mountain Café.

Each participating inn will offer a Cookie Tour package.

Packages will include: Two nights accommodations, Breakfast each morning, two Cookie Tour tickets (a $54 value), Best of 15 Years Cookie Tour Cookbook, Discount voucher for Valley Originals 23 Restaurants  (Buy one entrée and the second of equal or lesser value is 50% off ), VIP pass for Settlers Green Shopping Outlets, Grand Prize  – A chance to win a grand prize valued at over $1000 of gifts and prizes donated from Country Inns in the White Mountains, Basket Creations, Applebee’s, Solar Fun 2010, Inn at Ellis River, Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce, Settlers’ Green Outlet Village,White Mountain Café and Jewelry Store. Some inns have added dinners to their packages. For a complete list of cookie tour packages: http://www.countryinnsinthewhitemountains.com/holiday_cookie_tour_packages.htm

Tour tickets are available in advance by reserving a lodging package from participating inns and this is the best way to secure a ticket for a weekend of cookie, candy and holiday tree fun. Those not wishing to reserve an overnight package may purchase tickets December 1-6, 2011 for $27 per person by calling 800-338-1356 or  603-356-2642. Tickets reserved by phone will be available for pick up at designated pick up locations.  Tickets are limited.  Any unreserved tickets will be sold for $27 per person on the day of the event at the 1785 Inn, Notchland Inn and Riverbend Inn.   Those interested in booking the Inn to Inn Holiday Cookie & Candy Tour package may make reservations at the inn of their choice.  To learn more about the tour and the inns’ lodging packages, call 800-338-1356 or  603-356-2642.

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Visit Salem Massachusetts in October

You MUST visit Salem in October!

There’s something in the air in fall, especially in October that calls people to Salem, Massachusetts.  Yes, tourist’s visit the town year round, but there’s extra magic in the air in October!  Whoops! Did we say magic?

Everyone has to visit Salem at least once as a kid and once as an adult in October!  If  your thrill is Halloween, then you have to visit it more? The Salem Witch Museum is Salem’s most visited museum and with just cause.  It brings you back to Salem in 1692. A dramatic history lesson is given with stage sets with life-like figures, lighting and narration of the witch trials of 1692.

 Ghosts & Legends Trolley Tour offers an interactive journey into Salem’s supernatural  past. Go on a journey of the dark streets of Salem and hear stories of witches, ghosts and more.  See the House of Seven Gables, the old cemetery, Winter Island and more.  The tour ends with quite the staged show at Witches Cottage.

There’s also a Haunted Harbor Cruise with Mahi Mahi Cruises from Pickering Wharf. This  is a one and a half hour cruise filled with spooky stories of ruthless local pirates, haunted lighthouses and living monsters that still create havoc even today!  Cruises leave several times per day during October.

Salem Chamber of Commerce also presents an annual Haunted biz-baz with over 100 vendors of unique Salem novelty items, street performers, music and food.  This event is Sat & Sun, October 8th and 9th at Essex Street Pedestrian Mall from 10am to 6pm. It all kicks off with an annual Haunted Happenings Grand Parade on October 6th!

Children can learn how to make witches wands at Ask a Witch Make a Wand at a tent at Pickering Warf.

There’s a 3-D Haunted House to visit and ghost tour at Tales & Tombstone Trolley Tour offers an eerie look at Salem’s past with 1 hour tours on Thursday, Friday and weekends in October. Learn about the spirits of Gable at The House of Seven Gables

Plus there’s unique gift shops to shop at and hauntingly great places to eat as well. Plus several unique Halloween parties some for kids..and some for adults. The Annual Children’s Halloween Costume Party is October 22nd from noon to 3pm for children ages 3-10.

The Vampire’s Masquerade Ball is October 22nd at the Hawthorne Hotel and some of the best parties in Salem are Halloween Weekend – October 29th  at the Hawthorne Hotel’s Saturday Night Fever Party. The Salem Waterfront Hotel  and the Haunted Conductors Ball at Victorian Station.

For this and more information  about Salem please visit: Haunted Happenings  and Salem Halloween City

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Boston Magazine names Top 10 “Fall Getaways”

Recently, I was requested to do a blog by a Boston area agency to promote an article On Fall Travel Getaways in the October 2011 edition of Boston Magazine.

Boston Magazine’s staff visited destinations all through New England to present their readers with a list of weekend activities that range from Outdoor Adventures, Sports & Recreation, Arts & Culture, Spas & Relaxation and Food & Wine. All the destinations are three hours or less from Boston. Here is the link to the article and below is our blog on the destinations.

