10 day Itinerary

Lighthouses and Lobsters

The Northeastern Explorer

Discover quaint seaside towns, picturesque scenery and colourful lighthouses all in one New England self drive tour. Begin in historic Boston and take a stroll along the famous Freedom Trail, before exploring the small fishing communities and lighthouses along the rugged shoreline stretching from Massachusetts, through New Hampshire and on up into Maine. Visit the scenic Acadia National Park in Maine before crossing the border to New Brunswick, Canada to experience incredible whale watching and the highest tides in the world in the Bay of Fundy. Journey back through the stunning New England countryside before arriving in Cape Cod, Massachusetts to enjoy its iconic beaches.

Our Experts Recommend:
  • Seaside towns, colourful buoys, lobstering and fishing villages
  • World class uniquely styled lighthouses along the New England coastline
  • Hot steamed lobster, clam chowder, fresh blueberry jam and salt water taffy
  • Experience the Bay of Fundy with the highest known tides in the world

Sample Itinerary Summary

We can tailor any part of this itinerary or create a new one just for you.

Duration
10 days
Destination Breakdown
  • 1 Night
  • Kennebunkport
    1 Night
  • Rockland
    1 Night
  • Bar Harbor
    2 Nights
  • St Andrews
    1 Night
  • Bangor
    1 Night
  • Portsmouth
    1 Night
  • 1 Night
Options
Private basis
Included
  • International flights
  • 9 nights hotel accommodation
  • Room only
  • Car hire
  • Car insurance
  • Holiday prices are in £'s per person based on twin occupancy
Not included
  • One way drop car hire fees (if applicable)
  • Meals or excursions unless specified
  • Park entrance fees (if applicable)
  • Ferry charges (if applicable)

Itinerary Breakdown

Arrive in Boston for your 10-day adventure. Explore Boston's Seaport on foot and view the Boston Lighthouse which holds a head light visible for sixteen miles as a reminder of the inextinguishable American spirit. Why not enjoy dinner at Boston's world famous waterfront? You'll find plenty of choice, so whether you want to grab a lobster roll on the Harbour Walk or sit down for an elegant dinner at an Old Boston favourite such as Anthony's on Pier 4, you'll be sure to find something to suit your mood. After dinner take an evening stroll along the harbour side to see the moonlight shimmering on the water.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • The Langham Boston or similar

Travel north today to the rocky shores of Gloucester, home to America's oldest working seaports and art colonies, made famous as the setting for The Perfect Storm starring George Clooney. Take a stroll along Rocky Neck's Historic Art Trail before journeying on to Rockport and the iconic red fishing shack: Motif Number One, one of the most painted buildings in America. This is an ideal stop for a picnic lunch on Long Beach while gazing upon Thacher Island's Twin Lighthouses, the only multiple lights on the USA coast. After lunch, cross the New Hampshire and Maine borders to York, where you can see Maine's southernmost light, Cape Neddick lighthouse, and look out to Boon Island Lighthouse, just offshore. Your destination today is Kennebunkport, summer home for many of the USA's Presidents.

Points of Interest

  • Cape Neddick Lighthouse

Overnight Accommodation

  • The Nonantum Resort or similar

Today your journey continues along mid-coastal Maine. A short drive along Main Street brings you to the picturesque fishing village of Cape Porpoise Harbour and view of the Goat Island Lighthouse, followed by Old Orchard Beach, best known for its long stretches of soft golden sand. Take a walk along the boardwalk or pick up a box of locally made salt-water taffy before continuing on to Portland. Stroll along the cobbled streets of Maine's largest city, visit eclectic art galleries and try a bowl of New England clam chowder, finish your exploration with a stop at the Portland Head Lighthouse. To the north, you'll pass through the town of Thomaston and by the ageing penitentiary which inspired the Shawshank Redemption starring Morgan Freeman. Your drive ends today at the Lobster Capital of the World Rockland, Maine. Enjoy a stroll at peaceful Rockland Harbour and walk along the breakwater path to see Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. Just north of Rockland, the towns of Rockport and Camden offer some of the best views in the state.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Hampton Inn Rockland or similar

Camden, the backdrop for the film Peyton Place is a quaint seaside town with a charming harbour. Here, you may wish to take a sightseeing cruise, go kayaking, or take a day sail around Camden Harbour (optional, fees apply) to see Curtis Island Lighthouse. Your destination today is Bar Harbor, on Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park. Dotting the island's entrance, traditional lobster pounds with huge outdoor boiling cauldrons cook crustaceans to perfection. Enjoy an evening stroll along the quaint streets of Bar Harbor and look out at Bar Island, the small island for which the city was named, accessible by foot, at low tide only, across Frenchman Bay.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • The Bluenose Inn or similar

Explore the oldest national park east of the Mississippi River today. During select periods of the year, Acadia runs a free shuttle service through the park to see the vast attractions on offer. Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard north of Brazil, is an ideal spot to watch the sun rise or set and is perfect for stargazing. Also along the Park Loop Road, you will discover Sand Beach, the only sandy beach in the park. Proximal Thunder Hole is a small inlet carved out of the rocks where waves rush in and clap like thunder and Jordan Pond House, on the original carriage trail, is a favourite spot to enjoy tea and a Jordan Pond Popover. You may also wish to visit the historic Bass Harbor Lighthouse, which marks the entrance to a protected harbour, just west of Somes Sound.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • The Bluenose Inn or similar

