New England is made up of America’s six most northeastern states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The northeast area of the United States is full of history, charm, and beautiful scenery. Picking the best time to visit is no hard decision as all seasons in this region have their many perks! Head to Boston for a Red Sox game in the summer or Bangor in the fall for a taste of the wonderous foliage. Enjoy phenomenal skiing in Vermont in the winter or experience the wildflowers bloom in New Hampshire during the spring.
You may be overwhelmed with the many exciting activities to try, but the only really hard decision may be choosing your favorite city. Here are some of our favorite weekend getaways in New England along with our favorite activity in each area.
As a top contender for U.S. cities with an international vibe, Boston is one place you should definitely visit at least once in your life. This location serves as a wonderful weekend getaway thanks to its exciting food scene, great professional sports following, and lovely marine areas.
With tons of outdoor activities, we love suggesting that readers take a leisurely stroll through the city to take in the classic views, or hitting the water for a ride on a swan boat. In our opinion, summertime in Boston is the best season to visit so you can witness all the blooming flowers and enjoy this classic city setting in a warm climate. For packing tips to this North East location, check out our blog post.
Favorite activity: Head to Boston Common and Public Garden, the first botanical garden in the United States. Located south of Beacon Hill at 4 Charles Street, Boston, Ma 02116, the natural flower facility is free of charge. After spending the day here make sure to get a hearty bowl of New England clam chowder.
Known for its strong lumbering history in past centuries, this quaint northern city is a wonderful place to get some peace and quiet. The towering statue of renowned folklore lumberjack, Paul Bunyan, is a staple landmark of this endearing place. If live music is your thing, you’ll love catching a concert at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion. This outdoor amphitheatre, built along the Penobscot River, holds up to 15,000 guests, while simultaneously feeling very intimate, and hosts some of the best touring musical acts in the world.
Favorite Activity: For anyone who enjoys catching a thrill from the spookies, you may find delight in one of the largest garden cemeteries in the country, the Mount Hope Cemetery. This slightly eerie, yet inspiring site is listed in the National Park Service’s official National Register of Historic Places.
New Haven, Connecticut
One of the first planned cities in America, New Haven is a perfect city to visit if you want a real New England experience. The New Haven Green, a park in the center of the original “9 square plan” designed by English Puritan colonists, is home to many public events including the New Haven Jazz Festival and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas.
After an event on the green, stroll over to Ordinary, a vintage tavern in the space that was once the barroom of Hotel Taft, named after President William Howard Taft, and built by Yale alumni to serve as a meeting place for students, professors, and tourists alike for many years. Today, Ordinary strives to embody the vibe of that historic establishment.
Favorite Activity: While in New Haven, be sure to visit the Knights of Columbus Museum, and learn about the heritage of this Catholic fraternal organization. The museum houses a collection of well-preserved artifacts and documents related to the religion and lay organization. December is the best time to visit to see the museum’s amazing Christmas displays.
No list of New England getaways would be complete without mentioning Burlington, Vermont. This city, though it really feels like a small town, is known for many things. Perhaps most notably, it is the birthplace of the famed ice cream company, Ben and Jerry’s. While the infamous duo no longer have any part in the production of the ice cream, the factory is still going strong, producing pints that are sold all over the world. You can take a tour when you visit the factory, which is just a short drive from Burlington.
Burlington is also situated on the banks of the beautiful Lake Champlain. For a short time, Lake champlain became one of America’s Great Lakes, but only held that title for a meager 18 days. The bill that had been signed by President Clinton, was rescinded after outlash from the local residents who felt that it shouldn’t be grouped in with other lakes, as it was great all on its own. Nonetheless, this lake is rich with history, which you can learn more about by visiting the Echo Center, a maritime museum right in Burlington that teaches all the wonders this lake holds.
Favorite Activity: Take a walk down famed Church Street, the heart of Burlington’s downtown. Grab a dollar craft beer during duff hour over at Three Needs Taproom, every weekday at 4:00. Then grab some famous gravy fries over at Nectar’s, a long standing Burlington landmark, that was the starting place of Vermont’s most successful musical act, Phish.
Coventry, Rhode Island
First settled by colonists in the 18th century, this New England town is home to many old farmhouses, churches, and cemeteries that are still standing today. Anyone who appreciates Victorian era houses could spend hours exploring the eastern side of town, where many houses from the 19th century have remained unchanged.
After a cheerful afternoon wandering around and taking in the sights, grab some delicious grub at Black Oak Kitchen, our favorite restaurant in town. They serve a wide variety of New England microbrews, and have an eclectic selection of food offerings that will make any hungry belly happy.
Favorite Activity: Visit Tiogue Lake for an adventure on the water. You can rent a kayak or canoe to take out on the lake! During the summer months, rentals are available on a first come first serve basis from Patriots Park Boat House between 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM on weekdays, and 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM on weekends. Take note that there are no public restrooms at the lake.
Laconia, New Hampshire
Looking for a relaxing time in one of New Hampshire’s many lake towns? Note down, Laconia is a great choice. Situated between Lake Winnisquam and Lake Winnipesaukee, you’ll have access to all of the great water activities you’ve been hoping for. Rent a boat or jetski from Anchor Marine, and spend the day cruising around the lakes catching fish, and a nice tan!
A busy day on the water can really work up a solid appetite, so grab some dinner from Laconia Local Eatery. A unique spin on upscale American food, their seasonally changing menu will have your mouth watering. If you make it there in the fall, we recommend the pumpkin spice halibut. Served on pumpkin risotto, this dish will turn anyone into a pumpkin spice lover.
Favorite Activity: If you can, make it out for one of Laconia’s most well known events, “Bike Week”, one of the country’s largest motorcycle rallies! You’ll have a chance to see motorcycles of all shapes and styles. If you want to come at a quieter time of year, or just happen to be looking for some winter activities, Laconia also hosts the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby.
Come See the Sights in Beautiful New England
New England really is an incredible part of this country, and the perfect place for a little getaway. Being the first area settled in the US, it’s filled with history and culture unlike anywhere else. No matter the season, you’ll find fun activities, cute shops, historical museums, and really good food. So why wait? Start planning your weekend getaway to New England now!