Rise early and hug the thrilling mountain roads in your rental car as the sun announces a bright new day in New England and with it the promise of endless adventure.
Enjoy the freedom of the open road on this self-drive tour of New England in an independent rental vehicle. Explore Boston’s artistic underbelly on a guided tour of the art studios of the eclectic South End neighborhood; drive to the quiet seaside village of Kennebunkport where a sunset walk along pristine Goose Rocks Beach will reveal soaring sand dunes; explore the aromatic white pine and hemlock forests and the rocky shorelines of Casco Bay in Wolfe’s Neck State Park near historic Freeport; ascend the White Mountains to North Conway where hiking, mountain biking and kayaking are the order of the day; visit the iconic Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury; and stroll the picturesque maple syrup farms of charming Vermont.
From feasting on fresh lobster in seaside Kennebunkport, to the wineries, maple syrup farms and boutique cheese makers of the Vermont region, New England serves up a rich culinary experience. Work off the calories on a range of adventure activities as you explore the majestic mountains, old-growth forests and pristine rivers that punctuate this beautiful region, or simply relax in your range of charming bed-and-breakfast accommodation and stunning mountain lodges.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Optional Tour Package Upgrade:
Speak with your travel consultant if you'd like to include a tour package upgrade including: Salem Witch Museum visit, Golden Pond Boat Tour in White Mountains, Newport Mansion Tour and JFK Museum Visit, and Whale Watching Cruise in Cape Cod. Enjoy the Countryside of New England. Stay in some of New England’s best Inns situated in the most charming and picturesque places imaginable. Take time to explore the natural beauty of the White Mountains. Enjoy a two-day stay in Cape Cod where you can visit the JFK Museum, go whale watching, and take a day ferry trip to renowned Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket Island.
Upon arrival to the airport pick up your car.
Tap into your sense of adventure with the flexibility of your own daily rental vehicle. Your rental includes free unlimited mileage.
Meet your driver and private vehicle and enjoy an insider’s look at the dazzling art studios and fascinating pieces of work that these talented studio owners have created. Begin your walking tour at The South End area, home to a superb group of collections, which you will meet and tour first hand. Best of Boston will select three of the studios from the below for you to visit:
Joyce Roessler / Roessler Glass: Joyce has been working with hot glass since 1978, and since 1992 has focused on bead making and glass jewelry design. In the jewelry line she uses only her own beads, sterling silver or gold findings and goldleaf to accentuate the glass.
Michele Mercaldo Contemporary Jewelry Design: Michele’s jewelry studio and showroom is active with three different types of work: production jewelry, wedding band commissions and custom work. When designing, simplicity and clarity are of the utmost importance. Michelle’s work has become more refined and delicate through the use of marriage of metals and the introduction of finer materials such as 18k gold, platinum, pearls and diamonds.
Peggy Russell / IRO Design: Iro Design has been creating beautiful and unusual handpainted silk accessories for the home and body since 1986. Bold patterns and colorful images are the hallmark of their products. They produce each and every piece by hand, working with hand mixed dyes on silk fabric and cotton denim dropcloth.
Linda Cordner / Encaustic Painting: Working in the ancient technique of encaustic - which means to paint with heated wax - Linda takes advantage of the translucent nature of wax to create paintings that are luminous and have a depth to them not achieved in other mediums.
Marie Galvin / Galvanized Headwear: Marie’s mission is to create unique handcrafted headwear, providing multiple expressions for the women who wear them. The Collections are original and hand constructed, employing the use of wool, felts, opulent fabrics and exotic feather trims.
Today you will leave Boston and drive north toward Salem. The infamous Salem was home to the witch trials of 1692. A group of girls and women in Salem Village, who had been dabbling with the occult, began acting in a strange manner, a local doctor claimed they were afflicted by the "evil hand" setting the stage for the accusation of approximately 190 people for witchcraft. The trials ended after 15 months. Well aware of its infamy, Salem has a number of attractions centered on this uneasy time, including haunted tours and re-enactments.
Continue to Rockport for an overnight stay. This lovely town at the tip of Cape Ann was settled in 1690. Over the years it has been an active fishing port, a center of granite excavation and a thriving artistic community with multiple galleries. The most artistically reproduced item in Rockport is a wooden fish warehouse on the town wharf. The red shack is known as Motif No. 1. Visit Thatcher Island to see the Twin Lighthouses. Among the oldest American lighthouses, these twin lights are the only surviving multiple lights on U.S Coastline; the original 45-foot towers were constructed and lit in 1789. The Bearskin Neck area is where you will find multiple shops and galleries.