Travel to West Quoddy Head this morning to see the red and white stripped lighthouse which marks the easternmost point in the United States. Drive along the Sunrise Coast, where the first rays of the morning sun hit the USA and the coasts sunning granite cliffs meet a restless sea. Take a short drive across the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial International Bridge to Canada's Campobello Island. Campobello Provincial Park holds Roosevelt's expansive former residence, estate gardens and walking trails. Return to the USA for a drive along the spectacular Bay of Fundy, home to the highest tides in the world. The 12 hour tidal period can see changes up to the height of a five story building. The bay is also home to many rare and endangered species of whales. Cross the international border once more to arrive at St. Andrews by the sea, Canada's oldest seaside resort town.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • The Algonquin Resort St. Andrews by-the-Sea or similar

Enjoy a leisurely morning in picturesque St. Andrew before returning to the border, passing through St. Stephen, the Chocolate Capital of Canada. Follow the Airline down to Bangor. Formerly the fasted stagecoach trail from the Canadian border, this scenic route passes through spruce forests and blueberry barrens. On arrival in Bangor, once the Lumber Capital of the World, you'll be greeted by the 31 foot tall statue of lumberjack Paul Bunyan. Take some time to explore the picturesque 660 acre campus of the University of Maine or walk in the footsteps of novelist and film writer Stephen King, a long time Bangor resident, whose Victorian mansion with wrought iron ghouls graces a nearby neighbourhood.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Fireside Inn Bangor or similar

Journey south through Maine's capital, Augusta, to Kittery, known for its seaport and many outlet stores. From historic Fort Foster, enjoy a photo stop on the battery's grassy knoll overlooking Whaleback Lighthouse. Then continue south to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the seacoast's economic centre, rich with maritime history. This evening stop off at the historic downtown area, or the banks of Portsmouth's Piscataqua River, an ideal destination for enjoying a classic seafood dish.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Best Western Plus Wynwood Hotel & Suites or similar

Your journey today takes you down to Cape Cod, with its rolling sand dunes, dramatic sea cliffs and picturesque villages. Visit one of the many of the Cape's famous lighthouses such as the Sandy Neck Lighthouse or Bass River Lighthouse.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Dan'l Webster Inn & Spa or similar

Your journey today returns you to Boston, stop off on the way at Sandwich, formerly one of the largest producers of glass in the USA, and visit one of the numerous glass studios, art galleries, rare book stops and antique stores. Return your car at the airport before your departure flight.

Points of Interest

  • Boston

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Walk the city's Freedom Trail, leading you past landmarks like the Paul Revere House and Boston Common
    • Indulge in some tax-free shopping among the designer stores on Newbury Street
    • Catch a Baseball game at historic Fenway Park - home to the beloved Red Sox
    • Toast the beginning of your New England journey with a drink in 'Cheers' bar
    • Stroll the cobblestone streets and Victorian architecture in Beacon Street
  • Kennebunkport

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Drive along the beautifully scenic Ocean Avenue with stunning coastal views
    • Visit Goat Island Lighthouse in the harbour of quaint lobster-fishing village Cape Porpoise
    • Try a traditional Maine Lobster Roll at The Clam Shack
    • Stroll along Maine's incredible beaches - from long, sandy Goose Rocks Beach to unspoilt Arundel Beach
    • Learn what a real lobsterman does on a Lobster Boat Tour
  • Rockland

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Take in the quaint fishing communities and vibrant waterfronts
    • Visit in August to see the incredible Maine Lobster Festival
    • Enjoy a boat cruise in the St. George peninsula
    • Sample the fantastic seafood and farm-to-table cuisine
    • Visit the incredible beaches and quaint lighthouses along the rocky shore
  • Bar Harbor

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Located in the heart of Acadia National Park - New England's only park with granite cliffs side by side with sand and cobblestone beaches
    • Explore Bar Harbor’s fascinating history and get to know the lay of the land with a walking tour of Bar Harbor
    • Enjoy one of the many whale-watching trips from Bar Harbor from sunset cruises, an old-fashioned sail, or even a trip on a lobster boat
    • Bike along Acadia National Park's 55 miles of carriage trails with routes for beginners and experts
    • Discover Bar Habor's thriving arts scene with galleries, jazz bars and live music venues to be explored
  • St Andrews

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Explore the incredible Bay of Fundy with the highest tides in the world
    • Head to Hopewell Rocks where you can walk around the famous “flowerpot rocks” at low tide then watch them slowly disappear as the tide rises
    • Take a whale watching excursion out into the bay for a chance to view finbacks, humpbacks, minkes and even rare right whale
    • Spend time in St. Andrews by-the-sea - a National Historic District with beautiful architecture, unparalleled scenery and rich marine life
    • Take the 90-minute ferry trip to Grand Manan Island discover rugged cliffs and shorelines teeming with birds and marine life
  • Bangor

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Stroll among the locally-owned shops and restaurants of downtown
    • Learn about the city's incredible logging and milling history
    • Take a tour of locations that inspired Stephen King's most famous novels
    • Discover the fascinating culture of the Penobscot First Nations tribe
    • Enjoy a historic walking tour to soak up the charming community
  • Portsmouth

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Soak up the city's mix of modern and historic flair
    • Visit the Strawbery Banke historic waterfront Museum
    • Stroll along the nearby golden sandy beaches
    • Take a tour of the Music Hall of Portsmouth – the region’s leading concert venue.
    • Take advantage of the outlet malls for excellent shopping
  • Cape Cod

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Explore the spectacular Cape Cod National Seashore with 40 miles of pristine sandy beaches, marshes and ponds and lighthouses
    • Take the ferry over to quaint Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket Islands to experience their laid back vibe
    • Visit the Pilgrim Monument and museum in Provincetown, dedicated to landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims in 1620
    • Head out on the water for an incredible whale watching in the Atlantic Ocean
    • Bike along the Cape Cod Rail Trail and wind your way along the former railroad through several Cape Cod towns