Protect Your Trip »

Best weekend getaways in new england.

Known for its historical roots, rugged landscape, savory seafood and rich sports culture, New England is home to a variety of vacation destinations. But with so many picture-perfect towns spread from the coast to the mountains, it's hard to decide where to head for a weekend getaway. That's why U.S. News took into account sights, culture, food and more to determine the best weekend getaways in New England. Cast your vote below to help us decide next year's ranking. Considering a fall trip to New England? Read our top travel tips »

Newport, RI

Portland, me, martha's vineyard, acadia national park, kennebunkport, white mountains, block island, the berkshires, sugarloaf mountain.

weekend trips new england

Visitors heading to Newport, Rhode Island, will be treated to breathtaking coastal vistas, glamorous seaside homes and top-notch sailing. Soak up some sun at Easton's Beach, or enjoy the sound of crashing waves while strolling the scenic Cliff Walk. If you'd rather treat yourself during your trip, hit up Thames Street, a bustling strip with delicious eateries, small boutiques and historic Colonial structures. Don't forget to save time for a tour (or two) of Newport's elaborate mansions, including The Breakers and Marble House.

weekend trips new england

An ideal destination for foodies and culture hounds, Portland, Maine, is filled with award-winning restaurants, museums, breweries, art galleries, boutiques and more. Spend some time wandering the cobblestone streets of the historical Old Port, where boats line the harbor and seafood is aplenty. Or, venture southeast of the city to Cape Elizabeth to snap a picture of the iconic Portland Head Light – one of the most photographed lighthouses in America – and hike or picnic in Fort Williams Park.

weekend trips new england

A popular summertime island retreat for New Englanders and politicians alike, Martha's Vineyard appeals to all types of travelers. Fly or take the ferry from the mainland to explore the Massachusetts island's six towns and numerous beaches. Don't miss the colorful gingerbread cottages in Oak Bluffs, the fresh seafood in the village of Menemsha or the boutiques in Vineyard Haven. While the island's eastern side is walkable, it's best to take a bus or car to the dramatic Aquinnah Cliffs on the more rugged western side.

weekend trips new england

Many pass through Bar Harbor on their way to Acadia National Park , but this charming seaside town is definitely worth a stop. Located on Maine's Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor is bursting with locally owned boutiques, fresh seafood restaurants and gorgeous coastal views. Walk the scenic Shore Path for views of Frenchman Bay and multimillion-dollar mansions, or take a ride on a lobster boat to learn about the craft firsthand. While the town is popular in summer, its smaller crowds and vibrant foliage in autumn make it equally appealing during the shoulder season.

weekend trips new england

For a quintessential New England getaway, head to this Massachusetts peninsula known for its laid-back vibe. Vacationers can bask in the sun somewhere along Cape Cod National Seashore's 40 miles of sand before digging into a plate of fried clams or retreating to a quaint bed-and-breakfast . When planning your visit, keep in mind that each Cape Cod town is a little different. You'll find upscale shops in Chatham, historical landmarks in Sandwich, sky-high sand dunes in Wellfleet and a thriving LGBTQ community in Provincetown. Cape Cod's ample restaurants, boutiques, art galleries and ocean views are enough to keep you busy for days.

weekend trips new england

In the mood for an adventure? This more than 47,000-acre national park in Maine, one of the state's top attractions , is perfect for hiking, biking and rock climbing, among other outdoor activities. Your top priority should be to hike 1,530-foot-tall Cadillac Mountain – it's the first spot in the country to catch a sunrise from October to March. If you're not a fan of hiking, rent a car and make the drive along the 27-mile Park Loop Road. You'll pass the dramatic edge of Otter Cliffs and the cave at Thunder Hole, as well as other wonders visible from the road's pull-off observation areas.

weekend trips new england

The largest city in New England is fairly compact and walkable – perfect for sightseeing in just a few days. History buffs can follow the Freedom Trail to learn about the American Revolution before stopping for a beer at the historic Bell in Hand Tavern. Foodies can get a taste of Italy in the North End or indulge in some fresh oysters and clam chowder in the Seaport District. Meanwhile, fashionistas can browse the many shops on Newbury Street, and souvenir hunters can visit Faneuil Hall Marketplace. No matter your interests, your trip to Boston would not be complete without visiting Fenway Park.

weekend trips new england

Despite its small size, Nantucket has no shortage of activities. Board a ferry from Cape Cod or fly into the island's airport to enjoy a unique Massachusetts vacation. Visit Cisco Brewers for private brewery, vineyard and distillery tours, or simply enjoy the food trucks and live music. While Nantucket is a walkable island, many visitors enjoy renting bikes or mopeds to explore the area, especially tiny Siasconset Village. You'll want to also save time for watching the sunset at Madaket Beach on the island's west coast.

weekend trips new england

It doesn't get more relaxing than Kennebunkport, Maine. You can lay on sandy beaches, stroll through quaint boutiques and sample local specialties like lobster rolls, oysters and blueberry pies. There are also plenty of unique ways to see the town, including on foot during a food tour, by boat while on a lobster boat tour and by trolley with Intown Trolley. Plus, you can stop along the way to take pictures of Walker's Point – the Bush family compound. Keep your eyes peeled for other famous faces, as Kennebunkport is a popular celebrity vacation destination.

weekend trips new england

Although Stowe's small-town charm and dramatic vistas make it a beautiful destination year-round, snow lovers won't want to miss this Vermont retreat in all its winter glory. Stowe is dubbed the "Ski Capital of the East," but this New England hideaway is also ideal for snowboarding, snowshoeing and dog sledding. If you'd rather visit during the warmer months, consider hiking the Stowe Recreation Path or driving the Auto Toll Road to the top of Mount Mansfield for unbeatable views of the Adirondack Mountains. Whichever season you prefer, fans of "The Sound of Music" can't miss a visit to Stowe's Trapp Family Lodge.

weekend trips new england

If historic walking tours, charming bistros and tax-free shopping describe your ideal New England weekend, book your ticket to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, today. Take a narrated boat tour of the Isles of Shoals, or spend the day exploring Market Square, the gem of downtown Portsmouth. For a breath of fresh air, sink your toes in the sand at nearby Wallis Sands State Beach or stroll through the gardens at Prescott Park. Time your visit for summer to attend the Prescott Park Arts Festival, which transforms this beautiful green space into a vibrant outdoor performance venue.

weekend trips new england

Whether you're looking for a quiet mountain hideaway or an activity-filled weekend, potential abounds in the White Mountains. Designated as a protected national forest, the White Mountains cover parts of New Hampshire and Maine. Take the scenic route along the Kancamagus Highway, and consider stopping at a campground along the way. If you're visiting in summer, hike, drive or take the Mount Washington Cog Railway to the summit of its namesake for spectacular views. In winter, shred powder on some of the best ski slopes in New England before curling up with a cup of hot cocoa at a bed-and-breakfast.

weekend trips new england

Walk any direction on Block Island and you'll end up at a free public beach. This oasis off the southern coast of Rhode Island features 17 miles of shoreline, as well as old-fashioned cottages and two historical lighthouses. Take in sweeping ocean views from Mohegan Bluffs, or look for animals at Block Island National Wildlife Refuge. If you want an adrenaline rush, try snorkeling in the island's crystal-clear waters, biking around its picturesque perimeter or hiking its Clayhead Trail. A quick ferry ride from the mainland will take you to Block Island, making it an easy weekend retreat.

weekend trips new england

The rolling mountains of the Berkshires attract everyone from artists to nature lovers to city dwellers looking for an escape. This region of western Massachusetts has long been a culture and history hub. Charming towns like Great Barrington and North Adams draw visitors with their quaint main streets and historic homes. The town of Lenox is home to the famous Tanglewood concert venue, while the town of Pittsfield boasts many theaters and art galleries. You'll find a variety of festivals to attend in summer, vivid foliage in fall and plenty of skiing in winter.

weekend trips new england

Situated in western Maine's Carrabassett Valley, Sugarloaf Mountain has a lot to offer travelers looking for an exciting weekend getaway in New England. In winter, enjoy a range of cold-weather activities – including cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating, tubing and more – at the mountain's namesake ski resort. In summer, take advantage of the warmer temperatures by mountain biking, zip lining or hiking sections of the famous Appalachian Trail.

weekend trips new england

About 20 miles northeast of Boston, this Massachusetts town is best known for the witch trials of the late 17th century, which you can learn all about on a historical walking tour. For an even bigger dose of local culture, visit in October when the town hosts Halloween-themed events all month long. You'd also be remiss to skip top sights like the Peabody Essex Museum and The House of the Seven Gables, the setting of Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1851 novel of the same name.

Vote to Add these Destinations to the Rankings

weekend trips new england


weekend trips new england

You May Be Interested In

weekend trips new england

Best Fall Vacations

weekend trips new england

Best Romantic Getaways in the U.S. for 2024

weekend trips new england

Best Maine Beaches

weekend trips new england

Best Weekend Getaways

weekend trips new england

Best Weekend Getaways in the Midwest

weekend trips new england

Best Weekend Getaways in the South

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.


The 18 Best Napa Valley Wineries to Visit in 2024

Lyn Mettler|Sharael Kolberg April 23, 2024

weekend trips new england

The 25 Best Beaches on the East Coast for 2024

Timothy J. Forster|Sharael Kolberg April 19, 2024

weekend trips new england

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2024

Christina Maggitas February 6, 2024

weekend trips new england

The 32 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Gwen Pratesi|Timothy J. Forster February 1, 2024

weekend trips new england

9 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in Florida for 2024

Gwen Pratesi|Amanda Norcross January 5, 2024

weekend trips new england

24 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the U.S. for 2024

Erin Evans January 4, 2024

weekend trips new england

26 Top Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resorts for 2024

Zach Watson December 28, 2023

weekend trips new england

Solo Vacations: The 36 Best Places to Travel Alone in 2024

Lyn Mettler|Erin Vasta December 22, 2023

weekend trips new england

26 Cheap Beach Vacations for Travelers on a Budget

Kyle McCarthy|Sharael Kolberg December 4, 2023

weekend trips new england

The 50 Most Beautiful White Sand Beaches in the World

Holly Johnson December 1, 2023

weekend trips new england

  • Search Please fill out this field.
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Give a Gift Subscription
  • Newsletters
  • Sweepstakes
  • Weekend Getaways

20 Best Weekend Getaways in New England

From charming small towns to mountain escapes, these are the best places in New England for a weekend trip.

Anne Olivia Bauso is a travel writer and hotel expert based in New York City. She has written hundreds of hotel reviews, from 5-star Ritz-Carlton properties to treehouse eco-resorts in the jungle.

weekend trips new england

With prettier-than-a-picture countrysides, cliff-lined coasts under the watchful beams of centuries-old lighthouses, and countless small towns to stumble upon, New England is a region that merits a lifetime of getaways, weekend or otherwise. Whether you’re looking for a quick escape from the city or a romantic trip, here are 20 of the best weekend getaways in New England.

Block Island, Rhode Island

wakr10/Getty Images

With its towering bluffs, plains filled with native shrubs, and grand Victorian-style hotel , Block Island looks like it could really be in England. The cedar-shingled saltbox houses are what clue you back to the fact that we’re in New England, not some wind-swept corner of the U.K. Located 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, this quintessential seaside getaway is just as much about cruising down country lanes and walking through open heathland as it is visiting the beach.

Mad River Valley, Vermont

capecodphoto/Getty Images

Below the famous Sugarbush and Mad River Glen ski areas, the Mad River Valley is a particularly pretty nook of Vermont. And that’s on top of a surprisingly glam history (Sugarbush was once dubbed “Mascara Mountain” by Vogue due to all the fashionable model types frequenting its slopes). The skiing’s still good around these parts, but there’s also fun off-the-slopes stuff like mountain biking, farm stand shopping, and summer concerts.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Atlantide Phototravel/Getty Images

Reverence for this 50-square-mile fleck off the coast of Massachusetts runs deep, especially when it comes to summer getaways. But forget the cars and chain restaurants that clog your typical beach scene. Instead, hop on a bike or island shuttle to visit historic lighthouses (the still-in-use Brant Point dates back to 1746!), grand homes built for whaling captains, and laid-back beaches. Refuel every few hours with a lobster roll or perfectly prepared bay scallops before spending the night at a waterfront resort like the White Elephant Nantucket .

Newport, Rhode Island

nikon401/Getty Images

Fans of HBO’s Gilded Age owe themselves a trip to Newport, the summer vacay spot of choice for the late-19th-century elite. Take a stroll down the Cliff Walk to see Newport’s lavish mansions on one side and the Atlantic Ocean crashing against rocks on the other. The 3.5-mile path works up an appetite, so you’ll be ready to feast like a Vanderbilt: do the (BYOB!) brunch at Cru Cafe or go big with lobster mac ‘n’ cheese at local landmark, Brick Alley Pub.

Sugar Hill, New Hampshire

Thomas H. Mitchell/Getty Images

City folk looking for a slow pace and gorgeous scenic views find lots (and lots) to love in Sugar Hill. The sight of brilliant fall colors or fields blanketed in deep purple lupines — set against New Hampshire’s rugged White Mountains — is like a massage for your optic nerves. At Harman’s Cheese & Country Store, scoop up crackers and a hunk of aged cheddar to stash in your pack before hiking to Bridal Veil Falls (via the family-friendly Coppermine Trail) or summiting Mount Lafayette (Skookumchuck Trail is a toughie, but it’s well rated by hikers). 

Camden, Maine

DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

Often called one of the most beautiful small towns in the U.S. , Camden is a popular filming location for TV shows and Hollywood films. After enjoying a big bowl of haddock chowder on the harbor, peep the handsome Queen Anne-style houses in the historic district or make your way up to the top of Mount Battie, where the view inspired Maine native Edna St. Vincent Millay to write one of her finest poems. And remember, it’s not a trip to Maine without some quality antiquing: peruse the treasures inside Antiques at 10 Mechanic.

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Christopher Seufert Photography/Getty Images

Think of it this way: getting there is half the fun. Sure, the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, sister island to Nantucket, can be a bit of a test for landlubbers, but once you disembark, you’ll find a treasure trove of seaside villages, bike paths, and A+ lobster rolls. First stop: Waterside Market, where yummy breakfast sandwiches are served all day (or opt for lobster salad on brioche straight out of the gate), then grab a cab or bike over to Oak Bluffs for beach time and frozen drinks at Nancy’s. Spend a day in pristine little Edgartown, with its indie shops (Edgartown Books is a real treat, as is the hidden cafe behind it), raw bars, Greek Revival mansions, and charming boutique hotels like Faraway Martha's Vineyard .

Lakes Region, New Hampshire

Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

Woods, rocky summits, and hundreds of lakes and ponds set the scene for this ridiculously pretty area surrounding Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire's largest lake. Set in the White Mountain foothills, the region seduces leaf-peepers, walkers, boaters, cyclists, and off-roaders in search of abundant outdoor activities.

It’d be a shame not to get on the water in the warmer months, so hop aboard one of M/S Mount Washington ’s daily scenic cruises for a mimosa and postcard-worthy views of the surrounding mountains. Hikers have 28 miles of trails to explore at Castle in the Clouds and boundless views to enjoy at the top of Belknap Mountain, the highest peak in the area.

Woodstock, Vermont

jonathansloane/Getty Images

Dotted with old covered bridges, quaint cafes, and Victorian homes, Woodstock is the epitome of an idyllic New England town. At Billings Farm and Museum, say hi to the Jersey cows and draft horses, enjoy a maple sundae, and grab some smoked cheddar to go (it’ll make a tasty trail snack). Prue and Paul fans: Hop over to the neighboring town of Norwich to channel your inner Great British Baking Show contestant with a pie- and-tart-making class at King Arthur Baking Company.

Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Barry Winiker/Getty Images

Part of the Berkshires, Great Barrington looks straight out of a Louisa May Alcott novel. Everywhere you look are storybook old buildings now housing bakeries, upscale grocers, and farm-to-fork restaurants. (During the holidays, the town looks like the real-life version of a snow globe.) See what’s going on at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, a 1905 theater hosting everything from classic flicks to big-name bands.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Paul Souders/Getty Images

Once upon a time (in the late 1800s), Bar Harbor was a summer oasis for the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Astors, and other VIP members of society looking to beat the heat. The appeal of this place takes no imagination; Bar Harbor is a quaint small town on Frenchman Bay and a gateway to Acadia National Park. Take a warm-up stroll along Bar Harbor’s shore path before diving into moody Acadia, where rocky shores and 150 miles of hiking trails await.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Drive about an hour north of Boston, and you’ll find the darling town of Portsmouth. Kick off a walking tour at Market Square, hit the Portsmouth Harbor Trail, and dedicate a couple of hours to Strawbery Banke Museum — an outdoor museum with historic structures and costumed actors bringing three centuries of history to life. Reward yourself with the oyster happy hour and a cold local Smuttynose at Row 34 before moving on to dinner at Black Trumpet, a bistro and wine bar.

North Adams, Massachusetts

John Greim/Getty Images

Art lovers have streamed into North Adams since 1999 when Mass MoCA opened in a previously abandoned 19th-century mill. Bed down at the art-filled Hotel Downstreet or The Porches Inn, a series of Victorian homes that once housed textile workers. The draws of this small Berkshires city don’t end with Sol Lewitt’s wall drawings and Michael Oatman’s installation art, on view at Mass MoCA. Outdoor options include seeing the continent’s only natural white marble arch at Natural Bridge State Park and hiking Mount Greylock, the highest mountain in Massachusetts. 

Westerly, Rhode Island

Westerly may not have quite the vacay clout as Newport or the Vineyard, yet the coastal town balloons in the summer with beachgoers looking to hit Narragansett Bay and Misquamicut State Beach. For a quintessential New England weekend getaway, spend at least an afternoon in the ocean-view neighborhood of Watch Hill, visiting its 1850s lighthouse and walking along the pristine beach at the Napatree Point Conservation Area.

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Journey to the farthest-flung tip of Cape Cod, and you’ll be rewarded with some of the area’s best stretches of sand, cool boutiques and art galleries, and an enchantingly funky and bohemian vibe. This LGBTQ-friendly town has something for every mood, whether it’s drag karaoke, dance parties, and pub crawls that strike your fancy or catching the sunset on Herring Cove Beach.

Jackson and North Conway, New Hampshire

Peter Unger/Getty Images

These sister towns in New Hampshire’s pretty Mount Washington Valley make a popular getaway, thanks to their waterfall hikes, scenic drives, small-town shopping scene (Schartner Farms has a drive-up, honor-system jam stand — how cute is that?), and big-box outlets. 

On the highway between the two towns is Sunrise Shack, an old-school drive-in restaurant that's now a roadside staple for truly enormous breakfasts. After a summer swim at Echo Lake State Park or a challenging hike on Mount Chocorua, indulge in the biggest cone you’ve ever seen at Trails End Ice Cream.

Mystic, Connecticut

Tessa Desjardins/Travel + Leisure

History lovers looking for a fun-filled weekend getaway in New England will likely love this former shipbuilding hub. The Mystic Seaport Museum is a fascinating jumping-off point, with its million-plus artifacts depicting the town’s nautical life — you can even test out your sea legs on vessels like the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaling ship that remains in the world today.

Appreciate the Long Island Sound and Fisher’s Island views at Bluff Point State Park and feast on some of the best seafood around at Oyster Club. Our perfect meal? Smoky Rhode Island clam chowder, dashi-buttery roasted oysters, and the homemade bucatini.

Montpelier, Vermont

Nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains, the country’s smallest state capital by population brims with opportunities for nature activities, from hiking up the 4,000-foot peak of Camel’s Hump to whitewater rafting on the Winooski River. Of course, no trip to this neck of the woods is complete without a taste of what it does best. At Morse Farm's and Bragg Farms' maple sugar houses, you can sample the Vermont specialty in the form of maple cookies, kettle corn, or “creemee” (Vermontese for soft serve).

Kennebunkport, Maine


Like Mystic, Kennebunkport boomed as a shipbuilding hub during New England’s maritime heyday. The coastal town’s nautical vibe lives on, with glossy Italian-built yachts bobbing in the harbor and authentic schooners sailing toward the Atlantic. Kennebunkport swells in the summertime with New Englanders flocking to its beaches, but the town’s boutiques, cafes, and art galleries have year-round appeal.

Litchfield, Connecticut

Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Litchfield is a small town that more than carries its weight on the history, charm, and scenic beauty fronts. This picture-book spot in rural western Connecticut (birthplace of Revolutionary leader Ethan Allen and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe) has an oak-shaded town green and hundreds of historic buildings. The vast Topsmead State Forest is a favorite area for hiking and picnicking and was originally the summer estate (complete with a Cotswold-style cottage and formal gardens) of banking heiress Edith Morton Chase.

Related Articles


  • Destinations

25 Best Weekend Getaways in New England

Cape cod national seashore, bar harbor, new england.

  • Complete List & Map

Cape Cod National Seashore

Where to travel next: Wisconsin , Kentucky , Illinois , NJ , Richmond , From NJ


Ideas by Occasion: Relax at a spa , Girls weekend , Birthday , Family , Honeymoon Weekend , All-Inclusive

Bar Harbor, New England

Ideas in New England: Vermont , Massachusetts , New Jersey , Maryland , New Hampshire , Delaware


Weekend Inspiration: NC Getaways , Small Town Getaways , From Toronto , Oklahoma , From Jackson , From Louisville , For Couples

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park

West Coast Vacations: Oregon , From Seattle , Washington

Block Island

Block Island

Weekend Trips: Southwest Weekend Getaways , Arkansas , Idaho , Montana


Enjoy the city’s beautifully preserved architecture, try the foods at the Faneuil Market, go to the harbor, and watch the historic ships. Map

Cambridge, Vermont

Cambridge, Vermont

The South USA Vacations: Mississippi , Georgia , Alabama , Florida , From New Orleans , Louisiana

Green Mountain National Forest

Green Mountain National Forest

Florida vacations: From Miami , Florida Weekend Getaways , Romantic Getaways , Florida Islands , Romantic Getaways in St. Augustine , Honeymoon

Kennebunkport, New England

Kennebunkport, New England

Texas vacations: From Houston , For Couples , Weekend Getaways in Texas , Texas Hill Country , Family Getaways


More ideas: From DC , Virginia , West Virginia , Maryland , Tennessee , Vermont , Delaware

Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain

The CATS trail system includes 40 miles of mostly easy hikes with fantastic views of the lake and Adirondack High Peaks. There is fish in the lake and in the surrounding ponds and streams.

Martha's Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard

While the beaches are the main tourist draw in the summer, it is the laidback vibe, fresh seafood, and diverse cultural events that bring visitors year round. Map


Take a walk or a bike ride across the island and enjoy the view of the ocean, magnificent old whaling captains' mansions, historic harbors, quaint inns, and seaside cottages. Romantic Places to Stay on Nantucket



Narragansett is a beautiful seaside town in Rhode Island, only half an hour’s drive from Newport or Providence and an easy drive from New York City or Boston. Its spectacular sandy beaches attract thousands of visitors each year. Besides lovely beaches and verdant nature, with its long history, Narragansett has lot more to offer. Visit South County Museum on Canonchet Farm, stroll through Fishermen's State Park with its “seaside village” atmosphere, or explore the quaint Galilee Fishing Village with a working fishing fleet. The Point Judith Light was a witness to many shipwrecks, while the Towers is the only remnant of the famous 1880 Narragansett Pier Casino. Map


Because of its magnificent historic architecture, Newport is also a popular wedding destination. Restaurants in Newport, Rhode Island

North Conway

North Conway

The great way to see much of the area is by riding one of the scenic trains. Story Land is a fantastic kids’ playground, and there is always something going on at the local theatre. North Conway Map


The Ogunquit Museum of American Art features artworks with Maine-related themes and is famous for its waterside sculptures. Take the old-fashioned trolley to explore the town or walk amongst the town’s galleries, restaurants, and cafés. Ogunquit Map

Old Orchard Beach

Old Orchard Beach

It is a place where locals and tourists come to fish, watch fireworks or sunsets, dance, listen to live music, or look for passing whales. Beachfront Palace Playland Park is a historic amusement park with a classic carousel. Old Orchard Beach Map


Plimoth Plantation is a fascinating re-creation of a 17th century Pilgrim village. If you are travelling with kids, stop by Edaville Family Theme Park, with train rides and a vintage carousel. Plymouth Map


The Portland Head Light, built in 1791, is the oldest lighthouse still in use in the US. Take a boat cruise and go see whales or hop on a ferry for a visit to the islands in Casco Bay. Portland Map



More ideas: New England Glamping Spots


The Pioneer Village and the Charter Street Historic District preserve much of the city’s architectural past. Salem Map

Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport

Mystic Village, on the banks of Mystic River, was a major seaport in this part of Connecticut for centuries. The story of Mystic 's nautical past is told at Mystic Seaport, the largest maritime museum in the country, with a number of beautifully preserved sailing ships, of which the most famous is the whaler Charles W. Morgan. The beautifully reproduced 19th century Maritime Village at Mystic offers a range of hands-on educational demonstrations such as traditional boat building. You can also learn how to make rope and see a smithy at work on real parts for the ships at the village. While at Mystic, visit 1746 Brant Point Light, the second New England operative lighthouse, or go on a harbor cruise, rent a sailboat, and visit the Mystic Aquarium. Or, you can just simply find the time to just sit in one of the quaint waterfront cafes and watch the boats and people passing by. Map

White Mountain National Forest

White Mountain National Forest

White Mountain National Forest is an 800,000-acre park in the White Mountains in New Hampshire and Maine. The forest is crossed by the Kancamagus Scenic Byway and the White Mountain Trail as well as a portion of the Appalachian Trail. The 1860s Mount Washington Cog Railway climbs all the way to the summit of Mount Washington, the highest mountain peak in the northeastern States. The White Mountain National Forest is particularly popular during the colorful fall foliage season and with skiers in the winter. The park’s ecosystems range from hardwood mountainous forests to massive alpine peaks. The breathtaking scenery includes clear mountain lakes, fast streams, rich wildlife, and diverse recreation opportunities such as biking, mountain climbing, fishing, hiking, hunting, picnicking, skiing, snowmobiling, and much more.

  • 1. Cape Cod National Seashore
  • 3. Bar Harbor, New England
  • 4. Burlington
  • 5. Acadia National Park
  • 6. Block Island
  • 8. Cambridge, Vermont
  • 9. Green Mountain National Forest
  • 10. Kennebunkport, New England
  • 11. Killington
  • 12. Lake Champlain
  • 13. Martha's Vineyard
  • 14. Nantucket
  • 15. Narragansett
  • 16. Newport
  • 17. North Conway
  • 18. Ogunquit
  • 19. Old Orchard Beach
  • 20. Plymouth
  • 21. Portland
  • 22. Provincetown
  • 24. Mystic Seaport
  • 25. White Mountain National Forest

White Mountain National Forest

Last Updated By VI on April 14, 2024 in Weekend Getaway from Boston & Day Trips

More Features

Ocean view

12 Best Overwater Hotel Pools

25 Best New England Day Trips

25 Best New England Day Trips

21 Broad

21 Broad, a Couples' Getaway from Boston

  • --> Conclusion


  • About Us/Contact Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Service

Central America and the Caribbean Chevron

United States Chevron

The Best Weekend Getaways in New England, From the Rhode Island Coast to Rural Vermont

By Charlie Hobbs

The Best Weekend Getaways in New England—For Fall Foliage in Vermont Beach Weekends in Rhode Island and More

Whether you're based on the East Coast or traveling further, the best weekend getaways in New England promise a few things: easy access from major hubs in the region, serious small-town charm, and a range of activities depending on the season. Come autumn , an explosion of red and orange takes over the region's pastoral landscapes, drawing travelers to ogle the trees everywhere from Connecticut to Vermont. In winter, maple syrup flows, and snow drapes rural mountain villages. Summer is peak season for weekend getaways in New England—who wants to stay cooped up at home when the sun is shining?—whether you're in search of lobster rolls in Maine or hoping to rack up miles on upstate New York trails.  

While there are no shortage of great places for a quick and easy adventure in the area, there are a few weekend getaways in New England that we're especially fond of, all within a few hours of cities like New York and Boston . They're all relatively underrated as well—these aren't the Hamptons of the world—so you can spend less time fighting for a B&B reservation and more time unwinding. Read on for our eight easy New England escapes. 

All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Niantic is a censusdesignated place and village in the town of East Lyme Connecticut

Niantic, Connecticut

By car, 45 minutes from New Haven, Connecticut; or 1 hour from Providence, Rhode Island

Those that peg Connecticut as an extravagant WASP nest have not ventured to the Southeastern coast, which is home to cute coastal communities that rival those in neighboring Rhode Island and Maine to the north. Niantic, an easy stop along the route from New York City and New Haven to Rhode Island’s beach towns (including Watch Hill, below), warrants consideration for a slightly more extended stay. The standout spot to visit here is the Book Barn —if you can only spend the day in Niantic, be sure to stop by for an hour or two. Their library is vast and affordable, housing approximately 500,000 gently-used volumes in a sprawling compound of antique structures and annexes. A resident population of cats nap on sun-soaked picnic tables. If you stay overnight, book a room overlooking the water at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina , a breezy bed-and-breakfast, or do some camping at Rocky Neck State Park (the best camping , in fact, in all of Connecticut). Mystic is also a half hour's drive away. 

