4 Days/3 Nights
DAY 1 -
Arrive in the village of Hampton, NH in the late afternoon and check into your home for the next three nights - a historic and charming colonial inn, built in 1740. Gather in the tavern for a wine and cheese reception followed by an included welcome dinner featuring acclaimed traditional New England cuisine. Get to bed early tonight, so you can wake up with the birds in the morning!
DAY 2 -
Arise with the sun and after an early breakfast at the inn, board the coach for your first adventure – a bird watching tour of Plum Island! Meet your naturalist and birding guide at the Massachusetts Audubon Joppa Flats Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, gateway to Plum Island and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.
Just in case you forget your binoculars, the folks at Mass Audubon have some extras, as well as spotting scopes to better find and identify birds. Your guide will take you on a windshield/walking tour throughout the island and Wildlife Refuge to the best areas to view birds, and will provide you with expert information about what you are seeing and hearing. Let the exquisite landscape, the sea air, and the sounds of bird song and crashing waves revitalize, restore and transport you.
Next, follow this very special nature tour with an adventure of an entirely different sort. Two guides in period dress will take you through centuries of fascinating history during an enlightening and entertaining walk through the charming seaport town of Newburyport. Stroll by handsome mansions built by sea captains and beautifully restored Colonial, Federal, Queen Anne and Second Empire homes graced with splendid flower gardens. Wind your way through enchanting streets and witness Newburyport’s maritime heritage along the scenic waterfront boardwalk. This exceptional tour concludes at a waterside restaurant, where you will enjoy stunning harbor views while tasting appetizers and sampling specially blended historic cocktails popular in Newburyport over the past 400 years.
Remain at your waterside perch for lunch on your own or try another of Newburyport’s numerous eateries. After lunch there will be time to explore the specialty shops, unique galleries and historical sites of this delightful town.
After lunch, you will experience Plum Island from a very different perspective as you paddle through the shimmering waterways in a kayak!
The Agawam Indians who roamed this land for centuries called Plum Island ‘Heaven.’ You will find out why, as you explore a variety of unique habitats including salt and freshwater marshes, estuaries and tidal creeks along the Merrimack River, Joppa Flats, the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and Plum Island Sound. Enjoy the abundant beauty of this haven for shore and sea birds, as you glide through the quiet marshes and waterways.
Return to the inn in time to rest and refresh from your adventurous day before dinner. Board the coach and head just down the road to Hampton Beach and the shores of the Atlantic.
Indulge in guilty pleasures at this classic beach resort, where saltwater taffy and fried dough stands mingle with clam shacks, arcades, souvenir shops and upscale oceanfront restaurants. Across from the pedestrian friendly village is a gorgeous long sandy beach, celebrated as one of the cleanest in the United States. Enjoy an early evening stroll by the sea before an included dinner served at a shore-side restaurant on Ocean Boulevard.
DAY 3 -
After breakfast at the inn, board the coach and head inland to Salem, New Hampshire and one of the most unique and mysterious sites you will encounter – America’s Stonehenge!
Located in hilly woodlands, this large site is a maze of man-made stone chambers, walls and large standing stones. Named Mystery Hill Caves when it first opened to the public in the 1950’s, its origins are controversial. Among the numerous theories, some believe it was built thousands of years ago by ancient people to align with an astronomical calendar and annual solar and lunar events. Others believe it is the homestead of a local shoemaker who settled here in the 1820’s. Wander this fascinating location and decide for yourself whether it is a Native American ceremonial site, the work of Irish Monks, the burial site of early Colonists or the creation of a nineteenth century craftsman.
Head back to the coast to experience another rite of spring as you tiptoe through the tulips, and the colorful azaleas and rhododendrons, blooming at Fuller Gardens, a turn-of-the-century estate by the sea. Stroll through Colonial Revival Japanese and English gardens, and a tropical conservatory. This working formal estate is one of the last of its kind in the Northeast.
From here, continue along scenic coastal Route 1A, one of the most stunning drives in New Hampshire. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the views of crashing waves, gorgeous beaches, historic sites and impressive mansions overlooking the sea.
Arrive in picturesque Portsmouth, a historic seaport and one of the great maritime cities of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Have lunch on your own and explore the vibrant arts, cultural, and shopping scene. This port city, at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, is bursting with well-maintained colonial homes and grand early Federal houses.
For the “foodies” among you, Portsmouth is a culinary destination, with brewpubs, farm-to-table and sea-to-table offerings among its large and diverse selection of eateries.
Your last adventure allows you the well-deserved opportunity to sit back and relax. Climb aboard for a late afternoon cruise and a champagne toast to celebrate the spring migration!
After the cruise, head back to the inn, arriving in time to rest and refresh before your farewell dinner.
Gather at the Inn for a traditional New England clambake to celebrate your adventurous spirit! After dinner you will receive a souvenir gift to remember your adventure.
DAY 4 -
After breakfast, pack your bags, check out of the inn, and begin your return home. As you travel home, reflect on the amazing memories of all you accomplished on Plum Island and the surrounding area!
Your package includes:
3 Nights accommodations
Welcome Wine Reception
Mass Audubon Guided Plum Island Bird Watching Tour
Newburyport History Tour
Time to shop in Newburyport
Guided Kayaking Tour around Plum Island
Visit to America’s Stonehenge
Visit to Fuller Gardens
Time to shop in Portsmouth
Scenic cruise with a Champagne Toast
Taxes and gratuities (NOTE: Gratuity for the tour manager, coach driver and local guides is not included and is at your discretion based on service.)