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15 Best Places to Visit in New England

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Made up of six unique and distinct states, New England is a region rich in history, culture, art and architecture, outdoor adventure, bustling cities, and quaint coastal towns. Its diverse offerings, all found in close proximity to one another, is what sets it apart. You can catch a ballgame at historic Fenway Park and, just over an hour later, sink your toes into the Atlantic while savoring a lobster roll on Cape Cod. From towering mountains to windswept beaches to acres of undisturbed nature, here are the best places to visit in New England!

Manchester, Vermont, USA

1. Manchester, Vermont

Nestled in the captivating Green Mountains of southern Vermont, Manchester made its mark long ago as a prosperous iron-mining town, and hints of its past are still evident in the architectural details found throughout the downtown. Today it is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering ample space to walk, hike, bicycle, kayak and, of course, go fly fishing. In fact, here you’ll find the American Museum of Fly Fishing, with tons of rods, reels, flies, and art that tell the story of how this peaceful Vermont pastime worked its way into America’s heart.

Mount Equinox, shining all year but particularly spectacular in the fall, presides over the picturesque town. A trail will get you to the peak, but you can also drive to the top where you won’t be disappointed by the quintessential sprawling Vermont view. For an architectural indulgence, visit Hildene, the ancestral home of Robert Lincoln, the only child of President Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd to survive to maturity. The 412-acre estate is home to a stunning Georgian revival mansion and 14 historic buildings, including the home, a stunning formal garden, and an observatory.

Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont, USA

2. Burlington, Vermont

While most associate the Green Mountain State with its exquisite natural beauty, the city of Burlington charms one and all with its pedestrian-friendly downtown peppered full of mom-and-pop shops, eateries, and happenings. Church Street Marketplace, an open-air walkable mall, encompasses four blocks of things to see, do, and taste. Cafés line the streets, and colorful umbrellas shade tables in the summertime. The Unitarian Church at the end of Church Street boasts a beautiful white steeple that reaches far into the sky, making for one of the city’s most popular spots for photos.

At the very bottom of Church Street you’ll find Burlington Waterfront Park, a stunning expanse that stretches along the Lake Champlain shoreline and offers panoramic views, a stunning bike path, and myriad events and festivals. The most populous city in Vermont, Burlington is just south of the US-Canadian border and is a great destination to visit any season of the year.

Fall colors in the village of Stowe, Vermont, USA

3. Stowe, Vermont

Dubbed the ski capital of the east, Stowe is best known for the resort that bears its name. Stowe Mountain Resort, surrounded by Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield, the tallest peak in Vermont, has slopes catering to every skill level. You can climb to Mount Mansfield’s summit via the scenic Auto Toll Road. We assure you that it’s worth the journey. Stowe is the largest town in Vermont by land area, and its success was built on the agriculture and lumber industries that thrived there in the late 17th and early 19th centuries. Today, the town’s 200-year-old commercial center is a historic district with tons of quaint shops, welcoming restaurants, and lodging that ranges from quintessential New England bed and breakfasts to hotels and grand European-style lodges.

Though skiing and snowboarding take center stage in Stowe, the town is equally enchanting outside of winter. In the warmer months, hiking, dipping into swimming holes, and sky-riding or zip-lining over the valleys of flora and fauna are popular activities, and it may just be the best place to visit in New England in the fall. Mountain biking is another favorite activity, especially on the trail network at the 2,500-acre Trapp Family Lodge, founded by the Trapp family of The Sound of Music fame and a nod to their native Austria. Just a little ways north of town is the captivating Moss Glen Falls, the highlight of a three-mile trail where water cascades down a jagged, steep rock face with multiple vantage points for the perfect ’gram pic. If you aren’t up for a walk, fear not: the falls are conveniently close to the trailhead.

A fly fisherman on the Deerfield River in the Berkshires of Massachusetts during the fall foliage in October

4. The Berkshires, Massachusetts

This rural expanse of western Massachusetts is known for being a natural wonder, a celebrity enclave, and a cradle of art and culture. Though Meryl Streep, Yo-Yo Ma, and James Taylor are just some of the glitterati who enjoy homes in the Berkshires, its most notable resident might have been famed American illustrator Norman Rockwell. He lived in the sleepy but charming town of Stockbridge, where today you can find the world’s largest collection of his original works at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Author Herman Melville also wrote Moby Dick in the Berkshires, and women’s right activist Susan B. Anthony was born and raised here.

Although there’s no place like Massachusetts in the fall, the Berkshires are particularly welcoming in the summer. Tanglewood, an open-air amphitheater, has been the outdoor summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1937. Throughout the season, music aficionados spread out picnic blankets and enjoy concerts under the stars. Encompassing part of the Taconic Mountain range, the Berkshires boast countless acres for recreational activities, including snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and hiking, making it the perfect weekend getaway in New England.

Traditional New England buildings and stores on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts, USA

5. Nantucket, Massachusetts

One simply cannot highlight the best places to visit in New England without including Nantucket. Situated 30 miles out to sea, the Gray Lady’s charms are irresistible, with century-old cobblestone streets, unforgettable vistas, and cedar-shingle homes that have not changed much since the era in which the island was considered the whaling capital of the world.

Located at the easternmost point of the island, the picturesque Sankaty Head Light, a lighthouse built in 1850, stands majestically above the sea, and its bold red and white stripes can be seen from far and wide. The nearby village of ’Sconset boasts gorgeous ocean views, a windswept beach, and the beloved ’Sconset Bluff Walk. This narrow path weaves through the village and offers front-row views of saltbox cottages covered with blooming beach roses and anchored by countless blue hydrangeas. The area has been called the most beautiful place in Nantucket (and there’s some stiff competition!)

Downtown doesn’t look much different than it did one hundred years ago, with its extra-wide streetscape, mom-and-pop shops, and familiar monument in the square, a repurposed drinking fountain that’s been there since 1885. While best known for its summer splendor, Nantucket shines brightly throughout the holiday season with decorated trees around every corner and the Christmas Stroll – a festive celebration held the first weekend of December. There’s really no question why Nantucket is one of the most treasured towns in New England.


6. Boston, Massachusetts

The best known New England city, Boston means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. The crossroads of American history, home of enthusiastic sports matchups, a bastion of higher education and cultural treasures, Boston is a robust, forward-thinking city that also celebrates its past. For baseball fans, historic and legendary Fenway Park, built in 1912, is such a landmark. There are tours every day, 12 months a year, rain or shine, and a visit there is one of the most iconic things to do in New England. The city’s beloved 2.5-mile Freedom Trail connects 16 nationally significant historic sites, including the Paul Revere House, the USS Constitution (better known as Old Ironsides), the site of the Boston Massacre, and picture-perfect Boston Common – America’s oldest public park, dating back to 1634 and featuring 44 manicured acres that welcome around three million visitors each year.

Boston is home to 45 colleges and universities accounting for more than 150,000 students scattered throughout the many diverse neighborhoods that make up the city. Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market, located in the heart of the city, is where you’ll find the Food Colonnade, home to more than 30 vendors touting myriad cultural flavors – but save your clam chowder sampling for nearby Union Oyster House, Boston’s oldest restaurant. The city’s Seaport District is a thriving, lively neighborhood with restaurants, shops, and the popular Lawn on D, an open air-space dedicated to community events and family fun.