Seed  Spoon Farmstay

Norfolk, Connecticut

By car, 1.5 hours from Hartford, Connecticut; 3 hours from New York City

A tiny town with so much to do that we’ve put together a dedicated guide on all it has to offer, Norfolk is a classically cut gem in the jewel box that is Litchfield County. Before you follow other New Yorkers’ leads in scooping up some real estate nearby, take a scenic drive from your major city and have a look around. Views of the Berkshires, Vermont, and Massachusetts can be taken in one fell swoop at Haystack Mountain State Park , while wares from local artists and artisans are for sale at art café The Guilded Artisan . Take shelter, and a few cooking classes, with a farm stay at Husky Meadows .

Watch Hill Lighthouse at dusk Rhode Island USA

Watch Hill, Rhode Island

1 hour from Providence, Rhode Island; 2 hours from Boston

Comparisons come easily between Watch Hill and a high-end toy box. There's so much for children to do, the pinnacle being a Merry-Go-Round —grab kids a ticket for an outer horse where they can play the brass ring game, collecting rings hung around the carousel's perimeter as they go. The adorable Candy Box shop, done up in pastels and stocked with fresh fudge, is another fond locale oft-frequented. Spend the night at one of two upscale sister spots: Ocean House or Watch Hill Inn , both with private beaches.

Concord Massachusetts

Concord, Massachusetts 

By car, 30 minutes from Boston

A pivotal place in America’s political and cultural histories, Concord is home not only to significant Revolutionary War battle sites but also to Henry David Thoreau’s favorite spot in all of the natural world. Walden Pond , a kettle hole formed by retreating glaciers and surrounded by a state reservation, gives visitors the option of swimming, hiking, and boating when not paying a visit to the Thoreau House Replica . Keep the Thoreau theme going with dinner at 80 Thoreau —alas, inns like the North Bridge do not take his name but still warrant a stay thanks to their quaint charm.

This Is the Best Airport in the World, According to a New Ranking

Hannah Towey

The Best New Hotels in the United States: 2024 Hot List

CNT Editors

7 International Flights Launching From the US This Summer

Jessica Puckett

May 2024 Horoscope: This Month, Travel Will Be Joyful

Steph Koyfman

Whitewater Release Jamaica. Human Person Transportation Vehicle Boat and Water

Jamaica, Vermont

By car, 2.5 hours from Burlington, Vermont; 3 hours from Boston; 4.5 hours from New York City

Jamaica, a sleepy town just a stone’s throw away from the skiing seat of Stratton, is enchantingly underdeveloped. A drive through downtown is almost reminiscent of Wild West imagery with its straight shot of Victorian general stores and specialty artisan shops. This quietness allows nature to shine, with the must-do being a hike through Jamaica State Park to Hamilton Falls . Stop at roadside eatery Honey Pie on your way back for burgers, shakes, and fries (or try any number of their specialty sausages). When it's time to rest your head, a local Airbnb will be your best bet. 

Image may contain Nature Outdoors Building Countryside Rural Housing Hut and Farm

Woodstock, Vermont

By car, 1.5 hours from Burlington, Vermont; 2.5 hours from Boston; 5 hours from New York City

Farther north from Jamaica lies Woodstock–not the home of the music festival but of dairy cooperatives like Sugarbush Farms and adventures along the Appalachian Trail . In nearby Quechee, explore the VINS Nature Center. There, you’ll find tons of birds of prey housed both permanently and on a temporary basis in their rehabilitation program. Highly romantic in general, travelers often wax poetic in particular about the joys of staying at the Woodstock Inn . You have to book a stay of at least three nights, an affair that's well worthwhile—just see it as a reason to soak up the area for even longer. 

Scenic Nature on Long Lake with a pier in Naples Maine United States. Water Waterfront Dock Port and Pier

Naples, Maine

1 hour from Portland, Maine; about 3 hours from Boston

Coastal Maine gets all the attention—consider setting your sights inland. Around Lake Sebago, northwest of Portland , lies a bevy of summer camps. A hearty hospitality industry has arisen—in part to house parents and families that need to pick up their children come summer’s close—and the town of Naples is no exception. For any visitor, though, that spells grown-up summertime fun across three main bodies of water. Stay at the adorable Lakeview Inn and mosey easily to the water. Once there, rent a boat and water skis at Dingley’s Wharf and head out onto the water.

New Hampshire Lake Winnipesaukee Region Alton Bay lake shore houses fall

Alton Bay, New Hampshire

1.5 hours from Portland, Maine; 2 hours from Boston

Out of Lake Winnipesaukee crops Alton Bay, a peaceful waterway skirted by the town of Alton, New Hampshire. Hiking Mount Major should be your first priority when visiting. There are all sorts of trails here to explore, with the longest to the peak totaling 3.9 miles. Along the route, glimpses of the water and all sorts of stone structures stimulate the mind and imagination. Recover with seafood at Pop’s Clam Shell , or an extended evening waterside at Shibley's at the Pier . Accommodations in these parts are primarily lakeside cabins usually booked by phone, though you can find some rentals on Vrbo these days. 

El Pretexto

By signing up you agree to our User Agreement (including the class action waiver and arbitration provisions ), our Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement and to receive marketing and account-related emails from Traveller. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

365 Traveler

18 Spectacular Weekend Getaways in New England

When the sun is out, New England becomes a treat for families, friends and anyone looking to kick back and relax. From world class beaches in Massachusetts to scenic drives along the coast, get ready for stunning views, lots of laughter and a family friendly trip that will blow you away. 

With top notch restaurants and insanely beautiful surroundings, it’s easy to plan a New England getaway you and your crew will adore. Hike your way through Maine, go for a whale watching tour, or simply enjoy being outside in nature in all six New England states. Make memories and let loose in this gorgeous region in America. 

Here are 18 weekend getaways in New England you’re going to love!


The quaint town of Bar Harbor is an absolute joy to explore with families who relish in local communities, dramatic coastal landscapes, and natural beauty. What could be more relaxing and peaceful then being out in nature, especially at Acadia National Park , which is just moments away. 

Spend thrilling days hiking and biking, or wander through town admiring art galleries and boutique shops, while the kids enjoy a sweet treat of ice cream. Whether you are a nature lover or want to connect back to some historic roots, Bar Harbor is a fabulous weekend getaway that will excite all ages and families. Overlook the ocean and try Maine’s legendary lobster whenever you get a chance! 


With cobblestone streets and an up and coming food and beverage scene, Portland is becoming one of America’s most exciting and unique cities. Located on Casco Bay, Portland offers world class views, amazing dining and excellent weather. With smaller crowds compared to other major cities, Portland is a great weekend getaway for families. 

Tour lighthouses, go for summer hikes, or visit the Portland Art Museum, all before walking the promenade and grabbing snacks at one of the many food trucks. Don’t forget to stop by one of the many breweries. Portland’s huge beer scene is a great excuse to sit outside with family and friends.


With sandy dunes and small-town vibes, Ogunquit is the perfect place for families to relax and explore their creative side. With a summer playhouse and a small American art museum, see locals at work and fall in love with the wild beaches and breaking of waves. 

Walk around this small town, where you can pop into shops and get all the ingredients to make a scrumptious lobster bake. Climb up to Marginal Way and enjoy beautiful views of the town, ocean and lighthouse. Have a summer retreat well spent with family. 

18 Spectacular Weekend Getaways in New England

Are you looking for fun, history and quintessential New England charm? Then jump in your car for a thrilling road trip to Burlington, Vermont ! In the fall, see the spectacular foliage, and in the summer, sit at beer gardens and relax while children run around embracing true Vermont outdoor living. 

Stroll through the heart of Burlington at Church Street Marketplace, popping in boutiques or shopping at the farmers markets for fresh local produce and goods. Wander along the water’s edge and chill out lakeside with paddling boarding and kayaking available! 

Pop into local museums, embrace the red brick architecture and go for a hike at the nearby Adirondack Mountains. This small city will give you a vibrant outlook on life and will have you excited to return. 

Take on a scenic drive through Vermont on your way to the small town of Stowe . With breathtaking views and plenty of things to do, welcome to one of New England’s world class ski destinations. Home to the fabulous Stowe Mountain, it’s time to take children on an adventure of a lifetime and let them shred the slopes. 

With long and winding trails, a renowned ski school, and luxurious resorts, Stowe is the perfect New England getaway for families to get outside and enjoy a winter wonderland. While the winter is where Stowe really thrives, don’t be shy to visit in other seasons too. 

In the summer, embrace the outdoors and hike to your heart’s content, or head over during the fall season, which showcases the annual changing of the tree colors with fun local shows and events. Surrounded by state parks and plenty of natural wonder, Stowe is a dreamy vacation spot! 


New England is filled with plenty of charming villages, towns and cities, but there is something quite special about Woodstock . While all four seasons are truly beautiful, nothing quite compares to the vibrant red and orange colors that will be surrounding you through every window, park and shop. 

With 360-degree views of farms, wide open space and mountains encompassing you, breathe in some fresh air and relish in Vermont’s environment. From trying Vermont’s famous cheese and fresh milk, stop by farms, gardens and go for long walks with loved ones. Make sure to get a family picture in one of the covered and colorful bridges, it’s a great spot for a family photoshoot. 


18 Spectacular Weekend Getaways in New England


Hop on a ferry and enjoy island living on gorgeous Martha’s Vineyard . With serene and world class beaches, go for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean and watch as children have the beach holiday of their dreams. 

With top notch golfing and delicious seafood offered at almost every restaurant, the Vineyard is more than a New England getaway — it’s a way of life! Learn to sail, go whale watching and try sweet treats at one of the endless ice cream spots. With its historic lighthouses, charming town and small local community who love the arts, choose between Oaks Bluff or Vineyard Haven for a fabulous holiday. 


This island may be small, but it sure has a big heart. With pristine beaches and plenty of lighthouses, chill out on the beach with an umbrella while children boogie board or learn to surf in the Atlantic. Nantucket is off the coast of Cape Cod, and really comes alive during the summer months with gorgeous weather and fabulous activities. 

Walk the old cobblestone streets and explore the amazing shops filled with unique gifts and artwork. Watch the sunrise and sunset every day with good company and eat at world class restaurants throughout your trip. Make sure to stop by Cisco Brewery for live music, drinks and food trucks; children are welcome and will absolutely love it!

Welcome to Bean Town! Are you excited to learn about one of the oldest cities in America? Filled with history dating back to the American Revolution, explore the old cobblestones streets of Boston and find hidden treasures everywhere you look. 

Take the famous Freedom Trail Tour, where you’ll wander Boston’s most historic sites, or come aboard the Boston Duck Tours for an enthusiastic and adventurous tour of the city. Watch street performers at Faneuil Hall and grab snacks at Quincy Market, before taking a little stroll in Boston Common. 

Shop ’til you drop on Newbury Street, and don’t miss the Boston Aquarium. With fabulous neighborhoods, like the South and North End to discover, put on those walking shoes and get ready to explore. Make sure you catch a Red Sox game at legendary Fenway Park while you’re in town!



18 Spectacular Weekend Getaways in New England

Home to a rich and engaging history, a New England getaway to Newport, Rhode Island will give you small city vibes and a beach escape all in one. Enjoy dining while overlooking the water as sail boats cruise by and peaceful life surrounds you. Rent a boat and take to the waters yourself, or keep an eye out for its annual sailing regattas. 

Head to the Cliff Walk for a fun family outing, where children can run along the path, and you can see the beauty of the extravagant mansions and rocky coastlines. Take a tour of the famous Gilded Age Mansion, and look out for The Breakers and Rosecliff. 

Walk through cobblestone streets with ice cream, discovering million-dollar boats and picturesque views! 


Providence might not be the biggest city on the East Coast, but it absolutely has a lot of soul! With a diverse community and vibrant atmosphere, Providence is filled with young adults in college, attending the likes of Brown and RISD, who have a strong focus on the arts community.

Roam along the river, pop into cool and eclectic galleries and museums, or dine waterfront while enjoying great cuisines — especially seafood — at this New England getaway. Walk Benefits Street “Mile of History” and go up and down steep hills, where you’ll come across Governor Stephen Hopkins House, the Athenaeum, and other historic homes. 

During the winter, bundle up and go ice skating in the middle of the city, or warm up in the engaging and educational Children’s Museum. This small city is great for families and has plenty to see and do, making it one of the best weekend getaways in New England.


Soak in some summer sun and get the beach chairs ready for Narraga n sett ! Home to stunning beaches, it’s time to enjoy ultimate relaxation at a glorious seaside town. Play beach games, go boogie boarding and build sandcastles along the shores of Rhode Island. 

Treat yourself to world class seafood and embrace the vibrant and colorful sunsets on the soft sandy beaches all around you. Fall in love with the small-town vibes and visit museums, boutique shops, and bask in nature with family and friends. 

This popular beach destination is great for families and offers people a peaceful escape from busy cities and daily stresses.


18 Spectacular Weekend Getaways in New England


Fill up the gas tank and get ready to embark on a road trip into the picturesque White Mountains. With endless opportunities to partake in outdoor activities, North Conway offers all its visitors, no matter their age, fun, joy and lots of laughter. 

From skiing and snowboarding in the winter, to hiking and biking in the summer, fall in love with the great outdoors. Go swimming in the lakes, and don’t forget those fishing rods, as you might get yourself a fresh catch of the day. 

With great shops and restaurants to try, go for a walk along the town’s Main Street before heading back to your accommodation. Gaze at the stars and enjoy outdoor BBQs with friends and family at this ideal outdoor playground for all ages. 

This city, which once was a small settlement among trees in New England, has grown into a vibrant city filled with historic sites and a friendly community. Take on the scenic drive up to Portsmouth , and see the past in the present, with sites like Strawbery Banke and Warner House. 

Head into Market Square for specialty shopping. Admire the architecture of the older buildings, and see how the city has modernized the area to become a thriving hub. Walk along the waterfront and see brick buildings, tugboats, and the beautiful North Church!  Portsmouth is a fantastic weekend escape


Put on some comfortable shoes, because this walkable city has plenty of history to uncover. Do you have any future astronauts or space lovers with you? Because the McAuliffe- Shepard Discovery Center is ready to teach you about the world of space and honor some legendary astronauts. 

If you’re simply wanting to enjoy Concord , get ready to experience a flourishing art scene, listen to live performances and embrace locally-curated products. Visit in the fall and go apple picking, an experience all children will love.

Get ready for family fun time at Chucksters! Whether you take on the thrill of the ropes course, play a round of mini golf, or climb to new heights on the rock-climbing wall, this activity is great at bringing families together and sharing laughter. 


18 Spectacular Weekend Getaways in New England

Take a few steps into the lively fishing village of Mystic , and fall head over heels for this pretty small town. Wander around the port, step inside the Mystic Maritime Museum, and learn more about this town’s thought-provoking past.

See old sailing and fishing ships and explore the Maritime Village, which offers programs and educational exhibits. Feel like seeing sea life? Children will love the brilliant and amazing aquarium found here. See seals and exotic fish, or take it to the high seas and rent a boat for all the family to enjoy! At the end of the day, sit back and relax by the waterfront at one of the many delicious restaurants or cafes. 

If any New Yorkers are looking for a little road trip or weekend escape, Greenwich is an ideal location. With a thriving arts community, brilliant museums, and lots of fun to be had in nature, start planning a little vacation away from the big city. 

Have a picnic and enjoy walking through the lush grounds at Greenwich Botanical Center, or walk for miles through the endless trails at Montgomery Pinetum. I highly suggest going to the Greenwich Polo Club to see a public match — children will love it, and it’s a nice way to get outside and dress up. 

Welcome to Connecticut’s capital and one of the oldest states in America! Filled with history, fascinating museums and home to some of American legends, Hartford is a New England getaway that needs to be explored. Head over in the spring and watch as the flowers bloom and the city comes alive. 

With quirky places to shop, a fun live music scene, and great vibes, this is a great place to explore and see treasures, like the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Visit Mark Twain’s House and Museum and feel connected to American roots, and see where he wrote classics like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and more! 

See the stunning Capitol Building, and don’t be afraid to sit in a park, relax and enjoy a picnic with friends and family.



  • ROMANTIC GETAWAYS: 21 Romantic Getaways In New England You’ll Adore
  • MASSACHUSETTS:  24 Of The Best Things To Do In Massachusetts
  • VERMONT:  15+ Sensational Things To Do In Vermont Any Time Of Year
  • CONNECTICUT:  19 Things To Do In Connecticut Everyone Will Love
  • MAINE:  20 Best Things To Do In Maine That You Can’t Miss
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE:  25 Best Things To Do In New Hampshire You’ll Love

18 Spectacular Weekend Getaways in New England

Follow us here: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | MSN | TripAdvisor | Flipboard

All articles belong to 365 Atlanta Family LLC, and all photos belong to us as well, unless otherwise noted. It’s all copyrighted. Please don’t repost anything elsewhere without asking me first. All rights reserved. This site uses cookies to enhance your experience.

We make no guarantees of any price listed on our site. We are not responsible for content on external web sites linked from ours, including linked resources, an external blog post, any partner site, hotel property sites, or affiliate sites. We only write about places we love in an attempt to help you in your adventures, but we can’t guarantee you will love them, too.

Posts may contain affiliate links at no cost to you. Several of our trips are also compensated by the respective tourism boards for the city or state we are visiting. This never impacts how we share the destination with you – opinions are always our own and we pride ourselves on that. We do not sell links or accept unsolicited guest posts under any circumstances. Don’t even ask.

United States Copyright, 365 Atlanta Family, LLC

View our Privacy Policy | Subscribe to our Newsletter | Contact Site Owner | View Terms & Conditions | About Us

  • Latest Posts

weekend trips new england

  • 19+ Fun & Memorable Things To Do in Central Park - 02/27/2023
  • 18 Famous Places To Eat in NYC You Can’t Miss - 08/19/2022
  • 13 Things To Do on Staten Island You Can’t Miss - 08/09/2022

12 Top-Rated Weekend Getaways in New England

Written by Lura Seavey Updated Feb 15, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Author Lura R. Seavey is a New Hampshire native who has been exploring New England for her entire life. She continues to live and play in New England, sharing adventures with both friends and family.

Known for its beauty in all four seasons, New England is full of ideal places to visit for a weekend retreat, whether you're seeking a quiet, romantic getaway or an activity-filled family excursion.

Downtown Boston, Massachusetts at dusk

Vermont and New Hampshire are known for their quaint small towns, stunning autumn foliage, and winter skiing, while Maine is a nature-lover's paradise, with expansive national parks and a seemingly endless seashore.

Massachusetts is home to some of the most significant historic sites in the nation, and Connecticut is as well, with a historic port that brings the past back to life.

Plan your relaxing short break with our list of the best weekend getaways in New England.

1. Boston, Massachusetts

2. north conway, new hampshire, 3. provincetown, massachusetts, 4. providence, rhode island, 5. portland, maine, 6. ludlow, vermont, 7. portsmouth, new hampshire, 8. mystic, connecticut, 9. burlington, vermont, 10. salem, massachusetts, 11. nantucket, massachusetts, 12. old orchard beach, maine.

George Washington Statue in Boston Public Garden

A weekend getaway to Boston is perfect for any time of year thanks to the city's abundance of attractions and things to do , both inside and outside. If you have a car, it's best to find a spot and use the T (Boston's subway system) to get around, since both driving and parking here can be daunting at best.

Historic Sites: If it's your first trip to Boston, you will likely want to visit at least a couple of its top historic sites, so a trek along the Freedom Trail is an excellent place to start. Head to the visitor center in Boston Common to grab a brochure for the self-guided tour, or sign up for a guided tour. Highlights include the Old Granary Burying Ground, the Paul Revere House, Old North Church, and many other significant sites.

Faneuil Hall

Shopping: If you like a good dose of shopping with your history, head to Faneuil Hall Marketplace , home to three huge market buildings, including the famous Quincy Market. If you're in town during December, Christmas shopping here is an absolute must. No matter when you visit, be sure to walk over to the North End to get your fill of goodies at Modern Pastry.

Parks: Most of Boston's best parks are part of the Emerald Necklace , a 1,100-acre network of green spaces designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead. Boston Common and the adjacent Boston Public Garden, which is home to the famous Swan Boats, are among the most popular places to visit during nice weather, featuring plenty of fountains for splashing, and live entertainment regularly.

Culture: Boston is also a top destination for entertainment, home to a theater district rivaling Broadway itself, and it's also home to several world-class museums. Art and history lovers will want to visit the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Families should plan on heading to the Boston Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium.

Sports: If you're in town during baseball season, be sure to catch a game at Fenway Park , home of the Red Sox and the iconic Green Monster—there is truly nothing like the enthusiasm that Bostonians have for their home team, for better or worse. If you aren't into the game but want the atmosphere, head to Yawkey Way to find restaurants, souvenirs, and a plethora of street food vendors.

Fall foliage along the Conway Scenic Railway

It doesn't matter what season it is, North Conway and New Hampshire's White Mountains have activities for everyone.

Downtown North Conway is lined with quirky shops that have everything from penny candy to locally handcrafted items, just as fun to explore as they are to shop. There are several excellent restaurants, cafés, and ice-cream shops to choose from as well, and it is easy to spend an entire day just exploring the village on foot.

Right in the center of town, you will also find the main depot for the Conway Scenic Railroad , a top tourist attraction in the area. There are several train tours available, each narrated with fascinating facts about the train and the region and providing unparalleled views and photo-ops of the Mount Washington Valley . The train operates from April through the end of foliage season, with a special series of runs in December for the family-favorite "Polar Express" train ride.

Just a few minutes away in Glen, Story Land has been entertaining families since 1954. In addition to storybook-themed kiddie rides and interactive play spaces, Story Land has expanded over the years to include rides for kids of all ages, including roller coasters and other thrill rides, as well as a water park.

The smaller Clark's Trading Post is a great Sunday stop for families on their way home, located just off I-93 in Lincoln. Here, you will find the famous Clark family trained bears, along with a unique assortment of rides and attractions that are great for kids and pre-teens.

Another top attraction in North Conway is Cranmore Mountain, a four-season resort that offers a myriad of outdoor activities all year long. In the winter, guests can enjoy 56 trails, with nine lifts for skiing and snowboarding, as well as areas for snowshoeing, tubing, and other winter sports. In the summer, the whole family can play at the Aerial Adventure Park , home to the Mountain Coaster, a zipline, bungee trampoline, scenic lift rides, and much more.

Where to Stay: An excellent accommodation right in the heart of North Conway is the Eastern Slope Inn , a charming historic property just steps from the town's best local shops, as well as the train depot and the Mount Washington Weather Observatory. The inn offers an incredible range of options, from fully equipped townhouses for up to 12 people to affordable modest guest rooms. Amenities include an indoor pool, tennis courts, gazebos with grills, and a playground.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Ski Resorts in New Hampshire

Beach at Provincetown

One of the most popular weekend getaways from Boston , Provincetown (affectionately called P-town by locals) sits at the tip of Cape Cod . The best way to arrive is by ferry from the city, providing you with stunning views, as well as a reprieve from the often-arduous traffic on the narrow stretch of coastal route 6.

One of the first things you will see as you approach by sea is the Pilgrim Monument , erected in 1910 to remind visitors that the Mayflower in fact landed here before settling at Plymouth. At the base of the monument, there is a fascinating museum that covers topics like the lives of the cape's native peoples and maritime life.

Shopping and browsing is one of the top things to do in P-town , and tourists will find an eclectic variety of shops, boutiques, and galleries. There is truly something for everyone here, including an old-fashioned military surplus store, specialty shops for pampering dogs, a 12-step recovery book store, artisan shops, and numerous galleries. There are, of course, plenty of restaurants and ice-cream shops as well to keep you fueled while perusing.

Dog lovers will appreciate the dog-friendly atmosphere in Provincetown, where four-footed family members are welcome nearly everywhere you go.

A visit is never complete without catching at least one show at one of the numerous venues like the Crown & Anchor , the Provincetown Theater , and the Pilgrim House & Landing Restaurant . While P-town is best known for its cabaret, comedy, and drag shows, there are also regular theatrical, dance, and musical performances as well.

Providence Skyline

As the capital city of the nation's smallest state, Providence has a surprising amount of attractions to offer , much of which is thanks to the creativity fostered by the communities at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence College, and the ivy-league Brown University.

If at all possible, visit Providence between May and November during the WaterFire events, which happen at least twice a month. This spectacular display consists of a series of braziers set in the river, with over 80 set aflame to light the Riverwalk and Wateplace Park .

In addition to this lovely sight, the area fills with vendors, music, and throngs of happy people. For an extra-special romantic evening, book an evening ride on the authentic Venetian La Gondola .

If you love art and history, be sure to stop by the RISD Museum of Art to see a full range of exhibits, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary artworks. If music and theater is more your style, head to the Beaux Arts Providence Performing Arts Center for a live show.

You don't have to be a kid to enjoy a visit to the Roger Williams Park Zoo , which is home to a large botanical center in addition to its exotic residents, including giraffes, elephants, zebras, kangaroos, and more.

If you are traveling with little ones up to age 11, though, be sure to stop by the Rhode Island Children's Museum for an afternoon of fun learning.

Portland Head Light at dusk

Portland is the cultural capital of Maine, full of both historic and contemporary attractions . Located on Casco Bay , it was once a busy shipping port, and today is the starting point for cruises and ferries headed to the Calendar Islands, as well as fishing charters and whale watching tours.

For views of Portland Harbor from the other side, take a ferry to Cape Elizabeth's Portland Head Light, where you will find a museum in the lighthouse's Keeper's Quarters. Tourists can also admire the bay from land by taking Portland's Eastern Promenade Trail, a set of twin paths (one paved), which follows an old railroad route along the water's edge at Back Cove.

Adjacent to the docks along the waterfront is the Old Port District, where you will find many of Portland's antique shops, boutiques, galleries, cafés, and restaurants in historic buildings tucked along cobblestone streets.

Another landmark just a block form the wharf is Victoria Mansion, a 19th-century home built in the style of an Italian villa and open to the public as a museum.

Nearby, the Portland Museum of Art houses an immense collection of fine and decorative arts, featuring over 650 pieces by Winslow Homer, as well as works by Picasso, Monet, Degas, O'Keefe, and Renoir.

Families with younger kids who are spending the weekend in Portland will want to visit the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine , a three-story play and learning center that features interactive exhibits like Discovery Woods, a tide pool touch tank, and a kid-sized town.

All ages will enjoy the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, home to not only exhibits but also an operational narrow-gauge sightseeing train that tours the Eastern Promenade. Tourists who are interested in the odd and bizarre will also want to be sure to visit the International Cryptozoology Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated to the study of hidden or unknown animals.

Where to Stay: The Courtyard by Marriott Portland Downtown/Waterfront is an excellent choice for those who don't want to over-spend on a place to stay but want easy access to both downtown attractions and the waterfront. Property amenities include EV charging stations, free Wi-Fi, free shuttle service to the airport and local attractions, and self-service laundry facilities.

Read More: Best Beaches near Portland, Maine

Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow

Ludlow is a charming small town in central Vermont , tucked away in the Green Mountains. Tourists will find many locally owned shops that sell vintage memorabilia, handcrafted wares, and even wool from Vermont sheep, as well as two bakeries and several excellent restaurants.

There is also an abundance of sporting equipment shops thanks to the town's main attraction, Okemo Mountain Resort , a year-round outdoor playground best known for its top-notch ski conditions and industry-leading environmental sustainability efforts.

Okemo's snowmaking is what really sets it apart as a premiere ski resort , ensuring that there is great skiing and boarding even in the barest of winters. There are a staggering 121 trails across its 655 acres, 98 percent of which have snowmaking. The mountain is serviced by 20 lifts, one of which is a high-speed six-seater with heated seats, with several featuring protective bubbles to keep out the wind.

The Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster is a great thrill ride during off-slope time, and it operates year-round. Once the snow is gone, the rest of the activities get into full swing, including two 18-hole golf courses. Among other activities are scenic lift rides, zipline tours, and a mountain bike park, as well as stuff for the kids, like a climbing wall, mineral-panning, and a day camp that gives parents a chance to enjoy some alone time.

Where to Stay: Book a stay at Jackson Gore Inn . This property offers a variety of room styles and sizes, perfect for individuals, couples, families, or groups.

Gardens at Prescott Park, Portsmouth, NH

Portsmouth was one of the earliest port settlements during colonial times, and fortunately it is also one of the best-preserved.

Along the Portsmouth Harbor Trail there are numerous historic sites, including the 1716 Warner House, the 1758 John Paul Jones House, and the 1763 Moffat-Ladd House, which are all open for tours.

An equally important historic route is the Black Heritage Trail, which highlights former slave auction sites, the abolitionist movement, and civil rights events, spanning over three centuries.

Tourists interested in seeing history in action will want to visit the Strawberry Banke Museum, a living history museum that brings Portsmouth's first settlement to life. In addition to having many buildings and homes representing its first years, dating back to 1623, this 10-acre exhibit also features representations of various periods throughout time, including a 1770 tavern and a 1940s market among many others. Throughout, there are costumed interpreters who interact with visitors, demonstrating daily chores, crafts, cooking, and other activities from their time period.

Market Square is a lovely place to explore, surrounded by brick buildings and filled with shops and boutiques, as well as a fine bakery with outdoor seating, perfect for people-watching. Portsmouth's cultural community is always active, and the majority of fair-weather events are held here in the center of town.

