Best Places to Visit in New England: 10 Must-See Spots

a lighthouse along the cliffside in new england during sunset

Ready to make unforgettable memories?

Look no further than the best places to visit in New England. Our top 10 picks offer a captivating mix of history, nature, and pure New England charm.

Buckle up, and let’s embark on the ultimate travel journey together!

1. The Berkshires, Massachusetts

autumn in the berkshires massachusetts with colorful foliage

Imagine finding yourself surrounded by rolling hills and scenic farms, dotted with small towns exuding undeniable charm. Welcome to the Berkshires, a serene yet vibrant destination that captures the heart of New England’s beauty. While here, make sure to pay a visit to Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra – a real treat for music lovers.

Pro Travel Tip: Plan your visit during the summer for a chance to catch one of the captivating outdoor concerts at Tanglewood.

But the Berkshires aren’t just about scenic beauty and soothing symphonies. They’re also a haven for foodies and art enthusiasts. Dive into the local farm-to-table cuisine, and you’ll discover why Massachusetts takes pride in its culinary scene. And for the art buffs? A visit to The Clark Art Institute is a must – it’s a world-renowned art museum and a cornerstone of the local culture.

2. Acadia National Park, Maine

purple and pink sunset over acadia national park

Second on our list is Acadia National Park, a breathtaking gem nestled along Maine’s rugged coastline. With its dramatic cliffs, dense forests, and pristine beaches, Acadia is a paradise for nature lovers and adventurers alike. Hike up Cadillac Mountain – the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast – and witness a sunrise that will etch itself into your memories forever.

Pro Travel Tip: Remember to bring a camera to capture the stunning vistas, especially during the fall when the leaves turn vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold.

Acadia isn’t just about the vistas, though. It also offers a plethora of recreational activities. Whether you’re keen on hiking, cycling, bird watching, or rock climbing, Acadia National Park has you covered. And don’t forget to drive along the scenic Park Loop Road, where you might catch a glimpse of deer, foxes, or even moose.

3. White Mountains, New Hampshire

mount washington new hampshire

As we venture further into New England, the allure of the White Mountains becomes irresistible. A natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts, these majestic mountains offer activities year-round. From the thrilling trails of Mount Washington to the charm of the historic Mount Washington Cog Railway, you’ll find adventure at every turn.

Pro Travel Tip: Dress in layers and prepare for changing weather, especially if you’re hiking or skiing. The weather in the mountains can change quickly!

Aside from adrenaline-pumping activities, the White Mountains also offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility. Try camping under the stars or take a leisurely hike along one of the countless trails, each offering a unique view of this stunning landscape.

4. Newport, Rhode Island

sunset over sailboats Newport Rhode Island

From the mountains, we move to the seaside town of Newport, where the air is tinged with a salty breeze and the streets echo tales from the past. Known for its opulent Gilded Age mansions and rich maritime history, Newport feels like a step back in time. Walking along the famous Cliff Walk, you’ll have stunning views of the coastline on one side and magnificent mansions on the other.

Pro Travel Tip: Don’t miss out on visiting The Breakers, the grandest of Newport’s mansions, which offers a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the Vanderbilt family.

However, Newport isn’t all about historical grandeur. It’s also home to popular cultural events such as the Newport Jazz Festival and the International Boat Show. And if you’re a seafood aficionado, you’ll be thrilled by the variety of fresh seafood served in the local restaurants.

5. Mystic, Connecticut

mystic seaport with boats in connecticut new england

Mystic, Connecticut, is our next stop. This historic town is famous for the Mystic Seaport Museum, the nation’s leading maritime museum. But that’s not all. The Mystic Aquarium is a family favorite, home to thousands of species of marine life, including beluga whales and African penguins.

Pro Travel Tip: Combine your aquarium visit with a stroll through Olde Mistick Village, a recreation of an 18th-century New England village complete with unique shops and eateries.

Speaking of food, while you’re in Mystic, be sure to savor some of the best seafood New England has to offer. From local catches to inventive dishes, the food here is a culinary journey in itself.

6. Burlington, Vermont

church street marketplace at night in burlington vermont

Our next destination is Burlington, a vibrant city resting on the shores of Lake Champlain. Known for its bustling downtown and famous Church Street Marketplace, Burlington is a city that combines natural beauty with cultural vibrancy. Don’t miss the breathtaking views of the lake from Waterfront Park.

Pro Travel Tip: Don’t forget to try some of the local craft beers. Burlington has more breweries per capita than any other city in the U.S.

Burlington’s focus on farm-to-table dining means you’re guaranteed fresh, local flavors. And for the adventurers, the city is a gateway to a multitude of outdoor activities, from biking along the Lake Champlain Bikeway to skiing in the nearby Green Mountains.

