5 Fantastic New England Boating Destinations

The New England coastline has an incredible selection of wonderful places for boaters to enjoy. But Northeast summers are short, forcing cruising boaters to choose which destinations they’ll get to visit this season. To make those decisions easier, here are five of New England’s best boating destinations.

Bar Harbor, Maine – Home to Acadia National Park (207-288-3338), Bar Harbor is a gorgeous area with rocky cliffs, lakes, forests and mountains that rise up out of the sea, all of which make it a perfect place for anyone who loves the outdoors. It also has a downtown filled with diverse, interesting shops and high-quality restaurants. The area has plenty of dockage and mooring options. Local marinas include the Harborside Hotel and Marina (800-328-5033) and Bar Harbor Regency (207-288-9723). For more info, contact the harbormaster’s office (207-288-5571; VHF 9, 16 or 68).

Newport, Rhode Island – No list of great New England boating destinations would be complete without Newport. The former home of the legendary America’s Cup races, Newport has as rich a history of recreational boating. Visitors to Newport should tour several of the area’s impressive waterfront mansions (401-847-1000). Afterwards, enjoy downtown Newport’s vast collection of interesting shops and diverse restaurants and bars. For information on moorings and local facilities, boaters can contact the harbormaster (401-845-5815, VHF 14 or 16). The area has several marinas, including Goat Island Marina (401-841-8868, VHF 9), Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina (800-955-2558, VHF 9) and Newport Yachting Center Marina (800-653-3625, VHF 9).

Provincetown, Massachusetts – Provincetown offers something for everybody. It has one of the best collections of restaurants, bars and shops in the Northeast; a rich maritime history as a centuries-old fishing village; and an abundance of culture as the home of the nation’s oldest art colony. This destination bubbles over with creativity, from elaborate home gardens along the streets to art galleries filled with imaginative paintings and sculptures to theaters, where actors, comics and singers perform New York City-caliber acts. Boaters can find transient slips at the Provincetown Town Float at MacMillan Pier by calling the harbormaster (508-487-7030; VHF 9, 12). The Provincetown Marina (508-487-0571; VHF 9) also reserves a number of slips and moorings for transients.

Greenwich, Connecticut – With its famous shops and boutiques, Greenwich is known for being a trendy, stylish port. Thanks to recent efforts to improve its boater facilities, Greenwich is now one of the most boater-friendly destinations on the Connecticut coast. Visiting boaters can find dockage at the town-owned Grass Island Boat Basin. For information, call the boating office at Town Hall (203-618-7651) or the Grass Island Dockmaster (203-618-9695). Boaters can also find dockage nearby at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club (203-869-2484), the Delmar Greenwich Harbour and Hotel (203-661-9800) or Beacon Point Marine (203-661-4033), which offers pump-out for ship’s store and fuel.

Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts – The delightful seaside town of Vineyard Haven blends the historic charms of a quaint New England village with the excitement of a bustling tourist hotspot. The area offers beautiful scenery, gorgeous sunsets and impressive restaurants. It also has plenty of dockage and mooring options. Contact the harbormaster’s office (VHF Channel 9; 508-693-4249) for information on local moorings and dock space. The Black Dog Wharf (VHF Channel 72; 508-693-3854) offers transient moorings and hourly dockage. Vineyard Haven Marine (VHF Channel 9; 508-693-0720) has slips and moorings, as well as fuel. Maciel Marine (508-693-4174), inside Lagoon Pond, is a full-service marina with a ship’s store and fuel.

To learn more about Boston Whaler, contact your local New England Boston Whaler Dealer.