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Thursday, December 9, 2010

New England Restaurants With Great Service

Charley Manning featured a great topic yesterday afternoon on his WRKO Boston radio talk show, focusing on the challenges restaurants face in today's tough economy. I caught a few segments where many callers and restaurant employers felt  that good service was as important  as the food.

I don't know about you, but too many restaurants I've been to have average service, at best. It seems like either the management is too busy to pay attention to its customers, the often transient wait staff disinterested and lacking good listening skills -- or both.  Several restaurants, however, come to mind when thinking of offering a pattern of excellent service. This includes waitress or waiter friendliness from start to finish, bringing the food out on time, and a host or manager that interacts well with the customer.  In no particular order, here are some New England dining spot where we have found a  general commitment to excellence when it comes to "service with a smile (and yes, the food ranges from very good to outstanding, too):

Date night restaurants:
Clay Hill Farm, Cape Neddick, Maine
Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield, Mass.

Family-style restaurants:
Hollis Country Kitchen, Hollis, N.H.
Tock of the Town, Medfield, Mass.
Commons Cafe and Eatery, Foxboro, Mass.
The Restaurant, Woburn, Mass (cafeteria-style service)
Vanilla Bean Cafe, Pomfret, Conn. (order at the counter)

Pizza:
Prince Pizzeria, Saugus, Mass.
New London Pizza, Concord, Mass.

Seafood restaurants:
Fisherman Restaurant, Noank, Conn.
Jake's Seafood, Hull, Mass.

Diners:
Don's Diner, Plainville, Mass.
Miss Lyndon Diner, Lyndonville, Vt.

We look forward to your feedback on New England restaurants with good service!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Old School Boston!

If you enjoy the Boston and New England of yesteryear, we think you'll enjoy our newest VisitingNewEngland publishing network blog addition, Old School Boston.

Here, we will take a reflective and sometimes humorous look at some of the Boston restaurants, retail stores, local media, television and radio commercials, travel attractions and events, town and city icons, etc., that warmed our hearts and minds when growing up in the 1960s and 1970s.  Some subject matter you'll find in our first several articles include Rex Trailer, Willie Whistle, Grover Cronin's Department Store, the Cottage Crest restaurant, the "Famous Jim Sands" radio show,  legendary sports anchor Don Gillis, the Dave Dinger Ford radio jingle and the Zayre retail chain.

Much more is on the way!  As always, feel feel to contribute your Boston and New England memories to this new Blog!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shop Locally in Putnam, Conn. the Antique Capital of New England

It takes some getting used to, but Putnam, Conn., ultimately grows on you. The old Montgomery Ward building (pictured here; Montgomery Ward, however, is long gone), the many locally-owned antique stores, head-on parking, a leisurely pace and a growing restaurant and retail scene help make Putnam unique, serviceable and with a rough-around-the-edges but pleasant personality.  We recently spent some time here and really enjoyed the antique stores and the modest but nice Christmas decorations around the downtown area.  If you need some other place to shop than the big box stores, Putnam is surely a worthy New England destination.

For more information on this small New England town located in the northeast sector of Connecticut, please visit read our Putnam CT travel article at VisitingNewEngland.com.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Lights Display at Wrentham Town Common

The southwest Boston suburban town of Wrentham, Mass., always comes up with a fantastic Christmas lights display at its beautiful town common. Although the look of this town common is classic New England year-round, things just seem to come alive even more during the holiday season. With a gazebo all decked out in white lights, big trees with multi-colored lights and places to stroll along this multi-acre open space, the holiday spirit is always alive and well at this pleasant, little downtown spot.

We'd love to hear your comments on the Wrentham town common Christmas lights display, or any other holiday travel attraction that you enjoy in New England!

Monday, October 11, 2010

How to Find New England Fall Foliage Updates

If you're looking for the latest New England fall foliage reports online, state agencies in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont offer excellent web site updates (with resources listed below). We couldn't find one for Rhode Island, but you can call 800-250-7384 to find out information on the fall season in the "Ocean State." Enjoy the great colors, but be sure to stay up to date as conditions constantly change!

