Swimming is still possible, the fish are plentiful, and the tourists are gone. Now’s the smart time to head to the region’s lakes and beaches.

By Alyssa Giacobbe, September 12, 2019, 8:46 a.m.

FALL MIGHT REPRESENT a certain end to seasonal wanderlust — back to school, back to routine — but it shouldn’t mean you’re doomed to be landlocked until summer’s all-too-faraway return. Many New Englanders know that the autumn months are actually the best time to get out on the water — the ocean’s warm(ish) enough to be swimmable, the fish are plentiful, the seals are back, the tourists out of the way. Mornings and evenings may be a bit brisker than what you enjoyed back in July but, you know, that’s what fleece is for.

Ocean Racing and Drinking in the View | Newport, Rhode Island

A regular stop on the professional racing circuit, Newport is arguably the country’s epicenter of high-performance sailing, and each of the retired 12-meter class racing yachts at 12 Meter Charters — Columbia, Heritage, and Onawa — come with stories of hard-won victories and close-call defeats (12metercharters.com, 401-851-1216). Get a feel for what it’s like to compete in the America’s Cup with the three-hour racing experience, which pits two of the boats against one another in a simulated regatta. Participation is entirely optional; you’re more than welcome to just sit back and hold on. Spend the night at The Cliffside Inn (thecliffsideinn.com, 401-847-1811), recently refurbished under new ownership and just steps from the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk — one of New England’s most stunning oceanfront paths — or the waterfront Gurney’s (gurneysresorts.com, 401-849-2600), which recently unveiled bilevel suites. Plenty of area restaurants offer post-sail ocean views, but the one to beat is from the rooftop of the Vanderbilt Hotel (aubergeresorts.com/vanderbilt, 401-846-6200), which serves up a stunning sunset, a stiff Negroni, and blankets for when it gets just a little too fall-like. Sit back and enjoy the autumn twilight as it sets over Newport Harbor; winter, after all, will be here before you know it.

See full story by Alyssa Giacobbe in the Boston Globe magazine here.