The Ultimate Fall Travel Guide

The Ultimate Fall Travel Guide

Katie Dunn Canoeing on Lake Massawippi, in North Hatley, Quebec. Katie Dunn
Katie Dunn
Katie Dunn Canoeing on Lake Massawippi, in North Hatley, Quebec.
Katie Dunn
Whether it's a wine lover's weekend on New York's North Fork or leaf-peeping in Vermont, here are 10 perfect trips from Cape Cod to Canada. Plus, 20 other ideas for antiquing, hiking, and more.

Epicurean Excursion in North Hatley, Quebec

The lakeside village of North Hatley—87 miles east of Montreal and just 20 miles north of the U.S. border—is the summer destination of the province's heavy hitters (the premier of Quebec has a second home there). Expect to find a food-lover's playground: raw-milk cheeses, duck foie gras, and apple cider pressed by Benedictine monks.

What To Do

Tour Lake Massawippi with guide Capitan Ross on his 1957 mahogany boat, Old Shep (dock at Hovey Manor; 819/842-2421; tours $25 per person). On Saturdays, gather with town chefs at the weekly farmers' market on Rue School for tender lettuces, lavender honey, and smoked trout. Then stop by the 119-year-old LeBaron Grocery (105 Main St.; 819/842-2487) to stock up on Québécois cheeses.

Where to Eat

Chef Roland Ménard opened Hovey Manor restaurant (575 Chemin Hovey; 819/842-2421; manoirhovey.com; dinner for two $110) 26 years ago. His seared duck breast with pan-roasted wild mushrooms is a standout; the after-dinner cheese cart selection includes Grand Manitou, a pungent combination of goat's, cow's, and sheep's milk. Le Coeur d'Or (85 Rue School; 819/842-4263; dinner for two $60) is the place to go, for a rosy filet mignon with a blue-cheese sauce.

Where to Stay

Hovey Manor (575 Chemin Hovey; 819/842-2421; manoirhovey.com; doubles from $280, including breakfast and dinner) is a Georgian inn right on the lake. The 39 rooms have exposed wooden beams, fireplaces, and hand-painted checkerboards for late-night games.

Insider Tip

Capitan Ross suggests visiting St. Benoît-du-Lac (Chemin Fisher, Austin; 819/843-4080; st-benoit-du-lac.com), the local Benedictine monastery: "The monks invite guests to pick apples in their orchard and sample house-made cheeses and cider."

—Stirling Kelso

Fall Festival Season in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

For millennia, this rugged 3,970-square-mile island was part of what is now Scotland, until a continental drift sent it across the Atlantic. It looks much like its ancient parent—rocky shores, glacial valleys, and barren headlands—but never more so than in September and October, when music and cultural festivals turn the island into a celebration of Highland heritage, for many of its 18th-century settlers, like the island itself, came from Scotland.

What to Do

In the pint-size town of Mabou, the Féis Mhábu (Oct. 7-9; feismhabu.com; tickets from $10) glorifies all things Gaelic with traditional dances, workshops (learn to step-dance), and language classes (did you know that am foghar is Gaelic for "autumn"?). Don't miss next month's Celtic Colours International Festival (Oct. 5-13; 902/562-6700; celtic-colours.com; tickets from $15). Native fiddler Buddy MacMaster takes the stage, along with the Chieftains—a traditional Irish group.

Where to Eat

Siblings Heather, Raylene, and Cookie Rankin, of the well-known Celtic singing trio the Rankin Sisters, recently renovated Mabou's Red Shoe Pub (Rte. 19; 902/945-2996; redshoepub.com; dinner for two $50). The haute pub cuisine includes Acadian tourtière (meat pie) and fresh beer-battered haddock. At the Chanterelle Inn (48678 Cabot Trail, Baddeck; 866/277-0577; chanterelleinn.com; dinner for two $85), the weekend Fall Fungi Foray & Feast is a must for mushroom lovers. Chef-owner Earlene Busch will whip up a four-course meal, including a surprisingly good dessert of cheesecake with chanterelle sauce.


