This special travel guide issue is a conversation between Yankee and you, our readers. We are talking about places we love in a unique corner of the world: New England. We all know that surge of excitement when we discover a new place and, whether by foot or bike or car, we set out and explore. For me the experience has always felt as if I’ve been given new eyes for a few days. I see things I don’t notice at home. In fact, all my senses seem to sharpen. I pay attention to the details: where the locals love to eat, the little shops on Main Street or the ones tucked on back roads; the advice offered by the innkeeper or from a fellow traveler soaking up sun on a beach somewhere.
Often those newly discovered places become as comfortable to us as a favorite robe, and we develop that delicious sense of well-being when we return to a place year after year, like birds to a nesting spot. It’s a time we mark on a calendar months in advance, a reunion of sorts, with memories and anticipation of memories to come.
That’s what this special travel issue of Yankee is all about. It’s a celebration of place, a guide to enjoying these destinations to the fullest, page after page. “Guide” is one of my favorite words, for all that it suggests — a welcoming hand, a nod in a certain direction; it says, “Follow me, let’s see what we find around the corner.”
I had many such guides when I first came to New England. This was in 1970 in Maine, and I had no car. The people I met wanted me to know the places they loved, so they took me there. I saw the north country wilderness above Greenville and the long, sloping sands of Popham Beach. I saw islands in Casco Bay and hiked paths that snaked upward through a forest until I reached the top and saw the vast expanse of Sebago Lake shimmering below. In time, I had my own car, and I found more of the beauty in Maine and all our New England states. Then I, too, wanted to take friends to see my discoveries. That’s what is inside these pages: a chance for you to come along with us and find treasures together.
With each issue of Yankee, my hope is that readers will sit down and take it in with a single gulp, unable to tear away from the photos and words. But not with this issue. Keep picking at the pages; let the smells and sounds and the essence of place come at you in bits, slowly, like watching a sunset. It’s the best of armchair travel, and better, with so much plain old-fashioned guiding, you can go to these places. We let you know our favorite places to eat and stay, and the shops with special items in their nooks and crannies that you won’t find in the malls.
Enjoy the pages that follow. And now that we’ve told you some of our favorite places, it’s only fair that you reciprocate. Send me an e-mail at editor@YankeeMagazine.com, or write to me at Editor, Yankee Magazine, 1121 Main St., Dublin, NH 03444. I like to say I’ve been everywhere in New England, but surprise me — I’ll let you guide me to your own treasured spot.
P.S. For hundreds more travel tips, be sure to go to YankeeMagazine.com.