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Ocean House, Watch Hill, RI Pockwockamus Rock, Millinocket, Maine Ben & Jerry's Factory, Waterbury, VT
Welcome to the bigroads.com travel guide to New England! Hopefully this page helps provide some inspiration and tips to help you plan your next trip to New England.

Take note that I build and maintain this website as both a hobby and public service. I take joy in performing travel research and sharing my experiences and adventures. I currently do not make a profit from this website, and you will see no invasive or annoying ads on it. Your constructive feedback about this site and its content is encouraged. Please email me if you have any suggestions or ideas for improvement.

Author/Contributor: Greg Parsons


Covered bridges, waterfalls, quaint towns, lobsters, fall foliage and lighthouses…swimming holes, historic ballparks, fishing villages, clam shacks, and dairy farms. New England offers much to attract travelers. It is a place of deep history and immeasurable beauty, luring millions of visitors each year from all over the world. But where should YOU go in New England? There are a lot of attractions to choose from, and so I have constructed this page to expose you to the most significant attractions and natural wonders of this magnificent region.

If you want to visit New England for the first time, and you have TWO full weeks to spend, here are a few suggested itineraries:

Southern New England (2 weeks)
Start in Boston, MA
Boston, MA - 2-3 nights
Cape Cod with day trips to Provincetown and the two islands (Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard), MA - 6-7 nights
Providence, RI - 1 night
Newport, RI - 2 nights
Mystic, CT - 1 night
Finish in Boston, MA

Northern New England (2 weeks)
Start in Boston, MA
Boston, MA - 2-3 nights
Portland and the southern ME coast - 1-2 nights
Bar Harbor / Acadia National Park, ME - 4-5 nights
North Conway / White Mountain National Forest, NH - 3-4 nights
Finish in Boston, MA

Northern New England + Vermont (2 weeks)
Start in Boston, MA
Boston, MA - 2-3 nights
Portland and the southern ME coast - 1-2 nights
Bar Harbor / Acadia National Park, ME - 3-4 nights
North Conway / White Mountain National Forest, NH - 2-3 nights
Stowe or Burlington, VT - 2 nights
Finish in Boston, MA

Take note that New England includes six states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Some folks (especially those from other areas of the country) may be surprised to learn that New York is not considered part of New England.


Are you short on time or struggling to choose something to do or see in New England? Here are my selections for 10 great attractions or experiences in each of the New England states, listed in no particular order:

Stay at (or near) Mohegan Sun, one of the best resort casinos in the U.S. outside of Las Vegas; concerts/shows are great there too
Visit Gillette Castle State Park and explore a stone castle that looks like a medieval fortress
Cycle one of Connecticut's excellent rail trails (e.g. Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, Farmington River Trail, Airline State Park Trail, etc.)
Visit the excellent Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic
See retired PEZ candy dispensers at the PEZ Visitor Center in Orange
Go for a picnic and see a set of great waterfalls at Kent Falls State Park
Head to Lake Compounce & Crocodile Cove, the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the United States
Eat some of the best pizza you've ever had in New Haven
Hit the beach at Hammonasset Beach State Park
Visit the various museums of Yale University in New Haven

Explore the great city of Portland, especially the Old Port district
Head to Bar Harbor and explore the rocky coastline of Acadia National Park
Go hiking in Baxter State Park
Explore the southern coastline and its many fine beaches (e.g. Long Sands Beach, Ogunquit Beach, Old Orchard Beach)
Go whitewater rafting on the Kennebec River with Northern Outdoors or another local guide service
Visit some of Maine's 65 lighthouses
Hit the slopes at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry or Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley
Hike to Moxie Falls, one of the best waterfalls in New England
Ride a snowmobile on some of Maine's 14,000 miles of trails
Sail some of the Maine coastline

Tour the historic city of Boston, one of the most walkable cities in the U.S.
Spend a week enjoying the beaches, towns, and other attractions of Cape Cod
Take a ferry to visit the upscale islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket
Explore the museums, nature parks, and quaint small towns of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts
Attend the Big E in Springfield, one of the largest country fairs in the U.S. (typically held in mid-to-late September)
Try some fried claims and other great seafood in the towns of Ipswich and Essex
Go antiquing at the Brimfield Antique Show in Brimfield (3x per year)
Visit the outstanding Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
Cycle the 25-mile paved Cape Cod Rail Trail
Catch a ballgame at Fenway Park in Boston

New Hampshire
Stay in Conway or North Conway and explore various parts of the exceptionally scenic White Mountain National Forest
Take a hike in Franconia Notch State Park near Lincoln and Franconia
Walk, shop, and dine in downtown Portsmouth
Hike Mt. Monadnock, one of the most climbed mountains in the world (make parking reservations in advance!)
Take the kids to Story Land and/or Santa's Village, two of the best theme parks for young children in the U.S.
Climb through boulder caves at the Lost River Gorge or the Polar Caves
Drive, hike, or take a cog railway to the top of Mt. Washington
Seek out some of New Hampshire's 50+ covered bridges
Hit slopes at one of many great ski areas found in the central and White Mountains regions of the state
Drive the famous Kancamagus Highway (NH-112) during fall foliage (early October) between Lincoln and Conway

Rhode Island
Relax on quaint and scenic Block Island for a few nights
Cycle the 14.5-mile East Bay Bike Path, one of New England's best paved rail trails
Walk the famous 3.5-mile Cliff Walk in Newport and then head to the area surrounding Thames Street for many shops, restaurants, and bars
Take a guided tour of one (or several) of Newport's historic mega-mansions
Attend a WaterFire bonfire event in downtown Providence
Drive Ocean Drive, Rhode Island's most famous and best scenic drive
Hit the beach at Narragansett Town Beach
Eat all-you-can-eat seafood at the Nordic in Charlestown
Join a sailing tour in Newport
Attend either the Newport Folk Festival or the Newport Jazz Festival, or both

Stay in or near Stowe and enjoy its hiking trails, paved bike path, waterfalls, shops, and restaurants
Ski Killington Resort, the largest ski resort in Vermont and one of New England's best
Drive as much of VT 100 / Route 100 as possible in early October to see prime fall foliage
Explore Burlington, one of America's favorite medium-sized cities
Visit the Shelburne Museum, an outstanding American history museum with several buildings (and a steamboat) full of exhibits
Hike a portion of the 270+ mile Long Trail
Take a factory tour at Ben & Jerry's in Waterbury
Find some of Vermont's secret swimming holes
Go mountain biking on the Kingdom Trails in East Burke
Walk around Woodstock, one of New England's prettiest towns

If I were asked to recommend just five places to visit in New England, I would include the following:
Boston (MA) - I recommend first-time visitors spend a minimum of 2-3 days
Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park (ME) - I recommend first-time visitors spend a minimum of 4-5 days
Cape Cod with day trips to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard (MA) - I recommend first-time visitors spend a minimum of 6-7 days
North Conway & White Mountain National Forest (NH) - I recommend first-time visitors spend a minimum of 4-5 days
Stowe (VT) - I recommend first-time visitors spend a minimum of 3-4 days

For a list of 10 great attractions in each U.S. state, including each of the New England states, see my 10 Great Attractions in Each U.S. State guide.

