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2019 Group Travel Destinations

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WHAT TO DO

Berkshire Tour Company

  • 10 Chestnut St. Stoneham, MA 02180
  • Nancy Hickey
  • 781-438-8620
  • www.berkshiretourco.com

Berkshire’s longest-operating and most experienced group tour planner can help travelers with their needs in the Berkshires and all of New England. Berkshire Tour Company offers lovely tours that include visiting the rocky coast of Maine; the Moose Trax of New Hampshire, where guests can see moose in their natural habitat; the trains of New England, which travel inland and through gorgeous mountains; and the Cape Cod seashore.

CambridgeSide

  • 100 Cambridgeside Place Cambridge, MA 02141
  • Melissa LaVita
  • 617-621-8668
  • www.cambridgeside.com

Established in 1990, CambridgeSide is Massachusetts’ leading outlet shopping destination, featuring more than 100 stores and restaurants. CambridgeSide invites groups to shop, dine and experience all that is happening at this retail hotspot, with designer names such as Aldo, Ann Taylor, Guess, Express, H&M and J. Crew. After your group shops until it drops, choose between The Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang’s or World of Beer, a kitchen and bar offering 60 craft beers on tap, 500 in the cooler and a mouthwatering menu.

Museum of Russian Icons

  • 203 Union St. Clinton, MA 01510
  • Mary Delaney
  • 978-598-5000
  • www.museumofrussianicons.org/group-tours

Opened in 2006, the Museum of Russian Icons, a nonprofit museum in Clinton, Massachusetts, inspires the appreciation and study of Russian culture by collecting and exhibiting one of the world’s largest collections of Russian icons-sacred paintings used for veneration in the Orthodox tradition. With more than 1,000 icons and related artifacts spanning six centuries, the museum offers a unique and personalized experience rich with art, history and culture.

Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

  • 10 N. Water St. Norwalk, CT 06854
  • Maggie Curlee
  • 203-852-0700, Ext. 2206
  • www.maritimeaquarium.org

This aquarium, located in the South Norwalk section of Norwalk, Connecticut, contains more than 75 live exhibits featuring more than 2,700 marine animals of 300 species. The aquarium is home to harbor seals, river otters, sharks, jellyfish, turtles and many other animals living in recreations of their natural Long Island Sound habitats. The aquarium also has an IMAX Theater with a screen six stories tall and the equivalent of eight stories wide.

Portland Museum of Art

  • 7 Congress Square Portland, ME 04101
  • Group Sales
  • 207-775-6148
  • www.portlandmuseum.org

With an extensive collection and nationally renowned exhibitions, the Portland Museum of Art is the cultural heart of Portland, Maine. The museum boasts significant holdings of American, European and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine—highlighting the rich artistic tradition of the state and its artists. The museum is the largest and oldest public art institution in Maine and maintains a steadfast commitment to its region and city.

Mount Washington Cog Railway

  • 3168 Base Station Rd. Marshfield Station, NH 03575
  • Rebecca Metcalf
  • 800-922-8825
  • www.thecog.com

The Mount Washington Cog Railway in New Hampshire is a narrated three-hour roundtrip train ride to the summit of Mount Washington on a historic railway. The ride is around one hour each way, patrons have 60 minutes to explore the summit of Mount Washington, including the Sherman Adams Visitor Center. Inside the Visitor Center is a museum, post office, small snack bar and 360-degree views of the surrounding areas including up to five states, Canada and the Atlantic Ocean.

WHERE TO STAY

Mohegan Sun

  • 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd. Uncasville, CT 06382
  • Stephen Olender
  • 860-862-8988
  • www.mohegansun.com

Mohegan Sun, created in 1996 by the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, offers some of New England’s finest dining, hotel accommodations, retail shopping, live entertainment and sporting events. Boasting three world-class casinos, Mohegan Sun is also host to two luxurious spas, world-class meeting facilities, a state-of-the-art poker room and three major entertainment venues with seating from 350 to 10,000. People from across the globe come to see live concerts with some of today’s top headliners, as well as major sporting events, including the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.

STATES OF NEW ENGLAND – SUMMARIES

New developments range from casino attractions to a museum dedicated to dogs

Connecticut

Foxwoods_Karting

Monza World Class Karting

STATEWIDE – The axe-throwing trend has hit Connecticut, with three dedicated venues opening in 2018. They are Pine & Iron Axe Throwing in Hartford, sharing space with Hog River Brewing; Blue Ox Axe Throwing in Wallingford; and Montana Nights Axe Throwing in Newington, Visitors receive coaching lessons before settling into their lane for a few hours of fun and competition, racking up points based on where their axes hit the bullseye. Package options for groups are available.

MASHANTUCKET – Foxwoods Resort Casino recently opened Monza World Class Karting, one of the longest and fastest indoor kart runs ever constructed. Featuring dramatic elevation changes and hairpin turns, the European-style track joins Foxwoods Thrill Tower and HighFlyer Zipline as the latest addition to Foxwoods Extreme Adventures. Also new at Foxwoods is Stony Creek Brewery, which includes a stage for live entertainment, a beer garden and a deck with a view into the brewhouse.

MYSTIC – The exhibition Death in the Ice: The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition runs through April 28, 2019, at the Mystic Seaport Museum. It explores the mysterious fate of two Royal Navy ships and their crew of 129 who disappeared into the Arctic in 1845 never to be seen again. Included are artifacts recovered in 2014 by Parks Canada from the expedition flagship HMS Erebus.

