6 New England States at the Big E’s Avenue of States

New England’s Finest Products, Traditions and Fare on the Big E’s Avenue of States

How can you visit all six New England states in less than one hour? Visit The Big E, the only fair in the country with multiple states participating! Take a stroll along the Avenue of States and see impressive replicas of each New England state’s original statehouse sitting on land actually owned by that state. Take a step inside and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and tastes and of quintessential New England.

The Avenue of States provides fairgoers the opportunity to tour New England all without leaving The Big E. A visit to the Fair just isn’t complete without taking a stroll through the unique offerings and traditions of each New England State. From native foods to products and crafts, each state provides a plethora of delights for residents of New England and those visiting from afar.

Connecticut Building – With pristine beaches, rolling hills, picturesque lodgings, fascinating history and incredible casino entertainment, visitors to Connecticut are sure to find something to satisfy their interests. Fairgoers who tour the building will enjoy Connecticut-made products and the aromas of delicious fare including Connecticut made pizza and candy products. Your trip will not be complete without a stop at LEGO, a visit with dinosaurs and a chat with a Connecticut winemaker as well as many of the agricultural exhibitors that will be representing the Nutmeg state. Visit on Connecticut Day, Sept. 19, and witness the best our neighbor to the south has to offer.

Maine Building – Known for mouth-watering “lobstahs,” exquisite wildlife, and serene coastline and landscape, the Pine Tree State exhibits its specialties at The Big E. Fairgoers can indulge in a famous Maine Baked Potato, delectable lobster roll or wild blueberry product! This year’s exhibits in the Maine Building include the Maine Lighthouse Collection Series, ever-popular maple products and nature-inspired jewelry and ornaments. Visit on Maine Day, Sept. 29 for a “down east” experience.

Massachusetts Building – Bay State locals are not surprised that Massachusetts brings agriculture, picture-perfect scenery and rich history to The Big E. The Massachusetts Building at The Big E, a replica of the original Statehouse, boasts the best of the state from Provincetown to Pittsfield. Browse through the many choices of Massachusetts fare including Finnish pancakes, maple products, and fudge. Purchase a Bay State t-shirt or a beautiful braided rug and browse other exhibitors to purchase products made right here in the Bay State. Be sure to check out the Tornado Fire Starters, a company recycling wood from trees destroyed by last year’s tornado. On Massachusetts Day, Sept. 20, demonstrations showcasing Massachusetts’ talents will take place both inside and outside the building.

New Hampshire Building – Enjoy homemade fudge, blueberry pie and candies, and treat yourself to handmade soaps and lotions without leaving The Big E. The Granite State has so much to offer visitors from hand thrown pottery to beaded jewelry and hand-woven rugs. Be sure to stop in and check it out! On New Hampshire Day, Sept. 21, the New Hampshire Building will host a slew of performers and entertainers all possessing that good ole’ New Hampshire spirit!

Rhode Island Building – Didn’t make it to the Rhode Island shore this summer? Not to worry, the shore is coming to you at The Big E. The Rhode Island Building invites you to spend time taking in some of the most popular sites Rhode Island has to offer. While you’re there, be sure to enjoy The Ocean State’s famous clam cakes, decadent seafood, and refreshing Del’s Lemonade. Don’t forget the coffee milk! The building is full of exhibits and businesses including embroidered clothing with New England themes, and one-of-a-kind Rhode Island creations. Stop by on Rhode Island Day, Sept. 18, for special performances.

Vermont Building – The Green Mountain State is known for its friendly people, historic villages, fabulous fare, working farms, coffee, and, oh did we mention maple syrup? Be sure to visit the Vermont Building on the Avenue of States and sample fresh, cold milk and cheddar cheese. Plan a ski vacation for the whole family while sipping on warm cider! Featuring everything from handmade crafts to hard-to-find antiques, the Vermont Building is sure to shine. Vermont Day is Sept. 22, so be sure to stop by for special performances and entertainment.

The Big E takes place Sept. 14 – 30, 2012 in West Springfield, Mass. For more information, be sure to visit TheBigE.com or call the info line at 413-205-5115.

– Submitted by Catherine Pappas

Beach Day Trips: 16 Recommendations from Western MA


Can anyone recommend a New England BEACH worth taking a day trip to?

  1. Teresa Barents Van Bramer responds: Misquamicut Beach in Rhode Island.
  2. Maria Sansalone responds: Rhode Island beaches in general.
  3. Rae Griffiths responds: Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester, MA
  4. Marianne Bullock responds: Plum Island, MA
  5. Lynne Priest Fitzpatrick responds: Ditto on Plum Island or Gloucester area.
  6. Lauren Koblara Kostantin responds: Misquamicut Beach and Wingaersheek Beach are both really good ones. Also love Old Orchard Beach, Maine, if you’re looking for old school boardwalk type beaches.
  7. Julianne Thibodeau Krutka responds: Hampton Beach in NH is my favorite! Has something for everyone no matter what age range! Lots of stuff to do!
  8. Karen Bayne responds: Rockport, MA: Adorable town beach with rocks made for climbing in picturesque town, dotted with galleries, fudge shops, ice cream shops & hole in the wall lobster roll spots. Park on the street – public bathrooms right on the street where beach is! – Rocky Neck, CT: Lovely state park beach with small waves from the Long Island Sound. Water stays shallow for a long way from shore, so great for younger beach swimmers. Bathrooms, changing stalls, showers – pay to park.
  9. Alison Platek Webster responds: Agree with Rocky Neck! Went there as a kid and just took my two year old and two month old for the first time last week. Another plus, you actually walk under the Amtrak line onto the beach, so there are lots of train sightings!
  10. Jannelle Codianni responds: Demarest Lloyd State Park Beach (Dartmouth, MA). I live a lot closer to this beach than many of you who would be traveling out from western MA, but I would still go to this beach if I had to travel 3 hours! It’s a state park so it’s inexpensive, and if you have the parks pass, it’s free. It is a small beach, rocky like your typical New England beach, but it’s in an inlet so there are very few waves. This makes it nice and easy for kids. When the tide goes out there are tide pools galore filled with really interesting marine life to explore and temporarily collect. I’ve never seen it very crowded, and there are usually a lot of families with younger kids there. This is my favorite beach.
  11. Riqi Kosovske responds: We just went to Hampton Beach, NH for the day. Very honky-tonk but there was something so comforting and down to earth about being on a crowded beach with kids and tattoos of every variety. Good chai right across from the beach and clear, clear water.
  12. Carmela Smith responds: Nauset Light (Eastham, MA) or Marconi Point on Cape Cod are great beaches to go to. Very peaceful to be at even when its busy it doesn’t seem too bad to be at.
  13. Betsy-Dawn Williams responds: There is also Rock Harbor in Orleans, MA on the Cape… and in Connecticut, there is Hammonasset Beach State Park (Madison, CT)… the beach in Ogunquit, Maine is quite nice too. That Hampton Beach in NH is COLD!
  14. Kelly Czupkiewicz Pacunas responds: Old Orchard Beach in Maine! Fun for all ages
  15. Karen O’Connell Leet responds: As a kid we would go to these: Horseneck Beach, Westport, MA (big dunes); Newport Beaches in Newport, RI (surfer vibe); Onset Beach, Wareham, MA (pretty inlet). These are all about 3 hours away from the Hilltowns.
  16. Maribeth Blankenburg Ritchie responds: Misquamicut Beach. Lots to do… amusement park, restaurants, beach.

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