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The 15 Best Places to Visit in New England in 2024

The 15 Best Places to Visit in New England in 2024

What're the best places to visit in New England?

New England, a region rich in history and natural beauty, offers an array of destinations for travelers. Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts entices with its historic charm, stunning beaches, and local cuisine, while the city of Providence, Rhode Island, stands out for its waterfront entertainment, historic districts, and cultural institutions.

For a blend of arts, outdoor adventures, and great food, the Berkshires in Massachusetts and Acadia National Park in Maine are must-visit locations, showcasing the region’s diverse attractions from cultural events to rugged coastal beauty.

15 of the Best Places to Visit in New England

The northeastern U.S. encompasses the historic, scenic New England region — one of the most charming and storied parts of the nation. Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine make up New England.

These states are home to some of the country’s most historic landmarks and homes, gorgeous landscapes from beaches to rolling hills and mountains, and diverse regional cultures that make the region delightfully unique.

If you’re looking for the best places to visit in New England, there’s an entire array of visit-worthy places in this intriguing part of the U.S. From bustling Boston and its American Revolution history to the remarkably rugged landscapes of Maine, we’ll guide you through the region’s best places to visit below! 

1. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Boat harbor in Matha's Vineyard, one of the best places to visit in New England

Brian Logan Photography/Shutterstock

South of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard is an island off the coast of Massachusetts that’s full of historic New England character, stunning beaches and hiking trails, incredible food, and charming old towns that are fun to explore:

  • Edgartown: Seasonal festivals, charming shops, range of restaurants, cafes, and bars
  • Oak Bluffs: “Gingerbread cottages,” Flying Horses Carousel (oldest in the U.S.), Oak Bluffs Harbor
  • Vineyard Haven: Cafes and restaurants, Vineyard Haven Harbor Cultural District, art galleries
  • West Tisbury: Long Point Wildlife Refuge, public gardens, Seth’s Pond, and roadside stands
  • Chilmark: Menemsha Hills hiking trails, Island Folk sculpture trail, art galleries, and dairy farms
  • Aquinnah: Aquinnah Lighthouse, red clay cliffs, Aquinnah Wampanoag Shoppes, museums

While it’s a known celebrity hotspot (U.S. presidents, movie and TV stars, and musicians have homes here), it’s an incredibly authentic place. You won’t find chains of hotels, restaurants, or big box stores on the island.

Martha’s Vineyard still looks and feels like the true New England. You’ll visit Mom and Pop shops, stay in historic inns, rental homes, and B&Bs, and eat at local restaurants with cult-like followings after years of serving tasty dishes on the island. 

Martha’s Vineyard is home to beautiful beaches where you’ll spot sailboats with their sails whipped by the winds and beach grass swaying in the ocean breeze on a summer’s day. 

You won’t find any vineyards on the island (there’s one vodka distillery), but it’s a haven for culture and art with lots of small galleries, theaters, and venues to catch live performances while you’re visiting. Stop by a farmer’s market to load up on local produce and baked goods! 

Temperatures on the island vary from the 40s (winter) to the low 80s (summer), with summer and colorful fall being the most popular times to visit.

Read Next: The Best Time to Visit Martha’s Vineyard in 2024

2. Providence, Rhode Island

Night view of Providence, Rhode Island, one of the best places to see in New England

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Tiny Rhode Island’s capital, Providence, belongs on your New England itinerary for its waterfront entertainment and dining options, museums and historic districts, and prestigious universities like Brown and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). This is an awesome city to explore! 

Stroll Benefit Street’s historic homes in Victorian and Colonial style, hit up the museums at RISD and Providence Children’s Museum, take the family to Roger Williams Park Zoo and botanic gardens, and rent bikes to cruise around downtown. 

The Pedestrian Bridge provides stunning views over the Providence River, connecting you from Fox Point neighborhood (the eclectic East Side with shops and cafes) to the Innovation & Design district (funky restaurants, jewelry shops, and music venues). 

Keep an eye out for cool sculptures and monuments around the city, like WaterFire Providence on the river, and explore the historic Waterplace Park downtown for amazing river views, eateries, and shops. 

