Ride the Rails of New England

Packages offered: Spring, summer and fall
Tour Length: 8 Days/7 Nights

Discover the unique landscapes and flavors of New England. Stroll through quaint villages, enjoy coastal cruising and clambakes, and walk along gentle nature trails and sample traditional New England fare. Roll through the Adirondack Mountains of New York, climb the White Mountains of New Hampshire and ferry across the Atlantic Ocean to Martha’s Vineyard. This New England vacation offers something for everyone and plenty of time to enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

Day One:

Arrive in Albany, NY early evening. Gather for an included welcome dinner served in one of the city’s most popular Tuscan-style eateries. The cuisine expresses the sense of hearth and home that defines the Tuscan style of life.

After dinner, guests may visit the many shops, galleries and boutiques for which this downtown area is renown.

Return to the hotel after dinner.

Day Two:

Start your day with a hearty hot and cold breakfast buffet served in the hotel before you pack your bags and check out of your rooms. Board the coach and travel just a short distance to the Saratoga and North Creek Railway Station.

Board a vintage rail car and begin your one-way journey to North Creek, NY. Follow the Hudson River and pass through many charming north country towns. Dome Car Seating provides a truly unique way to view the beautiful landscape that frames the Adirondacks.

Arrive at the North Creek Depot Station around noon, where your motor coach will be waiting for you. Take a few minutes to explore this museum of Adirondack Railroad History. Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt learned of President McKinley’s death and his own succession to the Presidency right on the platform of the North Creek Depot.

You may walk or ride to the restaurants in North Creek. Lunch is on own, so travelers may scatter to discover their new favorite place to eat. (Recommendations will be provided.)

Queeche Gorge smallBoard the coach after lunch and begin your travels to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Along the way, stop at Quechee Gorge, “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon.” There will be time to disembark the coach for a photo-op of this 165-foot deep gorge with the Ottauquechee River running through it.

Continue your travels to your overnight destination. Along the way, stop for dinner at a family owned-restaurant that was started in the 1940’s by two brothers. “Quality, service and home-style cooking” is the restaurant’s motto and highest priority. Dine on hearty, New England fare.

After dinner, board the coach and travel just a few minutes to your hotel. You will feel the Yankee hospitality the minute you arrive in Gilford, NH.

Day Three:

A hearty breakfast in the hotel will prepare you for today’s adventure. Board the coach and travel into the White Mountain National Forest.

autumn-foliage-new-england01Upon arrival, get ready to “climb” Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeast, aboard the Cog Railway. At the 6,288-foot summit, enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the spanning mountains and valleys of New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont, north into Canada and east to the Atlantic Ocean.

After you descend Mount Washington, arrive at the beautiful Omni Mount Washington Resort, built in 1902. Enjoy a delicious luncheon served in the elegant surrounds of this historic property.

Stop at Franconia Notch State Park, located in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest. Franconia Notch is a spectacular mountain pass traversed by a unique parkway. The nature walks are absolutely exquisite and the views amazing. Witness the site of the Old Man in the Mountain and a beautiful lake situated right at the base of the granite cliffs.

Depart the Park late afternoon and travel a short distance south to Woodstock, NH. Board the Café Lafayette Dinner Train for a scenic train ride and 5-course meal. This train is recognized as one of the nation’s premier dinner trains. Discover a unique dining experience beyond your expectations.

Return to your Gilford hotel for a good night’s rest after a busy day.

Day Four:

Squam loonsAfter breakfast in the hotel, pack your bags and check out of your rooms. Board the coach and travel a short distance to Squam Lake in Holderness, NH. Covering 6,791 acres, Squam is the second-largest lake located entirely in New Hampshire and is where the 1981 movie On Golden Pond was filmed. Board a canopied pontoon boat and sail off on a fascinating and picturesque 50-minute cruise. Learn about the natural forces that created these lakes, the wildlife that makes them so special and the people who have enjoyed them for over 5,000 years.

After your cruise, have lunch on your own at a casual restaurant located near the boat’s docking area.

Next, visit Castle In the Clouds, formerly known as “Lucknow.” Take a short trolley ride up the mountainside to this sixteen-room mountaintop mansion built in 1913/1914 by shoe industrialist, Thomas Plant. Enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Winnipesauke and 1,000 feet of waterfalls and walking trails. Your visit includes a guided tour of the mansion.