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/great_fall_travel_getaways/

For More than a half million monthly readers, Boston Magazine is the voice that captures the best of contemporary life in the city and beyond. With informed editorial and in-depth coverage on topics ranging from fashion to finance. Boston Magazine is the premiere authority on the region.

Here are the Top 10 Fall Getaways along with destinations they have suggested.

Litchfield Hills (CT)  Destination for Foodies, Adventures & Antique Seekers

Hayloft Wine Bar at Hopkins Vineyard offers wine tasting and tours and a magnificent view of Lake Waramaug.  Whitehorse Country Pub – Best of Connecticut Awards, extensive beer list, Best Prime Rib, Best NEW Restaurant and offers Sunday brunch on the river or in the tavern by the fire.  Belgique Chocolatier Artisian Handmade Chocolate, authentic Belgian hot chocolate, handmade truffles and so much more…sweet! Aer Blarney Balloons – New England’s premier Hot Air Balloon Company. Millhouse Antiques & Gardens  Traditional English and French 18th and 19th century antiques in an 18th century grist mill. 175 showrooms.

Nantucket (MA) Destination for Foodies, Adventures & History Buffs

Sankaty Head Golf Club – Golf, Tennis, and dining with great views.  Captain Tom’s Charters Nantucket’s premiere fishing service. Masters of sport or 1st timers welcome.  Striped Bass, Bluefish, False Albacore and more.  Nantucket Historical Association – Preserving and interpretations of the history of Nantucket. Whale, Lighthouse  and historic tours. New House tours include a stop at the barn transformed by artists Greater Light. October 8th & 9th – Cisco Brewer’s Annual ACKktober Fest.   Lola 41 Sushi and Bistro Restaurant Nantucket’s best sushi and hot spot. Reservations suggested.

 

Newport (RI) Destination for Foodies, Adventurers & Relaxation

The Cliffwalk – Newport’s famous shoreline walk with views of ocean, architecture and history of the Guilded Age. Wildflowers, birds  and more on a National Recreation Trail with picture perfect postcard views on both sides of ocean and mansions. Classic Cruises of Newport – A local favorite for sailing, powerboats and sunset harbor cruises from the sailing capital of America. Sail on their 72ft Schooner Madeline for 19th century charm.  TSK -Thames Street Kitchen – American casual fair and Sunday Brunch. A BYOB restaurant for trendy farm to fork meals with a seasonal menu. Fluke Wine Bar & Kitchen – Relaxed modern American Cuisine in downtown Newport overlooking Bowen’s and Bannister’s Warf. Sunset views.

Penobscot Bay (ME) Destination for Foodies, Adventure & Culture

Captain Jack Lobster Boat Adventures – Panaromic views of Owls Head and Rockland Breakwater Lighthouses. Intimate Lunch for 2 Available. Dine and learn about lobsters. Hartstone Inn – Elegant B&B at Camden Harbor offering award-winning gourmet meals. “A sophisticated retreat and culinary destination” -Fodor’s Guide to New England. Cooking classes are available!  Center for Maine Contemporary Art – work of current and past Maine residents. See workshops & special events calendar.

Pioneer Valley (MA) Destination for Foodies, Adventurers & Relaxation

North Hampton’s Arts Night Out – Held the 2nd Friday of every month. Unique self-guided tour of the towns many galleries. Enjoy diverse visual and performing arts. Iron Horse Music Hall – From rock to bluegrass bands. Coming October 14th – Peter Wolf.  Theatre, performing arts center, Pearl Street Nightclub, New England’s finest Amphitheater and Mountain Park.  Amherst Farmers Market – Open Every Saturday from 7:30 am 1:30pm Over 22 farms and bakeries. A total YUM-WOW factor! Atkins Farms Country Market – Orchard & store at the base of scenic Holyoke Mountain Range. Apples, bakery, cheese, flowers, candy, meat, seafood, beer and more! Bring your appetite!

Portland (ME) Destination for Foodies, Adventurers & Relaxation

Wheelie Good Bike Rentals – See Portland like you’ve never seen it! Cruise the promenade, Old Port, art district. Bike along Eastern Trail one of the most scenic stretches in Maine! Soakology – Spa and tea-house. Soak your feet in baths of herbs, salts and oils. Facials with natural botanical leaves you feeling radiant, nourished and hydrated. Mount Desert Island Ice Cream – Quirky and unique ice cream flavors like Salted Caramel, Blueberry Basil and more!