You’ll catch weekend farmer’s markets where locals and visitors gather to grab fresh produce, baked goods, and treats on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

See a show at Providence Performing Arts Center or tour historic homes like Lippitt House Museum or Stephen Hopkins House to learn about the town’s past. Neighborhood parks like Roger Williams Park provide refreshing green spaces to wander and relax in the hustle and buzz of the city. 

When you’re in the mood to grub, your options are endless. You’ll find tons of excellent eateries scattered along West End and Thayer Street. From international fare and fresh seafood to bar food that always hits the spot, there’s something for every palate, budget, and mood in Providence. 

3. Manchester, Vermont

Gorgeous windy road through Manchester, Vermont

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In Vermont’s mountainous Bennington County, you’ll find the quiet and unassuming Manchester. While it’s more of a hidden gem than a famous New England town, this is a place that will feel like home away from home with so much to discover, taste, and see while you’re here. 

There are the big attractions — like touring Abraham Lincoln’s Georgian Revival home, Hildene, with several walking trails from the Welcome Center, gardens, and a farm you can explore — but the soul of the town is in its unique museums, eateries, and art scene. 

The American Museum of Fly Fishing will interest any angler, whether fly fishing is in your repertoire or not. Check out hand-tied flies, historic rods, and artwork that depicts some of the area’s common catches in the museum. 

You’ll see a range of rotating exhibits at the Southern Vermont Arts Center, where a year-round sculpture garden, walking paths, and a performance venue add to the charm as you check out works from local artists and crafters. 

Stop by a vintage pinball arcade, browse a local boutique, and eat and drink your way through the many restaurants and bars downtown.

Vermont “creemees,” high-fat soft serve treats that are whipped up to be especially creamy (as the name suggests), are easily found here. You haven’t experienced the city until you’ve indulged in one of these treats! 

The town is that much more picturesque with its location among the rugged Green Mountains. Traveling just west of Manchester, you can hike trails that lead up Mount Equinox! Other scenic spots include Lye Brook Falls and Prospect Point Rock Trail with amazing valley views. 

4. Boston, Massachusetts

A must-see sight in New England, Boston, as viewed from a downtown rooftop

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No trip to New England is really complete without a trip to Boston, the beating heart of the New England region and the birthplace of the American Revolution. Old brownstones and hallowed historic ground, prestigious universities and museums, and beautifully diverse neighborhoods create Boston’s intricate tapestry of food, art, and shops. 

This is where you can visit Paul Revere’s home, tour the Harvard and MIT campuses, stroll the beautiful Boston Common park (American’s oldest), and explore naval history through the Charlestown Navy Yard with 2 historic warships you can board. 

A favorite day-1 activity in Boston is walking the Freedom Trail, which spans 2.5 miles through the heart of the city past some of the most iconic destinations: Parks, homes, cemeteries, and public meeting places where the Revolution was planned and developed. 

Boston’s city parks are incredible year-round with looping trails to wander among historic landmarks and monuments, but seeing the city’s trees highlighted in fall foliage is absolutely stunning. Spring is a close second with blooms and greenery adding to the charm.

Visit the huge Franklin Park, which boasts its own zoo, and make time to see museums like John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the Boston Museum of Science, and Harvard’s Museum of Natural History. 

Our favorite Boston neighborhoods are Beacon Hill, where you’ll see the iconic brownstones along the wide, tree-lined streets, and Back Bay for its incredible array of eateries with some of the best lobster rolls and clam chowder in the city. Little Italy in the North End is famous for its bakeries, delis, sweet shops, and authentic Italian cuisine.

If you’re an ale appreciator, the Samuel Adams Brewery in Jamaica Plains should be on your list. Craft breweries can be found around the city to taste Boston’s up-and-coming flavors in intimate settings with tours, food, and live music often part of the mix.

Read Next: Weekend in Boston Itinerary & Best Time to Visit Boston

5. Portland, Maine

Lighthouse overlooking the ocean in Portland, Maine, one of the best places to visit in New England

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Portland (no, not that Portland) in Maine is one of the best places to visit in New England with its unique brand of eclectic eateries, attractions, and surrounding natural beauty along its waterfront that makes it stand apart from other cities. 

