With all the rigmarole that international travelers continued to endure this summer because of the pandemic and related airline issues, quite a few charter yacht owners decided to keep their boats in the United States—and more than a few owners sent those boats up to New England. This is great luck for anyone who has the ability to charter during the offseason months of September and October, pretty much anywhere along the coast from Rhode Island up to Maine. The summertime crowds are gone, the top marinas tend to have more availability for transient slips, and the changing of the seasons creates a natural bounty of breathtaking color ashore.
Yacht owners themselves are getting in on the fall fun this year too, creating even more charter opportunities after they leave their boats: “The owners of Miss Christine are going to use her in September, and we’re working on October inquiries for leaves changing and fall colors,” says Nicole Caulfield, charter manager at RJC Yachts, which has numerous yachts available in New England well into September and October (a few are shown below).
In addition to perennially popular waterfront stops around the region for lobster rolls, clambakes and bowls of piping-hot chowder, New England also has some special events planned that can be part of a charter itinerary this fall. In late September, Mystic Seaport in Connecticut will put on its 25th annual Antique Vehicle Show, featuring about 100 pre-1932 vehicles on display. In October, Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island, will host the Newport Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival, with regional suds from Dorchester Brewing Co. and seaside-inspired craft cocktails from Cape Cod’r, among others. Also in October, the Nantucket Conservation Foundation in Massachusetts hosts a Cranberry Festival, which coincides with an islandwide shopping event called Cobblestones & Cranberries.
“We also have boats that will consider going to Maine through September,” Caulfield says. “The weather is still good, and it’s a pretty fall time. It’s great cruising.”
Acadia National Park
This picturesque spot in Maine is one of America’s 10 most visited national parks. Hikers can indulge in 148 miles of trails, which are separate from the miles upon miles of motor roads for cars, as well as the carriage roads for bicyclists and horseback riders. For a truly immersive experience, leave the boat for a night and reserve a space at one of the park’s four campgrounds. Early September is often ideal for smaller crowds and warmer temperatures in the park.