Cliff Walk, Newport, RI   Minute Man Nat. Historical Park, MA   Nubble Light, York, ME  
Cliff Walk, Newport, RI   Minute Man Nat. Historical Park, MA   Nubble Light, York, ME  


There any many great small towns and cities scattered throughout New England that can serve as a base camp for your travels and adventures. The towns and cities listed below all offer excellent accommodations, great food, and access to exceptional nearby attractions. These are my favorite towns and cities in New England:

Essex - a small town known for its historic buildings, harbor views, and tourist area with boutique shops
Mystic - a small town known for its lively downtown and major tourist attractions (e.g. Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport Museum)
Simsbury - a small town known with an attractive downtown area; access to the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and Talcott Mountain SP
Woodbury - a small town known as the "antique capital of Connecticut"; the town has many historic buildings

Bar Harbor - a beloved small town that serves as the gateway to Acadia National Park; has a very lively downtown area (in season)
Bethel - a small town close to the Sunday River Resort ski area and also the hiking trails and waterfalls of Grafton Notch State Park
Boothbay Harbor - a small coastal town that has a lively waterfront area with boutique shops and art galleries; "classic seaside Maine"
Camden - a historic small town with great ocean views and a lively downtown area; gateway to Camden Hills State Park
Farmington - a small town with a historic downtown area that has several boutique shops
Freeport - a small town that offers "the best weekend of shopping in New England"; L.L. Bean flagship store is here, plus 100+ other stores
Kennebunkport - a small and charming coastal town with many boutique shops and seafood restaurants; good beaches
Lubec - a very small town that is the easternmost municipality in the contiguous U.S; close to great nature parks and a famous lighthouse
Monhegan Island - a small and rocky island accessible by boat; a "car-free and care-free island" with cliffs, ocean views, and hiking trails
Ogunquit - a small beach town with boutique shops and art galleries; it has a vibrant art & theatre scene plus great coastal walks
Old Orchard Beach - a small beach town with seaside amusements, family-fun attractions, and a beach pier; close to Funtown Splashtown
Portland - a medium-sized city with a lively historic district and many innovative restaurants and boutique shops; TONS of breweries
Rangeley - a small town close to excellent hiking (e.g. the Bigelows), waterfalls (e.g. Smalls Falls) and skiing/snowboarding (e.g. Saddleback)
York - a small town with several beaches and seaside amusements; the start of scenic coastal drives; not far from Ogunquit

Boston - a major city with exceptional historical sites (e.g. Colonial/Revolutionary War) and public parks; one of U.S.'s most walkable cities
Cambridge - a medium-sized city with many boutique shops, art galleries, and ethnic restaurants; home of Harvard University and MIT
Chatham - a small seaside town with beaches, boutique shops, and lighthouses; gateway to Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge
Edgartown - a small and upscale island town on Martha's Vineyard; many white-clapboard colonial homes, boutique shops, and restaurants
Falmouth - a coastal town with boutique shops, a rail trail, and the famous Nobska Lighthouse; gateway to Martha's Vineyard (island)
Great Barrington - a small town with boutique shops and good restaurants; access to the Appalachian Trail and close to Bash Bish Falls
Lenox - a small town that is home to Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; has a tourist area with boutique shops
Nantucket - a small and upscale town on Nantucket Island; has boutique shops, cobblestone streets, beaches, and interesting whaling history
Newburyport - a small coastal city with an upscale historic district, great harbor views, and maritime history; cycle the Clipper City Rail Trail
Northampton - a small city with a lively historic district with many shops and restaurants; access to two excellent rail trails nearby
Oak Bluffs - a small and upscale coastal town on Martha's Vineyard (island); has boutique shops and the famous "gingerbread" houses
Plymouth - a small coastal with boutique shops and strong colonial/pilgrim history (e.g. Plymouth Rock and the Plimoth Patuxet Museum)
Provincetown - an extremely walkable, gay-friendly small town with boutique shops, restaurants, art galleries, boat tours, and nightlife
Rockport - a small artist colony-type town with boutique shops and a scenic harbor; go hiking in Halibut Point State Park
Salem - a small city with a lively downtown area; the city is famous for its witch history/museums and massive Halloween events in October
Stockbridge - an exceptionally quaint small town with a famous inn (Red Lion Inn) and historic architecture; famous for Norman Rockwell

New Hampshire
Conway/North Conway - a large and lively mountain town with access to exceptional outdoor recreation (e.g. the White Mountains)
Hampton Beach - New Hampshire's liveliest beach town; has good surfing and several seaside amusements, shops, and restaurants
Hanover - a quaint small town with a historic downtown; the home of Dartmouth College; has access to the Appalachian Trail
Jackson - a small town with excellent hiking, downhill skiing/snowboarding; X-C skiing, waterfalls, and family-friendly attractions
Keene - a small city with a lively historic downtown full of shops and restaurants; Mt. Monadnock is in nearby Jaffrey
Lincoln/Woodstock - a pair of small mountain towns with access to exceptional outdoor recreation (e.g. the White Mountains)
Meredith - a small town on Lake Winnipesaukee that has a small but lively tourist area; the world's largest arcade is nearby (Funspot)
Portsmouth - a small city with a popular historic downtown area that has many shops and restaurants; visit the Strawberry Banke Museum

Rhode Island
Narragansett - a coastal town known for its beaches (e.g. Narragansett Town Beach) and as the gateway to quaint and scenic Block Island
New Shoreham - an upscale and quaint town on Block Island with miles of beaches, good on-street cycling, and some shops and art galleries
Newport - a small city famous for its lively tourist areas, historic mansions, beaches, and Cliff Walk; also the "sailing capital of the World"
Providence - a large city famous for its historic districts, colonial architecture, Italian restaurants, creative culture, and river bonfire events
Westerly - a small coastal town with several tourist shops, restaurants, and beaches; the "Watch Hill" area is best but parking is limited

Brattleboro - a small town that has a lively historic downtown area with several shops, restaurants, and art galleries
Burlington - a medium-sized city on Lake Champlain that is famous for its hip/eclectic college-town atmosphere, breweries, bike paths
Manchester - an upscale small town with a lively downtown that has several shops and restaurants; a famous fly-fishing destination
Middlebury - a small college town with an attractive historic downtown area; several breweries; access to Green Mountain National Forest
Stowe - an awesome small ski town with great scenery, hiking, and skiing/snowboarding; has a nice paved bike path; close to many breweries
Woodstock - a quaint small town with many Federal and Georgian-style homes; has a lively downtown area with shops and restaurants

My favorite small towns/small cities in New England are:
Bar Harbor, Maine
Manchester, Vermont
Mystic, Connecticut
Newport, Rhode Island
North Conway, New Hampshire
Provincetown, Massachusetts
Stowe, Vermont

My favorite medium-sized cities in New England are:
Burlington, Vermont
Portland, Maine
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

My favorite ski towns in New England are:
Bethel/Newry, Maine
Jackson, New Hampshire
Lincoln/Woodstock, New Hampshire
North Conway/Conway, New Hampshire
Stowe, Vermont

My favorite beach towns in New England are:
Block Island (RI)
Ogunquit (ME)
Old Orchard Beach (ME)
Provincetown (MA)
Westerly/Watch Hill (RI)
York/York Beach (ME)

My favorite major city in New England is, of course, Boston.

Visit my Favorite Places in the U.S. guide if you'd like to see a complete list of towns and cities that I find interesting across the entire U.S.

