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The Best & Worst Times to Visit New England in 2024

The Best & Worst Times to Visit New England in 2024

What's the best time to visit New England?

The best time to visit New England is between late June and October, with summer offering ideal weather for festivals and outdoor activities, and temperatures around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This period is perfect for hiking, swimming, and attending vibrant events. October brings stunning fall foliage, making it prime for leaf-peeping and seasonal activities like apple picking.

New England is one of the most beautiful regions in the United States, and one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s the oldest region of the United States, and visitors can enjoy historic sites such as Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the historic city of Boston.

The region also has great natural beauty, including the mountains of Vermont and the vast wilderness of Maine. The long stretch of coastline attracts many visitors in the summer.

New England is a surprisingly diverse region and depending on what you were hoping to explore when visiting, different seasons may be right for your trip. Keep reading to learn more about when to visit.

Overall Best Time to Visit New England

Lighthouse in Portland Maine pictured under a nice calm dusk sky with calm seas gently lapping a rocky coastline pictured during the best time to visit New England

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The best time to visit New England is in the summer and early fall, from late June to October, when the weather is the best and you can explore the great outdoors.

New England has climate zones that differ depending on the altitude and latitude of the location. That being said, most of the region has a temperate continental climate. That means it has four distinct seasons—a cold winter, crisp fall, transitional spring, and warm summer.

Exact temperatures may vary depending on where exactly in New England you are visiting—northern Maine is usually much cooler than coastal Rhode Island.

However, the official New England tourism board estimates that summer temperatures tend to be around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the region. Summers are hot, but not too hot, and not humid like in many other parts of the United States. Summer evenings can even get chilly in the mountains.

Summer is the best time to visit New England to explore the many outdoor activities available in the region. There are plenty of beautiful national and state parks, such as Acadia National Park.

Try your hand at adventures such as:

  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking
  • Kayaking
  • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Fishing
  • Rafting

Summer is also the best time of year to go swimming, whether you do it at Cape Cod in Massachusetts or one of Vermont’s swimming holes. The water is never truly warm in New England, but summer is when it’s the least chilly.

For lovers of natural beauty, fall is actually the best time to visit New England for one reason—the leaves. As the leaves turn, New England’s countryside becomes spectacular with riotous color.

You can check government sites and local media, which publish fall foliage predictor maps that show when leaves are at their best—in most of the region, this is in October, when the weather is crisp and sunny.

Summer and fall foliage season are definitely the peak seasons to visit New England. This means more crowds, but also more events.

Summer brings a lot of big festivals to the region, such as:

Even better than the flashy big-name events are the many small town summer festivals, such as saint’s days in historic immigrant communities in Massachusetts, blueberry harvest days in Maine, and agricultural fairs.

Autumn also brings its fair share of seasonal events and activities, including apple picking, pumpkin patches, and of course, haunted houses—try to plan a stop near Salem, Massachusetts, around Halloween.

Cheapest Time to Visit New England

Postcard-worthy empty street on a nice spring evening in Burlington, Vermont pictured during the cheapest time to visit New England

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit New England is in the spring, when you can snag hotel deals throughout the region. Spring is the shoulder season throughout the region.

Ski season is starting to wind down in the mountains, while the summer rush hasn’t started yet on the coast or in major cities such as Boston. The weather also isn’t the greatest during this time.

Spring throughout New England tends to be rainy (and even snowy into March and April), with drastic temperature swings and cold temperatures. In Boston, April average temperatures are only in the high 50s.

Since the weather isn’t the best, that means you can enjoy some great hotel discounts due to lowered demand. Even big cities such as Boston have deals during this time, with some hotels offering up to 35% off their rooms. Smaller resort towns such as Stowe, Vermont, sometimes offer even bigger deals.

If you’re renting a car in New England, many car rental places also lower their rates outside of the peak summer season.

If you’re flying into the region, the least expensive way to do so is to fly into Boston’s Logan airport, the biggest regional airport, which has the most choices, including budget airlines. The most affordable flights to Boston are in the spring, as well as in January and parts of fall.

