New England

Now that summer is upon us and all the snow has melted from this past winter, maybe a trip to the northeast is in order. I was on a business trip to my old stomping grounds outside of Boston last month and it reminded me once again how beautiful New England is in the spring and summer. From downtown Boston and the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, to Fenway Park, to Cape Cod, the Boston area is jamming during this time of the year. I had the opportunity to stop into Sudbury, MA while I was there. Sudbury is about 30 min from Boston. One of my favorite restaurants is Longfellow’s Wayside Inn that dates back to the 1700s. It is rich in history, and is the  oldest operating Inn in the country. The grounds of the inn are just beautiful with a still operating grist mill. After a big dinner at the Wayside Inn I was in need of a nice digestive cigar.

(102108  Framingham, MA) Stock shots of police in Framingham.     Tuesday, October 21, 2008.  Staff photo by Ted Fitzgerald

I lived in Sudbury 30 years ago and not much has changed except the strict smoking laws. But as always, I looked up cigar shops and came across a quaint shop – the Victory Cigar Bar on Boston Post Road (Rt 20). Walking into Victory Cigar you are warmly greeted by the staff, this particular evening it was Jamie, the night manager, who is very knowledgeable about cigars and can get you the right stick for your palate. Massachusetts has about a half-dozen cigar bars in the whole state that allow smoking inside and Victory is one of them. They have a decently sized walk in humidor that carries most of what you would want and there is ample seating and a fully stocked bar. In the winter months there is a working fire-place to add to the warmth and ambiance. The big screen TV always has the latest Boston area sports events on.

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Later in the week I took a trip to visit an old friend of mine who lives near Nashua, NH. Once again I wanted to find a place to enjoy a cigar and again I learned that New Hampshire, like Massachusetts has a limited number of smoking establishments. Of course one of them was located not too far from where we had dinner in Nashua. O’shea’s Irish Tavern & Cigar Bar is a most interesting neighborhood establishment that has a cigar hop connected to it. The shop closes at 7 PM but the large walk-in humidor is open to the bar also – how convenient! There is no hiding that this is a cigar friendly bar.

They have some of the best nostalgic wall hangings and signs. Wouldn’t you love to have some of these in your mancave?

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Of course, visiting the northeast is not only about cigars, there is of course places like Martha’s Vineyard where you can enjoy an evening stroll along the harbors and walk down streets lined with old fishing captains homes. The food of course is always outstanding, and I could mention more restaurants but being the adventurer that I am I suggest you “stumble in” to just about any pub in a town and you will certainly be satisfied.

Now a trip to Boston is not complete without visiting the oldest baseball venue in America – Fenway Park. Built in 1904 it has seen the ebbs and tides of a beloved team – the Boston Red Sox. A few changes and renovations went into the park over those years like the “green monster” and a new drainage system and dirt. But overall the park is still a shrine for baseball fans and recently has been name a national historic landmark.

Overall Boston is a fun place to visit in the spring and summer and you can find a few decent cigar shops. Besides Victory cigars in Sudbury you can also checkout Leavitt & Peirce Tobacco which is a 127 year-old tobacco shop located in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, just across the street from the historic “old Harvard Yard. This is quite the eclectic shop that offers more than just cigars, they also sell cool chess sets, shaving equipment and toiletries and carries a wide selection of smoking gear. You can find them at 1316 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02138 Harvard Square.