I'm going on a girlfriend getaway in June. We want to keep the costs reasonable without roughing it. Any suggestions?
TRAVEL CONCIERGE: New England it is. Picking among the states, however, is like choosing a favourite among sisters. But if I must, Maine meets your criteria, specifically the south coast resort town of Ogunquit.
It's a place that hums with activity from the flourishing downtown to Perkins Cove, says Patricia Eltman, the tourism director of this lobster and lighthouse state. "The community is warm and inviting with a small-town atmosphere, but with sophisticated restaurants and shops."
So unpack your bags at a rental home - try VRBO.com or Seaside Vacation Rentals - or book in at the historic Beachmere Inn or Gazebo Inn, a restored farmhouse and barn. And then disperse for your various pursuits before reuniting at day's end for laughter and lobster with lemon-grass butter at one of the award-winning eateries, such as Arrows.
For the beach lover among you, there is the white-sand Ogunquit Beach. It's at one end of a beautiful oceanfront path, the Marginal Way, which curves past bayberry bushes and sea roses along the granite cliffs.
For the arts lover, beyond the many galleries, the town is also home to the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, which houses work from notables such as Edward Hopper and Marsden Hartley. You can also enjoy a night out at the Ogunquit Playhouse, a grand old summer-stock theatre.
If anyone is craving a little space, the south coast offers a number of day trips. Ride a catamaran in search of humpback whales and Atlantic puffins. Stay on dry land and follow the trails through woodlands, wetlands and dunes at Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farms. Or if one of you prefers scouting for shoes instead of savannah sparrows, head to the Kittery Outlets, a long strip of brand-name outlet stores featuring everything from Coach to J.Crew.
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Karan Smith is a former Globe Travel editor. Special to The Globe and Mail