Apple cider donuts, wood-covered bridges, train rides through the mountains, and charming towns are just a few of the things that you can experience when you travel to New England.
New England is one of the best places to visit in the US for fall colors, but that is not all this stunning region has to offer!
While our New England bucket list is always growing, this list covers our favorite things to do in New England that we’ve done over the years.
Our New England travel guide includes the top attractions, waterfalls, hikes, natural wonders, historic buildings, and other things that you don’t want to miss on your trip!
Some of the links used in this blog may be affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I earn a small commission when you book through these links for which I am very thankful!
Before we dive into the details of the best places to visit, here are a few FAQs about New England:
Why Should You Visit New England?
It’s no secret that we LOVE New England! Ever since our first East Coast road trip, we have been making a point to return every year for fall colors.
New England is truly one of the most beautiful places you can visit in the United States. This region is best known for its historic towns, beautiful landscapes, mountain peaks, and endless outdoor adventures.
From visiting charming cities to hiking, photography, and stunning fall foliage, there is so much beauty packed into this area.
Needless to say, New England offers plenty to see & do to keep us coming back year after year!
How Many Days Do You Need?
When traveling to New England, we try to set aside 10 days up to 2 weeks to truly take in everything this region has to offer. This time frame allows us to comfortably visit multiple New England States on the same trip.
If you can’t dedicate that much time, I recommend focusing on a smaller area or a single State. A few of our favorite places in New England include:
How To Get Around In New England?
We usually fly into the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) just outside of New York City. Although it’s farther south than many other airports in New England, it has a ton of direct flights to just about every city at any time of day. This airport also has the best flight deals in the area and usually the best deals on car rentals.
For traveling around New England, we recommend getting a rental car because of how spread out everything is. Public transportation is fairly limited for Fall trips, especially if you’re looking at going to some of the best hikes, waterfalls, and lookout destinations which tend to be far from the cities.
If the rental cars at the airport are too expensive on our trip dates, sometimes we’ll take an Uber or Taxi into New York City and pick up a rental car there. We’ve done this before to save hundreds of dollars on a weeklong trip and as a bonus, we get a quick trip into the big city!
Pssst! We use Google Flights and Kayak to book our flights. Kayak allows you to easily search for the best flight deals from hundreds of airline sites.
Best Time To Visit New England?
The most popular times to visit New England are in the summer and fall, but you can expect an abundance of visitors all year long!
Summer is a popular time to visit New England for outdoor adventures including hiking, camping, mountain biking, and fishing.
In winter many people travel to New England for world-class skiing and snowboarding along with cross-country skiing and other fun winter activities.
Fall is our favorite time to visit New England when the entire region is covered in beautiful fall colors. This is an especially wonderful time if you’re into travel photography as fall colors can add that extra WOW factor to photos.
Pssst! I use the Sony a7c camera for my travel photos. This is the smallest and lightest full-frame camera available on the market – perfect for traveling, hiking, and outdoor trips – while still maintaining the same incredible image quality as Sony’s full-frame cameras!
If you’re traveling to New England for fall colors, you have a small window from mid-September to the end of October to see the peak fall colors. If you come before or after that, you might completely miss them!
TRAVEL TIP: For fall road trips we use the foliage prediction map that has helped us plan several of our fall trips. This map shows the progressive changing of the leaves for each region in the United States.
What To Pack For New England?
This will depend on the time of year. We typically travel to New England in the fall so our packing list includes lots of layers and cold-weather hiking gear.
Here are a few things that we recommend bringing for road trips in New England:
- Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket. Weather in New England can change drastically without much notice. I always bring an insulated jacket in my backpack in case it starts raining or the temps start dropping. With a windproof and moisture-repelling shell, the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket will keep you warm by trapping your body heat and blocking the wind.
- Danner 600 Hiking Boots. A good pair of hiking boots can make all the difference on outdoor adventures! I recommend getting a pair that are water resistant and have lots of traction so you don’t slip and fall. The Danner 600 hiking boots are lightweight, waterproof, and made with Vibram Fuga outsoles for traction on wet surfaces.
- Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles. Trekking poles can assist with tackling steep trails, finding balance, and hiking across difficult surfaces. Some of the New England trails can be pretty rough and hiking poles will help you take them on with ease! The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles are light, easy to use, and are made with an ergonomic design that offers stability and comfort on longer day hikes.
- REI Co-op Nalgene Water Bottle. Bring plenty of water, especially in the warmer months. Many of the attractions offer no water sources so you will need to go prepared. I love my reusable REI Co-op Nalgene bottle which is leakproof and so easy to clean.
- Anker Portable phone charger. I always bring a battery pack when going on longer trips. A portable phone charger can come in handy in case your phone runs out of battery and you need to use it to look up directions, reservation information, and places to eat.
- Gregory Nano Day Pack. I have a small lightweight day pack that fits all my essentials, water, and camera gear. The Gregory Nano pack comes with a padded mesh back, several adjustable straps, and plenty of pockets where I can put small things like hand sanitizer, sunscreen, a headlamp, and a small medical kit.
Here Are 40 Of The Best Things To Do On a New England Vacation:
1. Explore Scenic Trails At Flume Gorge
Situated within Franconia Notch State Park, Flume Gorge is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in New England. With walkways and easily accessible paths that travel through an 800-foot-long natural chasm, this hike is a great adventure for everyone including families with little kids.
The Flume Gorge Trail is 2 miles long and passes waterfalls, bridges, giant glacier boulders, and a cave. The Flume Gorge Trail is short and easy enough that most people can finish it within a couple of hours. The beautiful scenery makes it an incredibly awarding hike to do in New England!
A few of the main attractions at Flume Gorge include the:
- Great Boulder
- Flume Gorge Path
- Avalanche Falls
- Wolf Den Cave
- Flume Covered Bridge
COST: It cost us $18 to visit Flume Gorge. Tickets can be reserved on the New Hampshire State Park website or purchased at the booth outside of the Flume Gorge entrance.
LOCATION: Flume Gorge
Read More: 10 Memorable Things To Do In Franconia Notch State Park
2. Drive To The Summit Of Mount Washington
If you’re looking for a picturesque drive, Mount Washington Auto Road is one of the best ones to go on in New England. Along this 8-mile-long mountain road, you can enjoy incredible views of the surrounding New England landscapes.
The windy Mount Washington Auto Road ends at the Mt. Washington State Park visitor center that sits at 6288 feet in elevation. At the summit, you can walk around and enjoy 360 panoramic views overlooking White Mountain National Forest and New Hampshire.
If you plan to visit Mount Washington, be sure to bring an insulated parka like the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket. This summit is the tallest peak in New England and is known for having strong winds. Mount Washington holds the record for the highest wind ever observed in the world at 231 miles per hour!
COST: It costs $65 to drive up Mt Washington Auto Road. The entrance closes at 4 pm sharp so be sure to do this drive in the morning or early afternoon to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the views.
LOCATION: Mt. Washington Auto Road
Read More: 20 Incredible Things To Do In The White Mountains, NH
3. Visit Ben & Jerry’s Waterbury Factory
The Ben & Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury is one of my favorite stops in New England! This is a great spot to visit for both kids and adults.
This marks the location of the original Ben & Jerry’s factory in Vermont. Here you can take a tour of the factory or indulge in freshly made Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that you can purchase from the outdoor window stand.
If you plan to go on the Ben & Jerry’s Factory Experience, it is recommended to book the tickets ahead of time as they do sell out due to limited capacity.
After be sure to check out the original Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard which features gravestones of flavors that are no longer sold at the stores – RIP!
LOCATION: Ben & Jerry’s
4. Go Shopping At The Faneuil Hall Marketplace
New England is known for having amazing natural landscapes, but that is not all there is to do! Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace is one of the most visited tourist sites in the United States so be sure to add it to your New England bucket list!
The Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a meeting hall and a market with origins dating back to 1741. The first floor was used to sell locals goods and the second floor was used to meet and protest against British oppression and taxation.
The Faneuil Hall Marketplace is still an active market and part of the popular Freedom Trail. This market features many local businesses including 49 shops, 44 pushcarts, 13 full-service restaurants, and 35 food stalls.
At this shopping mall, you can also find many incredible restaurants, pubs, seafood eateries, and anything else your heart (or stomach) might desire. The Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a great place to go browsing for local hand-crafted gifts and souvenirs to bring back home.
LOCATION: Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Love seafood AND history? You can combine the best of both worlds in this amazing Boston Seafood Lovers Food & History Walking Tour. During this tour, you’ll get to indulge in delicious lobster rolls and clam chowder while visiting Freedom Trail sites and learning more about Boston’s history. Book the tour here!
5. Take The Historic Mount Washington Cog Railway
The Mount Washington Cog Railway is a historic train that travels for 3 miles up to the summit of Mount Washington allowing you to sit back, relax and marvel at the surrounding scenery.
The Mount Washington Cog Railway runs year-round but fall is an especially popular time to head on this exciting train ride. If this is on your bucket list, be sure to reserve the tickets online and pick your seats well ahead of time as they do get sold out. As one of the oldest and steepest mountain cogs in the world, this is a must-do activity when visiting New England!
COST: It costs $72 per person to ride the Mount Washington Cog Railway.
LOCATION: The Mount Washington Cog Railway
6. Hike To Diana’s Baths
Diana’s Baths is a beautiful natural attraction and one of the top waterfall hikes in New England. This short and flat 1.3-mile-long trail leads to stunning pools, rock ledges, and a set of cascading waterfalls with a total drop of 75 feet.
Diana’s Baths waterfalls are located on the outskirts of the White Mountain National Forest near North Conway. This is an easily accessible, highly visited trail so we suggest going early in the morning if you want to avoid the crowds!
LOCATION: Diana’s Baths
7. Roam Through Church Street Marketplace
Church Street Marketplace is an outdoor pedestrian mall in downtown Burlington where visitors can spend the day browsing through boutique stores, gift shops, and grab food at one of the many amazing restaurants that line this historic district.
Church Street Marketplace was established in 1981 to better enhance the shopping experience in Burlington. Closed off to car traffic, this outdoor shopping center was created so locals and visitors can enjoy a carefree afternoon stroll without having to look over the shoulder for oncoming cars.
LOCATION: Church Street Marketplace
Burlington is known for having many outstanding breweries! We recommend this Burlington Brew Tour that will take you to four breweries where you will get to taste up to 15 beers, meet the owners & learn more about Burlington’s brewing scene. Book the tour here!
8. See Sunrise From Cadillac Mountain
Cadillac Mountain sits at 1530 feet in elevation offering one of the best views of Acadia National Park from its summit. While you can visit Cadillac Mountain all day long, sunrise and sunset are the most popular times to come, and enjoy panoramic views from this mountain peak.
To watch a sunrise from Cadillac Mountain you will need to book a Cadillac Summit Road vehicle reservation ahead of time. If you plan to visit Cadillac Mountain during the day, you will still need a daytime reservation, but those are much easier to get. The sunrise tickets are the most coveted times and typically get reserved first.
COST: The Cadillac Summit Road tickets cost $6. Thirty percent of the tickets are released 90 days in advance and the remaining 70 percent of tickets are released two days ahead.
LOCATION: Cadillac Mountain
Read Next: 10 Charming Places To Stay Near Acadia National Park
9. Try Apple Cider Donuts
Located near Stowe, Cold Hollow Cider Mill is a great spot to check out for souvenirs and some local goodies. This is a local cider mill that is popular for apple cider drinks and amazing cider donuts that are made on the spot all day long. Voted as the best apple cider donuts by Gourmet Magazine, you don’t want to miss out on trying one for yourself!
