The beautiful coastline of New England is lined with charming towns and historic sites. This area should not be overlooked when planning your next family vacation. Throughout the region there are plenty of cultural and outdoor activities for the family to enjoy. As the area is quite compact, you can cover a lot of territory in little time, enjoying such things as a rugged coastline and sandy beaches, majestic mountains and rivers, and cultural cities with beautiful harbors. The best time to visit for us Floridians is summertime, when temperatures average between 80 and 85 degrees, and New England offers endless experiences.
Though I have spent much time in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, I recently spent a few days in the incredible states of New Hampshire and Maine and simply fell in love! The gorgeous landscapes were inspiring, and the charming towns were filled with welcoming people and so much history! As I love sampling local foods, the highlight of my trip was experiencing a local Clambake where they served Maine lobster, local mussels, clams, potatoes and corn all nicely steamed to perfection (yum!).
After visiting the obvious bigger cities of Boston and Providence, which offer oodles of history (much of it tied to our nation’s beginnings), exquisite restaurants, and great entertainment, you won’t want to miss some of the smaller towns. Don’t miss the smaller cities like Salem, Massachusetts, famous for its witch-themed attractions; Gloucester, Massachusetts, where you can go on a whale-watching boat trip; and Newport, Rhode Island, where you can visit incredible mansions or learn to sail.
As you go further north, I recommend visiting the small beach town of Ogunquit where you can relax by the sea or take a walk on the Marginal Way hugging Maine’s coastline. And if lighthouses are your thing, you can check out the lighthouse in nearby York, the Nobble Lighthouse, though there are several others in the region worth a visit.
Along the coast in Maine, places like Bar Harbor and Portland are also fascinating destinations with an important food scene and lots of boating activities you can take advantage of. As of this year, you can also take a ferry from Bar Harbor into Nova Scotia, Canada in just under 3.5 hours, in case you have time to extend your vacation further north.
In New Hampshire, check out places like North Conway, where you can embark on a scenic train ride, or Lake Winnipesaukee, where you can do some boating to truly explore the area. The White Mountains in New Hampshire offer cable car rides, cog railways, mountain climbing, hiking, and whitewater rafting. But you can also enjoy scenic drives, such as the Kancamagus Pass, along pristine rivers and gorges (i.e. the Flume Gorge and Rocky Gorge), with scenic areas perfect for a picnic or even camping.
To get to there, you can fly into either the Boston Logan International Airport or the Portland International Jetport and rent a car to make it easy to explore the area. For itinerary ideas, check out the Discover New England website where they’ve even planned out some theme-based or region-based trips: www.discovernewengland.org.
Don’t forget to pack your sense of adventure as New England will not disappoint!
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