Kennebunkport, a coastal town in York County, Maine, United States, home of the Bush family.

7. Kennebunkport, Maine

When conjuring up the idyllic images of coastal Maine, Kennebunkport should be top of mind for its craggy rocky shoreline, charming downtown, and fresh catch served up across town. Its palpable charm might just make Kennebunkport one of the best vacation spots in New England. Once a shipbuilding center, Kennebunkport has a captivating waterfront that is the heartbeat of the town. The village vibe downtown is centered around Dock Square, which is peppered with plenty of shops and delightful eateries. For a casual bite, the Clam Shack, one of the state’s oldest operating fish markets, is a Kennebunkport icon best known for buttery lobster rolls piled high with savory claw meat.

One of the best ways to see Kennebunkport, an ideal place for a getaway weekend in New England, is by water, and you can do so on a paddleboard tour, sailboat tour, or even a lobster boat tour. If you want to stay on dry ground, take a scenic drive on the aptly named Ocean Avenue out to Walker’s Point, best known as the home of the Bush family compound. You can take a snapshot, but the Secret Service won’t let you linger for long! This is, after all, still a family home, but you can explore the First Families Kennebunkport Museum to learn more about the Bush family history in the area. Nearby Cape Porpoise, an equally quaint and quiet working fishing village on the southern coast, easily captures hearts and is the best vantage point to see the picturesque Goat Island Lighthouse, built in 1834.

Stonewall Farm in Keene, New Hampshire, USA

8. Keene, New Hampshire

While it doesn’t always grab top headlines, Keene is a darling city in southwestern New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region, sleepily perched on the Ashuelot River. While the spoils of outdoor adventures are all around, the city’s heartbeat is its village-like center typically bustling with families, couples, and tons of students since both Keene State College and Antioch University New England are within the city limits. In short, Keene never fails to charm.

The Cheshire Rail Trail is one of the area’s most beloved attractions, and Keene is a perfect break in the trail’s 42 scenic miles. You can walk, run, or ride the trail, which features a stone arch bridge over the Ashuelot River in nearby Gilsum. Families love both Stonewall Farm and its cows, horses, and goats, as well as the Cheshire Children’s Museum, featuring interactive exhibits, themed playrooms, and a designated toddler-friendly area. And while the Hannah Grimes Marketplace looks a bit like an ordinary storefront, on the inside it is a treasure trove full of more than 200 local artisans and vendors selling foodstuffs and cool products.

Woman hiking at Artist

9. White Mountains, New Hampshire

The White Mountains is a range covering about a quarter of the state of New Hampshire (plus a little bit of western Maine) and encompassing a 750,000-acre national forest. The highlight is stately Mount Washington, the northeast’s highest peak. Take vacationing in New England to new heights as you climb the famed Mount Washington Auto Road, a steep 7.6-mile drive nicknamed the Road to the Sky, which has been an attraction since 1861.

New Hampshire State Parks confirms that on a clear day, views from the mountain’s 6,288-foot summit extend as far as 130 miles and take in Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Quebec, and even the Atlantic Ocean.

Myriad popular towns dot the White Mountain region, including Laconia, North Conway, Lincoln, and countless more. Each shares a visceral beauty and plenty to do for adventurers, but all of them have their own distinct small-town personality. One of the best ways to take it all in is via the legendary Kancamagus Highway, a 34-mile National Scenic Byway full of jaw-dropping natural wonder and wildlife.

Sunset at Castle Hill Lighthouse on Newport, Rhode Island, USA

10. Newport, Rhode Island

An absolute must-visit in New England, Newport captures the hearts of visitors with its miles of craggy New England coastline, Gilded Age mansion museums, windswept beaches to stroll any time of year, and the nation’s largest intact collection of colonial era buildings – a favorite of art and architecture lovers from far and wide. Despite all its grandeur, Newport’s most visited place is Cliff Walk, a free, 3.5 mile trail that traces the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and offers views of the manicured landscapes of the famed Newport mansions. There’s no wonder why it’s one of the most popular attractions in New England!

If you prefer to take in Mother Nature’s splendor by car, don’t miss Ocean Drive (or simply “the Drive,” as the locals say). Part of a historic district, this miles-long road runs along the southernmost edge of Aquidneck Island and is home to Brenton Point State Park, which offers 89 idyllic acres to picnic, relax, explore, and fly a kite in the steady ocean breeze.

With its lauded maritime history, a visit to Newport must include a trip through the glistening waters of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay. Whether on a sailboat or power cruiser, your best vantage point to see Fort Adams, Rose Island Lighthouse, Hammersmith Farm (where John and Jacqueline Kennedy had their wedding reception), and other grand historic homes is aboard a seaworthy vessel.

Aerial panorama of Providence skyline on a late afternoon. Providence is the capital city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island. Founded in 1636 is one of the oldest cities in USA.

11. Providence, Rhode Island

The Creative Capital, as Providence is called, is known for its vibrant cultural scene, its prowess as a center for manufacturing and industry during the 1800s, its robust academic community, and an enviable food scene. Home to Johnson & Wales University – one of the top ranked culinary colleges in the world – Providence is rife with hungry culinary talent eager to please and craft creative, memorable dishes, whether casual street eats or refined palate pleasers.

One of the city’s most beloved ongoing events is WaterFire, an installation of more than 100 bonfires that burn bright in caldrons installed above the surface of three rivers that run through the city. The event unfolds multiple times throughout the year at nightfall, and nearly one million people experience it annually. Many attendees are students, as Providence is home to Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence College, and five other institutions of higher learning.

Venture outside the downtown area to the Roger Williams Park Zoo, home to more than 150 animals from around the world in natural settings. Be sure to enjoy special experiences like feeding a giraffe or sea lion!

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View of Mystic, Connecticut. The village is located on the Mystic River, which flows into Long Island Sound, providing access to the sea.

12. Mystic, Connecticut

Before it was made famous by the wildly popular 1988 film Mystic Pizza, Mystic was famous for its marine trade legacy. A shipbuilding center for centuries and best known for building wooden clipper ships, this waterfront village on scenic Mystic River is one of the most charming and visited places in Connecticut. The Mystic Seaport Museum is an amazing place to start your exploration. It’s the nation’s leading maritime museum and home to hundreds of shipbuilding tools, figureheads, interactive exhibits, and the recreation of a 19th-century seafaring village with trade shops and businesses from the 1800s that were transported to the museum from locations around New England.

Downtown Mystic is made up of quaint buildings without a highrise in sight. The Mystic River Bascule Bridge, built in 1922, is open to both foot traffic and vehicles and allows boat traffic to travel through as well. This area is full of antique shops, restaurants and, yes, the original Mystic Pizza, which is worth a try! The Mystic Aquarium is nothing short of impressive and is one of only two aquariums in the country with Steller sea lions; it also has the only beluga whales in New England. Informative and engaging indoor and outdoor exhibits promote education and conservation, but it’s the adorable animals like the African penguins, seals, and sea lions that steal the show.

