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March 2017 Travel News GATEWAY TO THE USA!

Two new routes - New York and Boston - will take off this summer


RAVELLERS in Northern Ireland rejoice - low-cost airline Norwegian has confirmed that it will begin direct flights from Belfast International Airport to New York and Boston this summer.

The new routes will give holidaymakers the chance to travel non-stop to the US (without driving to Dublin) for the first time since United Airlines axed its daily service in January. The flights to New New York will land at Stewart International Airport - not a big airport by most standards. However this means a far shorter queue at customs. Same goes for Boston - flights land at Green Airport, Providence in Rhode Island.

Both airports are roughly a 90 minute commute from the main cities of New York and Boston, however the prices - starting at £69 one-way - certainly reflect that.

But the USA has much more to offer travellers than New York and Boston, and with Norwegian operating to these smaller ‘out of town’ airports, travellers have the chance to branch out and explore some of America’s untapped beauty. Stewart Airport lies just to the west of the Hudson River with the nearest tourist spots (apart from New York City) being Hudson Valley, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The Hudson Valley extends 150 miles above the tip of Manhattan. Designated as a National Heritage Area, the valley is steeped in history, natural beauty, culture and a burgeoning food and farmers’ market scene. It’s also the oldest wine producing area in the country.

Lonely Planet describes the Hudson River Valley as “a real city break, with leafy drives, wineries and plenty of farm-to-table foodie options”, while National Geographic Traveler named the Hudson Valley one of the top 20 must- see destinations in the world.

Hudson Valley counties include Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Ulster and Westchester. The cities of New Jersey offer unique, one-of-a- kind experiences that will leave long lasting memories as you travel through. Known as the ‘Garden State’, New Jersey is the mecca of cherry blossoms, beautiful gardens and lakes and an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Explore cities along the shore such as Cape May, Asbury Park or the famous Atlantic City - walk the boardwalks, see the amazing lighthouses and take in the ocean air. New Jersey is rich with history, and Princeton and New Brunswick provide a beautiful backdrop for you to learn more about America’s history. The jewel in New Jersey’s crown is definitely its 130 miles of coastline, spanning from Sandy Hook to Cape May, where unmatched beaches boast beautiful barrier island and bays, dotted with majestic lighthouses, fishing villages and scenic views.

What’s the best way to experience Connecticut? Well with so many attractions and activities in one small street, Connecticut offers a complete experience in a compact package.

If you like adventures and the great outdoors, you’ll find a lot of things to do in here, from hiking trails to saltwater sails.

Always ahead of the cultural curve, Connecticut is home to amazing art galleries, award-winning theatres, unique museums and modern architectural marvels.

They say ‘Find Fall Faster’ in Connecticut. Why? Well, because Connecticut puts New England’s richest fall experiences within easy reach, without the long drive. The Fall foliage season lasts well into November, so you’ve got more time to enjoy the leaves, pick the pumpkins, harvest the apples, get lost in the corn mazes and experience everything else that makes fall one of the most spectacular seasons.

Connecticut has always had good taste. Experience celebrity chef-owned restaurants, agri-


tourism and farm-inspired menus, the finest New England seafood, and wine and beer trails. For kids, there’s Connecticut’s classic amusement parks, aquariums filled with friendly creatures and of course the joys of “pick-your-own” farms. Explore the Revolutionary War sites, Victorian architecture, town greens, military accomplishments and other historic attractions.

Unwind with a night at a seaside inn or a weekend in a cozy B&B. Then recharge with a stroll in a vineyard or roll the dice in one of the world-class casinos. Connecticut also has everything you need to spark a little romance, from fireside hotels to restaurants with a view, romantic getaways to long drives through the countryside.

TF Green Airport, Providence (Boston) is located in Warwick, a city rich with history. With a quaint, small town feel, Warwick is ranked on of the safest cities in the USA.

The New England region of the US is comprised of six very unique states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont — all easily reached through the gateway city of Boston and TF Green Airport, Providence. For the third smallest state in the US, Connecticut is packed with opportunities for fun for the entire family. This southernmost New England state celebrates its vibrant maritime heritage, which includes whaling, shipbuilding and the construction of the world’s first nuclear submarine - the famed Nautilus. Wander through the quaint coastal towns along the Connecticut shoreline, such as the beloved Mystic Seaport, or stroll along the gorgeous beaches. Foodies will enjoy hitting the trails - the culinary trails that is, including the Chocolate Trail, Beer Trail, Pizza Trail and Wine Trail, where you can sample from Connecticut’s 25 vineyards. Outdoor adventure comes in all forms - from top family theme parks to tubing the state’s beautiful rivers, riding the Essex Steam Train

An ariel view of the stunning city of Boston The iconic Staue of Liberty sits on Liberty Island in New York Harbour, New York City

and Riverboat, or hiking in the many state parks. Maine is the largest New England state and boasts an impressive variety of outdoor adventure opportunities. From majestic mountains and a breathtaking coastline (accented by dozens of lighthouses) visitors can enjoy fresh and plentiful seafood and scenic windjammer cruises. You can also find peace and quiet in the Maine woods, just as Henry David Thoreau once did. The state is fast becoming a foodie destination with an impressive number of local breweries, wineries and distilleries, as well as world-renowned chefs who use the local foods to create culinary masterpieces.

Between shopping in the delightful town of Freeport and wandering the coastline from one charming seaside village to another, visitors to Maine will always find a way to experience the unequivocal natural beauty found throughout the state. Acadia National Park is one of the most beloved in the

country, with stunning views as the mountains meet the sea.

Pilgrims, Paul Revere, the Boston Tea Party… The beautiful Bay State of Massachusetts is rich with America’s heritage. At Plimoth Plantation, time has stopped in the year 1627 - this living history museum is a wonderful, interactive way to learn how the early settlers lived. North of Boston, the town of Salem is infamous for the Witch Trials of 1692, and the great city of Boston is where revolutionaries boldly destroyed the British merchant’s tea shipment leading to the beginning of the American Revolution. Boston is home to much of the nation’s early history, and has amazing cultural icons as well. The Museum of Fine Art Boston, The Boston Children’s Museum, The Boston Museum of Science and the impressive New England Aquarium are all found within the city.

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