Today’s Optional Experience : Salem Witch Museum:The Salem Witch Museum takes you back to Salem 1692. Experience a dramatic history lesson through the use of stage sets with life-size figures, lighting and a narration of the Witch Trials of 1692. See exhibits on witchcraft in the 17th century, modern witchcraft and the phenomenon of witch hunts.
Depart Rockport and enjoy the natural beauty of the scenery that surrounds you. Make a brief stop in Kennebunkport. Filled with historic and fun-filled attractions, Kennebunkport is one of Maine's most popular summer vacation destinations. It may be best known for Walker's Point, the family retreat of the Bush presidential family. Visit Dock Square and see the colorful monument that resides here. Two miles east of Kennebunkport's Dock Square is the fishing village of Cape Porpoise. At Cape Porpoise Pier, you can watch lobstermen unloading their catch and view Goat Island Lighthouse. Enjoy the beauty of this quiet seaside village with its charming shops and galleries, country grocery store, lobster pounds, fish markets and restaurants known for their fabulous fresh seafood.
Continue to Holderness by way of Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in the state of New Hampshire and the 6th largest lake in the United States that lies within the boundaries of one state. Surrounded by three mountain ranges, the wooded shoreline and crystal clear water of this spring-fed lake make it a popular year round resort, a place to rest and relax in beautiful surroundings. Finally arrive at Holderness; this beautiful village is situated at the foothills of the White Mountains and the Squam Lakes shore.
Today take a drive to the White Mountains National Forest. Better known as the Whites, in central New Hampshire, this is one of America's most popular public lands. The White Mountains rise in dramatic relief to the north of New Hampshire's central plateau. Take a train rideto appreciate the bountiful beauty. Choose one of the Valley routes to Conway or Bartlett, or the legendary Crawford Notch excursion. Experience the excitement of rail travel in the comfort of open or enclosed restored passenger cars. Or take an aerial tram ride above timberline to the 4, 200-foot summit for outstanding views of the White Mountains and into Maine, Vermont and even Canada. Take as little as an hour or as long as a day to enjoy summit walking paths, the observation deck, cafeterias, swimming at Echo Lake, boat rentals, a free eight-mile recreation path, "Old Man of the Mountain" Museum and the New England Ski Museum.
Today’s Optional Experience: Golden Pond Boat Tour Take a memorable cruise on Squam Lake while listening to stories about what makes the lake so special in the eyes of nature lovers, filmmakers ("On Golden Pond") and the majestic loons that live there.
Today the tour continues toward Newport, Rhode Island with stops in Manchester and Providence along the way. Stop in Manchester before leaving New Hampshire. With its prestine setting upon the Merrimack River and small-town feel, it’s hard to realize that this is the largest and most politically important city in New Hampshire. Visit Elm Street, a lively stip which acts as the backbone of the city and is full of restaurants where you can sample cuisines from around the world. In Providence you will find a thriving arts community, vibrant and diverse neighborhoods and a renowned restaurant scene making this compact city a perfect place to visit.
Take some time this morning to visit one of the famous Newport mansions before departing to Cape Cod. People come to Cape Cod to feel inspired, to walk the pristine beaches, to revel in the arts and culture, to reclaim childhood memories of seashells, sandcastles and salt water taffy, to indulge in the freshest fried clams, play 18 holes on the lush fairways, and savor the breathtaking scenic beauty. Famous in Cape Cod is the great Outer Beach described by Thoreau in the 1800s. It is comprised of forty miles of pristine sandy beach, marshes, ponds, and uplands that support diverse species. Lighthouses, cultural landscapes, and wild cranberry bogs offer a glimpse of Cape Cod’s past and continuing ways of life. Swimming in the beaches, walking and biking trails are possible activities here. Hyannis Harbor is also bustling with activity, fishing and sailing charters, and the Kennedy Monument are found here. Main Street is home to shops, restaurants, and a few nightclubs. There is also Hyannis Port, home to the Kennedy Compound, a quiet & residential part of Hyannis.
Today’s Optional Experiences :Newport Mansion Tour : Visit the famed Gilded Age mansions that once were the summer playground for socialite families. With names like Breakers, Astor and Vanderbilt, they are by far the most popular attraction in Newport. Built near the turn of the century, these magnificent structures are each a museum onto themselves. Here you will find a world of exceptional elegance and inspiration in architecture, art, interior design and landscapes. JFK Museum Experience: John F. Kennedy was a man of vigor, vision, hope and faith in America. He was America’s 35th President and inspired a generation. This multimedia exhibit is designed to open a window on the days JFK spent on Cape Cod; days relaxing with family, days playing football with PT109 buddies, days spent sailing on the ocean to which he was so constantly drawn.