If you’re looking for a great lunch spot, head across the parking lot to the adjacent Apple Core Luncheonette & Brew. Here you can grab a sample flight with their hard apple ciders along with homemade breakfast & lunch.
LOCATION: Cold Hollow Cider Mill
10. Take The Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway
Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway is an exciting experience and a great way to take in the scenery of the stunning mountain landscapes in New England. Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway travels to the summit of Cannon Mountain offering spectacular panoramic views of Franconia Notch State Park all around.
At the top, you have the option to check out a few hikes including the Observation Tower and Rim Trail. Rim Trail is a cliff walk that passes along a mountain edge offering spectacular views below.
To ride the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway online reservations are highly recommended. If you show up to purchase walk-in tickets, you might need to wait a while for the next available space on the cable car.
COST: $28 for a round trip ride for adults, $23 for kids ages 6-12.
LOCATION: Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway
11. Have a Picnic At Lower Falls
Lower Falls is a popular recreational site within the White Mountain National Forest. This area allows travelers to access Swift River and enjoy views of Lower Falls from an observation platform.
Lower Falls is a great place to stop and stretch your legs on a New England road trip, explore one of the nearby trails, jump in for a swim in the water, or enjoy a relaxing picnic by the river.
LOCATION: Lower Falls
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12. Grab Beers At von Trapp Brewery & Bierhall
The von Trapp family are local New England legends that manage multiple businesses in Stowe including the luxurious Trapp Family Lodge and a brewery that span across 2500 acres of land.
The Von Trapp family escaped Austria during WWII and settled in Vermont where they fell in love with the scenery that reminded them of their homeland. The memoir by Maria von Trapp is the basis for the popular ‘The Sound of Music’ movie and musical.
If you’re planning a trip to Stowe, we recommend stopping by the Von Trapp Brewery & Bierhall where you can enjoy a few locally brewed beers. The Trapp Family Lodge has a brewery on the property that produces an American version of European-style lagers.
LOCATION: von Trapp Brewery & Bierhall
To learn more about Stowe breweries, you can take a guided tour that will take you to 5 local breweries. During this tour, you’ll get to try some of the best beer, cider, and spirits made in Vermont. Book the craft beer tour here!
13. Photograph The Hancock Overlook
Hancock Overlook is one of the most recognizable aerial locations in New England. Hancock Overlook is a hairpin turn in the Kancamagus Highway that looks like a perfect U-shape from up top. This is a very popular stop for nature lovers and photographers, especially in the fall.
There is a designated visitor parking lot next to the highway where you can pull over to enjoy panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains. You can also learn about how traveling and hiking developed in the White Mountain National Forest over the past few centuries.
PHOTOGRAPHY TIP: To capture the full scale of this hairpin turn, we used our DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone. It’s easily the best drone on the market for trips like these because of how small it is, the great image quality, and how easy it is to use. Did I already mention it’s tiny?!
LOCATION: Hancock Overlook
14. Enjoy Jaw-Dropping Views From The Beehive Trail
There are so many amazing trails in New England that choosing which ones you should do on a trip can be a challenge! With jaw-dropping views overlooking the stunning Sand Beach and Newport Cove, The Beehive Trail stands out amongst others!
The Beehive Trail is not for the faint of heart – you’ll need to climb up steep metal ladders and walk on narrow ridges that will make your heart skip a beat.
Once you reach the summit you will be rewarded with unbelievable views of the ocean that look especially beautiful on sunny days when the water looks turquoise.
LOCATION: Beehive Trail
Read More: 15 Wonderful Things To Do In Acadia National Park In Fall
15. Hit The Slopes At The Stowe Mountain Resort
Love winter sports? With 40 miles of terrain made for skiing and snowboarding, the Stowe Mountain Resort is one of the best ski resorts in New England!
In the winter, Stowe Mountain Resort offers access to skiing & snowboarding at Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield – the highest peak in Vermont. But with lots of hiking trails, a gondola, an auto toll road, and a Village that has shops and restaurants, the Stowe Mountain Resort is a great destination year-round!
