Why Canada and New England Make the Perfect Summer-to-Fall Vacation Spots

Treat yourself to a summer vacation—or fall foliage adventure—that’ll reward the mind, soul and stomach.
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If you’ve had your fill of beaches this summer or are looking to escape the ordinary, consider cruising north for a refreshing adventure in Canada and New England, where you can enjoy the rugged mountains, crisp seaside air and freshly caught lobster. The cities along the northeastern coast, like Boston; Bar Harbor, Maine; or Quebec City, are well known for national parks and revolution-era monuments, as well as wineries. What’s more, with the unique coastline, these sailings can be about the destination and the journey.

Here’s a glimpse of what the region holds, and why you should set sail while the ideal hiking and biking weather awaits:

Historical Highlights

You can get transported back in time and follow America’s path to independence, starting in Boston. Hike the famed Freedom Trail or brush up on your U.S. presidents trivia at the JFK Library, or for an otherworldly adventure, delve into the Salem Witch Trials. Explore the mysterious beauty of New England’s many iconic lighthouses, and offbeat museums, like Rockland Maine’s Owls Head Museum with its impressive collection of antique aircrafts, cars, bicycles, and engines.

Canada has its own draw for history buffs (and casual observers), like Halifax’s rum-running past during prohibition or their citadel fortress near the city center dating back to 1749. If you’re cruising from Quebec, make sure you plan to visit the city’s historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site—a well-deserved designation as North America’s first French settlement and only walled city. You can go back even further in time and learn of the indigenous nation that preceded the French, the Huron-Wendat.

Even More to Explore: Kennebunkport in Portland, Maine; Chinese junk tour in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Foodie Favorites

We know exploring can work up an appetite, and this region has you covered. You’re probably expecting lobster rolls and chowder galore—and don’t miss Rockland, Maine’s “Downeast” Lobsterbake—but you can also keep an eye out for maple taffy, bison tartare, famously fresh oysters and unbeatable farm-to-table dining.

Get up close and personal with local establishments while on culinary walking tours for foodies. Hit Boston’s Italian North End for tasty meats at the Salumeria eatery, the cobblestoned Old Port district of Portland for famous fish houses, and then Quebec City for French favs like foie gras, fresh salmon and matane shrimp.

Wash down your hearty meal(s) with a brewery tour, and sample homegrown, sustainable beers—Noctem Artisans Brasseurs’ (brewers) Catnip beer is excellent—or enjoy wine with a view, whether by way of watchtower or a sailboat at sea.

Even More to Explore: Sugar shack in Quebec City; lobster fishing and feasting in Bar Harbor, Maine

“What are Men to Rocks and Mountains?”

Words can’t quite do this region’s renowned coastlines justice. Our fall foliage cruises showcase these brightly bursting hillsides, while Maine’s Acadia National Park offers ample spots you can explore by bike, foot or carriage—especially Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the North Atlantic seaboard. If you’re looking to explore unique natural formations, Hopewell Rocks in Saint John, New Brunswick offers an otherworldly landscape at low tide.

When you need a breather, venture to the seaside for a breath of fresh air at Nova Scotia’s prime spot for sighting marine life, like humpback whales. Dive back into action with a refreshing, misty bike ride to Quebec’s Montmorency Falls. If you want more adrenaline in your day, zoom through the air in Saint John on an epic zip line over reversing rapids (yes, really). Or you can also experience the mighty tides of the Bay of Fundy by boat as well.

Even More to Explore: Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail in Sydney, Nova Scotia; Ocean Trail Hike in Bar Harbor, Maine

If you’re ready to experience something new, book a northeastern cruise from five- to 13-nights here.

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