22 BEST Places to Visit in New England!

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

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

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

New England is perfect for a road trip as well: in fact, it makes for some of the best East Coast road trips.

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

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

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

Read on to learn more!

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

Best Places to Visit in New England: Massachusetts


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

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

Sankaty Lighthouse in Nantucket, Massachusetts

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

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

Brant Point Lighthouse is an easy walk from the ferry.

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

Great Point Lighthouse is accessible only by Jeep.

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

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

Suggested by Elena from The Carry-On Chronicles


Boston is a must-visit in New England, and one of the top East Coast getaways. Its architecture, food, and history are all common reasons for adding it to your itinerary. 

Acorn Street is a popular photo spot in Boston, Massachusetts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Gemma from Two Scots Abroad

The Best US Cities for Weekend Trips!

Cape Cod

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

Sunset at Cape Cod National Seashore in massachusetts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Jackie from Enjoy Travel Life


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

Wood End Lighthouse in Provincetown MA

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Derek from Robe Trotting

The Most Incredible Weekend Getaways on the East Coast


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

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

Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth Massachusetts

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Melissa from The Navigation Junkie

The Berkshires

For unbeatable outdoor recreation in an idyllic setting, you can’t beat the Berkshires in western Massachusetts.

With many picturesque towns dotting the postcard-worthy New England countryside, the Berkshires are a must-visit New England destination in every season.

Church in Williamstown, Massachusetts
Traditional New England church in Williamstown

From hiking to fishing, camping, and water activities, outdoor enthusiasts will find a veritable paradise in the Berkshires. Hike to the highest point in Massachusetts, the summit of Mt. Greylock!

For avid hikers, the iconic Appalachian Trail winds its way through the region, but there are short and easy trails to enjoy here as well.

In the winter, the Berkshires offer a plethora of winter sports, from skiing and snowboarding to cross-country and snowshoeing.

Fishing in the many lakes, ponds, and streams in the Berkshires, camping, and horseback riding are popular in the summer and fall. The Berkshires offer some of the most spectacular fall foliage in the US.

Bash Bish falls in the Berkshires, MA
Bash Bish Falls

But the Berkshires are not just about natural beauty and outdoor pursuits.

Here you’ll also find many small towns and hamlets, with museums, historic sites, gardens, and opportunities to enjoy the performing arts and wellness retreats.

The little hamlet of Lenox features lots of gorgeous New England architecture. Open-air Tanglewood, in Lenox, is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

In Stockbridge, you can visit the Norman Rockwell Museum to view a large collection of his original art. There are many house museums to visit as well. The Berkshire Botanical Garden makes for a great stroll during the warmer months of the year.

Photograph the many church steeples and spires in North Adams. Enjoy the beautiful setting of Williamstown, a uintessential New England college town.

Gorge on fabulous food in Great Barrington, the largest town in the Southern Berkshires.

No matter when you choose to visit the Berkshires, you are guaranteed to experience quintessential New England beauty.

And whether you pick a single town for your holiday, or you plan a road trip through the Berkshires, you can’t go wrong!

Suggested by us

Offbeat Western Massachusetts

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

Garden in Western Massachusetts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Text and photo by Vicky from Buddy the Traveling Monkey

Best Places to Visit in New England: Vermont


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

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

Stowe Vermont

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Karen from Outdoor Adventure Sampler


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

Church Street Marketplace in Burlington Vermont

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Emilie from Love Life Abroad


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

Montpelier, Vermont

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Jumana from Planet Hopper Girl

Best Places to Visit in New England: Maine


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

Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, Maine

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Tegan and Alex from Why Not Walk Travel Guides

Acadia National Park

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

View from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia NP, Maine

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Victoria from Guide Your Travel


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

Picturesque harbor in Kennebunkport, Maine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Megan from Megan Starr

Best Places to Visit in New England: Rhode Island


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

The Breakers in Newport Rhode Island

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

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

The mansions of Newport are famous for their history and architecture. Some of the mansions were built in the 1850s! Taking a trolley tour is a great way to view the Gilded Age mansions.

In the evening, walk around Bannister’s and Bowen’s Wharf for a variety of food and shopping.

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

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

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

Suggested by Pamela from The Directionally Challenged Traveler


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

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

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

A cityscape in Providence, Rhode Island

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Jade from The Migrant Yogi

Best Places to Visit in New England: New Hampshire


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

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

A view of Portsmouth New Hampshire

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Nicole from The Abroad Blog

Lake Winnipesaukee

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

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

A view of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Jamie from Travel Addict

White Mountains

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

Fall in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Becky from SightDOING

Waterville Valley

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

View from a trail in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Alexa from 52 Perfect Days  

Best Places to Visit in New England: Connecticut

New Haven

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Lyndsay from The Purposely Lost


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

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

Macedonia Brook State Park in Kent Connecticut

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Samantha from Intentional Detours


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

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

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

 Cityscape in Mystic CT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suggested by Stephanie from Wandering Why Traveler


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


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

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