Another surprising time when you can find good deals in New England is November, just before Thanksgiving. The foliage season is over, but you can still enjoy the moody autumnal atmosphere.

Least Busy Time to Visit New England

Calm spring day in Boston pictured under cloudy skies during the least busy time to visit New England, the spring

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit New England is the spring, due to its difficult weather, but it’s a good time for exploring New England anyway. As mentioned above, spring has very unpredictable weather.

One day may be perfect weather for frolicking in fields of wildflowers, while the next may bring chilly winds and snow flurries in the middle of April. The unpredictable weather may chase away other tourists, but it makes the season the best time to visit if you want to beat the crowds.

Use the spring to visit popular tourist attractions that aren’t as dependent on the weather to be enjoyable, such as the Mystic Aquarium or the historic city of Boston. These attractions tend to suffer the most from crowds in the high season.

If you want to enjoy the fall foliage but beat the worst of the crowds, the trick is to visit in late September. In northern New England and higher altitudes, the leaves start to turn already, but most tourists aren’t aware of this and only visit later in the season.

Worst Time to Visit New England

Cold day in November in Boston in the winter, the overall worst time to visit New England, with people walking along the brownstone homes along Newbury Street

Boston, MA, USA – November 6, 2022 – The famous Newbury street in Boston downtown, MA, USA showcasing its expensive stores, locals and tourists shopping around, and its historic architecture/Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit New England is in the winter, which has the least pleasant weather and makes it the hardest to stay outdoors. Winters in New England can be bitterly cold.

For example, winter temperatures in Concord, New Hampshire, rarely go above freezing. At night, temperatures can be 10-14 degrees Fahrenheit. Further into the mountains, there are days and weeks on end when the temperature doesn’t rise above 0.

Winter also lasts a long time in the region, from November until early April. New England residents try to find ways to break up this cold weather, especially around the holiday season.

If you want to experience a true old-fashioned Christmas, then winter in New England is the best time to visit, when you can check out famous small town festivities in places such as Kennebunkport, Maine.

The winter weather is a boon for those who love cold weather activities such as skiing of all varieties and snowboarding. This is the high season for mountain resorts including Stowe, Vermont.

Recent winters have been unseasonably warm, which has definitely affected the ski season, but you have decent chances of good powder in January and February.

Things to Consider

Red shelter in the middle of a ski slope in Vermont in the winter, one of the best times to visit New England for skiing


Here are a few additional tips to help you plan your trip to New England:

  • Different regions have different high seasons. The coastal areas are the most crowded in the summer, while mountain resorts fill up during ski season. Keep that in mind when booking your trip.
  • Early summer usually has fewer crowds. Seasonal businesses open up by Memorial Day, but late May and June aren’t as crowded as July and August. This is a good time to head to the beach—there will still be some crowds, but it won’t be as bad.
  • Foliage time is extremely busy. Expect rates at hotels along the popular routes to skyrocket and popular scenic roads to be packed with cars. Beat the crowds a little by visiting on a weekday or early in the season, but if you want to see the leaves, you’ll have to deal with the inconveniences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Picturesque view of the coastline of Acadia National Park pictured under blue skies during the fall, one of the very best times to visit NEw England

Eric Urquhart/Shutterstock

These common questions will help you find the best time to visit New England:

When should I go to New England?

The best time to go to New England for the great outdoors is from June to August, while October is the best time to go for fall foliage.

Where is the best weather in New England?

The best weather in New England is along the southern coast, from Connecticut to Rhode Island, where the temperatures are at their mildest.

When is the best time of year to visit the Northeast?

The best time of year to visit the entire Northeast, including New England, is summer, when temperatures are at their finest.

What is the hottest month in New England?

The hottest month in New England is July, but even then, temperatures are fairly mild, usually only reaching in the low 80s.

When should I go to Boston?

The best time to go to Boston is from November to April, which are its shoulder and low seasons, when you can beat the crowds.

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

Any time from June to October is a great time to visit New England. June to August is the short but glorious summer, with warm temperatures and plenty of outdoor fun, while in September and October the leaves begin to turn, and the scenery becomes even more beautiful.

So, with so much to see and do and plenty of amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that New England has to offer. Happy travels!