Where to Stay

Book a room at the two-story Castle Rock Country Inn (39339 Cabot Trail, Ingonish; 888/884-7625; ingonish.com/castlerock; doubles from $140) for the vertiginous view: the 15-room property sits on a cliff overlooking Ingonish Harbor.

Insider Tip

"For live music during the Celtic Colours Festival, the Art Centre, in Inverness [16080 Hwy. 19; 902/258-2533; invernessarts.ca], is your best bet," says Michael Rankin, the Rankin sisters' nephew, who tends bar at the Red Shoe Pub.—Doug Cooper

A Wine Lover's Retreat on Long Island's North Fork

Though the upper eastern tip of Long Island—a 30-mile strip with oceanside plains, tidy villages, and rows of grapevines—has already been discovered, it's still a quiet alternative to the nearby Hamptons. Plus, its emerging wineries produce top-notch wines that are showing up on menus across the country.

What to Do

Start in the town of Southold at The Old Field (59600 Main Rd.; 631/765-0004; theoldfield.com). Owners Chris and Ros Baiz will give you a history of the Fork's viticulture as they pour you a glass of their red Rooster Tail. Nearby, Michael and Paula Croteaux run Croteaux Farm Vineyard (1450 South Harbor Rd., Southold; 631/765-6033), the only winery in the United States dedicated solely to rosé.

Where to Eat

In Greenport, the Frisky Oyster (27 Front St.; 631/477-4265; thefriskyoyster.com; dinner for two $90) is true to its name—the lively bivalves here range from the local island variety to ones from as far away as Oregon. Right on the harbor, Scrimshaw (102 Main St.; 631/477-8882; scrimshawrestaurant.com; dinner for two $120) serves fresh sea-scallop ceviche. At the North Fork Table & Inn (57335 Main Rd., Southold; 631/765-0177; dinner for two $120), the cod cake with black-truffled tartar sauce is as addictive as the warm cinnamon-cream doughnut holes.

Where to Stay

Check into the recently opened Shinn Estate Farmhouse (2000 Oregon Rd., Mattituck; 631/804-0367; shinnfarmhouse.com; doubles from $225). The four rooms look out on the property's vineyard, and the floors are lined with pine, fir, and oak.

Insider Tip

"The Normandy fondue at the Village Cheese Shop [105 Love Lane, Mattituck; 631/298-8556; fondue for two $25]—made with Époisses and Saint Albray—goes great with a glass of our crisp Merlot 314 rosé," vintner Michael Croteaux says.—Charlotte Druckman

Hiking in New York's Catskill Mountains

Just over an hour's drive from New York City, the Catskills have become the urbanite's backyard: full of stylish restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries. The relatively unknown mountain hamlet of Phoenicia is the perfect base for fall hiking.

What to Do

Gear up for your hike with a guidebook and map at the Nest Egg bookshop (84 Main St.; 845/688-5851), then hit the trail: three-mile Giant Ledge (Ulster County Rd. 47, 10 miles west of town), which has panoramic views of 4,180-foot Slide Mountain. Or, trek up the nearby Belleayre Mountain—a ski run in the winter—to see the entire yellow and bronze valley below.

Where to Eat

Plate-size blueberry pancakes are what they're known for at Sweet Sue's (49 Main St.; 845/688-7852; breakfast for two $25), run by Sue Taylor. Assemble a picnic for your hike at the Phoenicia Delicatessen (46 Main St.; 845/688-5125), where the grandmotherly Margarete Nolte makes a stellar German potato salad. Brooklyn-born chef Devin Mills, who trained at New York's Le Bernardin and Gramercy Tavern, opened Peekamoose (8373 Rte. 28; 845/254-6500; peekamooserestaurant.com; dinner for two $65) in the neighboring village of Big Indian in 2005. The red wine-braised beef short ribs are the biggest crowd-pleaser.