Henry David Thoreau Footbridge in Washington CT

13. Washington, Connecticut

Also known as Washington Depot, this rural part of Connecticut is just 38 square miles and home to just 4,000 full-time residents – and they are in on something special. With the town being more or less between New York City and Boston, it’s no wonder that people flock here from busy nearby metropolitan areas. Encompassing five villages, Washington is admired for its quiet simplicity, farmers market, farm-to-table restaurants, and beautiful inns, including the Mayflower Inn & Spa. This exquisite country retreat, nestled on 58 acres, was the inspiration for the popular television series Gilmore Girls, and the surrounding town looks just like a Hollywood set of picture-perfect milieus.

Natural beauty surrounds Washington, which was named for George Washington; he traveled through the area several times during wartime before becoming the nation’s first president. Nowhere is that beauty more on display than at Hollister House Garden, where you’ll find an 18th-century home situated on a sloping terraced site with romantic English-inspired manicured country gardens. It is a feast for the eyes! For a more nature-based experience, Kent Falls State Park is a visceral wonderland with a series of waterfalls that are perfect for selfies.

View of the Maine coastline at Acadia National park, USA

14. Acadia National Park, Maine

One might say Acadia National Park embodies all that Maine is known for, except lobster rolls. Its craggy shoreline, glistening waters, lush acres, enchanting wildlife – Look out for moose! – and rocky headlands are everything people envision when Vacationland, Maine’s moniker, is a topic of conversation. One of the top 10 most visited national parks in the US, this massive expanse of beauty comprises 47,000 captivating acres and is called the crown jewel of the North Atlantic coast.

Thousands of people come to Acadia to camp, hike, fish, and spot animals in their natural habitat, but day-trippers can experience the 27-mile Park Loop Road on Mount Desert Island by car. The drive starts in equally charming Bar Harbor and goes through mountains, lakes, coastline, and forests, leading you to understand why Maine is dubbed the Pine Tree State. Pull off at any of the numerous observation points along the road to soak it all in.

Cape Cod in Massachusetts, USA

15. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

There’s a reason why the Kennedy family compound is on Cape Cod: its natural beauty and Rockwellian charm are undeniable. In fact, President Kennedy created the Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961, protecting 43,607 acres that not only include the pristine sandy beaches of the Atlantic Ocean but marshes, ponds, and uplands as well. While taking your time to explore the Cape Cod National Seashore on foot is ideal, off-roaders will love the section of the beach that rents off-road vehicles.

Wellfleet, located halfway between the tip and elbow of Cape Cod, is home to a stunning unspoiled beach. But beware! Sharks are prevalent in these waters, particularly at Newcomb Hollow Beach. The town is also world famous for its oysters and is home to more than 100 growers.

Hyannis Port, synonymous with the Kennedy family, is where you’ll find the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, one of the best places to visit on Cape Cod. The Cape Cod Maritime Museum, also located here, tells the fascinating history of the region and has cool boat-building exhibits on display.

Head up to the northernmost tip of Cape Cod to experience Provincetown, home to 40 miles of beaches, tons of art galleries, eclectic shops, awesome restaurants, and a festive scene in the summer. For almost a century, LGBTQ travelers have made Provincetown a summer destination, and it is a place that will capture your heart. It is also the best place for whale watching on the Cape.

New England is truly a one-of-a-kind place, which is why these six states welcome travelers from around the world all year round. Though synonymous with fall foliage, New England is extraordinary in every season, and its attractions, festivals and events, cultural and historic landmarks, and natural beauty never fail to provide a palpable feeling of places you can’t wait to visit over and over again.

15 Best Places to Visit in New England in 2022

15 Best Places to Visit in New England in 2022

The New England region of the U.S. is full of beautiful destinations at every turn. In fact, it’s one of our favorite parts of the country. We’ve outlined 15 of the best places you can see to give you an idea of where to go and what to explore.

15 of the Best Places to Visit in New England

New England is home to six states, each with beautiful cities and countless attractions.

Whether you are culture-oriented or love exploring the mountains, coastlines, amusement parks, dense forests, entertainment centers, and restaurants, the place has you covered.

Sounds interesting? Keep reading to learn the best places to visit in New England, what they offer, and the things to consider before visiting.

1. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Boat harbor in Matha

Brian Logan Photography/Shutterstock

Martha’s Vineyard Island is in Dukes County, south of Cape Cod. It boasts six historic towns, pristine beaches, amusement parks, and other attractions to offer something to everyone.

The island is approximately 225 square kilometers, meaning that attractions are only a short distance apart. And, you can explore while on a bike.

It has built a reputation as a popular summer destination, in part thanks to its refreshing ocean breezes and its numerous celebrity visitors. Some of the most prominent attractions include:

  • The West Chop Lighthouse (MVCMA)
  • South Beach and the Flying Horses Carousel (the oldest operating carousel remaining in the US)
  • Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge
  • Island Alpaca Company of Martha’s Vineyard

2. Providence, Rhode Island

Night view of Providence, Rhode Island, one of the best places to see in New England

Providence, the capital of Rhode Island, is home to many theaters and museums. You also can learn about the history of American art and culture at the RISD Museum.

However, the city is not all about arts and culture. It offers tons of other attractions, many of which are connected to Providence’s extraordinary history that dates back to colonial times. In particular, the following are must-visits:

  • Roger Williams Park Zoo
  • Brown University
  • Rhode Island State House
  • Roger Williams Park
  • Benefit Street, featuring examples of Colonial and Victorian architecture
  • Providence Children’s Museum

Moving around the city is hassle-free. There are rental bikes, bus lines, rental cars, ferries, and rail.

3. Manchester, Vermont

Gorgeous windy road through Manchester, Vermont

Layne V. Naylor/Shutterstock

Manchester is tucked amid the gorgeous green mountains of Bennington County, Vermont.

Visiting the town gives you a chance to enjoy the scenic views of the Green Mountains, Hildene (Abraham Lincoln’s family home), Lye Brook Falls, and more.

Want to advance your angling skills? Head straight to the American Museum of Fly Fishing , where you will learn how to use different rods, flies, reels, and other fly fishing accessories. Other outdoor activities include hiking, kayaking, cycling, and golfing.

If you love dairy farming, you can visit the Northern Meadow Farm to learn how to nurture different breeds of cattle.

4. Boston, Massachusetts

A must-see sight in New England, Boston, as viewed from a downtown rooftop

Boston is the capital and the most prominent city in Massachusetts. Here, you can sightsee at the Museum of Fine Arts, New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Fenway Park, and Freedom Trail.

Need something away from the city’s centuries of incredible history? Head to one of Boston’s amusement parks, such as Christopher Columbus Water Park, Piers Park, the Lawn on D, and the Esplanade Play Space.

Beer lovers can go for a sampling tour at one of the city’s well-regarded breweries.

5. Portland, Maine

Lighthouse overlooking the ocean in Portland, Maine, one of the best places to visit in New England

Portland is the largest town in Maine. It’s richly endowed with numerous attractions like the charming White House estate, shopping centers, natural museums, and outstanding examples of 19th Century architecture.

Nature enthusiasts can enjoy the breathtaking views of the harbor and the ocean from the peak of the Portland headlight.

