Weekends with Yankee is a 13-part travel and lifestyle series named for the long-running publication enjoyed by readers across America for more than 80 years, Yankee magazine. Rhode Island PBS airs the series on Mondays at 7:30 p.m., starting May 1.
With New England among the nation's top tourist destinations, the magazine-style program takes viewers on an insider's exploration of the cities, countryside locales, and far-flung places in the quaint and scenic region. The series is hosted by Richard Wiese (Born to Explore), an Emmy Award-winning TV personality, author, and explorer, who has traveled to all seven continents, participated in two expeditions to Antarctica, and cross-country skied to the North Pole. Amy Traverso, a senior food editor at Yankee magazine, who has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show and the Food Network's Throwdown with Bobby Flay, joins Richard as co-host. She highlights recipes, local flavors, and the sense of community that make up the region's food and dining scene.
Weekends with Yankee offers an "all-access" behind-the-scenes pass to the unique attractions that define the region, and the hidden New England that only locals know.
Episodes (Dates are subject to change)
#101: “The Coast” (May 1)
From Connecticut’s soft sandy beaches to Maine’s rugged granite shores, our Atlantic coastline is a place of beauty and wonder, lapping along five of the six New England states and drawing visitors from around the world. This week, we start in Ogunquit, Maine, named by Yankee magazine as the best beach town in New England. Next, we travel north to a rocky cove near Acadia National Park, where we create an authentic Maine clambake (right down to the Red Snapper hot dogs). And then it’s back to New England basics with a lesson in traditional boatbuilding in Newport, Rhode Island.
#102: “Adventure in the Wild” (May 8)
Offering wild weather, stormy seas, and remote locations, New England is a land of adventure. This week on Weekends with Yankee, we travel to the Northeast’s highest peak for some of the most extreme weather found anywhere in the world. Then we head out to sea, braving stiff winds and bracing cold, to capture the coveted Atlantic bay scallop. Finally, we take to the skies high above Maine’s iconic Moosehead Lake in search of the majestic creatures that inspired its name.
#103: “Buried Treasure” (May 15)
New England is full of treasures large and small. In this episode, we meet lobsterman and photographer Joel Woods, who captures intimate portraits of a hidden world—dramatic, gritty, and often-poignant snapshots of life aboard a lobster boat. Next, we set out along the coast of New Hampshire to celebrate local oysters with star chef Jeremy Sewall. And finally, we uncover the world’s only authenticated pirate ship—and reveal treasures that have never before been seen in public.
#104: “Celebrating Tradition” (May 22)
New England is a region steeped in tradition. In this episode of Weekends with Yankee, we board the massive schooner J&E Riggin for a windjammer cruise along the beautiful Maine coast. Then we travel down to Boston for the Head of the Charles, the largest two-day rowing event in the world. Lastly, up north in Vermont, we find the Shelburne Museum, one of the country’s most unique museums, home to a land-bound lighthouse, a steamboat docked in a grassy meadow, period gardens, and four centuries of art and Americana.
#105: “Lost and Found” (May 29)
This week on Weekends with Yankee, we’re lost, and found. First stop: Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island, where we’re in search of the glass orbs that one local artist makes and tucks away like hidden treasures for locals and visitors to discover. Next stop: Dummerston, Vermont, where we find an incredible orchard paradise filled with heirloom apples that can be traced back to the earliest days of American history. Finally, we wrap up with a visit to the spectacular Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, home to a priceless art collection amassed by one of Boston’s most unorthodox and remarkable patrons.
#106: “Icons of New England” (Jun 5)
Think of New England icons, and you probably imagine covered bridges, stone walls, church steeples, and lighthouses. In today’s episode, we visit three less typical but equally iconic treasures, beginning with the Elms in Newport, Rhode Island, where we get a behind-the-scenes tour from this mansion’s caretaker of more than 30 years. Then we visit the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, Phillip Johnson’s private residence that forever changed architecture in America. Last but not least is our trip to Olneyville New York System, a Providence, Rhode Island, restaurant where the Stevens family has been serving up their signature Coney Island–style wieners to four generations of customers. That’s all coming up next on Weekends with Yankee.
#107: “Land and Water” (Jun 12)
New England’s earliest villages and towns rose up along its ancient waterways. On today’s episode of Weekends with Yankee, we visit the region’s rivers, lakes, and coastal vineyards. We start in Providence, Rhode Island, where the amazing WaterFire festival illuminates the city with a light show like you’ve never seen before. Then it’s off to New Hampshire and the serenity of Squam Lake, where we’re in search of the magnificent loon. Rounding things out is a visit to the Farm Coast for a taste of award-winning wines from Westport River Winery in Massachusetts.
#108: “Yankee Ingenuity” (Jun 19)
“Yankee ingenuity” evokes the best of the New England character—its practicality and know-how. On this episode of Weekends with Yankee, we visit Shelburne Farms, 1,400 acres of stunning farmland and historic buildings on the shores of Lake Champlain, to learn how they make award-winning cheeses with their herd of Brown Swiss cows. We also experience the world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway in a hair-raising ride up Mount Washington, and we take a look around to Strawbery Banke, where history comes alive along the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
#109: “The Islands” (Jun 26)
Off the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut are some of the most beautiful islands in the country—and this week on Weekends with Yankee, we visit two of them. First stop is Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, where we check out the historic gingerbread cottages in Oak Bluffs. Next, we’re off to Maine’s Acadia National Park, a 47,000-acre park on Mount Desert Island, where photographer Jerry Monkman shows us his favorite hidden spots. Then it’s back to Massachusetts, where two ambitious young farmers are staking their future on growing the most delicious shiitake mushrooms outside Japan.
#110: “Back to the Land” (Jul 3)
New England’s landscape is vast and varied—from small farms to sprawling forests, green valleys to rocky mountaintops. Today on Weekends with Yankee, we visit the Well at Jordan’s Farm, where one small farm gives new meaning to “farm to table” dining by serving its own produce at an alfresco restaurant just steps from the fields. Then we travel south to Connecticut’s Grace Farms, where we meet some incredible birds of prey. And we conclude with a lesson in fly-fishing from angler, artist, and author James Prosek.
#111: “Quintessential Villages” (Jul 10)
New England is known for its postcard-perfect villages. This week on Weekends with Yankee, we pay a visit to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, home of the Norman Rockwell Museum, which houses the famed painter’s best-known works. Our second stop is Woodstock, Vermont, where the ultimate general store, Gillingham & Sons, has been serving customers for 130 years. Lastly, it’s off to Biddeford, Maine, for a taste of the Palace Diner, a classic New England eatery reimagined by two ambitious young chefs.
#112: “Fall Color” (Jul 17)
Yankee editor Mel Allen calls foliage season “New England’s Mardi Gras.” In this episode, we search out the most autumn vivid colors imaginable as we travel along New Hampshire’s famed Kancamagus Highway, one of our region’s most scenic drives. Then we head over to Vermont, where we visit with Allison Hooper, a successful and pioneering New England cheesemaker. We wrap things up with a look at Kent, Connecticut, which Yankee magazine has named the best foliage town in New England.
#113: “Winter in New England” (Jul 24)
Winter in New England is a season of sparkling snow, deep-blue skies, sleigh rides, skiing, and vibrant cities where you can escape the cold for indoor delights. This week on Weekends with Yankee, we slide along the snow in a horse-drawn sleigh in beautiful Jackson, New Hampshire. Then we’re off to Boston for a food lover’s tour with one of the country’s top chefs, Barbara Lynch. We round things out by escaping the crowds and taking to the pristine trails of northern New England for an adventure on cross-country skis.