An Insider's Guide to New England Travel and Vacation Tips
locally-owned web site like a good book with New England travel stories
and tips told straight-from-the-heart from a lifelong New Englander
Nubble Lighthouse at sunrise in York, Maine.
to New England!
My name is Eric Hurwitz, editor of VisitingNewEngland and author of
Massachusetts Town Greens, and your local go-to guy
for the best of New
England travel, vacation and food destinations. Stories on
include lighthouses, country stores, coastal Maine, quaint small
towns, ocean and lake beaches, fresh local seafood, and of course,
England clam chowder. On the main site and its blogs, VisitingNewEngland offers you more than 1,500 posts on New England to read. Stay awhile and enjoy the online journey!
Let's get right into the heart and soul of the
New England states -- Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
Rhode Island and Vermont...
The New England
Small Business Chronicles I am a huge
proponent of small
businesses in New England,
recognizing the traditional, vital role they play in our society. I
only write about businesses I
feel a connection to as they offer a great experience for customers
while showing strong pride of ownership.
Suggested for you...
Stocking up on homemade sweet and savory pies from a mom and pop pie shop in Norton, Mass. | Warming up to a nice bowl of lobster stew from Maine | Enjoying a gourmet five-course meal at Little Red Riding Hood's Grandmother's House | How to feel a sense of belonging in New England | For those who enjoy restaurants with fresh local seafood and ocean views | Finding beach town bliss in coastal Maine | Stopping at a highway service center unlike any other at The Common Man Roadside, Hooksett, N.H. | Charming small towns and cities that look like something out of a Hallmark movie | Christmas events in New England to enjoy in 2022 | Discovering the only place in the United States where you can dine at the top of a lighthouse | Recommendations on great outlet shopping centers in New England from someone who doesn't like outlet shopping
Sunapee Harbor, N.H.
past this section if you don't need a "101" on New England! Be sure, though, to browse the thousands of page at VisitingNewEngland for the best destinations, attractions and dining out places in each state!
New England is located in the
northeast corner of the United States of America and comprises six
one-of-a-kind states -- tailor-made for instant travel memories.
Connecticut resides to the south, Rhode Island southeast and
Massachusetts situated north of those two states and under Vermont, New
Hampshire and Maine. The region features beautiful mountains and hills,
publicly-accessible coastline with sandy beaches, charming small towns,
lively big cities, cultural and family attractions, country and general
stores, sports teams (like the Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, Patriots and
and plenty of historic towns greens and myriad other examples of
remarkable historic preservation.
Although we could go on and on about each state (and we do on our web
site!), here are some examples of what we love about Connecticut,
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont...
offers the best of both worlds -- that is, the fun of New England
travel well as its proximity to New York City (not in New England).
thinking of Connecticut, picturesque coastal towns (Mystic, Madison,
Stonington Borough, Old Saybrook, Guilford), Yale University,
thin-crust pizza in New Haven, historic town commons, 41-acre Bushnell
Park in Hartford, lobster rolls (top-split hot-dog bun stuffed with
warm lobster tossed with a little melted butter), antique shopping,
and Seaport, Gilmore Girls-type Stars Hollows towns (many in the
Litchfield Hills region), ocean beaches,
farms and rolling hills (towards the northeast and northwest) come to
Maine. "The Pine Tree State"
showcases rocky coast, memorable historic lighthouses, whoopie pies,
salt water taffy, locally-caught lobster, wild blueberries, waterfront
seafood restaurants, Acadia National Park where the ocean meets the
mountains, postcard-perfect coastal towns with scenic harbors
(Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, York Harbor, Northeast Harbor), refreshing
mountain towns (Bethel, Rangeley), the thriving historic waterfront
city of Portland, and the Stephen King House in Bangor.
Massachusetts. "The Bay State"
features Boston, known as "The Hub of the Universe". The 40-plus
colleges and universities, several distinct neighborhoods, coastal
presence, world-class museums, beloved sports teams that locals are
endlessly loyal to and passionate about, and mix of modern and
historical makes for a fascinating, highly cultural travel destination.
Massachusetts does not end at Boston, however -- far from it. Cape Cod,
Plymouth (where the pilgrims landed), the Berkshire Mountains of
Western Massachusetts (home
of the Tanglewood music venue in Lenox), the
coastal bliss of the North and South Shores and cranberry bogs are just
a few of the places that make "The Bay State" so special. New
England clam chowder, baked cod, fried clams, Boston Cream Pie, and
baked beans further add to the travel and food fun!
