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What Does Classic New England Look Like?

Article and photos by Eric Hurwitz. Article updated on 10/22/2018.

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Classic New England is a phrase we hear a lot, but what does it really mean?  Let's allow the pictures to do the talking along with a few unobtrusive descriptions to better understand classic New England...

The Ocean
Destinations like the Cliff Walk in Newport, R.I. afford beautiful strolls with sweeping views along the Atlantic Ocean. Read more about Newport

Walking the Cliff Walk in Newport, R.I.

The City
Acorn St. on Beacon Hill in Boston, Mass., represents the remarkable historical side of New England cities. Read more about Boston

Acorn Street on Beacon Hill in Boston, Mass.

The General Store
Long before chains and big box stores dominated the American retail scene, general stores provided quaint neighborhood settings to buy pretty much everything locals needed -- and then some. Today, many general and country stores exist in New England -- most prominently in Vermont. Some favorite tourist items to buy in a country or general store: fudge, maple syrup, penny candy, local cheeses and pickles from a barrel. Read more about country and general stores

The Weston General Store in Weston, Vt.

New England's glorious coastal presence in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island offer many fishing opportunities.  Here, local fishing enthusiasts enjoy the moment at Colt State Park in Bristol, R.I. Read more about Colt State Park

Fishing at Colt State Park in Bristol, R.I.

Fall Foliage Season
New England and the fall foliage season go together hand-in-hand. Here at Echo Lake at Franconia State Park, N.H., the scenery can often be stunning around mid-October. Read more about fall foliage in New England

Echo Lake at Franconia State Park New Hampshire

The History
Attractions like the Lexington Minuteman Statue in Lexington, Mass. showcase the incredible history in New England that led to the birthplace to our nation. Read more about Lexington (and neighboring Concord)

Lexington Minuteman Statue in Lexington, Mass.

The Beach
Summer brings refreshing ocean beaches in New England with plenty of sand and endless memories like here at Short Sands Beach in York Beach, Maine. Read more about York Beach

Short Sands Beach, York Beach, Maine

The Architecture
Many examples of Colonial and Federal architecture exist in New England today. Coastal Wickford Village, R.I., has the largest concentration in the nation! Read more about Wickford Village

The Wickford House in Wickford, R.I.

Coastal Charm
All it takes to get in a New England state of mind are boats and a slight mist in the salt sea air. Mystic, Conn., is one of those places!
Read more about Mystic

Mystic River in Mystic, Conn.

The Town Green
Once serving as the physical and spiritual centers of a town or city before the separation of church and state in the early 1830s, town greens today have more of a park-like presence with many offering places to relax and seasonal fairs, festivals, concerts and commemorations. Read more about Massachusetts town greens

Town green in Wrentham, Massachusetts.

Lake and Mountain Views
There's nothing quite like the sight of a lake and mountains in New England. Sunsets often make the experience that much better. Here, Waterfront Park in Burlington, Vt. provides stunning sunset views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Read more about Burlington, Vt.

Sunset at Waterfront Park in Burlington, Vt.

The Seafood Shack
Lobster dinners, lobster rolls, fried seafood and local catches of the day make one glad to live in New England. Seafood shacks like Abbott's Lobster in the Rough in Noank, Conn. even offer water views! Read more about New England seafood shacks and restaurants

Abbott's Lobster in the Rough, Noank, Conn.

The Lighthouse
Lighthouses have always been meant to serve as navigational aids for maritime pilots, but they also offer some of the most famous, beautiful scenery in New England. Read more about Nubble Lighthouse

Nubble Lighthouse at Cape Neddick, Maine

Historic New England Restaurants
If you want to feel like you're in New England right away, go to a historic restaurant that serves traditional Yankee fare. There are plenty in the six-state region, but particularly in Massachusetts. The Bull Run is Shirley, Mass., is a prime example of a historic New England restaurant.

Dining room at the historic Bull Ru Restaurant in Shirley, Mass.

Quaint downtowns
Historical preservation combines with 21st century shops, restaurants, cafes, boutiques, galleries and hotels in destinations like Kennebunkport, Maine, to add up to something very unique and special. Read more about Kennebunkport

Dock Square in Kenneunkport, Maine

Views from the Top
Acadia National Park, Maine, might just represent the peak of one-of-a-kind New England scenery with views like this from Cadillac Mountain. Read more about Acadia National Park

Views from Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National park, Maine.

The Classic Diner
New England is the birthplace of diners, dating back to 1872. The simple tradition carries on today with old school diners thriving in all states. Like many diners, Joe's Diner in Lee, Mass., brings in all walks of life for delicious comfort foods, salt-of-the-earth service and a small town vibe. Read more about classic New England diners

Joe's Diner in Lee, Massachusetts

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17 places that have that classic New England look.


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Related article:
The Abbey in Providence, R.I., is known for its burgers and beer

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All this, and blogs too! Also, please check out our authentic, informative and entertaining New England travel blogs with original content: The Thrifty New England Traveler (New England travel ideas on a budget), The New England Travel and Vacation Gazette (more original New England travel articles), and Old School Boston (warm memories of Boston and New England from back in the day).

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