Written by Ellen Honey
July 2016

NEW YORK CITY bagels, New England clam bake, Boston cream pies, Maine lobster rolls, maple syrup, johnnycakes, baked beans, seafood chowder, coffee milk, whoopie pies and blueberry everything … who needs more reasons to spend time in the Northeast?

Aside from the amazing cuisine and the obvious historical significance, there are many more incentives to visit. The diversity of culture and terrain, the changing seasons, the world’s most dynamic cities surrounded by small villages striking in their simplicity all invite deeper exploration.

Yachts escaping the southern heat, port-hop during the summer months between popular tourist spots and secluded anchorages along the coastline. From New York City to Bar Harbor, enjoy shopping, dining, sightseeing and breezy nights along the way.

We put together an itinerary of destinations, with many top-notch marinas and facilities that can accommodate large yachts (more than 80 feet). Enjoy cruising the Northeast this summer!

New York, N.Y.

The pages of a thesaurus would be worn ragged finding enough adjectives to describe New York City. It’s anything and everything and no specific thing. Any description will be passé by the next day in this dynamic environment, especially when it comes to restaurants. The variation in dining is staggering, and over the last few years the restaurant scene has undergone a seismic shift as Old World giants give way to more accessible food in casual atmospheres.

Dockage is available in Manhattan at MarineMax at Chelsea Pier for vessels up to 320 feet (18-foot dock depth) or North Cove Marina, offering eight megayacht berths for vessels up to 175 feet (18-foot dock depth). Across the Hudson River in Jersey City is Liberty Landing Marina, accommodating vessels up to 200 feet (12-foot dock depth), and Newport Yacht Club and Marina which offers 12 berths for vessels up to 180 feet (10-foot dock depth).

The Hamptons — Sag Harbor, N.Y.

Within easy access from the cacophony of Manhattan are the world-class beaches, seaside restaurants and upscale atmosphere of Long Island’s Hamptons. En route, Brewer Capri Marina (can accommodate up to 150 feet) offers a great stop-over in beautiful Port Washington on the Long Island Sound. Farther east, Hamptons villages such as Sag Harbor, Southampton, and East Hampton offer not only favorite seaside resorts but some of the most luxurious and expensive real estate properties in the nation.

A historic whaling town, Sag Harbor prides itself on being “unHamptons.” The Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum promotes the area’s rich culture. Foster Beach on Noyack Bay is a great place to unwind after a long day of fishing, clamming, or paddle-boarding in the harbor. Dockage is available at Sag Harbor Yacht Club for vessels up to 200 feet (12-foot dock depth), which is walking distance to town. There is an abundance of restaurants nearby, including the American Hotel, the Corner Bar, Dockside Bar & Grill, Nello Summertimes, and Cittanuova.

Newport, R.I.

The site of world-class festivals — music, seafood, tennis, polo and more. Steven Sullivan, a retired mega yacht captain and the manager of Newport Marina on Lee’s Wharf, says docking in the city is “a bargain” given how much there is to see and do. Visit Cliff Walk, the 3.5-mile path that traces the edge of the sea, the famous mansions of the Gilded Age, and the storied Tennis Hall of Fame. Explore the Coastal Wine Trail, or visit Rhode Island’s only operating rum distillery before dining on dishes made from ingredients from local farmers, foragers and fishermen at such places as Midtown Oyster Bar, Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant, Tallulah on Thames, and Pasta Beach.

Dockage is available right in the heart of town at either Newport Marina accommodating vessels up to 140 feet (9-foot dock depth) or Newport Yachting Center for vessels up to 180 feet (22-foot dock depth).

Nantucket, Mass.

Nantucket is noted for its dune-backed beaches and stunning shingled buildings. Steepled churches, designer boutiques and phenomenal eateries line the cobblestone streets and old wharves. Visiting yachts have many restaurant options, such as CRU and Slip 14.

The centrally located Nantucket Boat Basin can handle boats up to 300 feet (12-foot dock depth). Grab a bicycle to explore the island or catch a cab to visit Cisco Brewers, Triple Eight Distillery and Nantucket Vineyard. Rent a 4×4 SUV for an off-road adventure along the 16 miles of sand roads and beach at Coskata Coatue Wildlife Refuge. En route to Provincetown, stop in Hyannis, Mass. at Hyannis Marina which can handle yachts up to 200 feet and is located within walking distance to town.