Where to Stay

The five-room Phoenicia Belle (73 Main St.; 845/688-7226; phoeniciabelle.com; doubles from $105) is a Victorian B&B in Catskill Park. Opt for the lower rate (from $90) without breakfast. Instead, go to Alyce & Roger's Fruit Stand on Route 28 (Mt. Tremper; 845/688-2114) for cider doughnuts.

Insider Tip

Sue Taylor's favorite trail is Panther Mountain, off Route 28, 10 miles west of town. "The area around the mountain is a ring-shaped valley formed by an ancient meteor impact. From the top, there are Thomas Cole-worthy vistas as far as you can see."—clark mitchell

Art Pilgrimage to Massachusetts's Pioneer Valley

This 1,100-square-mile patchwork of farms, orchards, and rolling hills has lured free- spirited artists and literati for decades. But for the past several years, the valley towns of Amherst and Northampton have played second fiddle to the Berkshires' boisterous cultural scene. Now, however, a bevy of art spaces and exhibitions is springing up all over the region, bringing an indoor landscape that rivals the great outdoors.

What to Do

Art aficionados won't want to skip the new Museums10 (smuseums10.org)— a collective of 10 of the area's top art institutions. Among the best is the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Lower Lake Rd., South Hadley; 413/538-2245) with 10 galleries dedicated to Asian, Renaissance, and contemporary art. The Smith College Museum of Art (Elm St. at Bedford Terrace, Northampton; 413/585-2760; smith.edu/artmuseum) has a permanent collection of 19th- and 20th-century paintings—Degas, Monet, Cézanne, and Picasso—and is housed in a new four-story space.

Where to Eat

Order the apple-cinnamon pancakes in the sunlit dining room at Sylvester's (111 Pleasant St., Northampton; 413/586-5343; sylvestersrestaurant.com; breakfast for two $15). For Gallic classics like wine-braised rabbit with parsnips, go to Chez Albert (27 South Pleasant St., Amherst; 413/253-3811; chezalbert.net; dinner for two $80).

Where to Stay

At the colonial Lord Jeffery Inn (30 Boltwood Ave., Amherst; 800/742-0358; lordjefferyinn.com; doubles from $119), you'll find a stone fireplace surrounded by blazer-clad Amherst alums sipping single-malt scotch. The patio overlooks the village green and serves mulled cider from nearby organic farms. Rooms in the Wing section have private balconies.

Insider Tip

"Every fall, I drive to the top of Mount Sugarloaf [entrance off Rte. 116, South Deerfield]. There's an incredible vista of the Connecticut River snaking through the valley, which I love to paint," local artist Linda Post says. To see her work, visit the R. Michelson Gallery (132 Main St., Northampton; 413/586-3964; rmichelson.com).—Jessica Merrill

Indian Summer in Provincetown, Massachusetts

In fall, the throngs of tourists die down and locals emerge to reclaim the tranquillity of small-town Cape Cod life. As year-round resident and marine biologist Dennis Minsky puts it: "The whale watches stop, but the whales are still here." Indeed, the view from P'Town in autumn is nothing so much as an endless, lilac-colored expanse of sky and sea. And with the warm temperatures comes a chance to find an empty stretch of sand you can have all to yourself.

What to Do

If you're looking to get your feet wet, rent a sailboat, powerboat, or kayak at Flyer's Boat Rental (131A Commercial St.; 508/487-0898; flyersrentals.com) and explore the peninsula's coast. Later, walk the mile-long Beech Forest Trail (access from Race Point Rd.), which winds through fragile sand dunes. Bring your bike for the 5.2-mile loop between Herring Cove and Race Point beaches (parking and access at either beach).


Where to Eat

Ciro & Sal's (4 Kiley Court; 508/487-6444; ciroandsals.com; dinner for two $75) dishes up Northern Italian specialties like Abruzzese, a sauté of fish, scallops, clams, shrimp, mussels, and squid. Head to Clem & Ursie's (85 Shank Painter Rd.; 508/487-2333; clemandursies.com; lunch for two $25) for fresh lobster with drawn butter.

Where to Stay

The eight-bedroom Red Inn (15 Commercial St.; 508/487-7334; theredinn.com; doubles from $225) has views of Provincetown Harbor from nearly every window. Among the eight units at the Inn at Cook Street (7 Cook St.; 508/487-3894; innatcookstreet.com; doubles from $180), an 1836 Greek Revival mansion, are two garden cottages.

Insider Tip

"I love to take a ride through the dunes to deserted Back Shore; the view over Cape Cod Bay at sunset is unforgettable," says native Rob Costa, owner of Art's Dune Tours (4 Standish St.; 508/487-1950; artsdunetours.com; tours from $21).—Lucinda Rosenfeld

Small-Town Getaway in Chester, Connecticut

Mention Chester—a 16-square-mile patch abutting the Connecticut River—and you'll get a puzzled look, even from a born-and-bred Yankee. This hidden treasure has kept its low profile for more than 200 years. Behind the Victorian storefronts on Main Street, you'll find tiny boutiques selling Scandinavian toys, Italian pottery, and contemporary art.

What to Do

Meander over to the 25-year-old Chester Gallery (76 Main St.; 860/526-9822), which shows works by regional artists such as printmaker Richard Ziemann. For all things Swedish and German, head to Chez Manon (21 Main St.; 860/526-2554; chezmanon.netm), a cheery boutique with wooden music boxes and flower-patterned linens.

Where to Eat

At lunchtime, locals pack into the River Tavern (23 Main St.; 860/526-9417; lunch for two $60) for lobster-spinach bisque, and evening draws a smart cocktail crowd. The cozy Restaurant du Village (59 Main St.; 860/526-5301; restaurantduvillage.com; dinner for two $110) serves an Alsatian choucroute and an ethereal passion-fruit gratin.

Where to Stay

Six miles away, the 13-room Copper Beech Inn (46 Main St., Ivorytown; 860/767-0330; copperbeechinn.com; doubles from $195) has an airy atrium overlooking an English country-style garden, where croissants and waffles are served every morning.

Insider Tip

"In the fall I like to pack a picnic and cross the river on the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry to Gillette Castle [67 River Rd., East Haddam; 860/526-2336], a 1919 hilltop mansion open to the public," Restaurant du Village chef and co-owner Cynthia Keller says.—Xander Kaplan

Historic New England in Keene, New Hampshire

The National Trust calls Keene "a Currier & Ives landscape come to life," which, if you disregard the skateboard park, is pretty spot-on. Keene's broad, elm-shaded Main Street has cafés, lively bars, and the landmark Colonial Theatre. In the fall, the surrounding countryside is just as big a draw: the Ashuelot River, rimmed by scarlet maples and traversed by rickety covered bridges; fragrant pine forests; and 3,165-foot Mount Monadnock, which has views clear to Boston, Maine, and Vermont.

What to Do

Cast for bass on Goose Pond, north of town (hike in from the trailhead on E. Surry Rd., off Rte. 12A). Then drive Route 12 northwest for 17 miles to Walpole, home to Ken Burns's film studio and Greek Revival architecture. Return to Keene via Route 10, a stretch of road with four covered bridges. In October, join revelers at the Pumpkin Festival (Oct. 20). Besides fireworks and pumpkin pie-eating contests, there are four looming towers of jack-o'-lanterns, each of which rises 40 feet above the town square.


Where to Eat

Lindy's (19 Gilbo Ave.; 603/352-4273; breakfast for two $10) is a 1961 Paramount diner replete with vinyl-covered swivel stools and flannel-shirted regulars enjoying buttery French toast with maple syrup. Larry Burdick is New England's most revered chocolate artisan, and his headquarters, L. A. Burdick (47 Main St., Walpole; 603/756-2882; burdickchocolate.com; dinner for two $80) also houses a bistro that serves Provençal classics.

Where to Stay

Carved out of an 1890 brick building that was once Keene's preeminent department store, the E. F. Lane Hotel (30 Main St.; 603/357-7070; eflane.com; doubles from $164) is the only high-end place to stay in town. It's on the main drag, steps from the gazebo (and, in October, the giant pumpkin towers).

Insider Tip

"For a quiet afternoon, I drive twenty miles southeast to Cathedral of the Pines [10 Hale Hill Rd., Rindge; 603/899-3300; cathedralofthepines.org]," Keene's mayor, Michael Blastos, says. "It's an outdoor chapel that sits on a bluff overlooking Mount Monadnock. There's a beautiful altar made of stones donated from every state in the nation."

—Peter Jon Lindberg

Adventure on Mount Desert Island, Maine

Spruce-strewn Mount Desert Island accounts for 35,000 of the 47,000 acres of Acadia National Park, which teems with visitors during the summer months. In September, while the island's trees explode with color, tourism drops considerably, and osprey, seals, and deer have the place practically to themselves. Bar Harbor is the largest town, but the quiet villages of Northeast, Southwest, and Seal Harbors are the region's true gems.

What to Do

Mount Desert's 45 miles of rustic carriage roads (closed to cars) were financed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in the early 1900's and are a must-do for cyclists. Swing by Steve Boucher's Island Bike Rental (1 Maine St.; 207/276-5611; bikes from $15) in Northeast Harbor to rent a bike and learn the ins and outs of the island's paths. Weather permitting, take a guided tour with Maine State Sea Kayak (254 Maine St.; 877/481-9500; mainestatekayak.com; tours $46 per person). Unlike other outfitters in the area, they'll bring you to the remote western side of the island for the best wildlife viewing. The three-hour kayaking trip from Pretty Marsh to Clark Cove is perfect for beginners.

Where to Eat

To passersby, the no-frills seafood shack Docksider (14 Sea St., Northeast Harbor; 207/276-3965; lunch for two $30) won't look like much, but the "fisherman's lunch"— a cup of clam chowder with a lobster roll—is as good as it gets. Off the beaten track, pint-size Pectic Seafood (153 Quarry Hill Rd., Southwest Harbor; 207/244-7544; pecticseafood.com; lunch for two $25), sells everything to go: lobster stew, smoked salmon sausage, and blueberry pies. For seafood fresh from the dock—and an impressive wine list—head to Red Sky (14 Clark Point Rd., Southwest Harbor; 207/244-0476; redskyrestaurant.com; dinner for two $80) and try the panko-crusted, sautéed fillet of halibut with sesame soba noodles. Leave room for toasted gingerbread with house-made caramel sauce and apple brandy-spiked whipped cream.

Where to Stay

The 19th-century Claremont Hotel (22 Claremont Rd., Southwest Harbor; 800/244-5036; theclaremonthotel.com; doubles from $144, including breakfast), recently redone, is a refreshing change from the homely, doily-clad inns typical of the area. The wraparound wooden porch and 11 of its 24 rooms have views of glistening Somes Sound—North America's only fjord.

Insider Tip

Avid cyclist and bike shop owner Steve Boucher suggests you try his favorite ride, "the 12-mile Around the Mountain Trail, which runs from Brown Mountain past Eagle Lake to Jordan Pond House restaurant [207/276-3316; jordanpond.com; snack for two $20], where you can break for warm popovers and chai."

—Clara O. Sedlak


Leaf-Peeping Along Lake Champlain

The ideal way to explore this 115-mile-long valley and lake is by car. A bonus: the efficient ferry system lets you pass back and forth between Vermont and New York's Adirondacks. We've plotted a circular route that takes in some of New England's best fall foliage—all in one day. (For map and driving directions, go to travelandleisure.com.)