Today is yours to explore all Cape Cod has to offer, the options are endless. You can travel to the outermost point where you can visit Provincetown. This artist’s haven, is a historic and active seaport, and a shopping and dining paradise. Most activities center on Commercial Street, known for its galleries and shops, Portuguese bakeries, and restaurants catering to a variety of tastes line the streets. Visit the Provincetown Heritage Museum featuring Pilgrim artifacts and climb the Pilgrim Monument, the tallest granite structure in America. Another option is visiting Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket Island, both islands are next to Cape Cod and reachable by Ferry from Falmouth. Both islands are full of charm and typical New England atmosphere. The best way to see the prettiest spots on the islands are on foot, bicycle or a combination of the two. Go horseback riding on the beach at sunset. Look for sunken ships and lost schooners on a scuba excursion or ride the surf on a boogie board. Whether you want to cast your line for a feisty bluefish or soar above the Island in a biplane, you will find an activity that suits you within these islands.Today’s Optional Experience: Whale Watching Cruise : Highlight your Cape Cod vacation with an unforgettable cruise aboard the a high speed state-of-the-art vessel departing from picturesque Barnstable Harbor. Throughout your whale watching adventure, expert naturalists will share an intriguing look into the "wonderful world of whales". They will also provide commentary on the local ecology and history of this unique area.
Leave the Cape behind and travel to Boston. Along the way you have the choice to stop by Plimoth Plantation, a 1627 English Village built as a re-creation of the small farming town built by English colonists in the midst of the Wampanoag homeland, or the famous Plymouth Rock, a powerful tribute to the courage of the 102 Mayflower passengers who founded the land we know as New England.
Drop off the car at the airport before you fly home.
The Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel has been a symbol of Boston's rich history and elegance since its gala opening in 1912. The dedicated staff delivers incomparable hospitality, impeccable service and attention to detail to ensure the stay is perfect. Now, with the completion of an extensive renovation and restoration of each of the Boston hotel's 383 guestrooms and suites, The Fairmont Copley Plaza shines more brightly than ever before. As part of the renovation, the hotel has added Fairmont Gold, an exclusive lifestyle hotel experience, delivering the highest level of service to the most discerning travelers. Each of the 383 guestrooms and suites is well appointed with lavish décor and thoughtful amenities.
Emerson Inn by the Sea has thirty-six beautifully appointed rooms. It has been restored to reflect the quality of yesteryear with amenities that discerning travelers seek today, including private baths, spa tubs, private enclosed balconies, televisions, Wi-Fi, and telephones. Two vacation rental cottages adjacent to the Inn offer the ideal surroundings for family vacations and reunions or corporate retreats, with decks, ocean-view yards, and even a backyard BBQ.
The Manor on Golden Pond is situated on beautiful Shepherd Hill overlooking the White Mountains. Nearby attractions include Squam Lake Natural Science Center, Alpine Adventures and Mount Washington Cog Railways. New Hampshire country inn offers a romantic retreat, a luxurious comfort that may cause you to linger in your spacious, distinctively appointed rooms. Most of the accommodations at White Mountains resort have wood-burning fireplaces that you’ll find are always laid, inviting a glass of wine by the fire on cool summer evenings or after a winter’s hike. All guestrooms offer stunning views, many with private decks, and each has its own distinguishing decor, an English designation, and a lavish private bath. All guestrooms have air conditioning.
Named in “Best of New England – Editors’ Choice” as the 2011 Best Rhode Island Bed and Breakfast, The Marshall Slocum proudly welcomes you. Meticulously preserved to reflect the charm and beauty of its Colonial heritage, the Inn offers guests today’s comforts, and service with a personalized touch. Five elegant Guest Rooms are outfitted with period antiques, nautical artwork, and lush linens. All rooms feature private baths, upscale amenities, and simple touches to make your stay enjoyable and comfortable, plus some rooms feature whirlpools or fireplaces. Outside enjoy extensive grounds, including a large back deck overlooking manicured gardens and a relaxing front porch, offering you a quiet recluse to relax after a day of touring the Newport Mansions, harbor, shops, restaurants and beaches that are only steps away from the Inn.
The Inn on the Square is located in the heart of Falmouth, Massachusetts, just steps from the Falmouth Village Green and charming downtown. The hotel is nestled among the historic homes, gift boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants that characterize this quaint New England seaside village. The Inn on the Square’s architecture perfectly blends into the historic Cape Cod streetscapes that define Falmouth, with its grey shingles, black wood shutters, multi-dimensional dormered roofline, nautical weathervanes, stone chimney, paver driveway and brick patio areas, all surrounded by indigenous stone walls. The hotel offers 73 large, luxurious guest rooms, suites and Jacuzzi rooms. All guest rooms feature luxurious bedding with imported linens, duvets and featherbeds, spacious baths with granite vanities, luxury bath products, refrigerator, microwave, CD MP3 players, in-room electronic safe, and gourmet coffee and teas.
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