New England Nature & adventure

Our most recommended New England, USA Nature & adventure

Boston: New England Aquarium Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket

1. Boston: New England Aquarium Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket

Enjoy a skip-the-line entry ticket to the New England Aquarium. Start your visit to the New England Aquarium at the charming penguin colony, before experiencing 360-degree views of the spectacular new 4-story Caribbean coral reef teeming with more animals than ever before. Take a stroll on the spiral walkway around the reef as sea turtles, sharks, moray eels, and tropical fish glide through their vibrant habitat. From sea jellies to sea dragons, you will explore the planet without leaving downtown Boston. The Aquarium is a treasure trove ready for exploration by families and ocean lovers. Your admission ticket includes entrance to the following exhibits: Amazon Rainforest Head to the Amazon rainforest without leaving Boston. The New England Aquarium’s 6 Amazon exhibits allow you to dive into the Amazon River and climb through the dense forest without getting wet or needing bug spray. Several of the exhibits feature large windows that reach nearly to the floor, providing perfect viewing opportunities for small children. Atlantic Harbor Seals The harbor seals exhibit is the only one you can actually visit before buying your Aquarium ticket. Watch the seals swim, play, and sleep, and learn more about them during a free training session. The 42,000-gallon harbor seal exhibit is located outside on the Front Plaza, to the left of the Aquarium’s front doors. The exhibit is open to the New England weather, which suits these New England creatures perfectly. Blue Planet Action Center This dynamic exhibit presents the serious challenges facing the oceans and showcases the Aquarium's global leadership in searching for solutions, through its interactive displays, interpretive presentations, and small live animal exhibits. Coral Reef Center At the top of the Giant Ocean Tank, a glass railing maximizes your view of many of the predators swimming high in the water column. You can now easily recognize creatures resting on the tank’s bottom more than 24 feet below. That exceptional viewing is enhanced by a theatrical-quality lighting system that is built into a beautiful blue reflective ceiling dome. A new exhibit gallery on the same level showcases reef biodiversity and gives visitors a closer look at a hidden world populated by unique coral reef animals. The Giant Ocean Tank The 4-story Giant Ocean Tank features a brand new coral reef, an underwater communications system, large windows, and hundreds of Caribbean reef animals, including sea turtles, stingrays, eels, and fish. At its deepest point, the exhibit goes down 26 feet, is 40 feet wide, and holds 200,000 gallons of salt water. The water is heated to between 72 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the perfect temperature range for this tropical exhibit. The exhibit is so big that it was built first and then the rest of the Aquarium was constructed around it. Gulf of Maine The Gulf of Maine stretches from Cape Cod to Canada and includes Boston Harbor and the Stellwagen Bank. The water is cold but bursting with life. As you explore exhibits ranging from shore to deep-water boulder reefs and sandy sea floors, you will encounter lobsters, cod, goosefish, and giant sea stars. The 6 Gulf of Maine exhibits cover more than half of the Aquarium’s third level. Pacific Community Reef Dive into the tropical waters of a Pacific coral reef and get to know some of the rainbow-colored fish that call it home. This 5,100-gallon exhibit houses nearly 70 different kinds of tropical reef fish. Marine Mammal Center Watch California sea lions dart through the water and limber northern fur seals lope in this beautiful open-air exhibit space. Learn about the challenges marine mammals face in the wild, and get a new perspective on these fascinating marine mammals. Penguins The Aquarium is home to more than 80 penguins who live in a bustling colony found on Level 1 surrounding the Giant Ocean Tank. The Aquarium breeds African penguins as part of a Species Survival Plan and promotes educational programs about penguins. Seadragons Every visit to the New England Aquarium should include a stop at the seadragon exhibit. There are only 2 seadragon species in the world, and this stunning exhibit displays both of them. The leafy seadragon and the weedy seadragon both use their exceptional camouflage to hide from hungry predators. Challenge yourself and see how many seadragons you can find during your visit.

Boston: Franklin Park Zoo Entry Ticket

2. Boston: Franklin Park Zoo Entry Ticket

Pre-book your entrance ticket to the Franklin Park Zoo and enjoy a day filled with meeting hundreds of remarkable species from around the world. Explore the 72-acre zoo nestled in Boston’s historic Franklin Park. Make your way around at a leisurely pace as you go from exhibit to view remarkable species that call the zoo home. Visit exhibitions such as the Kalahari Kingdom, Giraffe Savannah, Nature’s Neighborhoods, and the Outback Trail. Stand face-to-face with western lowland gorillas at one of five glass viewing stations. Come across ring-tailed lemurs, pygmy hippos, and a giant anteater. Discover African lions, Masai giraffes, Grevy's zebras, cute red pandas, prairie dogs, kangaroos, and emus.

