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The Boston Globe

Business

The top tourist attractions in New England

TripAdvisor

The tourism business is surging in the region, poised to break records this year, according to the Federal Reserve. Where is everybody going? We asked TripAdvisor, who sent us the most reviewed attractions in each of the six New England states, and what visitors had to say about them. One surprise: L.L. Bean headquarters in Maine, routinely cited as the state’s biggest tourist attaction, did not make the top three for TripAdvisor’s reviewers. “I didn’t see what the big attraction was,” said one. “Same old stuff with retail prices.”

MASSACHUSETTS

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Freedom Trail

TripAdvisor

Location: Boston

Pro: “Very good walking tour. Go with the guides. They are very knowledgeable and dressed in character. You will learn a lot, but be prepared to walk. Exercise and education are both good for you!” -- Greg T, Oxford, United Kingdom

Con:“Go walk the city. Following the red line gets old quickly if it’s not a perfectly beautiful day out.” -- TrevisoMA, Boston

Website: http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/

Fenway Park

TripAdvisor

Location: Boston

Pro: “We really felt like we were taken back in time to watch how the game was meant to be played. Boston fans were fabulous fun..” ddme, Toronto, Ont.

Con: “If you’re heading to Boston for the first time, Fenway’s a must see. But if you’ve been there before, it’s not too fun.” David L, Boston

Website: http://mlb.mlb.com/bos/fenwaypark100/index.jsp

Museum of Fine Arts

TripAdvisor

Location: Boston

Pro: “Grand!! This is one thing that comes to mind when you are in the middle of your tour of MFA. When I thought I was almost done watching all of their collection, I ended up entering a new section!” -- cashish11, Bangalore, India

Con: “The layout of these conjoined buildings is so confusing. The collections are scatted among different floors. Whether viewing by theme, region, or chronology -- you will find yourself going up and down and across courtyards just to maintain some semblance of order to your visit.” -- WhiteRabbit7, USA and Belgium

Website: http://www.mfa.org/

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Kancamagus Highway

TripAdvisor

Location: 34.5 mile scenic highway that runs from Center Conway to North Woodstock

Pro: “Amazing vistas surround you as you cruise along the Kancamagus. Give yourself plenty of time because there are many spots where you won’t be able to resist pulling over to take in the breathtaking beauty.” -- Paul C.

Con: “If this road is on the way to where you need to go, but all means do it, otherwise don’t go out of your way.” -- SheriffBart, Carmel, N.Y.

Website: http://www.kancamagushighway.com/

Conway Scenic Railroad

TripAdvisor

Location: North Conway

Pro: “The Conway Scenic Railroad is by far the most professional, most beautiful, and historically respectful railroad operation I have ever witnessed.” -- George F., Newburyport, Mass.

Con: “I paid a lot of money to hop on an old train and see trees, a softball game, and some old scrap amongst more trees.” -- DianeCT_USA, Hartford, Conn.

Website: http://conwayscenic.com/

Mount Washington Cog Railway

TripAdvisor

Location: Bretton Woods

Pro: “All I can say is this is a must do experience if you are visiting the area. Yes it is expensive but worth every penny!” -- Kara M., Marstons Mills, Mass.

Con: “It was a different experience having not been in cog train before, other than that we did not feel it was money well spent.” -- truthfultravel, Rancho Bernardo, Calif.

Website: http://www.thecog.com

VERMONT

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory

TripAdvisor

Location: Waterbury

Pro: “This is a great family destination. The tour is fairly priced. It is a informative and quick. The best part is the free ice cream sample provided at the end.” -- Laura G, Jersey City, N.J.

Con: “Would we go back? Nope. Would I recommend visiting B&J’s? Definitely no!” -- skis-gitz, Brisbane, Australia

Website: http://www.benjerry.com/about-us/factory-tours

Shelburne Museum

TripAdvisor

Location: Shelburne

Pro: “Art, architecture, and antiques. Stage coaches, blacksmith, and steamboat. Quilts, hatboxes, and glass. All set on a rolling green Vermont farm.” -- Meredith K.

Con: “There’s a boat near a covered bridge near a contemporary house near gardens. Huh?” -- tikiskis, Vermont

Website: http://shelburnemuseum.org/

Recreation Path at Stowe

TripAdvisor

Location: Stowe

Pro: “This is a great way to see Vermont at its finest...mountains, rolling brooks, cows and winding paths over bridges.” -- VrmtTraveler, Vermont

Con: “Pleasant walks, but plenty of bugs in June and absolutely no views. Nothing but trees!” -- HaveSticksWillTravel

Website: http://www.gostowe.com/thingstodo/sports/recreation-path

MAINE

Marginal Way

TripAdvisor

Location: Ogunquit

Pro: “What a great way to spend some time enjoying the spectacular coast of Maine by actually strolling along the cliffs with the option of stopping along the way to enjoy the crashing of the waves.” -- Marie S., Huntington, N.Y.