Portland is far from fussy and known as a relaxed and easy-going destination on Maine’s south coast. Fun is around every corner, whether that looks like bar-hopping and nightlife or adventurous days out exploring the city’s different neighborhoods. 

As a historic fishing port, you’ll see reminders of the past when you wander the Old Port waterfront district with its cobblestone streets, lively pubs on Commercial Street, and seafood restaurants serving the catches of the day. You can watch lobster boats and ferries come in and out of the port.

The city’s beaches and parks provide a wonderful sense of getting away from the buzz if you’re seeking a more laid-back approach to your New England tour. Catch a glimpse of the Portland Headlight (lighthouse) for those classic New England vibes. 

Sit on a small stretch of sand at the popular East End Beach overlooking Casco Bay (there’s a nice walking path here) or head south to Crescent Beach State Park for secluded, rugged coastal scenery. The Western Promenade park has awesome views with its cliff-top location and walking trails. 

Portland’s old homes are decked out in period-accurate decor and artwork, making them great places to tour on a rainy day. You’ll find the Victorian Mansion and Tate House in the West End district excellent additions to your itinerary if you’re into history! 

We promised eclectic attractions, and the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland certainly delivers. You’ll find questionable evidence of cryptids from around the world, from footprint casts and photos to life-sized representations of favorites like Bigfoot.

Read Next: Best & Worst Times to Visit Portland, Maine

6. Berkshires, Massachusetts

Calm day on a lake in one of the best places to see in New England, Berkshire MA

James Kirkikis/Shutterstock

The Berkshires is a cluster of towns in western Massachusetts, attracting visitors from near and far who come for the thriving culture and art scenes, the amazing food, and the history museums that untangle the state and region’s roots. 

Nestled in the mountains with forests all around, adventure is never far away when you’re in the Berkshires. Small villages and townships make up the area, each one offering its own mix of eateries, historic attractions, and places to shop and explore the outdoors. 

You’ll find a thriving farm-to-table gastronomy scene across the region. Taste what’s local, fresh, and expertly cooked and seasoned with international, seafood, and pub-style bites you’ll savor. Distilleries, pubs, and wineries are plentiful if sips are what you’re after!

Outdoor recreation (like skiing, biking, and fishing), food markets and farm tours, museums and historic homes, and a huge selection of local shops make the Berkshires a great choice if you want to experience something different every day of your trip.

The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams, MA, a Gilded Age mansion and sprawling gardens at Naumkeag House and Gardens in Williamstown, and tours of 12 homes-turned-museums, nature paths, and shops in Historic Deerfield are awesome ways to spend a day here if you’re a history buff. 

The Berkshires in autumn see people arrive in droves to “leaf peep” with colorful fall foliage transforming the surrounding forest and mountain landscapes into an artistic masterpiece. Speaking of art, you’ll find a number of galleries in Williamstown, Pittsfield, and Lenox to browse local works. 

To end your trip, take a walk through the past in the Hancock Shaker Village, where the 18th-century commune can be toured with Shaker-style furnishings and buildings still standing. There’s also a cafe and shop on the grounds.

7. Burlington, Vermont

Picturesque town square in Burlington, Vermont, a top pick for the best places to see in New England

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While it’s not the capital of Vermont, Burlington (northwest Vermont) is one of the state’s most well-known cities and the most populous. Burlington’s vibe is artsy, small-town, and sporty with a popping microbrewery scene and farm-to-table eateries with a mission of making eating well tasty and accessible.

This is a city where hiking and biking are always on the weekend itinerary, hitting up local bars and trendy restaurants is a given, and checking out galleries, art museums, and local boutiques stocked with artwork and handicrafts is a must. 

Burlington’s Church Street square downtown is the city’s hub, where there are dozens of restaurants and shops to pop into as you stroll through the bustling public space. From Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s to Asian noodle shops, the square is a fusion of all things tasty! 

Another place where Burlington shines is its outdoor recreation and parks. The city’s 35 parks span 500+ acres and you’ll find activities from boating to concerts at each one.

The city sits on Champlain Lake, creating tons of opportunities to explore the great outdoors with fishing, swimming, kayaking, sailing, and lakeside hiking and biking trails that lead to incredible views over the water. Rent a bike to coast along the Burlington Greenway!