New Hampshire. The “Live Free
or Die” state has just about everything you could ask for in New
England travel. The White Mountains feature many family attractions,
places to hike, spectacular foliage during autumn (be sure to drive the
famous Kancamagus Highway for leaf peeping), several ski destination
opportunities in the winter and Mount Washington, the highest peak in
New England at 6,288 ft. Lake
Winnipesaukee offers refreshing lake town appeal in places like
Meredith and Wolfeboro with their cute downtowns offering plenty of
shopping and dining options to go along with water views and
recreational opportunities. The coastline might be brief but
is beautiful including the beaches of Rye, the honky tonk environs of
Beach, the traditional feel of Newcastle and the bustling, picturesque
small city of Portsmouth. Manchester has regained its presence as one
of New England's greatest cities -- especially with the revitalization
of the mills, as well as the resurgence of locally-owned shops and
restaurants on Elm Street. Going southwest will bring you to the
Currier and Ives-type communities in the Monadnock Region including
Keene, Peterborough, Dublin, Hancock and Harrisville. The sight of
Monadnock is simply beautiful -- a New England must-see. It is also a
great destination for hikers.
Rhode Island It is the smallest
state in the country but Rhode Island (known as "The Ocean State"
has more than 400 miles of coastline with a high concentration of
publicly-accessible beaches -- some of the best in New England,
actually. How to further get that special Rhode Island feeling: the
elegant Newport mansions, the Newport Jazz Festival, Roger Williams
Zoo, charming villages (like Wickford Village and Pawtuxet Village)
local farms, great local diners and the
ever-growing vibrant city of Providence (home of Brown University).
Also, the Famrcoast towns like Tiverton and Little Compton shine with
their mix of farmland and coastal scenery. On
the food side of things, go for the stuffies (quahogs with a mix of
breading and herbs), Rhode Island clam chowder (a clear soup with
stewed tomatoes), coffee milk and
Vermont. "The Green Mountain
State" might veer toward the left with its politics and way of life but
it is right for everyone in terms of visiting or perhaps laying down
roots. This scenic, welcoming state brings about travel joy with
classic New England small towns (Stowe, Dorset, Grafton, Woodstock,
Newfane), the thriving college city of Burlington with its beautiful
Lake Champlain presence and pedestrian-friendly Church Street
Marketplace consisting of 100-plus stores, restaurants, entertainment
events. Also, coming to mind: the small-town-meets-state-capital city
vibe of Montpelier, dairy farms, ski destinations and other
recreational opportunities like hiking and swimming destinations within
the Green Mountains. Some famous, iconic businesses in Vermont include
the Ben and Jerry's Factory in Waterbury, Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe
and the Vermont Country Store in Weston. Local yumminess: maple on
snow, Creemies (soft-serve ice cream), Vermont cheddar cheese,
apple pie with cheddar cheese (it is surprisingly good!), apple cider
donuts and maple baked beans.
Country Stores in New England
The Vermont Country Store, Weston, Vt.
Everyone loves a good-old-fashioned country store. One step into these
trip-back-in-time stores often leads to creaky wooden floors and
hard-to-find items, aromas of locally-made soaps and candles, as well
as maple syrup, cheeses, penny candy and homemade fudge. Vermont leads
pack when it comes to these local shopping treasures but
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island have
some gems, too. Please be sure to make country stores an essential part
of your New England vacation trip planning list! Read more
The Ultimate Oceanside Beach Town
Short Sands Beach, York Beach, Maine.
New England offers so many wonderful beach towns but York Beach
comes out on top of my list. The combination of beaches, rocky coast,
lighthouse, great seafood, waterfront places to stay and a fun
and zoo... I just want to be there right now! Read more
Overflowing, Delicious Lobster Rolls
Lobster roll from Warren's Lobster House.
So many eateries and
markets offer this regional favorite that it's difficult
to know before that first visit who serves the bland and who serves the
best. We have found
some of the best and share those food destinations with you including The Beach Plum with various locations in New
Hampshire, Warren's Lobster House in Kittery, Maine and Lobstah on a Roll in Boston, Mass. and Salem,
Mass. For a list of many outstanding local destinations for lobster
rolls, click here.
Local New England Seafood
DiMillo's On the Water, Portland, Maine.
