Six Typical New England Boat Tours To Take This Fall

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Taste oysters, spot moose and admire the foliage.


Photo by Tabor Chichakly / EyeEm / Getty Images

Travelers have long taken photos that showcase New England’s best experiences. No trip to the area is complete without a few photos of the whole family sipping oysters, or posing in front of picturesque lighthouses, or hunting for this reclusive moose. While we’ve gone from living room slideshows to Instagram posts, it only means people are a lot more invested in capturing that perfect vacation photo. Something that adds something special to those vacation photos? Visitors to the region can now enjoy these same iconic boat experiences. Nothing is tastier than eating oysters that have never left the river, and it adds a little something to lighthouse gazing as you approach the water.

Granted, the area has too many pleasure boat rides, hundreds of historic trips, and a myriad of fishing trips from Connecticut to the Canadian border. New England’s inland lakes are filled with boats circling guests around for boisterous sunsets. But there are only a few trips that uniquely highlight quintessential New England. And there is still a chance to take the boat in late summer and early fall. Try these six trips.

Maine

Damariscotta River Cruise

Maine is famous for its oysters. While the diverse flavors attributed to each type of oyster mean they were picked from different waters across the state, the truth is that 80% of Maine’s most delicious oysters come from the same river – the Damariscotta. The two-hour Damariscotta River cruise on the 15-meter RiverTripper begins in Damariscotta and takes travelers and foodies alike down the river of the same name, passing harbor seals, endless birds, and nine different farms that harvest crops. World class oysters. Halfway through, the ship’s captain puts on her chain glove and shells oysters so fresh that they never left the river. Meanwhile, black cormorants perched on rocky outcrops gaze longingly at the boat, while ospreys and eagles soar jealously above. Clothespins attached to the plate label each oyster, which can include sweet and brackish Pemaquids or giant, delicious Norumbegas.

Details: Cruise down the Damariscotta River on a traditional oyster cruise, while enjoying the added benefits of leaf-viewing fall foliage at 1 p.m. most times ($ 35 adults, $ 21 children). Oysters are available for purchase on the tours. If it’s Wednesday or Saturday, a 5 p.m. cruise departs for adults only, where oysters are paired with wine, beer, and sake ($ 75). The boat departs from Schooner Landing Marina in Damariscotta via the Newcastle – Damariscotta Bridge. Free parking is available in the municipal parking lot near the marina. 47 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME, damariscottarivercruises.com

Moose and Wildlife Tour

As you drive through central Maine, where silhouettes of giant mammals appear on yellow road signs, the promise of a moose sighting seems to increase. After all, most of Maine’s 60,000 moose stick to a strip of forest that runs through the center of the state. While seeing a moose on the road can be amazing – and frightening – spotting one from a boat as it devours water lilies and football-shaped leaves called water shields, it’s even better. While September and October may see fewer moose on the lake than May and June, crossing glassy Millinocket Lake at any time of the year is spectacular, revealing Mount Katahdin in the distance, endless birds and a land of many islands, which is what the Abenaki word Millinocket means. Moose are solitary creatures, so spotting one is never guaranteed. During the rut, which takes place in September and October, our guide at the New England Outdoor Center says her moose call, which mimics an irritated cow, might actually attract someone to the lake.

Details: Pontoon boats depart from the New England Outdoor Center on Millinocket Lake in the morning and afternoon, as moose are most active at dusk and dawn, ($ 59 for adults, $ 49 for ages 12 and up). less). 30 Twin Pines Road, Millinocket, ME, neoc.com

Lighthouse Cruises

After passing through the Maritime Museum of Maine, which showcases the state’s maritime heritage, history, and culture, and after passing through the country’s only shipyard, board the Merrymeeting to cruise the Kennebec River. On its shores are four centuries of shipbuilding history. The river itself is teeming with wildlife. The lighthouses are the most spectacular and the reason for the visit. From tower-shaped beacons on Pond Island and Seguin Island, both erected in the mid-19th century, to the more modern octagonal towers of Doubling Point, Perkins Island and Squirrel Point, all three built in 1898, each lighthouse has its own charm, character and history.

Details: While the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath offers daily boat tours, the best are those that visit all six or seven lighthouses. During the month of September, guests can board the ship Monday through Thursday at 3:30 p.m. for the Midcoast Lights and Rivers voyage, a three-hour flagship cruise ($ 48 for adults, $ 30 for ages 6-12, $ 6 for children under six). Plus, a two-hour fall lights tour departs at 3:30 p.m. daily, offering a view of the lighthouse with the backdrop of fall ($ 43 for adults, $ 27 for ages 6-12 , $ 6 for children under six). 243 Washington St., Bath, ME, mainemaritimemuseum.org

New Hampshire

Discover Squam

For movie buffs, visiting the set of a favorite movie is a treat. One of New England’s most famous films is On the golden pond, which saw Henry Fonda (Best Actor) and Katharine Hepburn (Best Actress) win Oscars for their performances. Not only will guests of Discover Squam Lake learn the secrets of the shoot, but since the tours are run by the Natural Science Center, the boat’s captain is also very familiar with the population of Squam’s bald eagles and common loons, a bird. which goes considerably into the plot of the film. . The tour offers views of the majestic mountains against the backdrop of the lake and curious stories of residents and properties along the rocky shores. Of the thirty main islands in the lake, the most interesting is Church Island. With around ten docks, boaters and kayakers (and perhaps even swimmers) can come a few Sunday mornings each year for non-denominational services.

Details: The Discover Squam Lakes tour departs twice daily, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The boat departs in front of the Natural Science Center at 23 Science Center Road, Holderness, NH. (90 minute trips cost $ 27 for adults, $ 25 for seniors, $ 23 for those 15 and under), nnature.org

Rhode Island

America’s Cup Charters

Founded in 1851, the America’s Cup is the oldest international competition in all sports, almost half a century older than the modern Olympic Games themselves. The Cup pits sailboats against each other, leaving only one to win the coveted trophy. Some of those winners have been withdrawn to Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, where visitors to Newport can cross the bay and throw themselves into the Atlantic on boats that have made sailing history. It’s the equivalent of a horse enthusiast doing a few laps on Seattle Slew or American Pharoah. The America’s Cup Charters fleet includes the Intrepid, Cup winner in 1967 and 1970, Weatherly, winner in 1962, and three other yachts which have competed in the Cup and won other prestigious sailing awards.

Details: America’s Cup Charters offers two hours of sailing in the harbor and Narragansett Bay until mid-October ($ 90 for adults, $ 50 for ages 10 and under). They also have a three hour Sunday running experience ($ 195). These boats all depart from the Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina. 49 Americas Cup Avenue, Newport, RI, americascupcharters.com



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