Photo Credit steve-taylor-photography.smugmug.com

Photo Credit steve-taylor-photography.smugmug.com

This afternoon, travel along scenic country roads to North Conway. Here you will board the Conway Scenic Railroad and travel on historic rail routes aboard vintage passenger cars to the Town of Bartlett. Once in Bartlett, you have the opportunity to watch the locomotive “run around” for the return trip to Conway.

Disembark the train when it returns to Conway, board the coach and travel just a few minutes to your North Conway hotel located at the base of the White Mountains. The hotel is conveniently located for easy access to restaurants and outlet stores galore. Shopping in North Conway is tax-free! There will be time to relax and refresh.

Dinner is served in a charming, wilderness-themed restaurant. Savor the flavors of “pub fare with a flair”, while the fire crackles in the fireplace.

Day Five:

After breakfast in the hotel, say goodbye to North Conway. Today’s travels take you through three states; New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts!

nubble-light-989952_640Your first stop is at the Cape Neddick, “Nubble” Lighthouse, considered to be the most photographed lighthouse. There will be time to disembark the coach, take photos, visit the gift shop and breath in the fresh, salt air.

Next, arrive at the Strawbery Banke Museum where you will step over the threshold of history and into the life of one of our country’s oldest waterfront neighborhoods. This 10-acre living history museum has preserved the lifestyles and traditions of four centuries of New Englanders. You will see buildings spanning from the late 1600’s to the mid-1950’s that include storefronts of colonial merchants, the elegant Georgian-style mansion of Governor Goodwin, the humble dwellings of early Jewish immigrants and the penny candy counter at the WWII-era Abbott Store. Enjoy lunch on your own at the onsite café.

After lunch, travel to Salem, MA, widely known as the site of the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692. In this colorful, coastal city your tour manager will point out unique colonial architecture, share tales of the the city’s rich maritime history and lead you to Pickering Wharf, an exciting harbor side marketplace filled with boutique shops. You will also witness the Friendship, a reconstruction of a 171-foot three-mast Salem East Indiaman built in 1797.

Depart Salem late afternoon and continue your travels south along the coast to Hyannis, MA. Arrive at your charming Hyannis hotel and check in for a two-night stay.

After you have refreshed, board the coach and travel just a few minutes to your dinner destination, a Yarmouth landmark restaurant. All of the entrees are cooked-to-order and incorporate locally grown ingredients and fresh fish and seafood.

Day Six: 

After breakfast at the hotel, board the coach travel a short distance to the ferry dock in downtown Hyannis. Disembark the coach and board the high-speed ferry at 9:00 am for a 1-hour scenic cruise to Martha’s Vineyard. During your passage, keep your eyes open for seals and waterfowl.

Martha’s Vineyard is an island located south of Cape Cod, known for being an affluent summer colony. Often called just "The Vineyard," the island has a land area of 100 square miles. It is the 58th largest island in the United States and the third largest on the East Coast of the United States. It is also the largest island not connected to mainland by a bridge or tunnel on the East Coast of the United States.

gingerbread housesUpon arrival, board a local bus and embark on an island tour of the towns on Martha's Vineyard, which offer surprising diversity, each with its own character and personality. For those who cherish the past, Edgartown presents an architectural memorial to the Golden Age. Aquinnah is recognized worldwide for spectacular its clay cliffs and natural beauty, while Oak Bluffs, with its "gingerbread" cottages, is a Victorian era summer resort community of national repute.

After the tour, you will have time to explore Oak Bluffs and have lunch on your own.

Board the ferry at 4:00 pm and cruise back to the mainland. Your coach will meet you at the ferry dock in Hyannis. Once back at your hotel, you will have time to refresh before dinner.

Your farewell dinner features a traditional New England Clambake complete with steamah’s, chowdah’ and fresh, steamed lobstah’. There’s even selections for the landlubbers.

Day Seven: 

Check out of the hotel after breakfast and prepare to depart Cape Cod. Today’s travels will take you to Boston; however, there are a few must-see destinations along the way.

Plymouth RockBoard the coach and travel north to Plymouth, where the Pilgrims landed in 1620. In keeping with tradition, your first stop is Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock is the traditional site of disembarkation of William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony.