For a more peaceful stroll, explore Prescott Park, also host to events including the annual Prescott Park Arts Festival and numerous performances. The park, which includes lovely gardens, public docks, and plenty of harbor-view seating, sits on the bank of the Piscataqua River.

Those who want to explore the area by water can choose from several cruise operators that offer a variety of options, from sightseeing cruises around the harbor to see Fort Constitution and the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse to longer trips to the beautiful Isles of Shoals . Maritime enthusiasts will also want to visit the USS Albacore, a navy submarine which is now open to the public for exploration.

Where to Stay: Tourists will find the Hampton Inn & Suites Portsmouth Downtown a convenient and comfortable place to stay during a weekend getaway, located within just a few blocks of Portsmouth's shops, restaurants, and historic attractions.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Portsmouth, NH

The Joseph Conrad at Mystic Seaport

One of Connecticut's most beautiful small towns, Mystic is just an hour from New Haven and two hours from Boston , making it an easy weekend getaway. It is known for its abundance of attractions that are focused on maritime life and history and has things to do for all ages, making this a great family destination.

Cruises on the Mystic River and Mystic Harbor are a wonderful way to enjoy an afternoon and get a view of the area as so many did as they approached the busy seaport.

One of the main attractions is Mystic Seaport Museum, a huge open-air museum that recreates a 19th-century village and port. Among the dozens of buildings, you will find numerous homes, a general store, doctor's office, church, bank, and printing press, as well as a shipsmith shop, rigging loft, ship chandlery, and many other sites dedicated to seafaring life, including docked boats. All of the structures are authentic, recovered, and re-located from their original coastal homes, and living history interpreters conduct regular demonstrations.

Another excellent attraction is the Mystic Aquarium, a world-class facility with extensive aquatic galleries, which is home to a wide variety of sea life. Many of the exhibits are hands-on and interactive, like the stingray touch pool, and guests are able to see the animal rescue program operated by the aquarium. Visitors also have the option of booking up-close encounters with aquarium residents including sea lions, beluga whales, and penguins.

Where to Stay: The Whaler's Inn is one of Mystic's top places to stay, offering a good range of accommodations, from romantic rooms with fireplaces and soaking tubs to family suites with bunkbeds and soundproofing. The property has a full suite of amenities, including free parking, complimentary breakfast, bike and canoe rentals, and electric vehicle charging.

Colorful chairs on the dock in Burlington, Vermont

The lively college town of Burlington sits on the southeastern shore of Lake Champlain. Tourists can learn all about the area's natural history at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, which overlooks the water.

Lake Champlain cruises are a popular activity in Burlington , and visitors should always be on the lookout for "Champ," the North-American equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster, of whom there have been reported sightings since Samuel de Champlain himself first visited the lake.

Waterfront Park is also right on the lake, home to gardens, walking and cycling trails, and picnic areas, as well as host to many events.

One of the city's biggest draws is its sense of community, the center of which is Church Street Marketplace in downtown Burlington. In addition to the shopping and dining, this pedestrian-only thoroughfare is almost always alive with various entertainers, artists, and passersby. Burlington's cultural and arts community is evidenced by the large number of galleries, craft shops, and performance venues, such as the Flynn Theater.

The University of Vermont campus sits on the hill overlooking the city, and here you can find the Robert Hull Fleming Museum of Art, which includes exhibits representing art throughout human history, from ancient Egypt to the present.

Where to Stay: Tourists will find excellent service and a full suite of amenities at the conveniently located Courtyard Burlington Harbor , which sits overlooking Waterfront Park. Guests can enjoy an indoor saltwater pool and well-equipped guest rooms, as well as an on-site restaurant.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Best known for the infamous Witch Trials of 1692, Salem Massachusetts has far more to offer than tourist traps set to capitalize on the town's unfortunate past.

Located in the state's beautiful North Shore region, Salem is home to a number of fine museums and historic homes, many of which are open to visitors. It is also adjacent to Cape Ann , where you can find the lovely seaside towns of Gloucester and Rockport , and just across the water from the pretty town of Marblehead .

The best-known of Salem's historic homes is the House of the Seven Gables, constructed in 1668 and made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The site includes multiple buildings, including the Retire Beckett House (1655); the Hooper-Hathaway House (1682); the Nathaniel Hawthorne Birthplace (c.1750), which was moved to the grounds in 1958; and a Counting House (c.1830).

There is also a visitor center, which houses a museum; guided tours are available, and the center hosts educational programming, special exhibits, and other events on a regular basis.

The Peabody Essex Museum is another top attraction in Salem , with main exhibit halls filled with collections of art from around the world. The museum complex also includes several historic buildings that are open to the public.

The Salem Maritime National Historic Site is another collection of historically significant buildings and exhibits.

The single authentic site connected with Salem's dark days is the Witch House (Corwin House), the former home of one of the trials' magistrates. As opposed to focusing on the sensationalist side of the era, the home provides a look at 17th-century life and an informative narrative about the owner's connection with the trials.

Brant Point Lighthouse, Nantucket

If you really want to get away from the "real world" for a weekend, head to the island community of Nantucket. Nantucket's population swells in the summer to five times its usual size, a testament to the beautiful escape it provides in the Atlantic, south of Cape Cod .

It's popular for many reasons, but its miles of sandy beaches are definitely a big draw for anyone hoping to soak up some sun. It's also home to several of the best resorts in Massachusetts, allowing visitors to leave all their worries behind and simply enjoy being pampered.

Where to Stay: The Nantucket Hotel & Resort is the top choice for couples and families who want to enjoy all the amenities of a five-star luxury resort while staying close to the top Nantucket attractions on and around Brant Point and the waterfront area. The resort features a complimentary kids' club so that parents can get some R&R, two heated pools, and a wide range of lodging options to fit groups of up to eight.

The pier at Old Orchard Beach

No summer in New England is complete without a visit to Old Orchard Beach, a seaside destination that is often considered one of the best beaches in Maine .

One of the biggest draws here is Palace Playland Park , a carnival-style oceanfront amusement park that offers kiddie and thrill rides, a massive coin-op arcade, and, of course, a Ferris wheel. Tourists will find plenty of souvenir shops and restaurants all along the beach, from takeout pizza at Lisa's to fresh seafood served right out on the pier.

If you're not up for battling for a parking space, hop aboard the Amtrak Downeaster , which offers speedy train service to its station just a block from the water. It operates almost around the clock in summer, connecting Old Orchard Beach with the Massachusetts cities of Boston, Woburn, and Haverhill, as well as several towns in New Hampshire and Maine.

Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in Maine

instagram logo

More on New Hampshire

New Hampshire Travel Guide

New England With Love

95 Things to Do in New England: Bucket List Adventures (2024)

  • Latest Posts

' src=

  • 21 Family Vacations in New England for Every Season (2024) - February 26, 2024
  • 15 Wonderful Weekend Getaways in Maine (2024) - February 3, 2024
  • 33 Best Beach Towns in New England to Visit in 2024 🌊 - January 28, 2024

I’ve spent over 20 years exploring and falling in love with New England. Today, I’m excited to share that passion with you through this comprehensive travel guide! From the charming villages of Vermont to the coastal beauty of Rhode Island, I’ve explored each of the six states in this vibrant region. In this guide, you’ll find a handpicked list of over 101 activities and destinations that showcase the best things to do in New England.

Whether you’re here for a quick weekend or planning an extensive  New England road trip , this guide offers both a snapshot and an in-depth look at top sights, unique local cuisines, and year-round activities. Join me in discovering the adventures in this corner of the country, and start checking off your New England bucket list today!

Explore New England By State: 🌲 Fantastic Things to Do in Vermont 🌲 Amazing Things to Do in New Hampshire 🌲 Terrific Things to Do in Connecticut 🌲 Incredible Things to Do in Maine 🌲 Marvelous Things to Do in Massachusetts 🌲 Wonderful Things to Do in Rhode Island

Pinterest graphic reading

Table of Contents

Best Things to Do in New England

New England’s distinct seasons each offer unique experiences, making it a region that’s wonderfully diverse all year round. To help you navigate, I’ve categorized the activities and destinations based on when they’re best enjoyed. While New England’s charm is undeniable regardless of the season, certain activities here have a special allure during specific times of the year.

To kick things off, here are the all-season highlights – those activities and sights in New England that promise a memorable experience whenever you visit. Be it under a canopy of autumn leaves, amidst winter snows, during spring blooms, or in the summer sun, these are the evergreen choices for your New England adventure.

1. Count the covered bridges

amy standing in front of a covered bridge on a cold november day, she is wrapped in a blanket

Covered bridges in New England? Absolutely a must-see—especially in Vermont, where there are over 100 of them. Visiting this bridges is like stepping into a living museum, but way cooler. These aren’t just any old bridges; they’re a snapshot of New England’s history and craftsmanship. Think rustic charm meets engineering marvels.

New England’s covered bridges are scattered across some seriously stunning landscapes, making each find a little adventure of its own. And let’s be honest, they’re Instagram gold. Whether you’re a history geek or just love a good scenic drive, these bridges are where it’s at.

So, grab your camera, hit the road, and get ready to explore the best-kept secrets of the Green Mountain State. Trust me, you won’t regret adding these architectural gems to your New England bucket list.

Ready to go? Take a look at my guide to Vermont’s covered bridges !

2. Walk Boston’s Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail in Boston is a straightforward, 2.5-mile path connecting key sites from America’s colonial and revolutionary history. Starting from the green expanses of Boston Common, the trail leads you past landmarks like the Massachusetts State House, the Paul Revere House, and the Old North Church. Each site offers a glimpse into important historical events, including the planning of the Boston Tea Party at the Old South Meeting House.

This well-marked trail provides a practical way to explore a significant part of American history, weaving through the streets of Boston and bringing to life the stories of the city’s pivotal role in the nation’s early days, all the way to the first major battle at Bunker Hill.

You can walk the trail on your own or join a guided tour for a more in-depth experience.

3. Eat a fresh, delicious lobster roll

a maine lobster shack, decorated with buoys and worn shingle

Lobster rolls in New England? Now that’s an experience you can’t skip. Imagine this: fresh, succulent lobster, lightly dressed, stuffed into a buttery, toasted roll. It’s like the ocean decided to throw a party, and your taste buds are the guests of honor. Each bite is a mix of sweet, savory, and a hint of the sea – it’s New England in a nutshell, or should I say, in a bun.

From fancy seafood joints to roadside shacks, these rolls are everywhere, and trust me, they’re all worth a try.

Closeup of a Maine Lobster Roll

So, do yourself a favor: when you’re in New England, find the nearest lobster roll, take a big bite, and savor one of the simplest, most delicious pleasures this region has to offer. You’ll thank me later!

🦞 Find ’em: The Best Lobster Rolls in Maine | The Best Lobster Rolls in Massachusetts

4. Stay in a charming B&B

Thinking of New England and not picturing a cozy bed & breakfast is like imagining a beach without the ocean. It’s the stuff of dreams – beachside cottages with sunrise views or a Victorian mansion nestled in the mountains. Imagine this: a historic inn, a crackling fire in the main room, snowflakes dancing outside your window. This isn’t just a stay; it’s a page right out of a storybook. Perfect for couples, but honestly, who wouldn’t want to wake up in such a fairy tale?

🍁 Take a peek at my post on the best travel destinations in New England . This will help you pick where to visit for a cozy bed and breakfast!

5. Go whale watching

a whale tail sticking out of a bright blue ocean - gloucester massachusetts

Here’s an idea: swap the land for the sea for a day. Hop on a whale-watching cruise from Gloucester or Bar Harbor (among others) and get ready for a jaw-dropping show courtesy of Mother Nature. I’ve gone whale watching twice with Seven Seas Whale Watch out of Gloucester, and both trips were great!

Watching these giants of the ocean is not just a thrill; it’s a nod to New England’s rich maritime heritage. So, grab your binoculars and set sail on an adventure that’s as wild as it is unforgettable.

🐳 Check out my guides to some of the best places to go whale watching in New England: Where to Go Whale Watching in Massachusetts | Where to Go Whale Watching in Maine

6. See a Red Sox game at Fenway Park

Sports in New England? It’s not just a pastime; it’s a religion. And the high church of this religion? Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. If you’re not into baseball, choose a different sport. But whether it’s the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, or Patriots, catching a game in New England is a must. The energy, the crowd, the history – it’s like being part of something bigger than yourself. Even if you’re not a sports fan, the vibe is infectious!

⚾ PS: This is both a New England bucket list item and something to check off your Boston bucket list , too!

7. Sample beer at some of New England’s finest craft breweries

a beer flight on a table with flowers behind, the glasses say zero gravity

And now for the beer lovers: New England is a treasure trove of craft breweries. Each state here has its bragging rights for unique brews. Burlington, Vermont, is a beer enthusiast’s paradise, but let’s be real, every corner of New England has a pint that’ll make you want to stay forever. So, tour these breweries, meet the locals, and sip on the flavors that make this region a hoppy heaven.

🍺 Take a look at my list of awesome Burlington breweries worth visiting , and then browse my favorite things to do in Burlington . It’s a wonderful city!

8. Visit New England’s iconic lighthouses

rocky maine coast with a white lighthouse towering overhead, dusk, a pair of boots seen at the bottom as if the photographer is sitting

New England’s coastline is home to some of the most beautiful lighthouses in the country. Start with the famous Portland Head Light in Maine, a picture of elegance against the rugged Atlantic Ocean. Then, journey to the Nubble Light in York, a quintessential Maine lighthouse perched on a rocky island, accessible via a short walk. Don’t miss the Cape Neddick Lighthouse, another Maine gem, known for its stunning sunsets and postcard-worthy views.

But Maine isn’t the only state with lighthouses worth visiting. In Rhode Island, the Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown offers breathtaking ocean vistas and a rich history, being the third-oldest lighthouse in America. And in Massachusetts, the Nauset Light in Eastham is a must-see, with its iconic red and white tower that’s famously featured on the Cape Cod Potato Chips bag!

These lighthouses are not just navigation aids; they are historical landmarks, scenic wonders, and a testament to New England’s vital maritime heritage. So, grab your camera, and embark on a lighthouse-hopping adventure to discover the best places that New England’s shores have to offer.

⚓ Explore More: Check out my guide to some of the best lighthouses in New England!

9. Tour the opulent mansions of Newport

An ornate old fashioned room with a large chandelier, a fireplace, furniture and very ornate ceiling - interior of newport mansion

Ever dreamt of how the other half lived in the Gilded Age? Take a step back in time with a tour of Newport, Rhode Island’s opulent mansions. These aren’t just houses; they’re palaces that once played host to some of America’s wealthiest families. The Breakers, a 70-room Italian Renaissance-style villa, is the crown jewel. It was the summer home of the Vanderbilt family and boasts a facade that will leave you speechless.

Don’t stop there. Wander through the Marble House, another Vanderbilt marvel, known for its lavish, gold-infused ballroom. Then there’s Rosecliff, with its heart-stealing grand ballroom, where scenes from movies like ‘The Great Gatsby’ were filmed. And for a glimpse into the artistic, visit The Elms, with its Classical Revival architecture and stunning sunken garden.

⚓ Read more on the gorgeous Newport mansions , plus the top things to do in Newport .

10. Find Stephen King’s house in Maine

If your New England travels take you near Bangor, Maine , and you’re a fan of the famous horror writer, why not visit his house? Stephen King’s home in Maine is quite easy to find.

He lives in a cool, creepy mansion on a main street in Bangor. Grab a photo of this place (complete with spider web gates) and try not to get spooked! Take this DIY tour  to find all the best Stephen King spots in Bangor.

⚓ You might also like: Haunted Places in New England That are Wicked Creepy

11. Go hiking in the White Mountains

weekend trips new england

Got a thing for hitting the trails? Well, New Hampshire’s White Mountains are where it’s at, easily ranking as one of the best places in the country for hiking. This rugged range in the northern part of the state is a patchwork of challenging peaks, serene forests, and breathtaking views. The White Mountains are home to part of the Appalachian Trail, where you can find trails suited for both casual day hikers and serious backpackers.

For a real treat, tackle Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. It’s not for the faint of heart (or the under-prepared), but the panoramic views from the top are the stuff of legends.

Don’t miss out on the Franconia Ridge Loop, a favorite among locals and visitors alike, known for its stunning ridge-line hike. Then there’s the Presidential Traverse, a bucket-list journey for the more experienced hikers, offering unmatched views and bragging rights. Finally, Artist’s Bluff (pictured above) is a view you’ve no doubt seen all over Instagram. Tucked away in the White Mountains, this short hike leads you to an incredible viewpoint overlooking Echo Lake and the surrounding mountains. It’s a relatively easy trek, making it perfect for a quick effort with an awesome reward.

Travel guides for some of my favorite towns in the White Mountains worth visiting: ⛰️ Things to Do in North Conway ⛰️ Things to Do in Lincoln ⛰️ Things to Do in Littleton ⛰️ Things to Do in Franconia ⛰️ Things to Do in Jackson

12. Find out what coffee milk is (Hint: Ask a Rhode Islander)

Ever heard of coffee milk? If not, it’s time to head to Rhode Island and ask around. It’s like chocolate milk but with coffee syrup. It’s a local favorite, AND The official drink of Rhode Island.

13. Visit the Flavor Graveyard at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory

In Waterbury, Vermont, you can see where some of the tastiest ice cream in New England is produced. The Ben & Jerry’s Factory offers tours of the ice cream process (plus free samples), but the highlight of your visit might be the Flavor Graveyard.

You can pay your respects to flavors of years past, which include ones that weren’t so popular (Peanut Butter and Jelly) and ones dearly missed (RIP Dublin Mudslide).

14. Do some New England camping or glamping

a small a frame cabin with a massive window is tucked inside autumn woods

There’s something special about camping in New England , where the natural beauty is as rich as the history. Whether you’re pitching a tent in a secluded forest or glamping in a luxury yurt with all the modern comforts, you’re in for an experience. The best part? You can find the perfect spot whether you’re near the rugged coastlines of Maine or in the rolling hills of Connecticut.

✨ Don’t miss this guide if glamping is your style: Best Glamping Destinations in New England

15. Visit the Arctic Museum

Step into the captivating world of polar exploration at the Peary-Macmillan Arctic Museum. Located in Brunswick, Maine, this museum pays homage to Arctic explorers Robert E. Peary and Donald B. MacMillan. Through a remarkable collection of Inuit artifacts, historical photographs, and personal memorabilia from expeditions, the museum brings to life the challenges and triumphs of Arctic exploration.

16. Eat popovers at Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park

A plate of food on a restaurant table - two fluffy popovers with butter and jam

When visiting Acadia National Park, you simply must stop at Jordan Pond House.

During our first visit to Acadia, my husband and I arrived at Jordan’s at 11am to find a massive line already in place. We got in fairly quickly, and then dined on 4 glorious popovers. These puffy, light pastries are beyond description. They’ve been making popovers here since the 1800s. Go and have them!

⛰️ Acadia is amazing! Here is my 3 day itinerary, based on my own trip!

18. Go shopping on Newbury Street

Shopping on Newbury Street in Boston is an experience you can’t miss. This iconic street is lined with everything from high-end boutiques to unique local shops, offering something for every shopper. As you stroll down the street, you’re treated to a blend of historic charm and contemporary buzz.

Whether you’re looking for the latest fashion trends, unique gifts, or just want to soak up the vibrant atmosphere, Newbury Street is the place to be. Plus, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to refuel after a day of shopping.

19. Browse the wares in a New England general store

exterior of f.h. gillingham & sons general store in woodstock, vermont - a brick building

In the heart of New England’s small towns , the classic country store stands as a symbol of the region’s rich history and community spirit. These stores, often housed in historic buildings, offer a diverse array of goods, from local artisanal crafts to traditional New England delicacies like maple syrup and handcrafted jams. The atmosphere in these stores is warm and inviting, with a sense of nostalgia that connects visitors to a simpler time.

Some of my favorite general stores in New England include F.H. Gillingham & Sons in Woodstock, VT, Zeb’s General Store in North Conway, and the tiny Wayside Store in Arlington, VT.

🌲 A stop at Gillingham’s is also on my list of essential things to do in Woodstock , one of Vermont’s most charming towns.

20. Soak in the tower tub in New Hampshire’s Mountain View Grand Resort

The Mountain View Grand Resort is quite luxe, but the luxest of the luxe is the Tower Tub. At the highest point of the hotel, this tub allows two people to soak and enjoy phenomenal views. This is a perfect choice for a romantic New England getaway for two.

PS: Even if you don’t book the tub, the Tower Spa has tons of great services. (Check out all the best spa getaways in New England .)

❤️Also, check out my list of some of New England’s best hotels ! There are some great options in every New England state.

21. Browse art at Rockport’s Bearskin Neck

amy standing facing away from the camera with her hand on her black hat, boats in harbor in the distance

Rockport, Massachusetts is well known for its history as an art colony. It’s not hard to see why. This coastal village is extremely pretty, surely generating lots of inspiration. In fact, the red fishing shack ‘Motif 1’ located here has been called the most painted building in America!

There’s also a laid-back vibe here that’s hard to find elsewhere. Head to the tip of “downtown” on Bearskin Neck and you’ll find an amazing array of unique galleries.

🦞 Rockport is one of the best places to visit in New England, especially in the summer. You can check out my whole guide to the top things to do in Rockport .

22. Stay in America’s oldest inn

For a truly unique and historical experience in New England, consider staying at America’s oldest continuously operating inn. Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA, has been serving guests since 1716! I’ll help you do the math; that’s older than America herself! Stay in one of 10 historic guest rooms or dine on traditional New England fare in the restaurant.

23. Have sunset cocktails on the rooftop deck of the Vanderbilt

Indulge in an elegant evening at the Vanderbilt Hotel’s rooftop deck, one of the best places in New England for breathtaking views and hand-crafted cocktails. As the sun dips below the horizon, the rooftop comes alive with a magical ambiance, offering a panoramic vista of the surrounding area. This is also an exquisite Newport, Rhode Island boutique hotel , so you might consider staying here as well.

24. Go on an antiquing adventure

a long building with a pink roof, bearing a sign reading Antique Mall

Embark on a treasure hunt through New England’s charming antique shops, where history and nostalgia blend seamlessly. This is one of the best places for antique enthusiasts to explore. From quaint roadside barns to elegant boutique stores, each location offers a unique glimpse into the past. You might find a rare, hand-crafted piece of colonial furniture, a vintage nautical map, or a beautifully preserved piece of Americana.

Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a curious visitor, the thrill of the hunt and the joy of discovering a hidden gem make antique hunting in New England a must-do activity.

Let’s go antiquing:

  • Best Antique Stores in Connecticut
  • Best Antique Stores in Vermont
  • Best Antique Stores in New Hampshire
  • Best Antique Stores in Massachusetts
  • Best Antique Stores in Maine
  • Best Antique Stores in Rhode Island

25. Ride a pony on Hartford’s historic Bushnell Park Carousel

Carousels are not just for kids, although if you’re looking for things to do in New England with kids , this certainly fits the bill! Take a whimsical ride on Hartford’s historic Bushnell Park Carousel. Dating back to 1914, this lovingly preserved carousel offers a delightful journey into the past. Each meticulously hand-carved pony is a piece of art, ready to whisk riders of all ages into a world of enchantment.

26. Meet beluga whales at the Mystic Aquarium

a smiling beluga whale peeks out from behind a stroller where a toddler boy sits smiling

Venture to Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet beluga whales, one of the most enchanting and gentle giants of the marine world. This is one of the best places in New England to witness these majestic creatures in a setting that closely mimics their natural Arctic habitat. At Mystic Aquarium, you can observe their graceful movements, listen to their unique vocalizations, and learn about their behaviors and the conservation efforts to protect them. And they are just so darn cute!!

There are honestly so many wonderful things to do in Mystic, CT . It’s one of my favorite places to go in New England. A few of the Mystic bucket list things not to miss include:

  • Mystic Seaport Museum
  • S&P Oyster
  • The Mystic Drawbridge
  • The shops at Olde Mistick Village

27. Enjoy world-famous chicken tenders at this New Hampshire restaurant – popular with presidential candidates for many years

Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the world-famous chicken tenders at The Puritan Backroom in Manchester, New Hampshire. This iconic eatery has a long-standing reputation for its delicious chicken tenders, and it has become a traditional stop for many politicians during the New Hampshire primary season.

28. Sign up for a glass blowing lesson

New England is a leading region for artisans. Glass blowing is one such art that you can find being done in many towns.

A lot of glassblowing centers offer demonstrations, including Burlington Vermont’s Bern Gallery, where they’ll help you create your own glass pipe. And then go enjoy, cause weed’s legal here. Weee!

29. Stroll America’s widest Main Street

Keene, New Hampshire is said to be home to the widest Main Street in America. Take a walk here and stop by shops, restaurants, a historic theatre, and some delightful coffee shops. Prime Roast is my favorite coffee shop in the area. Order the O’McGauley, and thank me later.

30. Witness Providence ablaze during the famous WaterFire event

Basins of fire sit in a waterway as a part of an art installation called Waterfire in Providence RI

Experiencing Providence’s WaterFire event is a must when you’re in New England. Picture this: as the sun sets, the heart of Providence transforms into a mesmerizing blend of flickering firelight and enchanting music. This unique art installation features over eighty bonfires that blaze just above the surface of the three rivers passing through the city center. Definitely one of the top attractions in New England.

🌆 Explore More : Amazing Things to Do in Providence, Rhode Island

31. Stay in a lighthouse, boat, treehouse , or castle

You can live out your childhood dreams and cross off another bucket list item here in New England. Stay in unusual accommodation like a lighthouse, treehouse, or even a castle. Head over to my list which showcases some truly unique and in-demand AirBnbs in New England !

32. Take a day trip to Nantucket

Embarking on a day trip to Nantucket is one of those quintessential New England experiences you don’t want to miss. This idyllic island, a mere ferry ride away from Cape Cod , is like stepping into a postcard of coastal charm. Its cobbled streets, lined with quaint boutiques and historic homes, lead to stunning beaches that offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle.

In Nantucket, every corner tells a story, from the iconic Brant Point Lighthouse to the Whaling Museum, which echoes the island’s long maritime history. Enjoy a leisurely bike ride along scenic paths or simply unwind on the sandy shores, letting the ocean breeze rejuvenate you.

You might think that the best time to visit Nantucket is summer, and while it is, for many reasons, you should also consider a Cape Cod fall or even a winter trip to Cape Cod . Nantucket is one of those destinations that you can have “all to yourself” in the off-season, and that is something truly special.

🚙 Here are some other fun New England day trips you can take, from Boston or elsewhere!

33. Go fly fishing on the Housatonic River

Explore the Housatonic River in Connecticut, a top destination for fly fishing in New England. Renowned for its excellent trout fishing, this picturesque river offers a perfect blend of challenge and tranquility for anglers. Amidst beautiful scenery, the Housatonic provides a serene backdrop for both novice and experienced fishermen.

34. Try to grab a reservation at this extremely in-demand Maine restaurant

Think it’s tough to get a dinner reservation in the big city? This rural Maine restaurant routinely sells out for months within hours.

The Lost Kitchen in Maine promises not just a meal, but a culinary adventure that epitomizes the essence of New England’s farm-to-table movement. Located in a renovated mill in the small town of Freedom, this restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience that is both intimate and immersive.

35. Sample the goods at New England Hard Cideries

10 Can’t-Miss New England Hard Cider and Cideries-Cover image

New England, with its ideal apple-growing climate, has seen a resurgence in hard cider popularity. This has led to the emergence of numerous cideries, each offering a unique twist on this traditional beverage. From crisp, dry varieties to sweeter, more complex flavors, these cideries showcase the versatility of the humble apple.

Some of the most popular New England hard cideries not to miss include:

  • Woodchuck Cidery in Middlebury, Vermont
  • Farnum Hill Ciders in Lebanon, New Hampshire
  • Downeast Cider House in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Bantam Cider Company in Somerville, Massachusett
  • Stowe Cider in Stowe, Vermont
  • Portland Cider Co. in Portland, Maine

36. Spend some time in vibrant P-Town

Provincetown, affectionately known as P-Town, is a lively and colorful destination at the tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Known for its beautiful beaches, rich history, and vibrant LGBTQ+ community, Provincetown is a unique blend of historic charm and contemporary flair.

P-Town is renowned for its artistic scene. Galleries, theaters, and performance spaces dot the streets, showcasing both local and international talent.

For those seeking outdoor activities, Provincetown’s beaches are a major draw. Herring Cove and Race Point Beach offer stunning landscapes, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing. The Province Lands Bike Trail is an exhilarating way to explore the natural beauty of the Cape Cod National Seashore, with its dunes and forests.

Provincetown is also steeped in history, known for its role in the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing in America. The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum offer fascinating insights into this historical event and the town’s maritime heritage.

⛵ Read my guide to all the best things to do in Provincetown.

37. See the giant Bean Boot

A visit to New England is incomplete without seeing the iconic Giant LL Bean Boot. Positioned just outside the LL Bean flagship store, this colossal boot is a playful tribute to the outdoor lifestyle that New England is known for. It’s not just a photo opportunity; it’s a symbol of the rugged, adventurous spirit that LL Bean embodies. The store itself is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering everything from camping gear to cozy flannels. Grab yourself some classic New England gear during your trip!

