Southern New England Discovery
The three southern states of New England that are covered in this tour are some of the regions most beautiful, from the rolling Berkshire Hills and Connecticuts countryside to the tip of Cape Cod. Whether you want to visit a postcard perfect colonial town green, explore deserted ocean beaches, step onto a 19th century ship, ride on America's greatest wooden roller coaster, visit Yale University, go whale watching, or visit quintessential New England fishing harbours and beautiful historic homes - southern New England is waiting for you!
- Mystic Seaport
Depart London on your direct flight to Boston's Logan Airport and transfer to your hotel by taxi (approx 20 mins).
Begin your stay in this delightful and friendly city by putting on your walking shoes and exploring at your own pace, The Freedom Trail, a 3-mile walking tour of 16 historic sites from the Colonial and Revolutionary Era. Alternatively hop on the famous Old Town Trolley Tour, as this allows you to hop on or off at any of the scheduled stops, covering over 100 points of interest including Boston Common, Copley Square and the cobbled streets of the pretty neighbourhood of Beacon Hill. Be sure to ride the swanboats in the Public Gardens, shop and eat in Quincy Market, and perhaps enjoy a dinner cruise or a dinner overlooking the lights of the city. Take the 'T' to visit Harvard Yard and Cambridge where you can shop in the 100 stores in the Cambridgeside Galleria, or you could even take a whale watch cruise from Boston's spectacular Aquarium. Boston's numerous museums and art galleries are also available to you. Experience and enjoy the friendly welcome for which the people of Boston are well known.
The city is also home to the famous Boston Duck Tour which takes you on an entertaining trip by land and water in a real WWII amphibious landing vehicle! This trip is a must for children of all ages!
After breakfast collect your hire car at a convenient Downtown Boston location and head west into the Massachussetts countryside, where you will stay in the town of Sturbridge for 1 night.
Spend a whole day at one of the most visited tourist attractions in the US, Old Sturbridge Village, a recreation of a 19th century New England farming village and surrounding countryside, with more than 40 buildings and working homes from a water powered sawmill to a general store filled with goods. Find out what life was really like in rural New England.
Continuing on to Stockbridge, the most popular town in the Berkshires and once home to Norman Rockwell, one of America's greatest artists. Stockbridge has a small town feel and epitomizes the image of a New England town. As in Lenox, there are some historic homes open to the public here and there is also the Norman Rockwell Museum, who was one of the towns most famous residents, which houses many of his original works.
Visit Williamstown, a beautiful New England college town with tree-lines streets, classic architecture with an emphasis on white clapboard and black trim. The combination of old money and an academic environment has made Williamstown remarkable in its cultural resources. The Williamstown Theatre Festival takes place at the Williams College between late June and the end of August.
Continue to Lenox, where the Boston Symphony summers at Tanglewood. During the 1880's Lenox was the site of much frenetic building as many of the famous families with homes here - the Vanderbilts, Harrimans and Biddles - battled to out do one another by building ever more magnificent 'cottages', By the turn of the century the hills around Lenox and Stockbridge were dotted with some 75 villas and mansions with manicured lawns and formal gardens. Some still remain open to the public today.
Leaving behind the beautiful Berkshires your drive today will take you south and over the State line into Connecticut, otherwise known as 'The Constitiutional State' where you will spend the next few days exploring the State Capital Hartford. Authors Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe once lived and wrote many of their famous works here and their magnificient homes can be visited. Today the city bustles with cultural attractions and events. Also visit Yale University, one of the world's great seats of learning.
Discover the Mystic Seaport, America's premier maritime museum with an amazing village area of historic buildings and tall ships. Mystic is also known for its exciting new Aquarium, home to over 3500 sea creatures including Beluga Whales, harbour seals, Penguins and most notably Kodiak, the 9 year old male Steller Sea Lion that already weighs over 1700 pounds! Mystic Aquarium is one of only five aquariums in the world where you can actually view the largest known breed of Sea Lion. Also spend some time exploring Mashantucket Pequot, the worlds largest Native American Indian Museum, where you can stroll through an authentically recreated 16th century Indian village complete with wigwams and lifelike figures. Meantime, Olde Mistick Village offers more than 60 shops and restaurants in a unique shopping environment, with something to appeal to everybody's taste.
From Mystic your drive will take you further west and towards Newport in Rhode Island.
At only 37 miles wide and 48 miles deep, 'Little Rhody' as it's otherwise known is the USA's smallest state. However, with 400 miles of coastline, and a wealth of interesting things to do, a stay in Newport, one of New England's most historic and lively cities is a must. Famous for being the sailing capital of the world, Newport is also one of the nation's most elegant summer resorts.
The area south of Newport is ringed by a famous 10-mile long route known as Ocean Drive, along which are perched some of New England's grandest mansions, known to their wealthy owners as 'cottages'. Some of the mansions are open to the public and include The Breakers built for Cornelius Vanderbilt and Marble House built for Alva Vanderbilt. Spend some time on one of Newport's spectacular beaches, or stroll the 3 mile Cliff Walk for more views of the mansions and the sea.
Enjoy exploring the city's restored waterfront and visit the many shops and the wide selection of restaurants.
A relatively short drive today will bring you to your final destination - Cape Cod. With two full days at leisure, you've plenty of time to explore Cape Cod's hundreds of miles of unspoilt ocean beaches, various bike trails and wildlife refuges as well as experiencing the thrill of a Whale watching trip from famous Provincetown between June and October.
Discover it's numerous colourful fishing ports where you may even see the day's catch being unloaded, such as the one in the beautiful seaside village of Chatham. Here you will find many great ocean beaches and a lovely old lighthouse. Also visit Sandwich, the Cape's oldest town and a small community with a town green and a village centre. It is home to the Hoxie House, built circa 1637 and therefore the oldest house on the Cape.
The Heritage Plantation encompasses 76 acres of rhododendrons and more than 1,000 varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers. Don't forget to take a ferry over to nearby Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket.
Departing Cape Cod after breakfast, your journey back to Boston will take you a few hours.
Go via Plymouth, about 1 hour south of Boston where you can break your journey for a few hours and have fun exploring Mayflower II, a recreation of the ship in which the Pilgrim Fathers landed back in 1620. Nearby Plimoth Plantation offers a fascinating glimpse of what life was like for Native Americans and settlers alike. If you've time you can also pay a quick visit to Cranberry World where you can learn all about the area's number one product in a fascinating museum environment, complete with real Cranberry Bogs.
Continue on to Boston on Route 3 and 93 to Logan Airport to drop your car off and catch your flight home.
- Direct return flights from London (Please ask us about other departure airports)
- 14 nights hotel accommodation and room tax
- Fully insured compact car hire
- A comprehensive travel pack with driving instructions and maps
Daily Departures 01 May to 20 October.