Those not interested in climbing the lighthouses can visit Maine Historical Society to learn about the town’s remarkable culture and history.

If you’re an angler (or have an interest in it), consider booking a Maine lobster tour and enjoy fishing with a professional crew.

Want to get outdoorsy? Set out to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, one hour drive to the north of Portland. There, you can see hushed forests, souvenir shops, boat tours, butterfly houses, and fish ponds.

6. Berkshires, Massachusetts

Calm day on a lake in one of the best places to see in New England, Berkshire MA

Nestled in western Massachusetts is the Berkshires—a cluster of New England towns famous for being a visitors’ playground and the cradle of New England history, culture, and art.

You can learn about the history and culture of the town at the MASS moCA Museum and the Clark Art Institute. The Hancock Shaker Village, meanwhile, is a former religious commune that was first organized in the 1790s.

Outgoing visitors can take a tour to the Massachusetts highest peak, Mount Greylock, and enjoy the luscious surroundings.

If you love dance music, you’ll have a great time at Jacob’s Pillow dance center .

7. Burlington, Vermont

Picturesque town square in Burlington, Vermont, a top pick for the best places to see in New England

Burlington is a historic town perched in the northwest region of Vermont, along the eastern shore of Champlain Lake.

Visiting the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum will give you a sense of how Vermont came to be. After, you can explore picture-perfect Ethan Allen Park .

Want to reconnect with nature? Hire a bike from local bike rentals to explore the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center, foam brewers, waterfront parks, and other attractions along the Burlington bike path.

After a long day, you can head downtown for nightlife at Nectars, Club Metronome, and Rasputin’s.

8. Newport, Rhode Island

Castle Hill lighthouse in a top pick for the best places to visit in New England, Newport, Rhode Island

Newport is perched on Aquidneck Island along the northeastern border with Canada. The town is famous for its beautiful natural attractions, breathtaking sights, and numerous seaside beaches.

For instance, visitors craving sightseeing can set out to the downtown’s 3.5-mile cliff walk and enjoy the panoramic views of the Atlantic coastline, Narragansett Bay, Memorial Boulevard, and Gilded Age mansions.

Outdoorsy visitors can go fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, and golfing at Fort Adams State Park . The park also offers a campground.

Other attractions include Thames Street, Bowen’s Wharf, and Château-Sur-Mer, among others.

9. Mystic, Connecticut

Tranquil afternoon in Mystic, Connecticut, one of the best places to visit when in New England

Mystic, a waterfront village on the shores of the Mystic River, is famous for its rich nautical history. You can learn about it at the Mystic Seaport Museum.

In addition to the town’s history, aspiring kayakers and captains can advance their skills by attending exhibitions held at the museum.

If you’re a nature enthusiast, set out to the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center to see hawks and 17th century stone walls.

Those looking for other entertainment will want to check out the Mystic Aquarium and the Mystic Museum of Art.

10. Washington, Connecticut

Washington, Connecticut, one of our favorite spots to visit in New England

Located in Litchfield Hills, 22 miles to the northeast of Danbury, is Washington. It boasts charming countryside, historic architecture, and bustling cultural life.

You can visit Lake Waramaug State Park for picnicking, swimming, camping, and kayaking.

Want to broaden your artistic skills? Do not miss the Spring Hills Arts Gathering at the Vineyards Gardens. Here, you will enjoy live performances from top artists and sample the local brews.

Those looking for beautiful scenery can head to Hollister House Gardens. There, you’ll get to take in panoramic views of the beautifully manicured gardens and rolling mountains.

11. Acadia National Park, Maine

Spectacular view of the Bass Harbor Head lighthouse in Acadia National Park, one of the best places to visit in New England

Acadia National Park boasts mountain peaks, hiking trails, sandy beaches, and numerous other attractions.

Hike up Cadillac Mountain to enjoy the spectacular sights of the park and its surroundings. Early risers who visit between October and March will get to experience the energetic brilliance of the area’s morning sun rays.

Elsewhere, consider Jordan Pond and its picturesque mountains, beautiful rocks, and trees reflected by the crystal clear waters. Visit the onsite restaurant for lobster rolls, signature popovers, and other culinary delights.

12. Hartford, Connecticut

Skyline of a top pick for a must-visit destination in New England, Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford is the capital of Connecticut County. It is home to numerous tourist attractions, playgrounds, theaters, museums, and activities for all ages.

Outgoing travelers can venture into the Delamere Forest and enjoy viewing exotic wildlife as they hunt for Gruffalo characters hidden behind trees.

If Gruffalo hunting isn’t for you, your family can have a great time swinging on the Go Ape high ropes course.

Alternatively, head to Applejack Adventure Farm for golfing, arching, and an irresistible bouncy castle.

Other attractions within Hartford include the Sandstone Trail, Cotebrook Shire Horse Center, and the Polar Palace.

13. Nantucket, Massachusetts

Stunning morning view of one of the best places to visit in New England, Nantucket

Nantucket is an isolated island that lies approximately 30 miles from the south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This evocative destination has delightful beaches, a bustling art scene, and world-class restaurants.

Art lovers can visit Nantucket’s Dreamland Film and Performing Arts Center, where you can watch live performances or attend artistic training classes.

At Cisco Brewers, you can sample quality beers, spirits, and wines for free. After sampling the drinks, head to Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum to pick a take-home basket gift for your loved one.

14. Narragansett, Rhode Island

Narragansett, Rhode Island, one of the best places to visit in New England

Narragansett, Rhode Island has pristine beaches, historic landmarks, vibrant nightlife, excellent restaurants, and varied accommodations.

Are you a beach lover or simply a fan of picturesque scenery? Then, Roger Wheeler State Beach, Salter Brine State Beach, and Scarborough State Beach will be must-visits.

Want to put your hiking abilities to the test? Set out for bluff climbing and nature exploration along the town’s 2.1 mile Black Point Trail.

After a day full of activity, consider an energizing meal at T’s Restaurant, Meldgie’s Diner Pt. Judith, and The Bike Stop Cafe.

15. White Mountains, New Hampshire

Fall view from one of the best places to visit in New England, White Mountains, New Hampshire

The White Mountains is a great family-friendly destination, with attractive features like the Conway Scenic Railroad, mountain peaks, well-maintained beaches, and breweries.

Travelers can enjoy thrilling tours to the peak of Mount Wellington via the Cog Railway and enjoy the aerial views of the ravines and forests.

Need an adrenaline rush? Take a tour to the Alpine Slide at Attitash, where you will delight in sliding down the facility.

Alternatively, set out to Alpine Adventures in Lincoln, where you will find zip-lining and obstacle rope courses, among others.

Things to Consider

New England is a vast region and each state has its unique factors to consider. For instance, there might be more parking options in Boston compared to Mystic, Connecticut. Likewise, accommodation and costs will vary drastically depending on your destination. Here are some things to account for:

  • Accommodation: Where will you stay during your visit? Does the destination offer multiple options, such as apartments, hotels, or bed and breakfasts?
  • Transportation: What transportation is available? Do you plan a road trip? Are there any rental car companies?
  • Cost: How much will it cost to get to your destination? Do the attractions have entry fees? Are there other expenses that you need to anticipate?
  • Parking: does your target destination offer any parking? If yes, is it free or premium?
  • Traveling Period: Will there be an influx of tourists during the summer? Will places be open during the off-season?