No New England vacation would be complete without experiencing
local seafood. Some coastal restaurants even source the majority of its
fish within a mile of their businesses -- talk about fresh! A few
shining examples of outstanding seafood restaurants include the Coast Guard House in
Narragansett, R.I., DiMillo's On the Water in Portland, Maine and
Woodman's in Essex, Mass.
Also, be sure to check out my suggestions for must-visit local seafood restaurants.
Lighthouses in New England
Let's cut right to the chase: Nubble Lighthouse is my favorite
lighthouse in New England. Find out why right here. Also, did you know
that lighthouses aren't just for tourists to gaze at and snap photos?
This lighthouse in Newburyport, Mass. is the only one
in the United
States where you can dine at the top! Last but not least, check out this scene of a beautiful lighthouse and beach on old Cape Cod.
Quaint Small Towns and Cities
Downtown Newburyport, Mass.
Who doesn't love quaint and charming when it comes to small
towns? New England specializes in these special small towns that offer
lots of fun things to do but, more importantly, a sense of community.
For the record: Yes, I do love those Hallmark movies that portray small
town life and thought it would be a good idea to write the story, Small
New England Towns That Would Look Great in Hallmark Movies.
story although you probably won't find pastry chefs, dog trainers,
divorce attorneys, royalty, incompetent babysitters or supernatural
A few more small town suggestions that come to mind: Stonington
Borough, Conn., Wolfeboro, N.H., Kennebunkport, Maine, Little Compton, R.I., Newport, R.I. (admittedly, a mix of big town and small city) and Newburyport, Mass.
Also, be sure to check out the 40
Best Towns, Cities, Villages and Regions in New England
article, as well at these beautiful scenes in the six state region.
Also, check out my stories on a charming Rhode Island village that's actually
located in two cities... a thriving Massachusetts town center that the
Pilgrims would be proud of... this scenic, idyllic small town by the bay in Rhode Island
with lots of things to see and do... an imperfectly perfect fishing town on the North Shore of
Massachusetts... the Maine summer beach
town that is just an hour from Boston and ideal for
families... a humble but bustling
little town in the Berkshires of Massachusetts that never bothered
to go upscale... a truly special, must-visit country store in Vermont.
New England Clam Chowder
New England clam chowder from Steaming Tender in Palmer,
There's nothing like a thick, creamy, chock-full-of-clams cup of
New England clam chowder. We've been to other parts of the country and,
with all due respect,
they just don't compare when it comes to this version of clam chowder.
If I had to pick one place for yummy New England clam chowder, it would
have to be CabbyShack in Plymouth, Mass. The clam chowder is
so thick, you can stick a
spoon straight up in the cup or bowl!
On the underrated side, Steaming Tender -- a beautifully restored H.H.
Richardson train-station-turned restaurant in Palmer, Mass. -- makes an
Also if opting to make authentic New England clam chowder at home,
check out this classic recipe from the former Durgin Park Restaurant
Boston, Mass. Durgin Park is, sadly, gone but the clam chowder recipe
Lenny the Chocolate Moose.
For those that love their travel a little different, the
six-state region features some offbeat but thoroughly accessible family
attractions. How about enjoying a five course meal at Little Red Riding
Hood's Grandmother's House in the middle of the New Hampshire woods?
Then again, you could meet Lenny the 1,700 lb lifelike-size chocolate
moose at a certain famous candy house in Maine. If you're in the
mood for an
ice cream cone and needing to improve your home at the same time, this
Plainville, Mass. ice cream stand will more than
suffice. Or, how about touring a spectacular castle in Connecticut, originally built for a famous
playwright and actor?
Traditional Local Dining
The Old Mill in Westminster, Mass.
When on a New England vacation or day trip, why not dine New
England-style? Many historic
restaurants remain that offer traditional local ambiance and delicious
Yankee fare. A few that come to mind that I highly recommend during
your New England travel: The Salem
Cross Inn in West Brookfield, Mass., the Bull Run in Shirley, Mass. and the Old
Mill in Westminster,
Nice Destinations That Aren't
Sunrise at Turner Pond in Walpole, Mass.
New England vacation towns don't always tell the whole story. Often,
the unassuming, un-hyped residential towns impress with their community
spirit and hidden scenery. Two cases-in-point: Warren, R.I. and Walpole, Mass. (article and photos).
You won't be experiencing the once-in-a-lifetime vacation that the
marketing companies promote but will quite possibly enjoy a most
satisfying stroll down
a tree-lined street with old homes, an uncrowded spot for a sunrise or
sunset and great places to eat that that might not be known beyond the
Old School New
England - Then and Now
Peterborough Diner, Peterborough N.H.
