Some people visit New England for the fall foliage. Others come to witness the dream-like quality of a snow-covered morning. But for locals, it’s the summer we look forward to! These five cities, spread across New England, are absolutely breathtaking to see and offer tons of summer fun. So round up the family or a few pals and be sure to mark these spots on your road map!
1. Newport, Rhode Island
You already know that Newport is gorgeous. From its pristine beaches to its upscale shops, five star restaurants and luxurious accomodations. But here are a few activities you simply cannot skip when visiting this idyllic seaside town.
- Visit “The Breakers” a glorious mansion that the Vanderbilts once called home. A new tour now lets you explore “Beneath the Breakers” through underground tunnels, a boiler room, and the basement of this 65,000 square-foot home.
- Stroll the 3.5 mile elevated path that is the Cliff Walk along craggy cliffs overlooking the sea, and past some of the most incredible mansions from the Gilded Age.
- Visit Fort Adams, the largest coastal fortification in the US, dating back to the 1820s.
2. Litchfield Hills, Connecticut
Nestled in the foothills of the Berkshires, Litchfield Hills is the “Hamptons of Connecticut”, minus the snobs and the paparazzi! Once you’re there, be sure to:
- Fish or canoe the the Housatonic and Farmington Rivers or swim the state’s three largest natural lakes, the Waramaug, Bantam, and Twin Lakes.
- Hike the Appalachian Trail.
- Sample fine wines at the Haight-Brown and Hopkins Vineyards.
- Spend the night at Winvian Farm, a 113-acre resort with 18 original themed chalets, and cuisine made entirely from the resort’s on-site organic garden.
3. Salem, Massachusetts
There’s plenty to see and do in Salem outside of October! Besides its folklore and history of witchcraft, this port town has modernized recently with boutique hotels, cozy coffee shops, and galleries.
- Check out artist Patrick Dougherty’s outdoor “Stickhouse” sculptural installations.
- Visit the Peabody Essex Museum.
- Enjoy “Neo-Neapolitan” pizza at Bambolina followed by decadent cookies from weekend pop-up Goodnight Fatty.
- Stay at The Merchant, a small boutique hotel converted from a 200-year-old former sea merchant’s home.
4. Burlington, Vermont
This little city sits on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain and offers a lovely downtown with restaurant and shop-lined streets. Burlington is steeped in rich history and natural beauty the whole family will love!
- Learn about local aquatic creatures and nature at the ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center.
- Battery Park overlooks Lake Champlain and offers lovely views, hiking paths and trails, gardens, a historic cemetery and a campground!
- The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is a hands-on opportunity to explore local maritime history & archaeology, including replicas of working vessels.
5. Camden, Maine
Camden is my personal favorite summer spot. Something about the quaint shops and cafes overlooking the sparkling ocean just fill you with a sense of calm and relaxation.
- Even if you’re not big on hiking, the trek through Camden Hills State Park is worth the exercise! Trails lead to breathtaking views of Downtown Camden & Penobscot Bay.
- Take a custom charter on a gorgeous sail boat through Penobscot Bay to see beautiful hidden mansions, small islands, lighthouses, seals and more! Book with Olad Owl Schooners!
- Shop a wide variety of adorable, unique, locally owned shops – check out several here!
- Stay at the Camden Harbour Inn, named one of the 100 best hotels in the world by Travel and Leisure Magazine. They boast stunning 180-degree views of the village, harbor, mountains, Penobscot Bay, and the evergreen islands, and their restaurant Natalie’s offers some of New England s best fine dining with French cuisine made from the finest locally sourced ingredients.