Connecticut  http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2222&q=320738&depNav_GID=1631
Maine http://www.maine.gov/doc/foliage/index.shtml
Massachusetts http://www.massvacation.com/fallfoliage/#/driving-routes
New Hampshire http://foliage.visitnh.gov.ns1www.silvertech.net/index-flash.html1
Vermont http://www.vermontvacation.com/vermont%20by%20season/fall/current%20foliage%20report.aspx

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Travel Writer Captures Essence of New England Fall Foliage Season

Chris Leadbeater, of the Daily Mail, just wrote a fantastic article on his recent New England fall foliage trip.

His writing, is no doubt, as colorful as the foliage leaves of New England, taking on almost a child-like awe of this special time of year in our region. Perfectly capturing the fall essence of the New England highways and byways, small quaint New Hampshire and Vermont towns (Woodstock and Grafton Vt., Jackson, N.H.) and scenic areas like the Berkshire County region of Massachusetts, Mt. Washington in New Hampshire and the Androscoggin River in Maine, reading this article makes one feel that they are alongside the traveler. The journey ends in Boston "where the leaves, stoked to an orange inferno around the perimeter of the Common, give an extra tint of majesty to the redbrick masonry and the shining dome of the Massachusetts State House." Beautiful writing, with detail that you don't always find in general New England fall foliage articles!

Fall foliage articles often take on the moment -- which Leadbeater does here -- but I have the feeling that when next years comes around, I'll be reading this article again. Great writing and New England fall foliage have that timeless effect, after all!


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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkins Saturate Rhode Island Farm Landscape!

Pumpkins at Adam's Farm, Cumberland, R.I. (photo by Eric H.)
Just an update from a few posts ago that the pumpkin selection, at this writing, at Adam's Farm in Cumberland, R.I., is spectacular! Pumpkins take up most of the large field behind the farm stand. Adam's Farm owner Jim Marszalkowski tells me that the crop has been quite good this year, so if you're in the area and looking for a healthy-looking pumpkin of any size, we recommend stopping by this pleasant, small farm in northern Rhode Island (near Wrentham, Mass.). You can click on the link above to find out more about what Adam's Farm has to offer during the fall and Christmas seasons.

Adam's Farm,
495 Sumner Brown Rd.,
Cumberland RI 02864.
Tel. 401-333-1727, 401-333-1845


Editor's note: we recommend calling Adam's Farm first before setting out on the planned itinerary as operating hours and merchandise for sale can potentially change! We also would like to add that we, at the Weekly New England Travel and Vacation Gazette, have no vested interest in Adam's Farm. We are paying customers and simply like the place!

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Mt. Washington Valley Fairs, Oktoberfest, Halloween Events Offer Peaks of Fun

The Mt. Washington Valley in the White Mountains of New Hampshire always has something fun going on, and the remainder of October is no exception. The great thing about going to an entertaining event in this region is that you not only have something great to do, but also the advantage of touring some of the best fall foliage, lake and mountain scenery in New England. The following press release from the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce mentions Mt. area fall festivals, an Oktoberfest, a famous fair and scarecrow contest:


North Conway, NH -- Fall colors are a great reason to visit Mt Washington Valley in September, but add in fun foliage events, and you've gotten more reasons to visit Mt Washington Valley in September and October.  From World Championship Trike and Mud Football competitions to scarecrows and pumpkins, there are cider barrels full of events to enjoy this fall.  Simply click on the links below or visithttp://www.mtwashingtonvalley.org/ and click on EVENTS for a complete list of additional events.
October 10, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30Cranmore Ghoullog Mountain Top Haunt: Get ready for the scariest chairlift ride of the season!  Visitors board the quad chairlift for a night-time ride to the summit for this haunted mountain-top tour.  Things go bump in the night, and then some. Tickets are $25 for all ages, and the doors open at 6pm, with tours starting at 7pm. Info:  603-356-5544, http://www.cranmore.com/.
October 2: Fall Festival and Scarecrow Contest at Settlers' Green Outlet Village: Look forward to dozens of handmade, unique scarecrows competing for cash awards all on display throughout the mall. Come early, pumpkins will be given to the first 100 kids for $2 per pumpkin while supplies last, join in the pumpkin pie contest, enjoy free apple cider, horse-drawn wagon rides, face painting, live music and more. All free and open to the public. It all takes place 11am-3pm.  Info: 603-356-7031, http://www.settlersgreen.com/.
October 3 - 10:  Fryeburg FairMaine's Blue Ribbon Fair takes place with plenty of livestock, harness racing, live entertainment and much more.  Look for yearly favorites like Woodsman's Day and the pan toss, along with plenty of rides, baked goods, handmade items and more.  It's a week of fair fun on the Fryeburg Fairgrounds. Info: 207-935-3268, http://www.fryeburgfair.org/.
October 9-10:  10th Annual Oktoberfest Celebration at Attitash: A weekend-long event including live Bavarian music from the world renowned King Ludwig Band, dancing, children's activities, games, authentic German food and of course, the Oktoberfest Bier Garten featuring brewers from around the region. vote for your favorite brew to see who raises the Best Brew trophy Sunday afternoon. In addition, there will be Stein Holding and Keg toss competitions for adults 21+. For the kids, Euro Bungy, Climbing Wall, Bouncy House, and a fully staffed Kinderplatz tent with face painting, games are in store throughout the day. Located at the Base of Bear Peak, open noon to 6pm on Saturday and noon to 5pm on Sunday. Info: Corey Madden at 603-374-2615 or  cmadden@attitash.com.
 October 30: Ghost and Goblin Trail: This is your chance to travel around the White Mountains, in or out of costume and experience our unique inns while "Trick or Treating".  Each participating inn will offer a frightfully unique experience!  If you arrive in costume you will receive a treat!  If not you must perform a trick to earn your treat!  Prize for best costume on the tour! Once again this year participate in the Great Mystery Muddle of the White Mountains - a riddle and jumbled word contest!  Grand prize includes a $200 gift certificate towards lodging at any BBInnMWV member and a basket of goodies donated by each participating inn. Participating Inns will be offering tickets as part of their lodging packages.  Info: http://www.bbinnsmwv.com/.
While there is still plenty of availability left for your fall foliage getaway, this is a popular time to visit, so be sure to book your lodging reservations early or "forever hold your peep"!  For more information on additional events and vacations in Mt Washington Valley, please visit http://www.mtwashingtonvalley.org/ or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (603-367-3364). 


Weekly New England Travel and Vacation Gazette Editor's note: we recommend calling ahead to your chosen destination first before setting out on the planned itinerary as operating hours of the given event and merchandise for sale can potentially change!

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Vermont Fall Calendar of Events, Harvest Festivals, Craft Shows for October

Vermont and the fall season go hand-in-hand. Having the ideal location to showcase the splendor of colorful fall foliage and many picture-perfect little towns, Vermont is a wonderful fall destination to go sightseeing by car, get out and walk or hike in the quaint communities or on trails and mountains (weather permitting), and, generally, just take in the true feeling of what New England is all about. There's nothing like a warm day that eventually turns to a cooler crisp afternoon or night while getting to know the people, places and things in this laid-back, beautiful New England state. Add a classic town common, church with tall white steeple and a scenic winding country road surrounded by the spectacular Green Mountains and it all adds up to something that for your "greatest memories" books.

The Vermont Press Room recently produced a press release for events to enjoy in October, including fall harvest festivals (including apple and pumpkin themes) craft shows, and later in the month something special for Halloween.  Hope you can get to one of these special events!
Stowe Foliage Arts Festival   Stowe – October 8-10, 2010
This annual event is widely known as a festive marketplace. In addition to the juried fine art and craft exhibitors, the ambiance is fueled by diverse and delicious food fare, live entertainment, and an array of kids’ activities. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Topnotch Field, Route 108. For more information, visit 
www.craftproducers.com.
Annual Vermont Apple Festival Craft Show Springfield – October 9, 2010
The Vermont Apple Festival & Craft Show is a celebration of the fall harvest, with more than 50 crafters, live entertainment, agriculture and activities for the whole family, and, of course, apples.  Enjoy bushels of red, juicy, ripe apples plus plump pumpkins, sweet cider and other delectable items. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Riverside Middle School, Route 11. For more information, visitwww.vtapplefestival.com.
Oktoberfest/Annual Harvest Art & Craft Show West Dover – October 9-10, 2010Enjoy Mount Snow’s annual Oktoberfest celebration, complete with authentic German music, German food and beer, fun games and activities for all ages. Inside the Main Base Lodge, artisans and crafters from across New England showcase fine watercolor paintings, woodwork, fleece, photography, fudge, salsa, kids’ crafts and more at the Harvest Art & Craft Show.  For more information, visit www.mountsnow.com.
Harvest Weekend   Woodstock – October 9-10, 2010
The Annual Harvest Weekend is a two-day event featuring a husking bee and barn dance each day plus a variety of 19th century harvest activities and programs for the entire family. Named a Top Ten Fall Event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Billings Farm & Museum, Route 12 and River Road. For more information, visit www.billingsfarm.org.
Art in the Park Fall Foliage Festival 
Rutland – October 9-10, 2010
Vermont’s oldest continuing arts tradition offers something for everyone with free children’s activities, musical entertainment, daily door prizes and grand prize drawings, food concessions, demonstrations, and high quality arts and crafts. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Main Street Park, located at the junction of Routes 4 and 7. For more information, visit 
www.chaffeeartcenter.org. 
Newfane Heritage Festival
Newfane – October 9-10, 2010
This year’s 40th annual festival features more than 85 juried arts, crafts and specialty products, children’s activities, live music, food, homemade apple pies and apple crisp, a raffle and more.  10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Newfane Common, Route 30.  For more information, visit
http://newfaneheritagefestival.blogspot.com.
Annual Tractor Parade 
Charlotte – October 10, 2010
Enjoy antique and modern tractors make their way down Spear Street in East Charlotte. The event includes children’s games, hayrides, farmers’ market, food and more. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., parade starts at 1 p.m. Spear Street. For more information, visit
http://tractorparade.com.
Dummerston Apple Pie Festival
Dummerston – October 10, 2010
For more than 40 years, the Dummerston Apple Pie Festival has been held on the Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend, the peak of colorful autumn foliage in southern Vermont. About 1,500 apple pies are made by many church members and friends, and people from all over the United States travel to Dummerston to take part in the festivities. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit
www.dummerston.com.
19th Century Apple and Harvest Festival Strafford – October 10, 2010
Press cider in an antique press, taste heirloom apple varieties, meet John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed), make a scarecrow, sample cider, play period games and more. Enjoy Vermont grown apples, apple treats and pumpkins from the garden and heirloom flower bulbs. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Justin Morrill State Historic Site. For more information, visit 
www.historicvermont.org.
Giant Pumpkin Regatta and Festival 
Burlington – October 10, 2010
The annual Giant Pumpkin Regatta and Festival features local business leaders, students and others racing in giant hollowed-out gourds on Lake Champlain in a competition of size and speed. The event includes food vendors, activities and entertainment on the Burlington Waterfront. For details, visit 
www.vermont.org/pumpkin.
Pumpkin Carving Festival Manchester – October 16, 2010
Enjoy an afternoon of fun celebrating the fall harvest and pumpkin season. The event includes a corn maze, wagon rides, cider, donuts and a pumpkin carving competition. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Equinox Valley Nursery, Route 7A. For more information, visit
www.manchestervermont.net
Cabot Apple Pie Festival Cabot – October 16, 2010
This annual event will feature pie judging, music, crafts, pumpkin carving, children’s activities, silent auction, food and pies for sale. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cabot School Gym, Main Street and Common Road (Route 215). For details, visit
http://nek4u.net/cabothistory/ApplePie.html.
Gilfeather Turnip Festival
Wardsboro – October 23, 2010
The Annual Gilfeather Turnip Festival celebrates the Gilfeather turnip, first propagated in Wardsboro in the early 1900s by John Gilfeather. The festival features live music, entertainment, Gilfeather turnip soup, turnip tastings, Gilfeather turnip cookbooks, crafts and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wardsboro Town Hall.  For more information, visit 
www.friendsofwardsborolibrary.org.
Haunted Forest                                                     
Williston – October 21-23, 28-30, 2010
The Haunted Forest features outdoor community theater set amidst the magic and enchantment of a dark forest. A pair of mysterious guides will lead guests through the Haunted Forest, and the flickering faces of more than 1,000 jack-o’lanterns light the dark trails.  Visitors encounter strange and hilarious characters in a variety of Halloween-theme scenes. For details and an event schedule, visit 
www.thehauntedforest.org.
Editor's note: we recommend calling ahead to your chosen destination first before setting out on the planned itinerary as operating hours of the given event and merchandise for sale can potentially change!

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Adam's Farm, Cumberland, R.I., Features Fall Hay Rides, Pumpkins, Apples, Cider, Corn Maze

Adam's Farm, Cumberland, R.I. (photo by Eric H.)
Adam's Farm in Cumberland. R.I., remains one of our favorite New England fall destinations with its scenic farmland, weekend hay rides, locally-picked apples, cider, pumpkins, free corn maze, cornstalks, mums, gourds and other seasonal delights.

Unassuming in nature and located in an area not typically thought of as a prime fall foliage destination, Adams Farm's magic resides in the simplicity of an old-time farm with friendly owners and staff and a relaxing feel. Only open during the fall and for the holiday season (beautifully lit and with Christmas trees for sale, hot chocolate, warm cider and a visit from Santa), this large canopy surrounded by rolling farm land, pumpkins in the field, and an old dairy barn provides a nice little escape from the hectic pace of the nearby suburban and urban ways of life. Additionally, Adams's Farm features a farm animals --primarily, friendly goats -- which kids from all over the region seem to gravitate towards.

Located in northern Rhode Island near the Wrentham, Mass., line, we highly recommend this roadside gem for Bostonians, Providence residents or anyone else in the area!

Adam's Farm, 
495 Sumner Brown Rd., 
Cumberland RI 02864. 
Tel. 401-333-1727, 401-333-1845

Editor's note: we recommend calling Adam's Farm first before setting out on the planned itinerary as operating hours and merchandise for sale can potentially change!

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Apple Picking, Pumpkin Patch Plentiful at Jane and Paul's Farm, Norfolk, Mass.

We had a chance this weekend to visit Jane and Paul's Farm in Norfolk, Mass., and are happy to report that the pumpkin and apple picking opportunities are quite good, at this writing.

This small, friendly family-owned farm offers a good supply of Macoun, Mac, Daybreak and Cortland apples, all within within easy walking distance from the parking lot and farm stand. A tractor ride will get you out to the large fields of pumpkin patches, but you'll also find many pumpkins for sale just outside the farm stand. The pumpkins looks great and come in all different sizes.

We like Jane and Paul's Farm a lot. It's not as high profile as some of the other local farms, the prices are reasonable, owners very pleasant and knowledgeable, and the place feels like one's own secret discovery. The farm stand also still has many fresh vegetables and fruit for sale, as well as local breads, eggs and honey. You'll also find a complex corn maze here (for a nominal fee) -- it took us a half-hour last time to figure it out.  Hope you can get to this "hidden gem" in this southwest Boston rural-suburban town!

Jane and Paul's Farm
33 Fruit St. Norfolk, MA 02056
Tel. (508) 528-0812



Editor's note: we recommend calling Jane and Paul's Farm first before setting out on the planned itinerary as conditions can change quickly!

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Conway Scenic Railway Offers a Colorful New Hampshire Fall Foliage Ride

Conway Scenic Railroad in Conway
Dan Houde / Purity Spring
The Conway Scenic Railway in North Conway, N.H., is a great way to "track" the New Hampshire fall foliage.

Departing from North Conway Village, the Conway Scenic Railway features handsomely restored trains traveling through the Mt. Washington Valley countryside and surrounding White Mountains. The timing is good to take the train as the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development recently wrote on its latest New Hampshire Fall Foliage Update: "More brilliant color awaits you in the White Mountains region. Stunning reds, warm golds, vivid oranges, and deep purples have come to life all over the terrain."

We recommend calling ahead to the Conway Scenic Railway at 1-800-232-5251 as the trains fill quickly during this spectacular time of the year!


Conway Scenic Railroad
38 Norcross Circle
North Conway, NH 03860
(603) 356-5251

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Maine Tree Lighting Ceremonies, Parades, Santa Visits for November




Nubble Lighthouse in York. Photo Credit: Maine Office of Tourism
The thought of Christmas holiday tree lighting ceremonies in New England seems so distant, given that it's fall foliage season now and we were swimming in lakes and oceans until very recently. But as we know in New England, it has been known to snow in October and summer and fall memories seem like a distant memory.