Ethan Allen Park offers amazing panoramic views from the 40-foot tower, while Oakledge Cove on Lake Champlain has a great, secluded beach for swimming and hiking/biking paths to explore.

During the winter months, skiing and snowboarding are a big deal in Burlington. You’ll find 5 ski resorts an hour or less from the downtown area if you’re up for hitting the slopes. 

8. Newport, Rhode Island

Castle Hill lighthouse in a top pick for the best places to visit in New England, Newport, Rhode Island


Newport is a must-visit New England destination on Rhode Island’s Aquidneck Island with plenty of things to see and do: Historic mansions overlooking the ocean, scenic hiking trails that wind along the lighthouse-dotted coast, unspoiled beaches lapped by waves, and trendy eateries and shops downtown. 

Take a walk along the Cliff Walk trail from First Beach on Memorial Boulevard and follow it south to make your way along the coast to the Gilded Age mansions Newport is so famous for. You’ll see waves crashing below the cliffs and lighthouses in the distance on your scenic walk.

Once you reach Bellevue Avenue, iconic waterfront mansions like the Breakers and Chepstow rise before you with their opulence. The beautifully maintained Green Animals Topiary Gardens is an amazing sight with shrubs and bushes expertly trimmed into wildlife representations. 

Enjoying Newport doesn’t end there. Pack a picnic (preferably with sandwiches from Marco’s Cafe — a large hot Italian with the works, please) to eat at Gooseberry Beach before taking a refreshing swim.

Dinner at the lively Thames Street Kitchen or Bouchard’s makes for a perfect night. Thames Street in particular is a hotspot for restaurants, bars, and shops where you’ll find seafood, pub grub, and souvenirs perfect for remembering your Newport trip. 

Wine connoisseurs will appreciate the nearby vineyards you can visit on the island, just 10 minutes away for a nice weekend trip wrapped in an idyllic, island countryside setting. 

Head out to Fort Adams State Park if you’re up for a little more adventure and spending time outdoors. You can cast a line in the water, go for a swim, set off on a network of hiking trails, or play a round of golf.  

9. Mystic, Connecticut

Tranquil afternoon in Mystic, Connecticut, one of the best places to visit when in New England


Many people recognize this quaint, charming seaside town from the movie Mystic Pizza, but Mystic, Connecticut doesn’t just live up to the idyllic New England imagery depicted in the movie — it’s even better. 

Mystic feels like a quaint little village, and while modern touches and amenities are here, you’ll relish the historic charm and feel of the town with its waterfront location and museums, eateries, and shops that pay homage to Mystic’s fishing and whaling past. 

You shouldn’t skip the Mystic Seaport, where you’ll learn about the history of the town and see a real 19th-century whaling ship rigged with all the proper equipment. There are lots of little seafood restaurants on and near the water to grab lunch afterward. 

Wandering through Olde Mistick Village is another trip through time, landing you firmly in the 18th century with festivals, stores, and restaurants with decor and themes that root you in Mystic’s amazing past. 

Mystic Pizza is a real restaurant here and yes, it’s still around (and thriving) on W. Main Street. Stop by for a slice! Downtown, you’ll find tons of seafood and trendy restaurants from noodle bars to brunch spots with bottomless mimosas.

There are antiques shops and fashion boutiques a’plenty in the historic downtown district, making it the perfect place to get to know Mystic inside and out. Check out the Mystic Aquarium to see marine life up-close and entertain the entire family. 

Beaches and outdoor recreation can round out your trip to Mystic, with nice shoreline just a short drive away at Williams Beach (small public beach), Esker Point Beach (Groton), and DuBois Beach (Stonington). 

10. Washington, Connecticut

Washington, Connecticut, one of our favorite spots to visit in New England

Richard Cavalleri/Shutterstock

A patchwork of vineyards, historic farms, and narrow roads between 5 quintessential New England villages are what make Washington, Connecticut such an amazing place to visit.

Here, the hills are rolling, the wine is pouring, and the history is palpable with home tours, museums, and restored buildings transformed into local gathering hubs. 

Washington is still considered a hidden gem, but the word is getting out. AFAR Magazine recently named it the Most Charming Small Town in Connecticut (we agree) and House Beautiful called it one of the best small towns in the state. 