Provincetown, Mass.

Located on the outermost tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown is a vibrant oceanfront community with walkable dunes and a thriving arts scene. Many stores offer exquisite, locally hand-crafted merchandise and unique finds acquired during winter buying trips. Stop for coffee and a homemade treat at the Wild Puppy, an award-winning European style espresso cafe, then head for the museum commemorating the pirate ship Whydah, which wrecked off the coast in 1717 with the riches from 50 plundered ships.

In the center of town is Provincetown Marina, now open under new ownership, offering 60 slips for vessels up to 300 feet (15-foot dock depth), along with Long Point Marina accommodating vessels up to 140 feet.

Boston, Mass.

Founded in 1630, Boston is a fascinating city where the historic and the futuristic are in ongoing conversations. Skyscrapers meet cobblestone streets, and the historic Freedom Trail passes trendy hotspots. The dining scene is equally eclectic, with ethnic eateries and traditional New England fare in abundance. Each neighborhood has its own unique character. Back Bay’s ornate Victorian townhouses are a short distance from the college vibe of Cambridge and the narrow 17th-century North End streets, where red checkered tablecloths magically appear for Sunday sidewalk suppers.

Constitution Marina on the Charles River accepts vessels up to 150 feet (20-foot dock depth), along with Charlestown Marina, handling yachts up to 500 feet (15-foot dock depth). Another option is Boston Yacht Haven, located in Boston’s historic North End, which has dockage available for vessels up to 225 feet (25-foot dock depth).

Portland, Maine

Boasting more coastline than California, Maine deserves several stops over an extended period. The classic seacoast town of Portland has a cosmopolitan edge with museums, galleries, and the charming Old Port district. Historic buildings have been revitalized into boutiques, brewpubs and restaurants. Portland was recently voted America’s Foodiest Small Town by Bon Appetit magazine. Try Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room, Liquid Riot Bottling Company, or David’s Opus Ten. Dockage is available at DiMillo’s Old Port Marina offering fuel and accommodating vessels up to 250 feet (25-foot dock depth).

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

With its stunning rocky coastline and quaint seaside village, Boothbay Harbor characterizes Maine’s mid-coast. An abundance of mom-and-pop style stores and restaurants preserve the destination’s small town charm. Discover excellent clam chowder, lobster stew, ice cream, chocolate oose (yes, moose) and salt water taffy. Some of the best can be found at the Lobster Dock.

Hop on a harbor tour to explore nearby islands and have close encounters with puffins, seals and whales, or take to the water by kayak. The Maine State Aquarium and Boothbay Railway Village are both crowd pleasers.
Located on the quiet side of the harbor  within walking distance of downtown, Hodgdon Marina provides 750 linear feet of space on their new pier, (8 to 18-foot dock depth). Their service yard can haul boats up to 170 feet.

Mt. Desert Island, Maine

The mountains truly do meet the sea at Mt. Desert Island (MDI), one of the most spectacular settings on the entire East Coast. It’s best known for Acadia National Park, the second most-visited national park in the U.S., with a landscape marked by woodlands, rocky beaches and glacierscoured granite peaks. Bar Harbor is the center of activity for visitors with its myriad shops and taverns. Check out Cabbage Island Clambakes, Bet’s Famous Fish Fry, and Dunton’s Doghouse.

Dockage is available at Harborside Hotel, Spa and Marina for vessels up to 165 feet (9-foot dock depth). Northeast Harbor is a quiet enclave of the rich and famous and home to Northeast Harbor Marina (12-foot dock depth). Southwest Harbor, a town on the “quiet” side of the island, has maintained its maritime heritage and is home to Dysart’s Great Harbor Marina, with slips for vessels up to 180 feet (15-foot dock depth). ml

Service Centers for Large Yachts

  • Hodgdon Yacht Services, Boothbay Harbor, Maine -New England’s largest full service marine company offering maintenance, repair & refit for super yachts.
  • Journey’s End Marina, Rockland, Maine This full-service facility can accommodate yachts up to 275 feet (16-foot dock depth) and can facilitate service on systems for large yachts.