By thoroughly planning in advance, you will ensure that your visit to New England will be trouble-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gorgeous lighthouse overlooking Newport

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about the best places to visit in New England.

What is the most beautiful state in New England?

Rhode Island is often rated as the most beautiful state in New England because it is richly endowed with numerous historic sites, national landmarks, and national parks.

Where can I spend a week in New England?

You can have a peaceful stay in Newport, Boston, Portland, Washington, Mystic, Narragansett, or any other place on this list.

What is the prettiest place in Massachusetts?

Some of the prettiest places in Massachusetts include:

  • Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum
  • Nantucket’s Dreamland Film and Performing Arts Center
  • Mount Greylock in Berkshires
  • Jacob’s Pillow Dance center
  • Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge
  • Vineyard Haven

Is New England a U.S. State?

No. New England is a region in the northeast corner of the U.S., consisting of six states, including Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

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What is the best time to visit New England?

The best time to visit the New England region is during the high season, from late May to August.

So, What’s the Best Place to Visit in New England?

The best place to visit in New England is the one that offers you all that you need for a fun-filled, unforgettable vacation.

Whether you want to see the bustling city sights of Boston or take in the ocean breeze views of Martha’s Vineyard, New England has something for everyone. Once you’ve chosen your destination, your next step will be to make memories!

21 Best Places to Visit in New England!

A picturesque and historic part of the United States, New England offers a plethora of vacation spots to explore. The best places to visit in New England are diverse, and each one will captivate you.

While its fall foliage display is a showstopper, the region is beautiful at other times of the year as well, with beaches and beach towns, mountains and lakes, charming towns, and vibrant cities.

Made up of six states — Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut — New England is small enough that you can build an itinerary that is restricted to just one state or one that covers highlights from all of them.

New England is perfect for a road trip as well.

We lived in Massachusetts for a few years, and are fortunate in that we’ve explored New England pretty extensively, in every season.

Once you’ve experienced it, you can’t help but leave a little piece of your heart behind in this magical region.

Here we’ve teamed up with colleagues in the travel blogging community to bring you our exciting round-up of the most amazing places to discover in New England.

Read on to learn more!

Best Places to Visit in New England: Massachusetts
Best Places to Visit in New England: Vermont
Best Places to Visit in New England: Maine
Best Places to Visit in New England: Rhode Island
Best Places to Visit in New England: New Hampshire
Best Places to Visit in New England: Connecticut

Best Places to Visit in New England: Massachusetts


Nantucket is an idyllic island located 30 miles south of Cape Cod. This remote island is only 14 miles long, but it makes up for its small size in historic charm.

Regarded as the world’s whaling capital until the 1800s, the island and its pre-Civil War homes are remarkably well-preserved.

Sankaty Lighthouse in Nantucket, Massachusetts

Today, Nantucket is frequented by affluent East Coasters. The shoulder season is the best time to visit, with comfortable temperatures, fewer crowds, and less inflated hotel prices.

Many travelers rent bikes to explore, whereas others opt for Jeeps with over-sand permits. Visitors must explore at least one of the island’s three lighthouses.

Brant Point Lighthouse is an easy walk from the ferry.

Sankaty Head Light is located along the popular Sconset Bluff Walk, a scenic pathway behind private homes offering stunning coastal views.

Great Point Lighthouse is accessible only by Jeep.

Nantucket Boat Basin is another must-see. This full-service marina is home to boutique shops and waterfront accommodations. Alternatively, many travelers stay at the iconic White Elephant, the island’s top luxury hotel.

After a day of exploration, visitors can enjoy a refreshing beer at Cisco Brewers, Nantucket’s exclusive craft brewery. This island hot spot offers coast-inspired beers and live music.

Suggested by Elena from The Carry-On Chronicles


Boston is a must-visit in New England. Its architecture, food, and history are all common reasons for adding it to your itinerary.

Acorn Street is a popular photo spot in Boston, Massachusetts

One of the most popular things to do in the city is to learn more about its history during a Freedom Trail walking tour.

Other tours include cruises, leaving from Rowes Wharf. For a particularly beautiful experience, consider a sunset harbor cruise.

Boston is home to one of the most prestigious universities, Harvard. Visitors can take a guided tour of the college to learn more about student life and its famous alumni.

Finally, no city break is complete without considering the food and drink scene.

Boston has a well-known food market at Faneuil Hall. It is open until late at night, which means you can pop in and grab a snack or meal at any time. Boston is big on seafood and this is a great place to try chowder!

A visit to Faneuil Hall is one of the best things to do at night in Boston.

Regardless of whether you visit day or night, you’ll want to wash your meal down with a pint of Sam Adams by the Boston Beer Company. This drink is named after the founding father, who was born here.

If you are not a winter wonderland fan, the best time to visit is from spring through to fall for fairer weather.

Suggested by Gemma from Two Scots Abroad

The Best US Cities for Weekend Trips!

Cape Cod

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is one of those places you mustn’t miss when you visit New England.

Sunset at Cape Cod National Seashore in massachusetts

This coastal community shaped in the familiar “arm” jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean offers beautiful beaches, wildlife preserves, and a relaxed Cape Cod vibe from the Bourne Bridge to Provincetown.

There are 15 towns (and villages within each) you might explore.

In addition to beach-going and water sports, you’ll discover great shopping. This includes boutiques, unique artisan shops, and fine art galleries.

If you like seafood, you won’t be disappointed. Some of the best lobster rolls, fried clams, “chowda,” and fresh-caught seafood is available just steps from the waterfront.

Another fun thing to do on Cape Cod is to take a guided tour of the sand dunes and see this unique ecosystem. You’ll see the primitive dune-shacks, once part of an artist colony. Make this excursion more memorable by ending with a sunset clambake on the beach.

Finally, Cape Cod is rich with historical attractions, from glass museums and windmills to colonial homes and cozy pubs.

Most people visit Cape Cod in July and August when it’s the warmest. But, the best time to visit is in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, when you’ll find fewer tourists, pleasant weather, and plenty of New England charm.


You can find one of New England’s premier travel destinations at the very tip of Cape Cod – Provincetown, Massachusetts. The enchanting beach town is one of the most remote places in the country, which adds to the charm of Provincetown.

Wood End Lighthouse in Provincetown MA

The easiest way to get to Provincetown is to book a ferry ride from Boston to the outer cape. The 90-minute cruise along the coast saves you from sitting in beach traffic and you may even see some whales as you navigate through Cape Cod Bay.

Once in Provincetown, head to Race Point Beach. It’s one of the most picturesque spots on the outer cape and you can visit Race Point Lighthouse and the surrounding hiking trails. The lighthouse first opened in 1816 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In downtown Provincetown, you can admire the historic clapboard houses. Many have been converted into luxury lodging and Provincetown Airbnb rentals.

In 1620, The Mayflower landed in Provincetown, so one of the most important attractions to visit is the Pilgrim Monument and the neighboring Provincetown Museum.

For nightlife and boutique shopping, Commercial Street is the best place to visit. You’ll find trendy eateries and fun seaside bars along the coastal main street.

