Last week we started our series on summer adventures at Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) with a look at all the fun to be had at our Massachusetts member inns. Click here to read all about active and soft adventure in Massachusetts. Today we’ll reveal some of the fabulous fun to be had at DINE inns in New Hampshire and Maine. Whether you’re in Northern New England or Southern New England, there are bucket list adventures to be had at the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England. And if your idea of adventure is some rest, romance and relaxation, DINE inns offer up romantic getaways by the bucket full too.
Bucket list adventures in New Hampshire
Starting at the Chesterfield Inn, hikers are treated to a number of options. The 3,165-ft Mount Monadnock is reputed to be the most climbed mountain on the East Coast, and is a favorite nearby hike for guests at Chesterfield Inn. Located within the Monadnock State Park, you’ll find thousands of acres of protected highlands here to explore. And within a 10-minute drive of Chesterfield Inn, Pisgah Park, right in Chesterfield offers up 14,000 acres of trails to explore on foot or by mountain bike. Now if jaw-gripping adventure is more along the lines of your idea of adventure, how about learning to Hang glide or paraglide at Morningside, A Kitty Hawk Flight Park in nearby Chestertown, NH. Here you can take lessons in hang gliding or paragliding. For a truly romantic experience, how about a tandem hang gliding ride? If your idea of heights you can handle is a little lower to the ground, there’s also some great ziplining and canopy tours here. There’s even one called the Superman Tour for those who need a little dose of super hero rush. After all this exhileration, return to the inn for a drink on the patio or a quiet private dinner on your own patio.
Head to the Lakes Region and the Manor On Golden Pond and you’ll find a host of great hiking trails here too, including 4 miles of hiking trails located at Chamberlain-Reynolds Memorial Forest. Here, however, Squam Lake – the setting for the famed On Golden Pond story – takes front and center for recreation. Rent kayaks, motor boats, paddle boards and canoes at nearby marinas or the Squam Lakes Association , and take a self-guided tour of the lake and its many islands. The Squam Lakes Association also offers sailing lessons for those who’d like to learn on the region’s pristine lakes with gentle breezes. The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center also offers guided boat cruises offering up plenty of insight into the lakes’ natural history. If your idea of adventure is to stay closer to the inn, you’ll find an in-ground pool and tennis courts right at the Manor too.
Your coastal Maine adventures might start in Kennebunkport at the Captain Jefferds Inn. Located within an easy stroll of beaches, the adventure starts with a morning walk on the beach. Within an easy drive are a number of fabulous southern Maine beaches too. And since Captain Jefferds is a pet-friendly inn, you might just take that walk with your four-legged friend too. Once again, adventure comes in the form of water-fun here with ocean adventures like First Watch Whale Watch and Scenic Lobster Tours. There’s few things more exhilarating than seeing whales, dolphin and swordfish in their native waters. For those who prefer to stay on land, the Rachel Carson Wildlife Preserve is a wonderful nearby hiking destination. Borrow the bikes available to guests of Captain Jefferds Inn and take a self-guided tour of Kennebunkport, or ride to the beach for a picnic lunch. There’s so much to explore in Southern Maine.
Travel North on Route One about two hours and you’ll come to the Camden Maine Stay Inn. Located close to the head of Camden Harbor, you’ll find mountains to hike, vineyards to savor and harbor cruises to be had here. In fact, visit the Camden Maine Stay Inn and they’ll tell you There are three things which every visitor to Camden should do: stroll through the park by the waterfall and enjoy the harbor, go for a sail on a windjammer, and see the incredible view from the summit of Mt Battie in the Camden Hills State Park. Yet, another hike which is less well known but equally spectacular is the view from Maiden Cliff. The trail begins at the parking area located 3 miles from Rt. 1. Following an old logging road and a small stream, the trail climbs through woods and ledges to the summit of an 800-foot sheer cliff which overlooks Lake Megunticook and the mountains to the west. Of course there are also wonderful rides aboard historic schooners – very popular in Camden Harbor – but if you’d rather do the navigating yourself, take a picnic lunch to Curtis Island. Located in the mouth of Camden harbor this is a small island owned by the village and open to public use., about a mile from the public landing. There is no dock or mooring point on the island and boats with motors are not allowed to put ashore. This leaves the island to the hearty souls who row or paddle out. Simply rent or bring your own kayak, paddleboard or rowboat, and enjoy time on the water with the one you love. Then when you return to the inn, be sure to walk the trail through the inn’s beautiful gardens and sit for a spell to take in the lush beauty here.
Next week we’ll go on to explore adventure in Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island. In the meantime, visit each of the Distinctive Inns of New England by clicking below on links that will take you directly to each of their websites. Better yet, visit them in person and take advantage of their value-added packages.
In Rhode Island: Cliffside Inn in Newport
In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic.