As we amble our way through the highways and byways of New England, we’re bound to have some highlights — in fact, we already do.

Below are some of the places we’ve enjoyed most, places you might even find us tucked into a drink, some food and a map, plotting our next adventure, any time of day or night. See you there.

Top Restaurants:
Fore Street, Portland, ME
Posto, Davis Sq, Somerville, MA (best pizza)
Duck Fat, Portland, ME (best french fries)
R.F. O’Sullivan and Son, Somerville, MA (best burgers)
Republic, Manchester, NH (Best amazing dinner you’d never expect in Manchester, NH)
Cook & Brown Public House, Providence, RI (Best brunch)
Treva, West Hartford, CT (Best cocktail-that-eats-like-a-meal — the martini with three prosciutto-wrapped, blue-cheese-stuffed olives)

The library at The Mount, Edith Wharton's historic estate, in the Berkshires.

Top Historic Houses
The Mount, Lenox, MA
The Breakers, Newport, RI
The House of Seven Gables, Salem, MA

Best Seafood
Street & Co., Portland, ME (Best lobster bread pudding)
Neptune Oyster Bar, Boston, MA (Best tiny place that doesn’t take reservations)
Island Creek Oyster Bar, Boston, MA (Best place to spend too much money)
Flo’s Clam Shack, Middletown, RI (Best fried seafood with an ocean view)

The Lady Killigrew Cafe at the Book Mill, in Montague, MA, offers good food and a sunny study spot.

Top Bookstores:
Rabelais Books, Portland, ME (new & antiquarian cookbooks)
The Bookmill, Montague, MA (“books you don’t need in a place you can’t find”)
Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA (Best curation)
Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA (Most helpfullest staff)
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA (Best events)

Top local bars and/or houses of ill repute:
Highland Kitchen, Somerville, MA (best bartenders)
Novare Res Bier Cafe, Portland, ME (Best beer garden)
Charlie’s Kitchen, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA (Best beer garden south of Maine)
Trina’s Starlite Lounge, Inman Square, Cambridge, MA (best tattoos)
McNeill’s Brewery, Brattleboro, VT (Best dive bar)

Top Cocktail Spots:
Drink, Fort Point, Boston, MA (Best whisky drinks)
Craigie on Main, Central Square, Cambridge, MA (Ask for the Zelda Fitzgerald)
The Dorrance, Providence, RI (Best decor)

Top Hotel Bars:
Clink, the Liberty Hotel, Boston, MA
Noir, the Charles Hotel, Cambridge, MA
Eastern Standard, Hotel Commonwealth, Boston, MA

Top Brewpubs:
Portsmouth Brewery, Portsmouth NH (Best food; make sure you have a pretzel roll)
(The bar at) Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brewing Company, North Conway, NH (best nachos)
Long Trail Brewing Company, Bridgewater Corners, VT (Best limited-edition beers)
Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery, Woodstock, NH (Largest portions)

Top Antiquing Routes:
Route 7, Berkshires, MA
Route 1, the coast, ME
Route 6, Litchfield Hills, CT
(For more, visit antiquesnearme.com)

On the Franconia Ridge Trail, you really are on top of the world. Just don't look down.

Top Hikes:
Mt. Moosilauke, NH (the gentle giant)
The Franconia Ridge Trail, NH (for beautiful views)
The Bondcliff Trail, NH (for beautiful views and a challenge)

Top Walks:
Walden Pond, Concord, MA (Lake views, flat terrain)
Old Port, Portland, ME (Shopping, quaintness, food)
Estabrook Woods, Concord, MA (Peaceful, dog-friendly)
Bowers Springs/Bare Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Harvard, MA (Varied landscape, dog-friendly)

Top Small Museums
Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton, MA
Fruitlands, Harvard, MA
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
RISD Art Museum, Providence, RI

The absolutely delicious Turkish breakfast at Sofra

Best Coffee Shops
Bard Coffee, Portland, ME (best coffee)
The Coffee Exchange, Providence, RI (best people-watching)
Darwin’s, Cambridge, MA (best sandwiches)
Mad River Coffee Roasters, Campton, NH (Best coffee and breakfast sandwiches to go)
Sofra Bakery and Cafe, Cambridge, MA (Best unusual breakfast)

Top Beaches:
Popham Beach, Maine (Best beach with cold-ass water)
Horseneck Beach, Westport, MA (Best massive beach)
Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA (Best massive beach with cold-ass water)
Singing Beach, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA (Best beach on the commuter rail)
Old Orchard Beach, Maine (Best kitschy beach accessible by Amtrak)
The Beach at Chatham, MA (Best beach to get eaten by a shark at)

The best way to spend a day in Noank? On the water.

Top Tiny Towns (A Highly Biased List)
Noank, CT (Carson’s General Store, Ford’s Lobster)
Harvard, MA (apple picking, nature trails)
Wiscasset, ME (assorted small shops)
Belmont, VT (lots of gorgeous nothing)
Wonalancet, NH (assorted hiking)
Jamestown, RI (the non-Newport)

Note: This list is organic, meaning it’s set to expand and contract as our mood, or cocktail, carries us.

2 thoughts on “Favorites

  1. Marty Green says:

    Best big garden: Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston MA? Or Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay ME? Both are wonderful, full of ideas, and extensive. And then there’s the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor, ME–but it is open only at very limited times.

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