New England is best known for its beautiful autumn colours, but what else can you do there? Jane Jurgens is on the trail

Fenway Park

If you're heading to New England between April and September, be sure to visit Fenway Park for a Red Sox game and find out why it's "America's Most Beloved Ballpark". Nestled in the city of Boston, it's the oldest pro baseball park still in use — visitors can sign up for a one-hour walking tour of the park and learn about all the history within. But for the most authentic experience, be sure to catch a game and get among 36,000 screaming fans - they're beyond passionate about baseball around here.

Eat lobster roll

If New England has a trademark dish, it's definitely the lobster roll — delicious chunks of lobster coated with butter or mayo and served in a crisp hot dog bun. It's so popular that even McDonald's offers one during the summer. But will you go for Maine style or Connecticut style? Both states fiercely defend their version as the best — but the differences are subtle. In Maine, the meat is served cold and it is tossed with mayonnaise, tarragon and celery.

Lobster roll. Photo / 123RF
Lobster roll. Photo / 123RF

In Connecticut, the lobster roll is served warm with melted butter — and definitely no mayo. Try them both and see where your loyalties lie.

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Boston Freedom Trail

New England is one of the oldest settled parts of the United States — explore that history by taking the Freedom Trail, a 4km walk that leads you through 16 historically significant sites. The trail includes museums, churches, meeting houses, burial grounds, parks, a ship and other historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution. Explore the trail on your own, or book a tour — complete with performers in 18th-century costumes.

Boston Marathon

A highlight for running tourists, Boston's marathon takes place every April and attracts 20,000 participants each year — plus crowds of more than 500,000 to cheer them on. First run in 1897, it's the oldest continuously held marathon in the world. The course runs through 42km of winding roads — passing through eight Massachusetts cities and towns — before finishing in the centre of Boston. If you're looking for a challenge, it's considered one of the more difficult courses due to the number of hills.

Newport

This city is set on Aquidneck Island in the state of Rhode Island and hosted the America's Cup for many years. As you can imagine, it's a great location for yachting and fishing. However, Newport is particularly well known for its collection of Gilded Age mansions, representing the architectural style of the 1840 to 1920 period. The Breakers is the grandest of the lot, the summer home of the wealthy and socially prominent Vanderbilt family, patterned after a famous Renaissance palace. Another mansion, Rosecliff, was used as the home of Jay Gatsby in the 1974 adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

Cape Cod

A classic spot for an east coast seaside holiday, this stretch of Atlantic coastline is dotted with quaint harbours and fishing villages, seafood shacks, stunning beaches, sand dunes and romantic lighthouses. Hire a bicycle and take a ride down the scenic Shining Sea Bikeway, a former railway line that runs for 17km along the coast from Falmouth to Woods Hole. For historical significance, head to First Encounter Beach — named so, because it is the site where the Pilgrims on the Mayflower first encountered the local Native American tribe. It's a great place to watch the sunset.

Martha's Vineyard

A favourite holiday spot for the Obama family, this island is well known for its affluent summer population. Just a 45-minute ferry ride from Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard makes a picture-perfect postcard, with classic lighthouses, pristine sandy beaches, red cliffs, seas dotted with sailboats and brightly painted cottages. There are six small towns located on the island, with plenty of fresh fish and seafood to be enjoyed in all of them.

IF YOU GO

Getting there:

flies from Auckland to Boston, via Los Angeles.

Details: See visittheusa.com.

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