From the charming coastal towns of Maine to the vibrant fall foliage of Vermont, New England boasts a plethora of picturesque destinations just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast seeking thrilling outdoor adventures or a history buff yearning to uncover the region’s rich cultural heritage, we’ve got you covered.

Adventure seekers, food lovers, and culture enthusiasts alike will find something to suit their tastes in our carefully curated list. From hiking along rugged trails to indulging in mouthwatering lobster rolls, you’ll get to experience the very best that New England has to offer. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and let’s dive into the six fabulous weekend getaways that are just a short drive away.

Best New England Getaways

You may be overwhelmed with the many exciting activities to try above, or looking for some more New England vacation ideas. The good news is, once you read through this list, the only difficult decision left will be choosing your favorite city to explore. Here are some of our favorite weekend getaways in New England along with our favorite activity in each area.

1. Boston, Massachusetts

A broad view shot of Boston.

No New England weekend getaways list would be complete without this exquisite walking city. 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 is a wonderful weekend getaway thanks to its exciting food scene, great professional sports following, and lovely waterfront areas. Simply head over to our Boston vacation rentals page to find a rental near the things you most want to see and do!

With tons of outdoor activities, we love suggesting travelers take a stroll through the city to take in the classic views, or hit the water for a ride on a swan or duck boat. In our opinion, summertime in Boston is the best season to visit, so you can witness all the blooming flowers and enjoy this traditional-looking city in a warmer climate. For packing tips to this North East location, check out our guide here so you can arrive fully prepared.

Favorite Activity:​​ Head to the 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.

2. Bangor, Maine

Northern lights in Maine during winter.

Known for its strong lumbering history in past centuries, this quaint northern city is a wonderful place to get some peace and quiet with one of the many Bangor vacation rentals. The towering statue of renowned folklore lumberjack Paul Bunyan is a staple landmark of Bangor. If live music is your thing, you’ll love catching a concert at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion. This outdoor amphitheater, built along the Penobscot River, holds up to 15,000 guests while simultaneously feeling very intimate. It has played host to some of the best touring musical acts in the world.

Favorite Activity: For anyone who enjoys walking amongst history, you may enjoy visiting one of the oldest garden cemeteries in the country, the Mount Hope Cemetery. This peaceful site set amidst nature is listed in the National Park Service’s official National Register of Historic Places.

3. New Haven, Connecticut

View of the New Haven Green and downtown, in New Haven, Connecticut.

One of the first planned cities in America, New Haven is a perfect city to visit if you want a real weekend in New England experience. The New Haven Green, a park in the center of the original “nine 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 & Ideas.

After choosing one of the many New Haven vacation rentals on the green, you’ll be perfectly situated to stroll over to Ordinary. This vintage tavern was once the barroom of Hotel Taft, named after President William Howard Taft and built by Yale alumni, serving 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 the museum’s amazing Christmas displays.

4. Burlington, Vermont

The red-brick main strip of Church Street in Burlington.

Burlington, Vermont is one of our favorite New England getaways thanks to the city’s distinct personality and charm. Though it feels like a small town, this city is known for many things. Perhaps most notably, it’s the birthplace of the famed ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s. While the famous duo no longer have any part in the production of the ice cream, the factory is still going strong, producing pints sold all over the world. You can take a tour when you visit the factory, which is just a short drive from Burlington.

Some of the finest Burlington, VT, vacation rentals are 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 the title for a meager 18 days. The bill that President Clinton had signed was rescinded after outlash from 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 in Burlington that teaches all the wonders this lake holds.

Favorite Activity: Walk down the famed Church Street in the heart of Burlington’s downtown. Grab a dollar craft beer during “Duff Hour” over at Three Needs Taproom every weekday at 4:00 p.m. 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.

5. Block Island, Rhode Island

Beach scene at Block Island.

Nestled off the coast of Rhode Island, Block Island awaits as a charming coastal haven that promises a weekend getaway like no other. Known for its pristine beaches, idyllic landscapes, and laid-back atmosphere, this hidden gem is the perfect destination to escape the daily grind and indulge in some well-deserved relaxation at one of the many Block Island rentals.

Getting to Block Island is a breeze, as a ferry ride from the mainland transports you to a world of coastal bliss. As you step ashore, you’ll be greeted by panoramic ocean views, fresh sea breezes, and a sense of tranquility that instantly washes away any worries.

For beach enthusiasts, Block Island is a dream come true. Mohegan Bluffs, with its dramatic cliffs and sweeping vistas, is a must-visit spot for breathtaking scenery. Feel the soft sand beneath your toes as you stroll along Crescent Beach, known for its gentle waves and serene ambiance. And don’t forget to catch the mesmerizing sunset at Mansion Beach, where the sky transforms into a palette of vibrant hues.

Favorite Activity: Explore the island’s rustic charm by renting a bicycle and pedaling along the scenic coastal roads. Discover picturesque lighthouses that have guided ships for centuries, like the iconic Southeast Light, perched atop Mohegan Bluffs. Immerse yourself in the island’s history by visiting the Block Island Historical Society, which offers fascinating insights into its past.

6. Laconia, New Hampshire

View of boats in Paugus Bay, in Weirs Beach, Laconia, New Hampshire.

Looking for a relaxing time in one of New Hampshire’s many lake towns? Laconia is a great choice. Situated between Lake Winnisquam and Lake Winnipesaukee, you can access some amazing water activities from one of the many Laconia, NH, rentals if the weather is pleasant. Rent a boat or jet ski from Anchor Marine, and spend the day cruising around the lakes catching fish, and grab a nice tan!

A busy day on the water can work up a solid appetite, so grab some dinner from Laconia Local Eatery. A unique spin on upscale American food, their seasonal menu will have your mouth watering. We recommend the pumpkin spice halibut if you make it there in the fall. Served on pumpkin risotto, this dish will turn anyone into a pumpkin spice lover.

Favorite Activity: If you can, head to Laconia for one of its most well-known events: Bike Week, one of the country’s largest motorcycle rallies! If you go, 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 happen to be looking for some winter activities, this town also hosts the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby.

Favorite Weekend Trips in New England

New England vacation rentals are an incredible way to spend your next getaway in this region. Being one of the first areas 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!