State by State Guide to Re-opening in DINE Country

Flags - Memorial DayIn any other year – and hopefully in future years – Memorial Day weekend is a busy start of the summer season for members of Distinctive Inns of New England.  With spring fully underway, gardens blooming, boats going into the water, waterfalls rushing and rockers ready on the porches and patios of DINE inns, Memorial Day weekend is always one that DINE innkeepers look forward to.  However, this year is unlike any other.  All DINE inns are presently closed, awaiting the chance per Governor’s orders to re-open.  The good news is that soon…very soon…inns in DINE country will be able to open their doors again to welcome guests with waves and socially distanced hugs.  There may be a new normal as safety and cleaning procedures have been put into place to comply with CDC and local/state requirements, but DINE inns will still offer safe, intimate, friendly and romantic getaway options within an easy drive of anywhere in the Northeast.

Below, we share state-by-state information compiled by our friends at Visit New England on all non-lodging openings. Re-opening orders are changing daily, but their information was accurate as of May 21, 2020. This handy guide to what’s open for Memorial Day weekend will help to guide your planning as we all dip our toes back into travel after a long few months. Remember, things are changing daily, so be sure to check with your favorite DINE inn for updates.

Please keep in mind that many places throughout New England are closed including public restrooms, visitor centers and more.  Parks and beaches may be open, but parking capacity will be lowered to allow for social distancing.  Have a back-up plan; if the parking lot is full, find a different location.  You’d be well advised to bring food and beverage with you and always carry a mask. Your travel group should be less than 10 people, and please if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been near someone who had it, please stay home.

In Connecticut

Porch at Inn at Harbor Hill Marina,Niantic, CTHotels and motels are closed except for front line workers and special exemptions for now.  The Inn at Harbor Hill Marina is scheduled as of now to re-open on June 20, 2020. Reservations may be booked online for dates on and after June 20th. Outdoor areas of restaurants, museums, and zoos opened May 20. Retail stores are open, with some restrictions. State parks are open, and state parks with beaches are set to open May 22. Buildings, including visitor centers and rest rooms, will be closed. Parking areas may be reduced in size to prevent crowding. Hair salons are closed until early June. Bars that do no serve food, gyms, theaters, nail salons, spas, and tattoo parlors are closed until June 20. Summer day camps may open June 29. People traveling into CT from out of state must self-quarantine for 14 days before using any public facilities.

In Maine

Large white house with black shutters on a green lawn flying the American flag.

At this time, people traveling into Maine from out of state must self-quarantine for 14 days before using any public facilities. We hope to learn soon that the Governor will find and announce an alternative to the 14-day quarantine for visitors. On June 1, both the Camden Maine Stay Inn and the Inn at English Meadows will re-open for Maine residents only and all out-of-state visitors who have quarantined for 14 days in the state of Maine.  At this time, the quarantine requirement is scheduled to continue through July and August, but we are hopeful an alternative will be found. Please call these inns to make reservations so your particular situation can be discussed.  In addition, now open in Maine are drive-in theaters, golf and disc golf courses, guided outdoor activities (hunting, fishing), guided boating, marinas, about 30 state parks and historic sites (not including coastal sites); state-owned public lands trails, barber shops and hair salons, dog grooming, restaurants (for dine-in service and outdoor dining), wilderness and sporting camps.

In Massachusetts

White house with two-story porch decorated with red white and blue bunting.The Captain’s House Inn and Harbor Light Inn are both looking forward to opening on June 8th per the Governor’s staged re-open plan (barring any changes). We were unable to reach the Deerfield Inn and Gateways Inn to confirm re-opening dates. Be sure to call or book online at any of these four inns.

Many state parks are open in Massachusetts. Beaches are open for walking; beaches will open more fully on May 25, with limits. Parking lots will be reduced in size to reduce crowding. Golf courses are open. Recreational boating facilities, drive-in movies, outdoor adventures like zip lines and mountain biking, will open May 25. Fishing, hunting and boating opens May 25. Retail opens May 25 for curbside pickup and delivery. Restaurants are open only for take-out and delivery. People traveling from out of state must self-quarantine for 14 days before using any public facilities.

Manor on Golden Pond - springIn New Hampshire

As of the writing of this, on Friday, May 22 at 2:00pm, lodging properties in New Hampshire had not yet gotten a timeline from Governor Sununu’s office on when they can re-open, although many feel an announcement is imminent.  To make reservations at Chesterfield Inn or Manor on Golden Pond, check the website or call the inns for updates. Restaurants are allowed to open for outdoor seating only. Outdoor activities like miniature golf courses, driving ranges, canoe and kayak rentals, outdoor shooting ranges, paintball, and equestrian facilities are open too – all with some limitations. Golf courses are open to New Hampshire residents and members only. Amusement parks, water parks and racetracks are closed. Coastal parks and beaches will remain closed at least through May. Retail stores are open, with limitations on how many can enter.

Grafton Inn - spring tulipsIn Vermont

In Vermont, hotels and other lodging may open May 22 to Vermont residents with limitations and those who have quarantined in Vermont for 14 days, with the quarantine requirements removed on June 15. Both the Rabbit Hill Inn and the Grafton Inn have their sights set on re-opening on June 15th.  Be sure to reserve online or call to check on updates.  Grafton Inn is offering their take-out menu during the week and weekends, plus outdoor dining on their patio begins on May 22nd. Beaches, pools, and yard sales in Vermont are open with limits of no more than 10 people in a group. Places of outdoor recreation requiring little physical contact, like parks, recreation associations, trail networks, golf courses, and guided expeditions, may open, with distancing and hygiene rules. Restaurants are open only for takeout and delivery. Retail stores are open, with restrictions.

It won’t be long now until DINE inns can welcome guests back.  That will be a fabulous day! Remember, be sure to book directly with your favorite DINE inn.

In Massachusetts:  Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, Gateways Inn & Restaurant in Lenox, Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield and Captain’s House Inn in Chatham on Cape Cod.

In Vermont:  Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton

In New Hampshire:  Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

In Maine:  Camden Maine Stay Inn in Camden and Inn at English Meadows in Kennebunkport.

In New Hampshire:  Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield