by Joanna Eng
Biking season is finally upon us in New England. Bike enthusiasts and newbie cyclists alike can take advantage of one of the best-quality bike trails in the country right on Cape Cod. Dust the cobwebs off your bicycle, or head to one of the many local rental shops, and set out on a ride while breathing in the sea breezes.
The Cape Cod Rail Trail is 22 miles from end to end, starting near the center of the Cape in South Dennis and following a former railroad route all the way to Wellfleet. But of course, you can hop on anywhere along the way. Granite markers tick off every mile so you know how far you’ve gone and how far you are from your home base. If you want to start in Dennis, there are plenty of FlipKey rentals to serve as your launch-off point, including this two-bedroom cottage with a bicycle shed.
Whether for a quick weekend trip or for a longer holiday, New England is a great destination for foodies eager to explore the culinary treats found there. It is where you come for real maple syrup, Maine lobsters so sweet you don’t need to eat them with butter, clam chowder, and a multitude of other tasty delights.
Here is a short list of the top ten foodie destinations in New England, all within a few hours drive of each other. Some suggestions are foodie towns, some suggestions are actual food producers foodies have a special fondness for.
Beautiful Portland, Maine is a thriving foodie destination with at least three chefs who have been anointed as the best young chefs working in America. Try getting a table at the following restaurants: Duckfat, Hugo’s, Fore Street, and 555 if you can get in. This bustling seafront city has a thriving waterfront with lobster pounds and fish markets, many of which will ship fresh lobsters, clams, and chowder on ice to your home. Visit the Allagash Brewery for a beer tour and walk around the Old Port to find a seat with a view of the bay for an outdoor fresh seafood lunch. There are also some nice little chocolate shops in this section of the city to sample.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire is New Hampshire’s answer to Portland, Maine. Also along the seafront, also quaint, also filled with galleries and fabulous restaurants. Try getting a seat at: The Black Trumpet, Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Cafe, Popovers, Pesce Blue, or Dunaway. Take a walk around town during the day, stopping at either Anabelle’s Ice Cream or Izzy’s Frozen Yogurt, both extremely popular with foodies. Chocolate? Visit the Lindt Factory Outlet! Actually Lindt & Sprungli candy are headquartered nearby in Stratham. Another chocolate stop to make is at Byrne & Carlson on State Street. Also nearby is the famous Stonewall Kitchen, a foodie heaven with a huge online presence and stores throughout New England. They are located in York, a few miles away.
Boston has so many wonderful food related places to visit. A favorite is to take the tour at the Taza Chocolate Factory. Not only is the chocolate organic and fair trade, but it is absolutely delicious. Take a stroll through Boston’s Little Italy called the North End and stop for a coffee and canolli at Modern Pastry. Stop for fresh oysters at the Union Oyster House. And for the best baked beans in Boston, don’t miss a meal at historic Durgin Park. Just next door is Faneuil Hall with its indoor gourmet food hall for snacking and sampling a great deal of what Boston has on offer.
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory is located near Stowe, Vermont in Waterbury. You can take a guided tour of the factory and visit the Flavoroom to try ice cream samples. There’s a fun gift shop and the factory is nestled in the mountains so plan on bringing a picnic to enjoy the scenery.
And finally, King Arthur Flour is a mecca for those who love to bake and love artisanal bread. Visit their factory store to shop for all your baking needs. Enjoy their little restaurant where you can dine on their freshly baked pizzas and breads. And if you have time, check the web site for classes you can take there. Wouldn’t it be fun to learn how to bake the perfect French baguette at home?
Alex is a travel writer and blogger. He loves touring the world’s best cities, expanding his belly on all the great foods. He also contributes regularly to a Kefalonia information guide.