38. Attend a town meeting

These are a New England institution, and if you are a Gilmore Girls fan, you would know this. According to Wikipedia: “A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule, used primarily in portions of the United States – principally in New England – since the 17th century, in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government.” Perhaps you can catch one during your visit?

39. Relax with stunning coastal views at Beavertail State Park

This is a beloved spot for many. Spanning 153 acres, this Rhode Island state park is known for providing some of New England’s most beautiful coastal scenery. Check out the Beavertail Lighthouse and Museum while there, too!

40. Sample fresh dairy….especially CHEESE

Sign with an arrow saying "Vermont Cheeses" with an old rusty truck in front of the sign

Did you know Vermont used to have more cows than people? While this is no longer the case, New England sure does produce some outstanding dairy products—especially CHEESE. Sample these at farm stands and shops throughout the region; check out the Vermont cheese trail !

41. Stop by ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Castle

Embark on a captivating journey to Gillette Castle in Connecticut, a unique gem nestled near the serene Connecticut River. This architectural wonder, built by the renowned actor William Gillette, best known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in a 1916 film, stands majestically atop the Seven Sisters hills. The castle’s medieval-inspired design, replete with secret passages and intricate woodwork, enthralls visitors of all ages.

This fabulous and impressive building attracts 300,000 visitors each year who come to tour the castle and grounds. Visiting a castle is definitely one of the coolest things to do in New England!

42. Visit one of the famous, beautiful New England college campuses

an elegant brick college building rises behind a fall tree and a metal statue of Robert Frost on a bench

The East Coast is home to many incredible institutions of higher learning. Strolling through New England’s college campuses is like walking through history and future all at once. From the Ivy League to hidden academic havens, these campuses are more than just schools. They’re architectural wonders, brimming with stories and beauty. Iconic campuses like Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth are classic stunners, but don’t miss lesser known gems like Smith and Williams.

43. Hike Mt. Katahdin

Hiking is certainly one of the most fun things to do in New England, and there are hiking trails in each state. If you find yourself in Maine, consider climbing the Mount Katahdin. This is Maine’s highest mountain at 5,267 feet. There are many trails up to the peak, but the Knife Edge Trail is a popular (albeit thrilling) one! 

🥾 If you love hiking, please take a glance at my roundup of some of New England’s best hiking trails!

44. Drive to the top of Mount Washington

Speaking of tall mountains, New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington clocks in at 6,288 feet, making it the highest point in the Northeastern United States.

There are many ways to the top, (including hiking for the experienced adventurer) but The Mount Washington Auto Road remains one of the most unique. And, it’s the only way to authentically rock the bumper sticker that says “this car climbed Mt. Washington!”

If you’re not interested in driving your own vehicle up, consider riding on the Mt. Washington Cog Railway : one of the coolest New England activities.

45. See where Emily Dickinson lived and wrote

The historic home of Emily Dickinson in Amherst, Massachusetts

Are you a lover of literature? The famous poet Emily Dickinson lived and wrote in her Amherst, Massachusetts home, where her poems were found after her death. The site is now a museum open for tours. Pro tip: Book your visit in advance, as day-of tickets are not guaranteed.

🏠 Read Next: 32 New England Historic Homes You Can Visit

46. Learn about maritime history at the New Bedford Whaling Museum

Dive deep into the fascinating world of maritime history at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts. This museum, located in the heart of the historic whaling city of New Bedford, offers an immersive experience into the era when whaling ships ruled the seas. Here, you’ll encounter the world’s largest collection of whaling artifacts, including an impressive skeleton display of a blue whale.

It was from the port of New Bedford that a man named Herman Melville set sail aboard the Acushnet in 1841. The experiences he had at sea, and in the town of New Bedford, inspired the famous tale he would eventually pen: none other than Moby Dick .

47. Explore the gorgeous Devil’s Hopyard State Park

Connect with nature at its most serene and picturesque in Devil’s Hopyard State Park in East Haddam, Connecticut. This hidden gem, renowned for its scenic waterfalls, deep forests, and tranquil streams, offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The park’s highlight, Chapman Falls, cascades over a series of steps in a beautiful, natural amphitheater of rocks. Hiking trails wind through the park, offering various levels of challenge and unique vantage points to enjoy the lush surroundings. It’s an ideal spot for picnics, bird watching, or simply soaking in the beauty of New England’s diverse landscape.

48. See a moose!

You may have to get up early (or go on a moose tracking tour) but if you’re lucky, you may spot one of New England’s finest animals: the moose. For me, this would be one of the top things to see in New England!

A guided moose tour is definitely the way to go for far better odds of a sighting. Embark on a wildlife adventure in the dense forests of Maine or New Hampshire to catch a glimpse of the majestic moose. These gentle giants are most commonly spotted in areas like Baxter State Park in Maine or the Great North Woods in New Hampshire.

🌲 Intent on seeing a moose? You’ll want to check out my guides on Where to See Moose in Maine and the Best Moose Tours in New Hampshire

49. Learn and discover at the Boston Science Museum

Ignite your curiosity at the Boston Science Museum, a treasure trove of innovation and discovery. This interactive museum, nestled along the Charles River, offers a plethora of exhibits that both educate and fascinate. Witness the marvels of the cosmos in the Charles Hayden Planetarium, or get hands-on with the museum’s numerous interactive displays, from electricity to evolution. The museum’s unique blend of education and entertainment makes it a perfect destination for learners of all ages, promising a day filled with awe and wonder in the heart of Boston.

50. Eat at a busy food stand in Faneuil Hall

A historic New England meeting hall since 1743, Boston’s Faneuil Hall is now home to Quincy Market, a great spot to dine on local food staples like lobster rolls and clam chowder. In fact, Quincy Market is actually the largest and oldest food hall in the United States!

There are a number of terrific restaurants and food stalls where you can grab a snack, but my go-to is the lobster mac n’ cheese at mmMac N Cheese! Divine.

51. Venture into New Hampshire’s Flume Gorge

This list of things to do in New England would not be complete with including Flume Gorge in Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire. This stunning natural gorge extends 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty. The 2-mile walk through the gorge is an awe-inspiring experience, with towering granite walls, covered bridges, and cascading waterfalls. In my eyes, this spot feels a lot like I imagine Tolkien’s Rivendell to be.

52. Wander Boston’s charming Beacon Hill

a man crouching against a brick wall on historic Acorn Street in Boston

Step into a picturesque postcard as you wander through the historic streets of Beacon Hill in Boston. This neighborhood, known for its narrow, gas-lit streets and brick row houses, exudes an old-world charm that’s rare in modern cities. Stroll down Acorn Street, often dubbed as the most photographed street in America, and feel the history resonating from every brick and cobblestone. And PS: if you’re walking this way in the winter months, step with care; those are some serious cobbles!

53. Meet the cows at Billings Farm in Woodstock, Vermont

Experience rural New England life at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, Vermont. This fully operational dairy farm offers a unique opportunity to meet and learn about Jersey cows, sheep, horses, and more.

The farm’s interactive tours and exhibits provide insight into 19th-century farm life, showcasing traditional farming techniques and practices. Don’t miss the chance to taste their delicious, homemade ice cream, a treat as delightful as the pastoral landscapes surrounding you.

54. Immerse yourself in American literary history in Concord

Delve into the rich tapestry of American literature in Concord, Massachusetts, a haven for history buffs and book lovers. In this quaint town, you can walk in the footsteps of America’s most iconic authors, literary legends like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry David Thoreau. Visit Orchard House, where Alcott wrote Little Women , or wander around Walden Pond, the inspirational setting for Thoreau’s famous work.

📜 I have a whole guide on the best things to do in Concord, MA right here!

55. Visit the Lincoln family home at Hildene

Step back in time at Hildene, the Lincoln family home in Manchester, Vermont. This stately mansion, once the summer home of President Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln, is a journey through American history. Roam its elegant rooms, explore the stunning formal gardens, and discover a bygone era’s charm. You can even see one of Lincoln’s iconic stovepipe hats!

🍁 Check out more great things to do in Manchester . I lived in the area for years!

56. Listen to buskers on Church Street in Burlington

an image of an empty shopping street on a sunny day. colorful banners cross over the blue sky and a long bricked walkway leads to a distant church

Church Street in Burlington is where the action is. This pedestrian-only thoroughfare stretches several blocks, and is lined with great shops, restaurants, and lots of street performers. It’s a great place to people watch and listen to local musicians.

There are even jugglers, and who knows what else you might see on Church Street. Bernie Sanders? Noah Kahan? A random naked guy? I’ve seen one of these three, and I’ll let you guess which one it was.

57. Have a drink at America’s oldest tavern

Step into Newport’s White Horse Tavern and you’re stepping into history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this spot isn’t just old—it’s the oldest operating restaurant in America, slinging pints and plates since 1673. Imagine this: its red clapboard walls and cozy fireplaces have seen everything from pirate tales to whispers of revolution. And let’s talk about the food – their Bluff Hill Cove Oysters from Narragansett are legendary, and they’ve got a knack for serving up some seriously tasty farm and ocean-fresh eats.

58. Marvel at Bash Bish Falls, the highest waterfall in Massachusetts

Bash Bish Falls, a spectacular natural wonder in the Taconic Mountains, boasts the title of the tallest waterfall in Massachusetts. Plunging approximately 60 feet through a series of cascades into a clear, serene pool below, the falls are a breathtaking sight. The surrounding state park offers a rewarding hike that leads you through lush forests to this stunning destination.

59. Be transported to the gilded age at Ventfort Hall Mansion

Any fan of historic homes (like me) will definitely want to add this to their list of things to do in the New England region. Ventfort Hall Mansion in Lenox, Massachusetts, is a gateway to the opulence of the Gilded Age. This stunning Berkshires mansion was built in 1893 and is now open for visits and events. Stop by for a tour, attend a concert, or be a part of murder mystery dinner theater!

60. Browse the shelves of some of America’s oldest and most unique independent bookstores

a brick walled alley filled with rows of books on shelves, brattle book shop in boston ma

The independent bookstore is alive and well in New England. And the region is home to some of America’s oldest and most enchanting shops. From the book-filled alley of Boston’s Brattle Book Shop to the cozy nooks of Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont, each store is a haven for book lovers. These literary sanctuaries offer rare finds, classic tales, and a perfect escape into the world of books.

📚 Read more: Best Bookstores in New England  

Things to Do in New England in the Fall

Fall is the best time of the year in New England. I know, I know, every season is great. But there is a reason New England is world famous for its fall foliage and autumn activities. There’s a ton of fantastic things to do in New England in fall but here are some of the essentials.

61. Take a fall foliage road trip

The best way to see New England is on a road trip. And my favorite season to suggest for a New England driving adventure is, of course, the fall!

a calm river with stones and fall trees in the distance

Embrace the quintessential New England experience with an epic fall foliage road trip . Witness the vibrant transformation of landscapes as leaves turn brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow. Journey through quaint towns and along scenic byways like the Mohawk Trail or Route 100 in Vermont , where every turn presents a new, breathtaking tableau of autumn colors. It’s a photographer’s paradise and a nature lover’s dream.

Have I got fall content for you! Check out all my New England fall travel guides here: 🍁 The Ultimate Guide to Fall in New England <—-a great place to start 🍁 New England Towns to Explore in the Fall 🍁 Guided Fall Foliage Tours in New England

62. Drive the Kancamagus

Even if you don’t have time to take off on a full fall road trip through New England, you should drive one of its most iconic scenic drives: the Kancamagus Highway/Scenic Byway.

The Kancamagus Highway, lovingly referred to as ‘The Kanc,’ offers one of the most stunning drives in New England, especially during fall. This 34.5-mile scenic drive cuts through the White Mountain National Forest, showcasing majestic mountains and rich forests. With numerous overlooks and hiking trails, it’s a perfect way to immerse yourself in New England’s famous foliage.

63. Go apple picking

feet in boots and a hand holding an apple, fall

Come mid-September, the apple trees are ready for picking. There are orchards in every state, where you can pick your own apples at a great price. Check out our list here:  New England Apple Picking: Top Spots in Each State.

Consider some other New England fall fun: pumpkin patches & corn mazes! A lot of these fall activities can be done at the same great New England farms, but check my guides for more details:

64. Fill up on cider donuts

I never tasted an apple cider donut before I came to New England. Now I can’t get enough. These sweet treats are incredibly delicious, especially when covered in granulated sugar.

My favorites are the donuts at Equinox Valley Nursery in Manchester, Vermont, the maple glazes donuts at Moulton Farm in New Hampshire, and of course an enduring classic, cider donuts from Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury, Vermont.

65. Experience Salem Massachusetts in October

a brick building at the end of a brick walkway in Salem Massachusetts in fall

You never need a reason to visit Salem, Massachusetts, but a good reason is Halloween: this town does it right! A visit to Salem MA in October is when the town, infamous for its 1692 witch trials, becomes the ultimate destination for all things spooky and magical. Dive into Salem’s bewitching history at the Salem Witch Museum, and other historical sites. Check out some of the filming locations from the beloved Halloween film Hocus Pocus throughout Salem. Fans can see the iconic Max and Dani’s house and the spellbinding Old Town Hall. Round out your Salem adventure with ghost tours, Halloween Happenings events, browsing the witchy shops, and so much more. I promise you’ll love it!

66. Ride the gondola in Stowe

Soar to new heights on the Stowe Mountain Resort gondola in Vermont. This breathtaking ride takes you to the top of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. In autumn, these views are particularly spectacular with the mountains dressed in fall colors.

🎿 Stowe is one of New England’s top destinations in every season! Browse my guide on things to do in Stowe right here.

67. Help with a cranberry harvest

Participate in a classic New England tradition by joining a cranberry harvest. Farms like the A.D. Makepeace Company in Massachusetts offer tours and the chance to see the vibrant red cranberry bogs up close. It’s a unique and educational experience, showcasing an important part of New England’s agricultural heritage. What a great way to have a unique experience in New England!

🍒 Check out this list of cranberry bogs in Massachusetts you can visit.

Things to Do in New England in the Winter

Winter in New England transforms the region into a snowy wonderland, offering a plethora of activities for every type of traveler. From the serene beauty of snow-covered landscapes to the bustling holiday markets in charming towns, there’s something undeniably magical about this season.

a frosted window looks out on a snowy scene, a hand holds a red candle in an old fashioned holder

Hit the slopes for world-class skiing and snowboarding, explore the quiet trails on snowshoes, or simply cozy up in a quaint cabin with a warm drink on a New England winter getaway . Whether you’re seeking thrilling outdoor adventures or peaceful moments by a crackling fire, you’ll love one of these top things to do in New England in winter.

68. Visit a New England Christmas town

It’s that time of year! From the smallest state to the biggest city, Christmas towns abound throughout New England. There’s nothing better than these charming spots to transport you straight into your own Hallmark Christmas movie.

🎄 Some of the cutest Christmas towns in New England include Kennebunkport, ME, Portsmouth, NH, and Essex, CT, all with festive decorations, holiday events, and more.

69. Go downhill or cross country skiing

Embrace the chill and hit the slopes in New England, where skiing is a way of life. Whether it’s the challenging downhill runs at Stowe Mountain in Vermont or the scenic cross-country trails at Jackson Ski Touring Foundation in New Hampshire, there’s a snowy adventure for every skill level. Feel the rush of fresh powder beneath your skis and the exhilarating chill of the mountain air.

70. Experience New Hampshire’s ice castles

silhouette of Amy standing in front of a wall of light blue ice at the new hampshire ice castles

In the winter, you can have a real-life “Frozen” experience at New Hampshire’s ice castles in North Woodstock. No doubt, this is one of the coolest things to do in New England (pun intended, again!)

These imposing structures are especially amazing at night when they are illuminated. Read more: 6 Tips for Visiting Ice Castles in Lincoln, New Hampshire.

71. Splash at an indoor water park

Even in the cold of winter, you can splash about in warm waters. New England has some great outdoors and indoor water parks , like Jay Peak’s Pump House in Vermont, that will help you have a summertime escape—in any weather.

72. Go ice skating in Boston Common

Glide into a winter wonderland at the iconic Frog Pond in Boston Common. As the oldest public park in the U.S., it transforms into a magical outdoor skating rink each winter. Surrounded by the historic charm of Boston, this rink offers a picturesque setting for an afternoon of leisurely skating or playful twirls on the ice.

More seasonal fun: The Best of Christmas in Boston and Top Things to Do in Winter in Boston

73. Ride in a horse-drawn sleigh at Christmas time

2 black horses in front of a sleigh in a winter landscape, vermont

When the snow falls, get outside and play! There’s really nothing like winter in New England. A horse-drawn sleigh is a romantic and exciting winter pastime. Nestlenook Farm in Jackson, NH is a choice spot to spirit through the woods.

If you want to combine your winter sleigh experience with cutting down your own Christmas tree, I know just the place! Russell Christmas Tree Farm in Starksboro, Vermont offers the most magical experience.

🌲 Read next: The Best New England Christmas Tree Farms

Things to Do in New England in the Spring

Ask any New Englander: Spring can be the best or it can be the worst. It depends on the weather, and even more so, on your attitude!

Spring in New England is nothing if not unpredictable. You can have a late April snowstorm or a sudden March heatwave. This can be a season of extremes. But one thing is predictable and that is that there are plenty of fun things to do in New England in spring—no matter the weather.

But, yeah, try to avoid mud season.

74. Eat a May Breakfast in Rhode Island

Rhode Island has a unique tradition known as May Breakfast. Originally started in the 1860s, these breakfasts help raise money for local churches. At the breakfasts, you’ll find staples such as Johnny cakes and clam cakes plus other items.

75. Cuddle baby goats at Friendly Farm in Dublin, NH

A smiling woman is surrounded by a lot of black sheep, and a white lamb is licking her face.

Raise your hand if you love baby animals! We certainly do, and we found a place where you can interact with them.

Dublin, New Hampshire’s Friendly Farm gives you the opportunity to feed and play with goats, chickens, and sheep, plus visit with many more farm animals. This place is so great!

Pro tip: Go early in the spring when the farm first opens and the goats are quite young. Later in the summer they become much more insistent on getting food from you!

76. Attend Burlington’s Mardi Gras parade

Get ready for a burst of color, music, and beads in Burlington. Their Mardi Gras parade is a lesser-known gem, making it one of the best places to experience this festive tradition without the overwhelming crowds. Picture this: vibrant floats, lively bands, and a community vibe that’s just pure joy. Burlington might be far from New Orleans, but they sure know how to throw a party!

77. Sample Sugar on Snow

weekend trips new england

When spring rolls around, it’s time for one of New England’s sweetest traditions – sugar on snow. Head to a local sugarhouse, where hot maple syrup is drizzled over snow, creating a taffy-like treat. It’s a unique experience, one that pairs perfectly with a pickle (yes, a pickle!) and a doughnut. For the best places to try this, Vermont’s maple sugar farms and sugar shacks are your go-to.

78. Witness ‘the running of the lambs’ at Sturbridge Village

Old Sturbridge Village is a worthy New England attraction. This living history museum recreates daily life in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

In spring, the newborn lambs make the village extra special, and at the end of the day you can watch “the running of the lambs” as both lambs and sheep run across the common to be fed at the barn.

79. Marvel at the blooms during Nantucket’s Daffodil Festival Weekend

Celebrate the arrival of spring at Nantucket’s Daffodil Festival Weekend. This vibrant event in April sees the island awash with over three million golden daffodils. Enjoy parades, flower shows, and antique cars decorated with these sunny blooms, making it a colorful and cheerful escape from the last traces of winter.

80. Tip toe through the tulips at Wicked Tulips Flower Farm

Stroll through rows of dazzling colors at Wicked Tulips Flower Farm in Rhode Island. This tulip paradise boasts the largest u-pick tulip field in New England, with varieties that seem to stretch endlessly. Capture perfect photos and pick your own bouquet, creating a memorable experience surrounded by spring’s most beloved flower.

🌷 Read more about New England’s flower farms & fields

Things to Do in New England in the Summer

Oh, my. Summer in New England is like nowhere else. It’s just…classic. Vermont is as green as can be, the beach towns are bustling with vacationers, and the pleasures of summer are everywhere you look.

There are so many great things to do in New England in summer. While I’ve included some of my favorite summer recommendations below, nearly every activity on this entire New England bucket list is wonderful in the summer.

81. Go tubing on the Saco River

For a refreshing summer adventure, float down the Saco River on a tube. This leisurely journey takes you through the picturesque landscapes of Maine and New Hampshire. With gentle currents and sandy beaches for picnicking, it’s an ideal way to unwind and soak up the sun with friends and family.

A great place to do this is in Conway, NH with Saco River Tubing Center. They drop you off and pick you up and you get to enjoy the lazy river life in between.

82. Go sailing on Lake Champlain

boats docked at lake champlain vermont on a sunny day

Don’t just stand on the shores of Lake Champlain, set sail on it! When I lived in Burlington, Vermont, I loved the proximity of the lake. It’s stunning. Stretching between Vermont and New York, this vast lake offers pristine waters and amazing views of the surrounding mountains, and getting out on the water is the best way to experience Champlain. Whether you’re an experienced sailor or trying it for the first time, the gentle breezes and scenic vistas make for a perfect day on the water.

Prefer a bigger boat? Go on one of the Lake Champlain cruises on The Spirit of Ethan Allen .

83. Take in a lively summer stock theatre performance

New England is home to fantastic art and culture, and a region where theatre is alive and well. Summertime is a great season when the stages are bustling. As a former musical theatre major (and still a big time theatre nerd), I highly recommend checking out some productions in New England.

Some of the best theatre venues around New England include Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA; Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT; and Weston Theatre Company in Vermont.

84. Fly down a slope on a mountain coaster/alpine slide

Who says ski mountains have to shut down in the summer? Many ski resorts and other outdoor centers have alpine slides just waiting for you. Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster in Okemo is a Vermont favorite.

85. Stand atop the Mohegan Bluffs on Block Island

Off the coast of Rhode Island is gorgeous Block Island . The rocky cliffs known as Mohegan Bluffs are a dramatically beautiful natural attraction in New England. After you’ve oohed and ahhed at the view from 150 feet above sea level, you can take a set of stairs down to the beach below.

86. Enjoy lazy lakeside summer days at Lake Winnipesaukee

Embrace the quintessential summer at Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. With its crystal-clear waters and scenic mountain backdrop, the lake is perfect for boating, fishing, or just lounging on the shore. The charming towns around the lake, like Meredith and Wolfeboro, add to the allure with their cozy inns and local eateries. And there are many more gorgeous lakes in this area to explore; unsurprisingly named the Lakes Region.

⛵ Read more about fun things to do at Lake Winnipesaukee !

87. Attend a concert at Tanglewood

In Massachusetts’ Berkshires region is a famed music venue known as Tanglewood. In the summer, this place comes alive, with top quality concerts that range from the Boston Symphony Orchestra to James Taylor (a regular Tanglewood favorite).

88. Attend a county fair

A county or country fair is a staple of American society, and New England does these fairs right.

With plenty of state fairs and smaller local events in New England, you’ll find a perfect spot to eat a funnel cake, ride a ride, sample an award-winning pie, clap for an award-winning cow, and so much more.

89. Pick blueberries in Maine

amy's hands holding blueberries cupped in her palm over green grass

Blueberries are the fruit of summer in New England! Maine is famous for this indigo fruit, and there’s even a Blueberry Festival. Indulge in the simple joy of blueberry picking in Maine, the blueberry capital of America.

90. Enjoy a taste o’ Scotland at the New Hampshire Highland Games

New Hampshire has an exciting Highland Festival every summer in the mountains. The New Hampshire Highland Games are held at Loon Mountain in Lincoln. You can reunite with your clan, shop for Scottish wares, learn about Scottish culture and history, and watch strong men in kilts throw heavy things. Definitely a fun New England activity!

Scotland holds a special place in my heart, as it’s the place where my husband and I first met. The New Hampshire Highland Games absolutely deliver an authentic taste of Scotland. I had a blast attending this festival a few years ago, and getting my fill of haggis.

91. Have a maple creemee in Vermont

a hand holds a vermont maple creemee soft serve ice cream in front of purple flowerd

In Vermont, soft serve has the adorable nickname of creemee. These delectable treats are ideal on a summer’s afternoon, and you can’t go wrong with that iconic maple flavor. Maple and raspberry swirl is even better, in my opinion.

🦞 More iconic New England foods to try during your visit

92. Enjoy the beautiful beaches of the Cape Cod National Seashore

Discover the pristine beaches of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Stretching across 40 miles of the Atlantic coast, these beaches offer everything from quiet, sandy retreats to lively surf spots. Whether it’s lounging in the sun at Nauset Beach or exploring the dunes of Provincetown, the seashore is a must-visit for beach lovers.

93. Watch the sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain

Acadia National Park in Maine is a scenic wonderland. And Cadillac Mountain is the perfect place to experience that wonder. Witness a spectacular sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain As the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, it’s among the first places in the United States to see the sunrise. So start your day with this magical moment.

You could opt to climb, but at those early hours I suggest driving instead. Make sure to bring a blanket for those chilly Maine mornings, too.

94. Sip strawberry rhubarb wine at Nashoba Valley Winery

When it comes to beverages, New England is not just about beer, but about wine, too! There are an abundance of New England wineries producing exceptional wines. One standout is Nashoba Valley Winery in Massachusetts.

There are many unique and even fruity varietals, but strawberry rhubarb wine may be the most distinctive. And what says summer better than strawberry?

95. Try out a goat yoga class

amy sitting on a purple yoga mat and hugging a black and white goat

If you’re looking for unique things to do in New England, this is a perfect item to add to your bucket list! At many farms throughout New England, you can sign up for a goat yoga class. What a dream to stretch and breathe alongside adorable farm animals!

This is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve mentioned goats in this post. Can you tell I’m a fan?

I took a goat yoga class at Midnight Goat Farm in Huntington, VT and it was a blast. I got a workout and got to cuddle with some of the cutest goats. What could be better?

Which of these amazing things to do is going on your bucket list for New England?

Pin this post to save for later

Pinterest graphic reading The Ultimate New England Bucket List

5 weekend getaways in New England

From the ben & jerry’s factory to a car-free island, there are plenty of ways to escape the buzz of everyday life..

Samantha McKiernan

New England is home to more expanses of natural beauty than you can visit in one trip, from Maine’s Acadia National Park to The Berkshires in Massachusetts. The region also offers activities suitable for all seasons—you can hike a mountain in the summertime and snowboard down the same one come winter (like at Mount Washington in New Hampshire).

Domestically, there are few areas more picturesque offering an easy escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby metropolitans like Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City. Here are five New England destinations to bookmark for your next weekend getaway.

Bar Harbor, ME

Best for: hiking and spectacular sunrises.

Otter Cliff at sunrise in Acadia National Park

A beautiful seaside town near the uppermost point of New England, Bar Harbor is a short drive from Mount Desert Island. It’s also home to Acadia National Park , where you can see the first sunrise in the United States atop Cadillac Mountain . The stunning national park features numerous hiking trails catering to all skill levels, from the wheelchair-accessible Jessup Path and the beginner-friendly Jordon Pond Trail to the more challenging Precipice Trail . Also in Bar Harbor, travelers can indulge in seafood at The Travelin Lobster , a local favorite and Travelers’ Choice Award winner. (Hundreds of Tripadvisor reviewers recommend the lobster roll.) Or, browse the town’s many antiques shops like Albert Meadow Antiques in downtown Bar Harbor.

What one reviewer said:

Cape cod, ma, best for: beaches and relaxation.

House decorated with lobster buoys in Provincetown, MA

The Cape Cod National Seashore offers laid-back vibes, pretty beaches, and some of the best seafood on the East Coast, including Skipper Chowder House in Yarmouth and Lobster Pot in Provincetown. Learn all about the region at the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum , which dives into the Kennedy family’s affinity for the Cape during JFK’s presidency. When you’re ready for some sun, check out the best beaches on Cape Cod, including Chatham Lighthouse Beach and the Herring Cove Beach and Race Point Beach in Provincetown. Look out for marine life like dolphins, seals, sharks, and whales—especially if you embark on a boating or fishing expedition .

Best for: living out your rom-com fantasies

Mystic Lighthouse, Connecticut

Love the 1988 romantic comedy Mystic Pizza ? Well, you can visit the real pizza parlor that inspired the film in Historic Downtown Mystic (named—you guessed it—Mystic Pizza). The cozy neighborhood has many shops, restaurants, and great views of the Mystic River Bascule Bridge . Couples will enjoy date night at Red 36 , a waterfront seafood restaurant serving delicious oysters and lobster rolls, followed by dessert at the iconic Sift Bake Shop . Other must-see attractions include the Mystic Seaport Museum and Olde Mistick Village , where travelers are instantly transported back in time. The coastal town is just two hours from Boston and three from New York City by car.

Newport, RI

Best for: boating and lighthouses.

Goat Island Lighthouse at sunrise, Newport, Rhode Island

Newport is an idyllic New England destination that offers the perfect mix of history, culture, and outdoor adventure. The coastal town has great beaches, charter cruises, massive historic mansions, and incredible seafood restaurants. Take a tour of The Breakers , the former summer home of the Vanderbilt family. Afterward, stroll along the scenic 3.5-mile Cliff Walk to see some of the area’s other spectacular mansions. From Newport, take a day trip to the beautiful Block Island, which is accessible via ferry . Since the island does not permit cars, get around by walking or cycling. Some top sights you will not want to miss: the Mohegan Buffs , Abrams Animal Farm , and the Southeast Lighthouse .