Portsmouth (NH) Destination for Foodies, Adventurers & Culture

Seacoast Segway Tours – Prescout Park, historic homes of Portsmouth and Great Island of New Castle. Guided 1,2 and 3 hour tours around city. Learn Portsmouth’s past while exploring the sites. 106 Kitchen & Bar – New local hotspot serving creative cuisine with a New Orleans flair.  Red Hook Ale Brewery – For just a Buck you get a tour of facility and a lesson in beer making! Portsmouth Open Market – Every Sunday through October 30th. – over 65 artists at Strawberry Banke Museum.

Provincetown, (MA) Destination for Foodies, Adventurers & Relaxation

3 Mile hike to Long Point Lighthouse – for a beautiful and off the beaten track stretch of sand on the Atlantic Coast. Flyer’s Boat Rentals – Provincetown’s largest fleet of boats for rent. $10 shuttle from Long Point to West End. Shui Spa – Award winning day spa and resort. Also offers Holiday Dinner menu and packages. Complete body & mind  retreat with the Earth & Spa Scrub and bodywrap. Connies Bakery – Hearty home cooking that is fresh and creatively prepared. Complete Breakfast and Lunch Menu. Then stroll along MacMilian Pier.

Stowe (VT) Destination for Foodies, Adventures & Relaxation

Arbor Trek Canopy Adventures -Zipline Canopy tours at Smugglers Notch. 4500 feet of ziplines. Cross bridges high above the forest and treeline.  Stowe Soaring Scenic Glider Ride – Silently soar over fields with a FAA certified pilot. Different tours available over Mt. Elmore, Worcester Mountain Range, scenic Stowe and Mile high Mt. Mansfield.  Solstice – Stowe Mt.’s signature restaurant offering Vermont fine dining. Local artisans cheeses & wines. Frida’s Taqueria – Mexican restaurant located in the historic   Butler House in Stowe. Serving Lunch, Dinner and weekend Brunch.  Top Notch Resort & Spa – New England luxury resort. Spa, tennis, weddings. 120 treatments available at spa. A place long known to hikers and skiers to relax!

Woodstock (VT) Destination for Foodies, Adventures & Relaxation

Vermont Adventure Tours – Recreation in the Green Mountains! Rock and Ice climbing, Mountain bikes, Snowshoeing, Paddling, Fly-Fishing and more.  Guided kayaking trip on White River or climb Deer Leap Mountain. Woodstock Inn – luxury 4 Season Resort, 142 spacious rooms, plush bedding and breathtaking grounds.  Creates a cozy escape! Spa pampering – pumpkin spice treatment body scrub, foot rubs, scalp rubs and massages. Woodstock Inn Red Rooster – Casual, sophisticated Modern and fun! AAA Four Diamond Award winning Restaurant at Woodstock Inn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum

  Newport Casino

Newport Rhode Island

The International Tennis Hall of Fame is an organization that honors the greatest players and contributors of the game. It features a museum, grass tennis courts, an indoor tennis facility and court tennis.  It is one of the largest and finest tennis museums in the world. It was first opened in July 26, 1880.

It was designated a National Historic Landmark on February 27th, 1987.

                                                            Located at the Newport Casino and commissioned in 1880 by James Gordon Bennett, Jr. exclusively for the rich and wealthy.  James Gordon Bennett, Jr. was the most influential publisher of America’s leading newspaper,  The New York Herald which was founded by his father James Gordon Bennett, Sr. who migrated from Scotland.

As the story goes… In August 1879, James Gordon Bennett and Captain Henry Augustus Candy a retired officer of the Queen’s 9th Royal Lancers and skillful British Polo player, were the two key figures in the origins of the Newport Casino. Bennett, as a summer resident, was a member of the Newport Reading Room, a gentlemen-only club, which was a gathering place for prominent Newporter’s. As Bennett’s guest, Captain Candy also enjoyed the benefits of Reading Room membership. Late one summer day, the two men were up for some amusing entertainment and Bennett presumably bet or dared Captain Candy to ride his polo horse up onto the front porch of the Reading Room. Candy, without hesitation, mounted his horse and rode onto the porch…and then proceeded into the club! Although Candy won the afternoon wager, club members expressed their displeasure at the insulting disruption. The Governors of the Reading Room were also not amused and revoked the guest privileges of Captain Candy. Bennett was not one to be chastised and tempers flared, all resulting in the end of Bennett’s Reading Room membership….Bennett’s loss was our gain, as Bennett turned his attention to building an establishment, a “new club house” to serve summer visitors that would be both public and private.

