You’ve arrived at a fascinating New England spot — say, the coast of Maine or Martha’s Vineyard, or Newport. How to begin finding the attractions and happenings that you want to explore? Easy — jump on a guided tour to get an overview of the place. You’ll learn a lot from local experts and get prepped to take a deeper dive on your own into the places that tickle your curiosity most. Here are some excellent tours to get your started:
Walking Tours of the Gingerbread Cottages — Martha’s Vineyard MA — Departs from Trinity Park in Oak Bluffs
Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association hosts walking tours of the Campground, which includes many of the colorful gingerbread cottages and the iconic iron Tabernacle. The Campground grew out of the religious camp meetings of the 19th century. Today, the Tabernacle towers over 312 Victorian cottages. Walking Tours are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays in July and August. 508-693-0525. Through August 29
Art’s Dune Tours — Provincetown MA — Departs from 4 Standish Street
Art’s Dune Tours use dune buggies to take visitors out onto the dunes of the Provincelands, a marvelous, otherworldly place of sky, sea, bending grass, and sand. Access by the public to the dunes is limited, so this is one of the few ways to see them. Tours run rain or shine. Private tours may be arranged. 800-894-1951. Through September 5
Five-Lighthouse Bike Tour– Portland Maine — Departs from 14 Ocean Gateway Pier
Join this five-hour and five-lighthouse bicycle tour of Portland. Your ride begins at Willard Beach and continues past Bug Lighthouse and the Portland Breakwater, Spring Point Lighthouse, the Portland Harbor Museum, and Fort Preble. Continuing, bicyclists will pass Portland Head Light, saltwater farms, Two Lights State Park and Kettle Cove. Lobster roll lunch is included. 866-857-9544. Through October 31
Gorham Moose Tours — Gorham NH — Departs from Gorham Info Booth
This 3-to-4 hour tour takes place on comfortable tour buses. When possible and safe, we allow visitors to disembark the bus and get a closer look at these beautiful animals. Our success rate historically runs in the 93 to 97 percent range, including one fortunate tour that spotted 12 moose! 603-466-3103. Through September 30
Taste of New Haven Food and Drink Tours – New Haven, CT
This company has a first-class reputation for offering interesting weekend walking tours of this multi-faceted city of traditional foodways, fine museums and architecture, an ivy-league university, and beautiful public spaces. All tours are on foot (except the bike tour). Themes of the tours include the Trick or Eat Spooky Tour; Pizza and Pints Bike Tour; Theater District Tour; Canal Quarter and more. Held year-round.
Newport History Tours — Newport RI — Departs from 127 Thames Street
Learn about Newport’s fascinating Colonial history by walking the streets with an expert with Newport History Tours. Discover Colonial Newport, tells stories of revolution and ruin and struggles for liberty among Newport’s people. Rogues and Scoundrels explores where scoundrels lived and where pirates profited. Golden to Gilded describes the city’s transformation to a Gilded Age colony. 401-841-8770. Through December 30.
Federal Hill Food & History Walking Tour – Providence RI — Departs from Garibaldi Park under the Arch
The Federal Hill Premiere Food & History Walking Tour is led by chef and historian Walter Potenza. This two and a half hour tour includes visits to food shops, bakeries, wine stores. Along the way, Potenz describes the historic of Federal Hill, Providence’s Little Italy, from the arrival of the first Italy immigrants in 1886. This is a deep immersion in Italian food culture, history and lifestyle. 9-11:30 a.m. 401-273-2652. Through September 29.
Portland Walking Tour — Portland, Maine– Departs from Lobsterman’s Park, Temple Street and Middle Street
Take a guided stroll through the Old Port, the Waterfront, and Congress Street/Arts District. Tour passes the Custom House, City Hall, Longfellow’s Home, and the Art District. Learn about the architecture, museums, activities and nightlife. 207-749-1105. Through October 31.