Looking for beautiful scenery, amazing hotels, delicious food, thrilling history? You do not have to go abroad to find them. I recommend Insight Vacations tour of New England – Boston Cape Cod and the Islands.
My friend Sybil and I took this tour in June and we were not disappointed. This itinerary is one of Insight’s premium Gold tours. The hotels were all top notch and there no optional excursions to add to the cost. Breakfast is included daily and there are four dinners included. Insight also limits the passengers to 40 people so even though the tour was sold out, there was plenty of leg room on the motor coach. We began our journey in Boston where we gathered for a welcome dinner at our hotel, the historic Langham Boston, a legendary hotel only a 6 minute walk from Faneiul Hall Marketplace. The Langham is known for its service and hospitality and it certainly lived up to that reputation. The next morning, Adrian, our Tour Director led us on a historical sightseeing tour of “Beantown” that included the famed Freedom Trail, the colorful neighborhoods of Back Bay, Bunker Hill and Beacon Hill where the monied elite of Boston live. We got of peek of Secretary of State John Kerry’s home but we were not invited in for tea…lol. The highlight of the day a walking tour of Harvard University. This was not on the itinerary but thanks to Adrian we were able to fit it in. Adrian is a dry witted native of Romania who was very informative and lots of fun.
From Boston we headed for Newport, Rhode Island, America’s smallest state. We visited the elegant town of Newport, lined with the Gilded Age mansions of America’s wealthiest families where we visited The Breakers, the grandest of Newport’s summer ‘cottages’ and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family’s social and financial preeminence during the late 19th century. Unfortunately, bad weather prevented us from taking the schooner cruise included in the package but Insight compensated by throwing us a lovely wine and cheese party at our award winning hotel, the Hotel Viking, situated atop Newport’s Historic Hill neighbourhood.
Crossing back into Massachusetts, our next stop was Martha’s Vineyard by way of New Bedford which is the world’s most famous whaling era seaport and America’s number one fishing port. We visited the New Bedford Whaling museum and learned about the whaling life and the integral part it played in that region. Next we boarded the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard with it’s pristine sandy beaches and diverse outdoor attractions. The Vineyard is a favorite vacation spot of US presidents from Grant to Obama and it is easy to see why. We visited Oak Bluffs and the beautiful harbor town of Edgartown famous for its historic lighthouses. We stayed at the gorgeous Harbor View Hotel and Resort which is only steps away from the Atlantic ocean. Next we returned to the mainland to our beachside hotel in Falmouth, the Sea Crest Beach Hotel. The next day we took the ferry to Nantucket Island to see the charming cobblestone streets, simple Quaker-style homes and handsome houses dating back to the whaling days. Our next excursion was to the to the Cape Cod National Seashore, a National Park that encompasses much of the Outer Cape. We visited Chatham, the quintessential seaside town on the ‘elbow’ of the cape, surrounded on three sides by ocean.
Before heading back to Boston, we visited the local Ocean Spray cranberry bog to learn about the cultivation and harvesting of one of Massachusetts’ most important crops. On our way to the Boston Airport we stopped in Plymouth to see the Plymouth Rock which is the traditional site of disembarkation of William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620. It is an important symbol in American history and an absolutely lovely town. From there we headed back to Logan Airport in Boston to begin our journey home. Overall, I highly recommend this tour. America really is a beautiful country with much to offer to foreigners and Americans alike. This tour just whet my appetite to see more of the grand USA!