I LOVE Movie Set Places

I LOVE movie set places and in New England there are many!

Straight Warf - Nantucket

Straight Wharf

What I really love are waterfront and coastal towns that have a vibe to them. Yes, sometimes they are very busy, especially in-season.  I like to visit them off-season, early in the morning or at sunset….You know the magical times! Which is not to say the magic isn’t there when things are bustling. Here’s a look at three of my favorite places that evoke that magical feeling.

Perkins Cove

I’ve been going to Perkins Cove for over 25 years. Guess what, every time I go it’s just as magical as the first time I was there! I love the small paths with shops and restaurants. I still remember going into the Pottery Shop at Perkins Cove for the first time and being in awe of their hand crafted goods. I love finding true New England finds in all the shops here. Restaurants like Barnacle Billy’s and MC Perkins are casual and relaxing and serve good food.

I’ve taken Finest Scenic Cruises to Nubble lighthouse and I’ve walked the Marginal Way in all seasons.   Beyond the shops, restaurants and bustle, it’s the moments you experience! The moments when the sun is rising and there is barely anyone there as you take photos. Or the windy winter days where snow is hitting you sideways. Or it’s the smell of salt water while you are enjoying an ice cream or coffee. That ‘s the movie set life of scenic places I love. I can’t wait to breathe it all in again on my next visit to Perkins Cove.

Sunapee Harbor

Sunapee Harbor is a movie set! Well at least it looks like one! This has been a popular destination for summer vacations since the days of the steamship, when people use to come from Boston and New York City. The Grand Hotels are long gone but beautiful custom homes dot Lake Sunapee.

It’s a great place to visit in Summer when the few shops in the harbor are open. Lunch or dinner at the Anchorage is a must as is ice cream from the Quick Shack. A highlight here is Sunapee Cruises narrative scenic and dinner cruises.  The views on their sunset cruises are great and the air is so clean. Being in the center of Lake Sunapee is one of the most relaxing places I’ve ever been. 

  Nantucket

Cru Nantucket

View from Cru Nantucket. Every seat in the house has a great view!

I have a funny story about Nantucket. I was there twice over 30 years ago…pretty much just around Straight Wharf and town for the day. So that was my early Nantucket experience, no beach and the shops are not what they are today! Then for many years, when I would hear or read about Nantucket in tourism pieces I read there was barely any electricity on the island and you needed a bike to get around the island.

Two years ago I lived on Cape Cod for a year. I went to Nantucket several times because it is one of the most coolest places I have ever been! I have met a circle of people  who are the most creative individuals I have ever met! Enter Serendipity Again! I have learned more from these people and about about myself in the last two years than I could have ever imagined!

My admiration for these designers, shop owners, entrepreneurs and creative people that promote the island runs deep.  Honestly, almost daily, when I am not there…I am thinking about it…wishing I was there. In my opinion, there are more creative trend-setting things happening on Nantucket than in New York City!

 There is a coastal vibe from people who live and work here year round who literally travel all over the world for their work.  Nantucket is pure eye candy! From the shops on the wharf which catch the most amazing light. Each shop is creative in its own way and the staff are always so hospitable,  smiling, helpful and so upbeat!

From Sankaty Lighthouse to Brant Point the ACK feeling is amazing! Sconset can only be described as breathtaking + delicious. View some of the best sunrises and walks on the beach and sunsets at Galley Beach are speechless.

The food and presentation at ACK restaurants like Cru, Straight Wharf and Town Restaurant are among the world’s best! Plus, there are many other restaurants that are open during the season that are equally as good. If the best in shopping and dining weren’t enough…Nantucket has some of the world’s best beaches.  You can see the sunrise and sunset like nowhere else! Everywhere you turn, there is magic on this island! 

There is peace! There is  a quiet that I have only experienced while living on Cape Cod. Clearly, there is a creative vibe among the people who live, work and play here that is second to none! No wonder people call Nantucket their “Happy Place”! It will be good to be bACK!

All Photos by Melissa Tyler

 

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History of the Steamships on Lake Sunapee

 In the late 19th century, Lake Sunapee became a popular destination for people that lived the city life in New England, New York and New Jersey. It was the Steamboat Era in which passengers came to the large resorts and lakefront cottages…AND GET AWAY THEY DID!

 

There were major steamer landings at Sunapee Harbor, Georges  Mill, Lakeside Landing Blodgett Landing, Brightwood, Pine Cliff, Lake Station (which was also where the train station was located), Soo-Nipi, Burkehaven and Granliden. They would take the tourists to the grand hotels that surrounded the lake including Soo-Nipi Park Lodge, Granliden Hotel, Ben Mere Inn and Indian Cave Lodge.  One of the first commercial boats in 1854 was actually propelled by horses!

N.S. Gardner purchased Little Island for $1.00 and put a bowling alley on it!  He then launched the Penacook (latter named Mountain Maid) to carry passengers to Little Island and so the STEAMBOAT ERA BEGAN!