What to Do

Start in Burlington, Vermont, then take the Charlotte-Essex Ferry to Essex, New York—a former shipping hub with stone houses and antiques shops. Some of the richest fall color is found on Route 22, which hugs the lakeshore. Hop on the Ticonderoga Ferry, which has operated continuously since 1756, to cross back to the historic village of Shoreham, Vermont. Then head north through Bridgeport and Addison to Vergennes--the state's oldest city, with a 37-foot-high waterfall in its center.

What to Eat

Order an apricot- almond scone and a cup of Indonesian coffee for your road trip at Burlington's Muddy Waters café (184 Main St.; 802/658-0466; breakfast for two $7). In Essex, stop at the waterfront Old Dock (2752 Lakeshore Rd.; 518/963-4232; lunch for two $50) for steamed mussels or sesame-crusted yellowfin tuna in wild-berry sauce. Back in Vermont, 60-odd sketches and prints by the French artist and caricaturist Honoré Daumier are on display at the Black Sheep Bistro (253 Main St., Vergennes; 802/877-9991; dinner for two $60), a favorite spot for buttermilk-marinated pork chops and hand-cut fries. End in Burlington at Daily Chocolate (7 Green St.; 802/877-0087; dailychocolate.net; snack for two $6) for a cup of hot cocoa, made with organic sugar, milk, vanilla, and a scoop of ganache.

Where to Stay

The Inn at Shelburne Farms (1611 Harbor Rd., Shelburne; 802/985-8498; shelburnefarms.org; doubles from $150)—set on a 1,400-acre working farm—is a sprawling 19th-century country house on Lake Champlain with Adirondack views. The 24 sun-drenched upstairs rooms are outfitted with antiques.

Insider Tip

"Stop by the five-story Firehouse Gallery [135 Church St.; 802/865-7166] in Burlington," says Muddy Waters barista Ben Nordstrom. "The converted firehouse has rotating art exhibitions every fall."

—Christopher Shaw


Connecticut

Westport Market This upscale outdoor emporium is brimming with farmstead cheeses, briny oysters from Long Island Sound, and crusty three-grain loaves. 25 Powers Court, Westport; 203/226-1112; Thursdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m., June-November.

Maine

Rockland Farmers' MarketAcross the harbor from the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, this bayside market has the area's best greens, corn, and wild- blueberry and blackberry jams. Park and Main Sts., Rockland; 207/594-8644; Thursdays 9 a.m.- 1 p.m., May-October.

Vermont

Montpelier Farmers' Market Pickled beets, jars of honey, and fresh pumpkin bread are all for sale at this quintessential open-air New England bazaar in Vermont's capital. 60 State St., Montpelier; 802/685-4360; Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m., May-October.

Rhode Island

Coastal Growers Just outside Newport, with views of Narragansett Bay, the 18th-century hilltop farm grows its own organic produce and attracts more than 13 vendors from the region. Casey Farm, 2325 Boston Neck Rd., Saunderstown; 401/295-1030; Saturdays 9 a.m.-noon, May-November. —Lisa Cheng


Maine

Camden Hills State Park In under an hour, you can take the 1.2-mile Nature Trail from Camden's sailboat-filled harbor to the top of nearby Mount Battie for a glorious view of Penobscot Bay's pine-dotted islands. Then follow the five-mile side route from Mount Battie up Maiden Cliff, which rises 800 feet from the shore of Megunticook Lake. 280 Belfast Rd., Camden; 207/236-3109; maine.gov.

Massachusetts

Mount Greylock State Reservation Take the Cheshire Harbor Trail—3.3 miles of beech and birch trees and old-growth forests of red spruce—up to the summit of 3,491-foot Mount Greylock. The reward: a 70-mile panoramic view of five states. 30 Rockwell Rd., Adams; 413/499-4262; mass.gov.

