There are many great places to visit in New England during the winter, and while you may be familiar with some of the popular ski resorts, there are many others that are just as inviting.
You can’t go wrong with New England if you want to experience a traditional winter. This area is lovely all year round, but the winter months, with their snowy fields and quaint villages, are especially lovely. It looks like a winter wonderland!
We’ve put together a list of fantastic New England destinations for a winter vacation. These can be anywhere from well-known tourist destinations to off-the-beaten-path New England winter escapes. You can find the ideal New England weekend getaway in any of the six states thanks to the abundance of warm and welcoming winter retreats.
Best Places to Visit in New England in Winter
Here is a list of the towns I think are particularly wonderful in the winter, though I think most of New England is wonderful and cozy in the winter.
The towns on this list have everything you could want from a ski town and more, including excellent skiing, cozy weekend getaways, a wide variety of outdoor activities, and delicious restaurants.
1. Rhode Island’s Newport
It’s possible that Newport, Rhode Island wouldn’t be at the top of your mind when planning a New England winter vacation. Despite its reputation as a summer getaway, Newport is actually one of the best New England destinations in the winter, and it gets only a fraction of the visitors that it does in the summer.
It was chilly but sunny when we went to Newport for a Valentine’s Day weekend getaway. We pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. Very passionate! The New England winter is ideal for romantic getaways.
You can visit Newport for the day or the weekend from Boston, and it’s also easy to get to from other northeastern states. It’s nice to get away to the coast, eat some fresh seafood caught that day, and then cozy up inside somewhere with a view of the water.
2. Vermont’s Burlington
If you’re not really into winter sports, a quick trip to a New England city during the winter is a fantastic idea.
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We’re obviously biased, but we think the small but hip city of Burlington, Vermont is a fantastic place to visit. There is plenty to do inside, which can be especially helpful in the depths of winter.
3. Rangeley, Maine
Maine has all the winter recreation options you could want in New England. When planning a winter vacation, Rangeley, Maine is a fantastic choice because it offers the best of both worlds: plenty of opportunities to enjoy the snow and plenty of places to get toasty and warm afterward.
Visit the Rangeley Lakes Trail Center for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and alpine skiing without leaving town, or take a ride up the road to Saddleback Mountain or Sugarloaf. Keep your eyes peeled, because Rangeley is also a prime location for moose sightings in the state of Maine.
4. Boston, Massachusetts
It’s common knowledge that Boston is a fantastic metropolis. Why not check it out during the colder months? Similar to other destinations, you’ll probably encounter fewer people and pay less for your hotel room.
When it’s cold outside, most people in Boston prefer to stay inside. The Museums and Art Galleries are highly suggested. It’s dozens strong. The science museum is one of our personal favorites, and the aquarium is always incredibly fun, too.
5. Vermont’s Stowe
The best winter weekend getaways in New England, according to many, are those where snow is almost guaranteed. It looks like we can count on Stowe! My family actually visited Stowe in 2001 for the first time. My sister and I were born and raised in Florida, so we’d never experienced snow. We set off for Stowe, Vermont, where we were fairly confident we would experience snow.
We were correct in our assessment. It was so much fun going sledding, ice skating, and drinking hot cocoa together. And we liked it so much that we ultimately settled in Vermont. Stowe evidently carries some sort of mystical sway.
6. Westerly, Rhode Island
Westerly, like many other coastal New England towns, is best known as a summer vacation destination, but its breathtaking ocean vistas are equally stunning in the dead of winter.
Without the swarms of tourists that arrive in the summer, you can take advantage of all that downtown Westerly has to offer. Experience the best that Westerly has to offer by visiting its shops, tasting rooms, and restaurants.
7. Hartford, Connecticut
Weekend trips to the city are ideal for the colder months in New England. The city of Hartford is ideal. On a chilly day, you can warm up inside one of the many museums, historic homes, or other indoor attractions. This state capital is rich in heritage sites, such as the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center and the Mark Twain House.
However, Hartford offers a glimpse of an early spring in late winter. The Elizabeth Park Conservancy hosts a Spring Greenhouse Show in the middle of March, where visitors can stroll among colorful displays of blooming plants. It’s a wonderful break from the cold and a promising preview of the bounty that spring will soon bring!
8. City of North Conway, New Hampshire
The mountains of New Hampshire are probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New England in the winter. After all, they host some of New England’s finest ski areas and are a haven for nature lovers and adrenaline junkies.
The White Mountains’ highest peak can even get snow in the middle of summer. That’s why it’s so appealing as a winter vacation spot in the United States.
9. The Massachusetts Ski Resort of Nashoba Valley
Want to experience New England’s winter weather without venturing too far north? If so, you might want to consider spending your next weekend in the Nashoba Valley.
From Boston and further south, the trip here is a breeze. Located in Westford, Massachusetts, the Nashoba Valley Ski Area has 17 trails, lifts, and lessons. Non-skiers can enjoy the vast snow-tubing facility.
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This is exciting for people of all ages, and the abundance of other family-friendly options in the area (like the Animal Adventures rescue center!) makes the New England area a great destination for winter vacations with the kids.
10. Vermont’s Manchester
Many visitors develop a special affection for Manchester, Vermont. In a word, it’s adorable. Manchester, situated as it is in southern Vermont, seems more accessible than other parts of the state. Manchester, on the other hand, has all the character and beauty of the mountains that you’d find further north.
Manchester is known for its high-end retail options, but the city is more of a winter getaway than anything else. There are many cozy bed and breakfasts and inns, as well as excellent dining options, and fireplaces can be found in nearly every room. Spend a relaxing winter weekend in Manchester. (Of course, if you’re craving some winter fun, you can always visit one of the nearby ski areas like Stratton.)
New England experiences all four seasons, the region always has exciting opportunities to offer. I love coming here in the fall and winter, and this article will tell you all about the best winter getaways in New England that will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a quaint winter wonderland.