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New England Travel Readers' Choice Awards 2012

Announcing the Best of the Best in New England

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There was no red carpet or little golden statues, but the inaugural New England Travel Readers' Choice Awards announced on March 30 recognize the region's best and most memorable places and experiences and give the hard-working innkeepers, snow groomers, chefs, brew masters, event planners and other hospitality and tourism industry professionals behind them the right to swagger throughout 2012. Like all of About.com's Readers' Choice Awards, these honors provided travelers with an opportunity to determine the ultimate winners by nominating and voting for their favorites in a variety of categories. Whether you live in New England or are planning to visit this six-state region, here's your guide to some of the best New England has to offer.

And the Winners Are...

Readers Choice Awards 2013 logo
Thousands of votes were cast for the 2013 New England Travel Readers' Choice Awards, and now it's time to reveal the winner in each of the eight award categories below.

And the winners are...

Favorite New England B&B/Inn

Inn at English Meadows
Photo courtesy of the Inn at English Meadows, © Christian Giannelli Photography
Just like snowflakes, no two New England B&Bs are alike. And therein lies their charm and allure for many travelers. Discover the distinctive qualities that helped one New England inn emerge as the winner in this hotly contested category.

Favorite New England Family Resort/Hotel

Inn at East Hill Farm
Media photo courtesy of the Inn at East Hill Farm
Family-friendly resorts and hotels beckon to New England travelers with their array of recreational amenities, accommodations options and scenic locales. There were family resorts by the sea, in the mountains and lakeside among the finalists, but the winner of Readers' Choice honors is a working farm.

Best Place to View New England Fall Foliage

Once you've experienced autumn in New England, you understand completely why the region is overrun with leaf peepers from late September through October! Fall foliage season is the region's busiest tourism season, and there are both tried and true destinations for enjoying scenic views and lesser known places with equally splendid autumn landscapes. Learn a bit about why the winner and runners-up in this category have unparalleled autumn appeal.

Best New England Ski Resort

Okemo Mountain Resort Photo
© 2006 Kim Knox Beckius
What makes a ski resort the best? Great snow conditions and exhilarating trails for all abilities--sure! But mountainside amenities, atmosphere, instructional offerings and the après-ski scene count, too, and one clear winner took the Readers' Choice Award for Best New England Ski Resort.

Favorite Place to Eat Lobster in New England

Lobster Roll Picture - Abbott's Lobster in the Rough Noank CT
© 2008 Kim Knox Beckius
It is completely possible to eat lobster for breakfast, lunch and dinner when you're traveling in New England... or even to belly up to an all-you-can-eat lobster buffet. Some prefer their lobster all piled up on a bun or beautifully plated in an elegant restaurant. Others say you haven't tasted lobster until you've eaten it "in the rough" at a lobster pound on the Maine coast, but surprisingly, the top lobster spot in New England winner is actually in one of the region's southern states.

Best New England Brewery/Brewpub

© 2000 Kim Knox Beckius
The Pilgrims didn't spend all of their time planting corn and hunting turkeys. They also labored to make beer. And New England breweries large and small still make distinctive brews that you'll find on tap during your travels. Which brewery rated top honors? A household name was the winner, but you'll find craft breweries that also deserve accolades among the runners-up.

Best Annual Festival/Event in New England

WaterFire
© 2010 Kim Knox Beckius
When you live in New England, it's impossible to be bored. There are simply too many excellent events happening in the region, season after season. The winner in this category is a cherished Rhode Island tradition, and I love that the event is both a work of art and absolutely free.

Favorite New England Attraction, Activity or Tour

Paranormal Salem Ghost Tour
Photo courtesy of Paranormal Salem
As anticipated, this Readers' Choice Award category produced an eclectic line-up of contenders, all worthy of increased visibility. Readers have weighed in on what's fun to do in the region, and now, it's time to reveal the winner and runners-up.

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