Newport, RI   Mystic, CT   North End district, Boston, MA  
Newport, RI   Mystic, CT   North End district, Boston, MA  


Here are some things that New England is famous or well-known for:

colonial history / pilgrim
clam chowder
covered bridges
fall foliage
fishing / fishing harbors / ice-fishing
fried seafood (e.g. fried clams)
healthcare institutions
higher education (e.g. universities and colleges)
hiking trails
lakes and ponds
maple syrup
professional sports
Revolutionary War history
rocky / rugged coastlines
ski/snowboard resorts

Visit What Each State Is Known For if you'd like to learn what other U.S. states are famous for.


In addition to having one official national park, New England has many other federally-managed parks and properties, including:

National Parks
Acadia National Park (ME) - a beautiful coastal park, popular with hiking, climbing, sea-kayaking, biking & horseback riding

National Forests
Green Mountain National Forest (VT) - a 400,000-acre forest in southwestern and central Vermont
White Mountain National Forest (NH/ME) - a 800,000-acre forest in northern New Hampshire and the western Maine mountains

National Recreation Areas
Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area (MA) - historic forts, remote beaches and island camping
Cape Cod National Seashore (MA) - beautiful & wild beaches

National Historical Parks / Other National Parks
Adams National Historic Park (MA) - preserves the home of Presidents of the United States John Adams and John Quincy Adams
Boston National Historic Park (MA) - collection of historic sites that display Boston's role in the American Revolution
Lowell National Historic Park (MA) - historical sites related to textile manufacturing in the city during the Industrial Revolution
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (VT) - beautiful forests, hiking trails, carriage roads, and mansion tours
Minute Man National Historic Park (MA) - Revolutionary War-era sites and historic buildings; dirt jogging and hiking paths
Roosevelt Campobello International Park (ME) - preserves the house and surrounding landscape of the Roosevelt family summer retreat
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site (NH) - preserves the home, gardens, and studios of one of America's foremost sculptors
Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site (MA) - 1600s site of the first integrated ironworks in North America
Springfield Armory National Historic Site (MA) - world's largest collection of historic American firearms
Touro Synagogue National Historic Site (RI) - oldest synagogue building still standing in the United States
Weir Farm National Historic Site (CT) - one of two sites in the National Park Service system devoted to the visual arts

Many travelers that want to visit Acadia National Park will fly into Logan Airport in Boston and then drive up into Maine. Here are some suggestions for places to see/stop along the way:
Eat some fried claims in Ipswich or Essex, MA
Walk around downtown Newburyport, MA
Walk around downtown Portsmouth, NH
Visit Ogunquit and Oqunquit Beach, ME
Visit Old Orchard Beach, ME
Walk around the 'Old Port' section of downtown Portland, ME
Shopping and dining in Freeport, ME
Visit Boothbay and the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, ME
Visit Camden and the nearby Cellardoor Winery, ME

For an overview of all of America's national parks, visiting my National Park guide.


New England has several hundred state parks. Here is a list of what I believe are the premier state parks in the region:

Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam - tour an eccentric medieval-style castle
Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison - visit one of the best beaches in Connecticut
Kent Falls State Park, Kent - see one of the top waterfalls in CT; the park offers great picnicking; falls are visible from the west side of US-7

Baxter State Park, Millinocket - hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing/scrambling, camping, canoeing, wildlife viewing
Camden Hills State Park, Camden - hiking, camping, scenic drive, scenic views
Grafton Notch State Park, Newry - hiking, backpacking, waterfalls, scenic drive, scenic views

Bash Bish Falls State Park, Mt. Washington - hike to the most dramatic waterfall in Massachusetts; start your hike in Taconic State Park in NY
Mount Greylock State Reservation, Lanesborough - state highpoint; excellent hiking, backpacking, and backcountry skiing trails; lodge on top
Natural Bridge State Park, North Adams - contains the only natural white marble arch in North America; beautiful white marble dam
Nickerson State Park, Brewster - outstanding camping, fishing, and biking paths; connects to the finest rail trail in MA (Cape Cod Rail Trail)
Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, Sutton - towering cliffs and small caves; children (6+ is recommended) will have an amazing time here

New Hampshire
Crawford Notch State Park, Harts Location - outstanding hiking and backpacking; scenic driving (US 302); campgrounds and waterfalls
Franconia Notch State Park, Lincoln - geological attractions, hiking, backpacking, scenic driving, camping, waterfalls, snowmobiling
Monadnock State Park, Jaffrey - hike/scramble up one of the most climbed mountains in the world; campground
Mount Washington State Park, Sargents Purchase - hike or drive to the highest point in New England; amazing backcountry skiing and views

Rhode Island
Arcadia Management Area, Hope Valley - RI's largest recreation area with boating, fishing, hiking, and a small waterfall (Stepstone Falls)
Beavertail State Park, Jamestown - holds one of the finest lighthouses in New England; one of the best views in Rhode Island
Colt State Park, Bristol - the "gem" of the Rhode Island state park system; shorelines and great paved walking and biking paths
Fort Adams State Park, Newport - historic fort and panoramic views of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay; summer music festivals

Camel's Hump State Park, Duxbury - undeveloped state park with excellent (but challenging) hiking trails to the best mtn summit in Vermont
Mount Ascutney State Park, Windsor - great hiking trails to scenic views and waterfalls; a hang-gliding hot spot; campground with lean-tos
Quechee State Park, Quechee - Vermont's most famous canyon; trails lead up and down the river
Smugglers' Notch State Park, Stowe - narrow passage through the Green Mountains; access to great hiking and some boulder caves

If I had to choose five favorite state parks in New England, I would include the following:
Baxter State Park, Maine
Crawford Notch State Park, New Hampshire
Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire
Mount Greylock State Reservation, Massachusetts
Mount Monadnock State Park, New Hampshire

To see my list of the best state parks in the country, see my Top 100 U.S. State Parks guide.

Bash Bish Falls State Park, MA   Baxter State Park, ME   Branbury State Park, VT  
Bash Bish Falls State Park, MA   Baxter State Park, ME   Branbury State Park, VT  


New England has thousands of natural waterfalls. Here is a list of many of the finest waterfalls in New England:

Buttermilk Falls, Plymouth
Campbell Falls, Norfolk
Chapman Falls, East Haddam
Dean's Ravine Falls, Canaan
Enders Falls, Granby
Kent Falls, Kent
Wadsworth Big Falls, Middlefield

Angel Falls, Township D
Dunn Falls, Andover North Surplus
Grand Falls, T3R4
Gulf Hagas, Bowdoin College Grant East
Little Wilson Falls-Upper Falls, Elliotsville Township
Moxie Falls, Moxie Gore
Smalls Falls, Township E

Bash Bish Falls, Mt. Washington
Campbell Falls, New Marlborough
Chapel Falls, Ashfield
Doane's Falls, Royalston
Goldmine Brook Falls, Chester
Race Brook Falls, Sheffield
Tannery Falls, Savoy
The Cascade, North Adams
Twin Cascades, Florida
Wahconah Falls, Dalton

New Hampshire
Alpine Cascades, Gorham
Ammonoosuc Ravine, Sargents Purchase
Arethusa Falls, Harts Location
Beaver Brook Cascades, Woodstock
Beaver Brook Falls, Colebrook
Bridal Veil Falls, Franconia
Crystal Cascade, Pinkhams Grant
Diana's Baths, Bartlett
Dry River Falls, Cutts Grant
Falls on the Basin-Cascades Trail (aka 'The Basin'), Lincoln
Falls on the Falling Waters Trail, Lincoln/Franconia
Falls on the Flume-Pool Loop, Lincoln
Garfield Falls, Pittsburg
Glen Ellis Falls, Jackson
Ripley Falls, Harts Location
Sabbaday Falls, Waterfall Valley
Silver Cascade, Harts Location
Thirteen Falls, Franconia

Barlett Falls, Bristol
Bingham Falls, Stowe
Bolton Potholes, Bolton
Buttermilk Falls, Ludlow
Falls of Lana, Salisbury
Glen Falls, Fairlee
Hamilton Falls, Jamaica
Lye Brook Falls, Manchester
Moss Glen Falls, Granville
Moss Glen Falls, Stowe
Old City Falls, Strafford
Texas Falls, Hancock
Thundering Brook Falls, Killington
Warren Falls, Warren

For a listing of all known waterfalls in New England, visit the New England Waterfalls and/or World Waterfall Database websites.

