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Lobsters and Lighthouses

13 days Self Drive Tours

Virgin Holidays' view

One of those places you instantly feel like a local, New England’s scenery, old-world villages, and seaside communities are as welcoming and familiar as you can get, making for leisurely exploration. Breaking you into the easy-going air, Boston’s no sprawling urban jungle; it’s a cutesy enclave packed with history and charm. Its Freedom Trail links American Revolutionary landmarks with a simple stroll, peppered with endless dining and second-to-none shopping. But lobsters and lighthouses await. Hitting the road north takes you through Salem’s witch trial history, coastal communities like Gloucester, Rockport, and Portsmouth, and into Kennebunkport, whose bohemian vibe and historic homes make it a perfect overnight stop before heading on to Bar Harbor, where lobstermen bring in their catch for your chowder and lobster rolls. Most travellers drive into Acadia National Park, taking Park Loop Road or scaling Cadillac Mountain, before leaving the coast for the White Mountains and their covered bridges and forest-wrapped villages, heading over to Stowe; the Green Mountains and their bear and moose lled forests; and the famously chic region of The Berkshires. Back on the coast, the trail leads you to Newport, summer home of the super- wealthy, and Cape Cod, where incredible sandy beaches, sweet villages, and free-spirited Princetown make it the summer home of many more.

Itinerary

Day 1: Boston

Fly to Boston from the UK and on arrival pick up your hire car. Upon check in; please ask the hotel reception for your ATI Tour documentation pack which will include your tour essentials. Accommodation stay – 2 night in Boston.

Day 2: Boston

Explore Boston's Seaport on foot and view the Boston Lighthouse which holds a head light visible for sixteen miles "as a reminder of the inextinguishable American spirit". To take a closer look, there are several guided harbor tours (optional, fees apply) to get you there. Tonight, enjoy dinner at Boston's world famous waterfront. Weather permitting, may we suggest a harbor side evening stroll to see the moonlight dancing on the water.

Day 3: Boston – Salem – Portsmouth - Kennebunkport

Along the route north of Boston lies almost four centuries of history, as well as some of the coast’s fi nest beaches and seascapes. First stop is Salem, the location of the infamous witch trials. Then drive along the coast to the charming harbor towns of Gloucester and Rockport. Enjoy the old-time seaport atmosphere of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and its wealth of historic buildings before crossing into Maine. Your destination today is the popular resort of Kennebunkport, a haven for writers and artists. Accommodation stay – 1 night in Kennebunkport. Driving distance 206 kilometres.

Day 4: Kennebunkport – Wiscasset – Ellsworth/Bar Harbor

Travel along the beautiful Maine Coast to Bar Harbor. Along the way you will pass through quaint fishing villages where fi Sherman mark their grounds with colorful buoy’s. Don’t miss the chance to try a lobster or cup of clam chowder. Accommodation Stay - 2 nights in Ellsworth. Driving distance 340 kilometres.

Day 5: Ellsworth/Bar Harbor – Acadia National Park – Ellsworth/Bar Harbor

A full day to explore one of the oldest and most beautiful national parks in America. Discover soaring peaks, dramatic glacier-carved valleys, clear lakes, and the rugged shoreline with the only true fjord on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Witness the area’s natural wonders from Park Loop Road or drive to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, at 1,530 feet (466 meters), the highest point on the U.S. Atlantic seaboard.

Day 6: Ellsworth/Bar Harbor – North Conway

Depart Ellsworth and make your way west towards North Conway to spend a day at leisure and even take a visit to see the White Mountains. Experience breathtaking views of mountain ranges and pristine forests. Accommodation Stay - 1 night in North Conway. Driving distance 345 kilometres.

Day 7: North Conway - Stowe

Today, traverse the White Mountains that divide the New England states of New Hampshire and Vermont. The mountains are home to bears, moose, wild turkey, and deer. This route takes you through some of New England’s most beautiful scenery. Drive by Lyndonville and see Willey’s General Store in Greensboro before continuing through Craftsbury, a Grandma Moses kind of village, to Stowe. See picture-perfect villages and some of Vermont’s famous covered bridges. Accommodation Stay – 1 night in Stowe. Driving distance 210 kilometres.