For those who love returning to another simpler place and time, here is
a recollection of restaurants
no longer with us in New England. Living in the present, here are
some of the best
classic diners in New England
(the birthplace of diners) that I think you will absolutely love for
their ample portions of food, welcoming no-frills atmosphere and great
value for the money. Also when in Boston, you've got to check out the Pleasant Cafe
in the Roslindale neighborhood. It's a classic old school Boston
restaurant and bar that has seen only one ownership change since 1937!
Last but not least, local ice cream stands bring a sense of yesteryear
to our senses but also serve as a delightful, timeless tradition. Check
out some of the best ice cream stands right here.
Autumn in the Six-State Region
Fall foliage by Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, N.H.
Many consider fall the best time to spend a New England vacation
in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and
perfect sense with the colorful leaves, apple picking, freshly-made
apple cider, pumpkin patches, local harvest festivals and generally
more comfortable temperatures. Check out some of our favorite fall
foliage destinations, scenic drives and attractions right here.
But Wait, That's Not All
Boston Public Garden, Boston, Mass.
We certainly did not forget about some of the greatest New England destinations -- it's just that we can only feature a certain amount of story links on this page. By using the navigation bar at the top of this page or any other on this site, you'll be able to find stories on your favorite places like Boston, Cape Cod, the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, Acadia National Park, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Newport, R.I., Mystic Conn., Stowe and Burlington, Vt., and a whole lot more. Enjoy!
Always research desired New England vacation and travel destinations
ahead of time as the stay-at-home Coronavirus alert has affected
current state travel, including attractions, dining and places to stay.
Online Storyteller: The Local Small Business Chronicles
the great mom and pop businesses of New England
Hermanson creates apple cider doughnuts at The Common Man Roadside in
Here's something you will never see on a New England travel blog: a
dedicated section with stories on small businesses in New England! I
small businesses and greatly believe in what they do. That
is why I wrote about them. Now is more important than ever to
tell the story on small businesses in America, and, specifically here,
on New England small businesses.
If you feel that your local, small
business would be of interest to travelers in New England, please write to us.
While we have a very selective process (only businesses I feel a
connection to so I can write authentically and truthfully for our
readers), I would love to hear your story and why your business is
special! It's a win-win: I get to write about great small
businesses and share it amongst our significant social media audience,
while you help support my small business.
Sunnyside Gardens Floral Shop, Hopkinton, Massachusetts
The Common Man Roadside Millyard, Manchester, New Hampshire
Pickity Place, Mason, New Hampshire
Bull Run Restaurant, Shirley,
Alamo BBQ and Tequila Bar, Brookline, New Hampshire
The Juice Bar, Norwood, Mass.
Len Libby Candies, Scarborough, Maine
Sandy's Chill Spot, Bellingham, Massachusetts
Jo's American Bistro, Newport, Rhode
Jonathan's Restaurant, Ogunquit, Maine
CRISP, Walpole, Massachusetts (South
Shore Bar Pizza)
DiMillo's on The Water, Portland, Maine
Red Apple Farm, Phillipston,
Dining Room at the Newburyport
Lighthouse, Newburyport, Massachusetts
CRACK'D Kitchen & Coffee, Andover,
The Common Man Roadside, Hooksett, New
Clicquot Millis Coffee, Millis
Watson's Candies, Walpole,
Beyond Full at Hopedale Town Hall,
Father's Kitchen and Taphouse, East
Coast Guard House, Narragansett, Rhode
CJ's Great West Grill, Manchester, New
Jake's in Northampton, Jake's at the
Mill in North Amherst, Massachusetts
Thwaites Market, Methuen,
Cheesy Street Grill, Westborough,
Natick Service Plazas -- Massachusetts Turnpike
