With its scenic windswept coasts, charming colonial towns and rolling hills covered in vineyards, there is no shortage of things to do in New England – it’s no surprise this is where America’s hard-working city-dwellers escape to during the hotter months. And with events happening all summer long in celebration of the warmer weather, there is something for everyone.
Captain Eddie Persichetti of M/Y _ Capricorn_
Traditionally New England is one of the best cruising grounds in the world
Captain Eddie Persischetti of M/Y Capricorn
“People in the Northeast live for their summers, and it isn’t surprising when boat owners and charter guests who experience a New England summer for the first time want to return season after season,” said Pila Pexton (Newport, R.I.), a charter yacht specialist for Merle Wood & Associates. “This year’s Newport Charter Yacht Show is scheduled a week later than usual to accommodate the start of the famous Newport Bermuda Race. Newport is the sailing capital of the U.S., and with this summer overflowing with events and regattas, even more yacht enthusiasts – both motor and sail – are flocking to the waterfront,” she continued.
Superyacht captains also love spending the summer months up in this beautiful place.
Captain Greg Russel of Chevy Toy said, “New England is very unique and totally different than the Caribbean and the Bahamas. It’s more about the scenery and the nature. It’s a great place for the adventurous type that wants to go cruising through the islands of Maine and up and down the coast.”
“It [New England] is a great place for chartering. A lot of people want to do the usual; they want to do Newport, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, Provincetown and then drop off in Boston or head back to Newport, but what people don’t realise is that north of Boston you have phenomenal cruising grounds especially up in northern Maine. Traditionally New England is one of the best cruising grounds in the world and there is so much history there,” added Captain Eddie Persichetti of M/Y Capricorn.
Food and wine festivals crop up all over New England throughout the summer, spanning everything from low-key lobster fests to exclusive private dinners. The Nantucket Wine Festival’s wine-tasting seminars and food pairing sessions will take place along the Island of Nantucket’s scenic shores May 14-18 (nantucketwinefestival.com). The coastal town of Kennebunkport, Maine hosts the Kennebunkport Festival, a celebration of food, wine, and art that incorporates a series of intimate dinners prepared by Maine’s top chefs, held in Kennebunkport’s stateliest private residences (June 1-8; kennebunkportfestival.com). The Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival features cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs and an exclusive gala celebration (Sept 19-21, 2014; newportmansions.org/events/wine-and-food-festival).
For sports enthusiasts
Cromwell, Connecticut hosts the world’s top golfers including Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter for the Travelers Championship Golf Tournament (June 16-22; travelerschampionship.com). The Maine Windjammer Association’s Great Schooner Race is North America’s largest annual gathering of tall ships, featuring more than two-dozen schooners racing from Islesboro to Rockland (July 4; sailmainecoast.com). Tennis fans won’t want to miss the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Rhode Island, an ATP World Tour tournament featuring top international players, free tennis clinics for children, and the Lunch with Legends event, a chance to dine with Hall of Fame players (July 5-13; halloffametennischampionships.com).
For New England Patriots
Independence Day is a big deal in New England, and celebrations are not limited to the Fourth of July only: the Annual Boston Harborfest is a six-day festival celebrating America’s independence with concerts, historical tours, parades, clam chowder competitions, and a huge fireworks display (July 2-7; bostonharborfest.com). The largest Independence Day celebration in Maine takes place in Eastport, with sailboat races, parades, concerts and of course, fireworks (July 1-5; eastport4th.com).
Elsewhere, join America’s oldest Independence Day Parade in the historic town of Bristol, Rhode Island, and celebrate long into the night at Bristol’s Fourth of July ball and fireworks show (July 4; july4thbristolri.com).
Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned sea shanty? The 35th Annual Sea Music Festival, held in the charming waterfront town of Mystic Seaport, Connecticut celebrates the maritime music of England, Poland, Italy, France, Portugal, Africa and Iceland (June 12-15; mysticseaport.org). The Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island is America’s oldest-running annual jazz festival, drawing thousands of spectators and featuring internationally renowned jazz artists (August 1-3; newportjazzfest.org). An audience of around 15,000 will flock to Hyannis Village Green, Cape Cod for the Annual TD Bank Pops by the Sea Concert, a spectacular outdoor performance by the beloved Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra (August 10; artsfoundation.org/pops-by-the-sea).
For art collectors and hobbyists
The award-winning Paradise City Arts Festival takes over the town of Northhampton, Massachusetts over Memorial Day weekend, displaying a refined collection of sculptures, paintings and fine crafts from highly skilled artists (May 24-16; paradisecityarts.com). The Annual Vermont Festival of the Arts, named one of Travel and Leisure’s “Top Summer Activities in America”, incorporates 100 free events including performances, demonstrations of painting, poetry, crafts, lectures, and culinary events (Aug 1; vermontartfest.com). The picturesque town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, painted by famous American artist Norman Rockwell, now hosts the Annual Stockbridge Summer Arts & Crafts Fair, featuring original paintings, ceramics and fibreware by more than 80 jury-selected artists (August 16-17; stockbridgechamber.org).
For the whole family
The Hampton Beach Children’s Festival in New Hampshire is “just for kids”, with magic shows, storytellers, and the main event, a costume parade down Ocean Boulevard, with prizes for all (August 11 – 15th; hamptonbeach.org). Children are sure to get a kick out of the Great Falls Balloon Festival, held in Lewiston/Auburn, Maine and featuring balloon rides, musical entertainment, crafts, children’s activities, and a carnival (August 15-17; greatfallsballoonfestival.org). The Big E is a 17-day fair in celebration of new England’s Fall season, and it has something for children of all ages, from the Big E Super Circus to rides, shopping, crafts, and parades (Sept 12-28; thebige.com).