Colonial architecture spanning the 18th and 19th centuries is a regular sight in Washington, which has a picturesque location in the Berkshire Mountains. If it looks familiar, you must be a Gilmore Girls fan — this is the town that inspired Stars Hollow! 

Much like Lorelei’s Dragonfly Inn, the Mayflower Inn and Spa in Washington offers a delicious farm-fresh menu in a charming, welcoming setting that makes you feel like you’re staying with friends. 

Exploring the 5 villages of Washington is a big part of the fun:

  • Washington Green: Mayflower Inn and Spa, historic homes you can tour, and two museums
  • Washington Depot: Restaurants, art galleries, and hiking trails at Steep Rock Nature Preserve
  • New Preston: New Preston Hill Historic District, New Preston Falls, Lake Waramaug, and village shops 
  • Marbledale: Restored 18th-century barns and homes-turned-shops with a small church at its center
  • Woodville: Washington Montessori School and theater for local productions and farm-to-table eateries

Check out the New Preston Hill Historic District in New Preston, CT to get a look at an 18th-century settlement as it once was: A schoolhouse, stone church, tavern, and common green area take you into the New England of the past with interesting exhibits over 210 acres.

You’ll enjoy perusing the organic, sustainable food and supplies at The Smithy Market in a former blacksmith shop, and there’s a cool surprise upstairs: The Smithy Loft Gallery. Local artists’ works are showcased here with paintings, photography, sculptures, and more.

Head to Lake Waramaug State Park to hit the hiking trails and take in the beauty surrounding this freshwater lake (try fishing, biking, boating, and camping) or pack in some history by touring Hollister House Garden, an English garden laid out intricately in front of an 18th-century homestead. 

11. Acadia National Park, Maine

Spectacular view of the Bass Harbor Head lighthouse in Acadia National Park, one of the best places to visit in New England

Sara Winter/Shutterstock

Acadia National Park is situated in Maine on Mount Desert Island near Bar Harbor, which serves as the gateway to the park for visitors. The vast park offers scenic, rugged beauty with mountains, forests, lakes, and coastline dotted with cliffs and rocky beaches.

With 47,000 acres of natural beauty to explore on over 120 miles of hiking trails (very easy to strenuous for those seeking a challenge), Acadia is a bucket list destination for hikers and lovers of the wild, rugged beauty that nature has to offer. 

We love the diversity of the park and how much you can pack into just a few days spent here. Chill on the beach, watching birds dip and dive for fish, hike to Cadillac Mountain’s summit, meander meadow paths beside lakes, and bike along old carriage roads.

You can even get your fill of local history by visiting the old carriage road gatehouses from the early 1900s, hunting for the memorial plaques mounted in rocks and old fire towers, and seeing lighthouses like Bass Harbor Head Light Station and Baker Island Head Light Station in the park. 

Wildlife in the park is abundant. This could be your chance to see bears, moose, foxes, bobcats, and more while you wander along hiking and biking paths (always keep your distance from wildlife). It’s a premier birdwatching spot with 338+ species from peregrine falcons and eagles to loons and warblers. 

The easy Ocean Path is one of our favorite trails in Acadia, taking you past pink-toned cliffs, Sand Beach, and overlook points jutting out over the water on a 4.4-mile round trip hike along the coast. 

For a 1-3 hour challenge, you can’t beat the 1.5-mile Beehive Loop Trail that leads you through some strenuous rung and ladder sections where you’ll scramble granite rock steps and 450-foot cliffs to rise to views over Sand Beach. 

Jordan Pond Path is an easy, 3.1 mile trail that winds around the water (which freezes solid in winter, so you can walk across it). Finish up at Jordan Pond House, an onsite restaurant, for lobster rolls, signature popovers, and more.

Read Next: Best Time to Visit Acadia & Where to Stay in Acadia National Park

12. Hartford, Connecticut

Skyline of a top pick for a must-visit destination in New England, Hartford, Connecticut

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Hartford serves as Connecticut’s capital and is a history-driven city with ample green spaces, famous historic mansions and homes, a thriving art scene, and tons of great places to eat, drink, and shop within the city. 

