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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

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.

 

 

 

Continue Reading

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.

Sunapee Cruises

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!

sunapee cruises

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Finestkind Cruise 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!

Finestkind Cruise PEekins Cove Maine

You can view the Marginal Way from Perkins Cove

Photos By Melissa Tyler

Continue Reading