For visitors, we recommend that you stay at The Lodge at Spruce Peak that’s located at the base of Mount Mansfield. This resort features an 18-hole golf course on the property, several restaurants & bars, a heated outdoor pool, and a full-service spa.
16. Visit The Albany Covered Bridge
The Albany Covered Bridge is such a quintessential New England attraction! This bridge was built in 1859 by local farmers to safely transport goods and people across the Swift River. Back in the 1800s, the bridges were made of wood that easily rots in rain and snow so covers were added to extend the bridge’s life span.
Visitors can park in a large lot next to the Kancamagus Highway and easily reach the Albany Covered Bridge within a short walk. This bridge is used mostly by pedestrians but cars are also permitted to drive across it so be on the lookout for incoming vehicles.
LOCATION: Albany Covered Bridge
17. Indulge In Lobster…Everything
I never knew that there was such a thing as ‘too much lobster’. But if there is one place to add lobster to every meal and test those limits, it’s in New England!
During our latest road trip, we ventured out to a few of the coastal towns for their world-famous lobster rolls, lobster mac & cheese, and even… lobster ice cream. Yep, you read that right!
A few of our favorite places to try lobster were:
- Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston – this is a large indoor marketplace that has many lobster & seafood stands. Here you can walk around and check out a few different lobster spots under the same roof.
- Side Street Café in Bar Harbor – Side Street Café has a reputation for offering some of the best lobster rolls in Bar Harbor. For something a bit different try their lobster mac & cheese, lobster dip, or lobster pizza. This restaurant was so good that we returned here every night in town!
- Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium – have you ever considered trying lobster ice cream before? At Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium in Bar Harbor, you can do just that! Yes, we sure tried it and the lobster ice cream tasted sweet and buttery (with some lobster claws poking out of it). Lobster ice cream is one of the most unique things that we have tried in New England. Let us know in the comments if you think this sounds awesome (or super gross)!
18. Watch Sunset From Artist’s Bluff Lookout
People travel from all over the US to enjoy the beautiful scenery in New England. And there is no better place to take in those famous New England views than Artist’s Bluff Lookout.
This 1.5-mile-long hike goes to an epic viewpoint that overlooks Franconia Notch State Park and Echo Lake from up top. If you plan to do this hike, be sure to wear sturdy hiking boots as some sections of this trail pass across tree roots and slippery rocks.
In the past few years, Artist’s Bluff Lookout has become a popular location for photography, especially at sunset. With the picture-perfect lake surrounded by mountain peaks and windy roads, outdoor settings don’t get better than this for photography enthusiasts!
LOCATION: Artist’s Bluff Loop
Read More: 15 Best Hikes In New England That Should Be On Your List
19. Take a Walk Along The Ocean Path
Ocean Path is a wonderful day hike in Acadia National Park that travels along the shoreline. With minimal elevation gain, this is a great walking path for families and kids.
The Ocean Path starts at Sand Beach and travels next to the ocean down to Otter Point for around 2 miles. You can also opt to do shorter sections or drive to each attraction along the way.
Sand Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast that consists of a white sand shoreline and turquoise water – a true gem that you should not miss!
Some of the highlights along the Ocean Path are:
- Sand Beach Overlook
- Thunder Hole
- Boulder Beach
- Otter Cliff
LOCATION: Ocean Path Trailhead
20. Visit The Paul Revere House In Boston
Built in 1680, the Paul Revere House is one of the oldest remaining structures left standing in Boston and a historically significant landmark. This house used to belong to Paul Revere who is famous for his ‘Midnight Ride’ to warn colonists of a British attack.
Now the Paul Revere House has been turned into a museum where visitors can learn more about his life and experience what life was like in Boston in the 1700s & the 1800s.
TRAVEL TIP: Want to learn more about Boston’s history? Be sure to sign up for this Freedom Trail Walking Tour that will take you to see all 16 of Boston’s iconic Freedom Trail sites.
LOCATION: The Paul Revere House
21. Hike To Bingham Falls
Bingham Falls is a fun and short hike that is located within Smugglers Notch State Park in Vermont. Along this trail, you can expect to see a moss-covered gorge, deeply carved natural pools, and multiple waterfall tiers.
Bingham Falls trail is only 0.5 miles long but you’ll need to climb down some steep rocks to reach the main waterfall. This area is made of interesting rock formations that have been in the making for some 500+ million years!
In the summertime, Bingham Falls is a popular area for swimming. Be sure to bring a bathing suit and jump in the icy water to cool down!
LOCATION: Bingham Falls Parking & Trailhead
22. Stay In a Cozy Cabin
New England offers amazing hotel options throughout the different States, but for a homier stay consider booking a vacation cabin. There are many rentals to choose from all over New England for a home-away-from-home place to stay!
The charming Upper Pinnacle House boasts an open floor plan, a cozy fireplace, and a gourmet kitchen where you can whip up home-cooked meals for the whole family.
This 3900 square foot home has plenty of room to kick back and relax with loved ones. For an added touch of privacy, there are 5 bathrooms, three of which are en-suite.
Read Next: 12 Outstanding Places To Stay In Stowe VT
23. Feel Haunted At The Gold Brook Covered Bridge
The Gold Brook Covered Bridge is one of the most picturesque attractions in New England. The Gold Brook Covered Bridge was built in 1844 and is one of the last remaining wood-covered bridges still standing in Vermont.
This bridge is located just outside of Stowe and has a reputation for being haunted by a ghost named Emily. While we came here in the daytime to snap a few photos, many people come here in the middle of the night for a supernatural experience.
LOCATION: Gold Brook Covered Bridge
24. Scale a Mountain At Acadia National Park
If you’re looking for a stunning trail with a bit of an adrenaline punch, the Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park is for you! This 2-mile-long trail ascents 1000 feet up to the summit of Champlain Mountain all while offering a bird’s eye view of the coastline.
Once you reach the top, you can relax, take a break, eat a snack, and continue in a loop on a much easier path that gradually descends through a forest. It’s not advisable to climb the same way down to avoid congestion and passing people on narrow ridges.
If you’re looking for something less intimidating, we recommend starting with The Beehive Trail which is an easier version of the Precipice Trail. They both offer amazing views but if you’re not a fan of heights, the Beehive Trail will be a better option for you.
LOCATION: Precipice Trail
25. Watch a Baseball Game At Fenway Park In Boston
While nature is what draws us to visit New England, we do try to set aside some time on our trips to spend in the cities as well.
Boston was one of our favorite large-size cities to visit on the East Coast which has many different facets to it. Boston is home to one of the best Universities in the US, it’s rich in history and culture, and has lots of top-rated restaurants, bars, and breweries.
If you’re a huge sports fan, we recommend watching a game at the Fenway Baseball Stadium. We scored some ultra cheap tickets last minute for a Boston Red Sox game which was a major highlight of our trip!
TRAVEL TIP: Sign up for a guided Tour of the Historic Fenway Park to learn more about this beloved stadium.
LOCATION: Fenway Park
26. Go Chasing Waterfalls At Sabbaday Falls
Love chasing waterfalls? Situated along the Kancamagus Highway, Sabbaday Falls is a short hiking trail that leads to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in New England. The main viewing area consists of scenic rock stairs, viewing platforms, and wooden rails that just look picture-perfect.
The Sabbaday Falls flows down a narrow, rocky gorge that has been in the making for over 10,000 years as glacier water melted and carried boulders down the river.
COST: The entrance to visit Sabbaday Falls costs $5 for a day pass that includes various stops along the Kancamagus Highway.
LOCATION: Sabbaday Falls
27. Enjoy Sunset From Bubble Rock Overlook
If you’re looking for a great spot to enjoy a sunset, The Bubbles Trail offers some of the dreamiest views in New England! This trail features two different viewpoints of Jordan Pond from up top.