Best for: hiking, ice cream, and winter activities

Aerial view of the historic Stowe Community Church in Vermont

As the unofficial ski capital of the East, it comes as no surprise that Stowe is ranked among the most popular cold weather destinations in New England. Imbued with small-town charm, downtown Stowe looks like it was taken right out of a Hallmark Christmas movie set. We suggest staying in the Stowe Mountain Resort , where you can ski, snowboard, ice skate, and sip on hot toddies all day long. That said, Stowe is equally as magical in the summertime, especially when you hiked to Moss Glen Falls or Mount Mansfield . No matter the season, ice cream fans will want to take the 15-minute drive from Stowe to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory in the nearby Waterbury Village Historic District. Factory tours get you on the floor of the production room and include plenty of samples.

weekend trips new england

15 Weekend Getaways in New England

By: Author Susan Moore

Posted on Last updated: May 2, 2024

The New England region of the northeastern United States is an ideal location for a weekend escape. There are so many quaint towns, historic sites, and natural beauty that it’s easy to set your sights on New England for your next weekend getaway. But where exactly should you plan to spend your time?

In this article, you’ll find the 15 best weekend getaways in New England , and it’s designed to help you figure out where exactly you should go. This list has everything you could be looking for, from lovely seaside towns to places primed for outdoor adventures.

It’s just a matter of seeing which one is right for you. So, let’s check out each one.

15 Best weekend getaways New England.

In no particular order, here are 15 great New England weekend vacation spots.

1.    Portland, Maine

Starting off this list of the best weekend getaways in New England is Portland, Maine . It’s a fabulous place with tons to do and see.

Check out the historical sites in Portland, like the Tate House Museum . Visit the Portland Head Lighthouse and walk the coastal trail.

Make sure to spend some time at the Central Waterfront. From there, it’s easy to get to historic downtown and the Old Port shopping district.

Consider taking a boat tour to see Portland from the water. And yes, of course, you’ve got to try the lobster rolls in Maine!

LEARN MORE: 15 Epic Places to Visit in Maine

Maine lobster roll.

Maine is known for its delicious seafood, especially lobster

2.    Newport, Rhode Island

Newport is a special place full of things to do and see, making it one of the best weekend trips in New England.

As a major port, this town is known for everything maritime. You’ll find that Newport is home to the Maritime Museum and several regattas throughout the year.

Make sure you spend some time hiking the Cliff Walk and checking out the Gilded Age Mansions in town.

LEARN MORE: 15 Best Things to Do in Rhode Island

Jamestown Newport Ferry stop in Rhode Island.

Newport Rhode Island is an ideal destination for a long weekend getaway in New England

3.    Burlington, Vermont

Up north in the great state of Vermont, you’ll find Burlington, one of the best places for a weekend getaway in New England.

This lovely city has everything you need to make your time the absolute best. Head to Church Street for unique shops, places to eat, and entertainment right on the street.

On the shores of Lake Champlain , you’ll find the Greenway, where you can stroll and enjoy the view.

Get out on the water or head up one of the nearby mountains for outdoor fun.

Sailing ships on Lake Champlain in Burlington Vermont.

Visit Lake Champlain in Burlington Vermont for a gorgeous New England getaway

4.    Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth is an absolute favorite when it comes to New England vacation spots . The picturesque seaside town is one that has tons to do. You’ll love perusing the unique shops in Market Square.

Stopping by cafes and restaurants is a delight. Learn about the past on a walking tour and at Strawbery Banke Museum .

Enjoy the view of the water at Prescott Park or Odiorne State Park .

Fountain and gardens in Prescott Park Portsmouth New Hampshire.

Beautiful Prescott Park in Portsmouth New Hampshire

5.    Bar Harbor, Maine

Seriously, one of the best places to have a weekend getaway in the Northeast has to be Bar Harbor.

As the gateway to Acadia National Park , you’ll be perfectly positioned to explore the great outdoors.

Venturing into the park and climbing Mt. Cadillac is top on any Bar Harbor itinerary. But the town itself also provides a great time.

It’s where you’ll find lovely places to stay, eat, and explore, like Frenchman Bay and the Great Harbor Maritime Museum.

It’s easy to see why Bar Harbor is also on our list of beautiful coastal towns in Maine!

Bar Harbor Maine in summertime.

Bar Harbor is a fabulous weekend getaway spot in Maine

6.    Ludlow, Vermont

Looking for a quaint town to spend one of your New England vacations in?

Definitely consider Ludlow, Vermont. You’ll love this town with its unique shops and places to eat.

As for daytime activities, Ludlow is home to Okemo Mountain Resort. No matter what time of year you visit, you’ll have something to do at Okemo.

There’s skiing in the winter and hiking, biking, adventure courses, and scenic chairlift rides during the warmer seasons.

Ludlow is great for scenic drives as it’s located just off Vermont Scenic Route 100 Byway. Some say this is the most scenic road in the whole state.

LEARN MORE: 10+ Epic Places to Visit in Vermont

Okemo State Forest sign on a forest trail in Vermont.

Okemo Mountain Resort and the Okemo State Forest are two great reasons to vacay in Ludlow Vermont

7.    Providence, Rhode Island

Something is always happening in Providence.

As the state capital and home to both Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), there’s a constant buzz of activity and energy, making it one of the best places for a New England getaway.

During a weekend in Providence, you can check out art at the RISD Museum , stroll through Waterplace Park , and enjoy Italian food on Atwells Avenue in Federal Hill.

Providence Rhode Island skyline and waterfront.

Picturesque Providence Rhode Island

8.    Boston, Massachusetts

No list of the best weekend vacations in New England can be complete without the great city of Boston.

This city, one of the oldest in the country, has so much to do on a weekend getaway.

Spend your days exploring the history of the city on the Freedom Trail  in Boston Commons and seeing the historic ships in the harbor.

Later, you’ll have so many great places to have dinner and enjoy a night out on the town.

Boston skyline and the harbor.

Boston Massachusetts for a big city weekend in New England

9.    Stowe, Vermont

Another wonderful destination for one of the best vacations in New England is Stowe, Vermont.

No matter the time of year, Stowe is the perfect place to spend a few days away from it all.

In the winter, you’ll be hitting the slopes by day and snuggling up in front of a fire by evening.

During other seasons, you’ll be out exploring the beautiful Vermont landscape and enjoying the lovely town of Stowe. In summer and fall, explore the nearby hiking trails, and, of course, the fall foliage is spectacular.

Welcome to Stowe Vermont mural.

Enjoy a New England vacation in the lovely town of Stowe Vermont

10.    Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic is a major destination in New England, especially for vacationers in the Northeast; it’s only 135 miles from New York City.

With its long history steeped in its proximity to the water, Mystic is known for shipbuilding.

Today, a favorite activity is to visit the Mystic Seaport Museum to see the historic vessels.

You’ll love historic downtown Mystic.

It’s the place to see historical architecture while checking out the shops and restaurants.

The Mystic Darkroom is a top date night pick for a unique entertainment experience.

Charles W Morgan wooden whaling ship Mystic Seaport Museum in CT.

Mystic Connecticut is a great choice for a weekend away from NYC

11.    Camden, Maine

Located on Penobscot Bay in mid-coast Maine, the picturesque town of Camden is an idyllic New England vacation spot.

Outdoor enthusiasts will love the hiking, biking, and boating opportunities around Camden, including the gorgeous Camden Hills State Park .

In town, you stroll to cute shops, art galleries, and museums.

Be sure to visit Penobscot Marine Museum and also check out Camden Opera House for the latest concerts and events in town.

Camden Maine boats in harbor.

Try Camden Maine for a perfect weekend in New England

12.    Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Martha’s Vineyard is well known as a classic New England summer vacation spot.

But the truth is, this island is absolutely lovely all year round, making it one of the best vacation places in Massachusetts.

Uniquely, Martha’s Vineyard is an island located just off the coast of Cape Cod.

You’ll find fewer crowds than on the Cape, but Martha’s Vineyard has stellar beaches, great accommodations, and a chill, laid-back vibe perfect for a weekend getaway.

13.    Kennebunkport, Maine

Does the unique name of Kennebunkport ring a bell? This seaside town is known as one of the best New England summer destination spots.

It’s also home to the summer estate of the Bush family (Pres. George H.W. Bush and Pres. George W. Bush).

The beaches are a major draw in Kennebunkport, while the town is the perfect place to enjoy a meal and stroll around the unique shops.

Whale watching and boat tours are also favorites in Kennebunkport.

Kennebunkport Maine harbor and LOVE KPT sign.

How about Kennebunkport Maine for a seaside New England vacay?!

14.    Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The land that stretches out in the Atlantic just south of Boston is the historical and fabulous Cape Cod.

Since the early days of the nation, The cape has been a favorite destination, clearly making it one of the best vacation getaways in New England.

The Cape has adorably quaint cottages, pristine beaches, and a vibe that is truly chill and laid-back.

You’ll love putting your toes in the sand, watching the boats on the water, and learning about the area’s past at the many historical sites. 

15.    North Conway, New Hampshire

North Conway is a lovely town perfectly positioned for ventures into the beauty of the New Hampshire landscape.

Mount Washington is just a short drive from North Conway, making the town the perfect home base.

Don’t miss Cathedral Ledge and Diana’s Baths , both nearby. For a more leisurely venture into the great outdoors, consider a ride on a scenic railway.

In the village of North Conway, you’ll find historic buildings with shops, restaurants, and galleries.

As you can see, there are so many fabulous destinations, from Maine to Connecticut. This list has the 15 best weekend getaways in New England. So, no matter what type of escape you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.

Save this to Pinterest for later!

15 Perfect weekend trips in New England, including Lake Champlain in Burlington VT.

More New England Travel Ideas

10 Best Places to Visit in Vermont

7 Beautiful Coastal Towns in Maine

12 Epic New England Vacation Spots

Fall Foliage Maine Road Trip

10+ Fun Things to Do in Portland Maine

20 Best Things to Do in Belfast Maine

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

8 Fun Things to Do in Acadia National Park

11 Best Things to Do in Portsmouth New Hampshire

The 20 Most Romantic Weekend Getaways in New England

These retreats are tailor-made for couples.

Twin Farms

Want to stay in a former Vanderbilt mansion? Check into the Vanderbilt in Newport. Care for nothing but a week full of fabulous couple's massages? Head to the Mayflower Inn & Spa in rural Connecticut. Looking for a slice of Italy in the Berkshires? Put the Wheatleigh on your list. Absolutely love the beach? Take your pick of beautiful properties on Nantucket, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, or the coast of Rhode Island. Or prefer hundreds of acres of rolling hills and woods instead? Vermont and Connecticut are flush with stunning hotels on sprawling grounds.

Whatever your mood and whatever the occasion, whether it's an anniversary, a birthday, a holiday, or just because, here are 20 idyllic destinations for that couple's trip to take at any time of year (because romance need not be reserved just for Valentine's Day).

*As always, bear in mind Covid-19 travel restrictions and safety concerns.

Life House, Nantucket

life house nantucket most romantic hotels new england

Last summer, this gem of a boutique hotel opened in the center of the quintessential coastal town. Built in the former digs of the Century House, Nantucket's oldest continually operating inn, the new Life House, Nantucket has all that old world charm, but with upgraded amenities (think Le Labo bath products, rain showers, and Marshall speakers in the rooms). After an afternoon spent strolling around the town's cobblestone streets, settle into a nook in the garden for afternoon tea.

More: In the Thick of the Pandemic, Nantucket Reveals its Best Self

Winvian Farms, Connecticut

Tree, Leaf, Autumn, House, Biome, Woody plant, Tree house, Plant, Branch, Northern hardwood forest,


Set on 113 acres of land in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills, Winvian Farm has 18 individually designed luxury cottages—take your pick of unique accommodations like a tree house, a rustic cottage, a helicopter room, or a forest-inspired suite. The Relais & Châteaux resort's own organic gardens supply the imaginative farm-to-table dining options at the restaurant, while the 5,000-square-foot spa is a haven for relaxation.

The Vanderbilt, Rhode Island

Property, Building, House, Home, Tree, Architecture, Real estate, Residential area, Neighbourhood, Estate,

This historic property in Newport, now part of the Auberge Resorts portfolio, was originally built in 1909 by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, meaning you can claim bragging rights for staying in an actual Vanderbilt mansion. Live as they once did and book a classic 1920s car from the hotel to drive to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Breakers, the majestic Gilded Age "summer cottage" built by Alfred's father, Cornelius II—afterwards the hotel will prepare a romantic picnic. Prefer to stay on property and simply enjoy its views of Narragansett Bay? Opt for a cooking class, instead, or learn how to shuck oysters, then cozy up by the firepit in the garden for seaside s'mores.

White Barn Inn, Maine

Property, Home, House, Real estate, Residential area, Tree, Neighbourhood, Estate, Building, Architecture,

The 27-room White Barn Inn, an Auberge Resort, in charming Kennebunkport (the Bush family compound is here) has luxury accommodations (stay in a standalone waterfront cottage for the ultimate in romance and privacy), a top-notch spa, and a AAA Five Diamond, Forbes Five Star restaurant. Plus, there are tons of activities and experiences to fill out the itinerary, including dog sledding (through March), chocolate making, a cocktail class, and three-course lobster feasts (every Thursday through April).

Twin Farms, Vermont

Building, Room, Property, Living room, Ceiling, Interior design, Home, House, Estate, Beam,

One of the most romantic and luxurious retreats in the world, Twin Farms is an all-inclusive Relais & Châteaux property set on 300 acres of bucolic woodlands in Barnard, Vermont. The 20 distinct accommodations all include a fireplace, toiletries blended specifically for the resort, and linens by Anichini and The Purists. Dining options are inspired by locally-grown, seasonal ingredients, with chef offerings changing daily. Wine lovers will particularly enjoy the property's 15,000-bottle cellar, where you can also arrange an intimate dining experience. Only guests over the age of 16 are allowed at the resort, which will no doubt add to the romantic vibes.

More : The Most Romantic Adults-Only Resorts in the World

The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Rhode Island

Home, Property, House, Estate, Mansion, Building, Real estate, Residential area, Manor house, Tree,

This elegant 20-room hotel housed in a former Gilded Age mansion on the famed Cliff Walk in Newport exudes romance. Each room is decorated with a different historical time period in mind—think Louis XVI, Georgian, Colonial, and, for Bridgerton fans, Regency . Cara, the Chanler's elegant restaurant, offers a three-course prix-fixe menu that includes delicacies like Wagyu beef, uni risotto, and white truffles.

Wheatleigh, Massachusetts

Property, House, Building, Home, Estate, Real estate, Mansion, Architecture, Residential area, Yard,

Old world charm meets modern luxury at the Wheatleigh in Lenox. The mansion, which dates back to 1893, was designed to look like a 16th-century Florentine palazzo, with surrounding landscaping created by Frederick Law Olmsted, the legend behind Central Park. The hotel today consists of 19 suites and guest rooms on 22 acres of gorgeous land in the Berkshires, along with exceptional amenities, spectacular food and wine, and top-notch service.

Ocean House, Rhode Island

Ocean House

The iconic five-star resort in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, is the ultimate romantic getaway. Located on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic, the Relais & Châteaux property has 49 guest rooms and 18 suites along with multiple dining options and a 3,000 square-foot Center for Wine & Culinary Arts, where you can take wine and cooking classes. Take your pick of the countless spa treatments available at the award-winning OH! Spa to turn your stay into a rejuvenating luxury retreat and enjoy the hotel's robust itinerary of activities, from movie screenings and art tours to yoga and jazz brunches.

Chatham Bars Inn, Massachusetts

House, Home, Building, Tree, Sky, Grass, Architecture, Spring, Facade, Rural area,

The romance of Cape Cod is at its finest at the historic Chatham Bars Inn. An island mainstay since 1914, the resort now has 217 rooms and lots of recreation, including tennis, golf, and sailing. There are four restaurants on the property, all of which excel at quintessential seaside fare—fresh fish, produce from the hotel's own farm, and local draft beers, all enjoyed with panoramic ocean views.

Mayflower Inn & Spa, Connecticut

Snow, Winter, Sky, Home, Tree, Frost, Freezing, Property, House, Daytime,

This idyllic retreat is set on 58 acres of gardens and woodlands in Washington, Connecticut. The charming accommodations, outfitted with luxurious amenities like Frette linens, and the spa, recently taken over by The WELL, make for a relaxing getaway. The dining room serves farm-fresh New England-inspired modern American cuisine and the hotel's countless activities will help rekindle the romance (think pottery-making, showshoeing, Tarot Card readings, and cocktails by the bonfire).

Blantyre, Massachusetts

Garden, Flower, Plant, Botany, Spring, Estate, House, Botanical garden, Tree, Grass,

A former 1902 country manor situated half way between New York and Boston, Blantyre is an exceptional escape set on 110 acres of lush Berkshires landscape. The Relais & Châteaux has 22 spacious guest rooms and one villa, along with luxury amenities, renowned cuisine, and a remarkable wine cellar. The resort also collaborated with Dom Pérignon to create the Champagne Salon. From romantic sleigh rides in the winter to tennis and golf nearby in the warmer months, the activities are plentiful.

The Wauwinet, Nantucket

wauwinet nantucket

Look no further than Nantucket's most iconic hotel (and the island's only Relais & Châteaux property) for some quality couple's time. The Wauwinet's 32 rooms, plus four standalone cottages, are each outfitted with luxe Pratesi linens, plush robes, and fresh wildflowers. As for the activities, consider a champagne picnic and scenic bike ride, or head out on the water for a Barton & Gray Hinckley Cruise.

The Charlotte Inn, Massachusetts

Home, House, Property, Building, Real estate, Porch, Neighbourhood, Architecture, Siding, Residential area,

Tucked away on a quiet street in Edgartown, the stately mansion-lined village on Martha's Vineyard, the Charlotte Inn exudes old world charm. The Relais & Châteaux property is especially known for the exceptional fine dining at the Terrace, where the focus is on French cuisine (expect classics like foie gras, escargots, and red wine-braised short ribs on the menu). Rooms and suites are decorated with lush period furnishings, such as handmade silk drapes, oil paintings of English country scenes, crystal lamps, and Edwardian-style wallpaper. The main rooms of the hotel have also been meticulously designed and furnished (antique mahogany-paneled walls, fireplaces, chintz armchairs, a library filled with leather-bound books), meaning you'll have no problem finding a quiet, charming nook for a romantic date night.

The Reluctant Panther Inn and Restaurant, Vermont

Sky, Home, House, Property, Leaf, Autumn, Tree, Residential area, Building, Town,

A small luxury hotel situated in Vermont's Manchester Village, the Reluctant Panther has just 20 rooms, all equipped with a cozy fireplace, Frette bathrobes, and Malin + Goetz products. Plan a romantic date night at the inn's restaurant, which features award-winning cuisine and a wine list what will please even the most discerning of oenophiles. Winter visitors can take advantage of the inn's close proximity to the Stratton and Bromley Mountain ski areas.

Weekapaug Inn, Rhode Island

Home, Property, House, Estate, Building, Real estate, Mansion, Architecture, Roof, Residential area,

This historic inn in Westerly, Rhode Island, first founded in 1899, is the epitome of a New England luxury escape. Located on the edge of Quonochontaug Pond, the intimate hotel has 27 guest rooms and four two-bedroom suites, along with a restaurant featuring farm-to-table cuisine. Guests at the Relais & Châteaux property can participate in a range of activities, from boating and birding, to simply enjoying the romantic sunset over the pond.

The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa, Vermont

Home, Building, Property, House, Architecture, Residential area, Mixed-use, Lighting, Town, Real estate,

Experience New England luxury at its finest at the Equinox Golf Resort & Spa in Manchester. Between the well-appointed guest rooms and suites and the host of five-star amenities, including the spa, a year-round indoor pool, a tennis club, a golf course, and five incredible dining venues, the resort is a perfect destination for a high-end romantic getaway. It also has a number of historic sister inns and homes for rental scattered around the expansive property. The most notable is 1811 House—now a 13-room country inn filled with fireplaces, antique furnishings, private porches and canopied beds—that was once the summer home of Abraham Lincoln's granddaughter, Mary Todd Lincoln.

Delamar Southport, Connecticut

Property, Building, House, Home, Architecture, Residential area, Town, Facade, Real estate, Historic house,

Turn your romantic trip into a luxurious spa getaway at this intimate boutique hotel in Southport. The Spa Suite is equipped with a couples treatment room, a living room with a fireplace, and a steam shower. A luxe menu of treatments uses Biologique Recherche and Valmont products, making it all the more enticing. After a day of pampering, enjoy a date night at Artisan restaurant, which features a farm-to-table menu of New England-inspired fare, like seafood cioppino, squid ink tagliatelle, sea scallops, and oysters.

Castle Hill Inn, Rhode Island

Castle Hill Inn

One of the most romantic spots in Newport, the grand Castle Hill Inn is situated on 40 acres overlooking Narragansett Bay, with panoramic views of the Atlantic ocean. The Relais & Châteaux property has 33 rooms, each equipped with luxurious bathrobes and local herbal bath products. The highly-acclaimed Dining Room is a renowned culinary experience, with traditional New England dishes and an extensive wine list with over 800 selections. Book the hotel's " Retreat to Romance" package, which includes a bottle of Rosé Champagne, fresh flowers, and chocolate dipped strawberries upon arrival, plus a three-course dinner at the restaurant.

The Pitcher Inn, Vermont

House, Home, Property, Building, Real estate, Residential area, Roof, Architecture, Estate, Siding,

This Relais & Châteaux inn located in Vermont's Green Mountains is cozy and charming, with most rooms (there are only 11 keys) featuring wood-burning fireplaces and each with its own eclectic, distinctive, Vermont chic decor. As befits the Relais & Châteaux seal, the food is delicious. Plus, its proximity to Sugarbush ski and golf resort makes it a great home base for any season.

Camden Harbour Inn, Maine

Home, Sky, Property, House, Estate, Building, Mansion, Architecture, Residential area, Landmark,

READ REVIEWS BOOK NOW Perched on a hilltop overlooking Penobscot Bay, Camden Harbour Inn has 20 uniquely designed rooms, something to do for all seasons (skiing in the winter, foliage hikes in the fall, sailing in the summer), and an award-winning restaurant, Natalie's, that is considered one of the best in the entire state. As for couple's activities, partake in one of the hotel's many cooking classes, or go on a lobster cruise—and then learn to make lobster rolls with your catch.

Headshot of Leena Kim

Leena Kim is an editor at Town & Country , where she covers travel, jewelry, education, weddings, and culture.

Headshot of Maggie Maloney

Maggie Maloney is the Site Director of Oprah Daily. She previously worked at Town & Country, Elle DECOR, and Something Navy. 

preview for Leisure Section Curated

@media(min-width: 40.625rem){.css-1jdielu:before{margin:0.625rem 0.625rem 0;width:3.5rem;-webkit-filter:invert(17%) sepia(72%) saturate(710%) hue-rotate(181deg) brightness(97%) contrast(97%);filter:invert(17%) sepia(72%) saturate(710%) hue-rotate(181deg) brightness(97%) contrast(97%);height:1.5rem;content:'';display:inline-block;-webkit-transform:scale(-1, 1);-moz-transform:scale(-1, 1);-ms-transform:scale(-1, 1);transform:scale(-1, 1);background-repeat:no-repeat;}.loaded .css-1jdielu:before{background-image:url(/_assets/design-tokens/townandcountrymag/static/images/diamond-header-design-element.80fb60e.svg);}}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-1jdielu:before{margin:0 0.625rem 0.25rem;}} Valentine's Day @media(min-width: 40.625rem){.css-128xfoy:before{margin:0.625rem 0.625rem 0;width:3.5rem;-webkit-filter:invert(17%) sepia(72%) saturate(710%) hue-rotate(181deg) brightness(97%) contrast(97%);filter:invert(17%) sepia(72%) saturate(710%) hue-rotate(181deg) brightness(97%) contrast(97%);height:1.5rem;content:'';display:inline-block;background-repeat:no-repeat;}.loaded .css-128xfoy:before{background-image:url(/_assets/design-tokens/townandcountrymag/static/images/diamond-header-design-element.80fb60e.svg);}}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-128xfoy:before{margin:0 0.625rem 0.25rem;}}

'girl with a candle', late 17th or early 18th century artist jean baptiste santerre

The Weekly Covet : Valentine's Day Gifts

valentine day gifts your wife will love

The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gifts for Your Wife

marilyn on the roof

11 Romantic Hotels in (or Near) New York City

hotel hassler rome

Romantic Hotel Stays for Valentine's Day Weekend

beverly hills, united states   march 01  peter sellers and wife at home on the couch kissing  photo by allan grantthe life images collection via getty imagesgetty images

11 Ideas to Celebrate Valentine's Day at Home

the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society

The Best Valentines Day Movies On Netflix

valentine's day chocolate

The Best Valentine's Day Chocolates

30 best romantic quotes for valentines day

50 Romantic Quotes for Valentine's Day

best restaurants for a birthday dinner in nyc — le bernardin

The Most Romantic Restaurants in New York City

pink tulips, letter and envelope

The 12 Best Valentine's Day Flower Arrangements

romantic movies to watch on valentines day

40 Movies to Add to Your Valentine's Day Queue

Top Destinations

  • Food + Drink

Explore the best of the world. Access insider tips and hotel recommendations from our travel tastemakers

By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use .

Romance Trip Ideas Weekend Getaways water outdoor sky tree Boat waterway Nature River body of water Lake Sport loch wilderness cloud surface water sports reservoir lake district leisure water resources inlet bank shore tourism vacation fishing boardsport boats and boating equipment and supplies recreation landscape reflection watercourse fun plant paddle wakeboarding state park wave Coast bay boating Sea hill mountain canoeing pond

  • 1 The Berkshires, MA
  • 2 Kennebunkport, ME
  • 3 Washington, CT
  • 4 Block Island, RI
  • 5 Burlington, VT
  • 6 Camden, ME
  • 7 Lakes Region, NH
  • 8 Newburyport, MA

8 Great Weekend Getaways in New England

The seaside pleasures of Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard aren’t lost on anyone looking to escape the sweltering confines of the Northeast for a breezy summer getaway. But there’s more to New England than the Grey Lady. We rounded up eight worthy weekend journeys to help you experience the region like a local, from literary jaunts to beachy idylls—and kept some lighthouses and clam shacks in the mix for good measure.

Jen has been a staff editor at Architectural Digest, Travel + Leisure, and Martha Stewart Weddings, and her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Afar, and Elle Decor. When she's not snowmobiling in the French Alps or tasting scotch straight from the barrel in Scotland, she's at home in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

See recent posts by Jennifer Fernandez

Romance Trip Ideas Weekend Getaways indoor wall room floor living room property interior design Living ceiling window Suite home hotel real estate Bedroom furniture interior designer house table apartment area

The Berkshires, MA

Are you a patron of the arts? If so, western Massachusetts’s bucolic Berkshire Mountains are sure to get your creative juices flowing. They worked for Norman Rockwell, who lived in the town of Stockbridge for 25 years—his namesake museum houses nearly 1,000 original paintings and drawings—and Herman Melville, whose restored home and farm Arrowhead is open daily for tours. In Lenox, the fin-de-siècle mansion that inspired the author and his peers is now Wheatleigh , a gracious boutique hotel on grounds designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Drop your bags, then head to Great Barrington, a quaint town with picturesque shops (spring for the homespun ceramics and grain-sack linens at One Mercantile ) and restaurants worth making the trip for (the seasonal dishes at The Prairie Whale are a must).

Bedroom Boutique Country Outdoors Romance Romantic Trip Ideas Weekend Getaways indoor window wall floor room green bed property home estate interior design living room Suite real estate window covering cottage condominium apartment decorated furniture

Kennebunkport, ME

Though Massachusetts seems to have cornered the market on the quintessential summer by the sea, Maine’s coastal villages are worth a second look. Case in point: Kennebunkport, with its postcard-perfect lighthouses and wide swaths of sand (we’re partial to Goose Rocks Beach). You’ll find seafood worth writing home about at The Clam Shack , where there’s almost always a queue of locals and visitors waiting for hand-torn lobster rolls doused in butter and mayo. Work off those calories on a bike ride to the fishing village of Cape Porpoise, then bed down at Hidden Pond , a collection of 20 cottages with bead-board walls and woodland accents nestled among birch and balsam trees. And don’t arrive before making a reservation at Earth , which serves local, seasonal dishes made with ingredients from two on-site organic farms.

RELATED: 7 Charming New England Towns We Love

Explore More: See hotel details | See all Kennebunkport, ME hotels

Country Pool Romance Scenic views Trip Ideas Weekend Getaways window indoor floor wall property room estate condominium swimming pool home house mansion interior design living room real estate Design daylighting counter apartment furniture

Washington, CT

Gilmore Girls fans need no introduction to Washington, the Connecticut town that was the inspiration for Stars Hollow. While you won’t see the real-life version of Lorelai’s Dragonfly Inn, you will find Grace Mayflower Inn & Spa , a 1900s schoolhouse that has been converted into 30 elegant rooms with four-poster beds and Frette linens. It’s an ideal base for exploring downtown’s shops and restaurants, including The Hickory Stick Bookshop and G.W. Tavern , a colonial-style brunch spot that overlooks babbling Bee Brook. Looking for something more portable? The Pantry ’s to-go sandwiches, salads, and charcuterie have all the makings of a perfect pond-side picnic lunch after a hike through Mount Tom State Park. Just be sure to make a slight detour to visit Jeffrey Tillou Antiques in nearby Litchfield to pick up mint-condition brass candlesticks and 19th-century portraits.