Moss Glen Falls, Granville, VT   Screw Auger Falls, Gulf Hagas, ME   Kent Falls, CT  
Moss Glen Falls, Granville, VT   Screw Auger Falls, Gulf Hagas, ME   Kent Falls, CT  


Here is a list of the best scenic drives in New England:

Litchfield Hills Scenic Drive - a 46-mile paved route from Litchfield to North Canaan via Warren, Kent, and Cornwall; mostly along US-7

Bold Coast Scenic Byway - a 147-mile paved route from Milbridge to Eastport via Cherryfield, Jonesport, Machias, Culter, Lubec, & Whiting
Grafton Notch Byway - a 21-mile paved route from Newry to Upton using ME 26 through Grafton Notch State Park
Katahdin Woods and Waters Scenic Byway - a 89-mile paved route that connects the southern and northern entrances of Baxter State Park
Moosehead Lake Scenic Byway - a 49-mile paved route from Jackman to Greenville using ME 6 and ME 15
Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway - a 78-mile paved route from Solon to the Canadian border using US-201
Park Loop Road, Acadia National Park - a seasonal 27-mile paved loop (driven clockwise) within the national park on Mount Desert Island
Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway - a 35-mile paved loop from Rumford to Madrid via Rangeley using ME 17, ME 16, and ME 4
Schoodic National Scenic Byway - a 27-mile paved route in the Schoodic Peninsula section of Acadia National Park
US-1A / Shore Road - a 10-mile paved route from York Harbor to Ogunquit via York Beach

Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway / US-2 - a 35-mile paved route from Greenfield to North Adams in northwestern MA
Mount Greylock Scenic Byway - a seasonal 16-mile paved route that drives to the summit of Mt. Greylock, which is the highpoint of MA
Route 6 on Cape Cod - a 25-mile paved route from Orleans to Provincetown on the upper tip of Cape Cod

New Hampshire
I-93 through Franconia Notch - a 17-mile paved route from Lincoln to Franconia
Kancamagus Highway/NH-112 - a 50-mile paved route from Lincoln to Conway
Lake Winnipesaukee Loop - a 62-mile paved loop around Lake Winnipesaukee that travels along a variety of different roads and highways
Mount Washington Auto Road - a seasonal 8-mile paved toll road off NH 16 that climbs (steeply) to the summit of Mount Washington
NH-16 through Pinkham Notch - a 22-mile paved route from Jackson to Gorha
US-302 through Crawford Notch - a 35-mile paved route from Twin Mountain to the attractive downtown area of North Conway

Rhode Island
Ocean Drive - a 10-mile paved route that travels near the ocean in Newport using several different streets

Auto Toll Road, Stowe - a seasonal 4.5-mile dirt/gravel road that climbs up most of Mt. Mansfield; you can continue on foot to the summit
VT-100 - a 217-mile paved route along the spine of the Green Mountains; this is Vermont's most scenic drive; many attractions are en route
VT-108 - a seasonal 18-mile paved road from Stowe to Jeffersonville through Smuggler's Notch; don't miss Bingham Falls and Sterling Pond

The most scenic drive in New England is arguably the Kancamagus Highway, which travels from Lincoln to Conway in the White Mountain region of New Hampshire. This 56-mile drive is almost completely free of commercial development and it features several excellent scenic vistas with marked parking areas. There are many hiking trailheads along this road as well, including short walks to three great waterfalls: Lower Falls, Rocky Gorge and Sabbaday Falls. There is also a neat suspension bridge a short walk from the Lincoln Woods parking area. This road is open all year, but it is perhaps most spectacular during the first two weeks of October, which is prime fall foliage season. I would advise against driving this road during a snowstorm.

For a list of great scenic drives in each U.S. state, visit my guide to the Best U.S. Scenic Drives.


Here is a list of some of the best rail trails (or similar cycling paths) in New England:

Air Line State Park Trail
Farmington Canal Heritage Trail
Farmington River Trail
Hop River State Park Trail
Pequonnock River Trail

Eastern Promenade Trail
Eastern Trail
Kennebec River Rail Trail

Ashuwillticook Rail Trail
Cape Cod Canal Rail Trail
Cape Cod Rail Trail
Columbia Greenway Rail Trail & Southwick Rail Trail
Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path
Minuteman Bikeway
Nashua River Rail Trail
Norwottuck Rail Trail
Province Lands Bike Trail
Shining Sea Bikeway

New Hampshire
Ashuelot Recreational Rail Trail
Derry Rail Trail
Franconia Notch Recreation Path
Londonderry Rail Trail
Nashua River Rail Trail
Northern Rail Trail
Presidential Range Rail Trail - take note that some sections of this trail are not well-maintained
Windham Rail Trail

Rhode Island
Blackstone River Greenway
East Bay Bike Path
Washington Secondary Bike Path
William C. O'Neil Bike Path

Island Line Rail Trail / Colchester Causeway
Lamoille Valley Rail Trail
Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail
Stowe Recreation Path

For detailed information on all known rail trails in New England, visit the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website.


There are a good amount of notable amusement parks in New England. Here are the premier amusement parks of New England:

Lake Compounce & Crocodile Cove, Bristol - the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the U.S.
Quassy Amusement and Waterpark, Middlebury

Aquaboggan Water Park, Saco
Funtown Splashtown USA, Saco - the largest amusement park in Maine; includes both an amusement park and a sizable water park
Palace Playground, Old Orchard Beach - the largest beach-front amusement park in New England; also has small roller coasters and rides

Cape Cod Inflatable Park, West Yarmouth - one of the largest inflatable parks in the U.S.
Davis Farmland, Sterling - an agricultural theme park with live animals, giant corn maze, and more
Edaville Family Theme Park, Carver - fantastic for young children!
Six Flags New England, Agawam - the largest theme park in Massachusetts; the best rollercoaster park in New England
Water Wizz of Cape Cod, East Wareham - the largest outdoor water park in southern New England

New Hampshire
Canobie Lake Park, Salem
Santa's Village, Jefferson - fantastic for young children!
Story Land, Jackson - fantastic for young children!
Water Country, Portsmouth - the best outdoor water park in New England
Whale's Tale Waterpark, Lincoln

Jay Peak Pump House, Jay - a giant, year-round, indoor water park
Santa's Land USA, Putney

In my opinion, there are currently no notable amusement parks in Rhode Island.