UNCASVILLE – Mohegan Sun will soon welcome Comix Roadhouse, an expansion of Comix Mohegan Sun with a country entertainment twist. It will feature live comedy and country music, line dancing, mechanical bull riding, Texas-style food and over 30 craft beers on tap. Set to open in June at Mohegan Sun is Game-On!, a restaurant & bar with an eight-lane bowling alley, hi-definition TV screens, karaoke, arcade games and a stage for live entertainment.

Maine

Coastal Maine Botanical Celosia-Eternity-Improved-in-ACG-DSC_1384

Coastal Maine Botanical Celosia Eternity

BETHEL – The new Maine Mineral and Gem Museum showcases geological history and houses the finest collection of Maine minerals and gems. It also has one of the world’s foremost collections of extraterrestrial rocks, including meteorites from Mars, the moon and the asteroid belt.

ROCKLAND – Bixby & Co. recently expanded by opening a new retail room and launching its new premium Bean to Bar Craft Chocolate. Visitors to the factory and retail space learn about the process of making chocolate from scratch and taste samples while enjoying beautiful ocean views.

BOOTHBAY – Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has improved its group tour offerings and now offers several new dining options. Groups can arrange an expert-led tour followed by a platter or boxed lunch. The parking area accommodates five buses and is only steps away from an exclusive group entrance.

PORTLAND – Soon after Bon Appetite named Portland the 2018 Restaurant City of the Year, Maine Foodie Tours added the Bon Appetite Culinary Walking Tour. On this new walking tour, guests “will visit seven of the bright new stars while highlighting all the culinary pioneers in a thriving new area for wining and dining.” The tour joins the company’s classic foodie tours and brand new Boothbay Harbor Festive Holiday Food Tour, which is the perfect accompaniment to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens holiday event Gardens a Glow.

Vermont

Killington Resort

Killington Resort

WEST DOVER Mount Snow ski resort just unveiled its new $22 million Carinthia Base Lodge for the 2018/2019 season. Conveniently located at the base of Carinthia Terrain Park, the lodge is five times the size of the old lodge it is replacing and features a coffee bar, sit-down restaurant, two bars and a large multi-station cafeteria.

KILLINGTON Enhancements for the new ski season at Killington Resort include a new six-person, high-speed bubble chairlift, new lift service at South Ridge, significant upgrades to the K-1 Express Gondola, additional availability of intermediate trails, improvements to existing intermediate runs, and resort-wide infrastructure upgrades including the addition of hands-free lift access validation with RFID technology at both Killington and Pico.

Massachusetts

Mayflower_plymouth

Mayflower in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH – Festivals and special events in Plymouth and throughout the state will be part of Plymouth 400 in 2020, a year-long commemoration of the Pilgrims’ voyage on the Mayflower and founding of Plymouth Colony in 1620. The Mayflower II in Plymouth will be the centerpiece of the June 27-28 maritime salute, which will feature a regatta of wooden ships, official vessels, work boats, native mishoons and pleasure craft that will culminate in a traditional New England lobster dinner at the waterfront. The Native American perspective will be represented by a traveling exhibition on the history of the Wampanoag people.

BOSTON – Faneuil Hall Marketplace is proposing a dramatic overhaul of the historic property that would create a new boutique hotel and revitalize the shopping experience. The proposal would transform the crowded central food court into more open retail spaces, bars and sit-down restaurants. It would add several glass pavilions for shopping and dining, and the South Market building would get a 180-room hotel.

Time Out Market, a food-hall style emporium, is coming to the Fenway area’s Landmark Center in 2019. The market will have 16 food offerings, two bars and a cooking academy, along with shopping and outdoor patios.

Bow Market is partially open in Union Square, where a former storage building has been turned into two stories of small storefronts clustered around a public courtyard. The market features retail, food and drink.

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston has opened The Watershed, 15,000 square feet of free and immersive waterfront gallery space. In addition to housing exhibitions, the raw industrial space has an orientation gallery introducing visitors to the historic shipyard complemented by a waterside plaza that serves as a gathering place with stunning harbor views

Encore Boston Harbor, America’s first 5-star urban gaming resort, is slated to open June 24, 2019. The property consists of 13 acres of gross floor area with a 29-floor luxury hotel tower overlooking the Boston skyline. There will be 671 deluxe guest rooms, 13 restaurants and lounges, and 200,000 square feet of gaming space.

JAMAICA PLAIN – Samuel Adams Brewery has debuted a new 80-seat tap room at its Jamaica Plain headquarters. This new space encourages visitors to stop by the brewery before, after or in place of a tour for some pints, shuffleboard and sampling of their more experimental brews. In addition to drinking and games, the Sam Adams Tap Room hosts weekly events like trivia and karaoke as well as food trucks and small food businesses.

MARTHA’S VINEYARD – Groups can experience the magic of oysters first hand with Farm.Field.Sea. Guests will set sail for Cottage City Oyster Farm and see the harvest process in action. The adventure is topped off with a shucking demo of fresh oysters, a sampling and a sunset sail around the Oak Bluffs harbor.

NORTH ADAMS – The Museum of Dog has opened in the Berkshires as an artistic tribute to man’s best friend. Located in a former hardware store, the museum houses a private collection of dog-inspired paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and dog-related collectibles, including dog hand puppets and rare dog collars that date back to the 1800s.

New Hampshire

Team O’Neil Rally School

Team O’Neil Rally School

CORNISH – A nationally recognized professional opera company brings its entertainment to Blow-Me-Down Farm next summer. Opera North will transform the 42-acre farm, a National Historic Landmark, into a campus for the performing visual arts.

DALTON – Groups can now experience a high-speed ride in an authentic rally car with a Team O’Neil Rally School instructor on over six miles of private dirt roads. Groups of up to 20 can also book driving courses geared towards private and corporate groups.