7. Salem, Massachusetts

boats in the harbor in Salem Massachusetts

Next, we turn back the hands of time and step into the pages of history in Salem, Massachusetts. Known for the infamous Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s, the city offers a unique insight into a captivating yet somber period of American history.

Pro Travel Tip: Visit in October if you’re a fan of Halloween. Salem’s month-long ‘Haunted Happenings’ celebration offers parades, ghost tours, and much more.

While in Salem, be sure to explore the Salem Witch Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum, both offering fascinating perspectives on the city’s past. But Salem isn’t just about history – it also offers a lively food scene, beautiful waterfront views, and unique shopping experiences.

8. Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth seaport in New Hampshire

We continue our journey with a stop at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Nestled along the Piscataqua River, this historic seaport town offers coastal beauty and rich history. Spend a day exploring the Strawbery Banke Museum, a collection of historic buildings that provide a glimpse into 300 years of American history.

Pro Travel Tip: Portsmouth is renowned for its thriving culinary scene. Be sure to try out local specialties, like fresh seafood and craft beer.

Don’t miss a visit to Prescott Park, an urban green space boasting beautiful gardens and waterfront views. If you’re lucky, you might catch a performance during the annual Prescott Park Arts Festival.

9. Block Island, Rhode Island

cliffside block island rhode island

Leaving the mainland behind, we’re off to the enchanting Block Island. A tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle, this small island boasts stunning beaches, iconic lighthouses, and acres of conserved land, offering plenty of hiking and biking opportunities.

Pro Travel Tip: Don’t miss out on visiting the Southeast Lighthouse, one of the most scenic spots on the island, and be sure to take a stroll along the dramatic cliffs of Mohegan Bluffs.

If you’re a fan of bird watching, you’re in luck. Block Island is a renowned bird sanctuary, attracting bird watchers from all over the world. And after a day of exploring, there’s nothing better than relaxing with a seafood dinner as you watch the sunset over the harbor.

10. Bar Harbor, Maine

aerial view of Bar Harbor Maine

Our final stop is the quintessential New England town of Bar Harbor, Maine. Nestled beside the beautiful Acadia National Park, this charming town is known for its stunning coastal beauty, delectable local seafood, and laid-back lifestyle.

Pro Travel Tip: Plan a whale-watching tour for an unforgettable experience. The waters around Bar Harbor are rich with marine life, offering ample opportunities to spot these magnificent creatures.

Take a stroll through downtown Bar Harbor for unique shopping and dining experiences, or head to the nearby Acadia National Park for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing.

Conclusion

There you have it, the top 10 places to visit in New England! From the historic towns of Massachusetts and Rhode Island to the scenic parks of Maine and New Hampshire, this diverse region offers something for everyone.

Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking to relax and take in the picturesque scenery, New England awaits with its unique blend of experiences.

Don’t just take our word for it though. Pack your bags, plan your itinerary, and embark on an unforgettable journey to explore the best that New England has to offer. Safe travels!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit New England?

The best time to visit New England depends on what you want to see and do. For fall foliage, plan your visit in September and October. For winter sports, come in January and February. Spring and summer, from May to August, are great for enjoying the outdoors and coastal areas.

Are these places family-friendly?

Absolutely! Each location on our list offers activities suitable for all ages, from historical museums and cultural attractions to outdoor adventures. They provide great opportunities for families to connect, learn, and create lasting memories.

How should I prepare for the weather in New England?

New England’s weather varies greatly with the seasons. Winters can be very cold with snow, so pack warmly. Summers can be quite warm, especially in the cities, so bring light, breathable clothing. Always check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.

Is it easy to travel between these places?

Yes, these locations are relatively close to each other, and New England’s infrastructure makes it easy to travel between them. You can drive, take a bus, or even a train. However, it’s always a good idea to plan your itinerary in advance for a smoother travel experience.

What kind of accommodations can I find in New England?

New England offers a wide range of accommodations to fit every traveler’s preference and budget. From luxury resorts and historic inns to quaint bed-and-breakfasts and budget-friendly hostels, you’ll find plenty of options. Additionally, camping sites and vacation rentals are available for those seeking a home-away-from-home experience or closer proximity to nature.


If you enjoyed learning about the best places to visit in New England, you may also be interested in exploring more of what the United States has to offer. Check out the best places to visit in the US along with our other guides for more travel inspiration.

About Ronaldo Stewart

Wantigo was born out of a deep passion for exploring new places and experiencing different cultures. With a keen sense of adventure and an insatiable thirst for knowledge, I’ve traveled far and wide, immersing myself in the beauty and wonder of the world.

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