New England has an awesome assortment of museums. Some of the finest museums in New England include:

American Clock & Watch Museum, Bristol
Connecticut Science Center, Hartford
Danbury Railway Museum, Danbury
Dinosaur State Park & Museum, Rocky Hill
Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam
Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington
Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford
Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, Mashantucket
Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain
New England Air Museum, Windsor Locks
New England Carousel Museum, Bristol
PEZ Visitor Center, Orange
Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Norwalk
Submarine Force Library & Museum, Groton
Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds, Old Lyme
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford
Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven

Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick
Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville
Cole Land Transportation Museum, Bangor
Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland
Fort Knox Historic Site, Prospect
Maine Lighthouse Museum, Rockland
Maine Maritime Museum, Bath
Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit
Owls Head Transportation Museum, Owls Head
Portland Museum of Art, Portland
Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport
Victoria Mansion, Portland

Adams National Historical Park, Quincy
Amazing World of Dr. Suess Museum, Springfield
Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield
Battleship Cove, Fall River
Boston Children's Museum, Boston
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, Boston
Clark Art Institute, Williamstown
Hammond Castle Museum, Gloucester
Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield
Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge
House of the Seven Gables, Salem
John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library, Boston
MASS MoCA, North Adams
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Science, Boston
New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford
Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge
Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem
Plimoth Patuxet Museums, Plymouth
Springfield Armory National Historic Site, Springfield
Whaling Museum, Nantucket
Whydah Pirate Museum, West Yarmouth
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester

New Hampshire
Canterbury Shaker Village, Canterbury
Children's Museum of New Hampshire, Dover
Currier Museum of Art, Manchester
Enfield Shaker Museum, Enfield
New Hampshire Telephone Museum, Warner
Strawberry Banke Museum, Portsmouth
USS Albacore Museum, Portsmouth
Wright Museum of WWII, Wolfeboro

Rhode Island
Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, Bristol
Breakers, The, Newport
Elms, The, Newport
International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, Newport
Marble House, Newport
National Museum of American Illustration, Newport
Newport Art Museum, Newport
Newport Car Museum, Portsmouth
Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark, Pawtucket
Providence Children's Museum, Providence
Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art (RISD), Providence
Rosecliff, Newport
Rough Point Museum, Newport

American Precision Museum, Windsor
Billings Farm & Museum, Woodstock
Hildene, Manchester
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, Woodstock
Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich
Rock of Ages Visitor Center & Quarry Tours, Barre
Shelburne Museum, Shelburne
Vermont Marble Museum, Proctor
Vermont Toy Museum, Quechee

Battleship Cove, Fall River, MA   Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT   USS Constitution Museum, Boston, MA  
Battleship Cove, Fall River, MA   Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT   USS Constitution Museum, Boston, MA  


New England has thousands of miles of hiking trails, and there is great hiking to be found across the region. Here are some of the best day hikes in New England:

Bear Mountain Trail, Mount Riga State Park
Kent Falls, Kent Falls State Park - hike a short but steep path that brings you to additional waterfalls that you can't see from the picnic area
Mount Frissell, Mount Washington State Forest - the southwest shoulder of this mountain is the highest point in Connecticut
Ragged Mountain Memorial Preserve trails
Sleeping Giant State Park trails
Talcot Mountain State Park trails

Beehive Trail, Acadia National Park - very steep with some iron rungs and lots of exposure!
Borestone Mountain, Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary, Northeast Piscataquis
Baldplate Mountain, Grafton Notch State Park
Bigelow Mountain, Bigelow Preserve & Flagstaff Lake Public Lands
Bold Coast, Culter Coast Public Reserved Land, Cutler
Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park
Camden Hills State Park trails (e.g. Bald Rock Mountain, Mount Battie, etc.)
Dunn Falls, Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Gulf Hagas
Katahdin, Baxter State Park - the #1 hiking destination in Baxter; generally opens in mid-June; parking permits/reservations are required
Marginal Way, Ogunquit
Mount Abraham, Mount Abraham Ecological Reserve
Mount Blue, Mount Blue State Park
Moxie Falls, Moxie Falls Scenic Area, Moxie Gore
North & South Brother, Baxter State Park
Owl, The, Baxter State Park - parking permits/reservations are required and are difficult to obtain
Pleasant Mountain, Pleasant Mountain Preserve
Precipice Trail Loop, Acadia National Park - generally opens in mid-August; very steep with iron rungs/ladders and lots of exposure!
Puzzle Mountain, Mahoosuc Public Reserved Land
Rumford Whitecap, Rumford Whitecap Mountain Preserve
Sargent and Penobscot Mountains, Acadia National Park
Table Rock Loop, Grafton Notch State Park - do this counter-clockwise! very steep with some moderate rock scrambling
Traveler Mountain, Baxter State Park - as challenging as Katahdin, but no parking permits/reservations are required
Tumbledown Mountain, Tumbledown Public Lands

Bash Bish Falls - relatively easy hike from Taconic State Park in New York to Massachusetts' most dramatic waterfall
Blue Hills Reservation trails - close to Boston and offers good views of the city in the distance
Freedom Trail, Boston - 2.5-mile walk within the city of Boston that passes more than a dozen historical sites; the best walking tour in Boston
Monument Mountain - fun hike to scenic views in the southern Berkshires
Mount Greylock State Park trails - the highpoint of Massachusetts; hike to the summit or to one or several of the parks waterfalls
Mount Holyoke Range State Park trails - some of the best trails and views in Central Massachusetts
Mount Race & Race Brook Falls - hike uphill to five scenic waterfalls and also lovely views of the Berkshires
Mount Wachusett State Reservation - more than 15 miles of hiking trails; the Harrington Trail has some of the best views in Central MA
Mount Watatic - moderately challenging mountain hike feature open scenic views; one of the best hikes within 90 minutes of Boston
Great Island Trail - hike to wild and remote beaches on Cape Cod
Halibut Point State Park trails - hike to rocky coastlines and old quarries
Middlesex Fells Reservation trails - close to Boston and offers great views of the city; more than 100 miles of hiking trails
Pleasant Valley Sanctuary trails - hiking trails to seasonal waterfalls and scenic views
Purgatory Chasm State Reservation trails - fun rock scrambling and boulder caves; very popular with families
Walden Pond State Reservation trails - walk around the beloved lake where Henry David Thoreau lived for 2+ years; parking lot fills up early!
Ward Reservation - 10+ miles of hiking trails through forests and open fields; scenic views, including the Boston skyline in the distance

