From historic trails around Boston's neighborhoods to maritime treasures along the northern states' coastlines, New England presents fun activities for all visitors. Get outside and explore the region's mountains, coasts, and lush forests.
1. The Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail connects many of the most significant sites of our nation’s history, all within the city of Boston. Featuring a trail of museums, churches, meeting houses, parks, a ship, burying grounds, and historic markers, each site tells its own history regarding the American Revolution and beyond. This 2.5 mile trail features sixteen historic sites from the Boston Common to Paul Revere’s house in the North End. Of course, you don’t need a tour to follow the markers, although tours are available during business hours.
2. Cape Cod
The beautiful coastal town of Cape Cod in Massachusetts sports charming villages, beach activities like surfing, seafood restaurants, and lighthouses. Moreover, visitors can venture to the John F. Kennedy Museum in Hyannis, a town where the Kennedy family has vacationed for generations. Additionally, local ferries take visitors to nearby Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island where guests can relax in resort-style luxury.
3. RISD & Brown University
Founded in 1877, the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence is one of the first art and design schools in the country and continues to carry a prestigious reputation. Prospective students and guests can take tours of the historic campus, watch live performances, and visit constantly revolving exhibitions at the RISD Museum. A stone’s throw away from RISD, Brown University’s Ivy League status has been cemented for more than 250 years. Walk the campus’ stately grounds, visit the student center, and watch student life unfold on the Main Green. Nearby both universities, guests can experience local Providence restaurants and shops on Thayer Street, Benefit Street, and Wickenden Street.
4. Newport Mansions
Gorgeous Newport, RI is home to equally gorgeous Gilded Age mansions once owned by prominent entrepreneurs of the day such as the Vanderbilt and the Astor families. Characterized as “cottages”, these stately homes showcase preserved grandiose opulence that is worth touring. While most are now operated by the Newport Mansion Preservation Society, some are still privately owned.
5. Mark Twain House & Museum
Mark Twain, or Sam Clemens, and his family lived at this Victorian home in Hartford, CT from 1873 until 1891. During this time, Twain wrote some of his most famous works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. After changes in ownership over the years, the museum opened in 1971. Visitors can tour the historic home and see featured exhibitions highlighting his life and works
6. White Mountain National Park
Housing 800,000 acres of majestic wilderness, the White Mountain National Forest in eastern New Hampshire and western Maine is a family vacation destination in and of itself. Opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, skiing, ziplining, and so much more are available throughout the park. Moreover, guests can participate in unique activities like glacial cave exploration, taking old-fashioned train rides, and riding on an 80-passenger aerial tramway on Cannon Mountain that presents stunning views of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Canada.
7. Lake Champlain
120 miles long with 600 miles of shoreline, Lake Champlain in Vermont is known as a haven for outdoor activities like boating, fishing, swimming, birdwatching, and more. Shared by Vermont, Maine, and Quebec in Canada, the lake is the 8th largest naturally occurring body of fresh water in the continental United States and contains more than 70 islands. Surrounded by the Adirondack Mountains in New York and the Green Mountains in Vermont, visitors are encompassed by natural beauty in all directions.
8. Acadia National Park
Although it’s Maine’s only national park, Acadia National park is the one of the top 10 most visited national parks in the country because of its awe-inspiring natural scenery. Located on the coast of Maine, about 50 miles south of Bangor, this gorgeous park boasts 158 miles of hiking trails, 27 miles of historic motor roads, and 45 miles of carriage roads. Moreover, guests can visit top sites like Cadillac Mountain, Sands Beach, the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, Thunder Hole, and Isle au Haut.
9. Portland, ME
Think beautiful coastline, a charming downtown area, rich maritime history, and fine seafood. Established in 1632, remnants of the past remain, particularly from the Victorian Era throughout the city’s neighborhoods. Offering 70 miles of trials, historic forts, numerous islands along Casco Bay, and lighthouses, Portland provides the ultimate New England vacation. Additionally, guests can enjoy a rich arts culture, fine dining, historic homes and landmarks, and much more throughout this quaint city.
10. Lake Placid, NY
Upstate New York’s Lake Placid area is home to the Lake Placid Olympic Center, which has hosted the Olympic Games twice. But you can visit this enchanting destination year-round to tour the Center and other excellent attractions and natural sites. Soak up natural wonders surrounding the Adirondack Mountains, or kayak, canoe, and SUP in Lake Placid’s waters. You can also hike and bike, take yoga classes, and gain incredible vistas from Cascade Mountain. At the end of the day, grab a drink at one of several local brewing companies.