Provincetown is also a popular LGBTQ travel destination. Head to the cabaret room at the Crown & Anchor Restaurant for an entertaining evening of drag or cabaret.

Suggested by Derek from Robe Trotting

The Most Incredible Weekend Getaways on the East Coast


Plymouth, Massachusetts is a must-visit destination in New England for its small town charm and history.

Plymouth is a port city that has rich ties to the origins of the US, being the landing spot of the pilgrims. Plymouth has much to offer visitors in the form of history, fun, and relaxation!

Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth Massachusetts

When visiting Plymouth, you will not want to miss a visit to Plymouth Rock, which marks the landing spot of the pilgrims, and the Mayflower replica which you can tour.

If you are looking to explore more of the history of the area you can visit and tour the Harlow Old Fort House, the Alden House Historic Site, or the Spooner House.

The Plimoth Plantation is a great way to step back in time in Plymouth. It is a living history museum that is a replica of what the original Pilgrim colonies may have looked like.

For a change of pace, you can hit the beach at the Duxbury Beach Park. Another great option is to take a ferry to Provincetown, Massachusetts for a day trip for shopping, dining, and if you choose off-roading on the Provincetown dunes.

The best time to visit Plymouth is late summer/early fall. The temperatures start to cool down but still be sunny and warm enough to get out and explore and maybe even take a dip at the beach. The crowds will also be less at this time, especially if you opt for a day trip to Provincetown.

Suggested by Melissa from The Navigation Junkie

Western Massachusetts

When you think of places to visit in New England, there is an area that is often overlooked. However, you should know that there are a lot of fun things to do in Western Massachusetts. There are plenty of great restaurants, museums, and even an indoor park!

Garden in Western Massachusetts

In Hampshire County, you will find small towns that offer a lot of charm and plenty of attractions. The town of Northampton has Smith College Museum of Art, widely recognized as one of the leading academic museums in the country.

In Northampton, you will also find the Lyman Plant House and Conservatory. Its main greenhouses date back to 1895, and they house 3,000 species of plants.

The town of Florence has an amazing cidery called Artifact Cider Project, where they use only local fruit from within 100 miles. If you enjoy pies, you should also visit the Florence Pie Bar. This small cafe offers sweet and savory handmade pies whole and by the slice.

In the town of Easthampton, visit Mill 180 Park. This indoor park has beautiful and quiet green spaces perfect for curling up with a book, as well as play areas for kids.

The park also has hydroponically-grown plants that not only add to the aesthetics, but are also used at the cafe to create the freshest dishes.

Western Massachusetts has a lot to offer. And because they have plenty of indoor activities, you can visit all year round!

Text and photo by Vicky from Buddy the Traveling Monkey

Best Places to Visit in New England: Vermont


Stowe, Vermont is an ideal New England destination in all seasons. In the winter, Stowe checks all the boxes for winter fun.

Alpine skiing is offered at the world-class Stowe Mountain Resort, often called the Vail of the East. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and sleigh rides are also popular winter activities.

Stowe Vermont

In the warmer weather, Stowe has exceptional views. Mt. Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont, beckons hikers and those who want to drive the toll road up the mountain. A gondola ride to the top also offers exceptional panoramic views.

The Stowe Recreation Path is a favorite of recreational bikers or walkers. It winds along the river and through fields with views of the Green Mountains.

Stop along the way at one of the fine restaurants or unique shops. In the fall, the foliage everywhere around town is top-notch since Vermont is known for colorful leaves.

A stroll through the picturesque town is always a favorite of visitors. Stop for ice cream or enjoy one of the top-rated restaurants in town.

Finish the day with a visit to the Biergarten at the Trapp Family Lodge. Watch the sunset over Mt. Mansfield as you enjoy a flight of German-inspired craft beer.

Suggested by Karen from Outdoor Adventure Sampler


Burlington, Vermont, is a pretty university town on the shores of Lake Champlain, and it’s perfect for a long weekend getaway. As a lakeshore town, the ideal time to visit is in the summer, but the fall months have something special to offer, too.

Church Street Marketplace in Burlington Vermont

There are many activities to do in and around Burlington. You should start your visit with a tour of the city center, and its beautiful historic buildings.

Church Street is exclusively for pedestrians, and it’s full of shops, good restaurants, and cafes to try. There are also lots of street entertainers and music.

Burlington’s tourist downtown is not very big. Everything can be seen on foot.

When staying in Burlington, you must take advantage of what Lake Champlain has to offer. Several boat trips are available. It’s also possible to take a bike ride along the lakeshore.

Bikes can be rented by the lake. The town of Burlington also offers temporary bike rentals to the public. You can grab a bike from multiple places in town, pay for an hour by credit card, and return it to any of the bike stations around.

And after a good leg workout on the bike, there’s nothing better than a picnic at Waterfront Park.

If the weather isn’t great outside, the ECHO Science and Nature Museum at the far end of the waterfront park is an interesting place to visit. It’s home to more than 70 species of fish, amphibians, and reptiles.


Montpelier is the capital city of Vermont, popular for its historic sites, maple syrup farms, and vineyards. It is the smallest capital city in America, but offers tons to do!

Montpelier, Vermont

The Vermont city attracts visitors both in the winter season as well as in the fall, like many other New England towns.

Autumn here offers the ultimate leaf-peeping experience, and Montpelier makes a great destination for a fall road trip to Vermont along the famous scenic Route 100 around this area.

Montpelier hosts the Vermont state capitol, one of the oldest and best preserved in the country. Its stunning Greek Revival architecture must not be missed during your visit. The statue of Ceres sits atop the building.

Another great experience is to hike Camel’s Hump, which gives a great panoramic view of the city and the mountains in this area. Both the fall view and snowy winter view can be amazing from here.

One could also just hike to Hubbard Park for a shorter and easier adventure. The Observation Tower here is on the National Register of Historic Places. The tower offers great views over the park.

Best Places to Visit in New England: Maine


Portland, Maine is a must-visit if you’re in New England at any time of year, with a bustling and quaint city center, dreamy ocean views, and a variety of parks, restaurants, museums, and quintessential Maine charm.

Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Portland’s coastal location makes it a bit more temperate in winter, making it a lovely time to visit, but its breezy and mild summers can’t be beat.

You can’t miss the Old Port area and Commercial Street areas for window shopping, dining, and period architecture, and be sure to stop for a treat at Gelato Fiasco in the Old Port.

No trip to Portland is complete without a visit to the most photographed lighthouse in the United States, the Portland Head Light at Cape Elizabeth.

While you’re there, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to sample delicious fresh lobster at local haunt The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, with lots of melted butter for dipping and perhaps a whoopie pie (a Maine specialty!) for dessert.

Back in Portland proper, explore the Eastern Promenade, a former train corridor turned vibrant city park, and check out the Portland Museum of Art.

If you have an extra day in the area to explore, world-renowned Acadia National Park is located about 3 hours away from Portland, and is one of the most beautiful wild places on the East Coast.

Suggested by Tegan and Alex from Why Not Walk Travel Guides

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is a beautiful coastal park located in Maine. Come here for incredible scenery, activities like hiking, biking or boating, and to get back in touch with nature: Acadia National Park is one of the most popular national parks to visit in the fall.

