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New England

Colonial Charters

New England is in the northeast corner of the United States, and it is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Though Vermont is beautifully situated on Lake Champlain and offers quick access to Canada, it does not touch the Atlantic Ocean and is therefore not part of this discussion. The other five New England states, however, present a continuous route for exploration since they all border the same body of water. The suggestions listed below take into consideration a typical yacht charterer's concerns such as whether the destinations are family-friendly, whether the areas welcome pedestrians, and whether the options are varied enough to entertain a diverse group.

Mock Itinerary

The first stop is Connecticut where you will find a real crowd-pleaser in Mystic. Olde Mistick Village embodies 18th Century charm; Mystic Seaport's maritime museum brings a 19th Century village to life; and Mystic Aquarium is one of the best around. For an adults-only trip, there are two casinos in Mystic: Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.

Next, the itinerary should include a stop in Rhode Island. Block Island is 12 miles from mainland, and other people will be arriving by ferry from Point Judith. You may direct your charter captain to moor the yacht at Old or New Harbor, both of which have marinas. Block Island features 17 miles of beaches, several lighthouses, and wonderful hidden walking paths waiting to be discovered. If you'd rather see "continental" Rhode Island, head over to the yachting haven of Newport or to the less-frequented Watch Hill where you can stroll through the affluent community's streets and take a ride on the Flying Horse Carousel.

Massachusetts is just east of Rhode Island, and it is an absolute must for people craving the quintessential New England experience. Cape Cod includes 15 distinct towns - from Hyannis to Provincetown. There are yacht clubs for the experienced boating set, and there are resorts, restaurants, and shops for everyone else. Head to the National Seashore for beach fun, and don't forget to go to Wellfleet to fill up on oysters. Have the captain steer you towards Martha's Vineyard next so you and your guests can roam around on bikes, watch for native birds, and eat some delicious "bugs"! That's island-speak for lobsters, and lobsters are plentiful in this area.

You might also find yourself on course to visit Nantucket while you're in the waters surrounding Massachusetts. Nantucket has an artists' colony vibe (similar to Martha's Vineyard), and its population increases by five times in the high season! Nantucket encourages yachting; it has many moorings, and it provides a shuttle service to visitors trying to navigate the island. Consider taking your chartered yacht to Nantucket for the 4th of July when Main Street lines with family-style celebrations and the town hosts a huge fireworks display.

North of Boston

Just north of Boston is Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which has a friendly, walkable downtown and also great views of the Piscataqua River. While on a yacht, stick with the marine theme and visit Portsmouth's Naval Shipyard or the USS Albacore, the prototype for modern submarines.

Cap off your vacation in New England with a visit to Maine. Maine is a nature lover's paradise, and it has an unbelievable number of islands just off its coast. Penobscot Bay is a veritable goldmine of quiet islands that you can sail around, and the bay is lined with charming towns to visit. Check out Isle au Haut or Vinalhaven in the bay. There is not a bridge from the mainland to these islands so they are relatively unpopulated. The captain would then be happy to end your charter on a more animated note by taking you to see Rockport and Camden on the bay's west side or to Bucksport and Castine on the east. You'll have your choice of restaurants, bars, and shops to visit, but you may just want to take it all in from your mooring in the bay where the sun sets beautifully on your unique New England vacation.

For more general information

Travle the New England coastal waters.

Exploring Coastal New England.

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