As we reach that ideal time of year between late summer and early fall, the Northeast beckons with an array of charming coastal retreats and vibrant mountain settings. Some inspire tranquil beach days along the Atlantic, while others are already seeing the first leaves change, but each is easily accessible by private charter – and often difficult to reach via commercial connection.
For your next flight with Tradewind Aviation, here are eight destinations that epitomize the beauty of private air travel:
America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race are just a few of the internationally recognized sailing events to have been held in Newport, renowned as the sailing capital of the world. Once a retreat for wealthy American families like the Vanderbilts, the coastal Rhode Island city still emanates the splendor of the Gilded Age with centuries-old city squares and beautifully restored mansions, some of which have been transformed into boutique hotels.
Fly into Newport State Airport, where Tradewind’s Pilatus PC-12s are some of the only aircraft capable of landing, then explore Newport’s fascinating history with accommodations at Vanderbilt Grace, Castle Hill Inn overlooking Narragansett Bay, or The Chanler at Cliff Walk. The 3.5-mile Cliff Walk offers breathtaking vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, and exquisite cuisine awaits at Bouchard Restaurant, The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn (where the wine list is consistently recognized by Wine Spectator), and Bowen’s Wharf.
Verdant mountains and more than 100 lakes frame the charming town of Saranac Lake, located in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. With activities from boating and fishing to snowshoeing and snowmobiling, the destination is a spectacular year-round retreat with a lively downtown strip that regularly sees musicians performing and artists painting near Lake Flower.
You can fly into Adirondack Regional Airport, but the more scenic approach is the nearby Lake Placid Airport, with a 4,200-foot runway in the midst of a lush, forested landscape. Stay in a log cabin crafted from native timber and stone without sacrificing comfort at The Point, and dine at standout restaurants like Blue Moon Cafe, Left Bank Café, and Bitters & Bones.
Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket
Among the most sought-after retreats in the Northeast, the neighboring islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket abound with New England coastal charm and rich history. Idyllic hillsides and beaches overlooked by lighthouses give way to quaint towns, where you will discover exquisite globally inspired cuisine, boutique shopping, and opportunities for sailing.
Visitors can fly into Martha’s Vineyard Airport or Nantucket Memorial Airport with Tradewind’s regularly scheduled shuttles, or for larger parties, by private charter. (Keep in mind, Tradewind’s fleet can also land at Katama Airfield.) During your stay on the Vineyard, Winnetu Oceanside Resort overlooking South Beach offers a wonderful base to explore the surrounding villages and dine at restaurants like Atria and Little House Café. A quick plane ride away, the cobblestoned streets and steepled churches of Nantucket await. Stay at The Wauwinet or the White Elephant and explore exceptional dining at The Pearl (try the acclaimed wok-fried lobster) and Straight Wharf (nightly changing, seasonal offerings).
Set between Acadia National Park and the deep blue Atlantic, Bar Harbor is one of Maine’s most coveted destinations for its beautiful scenery and world-class lobster. The Mount Desert Island town is close to hiking and biking trails that follow soaring cliffs and the rock-bound coastline, and in town, an array of unique dining experiences highlight fresh-off-the-boat seafood and local farm produce.
The Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, located just across the bridge on the mainland, features a 5,200-foot runway alongside the waters of the Mount Desert Narrows. After landing, check into Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina, or West Street Hotel before ordering some of the freshest lobster in the northeast at the roadside shack Rose Eden Lobster. And for a gourmet experience, order the Coulette steak over warm blueberry and spinach salad at Havana.
Located at the base of Mount Mansfield in Vermont, the mountain village of Stowe is best known for its premier skiing and winter adventures. But much of the region’s beauty reveals itself during other seasons, from summer hiking and fly fishing to some of the most legendary leaf viewing in the Northeast each fall.
The 3,701-foot runway at Morrisville-Stowe State Airport is your gateway to Stowe Mountain Lodge, featuring ski-in, ski-out access to the slopes in winter and serving as a center for endless recreation during the warmer months. (Tradewind offers regularly scheduled shuttles as well as private charters to the airport, located just 7 miles from the center of town.) During your visit, be sure to have dinner at Plate – reserve the Chef’s Counter for an up-close view of the kitchen while you dine – and visit some of Vermont’s renowned craft breweries like Idletyme Brewing Company.
Twelve miles off the coast of Rhode Island, a picturesque New England escape awaits with 17 miles of rock and sand beaches and dramatic, 250-foot cliffs. Touch down on Block Island State Airport’s 2,502-foot runway to explore sights like Mohegan Bluffs (with the 1800s red-brick Southeast Lighthouse set atop the cliffs), Crescent Beach, and the island’s two harbors where you can set sail for the day on a sleek catamaran.
The landmark Spring House Hotel, renowned for hosting visitors like Ulysses S. Grant and Mark Twain, is the place to stay with its quintessential, wraparound veranda and scenic views. Nearby, Restaurant 1879 offers a memorable tapas menu and a Wine Spectator award-winning wine list, while Winfield’s Restaurant serves up delectable entrees like grilled shrimp with Cajun remoulade over andouille sausage jambalaya.
At the very tip of Long Island, 118 miles east of Midtown Manhattan, Montauk is known as the last untouched village of the Hamptons. Revered for its scenic, windblown beaches, the summer beach retreat features six state parks, exceptional fishing, resort nightlife, and the historic Montauk Point Light – the first lighthouse in New York and the fourth oldest active lighthouse in the United States.
With water at both ends, the 3,246-foot runway at Montauk Airport provides an incredibly picturesque landing only accessible to small aircraft like the Pilatus PC-12. Nearby, the historic Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa is the only year-round resort in town and offers 2,000 feet of private beach. Spend your stay sunbathing by the Atlantic and dining at gourmet restaurants like Muse at the End, Scarpetta Beach, and Harvest on Fort Pond.
The serene waters of Lake Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam Lake border the mountain village of Laconia, located alongside White Mountains National Forest in New Hampshire. After soaring above the region’s many lakes during your landing at Laconia Municipal Airport, you may be inspired to take an air tour to further explore the spectacular landscape. Then, set out for boating, hiking, and walking the 1,300-foot Weirs Beach boardwalk for scenic views of the water and the Ossipee Mountains.
Stay at Lake Opechee Inn and Spa, a charming boutique hotel with individually decorated rooms and private balconies overlooking the smaller Lake Opechee. Then, go for farm-to-table cuisine at Tavern 27, an exceptional American tapas restaurant and piano bar located in a 235-year-old farm house.