For every Motel 6 or Holiday Inn that populate highway exit areas across the entire region, visitors to New England will discover an even broader landscape of lodging options boasting special characteristics that make them memorable. Here are six of our favorite unique places to stay — one from each state in the region.
Vermont — Fat Sheep Farm and Cabins, Hartland
Located on 60 acres of a working farm, Fat Sheep Farm, located about 45 minutes from both Okemo and Killington, is a unique stay that supports an independent farming family. Voted “Best Farm Stay” by Yankee Magazine in 2021, Fat Sheep Farm has received numerous such accolades over the years for providing families with a sustainable lodging experience that gives them a glimpse into the lives of everyday farmers in Vermont.
There are a handful of cabins to choose from (the bright and airy Four Corners Cabin to the Sunrise Cabin, which provides an optimal view for a summer morning), each with its own distinguishing traits. Each comes with WiFi, air conditioning, and are all pet-friendly. On the farm, guests will get to participate in the morning animal chores, take a forest or field walk, and enjoy stargazing and fireflies at night. Cabins start at around $200 per night. Check cabin availability for this summer on their web site.
Fat Sheep Farm and Cabins, 122 Best Road, Hartland, Vt., www.fatsheepfarmvermont.com.
Connecticut — Winvian Farm, Morris
Winvian Farm is a Nutmeg State dive into history. The 1775 manor stands at the heart of the 113-acre estate, the central focus of a resort that takes luxury accommodation to another level with its 18 cottages, each nestled into the trees of the property.
Winivan Farm has recently been named a “Top 30 Destination Spa Resorts in the United States” and one of “18 Most Romantic Weekend Getaways in the U.S.” by Conde Nast Traveler. Connecticut Magazine included Winvian Farm’s farm-to-table dining options in its 2022 “Best Restaurants” roundup. And the luxurious spa, smack dab in the center of natural beauty, adds another layer of relaxation.
Winivan Farm, 155 Alain White Road, Morris, Conn., www.winvian.com.
Massachusetts — Green Turtle Floating Bed and Breakfast, Boston
Of all the interesting and unique spots that Boston has to offer for an overnight stay, few immerse guests into their environment quite like the Green Turtle. The floating bed and breakfast is located at the Charlestown Navy Yard, offering an unmatched view of the skyline shimmering above Boston Harbor. The houseboat features two separate luxurious queen suites — Sea Turtle and Loggerhead. It’s one of the only places around the city where you can wake up on the water and take a leisurely stroll into downtown Boston. The famed North End is only a 20-minute walk away.
Innkeepers Karen and John also have the Green Turtle 2 (a 45-foot motor yacht with two queen staterooms that sleeps up to six people) and a property in Walpole, N.H. that is within 45 minutes of a handful of ski areas. The restored 1742 farmhouse (Our House by Butternut Brook) accommodates up to 12 people.
Each suite on the Green Turtle sleeps two people, making it the perfect destination for a summer date or celebration. Water taxis are also available at Logan Airport, only four miles from the Navy Yard.
The Green Turtle, 1 Pier 8 13th Street, Charlestown, Mass., www.greenturtlebb.com.
Rhode Island — Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport
In what is a bucket list sort of stay for many people, the Rose Island Lighthouse welcomes guests to its storied quarters, tucked away on an 18-acre island that can be accessed via a 15-minute ferry ride from Fort Adams.
The Fort Hamilton Trust offers stays as short as a night to as long as a week. The spacious apartment atop the light offers sweeping views of Narragansett Bay and the Newport Bridge. You can only imagine the level of sunrises and sunsets you’ll witness from a very unique perch.
Rose Island Lighthouse; Call 401-847-4242 or visit roseisland.org to inquire about a reservation.
New Hampshire — Tiffany Hill Treehouse, Newbury
Less than a five-minute drive from the shores of Lake Sunapee, this majestic treehouse, available via Sunapee Stays Premier Vacation Rentals, offers opportunity for a truly unique stay. Guests will find two bedrooms and one bath in the air-conditioned treehouse, which also features a “wrap-around deck raised high above the trees where you can relax and enjoy the solitude surrounding you.” A Weber grill is a nice accompaniment to the fully-equipped kitchen on hand.
The exquisitely-crafted tree house is a self-contained private area, located on a well-lit road with parking for two vehicles.
Tiffany Hill Treehouse, 88 Bay Point Road, Newbury, N.H., www.sunapeestays.com.
Maine — Terramor Outdoor Resort, Bar Harbor
At its most simplistic definition, glamping is a form of “glamorous camping,” or the ability to go and “rough it” in the wilderness, albeit with a number of modern conveniences to enhance one’s comfort level.
But it’s also a very personal definition, said Whitney Scott, chief operating officer at Terramor Outdoor Resort, a glamping retreat in Bar Harbor, Maine.
“It’s largely undefined because it’s everybody’s experience of what they consider camping,” Scott said. “Some people consider backcountry their camping, so even just having a hard-sided structure around them is glamping. Where others would say, ‘I need a concierge and a copper bath tub.’ You might tend to need to consider it glamping. It’s more whatever that person’s consideration of camping is and elevating it.”
Visitors will find more than enough to keep them busy in the Bar Harbor area, but Terramor still offers some on-site activities, including complimentary yoga sessions, music from local artists, s’more sessions, and oysters and champagne gatherings in the lodge.
Terramor Outdoor Resort, 1453 ME-102, Bar Harbor, Maine, www.terramoroutdoorresort.com
Eric Wilbur can be reached at email@example.com.