Top 10 Themed Driving Trails in New England -- Wine, beer, antiques, lighthouses, art, views, ancient barns, sundaes

top 10 themed drive trails New England is packed with great places to visit, dine, sightsee, and shop. The states help visitors make travel plans by creating themed and self-guided trails. Trails guide you to places to taste wine, ice cream, cocktails, beers, and burgers; places to shop for unique antiques; places to see fine art; places to absorb the history of a community. Connecticut even has a trail for historic barns. Most trails have helpful brochures with maps and listings of stops. Cue up the brochure on your tablet or smart phone and hit the trail!
Federal Hill food tour
Rhode Island -- Federal Hill Food and History Tours

Federal Hill is Providence, Rhode Island’s Little Italy, an authentic community of food and Italian culture from 1886 to the present. Few people are as qualified to show you around the food culture of this place as chef and historian Walter Potenza. His Premiere Food Tour will take you to taste cheeses, charcuterie, and antipasti as you learn about these dishes from experts. The walking tour ends Chef Walters Cooking School with tastings of olive oil, balsamic, and wine. 401-273-2652. Map.
Ct burgers and brews trail
CONNECTICUT -- Connecticut Burgers & Brews Trail

Connecticut declares itself the place where the hamburger was created, when, back in the 1800s, a cook at Louis Lunch in New Haven served a fried beef patty wedged into a roll to a customer in a hurry. Like many places, this state of picturesque towns and rural areas also has its fair share of people brewing small-batch beers. The Connecticut Burgers & Brews Trail takes you on a hearty tasting tour to every corner. Spend a whole season treating your taste for brews and burgers on the road.
Ct barns trails
CONNECTICUT -- Connecticut Barns Trail

Break out your camera and your love for gorgeous scenery in bucolic farming country. Some wise person has created the Connecticut Barns Trail, seven routes with farm sites that are open to the public. These include working farms with farm stands, orchards, wineries, all with a barn – sometimes called the biggest tool on the farm – to see and photograph. The routes are outlined in a helpful brochure and are designed to guide drivers or cyclists. Download "CT Barns" app on your IPhone or see brochure here.
VT African American Heritage Trail
Vermont – Vermont African American Heritage Trail

Over the centuries, African Americans have lived in Vermont, farmed its land, founded and operated businesses. Vermonters also were active participants in the Underground Railroad before the Civil War. The Vermont African American Heritage Trail tells the stories of black Americans in Vermont. A major player in these stories and the flagship stop of the trail is the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburg, location of the Robinson home, where Quaker abolitionists sheltered black fugitives in the 1830s. - Trail Brochure (PDF)
Vt stone trail
Vermont -- Vermont Stone Trail

Vermont has a history of quarrying and carving granite, marble and slate. Spin-off pieces of this history describe the Italian-American stone carvers who moved into the area in the 19th century. The Vermont Stone Trail describes dozens of quarrying-related sites, among them the Rock of Ages Visitor Center in Graniteville and the Vermont Marble Museum in Proctor. Hear stories about this rugged industry and the artistry of its finished products. Map to Rock of Ages. Map to Vermont Marble Museum.
art trail of the kennebunks
MAINE -- Art Trail of the Kennebunks

More than 20 art galleries form the backbone of the Art Trail of the Kennebunks, a free, self-guided tour of local art galleries and studios. A printed brochure and map highlighting the local galleries is an excellent resource. In addition to galleries, the guide directs visitors to the always-lively Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk and, about 2 miles from the center of town, the Arundel Farm Gallery, with an the antique farmhouse, carriage house and barn with gallery spaces. Check ahead for hours of operation. Trail map.
VT beer trails
Vermont -- Brewery Tours

Vermont claims to have more breweries per resident than any other state. Backroad Tours will create a custom tour of Vermont breweries that perfectly suits your tastes. Its basic tour template visits four breweries and finishes the day with dinner, but any part of the tour can be changed. Whether you take an off-the-shelf tour or one you devise, Backroad Tours guides have the knowledge and gusto to make it the best possible excursion for any beer fancier. Backroad Tours is based in Wallingford and typically picks up customers in the Rutland/Ludlow/Killington area. 802-446-3131. Map.
Massachusetts Art Trail
MASSACHUSETTS -- Massachusetts Masterpiece Trail

The Massachusetts Masterpiece Trail is a curated collection of specific artworks that you can view at museums across the state. An online brochure guides you from one location to the next. Plan the stops on your journey in advance or zigzag by whim. Wonderful things you may see include Tree Logic at MassMoCa in North Adams, Frog Circus at Wisteriahurst in Holyoke, Jamie Wyeth’s Kleburg & Dozer at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, Cavelli’s guitar at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
New Hampshire -- Portsmouth Harbor Trail Walking Tours

Portsmouth, NH, is a delightful city with a gorgeous park on the Piscataqua River. During Colonial times, Portsmouth was a port for fishing and shipping timber. Learn all about ancient times’ connections to the present on Portsmouth Harbor Trail walking tours, offered from June through October (603-610-5518). Three walks take you around Market Square; Prescott Park; Strawbery Banke, a living history museum; tug boats at the docks; views of the river; and several churches and mansions. Map.