When the temperatures rise, there’s no better time than summer to visit the Northeast — an area packed with wonderful cities, lakes, seashores, leafy mountains and a wealth of historical sites. In fact, the hardest thing in planning a Northeast vacation is making some tough decisions: a fast-paced city or a charming small town? Oceanside relaxation or mountain adventures?
A small, historic waterside town, population about 2,800, near the busier Rehoboth, Lewes (pronounced LOO-iss) is the perfect place for a summer weekend (especially a romantic one), with charming B&Bs, nice hotels such as Hotel Blue and Inn at Canal Square on the waterfront, and delicious restaurants, including the Agave Mexican Grill and Tequila Bar for melt-in-your-mouth fish tacos and margaritas. Relax on the beaches, rent a bike, or stroll the trails of Cape Henlopen State Park. You could take the ferry from Lewes to Cape May, N.J., about an hour and a half each way, for a day trip or just to watch for dolphins and enjoy the ride. A stop (or several) at Hopkins Farm Creamery is a must.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Once a summer getaway for the rich, today Bar Harbor is a bustling town on the edge of the stunning, 47,000-acre Acadia National Park. There are many ways to experience this part of the iconic coastline, including countless options for hiking (you may find delicious wild blueberries along your trail), a ride on a lobster boat or old-school sailboat, a whale watch, or a half-day sea kayak tour on which you’re likely to see the curious (and adorable) harbor seals that populate the area. You’ll want to try Mainers’ favorite place for lobster: Thurston’s Lobster Pound, a no-frills waterside spot where you order your lobster roll and sit down on the dock overlooking the bay. You can find lots of quaint New England B&Bs, such as the Coach Stop Inn, and larger inns, including the Bar Harbor Grand Hotel; many visitors choose to rent a vacation home.