Martha's Vineyard: 6 Town Island Group Tour

3. Martha's Vineyard: 6 Town Island Group Tour

Tour the 100 square mile island of Martha's Vineyard and hear the charming history of its 6 towns from a local guide. As you drive across the picturesque island, admire curiosities like America's oldest carousel and the cliffs of Aquinnah. Start in Oak Bluffs, known for its distinctive Victorian architecture with 300 colorful cottages designed to look like gingerbread houses. Turn a corner and see "The Flying Horse Carousel," America’s oldest carousel, operating since 1876. Continue to Edgartown, with its quaint harbor complete with an 80-year-old lighthouse. A former hub for the whaling industry, admire the stately Greek revival mansions built by ship captains. Travel along the idyllic countryside and small fishing villages before stopping for some clam chowder or lobster bisque in Menemsha. Next, arrive at the technicolor cliffs of Aquinnah before swinging by the bridge made famous in the movie Jaws.

Stoneham, Massachusetts: Stone Zoo Entry Ticket

4. Stoneham, Massachusetts: Stone Zoo Entry Ticket

Pre-book your entrance ticket to the Stone Zoo and enjoy a day filled with meeting many of remarkable species from around the world. Explore the 26-acre zoo nestled in Boston’s historic Franklin Park. Make your way around at a leisurely pace as you go from exhibit to view remarkable species that call the zoo home. Visit exhibitions such as the Himalayan Highlands, Yukon Creek, and the Caribbean Coast. Marvel at the majestic snow leopards, Caribbean flamingos, macaws, scarlet ibis, and a family of bush dogs. See the white-cheeked gibbon exhibit to observe the incredibly agile, and always active, gibbon family. Discover black bears, two-toed sloths, jaguars to the cute group of North American river otters.

Acadia National Park Self-Guided Driving Tour

5. Acadia National Park Self-Guided Driving Tour

Take this self-guided driving tour, immersing yourself in the stunning fall colors and rich history of Maine, beginning at downtown Bar Harbor. Discover La Rochelle, a Gilded Age mansion, and learn about the raging fire that gave rise to today’s vibrant autumn foliage. Start by downloading the tour app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Enter Acadia National Park at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and begin the drive around Park Loop Road. Along the way, discover the Great Meadow, Sieur de Mons, and Bar Harbor’s history. Pause at Beaver Lake and Jackson Labs to learn about Acadia’s wildlife before continuing on to Egg Rock Overlook and the Precipice Trail. Take a detour at Schooner Head, pausing at the Ocean Path Trailhead if you want to explore the path on foot. Continue along to Sand Beach, Old Soaker, Thunder Hole, Monument Cove, Otter Cliffs, and Hunters Beach. Pause at Jordan Pond for delicious popovers and jam or simply to enjoy the view. Continue past Bubble Pond and Eagle Lake, and finally begin driving up to the top of Acadia’s most famous peak: Cadillac Mountain. Your tour ends there, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beautiful vistas atop the mountain.

Boston: Guided Seafood Tasting Tour

6. Boston: Guided Seafood Tasting Tour

This Seafood Tour will take you on a culinary journey along the Boston Harbor waterfront and into the city’s most historic neighborhoods. Stop off to sample local culinary delights and see a variety of landmarks with your tour guide. From the stunning Boston Harbor, follow your tour guide into the city, across the Rose Kennedy Greenway to two of Boston’s beloved historic landmarks, Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, before heading to the city’s oldest restaurant. Along the way, you'll sample a variety of delectable local treats, such as a lobster roll, New England clam chowder, and fried clams.

Penobscot Bay: Historic Schooner Day Sailing Trip

7. Penobscot Bay: Historic Schooner Day Sailing Trip

Experience one of the top things to do in Camden sailing along Maine's magnificent rocky coastline. Climb aboard the elegant Appledore II, a historic schooner. Feel like an adventurer from the 19th-century while enjoying state-of-the-art accommodations onboard a modern windjammer. Stroll along the wide decks as you take in the sights without needing to duck beneath the rigging. With a capacity of only 49 passengers, there is abundant seating to make yourself comfortable for this intimate sailing trip. Enjoy the chance to sail your own wooden ship as the crew welcomes your participation. Offer to help raise the sails and take a turn at the wheel of this hard-working, seaworthy schooner. Ask your crew about the history of the boat which has sailed around the world, docking at many harbors along the way. Twice a year, she still sails the Eastern seaboard between her 2 home ports of Camden, Maine and Key West, Florida.  Start the tour by departing from Bayview Landing and heading out of Camden Harbor. Discover why Camden is often called the jewel of the Maine coast as you sail past the impressive lighthouse, Curtis Island Light, dating from 1836, and into Penobscot Bay. Considered to be one of the top cruising bays in the world, Penobscot Bay will amaze you with its uninhabited islands, wildlife, and views of Camden Hills and other coastal mountains dropping off into the sea. During the tour, look along the shore for Mount Battie, historic inns, and elegant summer mansions of the rich and famous with their million dollar yachts. Watch lobstermen hauling in their traps. On a typical day, you may see porpoises playing in the water, ospreys, eagles hunting for fish, and even the occasional whale. Watch for seals sunning themselves on rocks and cute guillernots (cousins of the puffin), with their bright red feet, wobbling as they walk along the rocky shoreline. Quench your thirst with cocktails, beer, wine and soft drinks, all available for purchase during your sailing cruise. As Camden Harbor comes back into view, relax and feel the wind sweep through your hair as your memorable sailing ship cruise draws to a close.