We just received word from our good neighbors at The Maine Office of Tourism about Maine tree lighting ceremonies happening just after Thanksgiving.   Here is an introduction from VisitMaine.com on those special Maine holiday places, followed by the specifics of the events (and some music events, too)...

Prominent evergreen trees in Maine's city and town centers get dressed with lights and holiday decorations annually during the days after Thanksgiving. The events are often accompanied by parades, visits from Santa Claus and live entertainment. But, some communities have a twist to their "tree" lighting tradition. Check out these lightings around the state...

Aroostook County city Caribou will hold its annual Tree Lighting and Parade on Nov. 27. Santa arrives in his sleigh and heads to the fire department where children share their wish lists with him.

Greenville's tree lighting also happens Nov. 27 during the Deck the Halls Holiday Celebration. There are public meals, activities for children, craft fairs, carols sung by the Greenville Community Choir, and a parade with Christmas-themed floats during the day-long event.

Maine's most unique tree lighting event takes place just before the Lighting of the Nubble at Nubble Lighthouse in York. Everyone watches the water in front of the lighthouse as - ocean conditions permitting - a scuba diving team raises a lighted tree to float on the surface. There's music and free hot chocolate and cookies for all. The festivities happen at Sohier Park on Nov. 27. 

The giant spruce tree in Waterville's Castonguay Square gets its glow on during the Parade of Lights celebration on Nov. 26. Watch the parade down Main Street, then visit Santa at his house in Kringleville. 

The city of Rockland builds a tree from lobster traps and lights it during the annual Festival of Lights Celebration happening Nov. 26-28Santa arrives by Coast Guard boat at the Public Landing, local inns hold open houses, the Festival of Lights Parade rolls down Main Street, there's a family pancake breakfast with Santa, and free horse-drawn carriage rides. 


Warm Up to Maine's Live Music 
Maine's small to medium sized live music venues become extra comfortable during cold weather months as locals and travelers pack them to enjoy the sounds of regional and national touring solo performers and bands.

The Unity Centre for the Performing Arts is a destination for all styles of bluegrass, folk, jazz, blues, and traditional sounds from Atlantic CanadaIreland and Scotland 

The Wharf (207-622-9290) in downtown Hallowell is a popular gathering place for rock and blues fans.


Roots and Tendrils in Belfast is an art gallery and retail shop by day and the scene for regional and Maine indie music acts by night.  

Portland's State Theatre has been renovated and the lights go up in mid-October. A sold out My Morning Jacket show leads a schedule heavy with modern, classic and jam rock bands


The Indigo Girls, Richie Havens and Bela Fleck have made the drive up the dirt road to the Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield. Performers love playing in the renovated post and beam barn, and audiences get their tickets early for headliners big and small. 

For more information about Maine's winter events, go to www.visitmaine.com.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Foliage Leaf Peeping at the Kancamagus Scenic Byway in New Hampshire

Article by Eric H.

Photo: Albany Covered Bridge Kancamagus Highway, 9/11/08, by Jesse Mosston

Seems like there's a leaf peeping tourist for every colorful leaf on the Kancamagus Highway, but don't let the crowds impede your New Hampshire fall foliage visit to this famous location. This is simply one of the best scenic routes in New England to take in the brilliant fall foliage! The 34-mile highway, spanning from Lincoln to Conway in the heart of the White  Mountains, features some truly wonderful forest, river and mountains views. 

We just received some great "New Hampshire Fall Foliage Updates" news sent to us on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010, from the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development stating that "Drivers will want to cruise the Kancamagus Highway for dramatic scenery, and take advantage of a number of stopping points, from roadside picnic areas to short and long hikes. Nearly 75% of the area is almost at peak and promises awesome fall colors along nearly every road."


Now is definitely the time to visit the Kancamagus Highway!


Editor's note: You can book a room near the Kancamagus Scenic Byway area by browsing hotels at discount rates in Lincoln and North Conway.


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Maine Lobster Salad from the Maine Diner

Article by Eric H.
Leave it to the Maine Diner, in Wells, Maine, to come up with an innovative, delicious lobster dish. This famous diner seems to hit a home run with everything they make, and its lobster salad is no exception!

With a generous amount of tender Maine lobster chunks layered combined with lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions, this mouthwatering dish is a Maine Diner standout from a large menu already filled with amazing breakfast, lunch and dinner selections. We've never had a bad meal here!