View from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia NP, Maine

With over 40 miles of historic carriage roads, this park is a great spot to hire a bicycle and explore the area on two wheels. You’ll get to see the most beautiful spots around and enjoy the view while you ride.

Hiking is also very popular and might give you more time to admire the incredible nature. There are hiking trails for all experience levels so pack your hiking gear and explore this beautiful place on foot.

If you’re after a more relaxing experience why not try out bird watching or star gazing. You’ll be amazed by how many different animal species live here and spotting rare birds is a fun activity for the entire family.

Acadia National Park is home to a unique ecosystem and especially interesting are the many tide-pools you’ll find along the coastline. Go for a walk along the beach and spot different little creatures in the pools.

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Of course, you can also go for a swim to refresh yourself after a long day of hiking and exploring.

The best time to visit Acadia National Park is during summer when temperatures are warm and pleasant. However, most hiking trails will be quite crowded during this time and you might have a more quiet experience in spring or early fall.


One of the most beautiful places to visit in New England is the seaside town of Kennebunkport, Maine. There are so many things to do in Kennebunkport that it definitely requires quite a few days and is best seen slowly.

Picturesque harbor in Kennebunkport, Maine

Once arriving and checking into an inn or accommodation, you should start your trip downtown.

Dock Square is a main point in the town and you will find plenty of shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants. Be sure to stop into Dock Square Coffee House for a delicious cup of joe to start your day.

There are some fantastic places to grab souvenirs, such as The Candy Man, where you will find several types of artisanal treats. Beach Grass also sells New England inspired coastal decor.

If you’re a foodie, opt for lunch at The Clam Shack. They serve delicious clam chowder and lobster rolls and are a local favorite.

From there, you can go kayaking or swimming at the beach. Cape Porpoise Harbor is a popular place for kayaking and Goose Rocks Beach is a great place for families to go swimming.

Lastly, Kennebunkport makes a great base for exploring the local area. One of the most popular places to visit is Cape Porpoise, just a short drive away.

There are many charming places to visit in New England and Kennebunkport, Maine, should not be overlooked as one of them!

Suggested by Megan from Megan Starr

Best Places to Visit in New England: Rhode Island


One of the best places to visit in New England is the small seaside town of Newport, Rhode Island. Located on Aquidneck Island, Newport is quaint and surrounded by breathtaking beaches and sea cliffs.

The Breakers in Newport Rhode Island

There are plenty of things to do in Newport for any visitor. You can take a stroll along the Cliff Walk to take in the nature of the area. The Cliff Walk is 3.5 miles long and has beautiful views of beaches and the famous Newport mansions.

There are a few parking areas so you do not have to do the whole walk if you’re short on time. Park near The Breakers, one of the most famous mansions so you can view it when nearby.

The mansions of Newport are famous for their history and architecture. Some of the mansions were built in the 1850s! In the evening, walk around Bannister’s and Bowen’s Wharves for a variety of food and shopping.

Any visit to Newport wouldn’t be complete without delicious food! If you arrive in Newport for breakfast, head to Cru Cafe near the Audobain Museum. The blueberry stuffed french toast is a great way to start the day!

It wouldn’t be New England without a seafood meal. Be sure to get some fresh seafood at the Lobster Shack. If you want to stay in the heart of Newport, stay at the Marriott Newport. It’s within walking distance of Bannister’s Wharf.

A wonderful mixture of nature, history, and food make Newport one of the best places to visit in New England.

Suggested by Pamela from The Directionally Challenged Traveler


Providence, Rhode Island, is by far one of the most underrated cities in all of New England!

Despite its small size, Providence more than hits the mark in terms of food, culture, history, and nature.

In fact, its small size actually acts as a benefit if only visiting for a short while: a visit to Rhode Island’s most beautiful beaches is always less than an hour away.

A cityscape in Providence, Rhode Island

Providence is home to some pretty impressive universities — Brown, Rhode Island School of Design, and Johnson & Wales Culinary Institute all contribute to the melting pot of culture that is Providence.

Be sure to check out RISD Museum and the John Hay Library at Brown University, and sample some of the best restaurants in Providence, including an impressive number of vegan and vegetarian options.

If you’re visiting during the summer months, head to Waterplace Park and the area surrounding the river to experience Waterfire, one of the city’s signature events. Waterfire usually takes place on Saturday evenings throughout the summer.

Providence can be enjoyed year-round, depending on the activities you enjoy. For day trips to the ocean and Waterfire, summer is definitely the time to visit. There are fewer students, so there’s a different dynamic in summer than during the academic year.

Providence offers ice bumper cars, seal harbor tours, and great theater in the winter months. Spring and fall are both busy with student activities (orientation and graduation).

Insider tip — if you’re visiting during the spring, be sure your dates do not coincide with any of the university graduation weekends. Prices are outrageous during graduation weekends (usually spread out over a month or so) and restaurants are impossible to book.

Suggested by Jade from The Migrant Yogi


Dubbed “America’s Greatest Small Town” by National Geographic Travel, Portsmouth should be on the bucket list of every visitor to New England.

Located in southern New Hampshire, Portsmouth is the crown jewel of New Hampshire’s sea coast.

A view of Portsmouth New Hampshire

Portsmouth is perfectly situated, within an hour from the White Mountains and an hour from Boston. It is the perfect place to visit for a weekend year-round, or can even be enjoyed on just a day trip.

During your trip to Portsmouth, you need to check out downtown. Downtown historical Portsmouth is very unique as it has colonial homes dating back to the 17th century. The most famous historical portion of the city is located in the south end.

Strawbery Banke, an outdoor history museum, is New Hampshire’s oldest neighborhood to be settled by Europeans. When visiting Portsmouth, be sure to check out all the small businesses downtown in an area of the city known as Market Square.

Portsmouth has more restaurants per capita than any other small town in the United States and is also home to dozens of charming boutiques. If you’re hungry, check out Riverhouse, one of Portsmouth’s many restaurants located right on the water, overlooking the coast of Maine.

Lastly, consider the Wentworth by the Sea hotel if you need a place to stay. It’s a stunning hotel year-round, but really comes to life during the holidays!

Best Places to Visit in New England: New Hampshire

Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee, and the wider Lakes Region of New Hampshire, make for a fantastic stop for anyone’s itinerary in New England.

The most popular season is summer when the lake is buzzing with activity. It’s a great boating destination and offers all kinds of water based activities.

A view of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire

In autumn, the lake is stunningly beautiful during the height of the fall foliage season, which is particularly stellar in this area of New Hampshire.

And in winter, when the lake finally freezes over, there are a variety of winter activities and sports that take place on the lake, including ice fishing.

The region around Lake Winnipesaukee is large and expansive, as the lake itself is over 27 miles long. There’s a lot to do in and around the lake, where you will find gorgeous towns, like Meredith or Wolfeboro.

Meredith Docks and Sculpture Walk provide a stunning view of Meredith Bay. Funspot is the largest indoor arcade and great for a rainy day visit.

M/S Mount Washington connects the different lake towns together and offers fantastic cruises on the lake. Motorcycle Week in Laconia is a hugely popular summertime event and one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the country.