Boothbay Harbor: Pemaquid Point & John's Bay Cruise

8. Boothbay Harbor: Pemaquid Point & John's Bay Cruise

Go back in time as you cruise historic John’s Bay and the eastern Boothbay Harbor Region. Discover seals and other coastal wildlife and experience the famous Pemaquid Point Lighthouse along with Ram and Burnt Island Lights. Pass by Fort William Henry and learn about the early exploration and settlement of the region going as far back as the early 1600s. Perfect for history buffs and nature lovers alike. Step aboard the largest vessel in the region with the most comfortable main salon, fitted with padded seats and tables. Relax with food and a drink from the galley, which features a 360-degree view of the outside. Enjoy the sun and fresh Maine air on the upper deck and speakers throughout the vessel to hear the narration, no matter where you choose to be. The vessel also has the fastest vessels in the region, which provides you with more time to visit the whales at the feeding grounds.

From Boston: Newport Mansions Full-Day Trip

9. From Boston: Newport Mansions Full-Day Trip

Enjoy Newport on this van tour from Boston. See how the wealthiest families lived during the gilded age with a visit to the Vanderbilt summer home and the Elms Mansion. Along the way, enjoy some complimentary snacks and bottled water while reading over a provided Newport guide book. Begin with hotel pickup in a luxury minibus, where the approximately 2-hour journey to Newport starts. The first stop is the Breakers, the Vanderbilt family's summer home. Take a self-guided audio-tour and explore the 70-room summer cottage. Here, you can also spend some time exploring the cliffs on a scenic cliff walk. Next, it's back to the mini-coach for a bus tour of Newport, which passes St Mary's Parish, where John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier were married in 1953. After the bus tour, visit America's oldest existing synagogue, the Touro Synagogue. With your free time, you can do some shopping or have lunch on the waterfront. If you're a sports fan, you can enjoy discount admission to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Finally, visit the Elms Mansion, where you can take a 90-minute self-guided audio tour. After the tour, return to the minibus, sit back, and relax as you enjoy the ride back to Boston.

Boothbay Harbor: Spectacular Kennebec River Cruise

10. Boothbay Harbor: Spectacular Kennebec River Cruise

Discover a variety of nature as well as historical and modern man-made structures on a Boothbay Harbor Cruise. From raptors to ducks, or great blue herons to black guillemots, the list of bird sightings is long. Pass through Upper and Lower Hell Gates, with close to shore and open sea cruising. See up to 7 lighthouses, and historic Fort Popham – dating back to the colonial days. Let your Captain bring you up to date on the latest modern-day shipbuilding projects at Bath Iron Works. You might see terns at their nesting site on Pond Island in the spring and loons in the fall. Look up at the colorful changing leaves in September to see other migrating birds, and don’t forget to look down for seals and porpoises.

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What people are saying about New England

Turned up at the wharf to see a small group of people sitting waiting for the boat to turn up. Had 45 minutes until the tour so decided to explore around the wharf. When we got back, the line was huge. Convinced that this must be about three ships worth of people, we were shocked to learn that all of these people were going with us. That being said, once you got on the boat, there was plenty of room to pitch up at your preferred spot, either inside or out on deck. I would recommend taking a drink/flask with you as the line for the servers was very long at times. If you struggle to stand, you may want to arrive early to get the start of the line to secure a seat but that will hinder your view as they are not around the side rails and that’s where the majority of people stand to see the action.

It was wonderful, the crew gave us all kind of information what we could need: about the whales (of course) and about the sea conditions. They gave us ginger chews for free, for example, to avoid motion sickness. And, we really saw whales, although from a distance, and only one side of the ship. (Because of the rough sea conditions.)

Wonderful day, wonderful experience. For the time of the year we of course didn't get a sea-full of whales, but although the sea was quite rough, the captain and her crew did their utmost and manouvered the ship to get us close to the whales. Thumbs up.

great experience, had a nice time walking around Bar Harbor and learning from your guide.

saw the biggest pod of dolphins & 4 whales played by the boat forever!