2011 Readers' Choice Winners
Spring: Boston, Massachusetts; www.bostonusa.com/
Yankee readers love Boston in the spring and enjoy timeless traditions such as the Red Sox home opener and the legendary Boston Marathon. Other favorite pastimes include visiting the public gardens as buds start to bloom and taking a swan boat ride. Of course Boston’s museums, restaurants, and shopping also rank high on the to-do list for a springtime visit to Beantown. But Boston is also a destination for what it doesn’t offer — the unwelcome attributes of mud season — which is what many other parts of New England are in the thick of come late March and early April.
Reader comment: “The start of the baseball season seems to harken to spring ‘rebirth’ and reminds us that summer isn’t far off.”
Summer: Southern Coast, Maine; www.southernmainecoast.com/
The biggest draw for summertime travel in New England is ocean beaches. Yankee readers flock to the Maine shore for surf, sun, and fun and find the Southern Coast particularly desirable. In fact, Ogunquit, Old Orchard, and York beaches, which all topped Yankee’s “Best Beach” category, are close neighbors in this region. Accessibility to huge outlet shopping destinations such as Freeport and Kittery, Maine, offer non-beach options for rainy days. Portland gets rave reviews for nightlife, restaurants, and harbor views. Then again, some people come to this area to feed their addiction for sumptuous local seafood.
Reader comment: ” ‘Beautiful place by the sea’ ” is what ‘Ogunquit’ means, and it certainly lives up to that name. This little spot juts out, surrounded by a sandy beach that’s a dream to walk on. Lovely shops and spots to eat in Perkins Cove. Trolley cars that are fun for all circulate all day, so no need to worry about parking. Summer Theatre House is always a must-see. So don’t miss it.”
Amusement Park: Six Flags New England, Agawam, Massachusetts; www.sixflags.com/newengland
Reader comment: “Six Flags offers roller coasters for all levels of the squeamish.”
Amusement Park, Honorable Mention: Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire; http://www.canobie.com/index.html
Reader comment: “Canobie may not be new and big, but it has history.”
Beach: Hampton Beach, Hampton, New Hampshire; www.hamptonbeach.org/
tied with Ogunquit Beach, Ogunquit, Maine; www.ogunquit.org/
Reader comment: “Hampton Beach is making a comeback.”
Reader comment: “Ogunquit is very clean and well-maintained.”
Bike Trail: Cape Cod Rail Trail, Dennis to Wellfleet, Massachusetts; www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/southeast/ccrt.htm
Reader comment: “This ride is great for all ages.”
Lake: Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire; http://www.lakewinnipesaukee.net, http://www.meredithareachamber.com/, http://www.wolfeborochamber.com
Reader comment: “There are many lakes and ponds I love in New England, but Lake Winnipesaukee is by far the biggest lake attraction in New Hampshire if not in New England.”
Honorable mention: Lake Champlain, Vermont
Reader comment: “Spectacular scenery, lots to do, islands and ferry rides, Early American history. And, it’s all in one spot!”
Park: Acadia National Park, Maine; www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm
Reader comment: “Acadia has scenery seen nowhere else.”
Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.