The summers in New England are renowned for the variety of stunning beaches that can be found there, from rocky shores in Maine to immaculate white sand beaches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
Perhaps lobster rolls, bicycles with baskets zipping through small, charming villages, backyard barbecues and drinks, fragrant peonies and hydrangeas in bloom, sun-kissed skin, and salty air come to mind when you think of a New England summer. It can be challenging to decide on a summer vacation in New England.
Best Places to Visit in New England in Summer
There are so many places to go on vacation, and each one has its own unique charm and allure. We’ve got 10 of the greatest places to visit throughout the summer in New England, so whether you’re an adventure seeker searching for an outdoor excursion, a couple planning a weekend with some pampering, or a family seeking to keep the kids amused and happy, we’ve got a little something for everyone.
1. Vermont’s Woodstock
This summer, spend time in Vermont’s stunning, verdant highlands. Summertime Woodstock is my all-time favorite. The sun is shining, the weather is perfect—in the 70s and 80s—and there are a ton of possibilities available no matter what kind of experience you’re looking for.
There are great options for dining and shopping in the charming, gorgeous village of Woodstock. Check out Woody’s and F.H. Gillingham and Sons, two of our favorite stores. Walk to Abracadabra for coffee, Mon Vert for breakfast, the Village Butcher for lunch, Woodstock Scoops for ice cream, and Mangalitsa for supper.
2. Island of Rhodes: Newport
Newport is the ideal summer destination since it offers sand, sea, shopping, and dining. Spend the day at Third Beach or go down the Cliff Walk to take in the stunning views of the ocean and homes from the Gilded Age.
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With views of Newport Harbor, have breakfast at Belle’s Cafe, and don’t miss cocktails on the Castle Hill lawn. Check out The Little Chateau and Kristen Coates if you’re wanting to shop.
3. MAINE OGUNQUIT
We went on our first family vacation with our infant, who was 8 weeks old, to Ogunquit, Maine, last summer. Such a nice getaway, I should add. Maine in the summer is like the ideal blending of Vermont’s adventure with the ocean off Rhode Island. Ogunquit is a popular tourist destination, but it is also incredibly charming and offers fantastic dining and shopping opportunities.
The beach boasts magnificent white sand, a lovely inlet where kids can play, and it shields you from the wind on stormy days. We dined al fresco on the sidewalk at the quaint little piano bar The Front Porch while taking in the atmosphere, music, and people-watching. Sweet Pea’s is the place to get ice cream!
4. Bar Harbor in Acadia National Park in Maine
One of the most gorgeous locations with a variety of adventure possibilities is Acadia National Park. You may go camping, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddling, and so much more! We rode a bus from Bar Harbor to the park while renting bikes. Both the environment and the walkways are immaculate.
This tour has the potential to be both family-friendly and more difficult for adult parties. This is a well-known site, so make sure you reserve your stay in advance!
5. NEW HAMPSHIRE’S LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE
My early memories of summer trips to Lake Winnipesaukee are filled with warm, pleasant, and nostalgic feelings. Early in the morning, I can still hear the tranquil murmur of the loons. Along the lake, we used to travel together with a few families from our community and rent houses close to one another.
Having companions my age to play with was so much fun, and the grownups were relieved not to have to keep us amused while, from what I recall, having a blast! The largest lake in New Hampshire, Lake Winnipesaukee—also known as “The Smile of the Great Spirit”—looks out over the White Mountain range.
6. Massachusetts’ Chatham
I recently visited Chatham for a girls’ bachelorette weekend for the second time. My family took a trip there the first time I visited. Chatham is a stunning seaside community with lots to offer getaways for friends, family, and couples.
The Chatham Bars Inn is a stunning inn with a view of Chatham Bars. It’s a terrific place to stay or just drop by for a drink or meal to enjoy the beachside dining area with outdoor games and a bonfire.
7. NEW HAMPSHIRE’S PORTSMOUTH
Last summer, we stopped in Portsmouth for a short while on our way back from Ogunquit, but it was far from enough time. Portsmouth is a fantastic vacation spot since it combines the best aspects of the city with the beach. After exploring a few downtown stores, we ate lunch at the Portsmouth Brewery.
On a day with a high of 95 degrees, we went to one of the nearby beaches and had a little plunge in the cool water. Long Sands Beach, Great Island Common, Hampton Beach, Wallis Sands State Beach, and Jenness State Beach are a few of the nearby beaches.
8. Massachusetts’s MARTHA’S VINEYARD
Off the coast of Cape Cod is the island of Martha’s Vineyard. The trip my sister took to Martha’s Vineyard with her husband and 2-year-old last summer was ideal for their family. They adored Edgartown to the hilt.
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It’s a lovely tiny bookshop called Edgartown Books. This hidden gem offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner al fresco and is actually nestled behind Edgartown Books. The amazing breakfast, wonderful coffee, and even the always-popular iced coffee, soft-serve float option were all highly suggested by my sister.
9. NEW HAMPSHIRE’S WHITE MOUNTAINS
For outdoor aficionados, a vacation to the White Mountains in New Hampshire is the ideal retreat. Visit Flume Gorge, hike Falling Waters Trail, ride the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, have a drink or stay at Mount Washington Hotel, climb Mount Washington, ride the Cog Railway or Auto Road, and bicycle in Franconia Notch, among other activities. In the White Mountains, adventure is around every corner!
10. MASSACHUSETTS’ THE BERKSHIRES
The Berkshires, which are in Western Massachusetts, have been on my travel wish list for a time. There is a ton to do for an exciting and fun-filled vacation, including mountain biking and hiking, great dining, shopping, concerts, museums, and historical gardens. Plan your upcoming trip to the Berkshires by looking at all the exciting things to do here!
There are many great places to go on summer vacation in New England. There are so many options if you’re looking for summer vacation ideas in New England.
Numerous lakes to splash around in, hikes that take you so near a waterfall that you can feel the cool mist on your face, boat tours that take you out on the sparkling ocean, award-winning wineries where you can taste the flavors of the area, amazing vacation rentals, hotels, and stunning windswept beaches where you can relax and listen to the waves crash on the shore are all available here!