The Riverfront downtown is where you can wander the Riverfront Recapture paths, find weekend festivals at the Riverfront Plaza, and even fish, launch a kayak to paddle around for the afternoon, or have a picnic with great views of the water.

The nearby Front Street District is home to some of Hartford’s best restaurants, from trendy eateries and upscale steakhouses to international cuisine. Grab BBQ sandwiches, Mexican food, or custom ramen creations along the street.

The arts are alive and well in Hartford, which boasts the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. It’s packed with impressionist and Renaissance-era artwork that is surprising to see in such an underrated New England city.

The green, spacious Bushnell Park hosts lots of fitness classes and festivals, like the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz and daily yoga classes, if you’re looking for a lull in the nonstop buzz of the city.

But perhaps the best way to escape the buzz is by visiting the former home of a famous author at the Mark Twain House and Museum. Transport yourself back in time at this 19th-century mansion filled with the author’s personal items, books, and the views that inspired him to write some of his best novels. 

You can also tour the stately Victorian Gothic cottage and garden, now dubbed the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, where the Uncle Tom’s Cabin author lived for more than two decades of her life in the quiet Nook Farm neighborhood.

13. Nantucket, Massachusetts

Stunning morning view of one of the best places to visit in New England, Nantucket


Like Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket is a Massachusetts island that boasts quintessential New England charm, historic homes and beach clubs, and incredible beaches from secluded shores on the tip of the island to the bustling beaches where families and tourists gather to swim and surf. 

Nantucket has a certain kind of authentic magic to it that seems to transform casual, one-time visitors into lifelong “summer people.” Stay in local B&Bs and inns with long Nantucket histories, like the Nantucket Hotel & Resort or Cliffside Beach Club directly on the water. 

There are special spots to check out, like the Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum on secluded Polpis Road, the lively Sconset Casino, and cute shops like Nantucket Looms and Flowers on Chestnut. There’s even a surf school! 

With no chain establishments, just long-beloved local hotspots, this place feels like stepping into a charming New England story, much like the local best-selling author Elin Hilderbrand pens about characters living on the island. 

Let some air out of your tires for a scenic drive up to Great Point, where you can access the gentle Nantucket Sound on the west side and the rougher Atlantic on the east side. 

The food on the island is unreal — who knew you could get such tasty dishes this far out to sea? Head to Galley Beach for a sophisticated multi-course dinner or Bar Yoshi for sushi and spring rolls. The Sandbar is a great seafood and cocktail spot close to town. 

For a little nightlife, you can’t miss the Chicken Box, a local favorite hole-in-the-wall establishment that’s low key and live music every weekend night.

Nantucket is best enjoyed during the warm late spring through early fall months when flowers burst into colorful bloom, all local restaurants and hotels are open, and the weather is balmy with highs from 60s to the mid-70s.

Read Next: Best & Worst Times to Visit Nantucket in 2024

14. Narragansett, Rhode Island

Narragansett, Rhode Island, one of the best places to visit in New England

Laura Stone/Shutterstock

Narragansett, Rhode Island is best known for its pristine beaches — the most popular in the state. This is a historic community with deep roots and generational wealth that’s evident in its mansions, old casinos, and luxe beach communities. 

See the “ruins” of the 19th-century casino, The Towers, over on Ocean Drive. It’s the oldest landmark in the town and incredible to see how time, nature, and fires have changed the once-luxurious structure into what remains now. 

The Narragansett shoreline is dotted with upscale summer homes along the wide, roomy shores that leave plenty of room for lounging on a chair under your umbrella. 

The massive Scarborough State Beach, Narragansett Town Beach, and the gentle surf at protected Roger Wheeler State Beach and Salty Brine State Beach are the ideal spots to spend summer days on the water. 

Point Judith Lighthouse on the western side of Narragansett Bay and holds a lot of history. Just 2 miles off the shore, the final German U-boat was sunk in WWII. You can walk around, but not up into, the lighthouse. 

Set out for a hike on the 2.1-mile Black Point Trail to make your way along footpaths and rocky bluffs with amazing views over the ocean, or head to Narragansett Pier to shop, eat, and drink at the Pier Marketplace. 

You’ll also find great spots to eat and drink at local favorite eateries like Bike Stop Cafe, T’s Restaurant, and Meldgie’s Diner Point Judith. 

