Rhode Island/Maine/Vermont

Lobsters, Wineries and Foods of New England

Taste your way through the iconic landscapes of New England as you explore local vineyards, visit a Vermont apple orchard and ride aboard a Maine lobster vessel with a local expert.
Rating (4.89)
Program No. 12312RJ
7 days
Starts at
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7 days
6 nights
18 meals
6 B 6 L 6 D
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Middletown/Newport, RI
Holiday Inn Express

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to confirm when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a delicious buffet dinner with soup, salad, choice of entrées, dessert, and beverage choices of coffee, tea, water.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will pre-select some meals. Travel and transfers will be via private motorcoach unless noted otherwise. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

Prescott Farms, Newport Vineyard, Historic Newport
Middletown/Newport, RI
Holiday Inn Express

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 1/2 mile; standing up to 1 hour for presentations.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as eggs, bacon or sausage, pancakes, cereal, bagels, yogurt, fruit, pastries, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will set out on our first field trip to visit historic Prescott Farm in Middletown. Founded in the 18th century, the 40-acre farm is today owned by the Newport Restoration Society that saved it from destruction in 1973. Master gardeners from the University of Rhode Island have since recreated gardens typical of the Revolutionary War period when the most notable events occurred. Led by Prescott staff as well as local gardeners, we’ll learn about the fascinating history and see historic buildings including the windmill dating back to 1812, as well as the kitchen and herb gardens. We’ll also taste a traditional Johnny Cake cooked in the historic kitchen.

Lunch: At a local restaurant we'll have a choice of entrée plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll hop on the motorcoach and ride down Ocean Drive with a local historian. Ocean Drive — known locally simply as The Drive — is a 10-mile long route along the coast featuring beautiful vistas of the ocean and historic mansions. Our historian will provide commentary about we see during our ride. We’ll then head to Newport Vineyards for an expert-led exploration followed by a wine tasting. Newport Vineyards was established in 1977, and takes advantage of a micro-climate ideal for producing complex flavors in wine.

Dinner: At one of Newport’s fine restaurants overlooking the water, we’ll have plated 3-course dinners we pre-selected with choice of entrée plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening is at leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

Massachusetts to Maine, CSA Appleton Farm, Lobster Cruise
Ogunquit, ME
Ogunquit River Inn & Suites

Activity note: Taking luggage from hotel to motorcoach. Getting on/off a motorcoach; on/off a lobster boat. Walking up to 1/2 mile at farm; dirt and uneven surfaces.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll check out of the hotel, board the motorcoach, and head north into the rest of New England. En route, we’ll stop at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA, to learn about their dairy and CSA (consumer supported agriculture) farming, an innovative way to invest in local agriculture and receive fresh produce throughout the season. Enjoy a rare glimpse into New England’s agricultural past. A gift of Colonel Francis R. Appleton, Jr., and his wife Joan, Appleton Farms is one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the country, established and maintained by nine generations of the Appleton family.

Lunch: At the farm, we’ll have salad, a choice of sandwiches made with locally sourced ingredients plus lemonade, water and dessert.

Afternoon: Re-boarding the motorcoach, we will continue driving north to Ogunquit, Maine, and check in to our hotel with some time to freshen up. We’ll head to Kennebunkport and board a lobster boat (weather permitting) with a local expert. As we cruise, we’ll learn about the industry as we watch the captain pull up traps with the day’s catch. In the event of bad weather, the captain will still give us a presentation. We’ll then go to dinner.

Dinner: At the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport — a listed historic hotel by the National Register of Historic Places — we will have a 3-course dinner with salad, choice of entrée, and dessert plus beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. Enjoy beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and mouth of the Kennebunk River.

Evening: In the dining room, we’ll be joined by a local expert for a presentation on Maine-made foods.

Portland, Maine Mead Works, Lobster Dinner
Ogunquit, ME
Ogunquit River Inn & Suites

Activity note: Walking at field trip sites; stairs at meadery.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as waffles, sausage, cereal, toast, pastries, yogurt, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will meet our local expert on the city of Portland who will accompany us on our field trip this morning with our Group Leader. As we explore this historic port city, we’ll learn about its history, its connection with the fishing industry, and Casco Bay.

Lunch: At a Portland restaurant, we’ll have a cup of New England clam chowder and a traditional Maine lobster roll — cold lobster salad served on a toasted New England style hot dog bun.