The choice is indeed always tough on what to order at the Maine Diner, but, for now I'm sticking with this dish that gives you the best of both worlds: a taste of Maine with its lobster and the healthy accompanying vegetables.
Maine Diner
2265 Post Road, Route One Wells, ME 04090
Phone: 207-646-4441


Editor's note: For more on this wonderful southern Maine roadside restaurant, we recommend checking out the VisitingNewEngland.com Maine Diner dining review.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Visiting Old Sturbridge Village During the Fall and Into Thanksgiving

Strolling the Common at Old Sturbridge Village in autumn.
Photographer: Thomas Neill
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Article by Eric H.
If you're looking for an educational and entertaining New England travel attraction for the whole family, Old Sturbridge Village (OSV) in Sturbridge, Mass., continues as one of the region's best destinations.

The authentic, expansive Sturbridge Village living museum presentation expertly recreates rural New England during the 1790s through the 1830s.  The village layout is tremendously thoughtful and detailed with 59 historic buildings on 200 acres, three water-powered mills and two covered bridges.  Additionally, you can visit with knowledgeable New England historians in costume, ride in a stagecoach, view antiques, heirloom gardens, meet the farm animals, and take part in hands-on crafts.  Additionally, the charming Oliver Wight Tavern looks like an 1830s rural New England tavern and offers lunch, Sunday Brunch and Friday night dinners, at this writing.

It's all a marvelously fun learning experience . Growing up in the Boston area, Sturbridge Village was always a school field trip staple and one with memories that still reside strongly in my mind. I remember, back in the day, getting the school field trip form and running home to exclaim, "Mom, we're going to Sturbridge Village!"  Getting out of the classroom and into a "live" history book, of sorts, was thrilling and full of additional delights foreign to us from near the 'city"-- it just felt wonderful being in the countryside and breathing in fresh air!

I still hear great things from the younger generation about Sturbridge Village -- much like the way we used to talk about it, too. The younger generation, however, doesn't know that they have a much better version of Sturbridge Village with so many more attractions and events.

With some traditionally brilliant October fall colors to enhance your visit -- and get you in a New England state of mind -- Old Sturbridge Village resonates with a true New England feel rather than just being another cheesy, forced, contrived and overpriced New England travel attraction. Sturbridge Village can be enjoyed any time of the year but since we're now into the fall season, let's focus today on the appeal of visiting Sturbridge Village during the autumn time. Here are some of the wonderful events going on:

October 2010

 Apple Days 2010
October 2, 2010 - October 3, 2010
Join us for a weekend dedicated to apple harvest, preservation and cooking.
 Friends' Day
October 2, 2010
9:30 am-5:00 pm
Old Sturbridge Village's day of recognition of and appreciation for you, our 
Village friends and members.
 Take a Closer Look
October 9, 2010
10:00 am
Take a Closer Look is a monthly program open to all OSV Members. 
Held at 10 a.m. on the second Saturday of 
each month, this program invites a closer look with a Village specialist.
 Garden Thyme
October 16, 2010
Third Saturday, 10 a.m.
Garden Thyme is a monthly program open to all OSV Members. Held the third
 Saturday of each month at 
10 a.m., this program looks at a variety of topics for the experienced and novice gardener.
 Harvest Days
October 16, 2010 - October 17, 2010
9:30 am-5:00 pm
As the days grow cooler and shorter, come celebrate the harvest with us.
 Broadway delivers to the Oliver Wight Tavern:
Cabaret Lulu
  $
October 21, 2010
$42.50 per person for lunch and program (includes tax & gratuity)
Spend an afternoon on Broadway by way of Old Sturbridge Village. Enjoy 
lunch at the Oliver Wight Tavern followed by a direct-from-Broadway 
cabaret show in the Brewer Theater.Reservations required.
Things That Go Bump in the Night $
October 30, 2010 - 5:00 PM
$12 per person, children under 3: free
Advance registration is required
Old Sturbridge Village is the perfect setting for a family Halloween 
event. Spooky storytelling, magic, creepy games, and trick-or-treating
 around the Center Village.  The Trail of Terror (for brave souls 
age 11 and up) is also back this year.  Tickets on sale now for Members; 
public sale begins October 1.
Trail of Terror $
October 30, 2010 - 6:30 PM
$8 per person (ages 11 & up); event admission additional and required
For brave souls age 11 and up...Prepare to be spooked as you venture 
away from the family-friendly Center Village and into the darkness of the
countryside, where unnamed fears may be awakened 
on the Trail of Terror.

