New England's calling cards have a timeless appeal. Coastal vistas,
small country villages, cultural vitality and outdoor recreation --
these are the qualities that have long attracted visitors to New
Following is a state-by state update of recent and upcoming
Last August, the $350 million made its debut in Ledyard, home to
Foxwoods Resort Casino. The facility explores the history of the
Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and its land, a journey that started
18,000 years ago. There are interactive computers, 13 films and
videos, re-created environments, art, two research libraries (one
for children), a shop and restaurant.
A $52 million expansion and makeover of the Mystic Marinelife
Aquarium is nearing completion. On May 1, a new, one-acre Alaskan
Coast marine mammal habitat that will host beluga whales and seals
will debut. Opening this summer is the Challenge of the Deep
exhibit center, designed to allow visitors to experience deep-sea
Visitors to Connecticut's Mystic Seaport this year can view
shipbuilders at work on a $2.8 million reproduction of the schooner
Amistad. The site interprets the story of enslaved Africans who
seized control of the original 19th-century schooner and made their
way to freedom, a story that was dramatized by the Steven Spielberg
film "Amistad." After the ship is launched in July 2000, it will
serve as a floating classroom for young people.
In Norwalk, the Stepping Stones Museum for Children, an
interactive learning center for children ages 1 to 10, is slated to
open in late autumn of this year. Also in the city, a $10 million
expansion at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is scheduled for
completion in spring 2000.
Hartford is anticipating a major boost to downtown renaissance
efforts, thanks in part to an agreement by the NFL's New England
Patriots to move out of Massachusetts into a new 68,000-seat
stadium that's scheduled to open in 2002. The plan calls for the
development of an adjacent complex that will contain a convention
center with 558,000 square feet of usable space, a 700-room hotel,
an NFL interactive center, retail space and housing.
Visitors can sample the wares of locally produced fresh food and
goods at the new Portland Public Market, which opened downtown last
October. More than two dozen vendors sell specialty foods, flowers,
baked goods, cheeses, seafood and meat for eat-in or take-out at
In Bar Harbor, a June opening is planned for the Atlantic
Brewing Company's new estate brewery. Situated on 10 acres and open
for free tours, the brewery will also feature a cafe, play area, a
restored farmhouse, hop arbors, orchards and a tasting room.
The New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket, operator of
whitewater rafting trips on Maine's Kennebec, Penobscot and Dead
rivers, has expanded operations with the purchase of two competing
outfitters. The firm plans to construct additional guest houses
this summer. The New England Outdoor Center also is expanding its
lineup of commissionable packages.
An alliance of tourism interests, historians and business
leaders has launched a Literary Trail of Greater Boston. The
20-mile trail links historic literary landmarks such as the
Longfellow House in Cambridge and the Concord home of Louisa May
Alcott. The Literary Trail is the first of four heritage routes
being planned: Boston by the Sea is slated to open on Memorial Day
weekend; a family history and immigrant trail will debut in
Old Town Trolley of Boston has introduced two new programs this
year. A 21/2-hour Big Dig at Night Tour explores Boston's massive
$11 billion highway construction project during the hours when work
is at full throttle, and a Boston Sports Lovers Tour features
historical and landmark sports sites and a visit with a sports
This fall, Amtrak will launch high-speed train service linking
Boston and New York via Providence. Electric trains will make the
trip at 150 miles per hour, cutting travel time from 41/4 hours to
less than three hours.
Captain John Boats of Plymouth has introduced one-hour
land-water tours that visit Plymouth's historic district and cruise
In Agawam, more than $30 million in new attractions and
improvements will be on display at Riverside-The Thrill Park when
it opens for the 1999 summer season.
One of the country's most outstanding scenic roadways, the White
Mountain Trail, has been designated a National Scenic and Cultural
Byway. The popular driving route, which includes the Kancamagus
Highway, has been extended into a 102-mile loop and enhanced with
improved signage and visitor information. The White Mountain Trail
begins at the White Mountain Visitor Center in North Woodstock.
New Hampshire has established a new tourism region in the
northern part of the state -- the Great North Woods Region. The
area, which encompasses vast stretches of untouched wilderness, is
being promoted for outdoor activities such as wildlife viewing,
hunting, fishing and hiking.
An August opening is scheduled for the Providence Place Mall,
which will contain 1.25 million square feet of retail shops
anchored by Nordstrom's, Filene's and Lord & Taylor. The mall
contain an IMAX theater, a 20-screen movie complex and a
restaurant complex. Located downtown between the Westin
Providence and the Rhode Island State House, the mall will be
linked by free shuttle to Providence neighborhoods.
The New England Sports Museum, formerly located in Cambridge,
Mass., is moving to Providence just across the street from the
Rhode Island Convention Center. The museum is due to open in its
new location this summer.
Heritage Harbor, a $2.8 million cultural center and state
history museum, is being developed in a turn-of-the-century
landmark building on Providence's downtown riverfront. A 2001
opening is planned.
Stowe Mountain Resort now offers a Mountain Biking Center
featuring lift-served biking on Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak.
The center provides bicycle rentals, private and group instruction
and guided tours; there are about 20 biking trails on Mount
Mansfield and 12 on Spruce Peak.
In Burlington, Lake Champlain Chocolates has moved into a new
factory store that includes an observation deck and enlarged retail
space. The chocolate maker offers free factory tours by
The family-owned Boyden Valley Winery in Cambridge offers free
tours and tastings year-round. The winery also sells Vermont
specialty products, historical furniture and the handicrafts of
For tool lovers and clients intrigued by the way things work,
Windsor's Precision Museum is a new highlight. Located in a
historic building, the museum tells the story
of a manufacturing system that was key to the Industrial