This time last year we enjoyed a wonderful long weekend in New England, and there is no better place for an autumn vacation! I had a few goals in mind: see a great lighthouse, a cranberry bog, and of course fall foliage. Some of those were a little easier to accomplish than others! We started our road trip Hartford, Connecticut and flew out of Portland, Maine. Here are some of my favorites if you ever want a New England fall escape of your own.
The highlight of a quick stop for lunch upon landing was discovering Elizabeth Park. We ate at The Pond House Cafe and then walked around in the park and gardens. This is a picturesque place with a rock bridge, greenhouse, and dahlia & rose gardens.
Always the adventurer, I definitely took us on a pretty roundabout journey into Newport. Along the way we made pit stops for bites/sips/and pictures. First stop was the lavish lawn-game heaven The Ocean House, followed by out of this world oysters with a view at Matunuck Oyster Bar. The Rhode Islander's clear broth version of clam chowder is a must-try!
Newport, Rhode Island
This was the first time I discovered Lark Hotels and their more private version of a bed & breakfast experience. We spent two nights at their hotel, The Attwater, and easily walked all around the quaint city of Newport from here.
The Cliff Walk is definitely a must, which we did from start to finish and then some. We didn't have a ton of memorable meals here, but I definitely want to do a little more research and go back again one day. A favorite stop with a great water/bridge view is Castle Hill Inn, with a hillside sprinkled with adirondacks. It's always fun to live like the other side for a couple of hours by getting a cocktail at a swanky hotel (that might be out of your budget for lodging).
Somewhere in Massachusetts
My mission to find us a cranberry bog was a mixture of perseverance and willingness to deviate from our GPS. I actually wound up calling Ocean Spray, where I talked to a very thick-accented New Englander who gave me very loose directions along back roads- so I couldn't even tell you where we wound up. Bogs only harvest for certain windows of time that depend on the weather, so you can't really plan to go to X bog on X day. When the cranberries are ready, the bogs are flooded and the berries pop off of their bushes & float to the top (because of the air pockets inside). This was certainly a fun sight to see!
Our next overnight stop was Kennebunkport, but FOMO got to me and I couldn't leave Massachusetts without sidetracking to see Steve Carell's general store first. We got to meet his sister and get a signed headshot, but luckily for Steve there were no celeb sightings for this fan girl.
Maine does not disappoint, mostly because of how easy it is to get a great lobster roll any time, any place. I would recommend staying at the Kennebunkport Inn, or the Captain Fairfield Inn. The latter is also a Lark Hotel, but the Vineyard Vines room was booked so I decided it wasn't meant to be. The Kennebunkport Inn was a great alternative that made all of my nautical dreams come true.
Above: Kennebunkport Inn, Below: Captain Fairfield Inn
One of the best lobster rolls of the trip was found at the very casual Cape Pier Chowder House, but there were plenty of fun places to eat and shop all around the very walkable town. Some shops that I found through a combo of Insta-Stalking and walking around are Day Trip Society and Stem to Stern.
After two nights in Kennebunkport, it was up early the next day to see the most photographed lighthouse in Maine before heading to the airport. That would be the Portland Head Light, which is nestled in a breathtaking rocky coastline.
This trip was where I discovered some of the vendors for my very first products for my online shop, such as Sailwinds Trading Company. I guess I could spend the time and money to go to markets to find goods, but I think it's more fun to discover new brands when I'm weekending and can have my own fun memories attached to them! Are you heading on any fun trips this fall? Bon Voyage, y'all!