Day 8: Stowe – Green Mountains – Williamstown

Continue south along Route 100, where you will take in some of the most spectacular scenery in Vermont’s Green Mountains. With their dense forests, the mountains are home to bears, moose, wild turkey, and deer. See picture-perfect villages and some of Vermont’s famous covered bridges before crossing into Massachusetts’ Berkshires, known for their rural beauty and cultural assets. Overnight in the college town of Williamstown. Accommodation Stay – 1 night in Williamstown. Driving distance 260 kilometres.

Day 9: Williamstown – Middletown/Newport

Drive south and pass through a series of wonderful little towns, including Lenox, summer home for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. See Hancock Shaker Village near Pittsfield before continuing to the storied little city of Newport, Rhode Island, once a prosperous colonial seaport. Accommodation stay - 1 night in Middletown. Driving distance 290 kilometres.

Day 10: Middletown/Newport – Hyannis/Cape Cod

Depart Newport for a relatively short journey where you will quickly cross the Stateline into Massachusetts, then driving along Buzzard Bay before making the turn onto the Mid-Cape Highway, which will quickly take to you to Hyannis. One of most noteworthy summer escapes in the country, Hyannis Port is home to the Kennedy Compound, from where JFK ran his successful campaign for President in 1960 and which later became the Summer White House during his brief albeit memorable Presidency. The compound was built by Joseph Kennedy Sr., the family’s patriarch, who became very rich (some say from bootlegging) during the same interwar era as the fictional Jay Gatsby. Accommodation stay – 2 nights in Hyannis. Driving distance 119 kilometres.

Day 11: Hyannis/Cape Cod

Explore magnificent Cape Cod with its high cliffs, rolling dunes, broad beaches, miles of walking trails, picturesque villages and delicious seafood. This peninsula is a beloved vacation spot for visitors and natives alike. Stop in Plymouth, a living panorama of Pilgrim and Colonial times and see the Mayflower II.

Day 12-13: Hyannis/Cape Cod Departure to UK

Return your hire car to the airport prior to your flight back to the UK.

This tour is based on a Room only basis.

*Denotes local charge – Optional trips and excursions suggested on the itinerary are bookable and payable locally.

This is a set tour itinerary, if you have booked any pre/post or optional tour arrangements please refer to your separate vouchers and final documents.

Dates & prices

The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.

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Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability and date of departure.

Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated. Single room and flight prices are available at a supplement.

Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.

Tour information

Please click here to download a pdf of the tour itinerary and additional tour notes.

Post Tour information

If you would like to extend your trip or make the tour part of a longer holiday, we can easily add on a pre or post night stays for you. Our Sales Team will work with you to arrange the best connecting flights and book any additional hotel stays. Simply tell us what you’d like and we can arrange it.

Time difference

Eastern Time Zone: GMT -5 hours Pacific Time Zone: GMT -8 hours Mountain Time Zone: GMT -7 hours Central Time Zone: GMT -6 hours

Tour inclusions

  • Accommodation listed above
  • Welcome phone call from American Tours International on Day 1
  • Virgin Holidays branded rucksack with tour documentation and Atlas, please ask when you check in at your first hotel for your ‘ATI Pack’
  • Old Town Trolley Tour

Tour exclusions

  • All Flights and airport transfers in the UK
  • Travel Insurance
  • Car hire and insurance unless this has been booked by the sales consultant
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
  • The required ESTA application
  • Anything not detailed on the itinerary.

Dining inclusions

  • Room Only

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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of hand-picked options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9499.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 31 August 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking, and you are due to travel before 06 October 2020, please log in to Manage my booking to call or message us. 

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're good to go


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. Log in to Manage my booking to request a call back to amend your holiday. Please bear in mind we’ll work through requests in departure date order so may take longer than usual for us to get back to you

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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