The lower Connecticut River has been called one of the last great places on Earth. For boaters who’d like to explore the region, Old Saybrook, at the river’s mouth, and Essex, 6 miles upstream, are good places to start.
Newport is as much a feeling as it is a city. I live here, and I am the happier for it. Located on the southern tip of Aquidneck Island, Newport anchors the state of Rhode Island to the North Atlantic through Rhode Island Sound. This easy access to the sea creates a sense of freedom among residents and has for centuries encouraged seafarers to take shelter in the city’s safe harbor.
Castine, Maine, is picturesque in a way that leaves words like “quaint” and “charming” sitting in the corner with empty dance cards. The only reason most Americans have never heard of the place is the reflexive Anglo-orientation of U.S. history.
Greenport has always catered to mariners. The village, between New York City and New England on the easterly tip of Long Island’s North Fork, is casual and history-filled. It has stores and services within walking distance of the water, plus a fresh local food scene along the working and recreational harbor.