Boston, Providence, Burlington and Portland – these are some great New England towns most people have had least heard of, if not visited. New England though is a great region to explore for its many smaller, seaside towns as well.
If you’re looking for a quiet, romantic getaway or a trip back to the days of whalers on the high seas, check out these smaller coastal villages in the always-beautiful New England.
Located just miles from Maine’s most popular sailing destination, Lincolnville is a haven of surprises. Drive down forest lined backroads to the beautiful Youngtown Inn. This 1810 farmhouse was converted to a beautiful bed and breakfast and restaurant and is the perfect place to call home for a few days. Owned by French chef Manuel Mercier and his wife, each meal is a five-star experience. Later, you might choose to end the evening with a glass of wine while sitting by the fireplace before retreating to one of the inn’s luxurious suites; each with its own private bath.
Make sure you ask the proprietor to direct you to the woodsy trail that winds up the hillside to a beautiful overlook of the entire valley. Blackberries and blueberries line the path and most people give in to the sweet temptation and enjoy a few.
For those who would like to indulge in a little bit more, Maine’s largest vineyard and winery, The Cellar Door, is less than a mile down the road. Open seven days a week from April to Christmas, this secluded winery offers complimentary tastings every day. Choose from over 20 selections with more being added every year. For an extra treat, visit Sunday afternoons from 12PM to 3PM for free wine pairings between Mother’s Day and Columbus Day. Later, pick an apple or pear from one of the winery’s many trees and munch away as the owner walks you through the process of wine making from the seed to the bottle on their free tour.
Please drink responsibly and use a designated driver, as your RoamRight policy does not cover loss resulting from or caused by being under the influence of alcohol.
If you’re looking for a traditional Maine seaside retreat, look no further. Lincolnville has beautiful beaches on Penobscot Bay. Walk into the Lobster Pound in your beach gear and get treated to what is arguably the freshest lobster in Maine. Open for just under a century, you can enjoy a variety of fresh seafood and American fare while washing it down with a cold beer from Andy’s Brew Pub, the restaurant’s partner microbrewery.
For fine dining and a full view of the ocean, the evening couldn't be better spent than at Chez Michel. This fine dining restaurant features fresh seafood and lobster as well as steaks, lamb, pork, along with homemade desserts and ice cream.
Two miles off I-95, halfway between Providence, RI and New Haven, CT is the quaint coastal town of Mystic. Founded in 1654, all of Mystic’s 3.8 square miles is full of maritime history and oceans of fun.
Step back in time to the days of the great sailing ships with a visit to Mystic Seaport Museum. Walk through the portside village, home to the world’s second largest collection of historical timepieces. Volunteers and shipwrights maintain each of the site’s many watercraft in the fully operational shipyard and ropewalk.
As you walk the decks of the fully restored whaling boat, the Charles W. Morgan, the tranquility of the seas lapping on the sides of the ship seem to carry you back to a simpler time. You almost can see and hear the sailors of old hoist the sails and join together in song.
What trip to the New England coast would be complete without seafood?
Visit the S&P Oyster Company for their award winning clam chowder or try the Sea Swirl of Mystic, recognized by the New York Times and featured on Food Network Channel’s $40 a Day with Rachael Ray. There are many other great food options to choose from including Drawbridge Ice Cream, home of "the tradition of ice cream excellence" for over 100 years, and the famous Mystic Pizza, made popular by writer Amy Jones whose inspiration eventually turned into the hit blockbuster movie starring Julia Roberts and Matt Damon.
Little out-of-the-way towns always have the best secrets and the greatest charm. These are just two of New England’s best small towns – there are many more just waiting to be discovered!
What are a few of your favorite small towns?
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