November 2010


 American Girl Fashion Show
November 5, 2010 - November 7, 2010
Friday, Saturday, Sunday
 Dog Days for Members
November 6, 2010 - November 7, 2010
9:30 am-4:00 pm
Attention OSV Members:  as a thank-you for your support we are offering a series of special 
Dog Days at OSV just for Members.
 Scout Day at Old Sturbridge Village
November 6, 2010
9:30 am-4:00 pm
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Lives on...in 1830!  This fall event is for Boy
and Girl Scouts, and 
their families, who want to learn about America's proud past.  Enjoy the late fall foliage 
while visiting our early 19th-century rural community.
Dinner in a Country Village $
Selected Saturday evenings from November through March, 5 to 9 p.m.
$85 per person; $75 for OSV MembersPre-registration is required
Enjoy a unique opportunity to prepare and eat a meal the way early 
New Englanders did. The Parsonage 
is the setting for this Saturday-night program, where costumed interpreters oversee 
the preparations, but the guests do the chopping, mixing, and stirring.   
 Home School Day - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
November 10, 2010
9:30 am-4:00 pm
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Lives on...in 1830! During this Home 
School day, children and their families will have the opportunity to
learn more about this tale and its time through storytelling,
 demonstrations and hands-on activities.
 Old Sturbridge Village Celebrates the Nation's Veterans
November 11, 2010
Old Sturbridge Village is proud to honor veterans and active duty 
personnel of the nation's armed forces.
 Take a Closer Look
November 13, 2010
10:00 am
Take a Closer Look is a monthly program open to all OSV Members. 
Held at 10 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month, this program 
invites a closer look with a Village specialist.
An Evening of Illumination $
Saturday, November 13, 6 to 9 p.m.
$35 per person; $30 for OSV Members
Old Sturbridge Village opens in the evening and invites visitors to see what
the Village would have looked like using only Village period 
lighting devices.  View a slide show of this event.
 Broadway delivers to the Oliver Wight Tavern:
Cabaret Lulu
  $
November 18, 2010
$42.50 per person for lunch and program (includes tax & gratuity)
Spend an afternoon on Broadway by way of Old Sturbridge Village. 
Enjoy lunch at the Oliver Wight Tavern followed by a direct-from-Broadway
cabaret show in the Brewer Theater.Reservations required.
 Garden Thyme
November 20, 2010
Third Saturday, 10 a.m.
Garden Thyme is a monthly program open to all OSV Members. Held the 
third Saturday of each month at 10 a.m., this program looks at a 
variety of topics for the experienced and novice gardener.
 Thanksgiving Buffet  $
Enjoy a 19th-century meal in the Oliver Wight Tavern
November 25, 2010
Seatings from 11am to 4pm
Enjoy a 19th-century Thanksgiving meal at the Oliver 
Wight Tavern at Old Sturbridge Village.
Reservations required.
 Thanksgiving Day Celebration
November 25, 2010
To mark one of just a handful of holidays on the early New England
calendar, Old Sturbridge Village re-creates various activities from an
early New England Thanksgiving Day, including 
cooking at the hearth, demonstrations of 19th-century 
table manners, a Thanksgiving sermon, and after-dinner entertainment.
 Thanksgiving Dinner in Bullard Tavern  $
November 25, 2010
Seatings at 11am, 1:45pm and 4:15pm
Enjoy a 19th-century Thanksgiving meal at the Bullard Tavern at 
Old Sturbridge Village.Reservations required.
 Shooting Match
November 26, 2010
Come watch the Village marksmen display their musket-firing skills in friendly competition.
 A New England Wedding
November 27, 2010
Thanksgiving was a favorite time for many early 19th-century 
marriages, as family gathered for the holiday. Visit with the bride as 
she prepares for the wedding and enjoy a dramatic presentation about the 
couple's courtship and marriage, including their re-created wedding ceremony.

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