New Hampshire
Arethusa Falls - hike to one of NH's tallest and arguably most beautiful waterfall; access via US 302
Artists Bluff - short but steep hike to one of the best scenic views in NH; a fall foliage classic; access via Cannon Mountain parking area
Baldface Loop - hard but rewarding hike/light rock scramble in Evans Notch; 10+ miles round-trip; swim in Emerald Pool at the end
Diana's Baths - fun pools and potholes; parking is very limited; near North Conway
Flume Gorge - waterfalls and gorges on a 2-0 mile loop in Franconia Notch; reservations required
Franconia Ridge Loop/Mt. Lafayette/Mt. Lincoln - hard but incredible hike in Franconia Notch
Glen Ellis Falls - gorgeous waterfall near Mt. Washington; access via NH 16
Lonesome Lake - beautiful remote lake near Cannon Mountain; access via hike from Franconia Notch
Mount Adams - hard climb to open 360-degree view summit; access via US 2 in Randolph
Mount Cardigan - moderate hike to awesome views in central NH
Mount Chocorua - classic hike off the Kancamagus Highway (NH 112)
Mount Kearsarge - moderate hike to excellent views in central NH; parking may require reservations/permits
Mount Major - moderate hike to stunning views of Lake Winnipesaukee
Mount Monadnock - one of the most hiked mountains in the world; located in Jaffrey in the southwestern corner of NH
Mount Pemigewasset - one of the best moderate day hikes near Lincoln; same trailhead as the Flume Gorge
Mount Washington - highpoint of New Hampshire; you can drive, hike, or take a cog railway up to this summit; the hike is difficult
Mount Willard - amazing views of Crawford Notch; parking can be a challenge
North & Middle Sugarloaf - moderate hike to beautiful open ledges
Pawtuckaway State Park trails
Sabbaday Falls - pretty falls off the Kancamagus Highway (NH 112)
Welch & Dickey Loop - fun hike near Waterville Valley
West Rattlesnake - relatively easy hike to wonderful views of Squam Lake; limited parking

Rhode Island
Beavertail State Park trails, Jamestown
Black Point Trail, Narragansett
Cliff Walk, Newport
Napatree Point Conservation Area, Westerly
Rodman's Hollow Nature Preserve, Block Island
Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge trails, Middletown

Bingham Falls, Mount Mansfield State Forest, Stowe - short hike to a beautiful waterfall; hike requires descending a steep rock staircase
Camel's Hump, Camel's Hump State Park, Duxbury - several challenging trails elevate you to Vermont's best undeveloped mountain summit
Hamilton Falls, Jamaica State Park, Jamaica - moderate hike to one of Vermont's best waterfalls
Killington Peak, Green Mountain National Forest - hike up to scenic views on one of Vermont's 4000-footers
Lye Brook Falls, Green Mountain National Forest - moderate hike to one of Vermont's best waterfalls
Mount Abraham, Green Mountain National Forest - great views from one of Vermont's 4000-footers
Mount Ascutney, Mount Ascutney State Park, Windsor - moderately hike to scenic views from a observation platform
Mount Elmore, Elmore State Park, Elmore - great views from a firetower (hike required)
Mount Hunger, C.C. Putnam State Forest, Stowe - moderately challenging hike to one of the best views in the state
Mount Mansfield, Stowe - the highpoint of Vermont; several challenging trails lead to the summer (most difficult = Hell Brook Trail)
Mount Philo, Mount Philo State Park, Charlotte - scenic views of Lake Champlain Valley and the Adirondack Mountains of NH
Mount Pisgah, Willoughby State Forest, Sutton - stunning views of Lake Willoughby, Vermont's prettiest big lake
Sterling Pond, Smugglers' Notch State Park, Stowe - moderate hike to a beautiful remote pond
Stowe Pinnacle, C.C. Putnam State Forest, Stowe - great moderate hike to scenic views of the town of Stowe; Stowe's best moderate day hike
Stratton Mountain & Stratton Pond, Green Mountain National Forest - challenging day hike to scenic views and a remote pond; can be backpacked
Sunset Ledge, Breadloaf Wilderness - hike the Long Trail to gorgeous views; moderate rock scrambles required
Wheeler Mountain, Willoughby State Forest, Sutton - stunning views from rock ledges

To find more hikes in New England or to learn more about the hikes I've listed above, I recommend purchasing hiking guidebooks on Amazon (or from your local retailer). Another option is using alltrails.com, but you have to be very careful when using that website as its information is often wrong or incomplete. Published hiking guidebooks will likely always be significantly better than the information you find online.

Katahdin, Baxter State Park, ME   White Mountain National Forest, NH   Precipice Trail, Acadia NP, ME  
Katahdin, Baxter State Park, ME   White Mountain National Forest, NH   Precipice Trail, Acadia NP, ME  


New England offers several outstanding backpacking opportunities. Some of premier backpacking routes in New England include:

Appalachian Trail
Mohawk Trail
Natchaug State Forest trails
Nipmuck Trail
Pachaug State Forest trails
Tunxis State Forest trails

100-Mile Wilderness of the Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail
Baxter State Park trails
Bigelow Mountain
Camden Hills State Park trails
Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land
Deboullie Public Reserved Land
Grafton Notch Loop
International Appalachian Trail
Maine Huts & Trails lodges
Other trails in Maine Public Reserved Lands

Appalachian Trail
Midstate Trail
Monroe State Forest
Mount Greylock State Reservation
Mount Washington State Forest
Tully Trail

New Hampshire
Appalachian Trail
Cohos Trail
Franconia Ridge / Franconia Range
Great Gulf Wilderness
Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway
Pemigewasset Wilderness ("Pemi Loop")
Presidential Range-Dry River Wilderness
Presidential Range Traverse
Thirteen Falls
Wild River Wilderness
Wildcat-Carter-Moriah Range


New England offers many excellent adventures, including these classics:

Backpacking the Appalachian Trail
Backpacking the Nipmuck Trail
Cycling the Air Line State Park Trail
Cycling the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail
Cycling the Farmington River Trail
Cycling the Hop River State Park Trail
Cycling the Pequonnock River Trail
Day hiking some of the 800+ mile Connecticut "Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails" system
Day hiking Bear Mountain
Day hiking Mount Frissell
Hot air ballooning in Woodstock
Mountain biking the Case Mountain Recreational Area
Mountain biking the Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort
Mountain biking the Rockland Preserve Singletrack
Paddle-boarding in Mystic
Rock climbing Chatfield Hollow
Rock climbing Ragged Mountain
Sailing in Mystic
Skydiving in Killingly
Tubing the Farmington River
Whitewater kayaking directly below the Great Falls of the Hoosatonic River
Whitewater rafting the Housatonic River

Appalachian Mountain Club remote lodges
Canoeing the Allagash Wilderness Waterway - a 92-mile canoe trip that normally takes 5-8 days; one of the best canoe trips in the U.S.
Canoeing the Saco River
Canoeing the St. Croix River
Backpacking the 100-Mile Wilderness - it takes most backpackers 8-10 days to complete this famous section of the Appalachian Trail
Backpacking the Appalachian Trail
Backpacking in Baxter State Park - stay in one of dozens of remote lean-tos
Backpacking the Grafton Notch Loop
Backpacking on Maine Public Reserved Lands
Day hiking Bigelow Mountain
Day hiking Katahdin in Baxter State Park
Day hiking the Beehive in Acadia National Park
Day hiking the Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park - generally opens for the season in mid-August
Day hiking Traveler Mountain in Baxter State Park
Day hiking Tumbledown Mountain
Float plane into a remote sporting camp
Ice fishing on any one of Maine's hundreds of lakes (e.g. Moosehead Lake)
Mountain biking the Blackstrap Hill Preserve in Falmouth
Mountain biking the Bond Brook Recreation Area in Augusta
Mountain biking the Carrabassett Valley Trail network
Mountain biking the 45-plus miles of carriage roads of Acadia National Park
Mountain biking the Nordic Heritage Sports Center in Presque Isle
Mountaineering up Katahdin in Baxter State Park in winter
Rock climbing in Camden Hills State Park
Rock climbing the Clifton Crags
Rock climbing on Mt. Desert Island
Sea-kayaking the Maine coastline
Sailing the Maine coastline
Skiing at Sunday River Resort
Skiing at Sugarloaf
Skydiving in Lebanon
Snowmobiling on some of Maine's 14,000-plus miles of trails
Stay at one or several of the AMC Maine Wilderness Lodges
Stay at one or several of the Maine Huts & Trails Lodges
Whitewater rafting the Dead River
Whitewater rafting the Kennebec River
Whitewater rafting the Penobscot River

