New England is a well-known fly-drive destination, but visitors who don’t drive will be pleasantly surprised to find that they too can unearth the region’s unique history with relative ease by rail.
From the comfort of a train carriage services such as the Vermonter and the Downeaster take in awe-inspiring landscapes and some of the United States’ oldest towns and attractions in the six states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
THE VERMONTER – follow in the footsteps of New England’s literary legends
The ‘Vermonter’ takes literary lovers on a journey through four states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont) in the heart of central New England. Start in New Haven for art museums and a visit to the grounds of Yale University before continuing north to Hartford to visit the Mark Twain House & Museum and the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, both original homes of these legendary American authors. Highlights include Springfield, the birthplace of Basketball and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Amherst for the 19th century home of world-renowned poet Emily Dickinson, and St Albans for its stunning landscapes and State Parks. The Vermonter service is accessible from Boston via the North East Regional Line, or directly from New York. www.amtrak.com/vermonter-train
THE DOWNEASTER – discover New England’s dramatic coastline
The Downeaster provides the option to pair sightseeing in Boston with an unforgettable journey along New England’s breath-taking coastline in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Visit the historic sites of the Freedom Trail before catching the service north to enjoy magnificent views of craggy beaches and lighthouses while passing through Woburn, Haverhill, Exeter, Durham, Dover, Wells, Saco and Old Orchard Beach to Portland. Recommended stops include Portland for its foodie culture and lobster boat rides. Other highlights include Dover (where a short COAST bus journey will take you to the trendy cobbled streets of Portsmouth) and Wells (a hop away from the sandy beaches of Kennebunkport on the Shoreline Explorer Trolley). www.amtrakdowneaster.com
NORTH EAST REGIONAL – explore mansions and ivy-league history
The Northeast Regional service takes visitors from Boston, Massachusetts to explore Gilded Mansions, Ivy-League Universities and maritime heritage in Rhode Island and Connecticut. En route discover Providence, the capital of America’s smallest state Rhode Island and home to Brown University, a plethora of art museums (such as the Rhode Island School of Design) and a growing foodie scene. From here, bus services will take you to Newport to explore the famous Mansions of America’s Gilded Age. Other stops include Westerly, the ideal base for exploring beaches and lighthouses, New Haven, home to the world-famous Yale University, and Mystic for its delicious seafood, oysters, picturesque harbour and maritime museums. www.amtrak.com/northeast-regional-train
CAPE FLYER – speed to America’s playground of the rich and famous
Board the Cape Flyer in Boston and speed south to the peninsula of Cape Cod, popular with America’s rich and famous for its stunning sandy beaches and landscapes, delicious seafood, whale watching and activities such as biking, kayaking and world-class golf. On arrival in Hyannis, take the free trolley tour to visit sights including the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, which documents the life of the late President who spend much of his life in this village. Bus services run to towns and villages up and down the peninsula and provide access to more than 100 beaches. Hy-Line cruises also offer travellers the chance to see the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The Cape Flyer service will run on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from May to October 2016.
To find out more about New England by rail, visit www.discovernewengland.org/travel-planning/new-england-train-travel
For further information on New England, visit www.discovernewengland.co.uk