United States

Seven Wonders of New England

Spending the summer in the Northeast provides scores of unforgettable places to see: from surfing the sandy Atlantic Coast to hiking the cool woods of the Berkshires. The Travel Channel has created an itinerary of must-see locations -- the 7 Wonders of New England -- guaranteed to get travelers off the well-worn path and into the soul of the Northeast.

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Acadia National Park, Maine

Designated a national park in 1919, this 47,000-acre, breathtaking slice of the Northeast is a microcosm of this diverse state. Trek through deep woodlands, scale mountain peaks, explore the rugged Maine coastline and glide across glass-like lakes. The carriage-road system that runs through the park includes 17 stone-faced bridges arching across bubbling streams and along cliffs and waterfalls.

Echo Lake Beach gives visitors a chance to see peregrine falcons, but keep an eye out for black bear and moose throughout the park. Get near the water on Acadia's only ocean-sand beach, appropriately called Sand Beach, but don't miss the well-known Thunder Hole for a perfect example of the power of the ocean roaring through a breach in the rocky coast. The free Island Explorer bus system stops at a number of spots throughout Acadia's Park Loop Road -- just watch for bus stop signs or flag the bus down if you need a lift. Acadia National Park is 1 hour from Bangor, ME.

Acadia National Park, ME

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Greater Bewburyport

Newburyport/Plum Island, Massachusetts

This small, coastal city 50 minutes north of Boston began its life as a clipper ship-building hub, a preserved history that forges an almost tangible connection to the past. The cobblestone streets and brick downtown shops and restaurants invite visitors to explore the area. Park on a bench on the waterfront boardwalk and watch fishing boats and lobstermen head out along the Merrimack River to ply their trade as they have for generations.

Take a quick trip to Plum Island -- connected to the city by a winding road that passes the tiny Plum Island Airport -- and try your hand at the renowned surfcasting in the shadow of the Plum Island Point lighthouse. Striped bass run throughout the warmer months, while hearty bluefish will test anglers in the later part of the summer.

Newburyport, MA

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Cog Railway

The Cog Railway, Mt. Washington, New Hampshire

An inky cloud of steam rises above the Mount Washington Valley, edging slowly toward the summit of Mount Washington in Bretton Woods, NH, and marking the path of the world's first mountain-climbing cog railroad, the Cog Railway. Guests climb aboard a diesel- or biodiesel-powered locomotive for an exhilarating trip to the summit of the highest point in the Northeast.

At a speed of roughly3 miles-per-hour on the ascent, passengers have plenty of time to ponder the nearly 40-degree angle that the train achieves during its climb and the breathtaking view of New Hampshire's White Mountains range. The journey up through the lush forests and above the treeline to the top takes a little more than an hour, while the return trip is made in about 40 minutes. The round-trip expedition can test the mettle of those afraid of heights, but the view from the top of Mount Washington is unparalleled.
Mount Washington Cog Railway

Base Station Rd, Bretton Woods, NH 03575

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Phone: +1 800-922-8825

About the Author

Bill Burke is an award-winning humor columnist and writer with 20 years experience in the newspaper and magazine industry. He is the author of Mousejunkies (Travelers' Tales 2009) and Mousejunkies: Second Edition (Travelers' Tales 2011) --a humorous look at Walt Disney World addiction.

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