The Atlantic Ocean, lobsters, beautiful nature and plenty of history and culture, New England and Boston have it all! Experience the region’s unique air and find out what makes it tick – just like the locals themselves.
Families on picnics, students out for a stroll, tourists photographing the swans, ducks, and monuments: the Boston Common is many things to many people. Above all, it is a wonderful place to daydream. Sit down on one of the benches and ponder over everything that started here in Boston. Many of the movements that later changed the way America thinks had their roots in this city – puritanism, abolition, feminism and same-sex marriage are just a few.
Boston is Beacon Hill and, when you leave Boston Common and immerse yourself in this posh residential district, you will feel like you are right back in days gone by, in the America of old. In the days of horse-drawn carriages, the city’s most influential people resided in these red-brick town houses. Especially interesting are the cobblestoned streets like Acorn Street, with its tenement buildings where the domestic staff were kept out of sight.
Take a lawn with a monument in the center, add a neat church and scatter a few colonial-styled public buildings around it and you have the classic New England idyll. The following rule of thumb will help you in your search for the most beautiful village greens: those in Connecticut are large, there are a great number of them in Massachusetts and New Hampshire’s are small and inviting. Some of the most picturesque greens are in the following towns: Warren, Rindge, Lebanon, and Fitzwilliam (all in New Hampshire).
ART AS YOU GO
Artists are good for tourism and in summer many communities organise regular art walks. The galleries move their exhibits outside onto the pavement and invite passers-by to stop and chat with the artists. You will fund excellent art walks in Brattleboro, VT (www. gallerywalk.org), Portland, ME (www.liveworkportland.org/arts/ walk) and Boston (www.beaconhillartwalk.org/).
LOBSTER GALORE IN MAINE
Steaming pots, melted butter, and long lines – the lobster shacks in Maine are at their busiest in summer. There are several dozen of these simple lobster eateries between Kittery and Bar Harbor. Especially good: Five Islands Lobster Co. in Georgetown (www.fiveislandslobster.com) and The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport (www.theclamshack.net).
FOREST OF FLAMING COLOUR
New England in autumn comes alive with natural displays of colour when forests of birch trees, beech, and hickory all explode in vibrant tones. This spectacle of nature begins at the end of September and the foliage is most beautiful in the Berkshires, the Green Mountains, and the White Mountains.
KISS ME ON THE BRIDGE
Ever since Meryl Streep risked more than a quick glimpse at Clint Eastwood from one, covered bridges have become synonymous with romance. There are still many constructions of this type in New England; the roofs protect the wood from decay and their shady interiors make them ideal for a romantic rendezvous. That is why they are also known as kissing bridges. Vermont has the most, 106 in all, and also has the only museum devoted to this subject: the Vermont Covered Bridge Museum (44 Gypsy Lane, Bennington; Fri–Sun 10am– 5pm).
A NEW ENGLAND HIKE
After so much culture you need a touch of the wilderness. The White Mountains are the best hiking area in the northeast and the Appalachian Trail, America’s most famous long-distance hike, runs through the most spectacular sections. And, if you feel like going on a multi-day hike but don’t want to pitch a tent, you can take advantage of the hut system operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club (5 Joy Street, Boston, 617 5 23 06 36, www. outdoors.org).