New Brunswick, Canada

Fundy Trail Parkway Along the 10-mile Fundy Trail Parkway are countless footpaths, observation decks, and stairways leading down to the surf. You can walk on the ocean floor when the Bay of Fundy's tides—the world's highest— recede 40 feet from the shore. Rte. 111, St. Martins; 866/386-3987; fundytrailparkway.com.

New York

Watkins Glen State Park The park's main trail weaves along a leafy 200-foot gorge and has stone bridges dating to the 1930's that cross behind waterfalls—including the 20-foot Cavern Cascade. Rte. 14, Watkins Glen; 607/535-4511; nysparks.state.ny.us.

—Darrell Hartman


Connecticut

Barbara Farnsworth, Bookseller Opened 29 years ago by Barbara Farnsworth, a onetime foreign correspondent for the Economist, this pine-walled former Masonic hall is rife with antique tomes on horticulture and cookery. On the second floor, there's an impressive stock of first editions, like Virginia Woolf's Three Guineas. Downstairs, an exhibition space displays work by local photographers and painters. 407 Rte. 128, West Cornwall; 860/672-6571; farnsworthbooks.com.

Massachusetts

Isaiah Thomas Books & Prints More than 70,000 books fill the rooms of this pink-and-green 1860's Victorian. Best-sellers include architecture, photography, Cape Cod history, and miniature books. Check out the comprehensive library of novels signed by New Englander John Updike. 4632 Falmouth Rd., Cotuit, Cape Cod; 508/428-2752; isaiahthomasbooks.com.

Brattle Book Shop Walk into this three-story literary trove and you'll be greeted by the owners' friendly Bernese mountain dog, Duke. The store has been a fixture on West Street since 1968, and now has more than 150,000 books, covering subjects such as art, geography, finance, antiques, history, and cinema. The standouts: first editions of Alice in Wonderland, Audubon's Birds of America, and the 18th-century treatise Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. The proprietor, Kenneth Gloss, gives lectures on how to identify rare books and will even appraise volumes brought in by visitors. 9 West St., Boston; 800/447-9595 or 617/542-0210; brattlebookshop.com.

Rhode Island

Book & Tackle Shop Professor Bernie Gordon opened the Book & Tackle shop in Watch Hill when he was a sophomore at the University of Rhode Island more than 50 years ago. Recently revamped, the shop carries nautical literature, children's fables, and women's studies. 7 Bay St., Watch Hill; 401/315-2424; bookandtackleshop.com; open May through October.

—bree sposato


Massachusetts

Nashoba Valley Winery This orchard, winery, and brewery looks out over the central Massachusetts village of Bolton. Hand-picking from the 30 different varieties may be the best way to walk off brunch at the property's nouveau-American restaurant, J's. 100 Wattaquadoc Hill Rd., Bolton; 978/779-5521; nashobawinery.com.

New Hampshire

Alyson's Orchard A family-owned hilltop retreat in the Connecticut River Valley growing more than 60 types of apples, including a rare heirloom variety called Hudson's Golden Gem. The 20,000 apple trees are dwarfs, so you can pick your apples without balancing on a ladder. You can also explore the farm's 500 acres on a nature walk or fish for widemouth black bass in Lily's Pond. 57 Alyson's Lane, Walpole; 800/ 856-0549; alysonsorchard.com.

New York

Stone Ridge Orchard Over 200 years old, this 115-acre farmstead is the largest apple orchard in the Catskill Mountains' Rondout River Valley. Rooted in history, it's still run by pioneers, who work with Cornell researchers to test new varieties—organically grown, of course. After harvesting a bushel, picnic under the centuries-old oak tree. Rte. 213, Stone Ridge; 845/687-2587; stoneridgeorchard.com.

Vermont

Shelburne Orchards A second-generation grower, owner Nick Cowles is committed to sustainable agriculture. His 80-acre farm, with views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks, produces heirlooms like Roxbury Russets and Tolman Sweets. 216 Orchard Rd., Shelburne; 802/985-2753; shelburneorchards.com.

—Suzanne Mozes

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