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Best New England Attraction, Activity or Tour

Winner, Runners-up for the 2013 New England Travel Readers' Choice Award Are...

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A fleet of historic sailing ships, a museum, a beloved ballpark, an enduring White Mountains outpost and a lake cruise duked it out in this catch-all category for the chance to be named Best Attraction in the second annual New England Travel Readers' Choice Awards.

The winner and runners-up for Best New England Attraction, Activity or Tour are...

1. ***Winner*** Maine Windjammer Association Fleet

Maine Windjammer Photo
© 2001 Kim Knox Beckius
The 10 historic tall ships that make up the Maine Windjammer Association fleet provide unforgettable multi-day sailing excursions that guests often find restorative and life-changing. Departing from the Midcoast towns of Rockland, Rockport and Camden, these floating antiques--including seven ships that have been designated National Historic Landmarks--are captained and crewed by experienced sailors who take passengers on a wind-driven tour of Maine's spectacular coast, giving them chances to help raise the sails, to enjoy time unplugged and to feast on lobster and other fresh fare. Voters really put the wind in the Windjammer fleet's sails this year, lifting the ships to victory.

2. Maine Lighthouse Museum

Maine Lighthouse Museum
© 2006 Kim Knox Beckius
Rockland, Maine, is a lighthouse lover's dream destination. Not only is this Midcoast town a perfect home base for viewing several historic beacons, including Rockland Harbor Breakwater Light and Owls Head Light, it's the site of the Maine Lighthouse Museum. In 2007, the Maine Lighthouse Museum and the American Lighthouse Foundation joined forces to create the nation's largest repository of lighthouse and lifesaving artifacts. In addition to an impressive collection of lenses and foghorns, the museum exhibits everything from lighthouse art, photographs and models to rare memorabilia and lighthouse keeper uniforms.

3. Clark's Trading Post

Clark's Trading Post Bear Show
© 2001 Kim Knox Beckius
Clark's Trading Post has been a fixture in Lincoln, New Hampshire, since 1928, and its nostalgic amusements continue to enchant families who visit the White Mountains mid-May through mid-October. Best known for its trained bear shows, Clark's Trading Post is also home to diverse museums, the White Mountain Central Railroad, Blaster Boats and more, including modern attractions like a Segway Park. Generations of the Clark family have devoted themselves to sustaining this entertaining and educational outpost.

4. Red Sox Games at Fenway Park

Green Monster at Fenway Park Boston
© 2000 Kim Knox Beckius
Boston claims America's oldest Major League Baseball park... and America's most passionate baseball fans! Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, turned 100 years old in 2012, and it's a storied place to embrace America's pastime. Even after a disappointing 2012 season, you can bet Red Sox Nation will be behind the team from the first pitch until the last out of the 2013 season.

5. M/S Mount Washington

It's hard to picture Lake Winnipesaukee without seeing the elegant ship that has graced the waters of New Hampshire's largest lake since 1940. The M/S Mount Washington replaced the original Mount Washington: a paddle wheeler that began ferrying cargo and tourists around the lake in 1872. These days, a voyage aboard Mount Washington Cruise's flagship vessel is still a "must" for Lakes Region visitors. Scenic, Sunday Brunch and Sunset Dinner cruises are offered mid-May through mid-October.

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