Explore More: See hotel details | See all Washington, CT hotels

Romance Trip Ideas Weekend Getaways bed wall indoor Bedroom hotel floor room ceiling home bed frame interior design real estate window furniture bed sheet bedding mattress house

Block Island, RI

While most tourists flock to summer like a Vanderbilt in the mansions and wharfs of Newport, locals know the real place to be is an hour’s ferry ride away, in Block Island. Base your stay at Hotel Manisses , a Victorian building turned restaurant and boutique hotel whose 17 classic rooms feature cane-backed headboards and claw foot tubs. Though it overlooks popular Ballard Beach, body surfers and boogie boarders make the 20-minute bike ride to catch the waves at Mansion Beach—with a pit stop at Dead Eye Dick’s for oysters with a harbor view. Cycling in the other direction will take you to the Gothic Revival Southeast Light, one of the country’s most architecturally savvy, and nearby Rodman’s Hollow, a 230-acre sanctuary for hawks, deer, and other coastal wildlife.

RELATED: 10 Underrated East Coast Getaways

Romance Trip Ideas Weekend Getaways table cup glass person Drink alcoholic beverage glasses alcohol distilled beverage beer whisky beer cocktail sense container drinking beverage

Burlington, VT

Burlington has long been the Green Mountain State’s hippiest locale, but there’s more to this Lake Champlain town than Phish and Ben & Jerry’s. The minimalist rooms at Hotel Vermont have all the hallmarks of a hipster haven, from locally quarried granite and bath products, coffee mugs, and throw blankets by area artisans. Drop your bags, then head to pedestrian-friendly Church St. Marketplace, where Taco Gordo churns out West Coast–style carnitas and lengua on house-made corn tortillas. Thirsty? Foam Brewers has been hailed as one of the best new breweries in the world thanks to its experimental sours and IPAs—all served on a charming waterfront patio. If you’re looking for something more formal, opt for the seasonal farm-to-table dishes and craft cocktails at Hen of the Wood .

Explore More: See hotel details | See all Burlington, VT hotels

Romance Trip Ideas Weekend Getaways wall indoor room home interior design window house Bedroom living room floor product real estate green furniture window covering window treatment estate interior designer bed frame

You’d be hard pressed to find a more picturesque New England town than Camden, a sleepy retreat on the Penobscot Bay with cheerful clapboard storefronts and a classic white-steeple church. Start your journey at Whitehall , an 1834 sea captain’s home that has been given new life with quirky wallpaper and colorful contemporary accents, then work up an appetite hiking to the top of Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park. (The view of Camden Harbor is what Instagram feeds are made for.) The hotel’s Pig + Poet restaurant is the place for happy hour sundowners and fresh-shucked oysters with passionfruit mignonette, but if the siren song of something more exotic calls, beeline to Long Grain , a surprisingly authentic Thai restaurant that’s known throughout the region for its spectacular house-made noodles.

RELATED: 12 Gorgeous Seaside Inns to Visit in Spring

Explore More: See hotel details | See all Camden, ME hotels

Romance Trip Ideas Weekend Getaways indoor bed wall room property Bedroom ceiling hotel estate Suite home real estate interior design hardwood cottage living room furniture floor decorated

Lakes Region, NH

Lake Winnipesaukee may get all the glory, but what neighboring—not to mention much smaller—Squam Lake lacks in notoriety it makes up for in simple pleasures, namely kayaking, hiking, and swimming without the crowds in the heart of New Hampshire’s pristine Lakes Region. There’s no better place to take it all in than from the family-owned Squam Lake Inn , a laid-back bed and breakfast in a refurbished 1895 farmhouse with all the modern necessities (WiFi, luxe linens, organic bath products). If you’ve had enough sun worshipping, consider enrolling in a cooking class nearby at The Manor on Golden Pond , an English country–style former artists’ colony that was also the backdrop for Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond .

Explore More: See hotel details | See all New Hampshire hotels

Romance Trip Ideas Weekend Getaways sky outdoor Beach habitat water shore Sea Coast body of water Ocean sand natural environment horizon vacation wave wind wave cape bay material sandy

Newburyport, MA

Just 45 minutes north of Boston, Newburyport feels like another world. Though the 17th-century architecture has been updated with shops and restaurants, an old world charm remains in the former port town—you can learn about its history at the Custom House Maritime Museum . Be sure to line up at Buttermilk Baking Company before their famous peach muffins sell out, then head over to Plum Island, 10 minutes away, to laze by the shore or track birds and butterflies on the Hellcat Marsh Loop Trail. You’ll want to linger for dinner: Brine lives up to its name with fresh oysters and crudo in a lively industrial-chic setting. If the modern rooms at Blue Inn on the Beach don’t coax you into an overnight stay, the gracious suites at Newburyport’s Federal-style Compass Rose Inn surely will.

Women’s Cozy Outfit for New England Getaway

Shop the look.

weekend trips new england

Vegan Leather Backpack

weekend trips new england

Riding Boots

  • 8 Affordable Weekend Getaways in the U.S.
  • The Most Romantic Lake Hotels to Spend a Summer Vacation
  • 9 Best Family Weekend Getaways

All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. If you buy something through our links, Jetsetter may earn an affiliate commission.

Become a Jetsetter.

Use our insider connections to know where to go and what to do.

Thanks for Signing Up!

Related Tags

Explore more.

weekend trips new england

Lisbon for Food Lovers

Young woman tourist in red dress enjoying great view on Barcelona city in famous Guell park

The Coolest Things to Do in Barcelona Now

Edinburgh Hotels Jetsetter Guides Scotland Travel Tips Trip Ideas sky hill City tree mountain fortification rock landscape archaeological site historic site grass escarpment ancient history Ruins Village road

Where to Eat, Sleep, and Play in Edinburgh, Scotland

Hotels Trip Ideas outdoor sky City metropolitan area cityscape skyline urban area landmark metropolis skyscraper daytime tower block Downtown cloud Town horizon tower morning evening residential area tourist attraction real estate building tree dusk condominium suburb bird's eye view panorama meteorological phenomenon

The Coolest Things to Do in Tokyo

  • Senior Living
  • Wedding Experts
  • Private Schools
  • Home Design Experts
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Mortgage Professionals
  • Find a Private School
  • 50 Best Restaurants
  • Be Well Boston
  • Find a Dentist
  • Find a Doctor
  • Guides & Advice
  • Best of Boston Weddings
  • Find a Wedding Expert
  • Real Weddings
  • Bubbly Brunch Event
  • Properties & News
  • Find a Home Design Expert
  • Find a Real Estate Agent
  • Find a Mortgage Professional
  • Real Estate
  • Home Design
  • Best of Boston Home
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Boston magazine Events
  • Latest Winners
  • Best of Boston Soirée

If you're a human and see this, please ignore it. If you're a scraper, please click the link below :-) Note that clicking the link below will block access to this site for 24 hours.

52 Best Weekend Trips and Getaways from Boston

Outdoor adventures.

weekend trips getaways boston massachusetts new england


1. Peak’s Island, Maine

Two hours by car

Different Strokes | If the idea of wearing a tank top seems profoundly depressing, skip the sports club in favor of an upper-body workout that’ll replace the reflection in the gym mirror with a view of Maine’s wild and rocky coast. And thankfully, there’s little exertion in getting there. Drive up Friday night; stay at Portland’s Regency Hotel (two hours from Boston); then catch the nearby ferry at 9:15 a.m. to Peaks Island, where the affable staff of Maine Island Kayak Company will escort you to a kayaker’s paradise. After an introductory paddling course, a primer on the vagaries of ocean weather, and some disclaimers, you’re ready to slide into a single-person sea kayak and head for open water. You’ll first need to get your heading: Peaks Island, just off Portland’s coast in Casco Bay, is one of the area’s dozens of small islands, many of which are public. Some feature Civil War–era forts, sea birds, and coastal flora and fauna. Expeditions are led by registered Maine guides—in other words, experienced outdoorspeople who know their way around a compass and can handle almost anything Mother Nature tosses their way. Although the company does offer half-day excursions (sans meals, $65 per person), we recommend a full-day jaunt ($115 per person), which allows plenty of time to practice maneuvering. Meanwhile, if you’ve already got kayaking chops and want to spend as much time near the water as possible, opt instead for the two-night camping trip.

Maine Island Kayak Company, Kayak Beach, Peaks Island, Maine, 207-766-2373, . Stay: Portland Regency Hotel, 20 Milk St., Portland, Maine, 207-774-4200, .

2. Stowe, Vermont

Three hours, 45 minutes by car

It’s All Downhill | Singing, dancing, precious urchins mugging for the camera…and yet, you don’t see much mountain biking in The Sound of Music. But the state-of-the-art trails at Stowe’s Trapp Family Lodge (owned and operated by the movie’s same family) make the hills come alive—with the grunts and groans of cyclists testing their mettle on more than 25 miles’ worth of track.

700 Trapp Hill Rd., Stowe, Vermont, 800-826-7000, .

3. Lake Champlain, Vermont

Peak Experiences | You’ve seen fall foliage from the car, the hiking trail, and the boat—now how about from the sky? Parafly Paragliding offers classes in the Lake Champlain valley; on a cloudless day, you’ll get 360-degree views of the fiery sugar maples stretching clear to the northern border.

116 Waybury Rd., Colchester, Vermont, 802-879-3507, . Stay: Willard Street Inn, 349 S. Willard St., Burlington, Vermont, 802-651-8710, .

4. Craftsbury Common, Vermont

Four hours by car

Cause A Row | The Craftsbury Outdoor Center almost kisses Canada, but it’s still close enough for a two-day escape. The rustic resort sits on a long, narrow lake surrounded by farmland, and is the perfect place to explore the rarefied world of sculling. Craftsbury offers intensive, all-inclusive weekend programs for every level, some of which come with yoga classes. Bonus: It also rolls out running camps, and has arguably the finest cross-country skiing trails in New England.

535 Lost Nation Rd., Craftsbury Common, Vermont, 802-586-7767,

5. Charlemont, Massachusetts

Two hours, 45 minutes by car

See the Forest for the Trees | Zipline tours got their start in Central America in the 1970s, but it’s only been in recent years that they’ve hit New England in a big way. Most are in the northernmost part of the region, though two Charlemont-based companies are competing to be the go-to source in Massachusetts. Zoar Outdoor Canopy Tours emphasizes the educational aspect, with guides who describe the local foliage and fauna. Meanwhile, Berkshire East goes for the thrill, with two 2,000-plus-foot ziplines that plunge downhill at 50 miles per hour.

Zoar Outdoor Canopy Tours, 800-532-7483, ; Berkshire East, 413-225-2425, . Stay: Warfield House Inn, 200 Warfield Rd., Charlemont, 888-339-8439, .

6. Block Island, Rhode Island

One hour, 45 minutes by car to ferry

Natural Selection | Afternoon sun glistening on the clay bluffs, seagrass waving on a stretch of reclaimed farmland—nearly half of Block Island is designated as conservation land, and the other half is so picturesque that it might as well be. With 10 compact square miles of land area, you can bike anywhere in under 20 minutes, so it’s easy to spend all weekend on two wheels.

Stay: Hygeia House, 582 Beach Avenue, Block Island, Rhode Island, 401-856-9920, . See Block Island Ferry schedule at .

Jump to a section:

Outdoor Adventures | Sports & Recreation | Arts & Culture | Relaxation | Food & Wine

New Restaurants to Try in Boston, May 2024

The real victim in the karen read case my friend john o’keefe, the most anticipated greater boston restaurant openings, 2024, why i left my dream job at wbz morning news, is badminton the next pickleball, in this section.

14 Family Weekend Getaways in New England

Posted on Published: 07/27/2023

If you live in New England, you are lucky to have a variety of different vacation options available just a short distance away. Sometimes, with family, it’s hard to get away for a week, so a long weekend (or even a regular weekend) is a much easier option.

Not only are there so many great weekend getaways in New England for families, but there are also fabulous New England family resorts to stay at.  Planning a family weekend getaway in New England? Here are the best weekend getaways in New England – with charming small towns and fun activities perfect for family travel.

Disclosure: We’ve stayed at some of these locations and hotels at no cost for review. We also have ridden the Amtrak Downeaster at no cost. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links and a purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us.

Portland Harbor with boats and buildings along the sides

Family Weekend Getaways in New England

Portland Head Lighthouse

Portland, Maine

We traveled to Portland, Maine on numerous occasions, and have always enjoyed our stays.  There is so much to do, including boat trips on Casco Bay, shopping, and museums. There are also a number of fantastic restaurants to check out.

You’ll probably want to stay in the Old Port section of Portland, which is filled with shops and restaurants. You won’t even need your car for most destinations. If you are traveling from Boston (or North of Boston), you can take the Amtrak Downeaster train , which goes right into Portland.

Here are some other things to do in Portland, Maine:

  • Portland Science Center
  • Portland Head Lighthouse
  • Portland Museum of Art
  • Scenic boat tours

See hotels in Portland Maine here .

Freeport, Maine

Freeport, Maine is most known for being the worldwide headquarters of LL Bean. The flagship store is definitely worth a visit, especially with kids. You can easily spend several hours there, and there are a number of things that appeal to kids, especially during the Christmas holiday season.

There are also lots of outlet stores and restaurants to enjoy in that area of Freeport. You can just park your car, and walk around to the various outlets. If you are already planning to visit Portland, Maine, it’s easy to drive up to Freeport. The Amtrak Downeaster train also travels up to Freeport, so that’s an option if you don’t want to drive.

While you are there, you may also want to visit Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park and Wolfe’s Neck Farm. During our fall visit to Freeport Maine a few years ago, we attended a fabulous harvest festival at Wolfe’s Neck. Definitely take a look at their website to see if there is an event that coincides with your visit.

We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn , which was an affordable place to stay with family.

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont

Even if you aren’t a skier, Stowe, Vermont is a great place to visit with kids. We typically visit in the summer, when we can enjoy the beautiful weather. There are also several fantastic spas (we enjoy the spa at Stoweflake).

When visiting Stowe, I definitely recommend driving through Waterbury, Vermont. There, you’ll find the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, where you can see cider being made. Don’t miss the apple cider donuts. You’ll also want to stop and tour the Ben and Jerry’s Factory, of course grabbing an ice cream cone at the attached Ben and Jerry’s Cone Shop.

Just past Stowe is Smugglers’ Notch , where you’ll find the famous Smugglers’ Notch resort . It’s a four-season resort that is perfect for families and offers so many great activities for families.

See hotels in Stowe here .

The White Mountains, NH

Like Stowe, the White Mountains of New Hampshire is a great vacation destination both in the winter and the summer (as well as in the fall, when you can enjoy the gorgeous fall foliage).

You’ll have the option of staying in a few different locations in the White Mountains. We like to stay in Lincoln, NH, near Clark’s Trading Post, as well as North Conway, New Hampshire, near Story Land . You can also stay in one of these spots and drive to the other – they are just an hour apart. There are a number of hotels and vacation homes that you can stay in, including the Mountain Club at Loon. There are even a few family-friendly bed and breakfasts.

Activities in the White Mountains include:

  • Loon Mountain
  • Cranmore Mountain
  • Attitash Mountain
  • Santa’s Village
  • Whale’s Tale Water Park

See hotels in the White Mountains here .

quaint shops in Mystic Village

Mystic Connecticut is a great destination for families. I’d recommend staying at the Hilton , which is right in the middle of the action. There are lots of things to do with families in Mystic, including Olde Mistick Village and Mystic Seaport. There’s also the Mystic Aquarium, which is my favorite aquarium in the area. While you are there, you’ll definitely want to check out the fun and interactive beluga whales.

Mystic is a short drive from Boston but is also on the Amtrak train route from NYC to Boston . If you stay at the Hilton, you can walk to Olde Mistick Village and the Mystic Aquarium, but you would need to drive to Mystic Seaport.

See hotels in Mystic CT here .

New Haven, CT

Most people think of New Haven as the home of both delicious pizza and Yale University, but it’s also a great destination for families. We really enjoy the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History as well as the (free!) Yale Art Museum.

While you are there, you’ll definitely want to eat your way through New Haven. There are so many fabulous restaurants in the area, including many delicious pizza restaurants. If your family loves food, I’d definitely recommend that you take a food tour so you can see all of the hot spots.

Read reviews of New Haven hotels here .

Boston Harbor with flowers

You can definitely spend a weekend in Boston , but you’ll want to return for a much longer visit. There’s enough to do that you could easily stay for a week. I usually recommend visiting in the fall, when the weather is crisp and cool. However, regardless of when you visit, there’s always something great to do.

Our favorite activities in Boston are the Boston Museum of Science , Fenway Park (take a tour if you can’t catch a game), the Boston Children’s Museum (for younger kids), and the Duck Tours. You’ll also want to walk through the Boston Public Garden and the Boston Common.

If you are visiting in the summer, I’d definitely recommend visiting the Boston Harbor Islands . This state and national park is part of the city. Choose which island you want to visit, and you’ll take a ferry there. It’s perfect for an afternoon away.

Read more about where to stay in Boston here .

Cape Cod, MA

Cape Cod is one of the most perfect summer vacation destinations. We love the Sea Crest Beach Hotel , which is right on Old Silver Beach, as well as Ocean Edge Resort . There are also a variety of beach homes available for weekly rentals.

On your way down to the Cape, consider stopping in Plymouth for a visit to Plimoth Plantation. There are many great Cape Cod towns to stay in and visit, all the way to the coastal town of Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod.

Cape Cod is generally best to visit in the summer. It definitely slows down after Labor Day. However, I usually love visiting the Cape in late summer, because all of the crowds are gone and the weather can still be really nice. Don’t miss all of the fresh seafood you can get – including lobster rolls and oysters.

Read Cape Cod hotel reviews here .

The Newport Mansions With Kids

Newport, Rhode Island

I spent my summers working in Newport, R I, and it’s still one of my favorite places. In addition to restaurants and shops, there are also some really fun mansions to visit. My kids especially loved visiting the Breakers, which offers a kids’ tour. We recommend staying at the Hotel Viking.

Here are some things that you’ll enjoy in Newport:

  • Newport Mansions
  • International Tennis Hall of Fame
  • Fort Adams State Park
  • The Norman Bird Sanctuary
  • Sailing excursion/speedboat
  • Newport Gulls baseball game
  • Trolley Tour
  • Shopping on Thames Street/Brick Marketplace

See hotels in Newport, RI here .

Rockport, MA

Surprisingly, I hadn’t visited Rockport, MA until just a few years ago. It’s such a fun place, with quaint shops, beautiful scenery, and delicious seafood. Head to Bearskin Neck, the section of town with shops and restaurants. You’ll need to find a parking spot and walk around the area, or choose a hotel/inn right in Bearskin Neck. I especially love getting seafood in Rockport – it’s so fresh and delicious.

For those who enjoy being on the water, you can also rent kayaks and explore. Be sure to get a photo of Motif #1, an old fishing shack that is one of the most recognized buildings in America.

If you want to get in some beach time, head to nearby Gloucester . There, you’ll find some fabulous beaches, including Good Harbor Beach and Wingaersheek. Both are great for families.

See hotels in Rockport here .

Block Island Rhode Island

Block Island is a small island off the coast of Rhode Island. It’s accessible in a number of ways, including a ferry from Point Judith RI, Newport RI, Fall River MA, New London CT, and Montauk NY (most of these run seasonally). The island is a nice, quiet escape from the mainland. Activities include biking, shopping, parks, and beaches. The island is home to inns, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and home rentals.

See hotels on Block Island here .

Portsmouth New Hampshire

Portsmouth is right over the Massachusetts border in New Hampshire. This seaside town features shops, restaurants, museums, and so much more. Families will love a trip to Water Country, a water park that has a variety of different slides for kids.

If you enjoy outlet shopping, drive a few minutes over the Maine border to Kittery, Maine. There, you’ll find a whole street lined with various outlet malls, including Under Armor, Crate and Barrel, and Lululemon. We usually try to visit at least once per year, because there are so many great deals.

See hotels in Portsmouth, NH here .

Martha’s Vineyard, MA & Nantucket, MA

I love the islands in Massachusetts. They are a short distance away, but almost feel like another country. The pace is so much more relaxed. Both offer great family resorts as well as shops, restaurants, and gorgeous beaches. Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are accessible via plane or ferry, but make reservations well in advance. They can be very busy during peak season.

The summer is generally the best time to visit both islands. However, Nantucket is also a wonderful place to visit during the Christmas season. Each year, the island hosts the Nantucket Christmas Stroll weekend, where you can see Mr. and Mrs. Claus arrive on a ship. You’ll also be able to see the Festival of Trees at the Whaling Museum, listen to carolers, and do so much more. We visited once during the stroll and absolutely loved it.

See hotels on Martha’s Vineyard here and Nantucket here .

Frequently Asked Questions

While the summer is very popular, I think the early fall is a great time to visit. The weather is usually still beautiful and the crowds have started to slow down.

The Amtrak Downeaster and Northeast Corridor trains do travel to some of these destinations. But for easy access you’ll probably want to drive.

What are your favorite places for the best family weekend getaways in New England?

See more New England vacations here.

Beluga whale, boats in waterfront, charming street in Portland

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Make Mom's Day

One gift card fits all moms! 

Gift cards are redeemable at over 300 of the finest Inns & Resorts in New England.

Purchase a gift card now

mother's day gift card

Explore over 300 member properties ranging from the smallest New England country inns to the most exclusive hotels and resorts, state by state.

  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island

Vermont map


Experience the landscapes, activities, history and culture that sets New England apart. Make memories that last a lifetime.

  • Pet Friendly
  • Arts & History

The Revolution Hotel, Boston, MA


  • Plan Your New England Trip
  • The States of New England
  • New England Regions
  • Things To Do
  • Itineraries

Why New England

Weddings & Meetings

Woodstock Inn Team Building Event

Planning the perfect New England vacation is easy with our exclusive offers. From family-time to romantic getaways, from the mountains to the beach, find the perfect trip anywhere in New England with a few extra perks.

The Inn Crowd

Join the Inn Crowd for lodging deals and last-minute offers, delivered bi-weekly.

  • Sign Up Today
  • Family Getaways
  • Military & First Responders
  • Mother's Day
  • Spa & Wellness
  • Girlfriend Getaways

Fat Tire Biking Woodstock Inn

Every relationship needs nurturing, that’s why it is so important to make time in today’s busy schedules for your own weekend getaway package. Whether you and your loved one enjoy strolling hand in hand along a beach in Cape Cod, cuddling by a warm fire after skiing down slopes in the Berkshires or leaf peeping along a lonely stretch of road in Vermont, New England offers the perfect backdrop for a romantic weekend and our members have packages for every taste and style.

© 2024 New England Inns & Resorts | Sitemap

  • Skip to primary navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar
  • Skip to footer


Our mission is to serve the 50+ traveler who's ready to cross a few items off their bucket list.

8 Inexpensive Weekend Getaways in New England | To Experience This Spring

weekend trips new england

  • Activities and Interests
  • Destinations
  • Hotels and Resorts
  • New England
  • United States

weekend trips new england

Note: The Travel Awaits team regularly updates content to provide the latest, and most accurate information to our readers. The updated content in this article may not reflect the views or opinions of the original author.

There’s arguably no region in the U.S. more enthusiastic to welcome spring’s arrival than New England. As the seasonal thaw takes hold, hotels and resorts that command top dollar in the summer season entice travelers by offering more bang for your buck with special offers, packages, deals, and added value.

Even better, as our parkas get tucked away to make room for lighter layers, destinations fête the return of warmer temperatures with fairs and festivals to trumpet spring’s arrival, so you can enjoy the perks of pre-peak-season travel. 

New England weekend getaways in spring offer a tapestry of delights. The region bursts with vibrant flowers and blossoming trees, creating scenic landscapes for hiking and picnics. Coastal towns awaken from winter slumber, inviting leisurely strolls along quaint streets perfect for a weekend escape. Maple sugaring festivals add sweet flavors to the air, and inns offer cozy retreats with New England charm.

Here are 8 inexpensive spring destinations that have put winter in the rear-view mirror and are welcoming travelers with deals and steals.

Some of these places I’ve visited on a press trip, others I’ve discovered in my many New England travels. All opinions are my own.

8 Inexpensive Weekend Getaways in New England This Spring

1. bretton woods, new hampshire.

The Omni Mount Washington Resort in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

History buffs take note: Surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest, the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods has hosted four former presidents including Calvin Coolidge, Warren G. Harding, Woodrow Wilson, and George H.W. Bush. It was also the site of the signing of all major documents at the Bretton Woods International Monetary Conference in 1944, designating the popular New England retreat an official National Historic Landmark. In addition to commanders-in-chief, the sprawling bucolic property has been a favorite among poets, celebrities, and generations of families. But, recent renovations and expansions like the new Presidential Wing show the resort has not been left in the past but instead has a bright future.

As the ski season comes to a close, the New Hampshire resort’s surrounding hills are peppered with springtime blooms best enjoyed on a canopy tour. The zip lining experience high above the hemlock trees offers sweeping views of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range. The longest of the nine zips is over 1,000 feet long and about 165 feet high off the forest floor, with two sky bridges and three rappels. The tour is designed for participants of average mobility, strength, and reasonably good health, but there are a number of short hikes along an unpaved path, so folks should be comfortable walking on uneven ground and down a moderate incline. Now is the best time to experience it all with the resort’s Take a Break offer, allowing guests to save 20 percent off the best available rate now through September 5, 2023, when booked before April 11, 2023. 

Explore hotels and Airbnbs near Bretton Woods

2. Ogunquit

Colonial Inn, Ogunquit

Idyllically nested on Maine’s southern coast, Ogunquit boasts all the spoils of the quintessential New England summer beach town: miles of windswept sandy beaches, picture perfect craggy cliffs, and buttery lobster rolls around nearly every corner. It also has all the crowds that come with it that time of year. Springtime, however, is the best time to bask in Ogunquit’s grandeur without the masses. The captivating Marginal Way, a popular 2.5-mile paved path that traces the coastline, draws heaps of visitors in the summer, but this time of year, visitors can go at their own pace, pausing for birding or soaking in the view on one of the many oceanfront benches. 

Just minutes from the Marginal Way is the historic Colonial Inn , which served as an impressive private residence during the mid-19th century and today welcomes travelers looking to experience the Maine coast . The property is considered the last of Ogunquit’s once-numerous stately Victorian-era hotels still in operation as a hotel. To celebrate the season, The Colonial Inn’s Spring Fling package features 10 percent off a two-night stay with chilled sparkling wine and a charcuterie board for guests upon their arrival.

Explore hotels and Airbnbs near Ogunquit

3. Martha’s Vineyard


Martha's Vineyard's famed colorful Gingerbread Houses

An island getaway seems like the perfect way to shake off winter’s chill, and Martha’s Vineyard delivers. Shoulder season has its own kind of magic, no more so than in the spring, when the excitement of summer’s arrival is palpable but you can still live like a local. It’s also when you’re most likely to bump into the island’s regular celebrity guests and homeowners. Think Carly Simon, James Taylor, Oprah Winfrey, and Diane Sawyer.

Be there for the unofficial first sign of spring (if you’re not counting the crocuses and forsythia blooming across the 87-square-mile island): the annual opening of the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs. Built in 1876 and welcoming not just the young but also the young-at-heart ever since, the colorful carousel is the oldest operating platform carousel in the country. In the summer, long lines swell for a ride on the hand-painted horses or to play the brass ring game. 

After horsing around, you’ll have worked up an appetite, and spring is the best time to land coveted reservations that would have summer travelers waiting months for (like at l’étoile in Edgartown, which opens in May but starts taking reservations mid-April). Or, you can try scoring a table as a walk-in at hotspots like The Sweet Life Cafe.

The centrally-located Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites in the heart of charming and walkable Edgartown has a springtime offer: stay any night Sunday through Thursday in May and experience prices 25–30 percent lower than the high season. Enjoy your private balcony or relax in a rocking chair on the front porch, hop on one of the hotel’s bicycles, or borrow some board games for some family fun.

Explore hotels and Airbnbs near Martha’s Vineyard

4. Manchester

Downtown Manchester, Vermont

In the shadow of the shamrock-hued vista of the Green Mountains, Manchester perfectly marries past and present with its storybook downtown punctuated by century-old storefronts and white church steeples careening skyward. Experience an innovative culinary scene and modern comforts. Spring is arguably the best time to experience the legendary hiking trails best known in these parts.