Next, visit the National Monument to the Forefathers, dedicated to the 102 Mayflower passengers. This 81-foot monument is considered to be the world’s largest solid granite monument and is the fourth tallest statue in the United States. There will be time to debark the coach, walk around the monument and take photos.

Continue on into Boston where you will arrive at the historic Faneuil Hall and Quincy Marketplace just in time for lunch. Enjoy time to visit the shops and street vendors’ carts and to have lunch in the food court or in one of the many eateries that line the Marketplace.

This afternoon, join a local guide and embark on a windshield/walking Freedom Trail and Boston Highlights Tour. During your tour, witness sites such as the New and Old State Houses, The Boston Tea Party, The Boston Massacre, the Old Granary Burying Ground, Paul Revere’s House and the Old North Church. You will also visit the Kennedy Statue and sites frequented by President Kennedy.

Late afternoon, arrive at your hotel located in the historic Bunker Hill area of Boston. This property offers a unique location in that it is away from the congestion of the city, while still being convenient to local attractions. This full-service hotel offers a new, on-site restaurant, Draft, serving American Comfort Cuisine and a heated indoor pool. Take time to relax and refresh before heading out for dinner.

Board the coach and travel back into downtown Boston. Your farewell dinner is served at the historic Durgin Park, a landmark since 1827 and one of the oldest continuously running establishments in the country. The origin of Durgin-Park and its typically Yankee recipes goes back to the pre- revolutionary days. In 1742 Peter Faneuil, the topmost merchant in town, erected a large market house near the waterfront. Soon afterwards, a warehouse was built which housed a small dining room that catered to market men, and the crews of ships anchored in Boston Harbor. Around 180 years ago, one of the customers, Eldridge Park, bought the restaurant with local merchants, John Durgin and John Chandler. Although both Mr. Durgin and Mr. Park died with in a few years of purchasing the restaurant, their partner retained their memory by naming it Durgin-Park. Dine on hearty, Yankee-style fare, share memories of your vacation and discover why Durgin Park’s slogan is “We Serve History.”

Day Eight:

After breakfast in the hotel, pack your luggage and plan to check out of your rooms by about 8:30 am. Before you arrive at the airport, you simply must stop at The Common and the Public Gardens. The Common is the starting point of the Freedom Trail and the oldest park in the country. It is comprised of 50 acres. The "Common" has been used for many different purposes throughout its long history. Until 1830, cattle grazed the Common, and until 1817, public hangings took place here. British troops camped on the Common prior to the Revolution. Celebrities, including Martin Luther King Jr., Pope John Paul II and Gloria Steinem have given speeches at the Common.

Boston Swan BoatsThe Boston Public Garden is adjacent to the Common and was established in 1837. The Public Garden contains a lake and a large series of formal plantings. The pond is usually the home of one or more swans and is always the site of the Swan Boats, which began operating in 1877.

Depart the Common and begin your travels home.

Details

Packages offered: Spring, summer and fall
Tour Length: 8 Days/7 Nights

Your Package Includes:

  • 7 Nights accommodations
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 1 Lunch at the Omni Mount Washington Resort
  • 7 Dinners (including Lafayette Dinner Train)
  • Ride on the Saratoga-North Creek Railway
  • Visit to the North Creek Depot a museum of Adirondack Railroad History
  • Photo op at Quechee Gorge
  • Ride on the Cog Rail on Mount Washington
  • Visit to Franconia Notch State Park
  • Cruise on Squam Lake
  • Admission to Castle In the Clouds
  • Conway Scenic Rail ride
  • Visit the Cape Neddick “Nubble” Lighthouse
  • Admission to Strawbery Banke Museum
  • Time to explore Salem, MA and visit the Friendship
  • Round trip ferry passage to Martha’s Vineyard
  • Locally guided tour of Martha’s Vineyard
  • Free time to explore Martha’s Vineyard
  • Photo op at Plymouth Rock
  • Visit to the Forefathers’ Monument
  • Time to shop and to explore the Quincy Marketplace
  • Locally guided Freedom Trail and Boston Highlights Tour
  • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
  • Services of a full-time tour manager
  • Private ground transportation for 8 days
  • Accommodations and breakfasts for the coach driver
  • Taxes and Gratuities (Gratuities for the coach driver, full-time tour manager and local guides are not included and are at your discretion based on service.) 
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