New England has rich culture, delicious cuisine, and patriotic history (not to mention fantastic and equally-patriotic beer). Across the 6 New England States, you’ll find world-class museums, gorgeous scenery, historic neighborhoods, and trendy nightlife. There’s a ton to do—and that’s just the problem! Each state is full of tremendous destinations. Where should you go and what you should do?
Here are 10 must-see places that you have to visit on your next trip to New England. There’s at least one destination in all 6 states!
Freedom Trail (Boston, MA)
Boston has a wealth of colonial history. There’s early American architecture, Revolutionary War battle sites, and storied hangouts where the founding fathers did their best work. Believe it or not, you can find most of these sites along the famous “Freedom Trail.” The Freedom Trail weaves its way through Downtown Boston, and connects many famous historic sites, including the Paul Revere House, the Battle of Bunker Hill site, the Boston Massacre site, and the Boston Common. You can take a guided tour, led by costumed tour guides, or you can walk along the trail at your own pace (easy to do, since it’s marked by a continuous red line on the road). While there are plenty of “must-see” attractions in Boston, this one might be the cream of the crop.
Mount Washington (NH)
Located in New Hampshire, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. Kids will love taking the cog railroad up the mountainous slopes, and the railroad offers sweeping views of the surrounding forests. These forests are also home to stunning scenic drives. If you’re a nature lover, Mount Washington will do more than enough to compel you to move to this locale (which isn’t so difficult to do with cheap New Hampshire fixed rate mortgages – just saying). Be careful if you’re going to visit the summit—it’s incredibly cold up there and weather conditions change quickly.
Saxtons River Distillery (Brattleboro, VT)
Vermont produces the most maple syrup in the United States. Saxtons Distillery, located on the banks of the Saxtons River in Brattleboro, crafts a plethora of flavorful spirits that utilize maple syrup. You’ll be able to taste maple liqueur, maple bourbon, and maple rye, amongst other things.
Cape Cod National Seashore (Cape Cod, MA)
The Cape Cod National Seashore is a lovely place to enjoy unhindered views of the Atlantic Ocean. Quaint Cape Cod-style houses and elegant lighthouses dot the shore. Most of the beaches—backdropped by high berms of sand—feel quiet and relatively secluded. It’s well worth the visit any time of year.
Martha’s Vineyard (Martha’s Vineyard, MA)
Martha’s Vineyard (known by locals as “The Vineyard”) is a small island off the coast of Massachusetts by Cape Cod. The island is a popular summer destination (think of it as the “Southern California” of the East Coast) due to its good weather and plentiful summer activities, like boating and fishing. It’s an enjoyable place to visit if you like small-town hospitality with costal views. You might even spot a celebrity or two!
Salem (Salem, MA)
Salem is the site of the infamous witch trials that occurred in the 17th century. Today, tourists flock to Salem to experience museums that detail both the real history of the mass hysteria-driven witch trials, and also more thematic museums that delve into Pagan witch lore. This is a tremendously popular site for ghost hunting.
The Mark Twain House and Museum (CT)
The Mark Twain House and Museum is located within the gorgeous Victorian home where the famed American author wrote many of his greatest works, including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The architecture and lovely grounds alone make it a must-see attraction in Hartford.
Fenway Park (Boston, MA)
Fenway Park is often called “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark” (unless you’re a Yankees fan). It’s the most storied baseball stadium in history, and it’s the oldest MLB baseball stadium still in operation. It’s located close to downtown Boston, and you can take a guided tour of the ballpark or, better yet, catch a Boston Red Sox game. Make sure you get a Fenway Frank (or three!). A hot dog always tastes best in a baseball stadium.
Just like there’s a Portland in the costal Northwest, there’s also a Portland in the coastal Northeast. Portland, Maine is waaay up there, but it’s definitely worth the visit. It’s the most populous city in Maine, and it’s a good place to go to enjoy the beautiful forests and rocky shores of the state. Portland is home to nearly 400 restaurants, and also a considerable number of microbreweries. The city has earned its nickname as the “Foodiest Small Town in America.”
Benefit Street (RI)
Benefit Street is a historic neighborhood in Providence, Rhode Island. The street is lined with beautiful early American homes, some of which were occupied by famous Americans like H.P. Lovecraft. It’s a nice place to take a stroll and take photos.
There’s an endless amount of things to do in New England for folks of all ages, so get on out there and hit the turnpike.