ATV/ORV-ing Beartown State Forest
ATV/ORV-ing Pittsfield State Forest
Backcountry skiing Mount Greylock - e.g. Thunderbolt Trail
Backcountry skiing Mount Watatic
Backpacking the Appalachian Trail
Backpacking the Midstate Trail - 92 miles from the RI border to the NH border; several overnight shelters are available for use
Backpacking Mount Greylock State Reservation
Backpacking Mount Washington State Forest
Canoeing/kayaking the Charles River
Canoeing/kayaking the Concord River
Canoeing/kayaking the Ipswich River
Cycling the Ashuwillticook Trail Trail
Cycling the Cape Cod Rail Trail
Cycling the Mass Central Rail Trail
Cycling the Minuteman Bikeway
Cycling the Nashua River Rail Trail
Cycling the Shining Sea Bikeway
Day hiking the Bay Circuit Trail
Day hiking Mt. Greylock
Day hiking Mt. Race / Race Brook Falls
Day hiking Mt. Watatic
Hot air ballooning in Worthington
Ice climbing at Auburn Ice Canyon
Mountain biking Lynn Woods Reservation, Lynn
Mountain biking Thunder Mountain Bike Park, Charlemont
Rock climbing Crow Hill in Leominster State Forest, Leominster
Rock climbing Quincy Quarries, Quincy - a popular climbing stop (top-roping style)
Sailing the Charles River
Sky diving in Marstons Mills, Orange, or Pepperell
Surfing Cisco Beach on Nantucket Island
Surfing Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester
Whitewater rafting the Deerfield River

New Hampshire
ATV/ORV-ing in Jericho State Park near Gorham/Berlin
ATV/ORV-ing in Pittsburg
Backcountry skiing near Cannon Mountain/Mittersill
Backcountry skiing on Cardigan Mountain
Backcountry skiing the Sherburne Ski Trail on Mt. Washington
Backcountry skiing Tuckerman's Ravine on Mt. Washington
Backcountry skiing other areas in/around the White Mountain National Forest
Backpacking Mahoosuc Notch (aka the "hardest mile on the Appalachian Trail")
Backpacking the Appalachian Trail
Backpacking the Cohos Trail
Backpacking the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail
Backpacking the Pemi Loop
Backpacking the Presidential Range (aka a "Presidential Traverse")
Backpacking to one or several of the AMC High Huts
Backpacking to one or several of the RMC shelters
Backpacking to other areas in the White Mountain National Forest
Boulder caving at the Lost River Gorge (tourist attraction)
Boulder caving at the Polar Caves (tourist attraction)
Canoeing the Androscoggin River
Canoeing the Saco River
Canoeing the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge
Cliff jumping from swimming holes in the White Mountain National Forest
Cycling the Kancamagus Highway/NH-112
Cycling the Nashua River Rail Trail
Cycling the Northern Rail Trail
Day hiking the Baldface Loop
Day hiking Cardigan Mountain
Day hiking the Franconia Ridge Loop/Mt. Lafayette/Mt. Lincoln
Day hiking Mount Chocorua
Day hiking Mount Monadnock
Day hiking Mount Washington
Driving up Mt. Washington (the tallest peak in New England)
Hot air ballooning in Chester
Ice climbing Arethusa Falls
Ice climbing on Cathedral Ledge
Mountain biking at one of NH's ski resorts
Mountain biking the Highland Mountain Bike Park
Rock climbing on Cannon Cliff
Rock climbing on Cathedral Ledge
Rock climbing on Mt. Washington
Rock climbing in Rumney (e.g. sport climbing on Rattlesnake Mountain)
Snowmobiling on any of NH's 7,000 miles of trails
Surfing at Hampton Beach

Rhode Island
Bouldering in Lincoln Woods State Park
Cycling the Blackstone River Bikeway
Cycling the East Bay Bike Path
Cycling on the roads/streets of Block Island
Cycling the Washington Secondary Bike Path
Helicopter tours in Newport
Horseback riding in Arcadia Management Area
Horseback riding in Goddard Memorial State Park
Mountain biking Big River Management Area
Mountain biking in Diamond Hill State Park
Mountain biking in Lincoln Woods State Park
Parasailing in Newport
Sailing in Newport
Skydiving in Middletown (near Newport) or Smithfield
Surfing at Sachuest Beach
Surfing at Narragansett Town Beach

Backcountry skiing in Bolton Valley
Backcountry skiing in Willoughby State Forest
Backpacking the Appalachian Trail
Backpacking the Long Trail (the entire 272-miles or one of 15 commonly defined sections of it)
Backpacking the Lye Brook Wilderness / Stratton Pond
Bouldering in Smuggler's Notch State Park
Canoeing/kayaking the Connecticut River
Canoeing/kayaking the Lamoille River
Canoeing/kayaking the Missisquoi River
Canoe/kayak camping in Green River Reservoir State Park
Cross-country skiing the Catamount Trail
Cross-country skiing the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Craftsbury
Cross-country skiing to the huts of the Vermont Huts Association
Cross-country skiing Timber Creek
Cycling the Island Line Rail Trail / Colchester Causeway near Burlington
Cycling the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail
Cycling the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail
Cycling the Stowe Recreation Path
Day hiking Camel's Hump
Day hiking Mount Mansfield
Dog-sledding in Eden Mills
Driving around and searching for some of Vermont's many covered bridges
Driving around and searching for some of Vermont's many secret swimming holes
Hang-gliding in Ascutney State Park in Windsor
Hot air ballooning in Essex
Ice climbing in Lake Willoughby State Forest / Mount Pisgah
Ice climbing in Smugglers' Notch State Park
Kayaking Lake Champlain in or near Burlington
Mountain biking the Bolton Valley Resort trails
Mountain biking the Green Mountain Trails near Pittsfield
Mountain biking the Killington Resort trails
Mountain biking the Kingdom Trails & Mount Burke (in the "Northeast Kingdom" region)
Mountain biking the Mount Snow Bike Park
Rock climbing the Bolton Crags
Rock climbing Deer Leap in Killington
Sailing Lake Champlain in/near Burlington
Snowmobiling in the Northeast Kingdom
Snowmobiling in Plymouth
Whitewater rafting the West River
Whitewater kayaking the White River

Camel's Hump, VT   Penobscot River, ME   Norwottuck Rail Trail, MA  
Camel's Hump, VT   Penobscot River, ME   Norwottuck Rail Trail, MA  


New England has more than 70 skiing areas/resorts. Here is a list of the premier ski areas in the region:

Saddleback Mountain - 68 trails; 2,000ft vertical drop; 4,120ft summit
Sugarloaf - 162 trails; 2,820ft vertical drop; 4,234ft summit
Sunday River Resort - 135 trails; 2,340ft vertical drop; 3,140ft summit

Berkshire East Mountain Resort - 45 trails; 1,180ft vertical drop; 1,840ft summit
Jiminy Peak - 45 trails; 1,150ft vertical drop; 2,380ft summit