With Construction underway, the Newport Casino complex was built in only six months. On July 26th, a soft opening was held with guest admittance by invitation only.  One week later, on August 2nd, the public was invited to inspect the premises and more than 3,000 attended. The Newport Casino offered a block of shops on Bellevue Avenue, a restaurant and gentlemen’s lodging. Archery, billiards, concerts, dancing, dining, horse shows, lawn bowling, reading, tea parties and theatricals, along with the staples of its present day offerings of lawn tennis, croquet, and court tennis, were all part of the social scene. Writing three days after the opening, the Newport News boasted, “It is doubtful if a more lively place can be found.”  It is important to note that in early 19th century the term ‘casino’ was never a public gambling establishment but a small villa built for pleasure to include building where social activities took place.

By the 1950’s the retreat was struggling financially and in danger of being demolished for retail space.  TENNIS SAVED IT! The United States Lawn Tennis Association held there 1st Championship their in 1881 and was held there through 1914.  This latter became known as the U.S. Open!

The first half of the 20th century was unkind to Newport Casino…as the Gilded Age grew to a close and the onset of the Great Depression, Newport fell by the wayside as a summer resort for the wealthy and powerful. The casino struggled financially as a social club right from the start and like many of the mansions there was the very real possibility that it would be demolished for retail space.

In 1954, with the great tennis history behind him James Henry Van Alen stepped in and
established Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum in the casino. The combination of prominent headliners at the tennis matches and the museum allowed the building to be saved.  Today it still stands as  finest example of Victorian Shingle Style Architecture in the world. In 1957, Van Alen was elected the museum’s 1st President.

Today the museum encompasses more than 20,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, momentous videos and popular memorabilia of tennis champions past and present.

The museum permanent collection contains more than 16,000 items.  The library and Information Center has upwards of 5,000 books, more than 4,000 tapes and films and more than 300,000 photos and images and an abundant collection of magazines, programs, periodicals, posters and more.

Earlier this month they featured the  Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championship and on July 9th Andre Agassi was inducted into their Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

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Lake Sunapee Cruises: I LOVE IT HERE!

Lake Sunapee

New Hampshire

Sunapee Cruises

OK…This is NO Secret!! “I LOVE IT HERE” One of my favorite places is Lake Sunapee.

One of my favorite things to do at the lake is take the narrative boat tour on the MV MT Sunapee II and the dinner cruise on the MV Kearsarge with Sunapee Cruises.  This lake and these boat rides feature one of the most picturesque and best done narrative boat rides I have ever been on.  And yes, every year I have to experience this at least once…several times if I am lucky.

Captain Kip Brown does a wonderful job with the narration and he and the Fenton’s that own Sunapee Cruises should be very proud of their scenic tours.  We highly recommend you take a day trip or a long weekend and enjoy what Lake Sunapee area has to offer. Please see our other posts on Lake Sunapee and the history of Steamships on Lake Sunapee!

Thank you Kip for letting me take a photo of you with the New Hampshire “I LOVE IT HERE” sign.

For more information on daily departures see Sunapee Cruises

Other great things to do at the harbor are enjoy the view and the shops and restaurants at the harbor.

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Nubble Lighthouse Cruise

Just the other day we experienced the Nubble Lighthouse Cruise something we have long been wanting to do.  It was a great!  The Nubble Lighthouse Cruise are one of the many cruises offered by Finestkind Cruises in Perkins Cove Maine.

There is something about Perkins Cove that attracts so many visitors and if you are there early morning, in the afternoon or late in the evening the light and images that you can capture at Perkins Cove are amazing.  We enjoyed the Nubble Lighthouse Cruise which is a 90 minute round-trip narrative cruise. The boat leaves at 10am, noon, 2pm and 4pm daily while in season.  Other Cruises
available are daily Scenic Breakfast Cruises in season, Lobster Trips and a cocktail cruise.

Nubble Lighthouse

The Nubble Lighthouse Cruise is Finestkind’s longest cruise, a fourteen mile round trip which offers unsurpassed views of York’s elegant homes and rocky coast. Enjoy your favorite beverage aboard the Finestkind III as you cruise leisurely to the lighthouse, and don’t forget your camera – as you circle the seldom seen back of the Nubble Lighthouse you will have breathtaking photo opportunities. Don’t miss this chance to see these beautiful views by boat!

You can view the Marginal Way from Perkins Cove

Photos By Melissa Tyler

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