New England Excursions

New England is a region steeped in history, with activities and experiences so varied that every visitor will be delighted. Prepare yourself for a thoroughly pleasurable time.

Located in the northernmost area of the continental United States, New England is comprised of six states - Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Its largest city and port is Boston, Massachusetts. This geographic region is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and southeast, and Long Island Sound to the south. The topography runs the gamut, from the rolling hills of the coastal plain in the southeast to the Appalachian Mountains in the west and north.

Known as a popular vacation destination for visitors, there are many cruise ships that make calls in the New England ports including Phoenix Reisen, Oceania, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, AIDA, Regent Seven Seas, Celebrity, Cunard, Crystal, Seabourn, TUI, Silverseas, Princess, P&O, Viking Ocean, NCL, and Windstar.

New England played a critical role in the establishment of the United States. Its original inhabitants were the Algonquian people, with the region being first settled in 1620 by the Pilgrims who established Plymouth Colony. Perhaps the most well-known case of mass hysteria in Colonial America occurred in the late 17th century when 20 people, mostly women, were executed by hanging during the Salem Witch Trials. Another notable event in the history of the United States occurred in the late 18th century when the Sons of Liberty, political leaders at the time, protested new taxation without colonist consent. The Boston Tea Party began the resistance, leading to the first battles of the Revolutionary War.

It is generally not common knowledge, but New England is the birthplace of a number of sports that are very popular. For example, in the late 1800s, James Naismith of Massachusetts invented basketball. Also at that time in Massachusetts, volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan. Even modern American football has its roots in New England, created by Walter Camp of Connecticut.

The New England climate varies quite dramatically depending upon the state. In the northernmost areas of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and northern New Hampshire, the winters are known to be quite severe with heavy snow and very cold temperatures, running from December through March. The summers are generally short-lived, lasting only two months in July and August. In contrast, central and eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and southern New Hampshire have shorter winters, less snow, and warmer summers. New England is famous for its fall season. Beginning in early September in the uppermost areas of Maine and moving southward until early November, the landscape is alive with color as the foliage turns bright oranges, yellows, and reds. It is a time of festivals and fruit harvests.

With so much to see and do in New England, visitors will return again and again. There are a number of exceptional museums at universities such as Yale, Harvard, and MIT. For those who appreciate re-enactments, visits to Plimoth Plantation, Mystic Seaport, or the Mashantucket Pequot Museum among others is sure to be a treat. New England is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Skiing, snowboarding, whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, cycling, hiking, and boating are all popular activities. From the characteristic white steeple churches to the sandy beaches, New England is rich with experiences.

The gastrotourist is certainly not forgotten in New England. The area is famous for a number of foods, including New Haven pizza, Vermont maple syrup, and Maine lobster. Visitors can partake in a clambake, lobster bake, or shore dinner. To enjoy the traditional New England fare, one cannot overlook the old taverns from the 18th and 19th centuries that have been restored.

Whether it is something to excite your senses or to get your blood flowing, New England is the place to be.