Though Prospect Rock is a popular trail, some parts are remarkably steep and you’ll find a handful of mountain streams to cross. If just a casual hiker, stick to the Lye Brook Falls Trail. It’s 4.5 miles out-and-back, well-marked, and rewards hikers with a breathtaking view of a 125-foot-tall waterfall that has new growth along its rocky face this time of year. If you prefer to sit back and take in southern Vermont’s springtime grandeur in a comfy seat, the Mount Equinox Skyline Drive opens at the end of May and is a stunning drive that ascends 3,846-feet to the summit, offering panoramic mountain views. One not-to-miss hidden gem in Manchester is The American Museum of Fly Fishing. What it lacks in size it makes up for in interest, with exhibits and artifacts that steal the attention of even the casual outdoor enthusiast.

The Kimpton Taconic Hotel is centrally located in the heart of historic Manchester Village and feels the part with its traditional clapboard architecture and grand front porch, while offering a simple, accessible luxury vibe. This season, take advantage of the Third Night’s a Charm package, where travelers get their third night for free when booking three or more nights (book by May 23, 2023).

Explore hotels and Airbnbs near Manchester

Rhode Island 

The Newport Harbor Island Resort on Newport's Goat Island

When America’s wealthiest families made Newport its blueblood summertime playground during the Gilded Age, it set the bar high for travelers for decades to come. Fortunately, more than a century later, the City by the Sea still delivers, with mansions turned museums that belonged to society’s elite allowing us hoi polloi to get an up close look at their 19th-century decadence. As summer brings tens of thousands to this coastal enclave on the southernmost tip of Aquidneck Island, it also brings top dollar. Even the most basic accommodations can be hundreds a night. But springtime allows travelers to not only enjoy so much of what Newport is best known for — Cliff Walk, mansions, and world-class dining — they can experience more than one million blooming daffodils across the city and a bevy of springtime events.

In April, the Newport Beer Festival welcomes more than 50 craft brewers from near and far plus live music and good grub at Fort Adams perched on the shores of Narragansett Bay. May brings the Newport Oyster & Chowder Festival , where you can slurp and savor briny bivalves to your heart’s content from growers across Rhode Island . Enjoy creamy clam chowder, stuffies, and other spoils of the sea (and plenty for landlubbers) and tons of drinks to toast the season. Even better, the circumnavigating Ocean Race sails into town mid-May, bringing with it nearly 10 days of excitement and fanfare. 

Best of all, lodging rates are still a far cry from what you’ll find in the summer and fall. Rooms at the newly christened Newport Harbor Island Resort on Goat Island can command hundreds in peak season. But take advantage of pre-summer offers like Book Early & Save, which offers up to 20 percent off the best available room rate when booking a month or more in advance (two-night minimum required; reservations are non-refundable). Ready to upgrade? Through April, the resort is offering a Suite Life package, featuring 15 percent off their roomy suites plus a complimentary bottle of prosecco, daily breakfast for two, and a pair of seasonal cocktails upon arrival.

Explore hotels and Airbnbs near Newport

6. Cape Cod

The golf course at Blue Rock Resort on Cape Cod

The sandy, hook-shaped peninsula off mainland Massachusetts made famous by the Kennedys can shake off winter’s wrath with the best of them, so it should come as no surprise that Cape Cod feels different when spring arrives. Museums, galleries, shops, and restaurants along Main Street in towns including Falmouth, Dennis, Hyannis, Chatham, and Wellfleet — yes, they all have a Main Street — have a palpable energy. Seasonal ice cream shops start reopening for the season this time of year; others, like Cape Cod Creamery, forge ahead the whole year through.

The spring thaw might be best exhibited by the busy greens across the Cape’s more than 40 public and private golf courses. Highland Links in Truro is one of the oldest, built in 1892 and perched high along windswept bluffs overlooking a picture-perfect lighthouse (the tallest on the peninsula) and the sea. The Cape Cod Country Club in East Falmouth bordering scenic Coonamessett Pond is open to the public and enjoyed by golfers of all skill levels. Or stay and play at Blue Rock Resort in South Yarmouth with its own par-3 course. In celebration of the resort’s reopening in mid-April, the Goodbye, Winter Blues package includes perks like early check-in and late check-out, a flexible cancellation policy, and a special welcome amenity upon arrival. Even better, guests enjoy reciprocal rights with the other Red Jacket Resorts nearby including access to dining, swimming pools, and a large expanse of private beaches.

Explore hotels and Airbnbs near Cape Cod

7. Bar Harbour

Nestled in Frenchman Bay, Bar Harbor is a quaint small town and a gateway to Acadia National Park. Most visitors stay here when visiting Acadia , but Bar Harbour is also fun to explore on its own. Bar Harbor is renowned for its breathtaking coastal beauty, yachts and lobster boats, and mesmerizing views of islands and the ocean. 

Walk along West Street, learn local history at the Abbe Museum , go to an oceanarium, sample craft beers, eat fresh seafood caught in local waters. and be sure to save room for one of the memorable slices of blueberry pie served throughout the city.

Explore hotels and Airbnbs near Bar Harbor.

8. Block Island

Rhode island.

Located off the southern coast of Rhode Island, Block Island features 17 miles of shoreline, as well as old-fashioned cottages and two historical lighthouses. And since Block Island is just under 10 square miles, it’s very easy to see on a weekend getaway.

Block Island is an especially great summer getaway, as all the beaches on the island are free for everyone, which is a unique feature in this Rhode Island region.

Explore hotels and Airbnbs near Block Island.

What Are the Best Coastal Weekend Getaways in New England?

Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island, Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park are some of the top New England weekend getaways where you can soak in the gorgeous coastal views and dine at fresh seafood restaurants.

Where to Go for a Countryside Weekend Getaway In New England?

The White Mountains region makes for an especially magical weekend trip in New Hampshire. Home to the highest mountain in New England and cozy towns like Jackson and North Conway, this region of New Hampshire is an immensely exciting retreat.

What’s the Cheapest Time for a Weekend Getaway in New England?

Booking a trip during the shoulder season can turn the most expensive getaways in New England into more affordable vacation spots. The fall offers spectacular foliage to enjoy at your own pace in endearing towns like Burlington, Vermont, and Newport, Rhode Island.

Who is a New England Getaway Best For? 

Those hungry for adventure, culinary delights, cultural experiences, and sports enthusiasts will find something to suit their tastes. From hiking through challenging terrain and taking in the atmosphere at Fenway Park to indulging in mouthwatering lobster rolls, you’ll get to experience the very best that New England has to offer.

Image of Andrea E. McHugh

Andrea McHugh has been a professional freelance writer for more than 20 years and has served as a communications and media relations leader in the travel industry. Andrea writes about travel, food and wine, classic boats, and lifestyle topics and has a passion for road trips, family travel, weekend getaways, and last-minute adventures. Her byline has appeared in numerous international, national, and regional publications.

New England Wanderlust

Cape Cod , Connecticut , Maine , Martha's Vineyard , Massachusetts , Nantucket , New Hampshire , Rhode Island , Vermont  ·  January 14, 2023

35 Fun Day Trips In New England To Take In 2024

Between gorgeous, historic cities to some of the most stunning coastline the U.S. has to offer, New England offers an incredible variety of day trip destinations for pretty much anyone. Whether you’re looking to tackle some epic hikes in the mountains, spend the day by the beach, get lost on cobblestone streets or spend your day eating all the amazing food, I’ve got you covered with my suggestions on the absolute best day trips in New England!

Hi there, and welcome! I’ve been exploring the New England region for over 15 years now, and I also live locally in the northeast. My favorite thing in the world is to explore this corner of the U.S., and I’ve covered a lot of ground over the years. I truly believe that all of the places I’ve included on this list are worth your time, and are easy to navigate with just one day.

I’ve also grouped each destination by season, but it’s good to know that pretty much all of these suggestions are wonderful year-round . In fact, it was really hard to group some of them into a specific season because many of them offers incredible things to do year-round. So, while I’ve made some seasonal suggestions, keep in mind that most places are truly perfect throughout the entire year.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

New England Wanderlust contains affiliate links, and is a member of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. We may earn a commission from any purchases you choose to make from our links, at no additional cost to you. For more information, please refer to our  Privacy Policy .

Best Day Trips In New England In The Summer

1. provincetown, ma.

Best as a day trip from: Boston, Plymouth, other towns on Cape Cod, Massachusetts North & South Shore.

Walking around to see the charming houses in the West End is one of the most relaxing and fun things to do in Provincetown. It's also one of the best summer day trips in New England you can take from Boston.

One of the most unique towns in the entire U.S. is Provincetown, and because it’s small and easily walkable, it makes for a perfect day trip in New England.

Provincetown is an especially easy day trip for those coming from Boston and Plymouth, as there are ferries that will take you right to MacMillan Pier in downtown Provincetown. Both ferry options only take 90 minutes, making them very convenient options.

🛳 Click here to check out the ferry from Boston to Provincetown!

🛳 Click here to checkout the ferry from Plymouth to Provincetown!

During the summer season, a free shuttle takes visitors from MacMillan Pier to Race Point and Herring Cove beaches, which are two of the most beautiful beaches on Cape Cod. And once you’re in Ptown (as the locals call it!), you can easily walk everywhere.

Top things to check out in Provincetown:

  • The Cape Cod National Seashore
  • Commercial Street
  • Lobster Pot restaurant
  • Pilgrim Monument
  • The real pilgrim landing site
  • Beautiful art galleries

→ Click here to read my full guide on even more awesome things to do in Provincetown!

2. Nantucket, MA

Best as a day trip from: Cape Cod

There's so much charm and whimsy at every turn on Nantucket Island. For this reason, Nantucket is one of the best day trips in New England.

One of the best day trips from Cape Cod is Nantucket Island, and I also think it’s one of the best places to see in all of New England . Filled with picturesque coastal scenery around every turn, I always describe Nantucket as both modern and stuck in time. Between the historic homes and cobblestone streets, breathtaking beaches and the most charming downtown boutiques, it’s the perfect way to spend a day when in the area.

→ Click here to read my guide on everything you need to know about a Nantucket day trip!

3. Martha’s Vineyard

Best as a day trip from: Cape Cod, Boston , New Bedford

This is Edgartown Lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard. If you're trying to figure out if Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard is better for a day trip, be sure to make a list of priorities to help you determine which island is better for you.

Martha’s Vineyard is the other Cape Cod island that’s popular for summer vacations and day trips, and for good reason! It’s a bit bigger than Nantucket, but the ferry ride over from Cape Cod is shorter. And with 6 gorgeous towns to explore, there’s no shortage of ways to have fun on a day trip.

While there is no direct ferry from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard, there is a day tour that you can book that will take care of all the transportation for you! This is a great way to plan a summer escape from the city without having to drive yourself.

🚐 Click here to book your Boston to Martha’s Vineyard tour!

Here are some other Martha’s Vineyard posts you may find helpful :

  • The Ultimate Guide To A Martha’s Vineyard Day Trip!
  • Is Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket Better For A Day Trip?
  • How To See Martha’s Vineyard Without A Car
  • Best Things To Do On Martha’s Vineyard

4. Block Island, RI

Best as a day trip from: Newport, Boston, Providence and surrounding Rhode Island areas

The shops in downtown Block Island are one of the best things to see on the island during a day trip.

As much as I love Cape Cod and the Islands, I think Block Island is such a special place and deserves more hype. This little island sits off the coast of Point Judith, RI, and is a short 30-60 minute ferry from there, making this a very easy day trip from the Ocean State!

And one of the amazing things about this little island is that all the beaches are completely free for all visitors, which is a rare thing in New England. In addition to that, there are some really wonderful restaurants, a cute downtown and some gorgeous sites to see.

→ Click here to read my full guide on taking a Block Island day trip!

5. Newport, RI

Best as a day trip from: Boston, Providence and surrounding areas

Castle Hill Lighthouse is one of the most beautiful places to visit on a Newport, RI day trip.

Nicknamed The City By The Sea, Newport feels more like a charming coastal town than a vibrant city. Packed with history, stunning Gilded Age mansions, character, beautiful coastline views, beaches, and an exciting culinary scene, there are so many fun things to do there that make for a perfect day trip in New England.

The biggest tip I have for you about Newport in the summer is that it can get busy, which means parking can sometimes be challenging. I highly recommend that you park and leave your car for the entire day, rather than trying to drive everywhere. Newport is pretty walkable, but a great option is taking a trolley tour so you can see the major sites in a short amount of time.

This particular tour also includes admission to The Breakers Mansion, which is one of the top things to see in Newport: → Click here to check out the trolley & Breakers Mansion tour in Newport

Newport also offers amazing tours out on the water! A great way to end your day trip is with a sunset cruise, and this is an awesome one to consider: → Click here to check out this sunset cruise in Newport!

→ Click here to read my full guide on a Newport day trip!

6. Westerly, RI

Best as a day trip from: Newport, Boston, Providence and surrounding areas

Westerly, RI is one of the best day trips in New England in the summer because of the beautiful beaches.

Westerly is one of the best beach towns in Rhode Island for a summer vacation or day trip! With miles of gorgeous shoreline to explore across several stunning beaches, this is the perfect place to spend a hot summer day.

And not only are the beaches absolutely beautiful, there’s also a charming downtown with awesome restaurants and shops to explore. Westerly is also home to the charming village of Watch Hill, which is where you’ll find a lighthouse, the iconic Ocean House resort, Napatree Point (pictured above!) and lots of beautiful scenery.

Here are some other great things to check out in Westerly:

  • Misquamicut State Beach – the best public beach in town!
  • Tapped Apple Cidery & Winery
  • Grey Sail Brewing
  • Sailing tour with Sail Trim Again

Tips for visiting Watch Hill in Westerly : Parking here in tough during high season (summer) and on weekends. The free parking spots are limited to 2 hours, so if you plan to dine anywhere, or spend time at the beaches, you’ll want to arrange for paid parking in one of the lots. Parking around the rest of Westerly isn’t as big of an issue.

→ Click here to read my full guide on the best things to do in Westerly, RI & Watch Hill!

7. Kennebunkport, ME

Colorful storefronts lining the streets of Dock Square in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Best as a day trip from: Portland, Massachusetts North Shore, Boston

Honestly, Kennebunkport is an amazing coastal destination year-round because they really know how to celebrate what’s special about each season. In fact, their Christmas events have put this cute little community on the map as one of the best Christmas towns in the U.S.! But the summer is definitely one of the most popular season to experience Kennebunkport.

This town really has it all – lovely stores and restaurants, a quaint downtown, New England charm, dramatic coastline and gorgeous beaches. Here are a few wonderful things to do on a Kennebunkport day trip:

  • Walk Parson’s Way for amazing coastal views (and see the famous Bush compound!)
  • Walk through the shops at Dock Square.
  • Visit the beaches (Gooch’s, Mother’s and Goose Rocks).
  • Get a lobster roll from The Clam Shack.
  • Take a lobster boat tour with Rugosa.

8. Ogunquit, ME

Sunrise on Marginal Way most definitely makes Ogunquit, Maine worth visiting.

Another charming town that’s perfect for enjoying a summer day in Maine is Ogunquit. This destination is home to one of the best beaches in Maine – Ogunquit Beach, which has 3 miles of beautiful, soft, sandy shoreline to enjoy.

In addition to the beach, you’ll find an incredibly charming town with great shops and restaurants, and one of my absolute favorite things to do in all of Maine – Marginal Way, which is a gorgeous pedestrian path along the coastline.

→ Click here to read my full guide on the best things to do in Ogunquit!

9. Boothbay Harbor, ME

Best as a day trip from: Portland and surrounding areas.

Be sure to take in views of the harbor when walking the footbridge in Boothbay Harbor. Since the town is so small, it makes for a wonderful day trip in New England.

Located between Portland and Acadia National Park, you’ll find the adorable town of Boothbay Harbor. While this destination is great during spring, summer and fall, summer is one of the best times to visit because all the seasonal restaurants and boat tours will be open, allowing you to get the full experience during your trip.

One of the reasons I love Boothbay Harbor so much is because of all the amazing options available for boat tours. Boats here go a bit further north than tours that depart from Portland, so you’ll get to see some more remote parts of the coastline, lighthouses and incredible wildlife. They even offer tours to see a puffin colony!

One of the coolest tours to take during a day trip is the Seals, Lighthouses & Lobster Trap tour , which offers so many great things to see in just 1.5 hours. During the cruise, you’re also likely to spot some seals in the water, and watch a real lobster trap haul.

→ Click here to check rates & availability for the Seals, Lighthouses & Lobster Trap Tour

Psst! I have a detailed guide on the best things to do in Boothbay Harbor , if you need more ideas for your day trip 😉

10. Lubec, ME

Best as a day trip from: Bar Harbor, Bangor

Lubec, Maine is absolutely worth visiting for a day trip in New England.

Okay, so Lubec is a bit more challenging as a day trip because it’s so remote, and pretty close to the Canadian border, but I wanted to include it on this list for anyone looking for an amazing day trip option that’s a bit of a hidden gem.

Lubec offers absolutely stunning opportunities for hiking and coastline views, and is also home to the famous red and white striped lighthouse, West Quoddy Light. I also love that it’s a quaint and quiet little fishing village that not many people visit. The actual village itself doesn’t have a ton to do, but I think the landscapes and hiking here are more than worth the effort to visit.

A few things that are a must for a day trip:

  • Explore West Quoddy State Park to see the lighthouse and do some of the walking trails.
  • Hike the Boot Head Preserve trail.
  • Taste the local beer at Lubec Brewing Company.
  • Take a boat tour to Old Sow Whirlpool.

→ Click here to read my full guide on even more things to do in Lubec!

11. Mystic, CT

Best as a day trip from: Boston, Newport, Providence

Downtown Mystic is one of the best things to see in this charming coastal town.

One of the most charming towns along the Connecticut coast is Mystic, made famous, of course, by the movie Mystic Pizza . Mystic makes for a wonderful day trip in the area because it’s small and walkable, offers boat tours along the river and is close to the Connecticut Wine Trail, which is incredibly fun and scenic!

One of the top things to do in Mystic is the Mystic Seaport Museum , which is a highly interactive museum that’s built to replicate a historic New England ship yard and town. You can climb aboard historic tall ships and admire the views of the river while learning about its incredible history. This is actually a really fun way to spend a few hours in Mystic (and I’m not usually a museum person!).

→ Click here to get your ticket to the Mystic Seaport Museum

Psst! I have an entire guide on the best things to do in Mystic, CT if you’re looking for more ideas 😉

12. Manchester, VT

Best as a day trip from: The Berkshires, Northwestern Massachusetts, surrounding areas in Vermont

Downtown Manchester, VT. This is one of the best summer day trips in New England because of the fun opportunities to go tubing in the river!

While Vermont is known as a top fall and winter destination in New England, I especially love to visit Manchester in the summer. Located in southern Vermont, this cute little town is home to some really fun ways to cool down on hot summer days, including swimming in a rock quarry and floating down a river in an inner tube.

The Dorset Marble Quarry is just a few minutes from downtown Manchester, and is a really cool and unique place to go for a swim. And with Vermont River Runners , you can rent an inner tube and float down the Battenkill River. They’ll even pick you up at the end do you don’t have to worry about getting back to your car!

Once you’re done splashing in the water, you can also explore the cute little downtown, which has some lovely shops and eateries, and maybe even visit Hildene , which is a former Lincoln family home, and boasts stunning garden displays and mountain views.

13. Shelburne Falls, MA

The Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls is such a beautiful and unique place to visit.

This small little town nestled in The Berkshires has been made famous by its No. 1 attraction – the Bridge of Flowers. And honestly? It’s worth the type.

Once an old trolley bridge that became obsolete is now a beautiful and cheerful display of colorful flowers from spring to fall. But in the summer, you’ll find the most blooms to enjoy during your visit.

Shelbune Falls also has a Trolley Museum, brewery and one of the oldest bowling alleys in the country, so you’ll definitely be able to fill your day trip with cool things to do.

14. Gloucester, MA

Best as a day trip from: Boston, Portland, Massachusetts North Shore, Plymouth

Eastern Point Lighthouse is one of the best things to do in Gloucester when visiting Cape Ann, MA.

Gloucester is another destination that’s really great to visit in spring, summer and fall, but since it’s home to one of the best beaches along the North Shore, it makes for an especially wonderful day trip in New England in the summer months.

Wingaersheek Beach is a beautiful spot for swimming, and makes for an awesome escape from city life in Boston and Portland. You can easily spend your entire day just at the beach, as it has a snack shack, and provides a beautiful sunset.

Gloucester is also one of the best locations in the Northeast for whale watching! Tours from Gloucester cruise to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, which is regarded as the best spot in New England for spotting wildlife.

→ Click here to book your whale watch in Gloucester!

Gloucester is also home to a beautiful lighthouse, wonderful downtown with shops and amazing restaurants, and a waterfront park to explore.

Best New England Day Trips In The Fall

15. bar harbor/acadia national park.

Best as a day trip from: Portland, Bangor

Sunset at Cadillac Mountain's summit, which is a great way to end your day trip to Acadia National Park.

While Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor can be challenging to do as a day trip because of their location, it’s absolutely worth the effort! Acadia National Park, especially, is one of the best things to see in all of New England, so even a day spent here is better than not seeing it at all. And during the fall season, you’ll experience better temperatures for hiking, as well as stunning fall foliage.

But honestly, spring and summer are equally as great, so it’s really personal preference on when you plan your day trip!

Psst! I have a full Acadia National Park itinerary , which includes a bonus day trip itinerary option, and a guide on the best time to visit Acadia National Park , which you may find helpful 😉

16. Springfield, MA For The Big E Fair

Best as a day trip from: Boston, Providence, Newport, Mystic

The Big E is the biggest and most exciting fair in the region, making this one of the most fun day trips in New England in the fall season.

One of the best days trips to take to celebrate the end of summer and beginning of fall is Springfield, so you can attend The Big E, which is the biggest fair in New England!

All 6 of the New England states take part in this fair, and between the awesome fair and regional foods, rides, shopping, exhibitions, live performances and so much more, it really is the quintessential fair experience. Many people come from all over the region to attend, so you know it must be good.

17. Salem, MA

Best as a day trip from: Boston, Massachusetts North & South Shore, Providence, Plymouth

Salem, MA is one of the best day trips in the area in the fall season, especially in October for all their Halloween events.

Salem is regarded as one of the top Halloween destinations in the entire world, so it rarely needs an introduction. But I can honestly say that it really is such a fun place to experience during the month of October. And because it’s smaller than most people realize, it’s actually very easy to explore in a day.

Since Salem is about all things spooky, I highly suggest getting into the spirit and doing a spooky tour of some sort. There are so many tours offered in Salem that talk about everything from the fascinating history, to Hocus Pocus filing locations to all the very creepy ghost sightings.

A great tour that’s perfect for most people is this History & Hauntings Tour, which talks about the history with a few spooky facts thrown in for good measure : → Click here to book the History & Hauntings Tour in Salem!

Psst! I have some helpful guides including planning the perfect Salem, MA day trip , and the best time to visit Salem if you need more information 😉

18. Plymouth, MA

A view of Pilgrim Memorial Park from above in Plymouth, MA.

Best as a day trip from: Cape Cod, Boston, Massachusetts South & North Shore, Providence, Newport

Plymouth is one of the oldest towns in the entire U.S., so of course, it’s absolutely worth a day trip if in the area! And while it’s known for its history, it’s also home to some beautiful parks and a cute downtown.

The reason I love Plymouth for a day trip in the fall is because there’s something about this area that reminds me so much of “back to school,” and it also does a fantastic job celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, of course! It’s also one of the last parts of New England to hit peak fall foliage, so if you’re looking for a foliage destination in early November, Plymouth is perfect for that timeframe!

However, Plymouth is, of course, wonderful year-round, too 😊

The top attraction in Plymouth is the Plimoth Patuxet Museum, which immerses visitors into the life of the early settlers. You can even climb aboard the Mayflower II, which is a working replica of the original Mayflower! → Click here to get your tickets to the Plimoth Patuxet Museums!

In addition to the museums, some other great things to check out in Plymouth are:

  • Mirbeau Spa
  • The shops and eateries downtown
  • Brewster Gardens
  • Pilgrim Memorial State Park
  • Plymouth Bay Winery
  • Plymouth Long Beach

Psst! I have an entire post on visiting Plymouth, MA , if you need more ideas for your day trip!

19. Marblehead, MA

Castle Hill Rock beach is beautiful, even in November, and is one of the best things to do in Marblehead, MA.

Along the Massachusetts North Shore is the beautiful town of Marblehead, which is really great to visit in both summer and fall. But fall is an especially beautiful time to visit because of the stunning foliage displays, of course.

While walking around to enjoy the foliage, you’ll also want to be sure to visit the charming shops in the historic district, enjoy the coastal views from Castle Rock Park, take a walk on Devereux Beach and admire the gorgeous, historic New England homes.

→ Click here to read my full guide on the best things to do in Marblehead!

20. Newburyport, MA

Best as a day trip from: Boston, Portland, Massachusetts North & South Shore

Newburyport, MA's waterfront park is one of the best things to do when visiting for the day.

Newburyport is another destination that’s truly wonderful year-round, but I especially love it in the fall because of all the fall color. This is also one of my top places to visit for shopping, and even Boston Magazine named Tannery Marketplace in Newburyport one of the best places for shopping on the North Shore.

Newburyport is also pretty small, and the downtown area is very walkable, making this a perfect day trip option. It’s also home to Plum Island, which has beautiful beaches, as well as the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, which has gorgeous nature trails to explore.

Here are a few awesome things to do on a Newburyport day trip:

  • Stroll along the waterfront park.
  • Explore all the amazing shops in Market Square and Tannery Marketplace.
  • Visit Maudslay State Park.
  • Drive to Plum Island to see the beaches, and hit the scenic trails in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

→ Click here to read my full guide on visiting Newburyport!

21. The Berkshires

Best as a day trip from: Northwestern Massachusetts, surrounding Vermont areas

The Berkshires are an especially beautiful region in the fall season for the perfect autumn day trip in New England.

During the fall season, The Berkshires puts on a beautiful foliage display, and this is one of the most cozy places to be this time of the year. Between all the amazing hiking opportunities, quaint towns and gorgeous mountain landscapes, it also makes for a fun and adventurous day trip in Massachusetts.

The Berkshires is actually made up of 31 towns and 2 cities, so it’s a pretty big area to tackle in a day trip, but that just means you have a lot of exciting activities to choose from. Here are a few awesome things to consider for a fall day trip to The Berkshires:

  • Go seasonal beer and hard cider tasting (there are tons of options!).
  • Admire the foliage during a ziplining tour with Berkshire East Mountain Resort.
  • Drive or hike to the summit of Mount Greylock for amazing fall foliage views.
  • Pick apples, hike and sample the local wine at Hilltop Orchards.

22. Woodstock, VT

Best as a day trip from: Surrounding Vermont areas , White Mountains

Middle covered bridge in Woodstock, VT is one of the best sites to see when visiting.

One of the top fall foliage destinations in the entire U.S. is Vermont, and Woodstock is one of the most charming and picturesque towns to experience. In Woodstock, not only will you get the enjoy the foliage that Vermont is famous, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a Hallmark movie set when you arrive to the cute little town.

Woodstock’s village is about as perfect as can be with beautiful boutiques and quaint restaurants. In the center of town, there’s even a covered bridge!

But just outside of the village, you’ll find Billings Farm & Museum, which is regarded as one of the best interactive agricultural museums in the country. You can also visit Sugarbush Farms to sample their own maple syrups and cheeses, and enjoy stunning mountain views dripping in fall color.

→ Click here to read my full guide on the best things to do in Woodstock!

23. Burlington, VT

Another wonderful day trip in Vermont in the fall season is Burlington. As the largest city in the state, it has a lot to offer including the beautiful Lake Champlain, amazing restaurants, art galleries, breweries and so much more.

In fact, one of the most fun things to do in Burlington on a day trip is dive into the local brewing scene with a tour!

Vermont produces some of the top beers in the country, and this tour is led by a local expert that gives you all the insider tips, and allows you to sample up to 12 different beers. This time of the year, there are likely to be seasonal beers available, too. → Click here to book your brewery tour in Burlington!

You’ll also want to be sure to walk the waterfront path along Lake Champlain for beautiful fall foliage views, and hit up Church Street Marketplace to enjoy the local shops.

24. Littleton, NH

Best as a day trip from: Vermont, surrounding New Hampshire areas

One of the best things to do in Littleton, NH is take in the views of the covered bridge.

One of my personal favorite towns in the White Mountains region of New Hampshire is Littleton. Not only has it been named of the best Main Streets in the entire country, it’s home to a charming little community with awesome shops, restaurants, a brewery, and the world’s largest candy counter (it’s true!).

And since it’s only about 20 minutes from some of the top fall foliage sites in Franconia Notch State Park (like Flume Gorge and Echo Lake), this is the perfect day trip to take while exploring the area.

→ Click here to read my full guide on all the best things to do in Littleton .

25. Montpelier, VT

Montpelier, VT is especially charming in the fall season with all the beautiful foliage color.

Montpelier is Vermont’s capital, and I think it’s a very underrated destination in the area. The cool thing about Montpelier is that it’s a city that feels like both a city and a quaint town at the same time, so exploring for the day is very easy to do. And during the fall season, there are a lot of fun seasonal activities you can enjoy.

Here are a few things you should look into for a Montpelier day trip in the fall:

  • The annual Enchanted Forest Celebration in October.
  • Visit Peck Farm Orchard to pick apples, get some cider donuts and sample their hard cider.
  • Stroll through town to visit the boutiques and eateries.
  • Head to Hubbard Park to enjoy the fall foliage.
  • Drive to nearby Groton State Forest to tackle some fall foliage hikes.

