The Connecticut River spans 410 miles from the border of Canada to Long Island Sound. Inside the Connecticut River Museum, visitors can span that space through exhibits that tell the stories of the river and the people who have lived along it. Aerial photographs and a large mural depict the evolution of the river communities through time, and the “On the Great River” exhibit showcases the early history of the river through artifacts and works of art. A reproduction of David Bushnell’s “Turtle” allows visitors to get up close to the submarine, turn the propeller, and pump the ballast intake. A huge mural, cannonballs, and ship fragments recall the night in April, 1814 when British forces traveled upriver and burned the privateer fleet in Essex. The river played a key role in the development of towns and cities in New England, providing everything as transportation routes to waterpower.
Along with long term and special exhibits, the Museum offers educational programs for adults and children as well as seasonal boat cruises up the River. Cruises travel along the lower river valley, labeled one of America’s last great places by the Nature Conservancy.
Overseeing more than 22 New England locations, Jack Brewer—a lifelong sailor—has tended to boats and provided peace of mind for their owners for nearly 50 years. At their 50-acre marina community, Brewer Pilots Point Marina’s year-round staff works to keep the family-friendly facility’s swimming pool, restaurant, clubhouse, and more than 800 boat slips in ship shape. Sailing schools for juniors teach recreational and competitive skills, and adult-oriented classes introduce students to sailing or help them brush-up on hoisting sails, maneuvering, and reading the wind based on the ripples in a pitcher of beer. Summer slips and events offer boating and entertainment through the warmer months, and indoor-storage options keep skiffs safe from Old Man Winter’s icy beard-cicles.
The US Coast Guard–licensed captains with Peconic Water Sports tow customers through the water using all of the 400 horses inside their Malibu Wakeboats' Indmar engines. Before launching from the dock in Greenport Harbor, they wield their coaching experience to train each participant in the techniques necessary to ride their selection of Liquid Force wakeboards, Connelly Marine water skis, tubes, and kneeboards. These captain-coach hybrids emphasize safety as much as technique, and each is annually certified in CPR and First Aid. Captains also conduct seasonal fishing charters through the bay or open sea, as well as sightseeing cruises along Eastern Long Island.
On board the yacht Mystique, the crew of Lady Katharine Cruises organizes themed brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises that give occasions a nautical boost. Summer lobster bakes move aside for fall foliage cruises along the Connecticut River, and entertainment cruises are held throughout the year with themes including jazz, Big Band, oldies, and salsa. In addition to public voyages, the vessel can be chartered for weddings and private cocktail parties.
Specializing in the art of chardonnay, Chamard cultivates varietal grapes on 20 acres of gently rolling vineyards, unleashing an assortment of palate-pleasing wines. Bring a guest and relish the ambrosial aromas and mouth-uplifting flavors of chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, merlot, and cabernet franc blends created with time-honored winemaking methods and state-of-the-art graping equipment. Grasp a Riedel glass and try five wines while overlooking the pond on the deck, warming up by the tasting room's fire, or hiding in one of the cellar's wine barrels. After sampling fermented grape serums, customers can activate the power of a 15% discount to purchase a bottle of wine ($12.99–$24.99) for enjoying at home or christening a new caravel.
Originally built to sail around the world, the New Horizons motorsailer now spends its days providing Maine hospitality to its guests while gliding along the scenic Northeastern coast of the United States. After boarding the sailboat, groups can take in the sweeping views of the New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and past the Statue of Liberty, while sipping drinks and savoring treats such as the classic Maine lobster roll, which can be purchased on board. Seafarers may also embark on special voyages, such as Lobster Day Sail picnics. With its spacious design, semi-private upper deck, and modern sound system, the New Horizons can handle events that range from large family gatherings to old-fashioned ocean-drinking contests.