New England Regional Travel Tips, by Alice Gregory

By: Rajinder Dogra

Lobster is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New England’s cuisine. But Maine potatoes have found their way out of the fryer and into premium vodka, and the sea breezes along the south coast of Rhode Island and Connecticut help produce award-winning wines. In New England, there is always something new!

Connecticut

Mystic Seaport, the Museum of America and the Sea, is the nations most important maritime museum, but its also the most delightful way to learn about our seafaring history–whaling, fishing, boat building and life in a 19th-century coastal village. Because Mystic Seaport is also a research center, your group has the opportunity to watch as important historic vessels undergo restoration. In 2007, the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaling vessel from the great days of sail, will be put in dry dock on-site and visitors will still be able to visit the Morgan and observe this preservation project first-hand. A very popular special exhibit through 2006 is Black Hands, Blue Seas, which chronicles the maritime heritage of African-Americans. In 2007, a special exhibition on Tugboats and their influence on maritime history is being planned.

Rhode Island

The newest addition to the Ocean States attractions is the Majestic, a 149-passenger yacht-style vessel that just launched its first season on Narragansett Bay at the end of April.

Your groups will be able to enjoy a one-hour narrated cruise of Newports scenic harbor, a lunch cruise or an elegant dinner cruise.

Massachusetts

Historic Tours of America is diligently acquiring artifacts regarding the Boston Tea Party for the new Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum when it opens in 2007. The museum will be dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the event in Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773, which sparked the revolution. The recently acquired Robinson Tea Chest is one of only two known surviving crates from the event and will be a centerpiece of the new museum.

Other news for 2006 at Historic Tours of America is that your clients taking an Old Town Trolley tour will enjoy a walking tour of Beacon Hill with a costumed guide as part of their package. If your group is looking for something fun to do in the evening, they have introduced a Ghosts andGravestones tour. Half the tour is on Old Town Trolleys, but these trolleys are black with purple fluorescent lights. Guides use keys to let the group into the historic cemeteries where they are met by a gravedigger in costume.

At the western end of the state, the Berkshires offers an abundance of great sightseeing opportunities. At The Mount, the magnificent estate of the author Edith Wharton, groups can take a 45-minute guided tour of the house, including the recently restored formal areas. The freshly planted gardens are spectacular and can be combined with the tour of the house.

Tanglewood is the summer home of the Boston Symphony, but the Berkshires have an abundance of theatre and music. This summer, the newly restored Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield will reopen after a comprehensive restoration project to bring it back to its turn-of-the-century elegance. It is one of Americas finest theaters to have survived the years intact. Attend a performance if possibleScience Articles, but groups can book tours of the facility to see this architectural treasure.
 
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