While summer has enveloped New England in a reassuring summer hug, try not to get too comfortable. One minute it’s fireworks and beach trips and the next, you’re watching the leaves turn yellow. Don’t blink and find yourself with too-few summer stories to tell when that snow pile starts growing (and growing). Get crafty in Vermont or dig your toes into Cape Cod’s mysterious sand; our New England summer bucket list is ready.

Get Off The Grid

Whether in a family cottage for a week or on a weekend stay in a seaside motel, Cape Cod is the one vacation destination that every New Englander swears by. Soft sand, charming main streets, and lobster rolls galore… you can’t go wrong! But did you know the Cape is hiding something special just beyond the coast? Under Cape Cod Waters by Ethan Daniels dives into the unknown, and explores the mysterious dunes and marine life surrounding the beloved beaches of Cape Cod. Leave your smart phone at home and spend a few days off the grid, exploring the natural side of the Cape.

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Climb 75 Steps Above The Harbor

America’s oldest lighthouse, Boston Light, is turning 300 years old next summer. The birthday crowds will be extreme next year; stay one step ahead and visit before the big anniversary. Located on Little Brewster Island, the lighthouse hosts tours twice daily through October. Essential to this adventure are three items: sunblock, a packed lunch, and Christopher Klein’s book: Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands, A Guide To The City’s Hidden Shores. With history intertwined with pages of stunning photographs and helpful visitor tips, this book will have you exploring Boston’s hidden gems into the fall.

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Stoke The Grill
Late sunsets make for lazy summer evenings, the perfect time to hone your BBQ skills. Visit your local farmers’ market and load up on all the fixin’s to build your own burger centerfolds from Samuel Monsour’s and Richard Chudy’s American Burger Revival: Brazen Recipes To Electrify A Timeless Classic. Fall in love with grilling for the family or shake up your summer dining expectations with this backyard bucket list must. You’ll find everything you never knew you always wanted in a burger, and the memories of these luscious weeknight burgers will keep you warm through the winter (well, at least until January).

Go Seaside

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Who says the Cape has the monopoly on relaxed coastal living? You don’t need to cross a bridge to get a taste of the good life; southern Massachusetts and Rhode Island boast some of the best views, food, and wineries in New England! Avoid the traffic and head south for coastal living at its most serene. Take a tour of Westport Rivers, check out what the Shy Brothers are churning up, or spend the day on Cuttyhunk Island. Another great way to celebrate this often-overlooked area is with the recipes from The Coastal Table: Recipes Inspired by The Farmlands and Seaside of Southern New England. In her tradition-turned-modern epicurean delight of a cookbook, Karen Covey makes clear that going seaside with one’s palate is a must. If you are looking for more on the coastal lifestyle, check out her new project, The Coastal Table Magazine.

Get Crafty

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Nestled in the northern mountains of Vermont is the city of Burlington, where culture is brewing and craft breweries are booming. Get crafty in this summer on a brew tour with a copy of Crafty Bastards, Beer In New England From The Mayflower To Modern Day in hand. Filled with everything you need to know about beer brewing in New England–from the first Pilgrim barley crop to the best pubs brewing today–Lauren Clark has crafted a summer bucket list necessity that you can’t pass up. The brewing culture is absolutely burgeoning, and now is the time to get involved.

Relive The Renaissance

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No, not the King Richard’s Faire type of renaissance! While that Renaissance has its place, we are, of course, talking about New England’s architectural renaissance. The Northeast is filled with historic homes of beautiful architecture built on picturesque landscapes. Captured by author Kim Knox Beckus and photographer William H. Johnson in their book New England’s Historic Homes and Gardens, these homes are a road trip in the making. For example, The Breakers in Newport was built in Italian Renaissance style, and is one of many historic mansions in the book open for touring. The grounds are blooming with beauty and just waiting for your visit.

All of these books and more can be bought on Amazon, through our website and in independent bookstores and gift shops throughout New England.  Get out there – your summer bucket list is ready and waiting. Onward!

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