The Woodsum Brothers launched the Lady Woodsum in 1876. It was 50 feet long and could carry 75 passengers. In 1885, The Edmund Burke was launched. It was a 90 foot steamboat carrying 600 passengers. The Amenia White was launched in 1887, it was 101 feet long and carried 650 passengers and was the flagship of the Woodsum fleet and the biggest steamer to ever sail Lake Sunapee! In 1897 the MV Kearsarge was launched at 70 feet carrying  250 passengers with daily sails in the summer months. In 1902 the Weetamoo a 50 footer was launched and after 25 years service on the lake was suddenly scuttled in the middle of the night near Newbury. This ship is still intact and is visited frequently by local SCUBA clubs. The Sunapee Historical Society Museum also is home to the SS Kearsarge’s wheelhouse that was salvaged from the lake in the 1960’s. The 50 foot MV Mount Sunapee was launched in 1965 and takes passengers on lake cruises in summer months. The original Mount Sunapee was named Susie Qand had been a rum runner in Damariscotta, Maine.

Following the extension pf the B&M Railroad into nearby Newbury, Lake Sunapee became a popular vacation area long before the introduction of the automobile. The main rail station was at Newbury Harbor at the southern most point of the lake. Today, the village contains a colorful antique caboose commemorating the railroad line. 

The Grand Resort Hotels

The grand resort hotels and family estates that were nestled around Lake Sunapee  catered to the wealthy escaping the summer heat and hectic life of the city life in Boston and New York City. The hotels attracted many musicians for
their house orchestras to entertain at the grand hotels.But with the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930’s the Grand Era of the many hotels ended.

 The Lighthouses

The Woodsum Brothers , who owned the steamships in the area are also responsible for building the 3 lighthouses on Lake Sunapee in the 1890’s. The Burkehaven Lighthouse, Herrick Cove Lighthouse and Loon Island Lighthouse.  These lighthouses were built to help direct the steamships of the day.

The Islands

Lake Sunapee is about 9 miles long and is the highest lake of it’s size in America!  It is 1100 feet above sea level and it contains 11 islands: Elizabeth Island, Emerald Island, Great Island, Isle of Pines, Little Island, Loon Island, Minute Island, Penny Island, Star Island and Twin Islands.

Today

 There are public access places for swimming at Sunapee State Park Beach and boat launch ramps at Sunapee Harbor and

Sunapee State Park Beach

 

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Sunapee Harbor New Hampshire

Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire

Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire

DREAM ON WITH ME!

 One of my favorite places is Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire.  There’s just something about it.  The air is cleaner, the water is clearer and it is just purely breathtaking, relaxing and rejuvenating! This is a magical  place with a unique history!  Native American  Algonquin Indians called the lake “Soo-Nipi” or “Wild Goose Waters” for the many geese that passed over the lake for migration.

The Lake also resembles a goose in flight with the birds head at the harbor area when seen from an aerial view or from nearby Mt. Sunapee. The lake is also surrounded by 3 towns incorporating the villages of Sunapee Harbor and Georges Mill, Newbury, and New London.

Lake Sunapee is listed under the “1,000 Places to See Before you Die“.  So let’s explore together and see why!

Each season is special at Lake Sunapee whether it’s Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter.  You can enjoy the beach, fishing, boating, water-skiing, water sports, boat rides and pure relaxation. In  the fall there is great leaf peeping and in the Winter there’s ice fishing, and ice sailing on the lake and skiing at nearby Mount Sunapee.

 Sunapee Harbor is the hot spot of the area that features a boat launch as well as several small shops, a deli, ice cream stand and other historic landmarks.  One of the lakes favorite attractions is Sunapee Cruises They offer a narrative boat tour from Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day on the MV Mt. Sunapee II as well as dinner cruises on the MV Kearsarge.  This is a 2 hour buffet dinner with the captain as your guide and offers 2 levels of enclosed dining. A full bar is also available with dinner cruises.  Both the sightseeing tour as well as the dinner cruise are very enjoyable and memorable experiences.  Dinner Cruises are available from May through October.  Charter boats for special occasions and weddings are also available.

Another favorite stop here is The Anchorage Restaurant  reopens for the season May 18th and serves Lunch and Dinner and has outdoor dining. The menu includes everything from appetizers, soups, chowders, salads, sandwiches and more.  There is also musical entertainment Thursday – Saturday nights.  This is also the noted restaurant that  Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler met Joe Perry some 4o+ years ago. There are several inns and cottages as well as homes that are available for rentals.  Lake Sunapee has some of the most beautiful lake houses you will ever find. Some of the prestigous names in history have had homes their including the Colgate’s and the Coleman’s. To find out more information visit LakeSunapeenh.org

 

Plan a Visit
We hope we have encouraged you to explore Lake Sunapee and the surrounding area. If your visiting for a day, a long weekend or decide an extended stay is the thing for you please take advantage of the links we provided for some great destinations to visit and things to do.  While visiting the area you may also want to think about staying at the historic Dexter’s Inn or contacting a local real estate company like The New London Agency for extended rentals.

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