New England is one of the most historically significant and naturally stunning regions in the entire United States. This the place where the settlers from across the ocean first set up their colony, where America came to be. But a visit to New England isn’t just about learning about the past—it’s a wondrous adventure into mountains, along coastlines, and through dense forests. Wherever you go, you are bound to uncover something stunning, but to help you get your trip started, here are the top 10 must-see attractions in New England.
There is no denying the wonders that you will find at Acadia National Park in Maine. The national park stretches out over 47,000 acres of lush forest, mountains, cliffs, and lakes that give you a wide berth for exploring coastlines and forests. The recommended must-see sections of the national park would be the 17 stone bridges, Echo Lake Beach and the peregrines that roost there, as well as Sand Beach. If you don’t feel like walking the entire thing, hop aboard the free Island Explorer Bus, which makes multiple stops along Park Loop Road.
New England continues to be a historic portal to the maritime ages. At Mystic Seaport, a living museum, you can experience a working preservation shipyard, a recreated 19th-century coastal village, and exhibitions. However, that’s not all you can do. Jump into a carriage and take a ride into the village, where you can enter authentic lobster shacks, listen to sailors sing sea shanties, and learn all about how fishermen in the past lived.
Visiting Boston sometime soon? It’s the perfect opportunity to walk the Freedom Trail, a 7.6-mile trail that takes you through some of the most historic districts in Boston. Houses and buildings from the American Revolution period are the primary attractions along the walk, but you will also visit Faneuil Hall, the site of the Boston Massacre, the Old North Church, and highly trafficked streets like Tremont Street, the Old State House, and the Charlestown Navy Yard.
The fact that the 34.5-mile-long Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire is separated from civilization and modern conventions might initially turn you off, but here us out. The road carves a winding trek between the Swift River and the White Mountains, so if you go in autumn, you are in for views that will take your breath away. Meanwhile, visit Sabbaday Falls, Rocky Gorge for some hiking. This is a road trip and camping trip all in one, making it a perfect day trip with kids or by yourself for some quality relaxation.
There is more to Cape Cod than fishing. Though the fishing boats here do haul in sweet-tasting scallops and rich tuna, you will find beaches that extend for 30 miles between Chatham and Provincetown, offering up chances for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. Cape Cod also has the 22-mile paved Rail Trail that you can bike or ride horseback, the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, the Pilgrim Monument, and the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum.
The Harborwalk is one of the newest highlights to Boston’s already incredible city attractions. Over 40 miles lone, the Harborwalk creates a link to the Downtown, Seaport, and suburban reaches of the city while providing a place for events, shops, waterfront parks, beaches, museums, and a fine selection of award-winning eateries to keep you and everyone in the group entertained for days.
3 hours north of Boston, MA is the delightfully pastoral town of Stowe, VT. In this postcard picture of a destination, you will find over 40 restaurants, a historic shopping district, skiing and snowboarding opportunities, The Trapp Family Lodge (made famous by The Sound of Music), the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, and the Cabot Annex Store.
The Cog Railway is nothing short of mechanical mastery and almost gravity-defying genius. Found on Mount Washington in Bretton Woods, NH, the world’s first cog railroad to climb mountains is found here. Climb aboard the locomotive for a 60-minute ride at a mind-boggling 40-degree ascent. Regardless of the season, the views of the train are breathtaking; and once you reach the top of Mount Washington, that view gets even better. This is one train ride you definitely want to experience at least once.
Address: 3168 Base Station Rd, Bretton Woods, NH 03575
There are over 20 mountain peaks higher than 4,000 feet within the White Mountains chain. This is where citizens of NH head for some awesome outdoor time. Summers are spent hiking through glens and forests and mountain climbing in the White Mountain National Forest while fall welcomes those with cameras around their necks, because the foliage is incredible. Winter brings skiers and snowboarders to the resorts and steeple-like slopes. Whatever you want to do outside, you can do among the mountains.
Do you love beaches, hiking, and ferry rides? Then you need to go to Rhode Island’s beautiful Block Island. 12 miles off the coast of RI, Block Island has 32 miles of trails for hiking, 250-foot tall coastal cliffs, a phenomenal nightlife scene, and over 50 boutiques, galleries, and souvenirs from all over the world.