The ocean temperatures may not always feel welcoming and there are days when the morning fog clings as stubbornly as cream of mushroom soup to egg noodles, but New England’s oceanside vacation spots are still among some of the hottest in the country this year, according to a survey released Tuesday.
According to travel website TripAdvisor, nearly half of the country’s top 10 summer vacation destinations for 2018 are located in New England. Those destinations — Bar Harbor, Maine (No. 2), Block Island, R.I. (No. 3), Martha’s Vineyard (No. 7), and Nantucket (No. 10) — were picked based on a seasonal rise in bookings. A survey of more than 3,000 TripAdvisor users also found that the Northeast is the most popular region of the country for summer travel this year.
No. 2-ranked Bar Harbor, which lost the top spot to the so-charming-it-hurts lakeside hamlet of Mackinac Island, Mich., earned high marks for outdoor activities such as kayaking and whale watching. The average expense for a week in Bar Harbor is $2,321 per person, and the least expensive week of the season to visit begins May 28. The only downside is that a heavy jacket and a hat are often still necessary in Bar Harbor in May.
Block Island placed third in the survey thanks to its wild dunes and antique lighthouses. An average week on Block Island is more expensive than in Bar Harbor, running $2,857 per person. The average nightly summer hotel rate on Block Island is $355 a night, compared to $264 a night in Bar Harbor.
Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, which placed 7th and 10th respectively, may be not have made the top five, but they are two of the most expensive destinations on the list. Nantucket was the most expensive with an average nightly summer hotel rate of $664. Vacationers can expect to spend $4,872 per person to enjoy a week strolling the brick streets and admiring the cedar-shingled saltbox homes (and mansions). TripAdvisor says the least expensive week to visit Nantucket is May 28, when prices are roughly 30 percent lower than high season.
Martha’s Vineyard is less expensive than Nantucket, but still no bargain compared to other destinations on the top 10 list. An average week in the Vineyard will set you back about $3,535 per person. The average nightly summer hotel rate is $473. Like Nantucket, the least expensive week of the summer season to visit is May 28.
Provincetown, which TripAdvisor users ranked as having one of the top 25 beaches in the country in a separate survey, didn’t make the top 10 destinations list.
The 10 hottest US destinations for Summer 2018 (according to TripAdvisor)
1. Mackinac Island, Mich.
2. Bar Harbor, Maine
3. Block Island, R.I.
4. Lake George, N.Y.
5. West Yellowstone, Mont.
6. Ocean City, Md.
7. Martha’s Vineyard
9. Jackson Hole, Wyo.