26. Litchfield Hill, CT

Best as a day trip from: Mystic, The Berkshires, New Haven, Hartford

Fun fact: Amy Sherman Palladino based Stars Hollow on a few towns in the Litchfield Hills area of Connecticut, so this is one of the best New England day trips for Gilmore Girls fans. It’s said that Washington Depot was her main inspiration, but many have claimed that New Milford’s town green feels most like a Stars Hollow set.

But even if you know nothing about Gilmore Girls , this is an incredibly stunning area to visit for a day trip, especially in the fall. You’ll find covered bridges, scenic drives, cozy restaurants, quaint towns and state parks that will be ablaze with foliage color this time of the year. And since all the small towns are pretty close to one another, you can easily see most of them in one day trip.

The towns in Litchfield county also have tons of fun fall festivals and events that take place through September and October, and those are worth checking out.

Here are some awesome ideas for the perfect fall day trip to the Litchfield Hills:

  • Explore the charming town of Kent, including Bull’s Covered Bridge and Kent Falls State Park.
  • Drive the scenic Route 7 to New Milford to enjoy the town green, and take in stunning foliage views from Lovers Leap State Park.
  • Enjoy the picturesque town of Washington Depot, and sample the local wines at Hopkins Vineyard.
  • Drive to Litchfield and enjoy getting lost in the Bunnell Farm corn maze, and explore the cute town.

Best New England Day Trips In The Winter

27. stowe, vt.

The Stowe Winter Carnival is one of the most fun things to do in the area in the winter.

Best as a day trip from: Surrounding Vermont areas, White Mountains

Stowe is hard to beat as a charming, small town winter day trip in Vermont. It’s also one of the best places in Vermont in the fall season, but I decided to add it to the winter section because it has a little something extra in the winter that just feels magical.

In January, you can visit during their winter carnival to see professional ice sculptors in action. And you can also plan a visit to the Spruce Peak Lodge resort to skate at their scenic ice rink, and enjoy lunch at one of their restaurants.

And, of course, you can’t talk about Stowe without mentioning the ski resort, which is continually voted as one of the best in the region. If you love to hit the slopes in the winter, this is one of the best day trips you can take in New England!

→ Click here to read my full guide on all the best things to do in Stowe!

28. Camden, ME

Best as a day trip from: Portland, Bar Harbor, surrounding areas in Maine

Streets in downtown Camden, Maine during a snow storm. This is a wonderful New England day trip to take in the winter season!

Camden is honestly awesome year-round, especially in the summer for windjammer cruises around the harbor, and in the fall season for colorful foliage. But in winter, it’s home to one of the most exciting winter parks in Maine – the Camden Snow Bowl.

The Camden Snow Bowl offers ski trails, a snow tubing park, and even a very fun toboggan chute. In February, the famous toboggan chute is actually the location of the U.S. Toboggan Championships. But if you visit outside of the competition weekend, visitors are able to fly down the chute during their visit (which I highly recommend).

Camden is also often named one of Maine’s most beautiful towns, so during your day trip, you should also plan to visit the charming Main Street downtown, which is home to cute shops and restaurants.

29. Lincoln, NH

Best as a day trip from: Surrounding areas in the White Mountains and Vermont, Portsmouth

If you’re nearby Lincoln, NH in the winter season, you’ll want to consider a day trip to see the famous Ice Castles, which only puts on a few displays throughout the U.S. Technically located in South Woodstock (which is only a few minutes from Lincoln), the Ice Castles display is really something special to see with your own eyes.

Not only is there a giant castle carved out of ice (that changes each year!), there are also often special features like ice slides, sleigh rides, tunnels, tubing and more.

And because there are so many other winter activities in Lincoln like skiing and scenic gondola rides at Loon Mountain, ice skating at RiverWalk resort, sleigh rides at Franconia Notch stables, there are tons of ways to fill up your day trip itinerary.

→ Click here to read my guide on all the best things to do in Lincoln!

30. Jackson, NH

A covered bridge at the cross-country ski trail system in Jackson, New Hampshire in the winter season.

Jackson is another amazing winter destination for a day trip in the White Mountains region of New Hampshire. And since it’s only just an over an hour from Lincoln, you could easily combine the two for a winter wonderland day of fun.

One of the best things to do in the winter is actually drive from Lincoln (the previous suggestion!) to Jackson for a scenic winter drive. You have two options for this, both of which are beautiful: The Kancamagus Highway, and the drive through Crawford Notch State Park (along Route 302). Both will take about the same amount of time, so it’s really personal preference.

Once you arrive in Jackson, there are tons of downhill, cross-country ski and snowshoe trails to explore.

Another wonderful winter activity in Jackson is Nestlenook Farms, which has one of the most beautiful outdoor ice skating rinks, and they also offer sleigh rides along lantern-lit trails, as well as fire pits to warm up next to.

31. Portsmouth, NH

Best as a day trip from: White Mountains, Boston, Providence, Newport, Massachusetts North & South Shore , Portland and surrounding areas

An aerial view of the Strawbery Banke Museum and Puddle Dock Pond's ice skating rink in Portsmouth, NH, which is one of the most most winter day trips in New England to take.

Portsmouth is another destination in New England that feels like both a city and a quaint, charming town, and in the winter, it feels like the most perfect, cozy winter day trip adventure.

One of the top things to do in the city during the winter season is skate at the outdoor rink at Puddle Dock Pond, which is part of the Strawbery Banke Museum. The ice rink is backdropped by historic houses, and you can’t help but feel like you’re in a cute little New England village while you make your way around the ice.

After your skating adventure, you’ll want to walk through the beautiful historic side streets to Market Square, where you’ll find tons of beautiful stores and amazing restaurants for a cozy meal. One of the coolest places to eat in Portsmouth is the Book & Bar, which is, as you probably guessed, a bookstore, bar and cafe all in one.

Pro Tip : To stay warm while you explore, grab a hot chocolate from Elephantine Bakery before you begin your stroll around Market Square.

32. Boston, MA

Best as a day trip from: Providence, Portland, Cape Cod, Plymouth, Massachusetts North & South Shore, Newport

Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood is one of the best places to stroll in the city, and also makes for one of the best New England winter getaways and day trips.

Boston is a wonderful city to visit year-round, but I actually think winter is one of the best seasons to explore because it’s far less crowded. Sure, the winter weather isn’t exactly idea, but if you get lucky enough to experience a fresh snowfall, it’s simply so beautiful to see the cobblestone streets covered in a dusting of snow.

Plus, because Boston has so many wonderful things to do indoors, as well as a few fun outdoor activities, it’s hard to beat for a city winter escape.

One of the best ways to get around Boston any time of the year is by trolley. This allows you to park your car for the day and have someone else take you to the best locations around the city. One option is the hop on/hop off pass, which is perfect for day-trippers. → Click here to book your Boston trolley passes!

And is it just me, or if your appetite bigger in the winter? I especially love food tours in the colder months for this reason, and Boston is an amazing destination to dive deep into the culinary world.

There are some awesome tours throughout the city to introduce you to the best foods in Boston, and you can click the link below to read my picks for the best ones . → Click here to check out my round-up of the best Boston food tours!

And for outdoor fun in the winter on your day trip, you’ll want to head to Frog Pond in Boston Common for ice skating , which is one of the best things to do in Massachusetts in the winter . This is especially fun at night when the rink is surrounded by twinkle lights, and you can see the city landscape light up as you make your way around the ice. You’ll also want to grab a cup of hot chocolate from L.A. Burdick to savor while you walk around to explore.

For indoor activities, you can visit the New England Aquarium, do some shopping at Copley Place, get tickets to a show, and make reservations for a fun dinner out before leaving (I’m especially fond of the Italian restaurants in the North End, but there are tons of places to choose from all over the city!).

33. Providence, RI

Best as a day trip from: Boston, Newport, Cape Cod, Plymouth

The ice rink in Providence is one of the most fun things to do in the winter season!

Providence is the capital of Rhode Island, and is a wonderful day trip to take in the winter season (and year-round, too!)! Not only will you get to enjoy everything the city has to offer in terms of great food, culture, theater, and historic sites, there are also some very fun ways to enjoy the winter season in Providence.

To enjoy the brisk winter weather, you’ll want to head to the BankNewport City Center Rink in downtown Providence. Here, you can enjoy ice skating and … ice bumper cars? Yes, you read that right! This rink is also home to this unique and fun winter activity that’s sure to make you feel like a kid again.

34. Killington, VT

Best as a day trip from: White Mountains, surrounding areas in Vermont

Killington is one of the best ski resorts in Vermont, which makes for the perfect winter day trip.

One of the best places in Vermont for skiing and outdoor winter fun is Killington Ski Resort, so this is the perfect day trip option for anyone looking to spend all day outdoors playing in the snow.

At Killington, you’ll find a large network of downhill ski trails, as well as a really fun snow tubing park, a roller coaster, snowmobile tours, snowshoe trails and even a spa (which is the perfect way to end your day trip after playing outside all day!).

35. Portland, ME

Best as a day trip from: Boston, Massachusetts North & South Shore, surrounding areas in Maine

Portland Head Light is one of the best things to do in Portland, Maine, even in the winter season!

Finally, let’s talk about Portland, one of the coolest destinations in Maine in the winter season. While Portland is also wonderful year-round, I especially enjoy it in the winter for the same reasons I like Boston in the winter – fewer crowds, and a bigger appetite to eat all the food 🙂

Portland is another incredible foodie destination in New England, and you’ll definitely want to consider a culinary tour during your day trip.

One of the best foodie tours in the city is this Old Port culinary walking tour, which takes you to some of the best spots in the most beautiful and historic part of the city! Click here to book your Old Port Culinary Tour in Portland!

Other posts on Portland to help you plan your trip:

  • Best Things To Do In Portland In The Winter
  • Best Breweries In Portland, Maine
  • Best Day Trips From Portland, Maine

Best New England Day Trips In New England For Families

Pretty much every destination on this list makes for a wonderful day trip with the kids, but here are my picks for places that are especially perfect day trips in New England for families. I’ve included a few kid-friendly suggestions for each destination to plan the perfect itinerary.

→ Boston, MA : New England Aquarium, Boston Children’s Museum, Boston Museum of Science, Legoland Discovery Center, boat ride at the Public Gardens, The Lawn On D.

→ Mystic, CT: Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport Museum to climb aboard tall ships, B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill (fall season), sail boat tours, watch the Bascule Bridge in action.

→ Woodstock, VT : Billings Farm & Museum is one of the top attractions for families in Vermont, Silver Lakes State Park, ice cream at Woodstock Scoops, horse-drawn carriage rides.

→ Providence, RI: Roger Williams Park Zoo, WaterFire events, Providence Children’s Museum, ice skating (winter), Water Place Park.

→ Block Island : 1661 Farm and Gardens, The Ice Cream Place, free beaches, and kids will love the ferry ride to get there!

The Ice Cream Place on Block Island has the best ice cream and homemade waffle cones.

Best New England Day Trips For Couples

As I’m sure you can imagine, all of the destinations from this list are amazing day trips for couples, but here are my picks that are especially perfect for a romantic day together:

→ Kennebunkport : This is a romantic destination year-round, and is especially perfect at Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or for a summer day trip.

→ Nantucket : The island is one of the most picturesque places in the U.S., and the beaches are absolutely stunning and offer incredible sunsets for a romantic stroll.

→ Stowe : Perfect for a fall or winter day trip, Stowe is such a quintessential New England town that’s cozy and romantic.

→ Litchfield, CT : Spend your day admiring fall foliage, covered bridges, eating at cozy restaurants and walking around quaint villages while holding hands.

You may also enjoy reading:

  • Best Boston Hotels Near The Aquarium
  • Most Incredible New England Resorts & Spas
  • Summer In New England: Best Places To Go & Things To Do!
  • Lovely Things To Do In New England In The Spring
  • Exciting Things To Do In New England In The Fall
  • Awesome New England Winter Getaways (Even For Non-Skiers!)
  • 60+ Things To Do In Vermont
  • The Most Incredible New England Lighthouses To Visit
  • Summer In Connecticut: The Best Things To Do!
  • The Perfect New England Fall Road Trip Itinerary
  • Best Time To Visit New England
  • My Unforgettable Boston To Bar Harbor, Maine Road Trip Itinerary

That’s A Wrap On The Best New England Day Trips

And there you have it! My picks for the best day trips in New England. So, where are you planning to go first? Maybe hit the beaches in Provincetown? Wander the historic streets in Boston? Regardless of where you go, one thing’s for sure – it’s going to be a memorable day!

' data-src=

You might also enjoy

Dock Square in Kennebunkport during Christmas, which is one of the best holiday festivals in New England.

Subscribe To My Newsletter

  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Disclosure Policy

2024 Summer Weekend in Newport, Rhode Island | Travel Guide

Plan the perfect Newport, Rhode Island, summer weekend with our 2024 Newport Weekend Travel Guide.

By Kim Knox Beckius

Apr 30 2024


BEST HISTORIC SITE: The Breakers, Newport

Summer days in the city by the sea are a tonic you’ll wish you could bottle and drink up. Squeeze in as many of these can’t-go-wrong experiences as you can.

WATERFRONT HOTEL The Brenton Hotel, Newport

Like a ship perched at the edge of possibility, the Brenton sits at the gateway to Newport’s bustling wharves and historic neighborhoods, making it the ideal base for a car-free vacation. Rooms are generously sized, and the best look out at pleasure boats in the harbor. The dreamiest views, though, are reserved for everyone: Just head to the rooftop bar for a citrusy cocktail.

Plan Your Perfect Summer Adventure: Get The Free Ultimate New England Summer Guide!

HISTORIC HOTEL The Vanderbilt, Newport

Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt’s 1909 mansion, later Newport’s YMCA, has been a hotel since the ’90s, but it’s only been this fabulous and photogenic since a top-to-bottom renovation in 2022. Book a stay for access to indoor and courtyard pools, spa treatments, and experiences like a scrimshaw class or tea leaf reading. Or pop in for drinks and oysters—or a memorable meal—in settings that exude grandeur.

One thing you’ll notice on your first evening in town is there’s typically a breeze: This is America’s sailing capital. Didn’t pack an extra layer? Make a quick stop before dinner.

SHOP Matriarch, Newport

Whether it’s “Cabernet and Equal Pay” or “Hot Girls Eat Bread,” you might as well sport an attitude when you need to toss a crewneck sweater over your outfit. This flagship brick-and-mortar store from Overseasoned has a feminist bent, but there’s plenty here for anyone who likes to cook. Or who’s raising young girls to be Ruth Bader Ginsburg–level strong and ambitious.

As you walk north on Thames Street, other fun shops like the Black Dog General Store and Bite Me Bait will lure you in with sweatshirts and more. But don’t be late for your early dinner reservation.

WATERFRONT DINING The Mooring, Newport

These tables are so close to the water you’ll hear it splash against the docks as you’re sipping fruity drinks and passing the lobster-shrimp fritters. The Mooring’s 40-plus-year presence reflects Newport Restaurant Group’s focus on food and experience. You’ll taste it in the fresh, locally sourced fare from land and sea and feel it in the genuine service provided by team members, most of whom are employee-owners.

TOUR Ghosts of Newport, Newport

For after-dinner “boos,” step into the night on a spine-tingling tour with a theatrical, lantern-toting guide. On a 90-minute Olde Town Ghost Walk, you’ll tread through cemeteries, stroll the city’s creepiest street, and take your best shot at capturing a ghost image with your phone camera. The ghosts of Newport aren’t camera-shy, and their stories will stay with you long after your tour.

Wake early for a visit to the grandest of Newport’s mansions, which has been having a star turn in HBO’s The Gilded Age series, followed by a lunch at one of the city’s newest eateries.

HISTORIC SITE The Breakers, Newport

Self-guided audio tours, available in five languages, feature a variety of perspectives: You’ll hear from Vanderbilt family members and immigrant staff who kept this 70-room palace and its oceanfront grounds flawless. Want a deeper dive? Book the guided underground tour “Beneath The Breakers” to see how stuff worked.

PIZZA Mother Pizzeria, Newport

Opened in 2023, Mother slices a unique niche for itself with a sourdough crust (that’s the “mother”), quality toppings (the Notorious F.I.G., capped with figs and prosciutto, is a summer favorite), and a bar serving small-production Italian wines and craft cocktails. The bartenders here love a challenge—prompt them with an ingredient or two, and they’ll create a drink to match your personal tastes and whatever’s on your plate.

On a blue-sky summer afternoon, be sure to get out on the water. An island jaunt will whet your appetite for a stellar dinner.

LIGHTHOUSE Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport

Experienced paddlers can reach Rose Island in a kayak or canoe, but most travelers eager to collect a U.S. Lighthouse Society Passport stamp hop aboard the Jamestown Newport Ferry. Once ashore, there’s more than the 1870 light tower and museum to explore. Learn about the island’s military history, stretching back to 1780, on a tour of the Fort Hamilton barracks. After August 15, when bird-nesting season concludes, you can walk the island’s entire perimeter and trails that probe the interior refuge. A few hours here will convince you to return for an overnight stay.

FARM-TO-TABLE DINING Newport Vineyards, Middletown

A 2024 James Beard Award semifinalist for the Northeast’s best chef, Andy Teixeira is a food artisan who puts his hands in the dirt, makes everything from scratch, relishes the simplicity of early New England cooking methods, and imparts his passion to those working in his three kitchens. With even more fresh produce since Newport Vineyards added greenhouses and growing fields to the estate, his ever-shifting menus offer a true taste of Rhode Island’s bounty. Teixeira is at his pinnacle during summer’s annual Fire Dinner: cooked over open flames, served among the vines.

Before departing, check out the eclectic shops and dining spots along Broadway, a district locals dub “six blocks of awesome.”

BREAKFAST Humming Bird, Newport

On Saturdays and Sundays, Broadway’s destination for jerk chicken, red bean stew, and rasta pasta becomes the place to wake up your taste buds. Sip a honey-sweetened mango and passion fruit smoothie or pour coffee from your own pot while you wait for breakfast favorites like tropical pancakes, chicken and waffles, and egg-topped pork belly bowls. With every dish served on this island, Jamaican husband-and-wife team Dezna Bowen and Abraham Parkes honor their Caribbean homeland’s sunny disposition.

weekend trips new england

Kim Knox Beckius

Kim Knox Beckius is Yankee Magazine's Travel & Branded Content Editor. A longtime freelance writer/photographer and Yankee contributing editor based in Connecticut, she has explored every corner of the region while writing six books on travel in the Northeast and contributing updates to New England guidebooks published by Fodor's, Frommer's, and Michelin. For more than 20 years, Kim served as New England Travel Expert for TripSavvy (formerly She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and is frequently called on by the media to discuss New England travel and events. She is likely the only person who has hugged both Art Garfunkel and a baby moose.

  • Weather App
  • Interactive Radar
  • 7 Day Forecast
  • Hour by Hour
  • Current Temperatures
  • Closings & Delays
  • Report School or Business Closing
  • School administrators: Create a closings account
  • Watch Live News
  • Breaking Stream
  • The $pend $mart Stream
  • Law & Crime
  • Curiosity NOW
  • Share Your Photos and Videos
  • Karen Read Murder Trial
  • 25 Investigates
  • New England's Unsolved
  • Boston Bruins
  • Boston Celtics
  • Boston Red Sox
  • New England Patriots
  • Furever Friday
  • Boston 25 Gets Real
  • Steals and Deals
  • Submit a news tip
  • Advertise with Us
  • TV & Stream Schedule
  • Work at Boston 25 (Opens in new window)
  • Visitor Agreement
  • Privacy Policy
  • Around Town
  • Stuff the Bus

Karen Read murder trial

Live coverage

Cool weekend coming


Hopefully you enjoyed Thursday’s 60s and 70s. A wind shift to the northeast will cool conditions across the region through the weekend. The coast will be coolest with highs stuck in the 50s through the weekend. Town in central Massachusetts will reach the 60s. You won’t find 70s unless you head out to western Massachusetts.

Clouds will thin at times, especially Friday evening and Saturday. That partial sun will come with dry weather.

Sunday morning’s weather is currently dry. Systems can always speed up or slow down, so be sure to follow the forecast through the weekend. A front will approach from the west and spread rain across New England as the day progresses. Showers will probably develop by early afternoon in central MA and late afternoon in eastern MA. Rain will peak at night through early Monday morning as that front comes through with 0.25-0.5″ rainfall.

Monday afternoon will be dry and WARM! Highs in the mid 70s are expected Monday and Tuesday.

© 2019 Cox Media Group

Apps Download Button

Live video, updates: Testimony in Karen Read murder trial resumes after jurors view crime scene

Every Mass. city, town awarded money for upgrades. Here’s how much your community is getting

Every Mass. city, town awarded money for upgrades. Here’s how much your community is getting

Check your wallet! These rare $1 bills could be worth up to $150,000

Check your wallet! These rare $1 bills could be worth up to $150,000

More than 29,000 cards stolen in a credit card skimmer spree in the Northeast, including in Mass.

More than 29,000 cards stolen in a credit card skimmer spree in the Northeast, including in Mass.

Portion of Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge closed due to ‘multiple protest events’

Portion of Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge closed due to ‘multiple protest events’


  1. 16 Best Weekend Getaways in New England

    Salem, MA. #16 in Best Weekend Getaways in New England. About 20 miles northeast of Boston, this Massachusetts town is best known for the witch trials of the late 17th century, which you can learn ...

  2. 20 Best Weekend Getaways in New England

    Whether you're looking for a quick escape from the city or a romantic trip, here are 20 of the best weekend getaways in New England. Block Island, Rhode Island . wakr10/Getty Images.

  3. 25 Best Weekend Getaways in New England

    The breathtaking scenery includes clear mountain lakes, fast streams, rich wildlife, and diverse recreation opportunities such as biking, mountain climbing, fishing, hiking, hunting, picnicking, skiing, snowmobiling, and much more. 25 Best Weekend Getaways in New England: 1. Cape Cod National Seashore. 2.

  4. The Best Weekend Getaways in New England—For Fall Foliage in Vermont

    Whether you're based on the East Coast or traveling further, the best weekend getaways in New England promise a few things: easy access from major hubs in the region, serious small-town charm, and ...

  5. 12 Coastal Weekend Getaways in New England

    Block Island, RI. Located just 13 miles off Rhode Island's coast, Block Island packs a lot into its compact, 10-square-mile footprint — including 17 miles of beaches and two lighthouses. Much of Block Island's land is designated as protected, meaning that the many beautiful seaside views are nearly untouched.

  6. 18 Spectacular Weekend Getaways in New England

    Here are 18 weekend getaways in New England you're going to love! When the sun is out, New England becomes a treat for families, friends and anyone looking to kick back and relax. From world class beaches in Massachusetts to scenic drives along the coast, get ready for stunning views, lots of laughter and a family friendly trip that will blow ...

  7. 12 Top-Rated Weekend Getaways in New England

    Salem, Massachusetts. 11. Nantucket, Massachusetts. 12. Old Orchard Beach, Maine. 1. Boston, Massachusetts. George Washington Statue in Boston Public Garden. A weekend getaway to Boston is perfect for any time of year thanks to the city's abundance of attractions and things to do, both inside and outside.

  8. 95 Things to Do in New England: Bucket List Adventures (2024)

    Here is the ultimate travel guide for things to do in New England: 95 bucket list activities curated after exploring the region for over 20 years. ... Whether you're here for a quick weekend or planning an extensive New England road trip, this guide offers both a snapshot and an in-depth look at top sights, unique local cuisines, and year ...

  9. Top 10 Weekend Getaways in New England

    Narragansett, Rhode Island. Another great getaway spot in New England is Narragansett, Rhode Island, which is a really popular summer haven. The town is located on the southeastern shore of Rhode Island and is a perfect spot to relax and indulge in delicious local seafood. Beaches to visit are the Narragansett Beach, Scarborough State Beaches ...

  10. 5 best weekend getaways in New England

    5 weekend getaways in New England. From the Ben & Jerry's Factory to a car-free island, there are plenty of ways to escape the buzz of everyday life. New England is home to more expanses of natural beauty than you can visit in one trip, from Maine's Acadia National Park to The Berkshires in Massachusetts.

  11. Weekend Getaways in New England

    Weekend Getaways in New England Boston, Massachusetts. the boston skyline at night // photo: craig mackay. Experience the vibrant energy and rich history of Boston, MA, on your next weekend getaway. Wander the cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill. Head to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for a dose of architecture ...

  12. 8 Perfect New England Weekend Getaways

    The J&E Riggin's "Maine Lighthouses and Lobster Cruise" offers visitors what just may be the ultimate Maine experience. Photo Credit : Mark Fleming 8 Perfect New England Weekend Getaways Stowe, Vermont For Beer and Cocktail Lovers Now that famed microbrewery the Alchemist, which cans the beloved ultrahoppy Heady Topper, has moved from Waterbury to a larger facility here in Stowe, the ...

  13. 15 Weekend Getaways in New England

    1. Portland, Maine. At the top of the list of the best weekend getaways in New England has to be Portland, Maine. It's a fabulous place with tons to do and see. Check out the historical sites in Portland like the Tate House Museum. Visit the Portland Head Lighthouse and walk the coastal trail.

  14. The 20 Most Romantic Weekend Getaways in New England

    One of the most romantic and luxurious retreats in the world, Twin Farms is an all-inclusive Relais & Châteaux property set on 300 acres of bucolic woodlands in Barnard, Vermont. The 20 distinct ...

  15. 8 Best Weekend Getaways in New England

    The seaside pleasures of Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard aren't lost on anyone looking to escape the sweltering confines of the Northeast for a breezy summer getaway. But there's more to New England than the Grey Lady. We rounded up eight worthy weekend journeys to help you experience the region like a local, from literary jaunts to beachy idylls—and kept some lighthouses ...

  16. 25 Weekend Getaways in New England—Best New England Weekend Getaways

    Here Are the 25 Best Weekend Getaways in New England. Zoë Roscoe. Jan 16, 2020. New England is the perfect location for a weekend getaway, and for so many reasons. From soaking up the sun on ...

  17. 52 Best Weekend Trips and Getaways from Boston

    535 Lost Nation Rd., Craftsbury Common, Vermont, 802-586-7767, 5. Charlemont, Massachusetts. Two hours, 45 minutes by car. See the Forest for the Trees | Zipline tours got their ...

  18. 9 Best Weekend Getaways in New England to Visit in 2021

    Several former U.S. presidents, including Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, have been spotted here. Martha's Vineyard is a serene place to spend a weekend getaway in New England. 6. White Mountains, New Hampshire. The White Mountains region of New Hampshire is a top-notch New England getaway during all seasons.

  19. 14 Family Weekend Getaways in New England

    Not only are there so many great weekend getaways in New England for families, but there are also fabulous New England family resorts to stay at. Planning a family weekend getaway in New England? Here are the best weekend getaways in New England - with charming small towns and fun activities perfect for family travel.

  20. Weekend Getaway Packages

    Bed and Breakfast Package. A great way to relax, dine, shop and enjoy the charm of Cape Cod on the Atlantic Ocean. Package includes one night's accommodation and breakfast for two. Tax... Offer Valid: Jan 1, 2024 - Dec 31, 2024.

  21. The PERFECT New England Fall Road Trip Itinerary: 3, 5, 7, 10 & 12 Day

    3 Day New England Fall Road Trip Itinerary. 3 days in New England is the perfect long weekend getaway! With 3 days, I suggest you stay in one location, and add day trips. If you're flying into Boston, you can stay 1 night in Boston if needed, and then drive to Vermont or New Hampshire for 2 nights.

  22. 8 Inexpensive Weekend Getaways in New England This Spring

    New England weekend getaways in spring offer a tapestry of delights. The region bursts with vibrant flowers and blossoming trees, creating scenic landscapes for hiking and picnics. Coastal towns awaken from winter slumber, inviting leisurely strolls along quaint streets perfect for a weekend escape. Maple sugaring festivals add sweet flavors to ...

  23. 35 Fun Day Trips In New England To Take In 2024

    1. Provincetown, MA. Best as a day trip from: Boston, Plymouth, other towns on Cape Cod, Massachusetts North & South Shore. One of the most unique towns in the entire U.S. is Provincetown, and because it's small and easily walkable, it makes for a perfect day trip in New England. Provincetown is an especially easy day trip for those coming ...

  24. 2024 Summer Weekend in Newport, Rhode Island

    Plan the perfect Newport, Rhode Island, summer weekend with our 2024 Newport Weekend Travel Guide. By Kim Knox Beckius. Apr 30 2024. BEST HISTORIC SITE: The Breakers, Newport ... and Michelin. For more than 20 years, Kim served as New England Travel Expert for TripSavvy (formerly She is a member of the Society of American Travel ...

  25. Cisco Brewers launches a sweepstakes for a free trip to Nantucket

    Cisco Brewers, which was founded on Nantucket, hid 500 golden cans among its typically blue-canned Whale's Tale Pale Ale 12-packs across New England for a Golden Whale's Tale Sweepstakes ...

  26. Cool it now

    A wind shift to the northeast will mean a return of cooler air across the region. The coolest will be at the coast with highs stuck in the 50s through the weekend. Town in central New England and Massachusetts will reach the 60s. You won't find 70s until at least western Massachusetts and Connecticut into New York.