New Hampshire
Attitash Mountain Resort - 68 trails; 1,750ft vertical drop; 2,350ft summit
Bretton Woods - 98 trails; 1,500ft vertical drop; 3,100ft summit
Cannon Mountain - 97 trails; 2,180ft vertical drop; 4,080ft summit
Loon Mountain - 61 trails; 2,100ft vertical drop; 3,050ft summit
Mount Sunapee - 67 trails; 1,510ft vertical drop; 2,743ft summit
Wildcat Mountain - 48 trails; 2,112ft vertical drop; 4,062ft summit

Jay Peak, Jay - 81 trails; 2,153ft vertical drop; 3,968ft summit
Killington Ski Resort - 155 trails; 3,050ft vertical drop; 4,241ft summit
Mount Snow Ski Resort - 86 trails; 1,700ft vertical drop; 3,600ft summit
Okemo Mountain - 119 trails; 2,200ft vertical drop; 3,344ft summit
Smugglers Notch - 78 trails; 2,610ft vertical drop; 3,640ft summit
Stowe Mountain - 116 trails; 2,160ft vertical drop; 3,719ft summit
Stratton Mountain - 99 trails; 2,003ft vertical drop; 3,875ft summit
Sugarbush Resort - 111 trails; 2,600ft vertical drop; 4,083ft summit

My favorite ski resort in New England is Sugarloaf in Maine. It's a monster-sized resort, but it never feels that crowded to me...probably a result of it being located more than four hours from Boston. All trails at Sugarloaf ultimately lead back to just one base area, which contrasts to most other big mountains that have multiple base area. You can also ski-in, ski-out to several hotels and many condo rentals. Oh, and the terrain at Sugarloaf is fantastic.

Bretton Woods has the finest tree-skiing in New England, but the resort hasn't received enough snow to keep much of these glades open the last few winters.

Snowboarding is still banned at Mad River Glen in Vermont, one of only three remaining resorts in the U.S. that still ban the sport.

Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont is the most expensive resort in New England, and it has the look and feel of one of the ultra-posh ski resorts of the West.

The best place to learn how to ski in New England might be King Pine in Madison, New Hampshire. The beginner ski area is simply perfect, with an extremely low angle of descent that helps avoid intimidating new skiers. The lift lines and crowds never seem too bad to us here either, even on most weekends.


For offbeat and unique New England attractions, visit one or both of these amazing websites: Atlas Obscura and Roadside America


Here are some unique / specialty foods to try while you are in New England:

hot dogs / deep fried dogs - e.g. Riley's Hot Dog in New Britain, Frankies in Waterbury, or Blackie's in Cheshire
ice cream parlors
new england clam chowder
steamed cheeseburgers - e.g. Ted's Restaurant in Meriden
white clam pizza - e.g. Frank Pepe Pizzeria in New Haven

blueberry pies
fried clams - e.g. Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery, The Clam Shack in Kennebunk
lobster - e.g. Thurston's Lobster Pound in Bernard (near Bar Harbor)
lobster rolls
Moxie (soda)
popovers - e.g. Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park
red snapper hot dogs
whoopie pies

beach pizza - e.g. Christy's in Salisbury
boston creme pie
fried clams - e.g. Clam Box in Ipswich, J.T. Farnham's in Essex
indian pudding
lobster / lobster rolls
new england clam chowder
roast beef sandwiches - e.g. Nick's Roast Beef in Peabody

New Hampshire
beach pizza - e.g. Christy's in Hampton, NH Beach Pizza in Salem
fried clams - e.g. Pop's Clam Shell in Alton Bay, The Beach Plum in Portsmouth
lobster / lobster rolls
maple syrup
pancake houses / pancake parlors - e.g. Polly's Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, Parker's Maple Barn in Mason

Rhode Island
calamari (e.g. Rhode Island style)
clam cakes
coffee milk
dynamite sandwich
frozen lemonade - e.g. Del's Lemonade
snail salad
stuffies (stuffed quahogs)

cheddar cheese apple pie
cremees (maple-flavored soft serve ice cream) - e.g. Devyns Creemee Stand in Swanton
maple syrup / maple sugar

For a list of unique foods and mom-and-pop type eateries and restaurants in New England (or any U.S. state), visit the Roadfood.com website.
For a list of unique foods to try in each of the 50 U.S. states, visit my Road Trip Food guide.
For a list of the top-rated beers to try in New England (or any U.S. state), visit the Beer Advocate website.


Here is some helpful key information about New England:

Major Airports:
Logan Airport (Boston, MA)
T.F. Green (Providence, RI)
Manchester-Boston (Manchester, NH)
Bradley (Windsor Locks, CT)
Burlington (South Burlington, VT)
Portland (Portland, ME)

Take note that you can also fly into either one of New York City's two airports and then drive to New England. There are also several smaller/regional airports in New England, including Bangor (ME), New Haven (CT) and Hyannis (MA).

Largest Cities:
Boston, MA (675,647), Worcester, MA (206,518), Providence, RI (190,934), Springfield, MA (155,929), Bridgeport, CT (148,654)

Primary U.S. Interstates:
I-84, I-89, I-90, I-91, I-93, I-95

State Highpoints:
CT: Southwest shoulder of Mount Frissell (2,380') - a moderate hike is required
MA: Mount Greylock (3,489') - you can drive to the summit (in season); you can also hike to the top from one of several trailheads
ME: Katahdin (5,269') - a challenging hike is required (and parking permits/reservations are required)
NH: Mount Washington (6,288') - you can drive or take a cog railway to the summit (in season); you can also hike to the top
RI: Jerimoth Hill (812') - a short and easy hike is required
VT: Mount Mansfield (4,395') - a challenging hike is required, unless you drive the auto road (in season) and take a shorter hike to the top

Professional Sports Teams:
MLB: Boston Red Sox
NBA: Boston Celtics
NFL: New England Patriots
NHL: Boston Bruins
WNBA: Connecticut Sun

Take note that in general this travel guide intentionally excluded restaurants, lodging/hotels, breweries, wineries/vineyards, and certain other types of attractions (like arcades, ax-throwing, bowling alleys, and escape rooms). These types of places tend to come and go, and keeping up with that would be too challenging. I encourage you to use Google Maps, Tripadvisor, Yelp, and other travel sites that have reader reviews to find the latest and greatest places that I haven't covered here.


In addition to the information found on my website, I personally recommend purchasing these road trip/travel-related guidebooks. Click on any link to read reviews and/or purchase these books on Amazon.com (affiliate).

Fodor's Bucket List USA (1st edition; 2021)
Moon USA State by State (1st edition; 2021)
Your Guide to the National Parks (3rd edition; 2022)
Road Trip USA (9th edition; 2021)


Did you enjoy this state travel guide? If so, here are links to more of my comprehensive U.S. state travel guides:

Alabama Maryland Oregon
Arizona Massachusetts Pennsylvania
Arkansas Michigan Rhode Island
California Minnesota South Carolina
Colorado Mississippi South Dakota
Connecticut Missouri Tennessee
Delaware Montana Texas
Florida Nebraska Utah
Georgia Nevada Vermont
Idaho New Hampshire Virginia
Illinois New Jersey Washington
Indiana New Mexico Washington DC
Iowa New York West Virginia
Kansas North Carolina Wisconsin
Kentucky North Dakota Wyoming
Louisiana Ohio  
Maine Oklahoma  

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