The only downside is that the nicely-maintained beaches of Narragansett come at a price: $12 admission per person, per day (ages 12+). Still, for the pristine shores and litter-free waters that await you, you’ll find it’s well worth the cost to go. 

15. White Mountains, New Hampshire

Fall view from one of the best places to visit in New England, White Mountains, New Hampshire

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New Hampshire’s majestic White Mountains cover about a fourth of the entire state in dense forests, peaks, and valleys that make this a truly beautiful part of New England to visit when you want to get away from it all. 

White Mountain National Forest encompasses much of the mountainous region with camping sites, hiking trails, famous scenic drives, and the Mt. Washington Cog Railway. This historic railway goes to the top of Mt. Washington, the tallest peak in the northeast. 

While hiking and biking are some of the most popular activities here, people also come to shop, eat, and stay at quaint to luxe cabins tucked away in mountain retreats. You’ll find golf courses, lakes and streams for boating, swimming, and fishing, and lots of eateries and shops in this idyllic setting.

No matter where you are — shopping (tax-free!) for antiques in cute little towns like Bretton Woods and Littleton, seeing a play, enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, drinks at a brewery, or taking the Conway Scenic Railroad through the countryside, you’ll be surrounded by mountainous beauty. 

Hiking trails network through the region like a spiderweb, and you’ll find options from easy trails that are perfect for families with kids or mobility challenges to strenuous paths that require extra equipment in the harsh winter (like ice spikes and crampons).

Some of the most popular hiking trails are the 8.6-mile Franconia Ridge Loop (hard), the steep-but-moderate 3.1-mile Mount Willis trail, and the 4-mile Welch-Dickey Loop Trail (hard). Easy trails like Diana’s Baths and the enchanted Lost Pond Trail are great options for a short but fun hike! 

Up for an adventure, but not quite sold on a challenging hike? Zip-lining or alpine slides might be more your speed! Check out Attitash Mountain Resort’s alpine slide and Alpine Adventures in Lincoln for off-road tours, zip-line courses, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Visiting New England’s best places puts you in a great position to enjoy the region’s most spectacular sights, adventures, and scenery. Browse the most frequently asked questions below to learn more before you start planning your trip! 

What is the most beautiful part of New England?

For many, Acadia National Park is considered the most beautiful part New England. Acadia National Park offers dramatic coastal cliffs and beaches, dense boreal forests, rugged mountains, abundant wildlife, and historic lighthouses perched on the shores.

What is the best time to visit the New England states?

The best time to visit the New England states is between late spring and fall, depending on what you’re coming to do. Leaf peeping is best from late September to late October, but the beaches and lakes are best experienced between June and September (it gets chilly earlier in the year here).

How many days do you need to visit New England?

You need at least 14 days to experience a little of New England as a whole, spending a day or two in the region’s best cities and towns to get a taste of this idyllic part of the Northeast. If you have a single destination in mind, make plans for anywhere from 4-7 days.

Where is the nicest place to visit in America?

Boston is one of the nicest places to visit in America, offering tons of history and cool architecture in a clean, safe, waterfront city that has great public transportation, bustling markets and shops, and diverse neighborhoods with trendy restaurants, bars, sweet shops, and breweries.

What is the #1 tourist spot in the US?

New York City is the #1 tourist spot in the US, seeing upwards of 63 million tourists each year (according to Simpleview Data). Within NYC, the National Park Service (NPS) found that the Statue of Liberty sees the most tourists of any attraction in the city with over 4 million at its peak annual total, making it the #1 tourist spot in the US.

So, What’s the Best Place to Visit in New England?

From breathtaking coastal and mountain views (sometimes in the same place!) to charming New England villages nestled in forested valleys and on idyllic little islands off the coast, this region is home to some of our favorite destinations in the entire U.S. 

The best places to visit in New England are tough to rank because each one offers something so unique, so authentic, and so nuanced that it’s tempting to say the entire region is visit-worthy and call it a day. 

But with this list of the top 15 New England towns and cities to visit, you’ll make sure you hit all the highlights that interest you on your trip, bringing home a piece of the quintessential New England vibe home with you in memories, souvenirs, and plans to return again soon.