Con: “Drove to Marginal Way to take the one mile walk, after several times through the parking area and not finding a place to park, just quit.” -- John H., Palm Bay, Fla.

Website: http://marginalwayfund.org/

Cadillac Mountain

TripAdvisor

Location: Acadia National Park

Pro: “Unlike the die-hards who hiked and biked to the top, we drove up (ample parking) and then spent an hour or so walking around. The views are just beautiful! Don’t miss it!” -- Susan C., Buffalo, N.Y.

Con: “The Mountain is more like a hill.” -- faithandhope2live, Canada

Website: http://www.nps.gov/acad/parkmgmt/cadillac.htm

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

TripAdvisor

Location: Boothbay

Pro: “Trying to be a good husband, I get dragged to these places all the time. Going to a garden outside in Maine, was the last thing I wanted to do. But this place is huge, well thought out and incredibly neat. If you want to see the whole thing, get there early and you can spend the whole day and barely see it all.” -- darewreckjeter, Connecticut

Con: “Had I not been misinformed by their website, I would have worn my hiking shoes, and broght granola bars and water with me, instead of my tripod and camera. There simply were not enough flowers in this arboretum for me to look at and photograph.” -- TheWanderingLady, Hartford, Conn.

Website: http://www.mainegardens.org/

CONNECTICUT

Mystic Seaport

TripAdvisor

Location: Mystic

Pro: “Gives you a glimpse into the everyday life of people in a seaside town hundreds of years ago. On a sunny day, there is nothing more calming than sitting on a bench by the water, even with the sound of the ‘arrr’s’ of the pirate fight performed nearby.” -- KatieBear013, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Con: “I wish the Seaport well but certainly could not recommend it to adults with children above the age of 5.” -- HappyTravellerNJ, Westfield, N.J.

Website: http://www.mysticseaport.org/

Mystic Aquarium

TripAdvisor

Location: Mystic

Pro: “What a great place! I admit, I fell in love with the beluga whales -- their enclosure is arranged so that you can walk down the stairs and be face to face with them through the glass. And what fun to interact with them. (One tried to “kiss” a young girl standing next to me.)” -- lynnieb338, High Bridge, N.J.

Con: “Just not worth the money for the amount of things to do/see.” -- Lindsey M, Jewett City, Conn.

Website: http://www.mysticaquarium.org/

Mohegan Sun

TripAdvisor

Location: Uncasville

Pro: “Next to Vegas we love Mohegan Sun the most.” -- NicoleBoyer, Portland, Maine

Con: “Just your typical tribal casino- except a bit cleaner than the norm. Huge casino -- not laid out the best -- easy to get lost.” -- Wey2bz, Kansas City

Website: http://mohegansun.com/

RHODE ISLAND

Cliff Walk

TripAdvisor

Location: Newport

Pro: “Stunningly beautiful, and a different perspective to viewing the mansions. You could just feel the history here, and I kept trying to imagine the Vanderbilt family walking down their lawn to the beach below.” -- Linda L., Cheshire, Conn.

Con: “If you just want to walk, then it’s ok, but you can’t see any houses around because they are all fence off with high fences. Walking for 3 miles and looking at the ocean gets boring.” -- bonyNY, New York

Website: http://www.cliffwalk.com/

Newport Mansions

TripAdvisor

Location: Newport

Pro: “I had always wanted to see the mansions, and they were more incredible than I ever imagined. The opulent display of 19th century tycoon wealth is mind blowing. The mansions are beautiful inside and out.” -- markandjill7, Portland, Ore.

Con: “You can’t even take non-flash cell phone pics or video so the place might as well not exist, right? I guess I’ll just have to try real hard to remember it and explain it well to people.” -- Eric A.

Website: http://www.newportmansions.org/

WaterFire Providence

TripAdvisor

Location: Providence

Pro: “An evening spent at WaterFire often feels like Europe, between the international music echoing through WaterPlace Park, the street artists, the gondolas gliding past the flickering flames, and the cobblestone walkways along the river. It’s definitely a treat for the senses!” -- Leslie J., Providence, R.I.

Con: “Its good for people who don’t like much thrill. I think it’s very lame. However, if you want to take a walk and love to watch fires, then you might enjoy it.” -- Mary F., Warwick, R.I.

Website: http://waterfire.org/

Nina Joy Godlewski can be reached at nina.godlewski@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @NinaJGodlewski.
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