Business
    Next Score View the next score

    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

    Freedom Trail

    TripAdvisor
    Advertisement

    Location: Boston

    Get Talking Points in your inbox:
    An afternoon recap of the day’s most important business news, delivered weekdays.
    Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

    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.

    Advertisement

    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

    Advertisement

    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.