Afternoon: We’ll take a field trip to Maine Mead Works in downtown Portland. Mead, also known as honey wine, is thought to be the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world. In 2007, a local entrepreneur began experimenting with bringing mead into the modern era. He made contact with a South African scientist who was an expert in advanced mead-making systems to produce a lighter, drier drink. The honey used at Maine Mead Works comes primarily from bees in fields of goldenrod in northern Maine. We’ll conclude with a tasting. The remainder of the afternoon is free. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The city offers excellent cultural attractions, boat rides, train rides, distinctive boutiques, and restaurants. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: We’ll have a real treat: a traditional lobster dinner with all the fixings at the Sun and Surf Restaurant in York, Maine. Dinner includes New England clam chowder, mussels, a steamed lobster, baked potato, corn on the cob, and dessert plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening is at leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

New Hampshire to Vermont, King Arthur Flour, Goat Demo
Brandon, VT
Brandon Inn

Activity note: Walking at field trip sites; standing up to 1 hour.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll board the bus for Vermont. We’ll stop first in Norwich at the flagship campus of King Arthur Flour, established in 1790 and now employee-owned. We’ll have a presentation on the company, its history, and work today. We'll participate in a private maple walnut scones baking class prior to lunch. Aside from wheat brought from other parts of the U.S., one of the characteristics of this company is using local ingredients and supporting local farms.

Lunch: At King Arthur Flour, we’ll have pre-ordered box lunches with sandwiches made using their freshly baked breads and ingredients prepared in the café; water included.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll travel to the Billings Farm and Museum, during which we’ll see the livestock barns that house the farm’s dairy herd, draft horses, sheep, and oxen, plus extensive farm life exhibits. Following our exploration of the farm we'll have a ricotta cheese making demonstration and tasting. Arriving in Brandon, we’ll check in to the inn, established in 1786 and on the National Register of Historic Places. After settling in, we’ll be joined by a local goat farmer and one of her goats for a milking demonstration and talk on goat-milk products. We’ll taste samples of cheese, yogurt, and milk. You may even get to try your hand at milking!

Dinner: In the main dining room of the inn, we’ll have a 3-course dinner with choice of entrée and beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Get ready to play Bingo with your favorite New England food products as prizes.

Champlain Orchards, Waybury Inn, Baird Farm
Brandon, VT
Brandon Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking up to 1/2 mile; dirt paths, hills through orchard.

Breakfast: At the inn, the breakfast buffet includes choices such as hot entrées, homemade granola, bagels, yogurt, pastries, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll take a short drive for a field trip to Champlain Orchards. Family owned and ecologically managed, the orchard overlooks Lake Champlain in Shoreham, Vermont. This is one of the oldest continuously operating orchards in the state. The current owners began small with a dream of providing nourishing food to the community. They now produce more than 80,000 bushels of 70 varieties of apples as well as blueberries, cherries, nectarines, pears, plums, and raspberries. We will visit their orchard farm as well as their cidery and sample some of their many delicious products. We’ll then continue our transfer and stop in Middlebury, VT.

Lunch: At the historic Waybury Inn, we’ll have a delicious lunch featuring their famous gingerbread cake with inn-made caramel and cinnamon whipped cream.

Afternoon: We’ll travel to Baird Farm where we will explore the sugarhouse and learn the process of maple sugaring. We will conclude our visit with a sampling of different grades of syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup! Afterwards, we’ll conclude our day with some time to explore the charming town of Brandon, featuring over 70 homes listed on the National Historic Register.

Dinner: Back at the inn, we’ll have a tasty, 3-course farewell dinner with salad, choice of entrée, and dessert, glass of local Vermont wine or beer, plus beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: We’ll enjoy entertainment in the living room of the inn. Then prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

Transfer to Rhode Island, Program Concludes
Brandon, VT

Activity note: Departure after inn check-out. Expected arrival at TF Green Airport in Providence by 2:00 p.m.; Middletown hotel arrival by approximately 3:00 p.m.

Breakfast: Inn buffet.

Morning: Checking out of the inn, we’ll board the bus to start our journey south. En route, we’ll visit the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham where we will have an opportunity to enjoy samples of fine Vermont foods. We will then move on to Rhode Island.

Lunch: En route, we’ll have food prepared by the Brandon Inn including a sandwich, chips, fruit, cookie, and water.

Afternoon: We expect to arrive at T. F. Green International Airport in Providence by approximately 2:00 p.m. for those flying out. We will drive on to the hotel in Middletown with arrival by approximately 3:00 p.m. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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