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 story by Alyssa Giacobbe on bostonglobe.com here