Suggested by Jamie from Travel Addict

White Mountains

If you’re looking for an outdoor escape in New England, New Hampshire’s White Mountains are a must-visit. The area is stunningly beautiful with lots to do year-round.

Fall in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

The White Mountains are known for skiing in winter, roaring waterfalls in spring, hiking in the summer, and vibrant colors come autumn.

Although the region is dotted with small towns like Jackson and Lincoln, the main reason to visit this area is to enjoy nature. It’s an adventurist’s delight: there’s no shortage of hiking, biking, paddling, or winter sports like snowshoeing.

Start at one of the state parks in the area. Crawford Notch is a little quieter, but hiking in Franconia Notch State Park is top-notch, with trails for every skill level. Both have fabulous views of the mountains around them.

If you prefer a more relaxing vacation, don’t worry. You don’t have to be active all day!

The White Mountains are also paradise for photographers seeking covered bridges, fall colors, or stunning sunsets. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a moose.

There are also more than a dozen breweries, either to toast your day’s adventures or to spend the day sampling and comparing.

Before you leave, you’ll also want to drive the scenic Kancamagus Highway at least once: the windy road leads to some of the best views in the state.

Suggested by Becky from SightDOING

Waterville Valley

Surrounded by 4000-foot mountain peaks off a winding and picturesque road, Waterville Valley is a breathtaking mountain setting offering the ultimate for couples looking for a weekend getaway or a a family planning a fun vacation.

View from a trail in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire

Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, is a four-season town set in the the heart of the White Mountain National Forest.

In addition to winter snow sports like skiing and snowboarding, Waterville Valley has tennis, golf, biking, summer theater, an indoor ice rink, and boating.

There are 125 miles of hiking and mountain bike trails to explore, and a pond for swimming. It’s a great picturesque small town where you can simply enjoy a quiet getaway or enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

One particularly easy hike that is fun, even for little ones, is to Sabbaday Falls. Pack a picnic lunch and head to the falls for a lovely, relaxing afternoon.

One of the more iconic things to do in Waterville is to visit the Curious George Cottage and the Recreation Center.

It is located in the Town Square, and you can join a local illustrator for Saturday “chalk-talks,” which were originally started by Hans and Margret Rey, the creators of Curious George.

Local and visiting children crowd around an easel to watch the illustrator draw zebras, tigers, and, of course, monkeys.

Dining options range from traditional bars to elegant eateries. Many of the hotels in town also have a restaurant or pub. Food choices range from pizzerias to traditional pubs.

Best Places to Visit in New England: Connecticut

New Haven

New Haven, Connecticut, is a great city to add to your list of the best places to visit in New England. It’s a simple 2-hour train ride on the Metro — North New Haven line from New York City into Union Station, designed by the famous American architect Cass Gilbert.

New haven Green, a Park in New haven Connecticut in the Winter

There are several things to do in New Haven. The “Elm City” is home to Yale University, a prestigious Ivy League college. Wander through the campus, which is its own historic district, to see the architecture. The university offers many cultural events throughout the year.

Yale is also home to a few well-known museums, including the Yale Center for British Art, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, known for its collection of dinosaur fossils.

Off-campus, see a show in one of the three regional theaters, attempt the USA’s biggest indoor rope course at Jordan’s Furniture, or visit Lighthouse Point Park to see its old lighthouse and carousel.

You also need to taste New Haven’s beloved apizza. First introduced by Napoletana immigrants in the 20th century, apizza is the city’s pizza style. Modern, Sally’s, and Pepe’s are the original apizza locations in downtown New Haven, while BAR offers a modern apizza flair.

Suggested by Lyndsay from The Purposely Lost

Kent, Connecticut, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to visit in New England.

The small town sits right alongside the New York-Connecticut border and is filled with incredible hiking opportunities, state parks, and come fall, it’s one of the top spots to see the foliage.

Macedonia Brook State Park in Kent Connecticut

The best part about Kent is it’s lesser visited when compared to other top New England destinations, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy its beauty without having to deal with mass tourism.

Kent is home to Macedonia Brook State Park, which was founded in 1918 and features numerous trails and views. It’s also popular to spend the night at one of the park’s 51 campsites.

For those looking for a challenging yet beautiful hike that will take up the whole day, choose to head to Caleb Peak via a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Quiet forests and some of the best views in all of Connecticut await!

Aside from all of its picturesque nature, Kent is also an ideal place for history buffs. You can swing by the historic Seven Hearths home if you visit during summer. The home was built in 1751, and thanks to conservation efforts, is now a museum.

The best time to visit Kent is from May to October. Weather will be at its best during this time and you’ll get to fully enjoy its beauty. To see the foliage at its peak, be sure to plan your trip for early October.

Suggested by Samantha from Intentional Detours


Mystic, Connecticut, skyrocketed in popularity as a cozy vacation spot following the success of Julia Roberts’ breakout movie, Mystic Pizza.

While the film was made in the 80s, the town of Mystic is anything but kitschy and outdated. It’s full of history, niche shopping opportunities, and locally-sourced seafood.

But, yes, for fans of the iconic flick, you can in fact visit Mystic Pizza and eat pepperoni pies with “secret sauce” to your heart’s delight (plus score some namesake merchandise).

 Cityscape in Mystic CT

The best time to visit the seaside town of Mystic is undoubtedly between the months of May and September. This is the season in which small outdoor shacks sell overflowing lobster rolls and travelers can enjoy leisurely strolls by picturesque cobalt-blue water.

In the summer, the town is buzzing with locals and visitors alike, all listening to live music and enjoying wine and seafood at any number of intimate restaurants.

When travelers get their fill of fried clam strips and ice cream, there is plenty to do in the town.

The Mystic Seaport Museum allows guests to travel back in time. The institution is largely an outdoors set-up and visitors can climb aboard a number of ships from the 18th and 19th centuries including a brightly-colored pirate ship.

Around the seaport, shops and buildings are set up exactly as they would have been in the olden days and staff are often on hand to help guests imagine how banks, taverns, and supply stores all would have functioned years ago.

At Olde Mistick Village, stores are absurdly charming, brightly colored, and one can absolutely spend a day checking out a trove of items which range from artisan olive oil to hand-crafted Scandinavian gifts, Irish jewelry, and decadent donuts.

If you get hungry, a visit to Alice in the Village is a must for tri-colored tea and Wonderland themed pastries.

Suggested by Stephanie from Wandering Why Traveler

We hope you enjoyed this round-up of the most exciting destinations in New England. Which one will you pick for your next trip?


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Discover the best places to visit in New England, from cities and towns to beaches and national and state parks. Boston, Portsmouth, Portland, Cape Cod, Nantucket, more!


Dhara’s travel interests are eclectic, spanning everything from natural wonders to history, culture, art and architecture. She has visited 22 countries, many more than once, plus almost all 50 states of the USA, and has amassed a hoard of cherished travel moments.

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Us at Lake Skadar

Hi! We are Dhara and Kishore. Through this blog, we hope to inspire you to seek out and savor beautiful travel moments.

Our travel articles are currently focused on the USA, Canada, and Europe. You will find in-depth information on cities and towns, natural areas, and cultural and historic landmarks.

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