Oliva's Market, Deli, Catering &
Gourmet Gifts, Milford, Massachusetts
Four Seas Ice Cream, Centerville,
Lobstah On A Roll, Boston and Salem,
Winfrey's Fudge and Chocolates, Rowley, Massachusetts
Jasper White's Summer Shack,
Country Kitchen Donuts, Millis,
Massachusetts and Walpole, Massachusetts
Mike's Restaurant, Fairhaven,
Thornes Marketplace in
Tessie's Bar & Kitchen, Walpole,
The Whoo(pie) Wagon, Topsfield,
When Pigs Fly Bakery and Pizzeria, Kittery, Maine
Carmella's Pizzeria, Middletown,
Parker's Pub, Wrentham, Massachusetts
PZA Gourmet Pizza, Salem, Massachusetts
PJ's Smoke "N" Grill, Medway,
Flaky Crust Pies, Norton,
Rosetta's Italian Restaurant, Canton,
Reasons To Be Cheerful ice cream parlor, West Concord,
Central House, Westborough,
Copper Door restaurant, Bedford,
Charred Oak Tavern, Middleborough, Massachusetts
Summer Scoops at Osborne Nursery,
Coastal Roasters in Tiverton, Rhode Island
Ken's NY Style Deli & Brick
Oven Pizzeria, Bedford, Massachusetts
Maddi's Cookery & Taphouse,
Canal District, Worcester, Massachusetts
Schoolhouse Ice Cream, Burlington,
Red Heat Tavern, Bedford,
Arturo's Ristorante, Westborough, Massachusetts
Simple Man Saloon, Clinton,
Granfanallys, Salem, New Hampshire
CabbyShack, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Providence GPub, Providence, Rhode
Hayward's Ice Cream Stand, Nashua,
Pleasant Cafe, Roslindale,
Winsmith MILL Market (antiques,
shabby chic shopping) in Norwood, Massachusetts
Franks, Wakefield, Massachusetts
Cupcake Charlie's, Falmouth,
Mashpee, Plymouth, Foxborough, Newport
Woodman's, Essex, Massachusetts
KNEAD Doughnuts, Providence, R.I.
B.T.'s Smokehouse, Sturbridge,
Quahog Republic Captain's Den,
Centerville Pie Company, Centerville,
Massachusetts (Cape Cod)
Normandy Farms Campground,
Foxborough, Massachusetts (near Boston)
Port City Pretzels, Portsmouth, N.H.
Cushman Market and Cafe, North
Kelly's Roast Beef, Revere
Beach, Revere, Massachusetts
Hager's Farm Market, Shelburne,
Mystic Sweets and Ice Cream
Shoppe, Mystic, Connecticut
The Drawing Room at Anthi Associates,
Depot Street Tavern, Milford,
Kindles Wood Fired Pizzeria,
The Beach Plum in North Hampton,
Portsmouth and Epping, N.H.
Beantown Pastrami Co, Boston, Mass.
Nashoba Club Pizza Restaurant, Ayer, Massachusetts
Main Streets Market & Cafe,
downtown Concord, Massachusetts
The Raven's Nest, Walpole,
The UXLocale Restaurant, Uxbridge,
Pizza restaurant stories from New
Warren's Lobster House, Kittery, Maine
Crafty Yankee, Lexington, Massachusetts
The Abbey, Providence, Rhode Island
Carlins, Ayer, Massachusetts
Alehouse, West Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Snowdon Chalet, Londonderry, Vermont
Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield,
Wicked Whoopies, Freeport, Maine
Steaming Tender Restaurant, Palmer,
Nesting Gift Shop, downtown
Roundabout Diner, Portsmouth, New
Kihei Dynasty, Walpole, Massachusetts
Vanilla Bean Cafe, Pomfret,
Ridge Dairy Bar, Sharon, Massachusetts
Star Drive-In, Taunton, Massachusetts
Jimmy's Pizzeria, East Walpole,
Rico's Pizzeria, Walpole,
BBQ, Wrentham, Massachusetts
Bliss Restaurant, Attleboro,
Kravings Grille and Ice Cream in
Good Food Store & Deli, Walpole,
Park Street Books, Medfield,
Patriot Tavern, Walpole, Massachusetts
Juice Mill, Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Ever So Humble Pie Company, Walpole,
Planet Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in
Norwood Farmers Market, Norwood,
Eagle Brook Saloon, Norfolk,
Al Mac's Diner Fall River,
Muffin House Cafe, Medway,
The Kayak Centre, Wickford Village
Walpole Farmers Market, Walpole,
Napper Tandy's, Millis, Massachusetts
Ye Olde Tavern, West Brookfield,
Abbott's Frozen Custard in
Frosty in Sherborn, Massachusetts
this page, please share through any of the social media buttons
and really long article that you will love by
VisitingNewEngland.com Publisher Eric Hurwitz
One-of-a-kind book: Massachusetts
Town Greens -- Discover New England's first travel attractions:
Really good must-read long
Best Diners in New England -- If you love
classic diners, New England has them!
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