Tips for Travelers
- Where to Go
- The Best of Vermont
- Rumblings of Revolution
- New, New England Dining
- Boston’s Artistic Expression
- Vermont Leaf Peeping
- Into the Wild
- Vermont Skiing at Its Best
- Visit Vermont’s Maple Sugar Shacks
- Connecticut for Kids
- Vermont’s Covered Bridges
- A Shore Thing
- Vermont with Kids
- Portland Maine Art Galleries
- Small-Town Flavor
- Connecticut’s Wine Trails
- New Hampshire’s Farmers Markets
- A Weekend of Vermont Art
- Family Matters
- Maine Wilderness Camps
- Vermont Cheddar Houses
- Connecticut Spas
Health and Safety
People travel to New England from all over the globe simply to receive care from the area’s doctors and hospitals, which are widely regarded as among the best there is. So rest assured, should you need any medical attention while here, you’ll be in good hands. That said, certain precautions will help you stay as safe as possible.
Compared with the rest of the nation, New England is relatively low in crime, and many of its rural areas are virtually crime-free. Cities are, not surprisingly, a different story. But even in capitals like Boston, Portland, Providence, and Hartford, if you follow the basic rules of common sense (take precautions in watching your belongings, avoid walking alone late at night, and be aware of your surroundings), odds are safety won’t be a problem.
In the New England countryside, one of the biggest threats to visitors’ safety can be the natural world they seek. When hiking the White Mountains or canoeing the endless rivers, it is essential to know about the dangers of exposure to the elements. Visit the local tourism offices for specific tips on preparing for an outing, and if you are at all unsure of your outdoors skills, consider hiring a guide to take you on your excursion.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find an area of the country more welcoming to students; with such a hefty roster of colleges and universities, New England teems with—and oftentimes caters to—young people.
Cafés (both those with Internet access and without it) are in abundance in cities and college towns, and youth hostels can be found in Boston, Cape Cod, Maine, and New Hampshire. Plenty of discounted tours are also offered throughout each state through the tourist boards, and many hotels offer student discounts with identification cards.
Gay and Lesbian Travelers
At this point in America’s social history, few regions in the country are more friendly to gay and lesbian visitors than New England. Not only is the area home to five out of the six states where gay marriage is legal (Rhode Island recognizes out-of-state gay marriages, though doesn’t perform them), but cities like Boston, Portland, and Providence have significant and thriving gay and lesbian communities. Meanwhile, resort towns such as Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Ogunquit, Maine, are such magnets for gay and lesbian visitors that straight tourists are often the minority.
Gay and lesbian couples traveling to Massachusetts with the intention of getting married should be aware that, while marriage is legal in Massachusetts, if the two parties reside in a state in which same-sex marriage is illegal, the ceremony will not be binding.
Travelers With Disabilities
Public transportation in the vast majority of New England is wheelchair-accessible, as are most hotels, museums, and public buildings. Even many beaches and campgrounds in Massachusetts are accessible, though the more remote the destination, the greater the possibility that it will not be. As common sense would dictate, call ahead and plan accordingly.
Women Traveling Alone
In the vast majority of towns and cities, solo female travelers will feel perfectly at home and can travel safely and without harassment. In larger cities—Boston, Providence, Hartford, and Portland—it’s wise to avoid strolling out late at night, though even in such circumstances, incidents are quite rare.
Traveling with Children
Travel all over New England is extremely family-friendly. Most hotels offer cribs in the room upon request, and public transportation and attractions offer discounted fares for children. The majority of restaurants are happy to offer high chairs, and many have kids’ menus.
The one exception to this rule of family-friendliness is found at the occasional exclusive resort, which usually makes a point of labeling itself adults-only.
© Michael Blanding and Alexandra Hall from Moon New England, 2nd Edition