The two viewpoints along this hike are called South Bubble and North Bubble. Both of the overlooks are pretty great but our personal favorite was the South Bubble, especially for sunset photography.
The Bubbles Divide Trail is located off Park Loop Road within Acadia National Park. Be sure to download an offline hiking map and bring a headlamp and a portable charger for your phone if you plan to hike it for sunset.
PHOTOGRAPHY TIP: We recommend using the Sony 16-35 mm wide lens so you can capture the entire lake in its beauty!
LOCATION: Bubble Rock
28. Visit Mount Mansfield Peak
If Stowe is on your New England trip itinerary, visiting Mount Mansfield is a must! Mount Mansfield is Vermont’s highest peak sitting at 4393 feet in elevation. From the summit, you can head out into various hiking trails and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes as far as you can see.
At Mount Mansfield Peak Visitor Center, you can experience one of the last ice age alpine zones left in Vermont. It can be quite chilly at the top so be sure to bring plenty of layers and good hiking boots to avoid slipping on rocks and muddy terrain.
LOCATION: Mt Mansfield Peak Visitor Center
29. Take a Winery Tour
Looking to do something a bit more relaxing? Consider going on the Seven Birches Winery Tour in the White Mountains! Seven Birches is a local New Hampshire winery that makes, ages, and bottles wines using European grapes and locally sourced fruit.
During the Seven Birches Winery tour, you can get a full tour of the wine production room and learn about the wine-making process in New England from knowledgeable and passionate guides. You will also get to taste a few young wines currently in the aging process along with a few older ready wines.
30. Drive The Kancamagus Highway
The Kancamagus Highway is a 35-mile-long byway that travels through The White Mountains in New Hampshire. With stunning overlooks, easy day hikes, and beautiful waterfalls, Kancamagus Highway is considered to be one of the best byways in New England!
Although the route itself is only 35 miles long, it provides visitors with an abundance of sightseeing, hiking, recreational activities, and wildlife sightings. Along this byway, you can experience dramatic mountain landscapes including some of the tallest peaks in the state.
At its highest point, the Kancamagus Highway reaches nearly 3000 feet in elevation. The fall season is an especially popular time to do this drive when the trees in The White Mountains change colors from lush greens to a sea of yellows, oranges, and reds.
Before heading out to the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, we recommend getting this Audio Driving Tour Guide to learn more about the main Kancamagus Byway attractions as you drive!
31. Walk Boston’s Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a must-do attraction in New England, especially if you enjoy history. Along this walking route, you can visit 16 of the most noteworthy attractions, churches, museums, buildings, and burial sites in Boston while learning about the city’s origins.
You can explore the Freedom Trail on your own or sign up for a Downtown Freedom Trail Walking Tour where a professional guide will fill you in on the significance of each location. If you plan to walk the Freedom Trail on your own, we recommend downloading this Freedom Trail brochure to learn more about the landmarks as you go.
The Boston Freedom Trail is 2.5 miles long and it starts in Boston Common, the oldest public park in America.
32. Take The Gondola SkyRide
If you’re looking for a fun activity, taking the Gondola SkyRide is one of the best things to do in New England in the fall! The Gondola SkyRide starts at the Stowe Mountain Resort and runs from the end of July through mid-October.
It takes about an hour to ride the gondola and enjoy the views from the peak. At the summit, you dine at the Cliff House Restaurant or head out on beautiful hiking trails. Be sure to go prepared with a warm puff jacket, proper hiking gear, and slip-resistant hiking boots.
COST: $30 for adults, $21 for kids, $88 for a family pack (2 adults + 2 kids)
LOCATION: Gondola Skyride
33. See The Old Man Of The Mountain
The Old Man of the Mountain is a quirky attraction in Franconia Notch State Park. The Old Man of the Mountain is a rock formation that resembles a human face with a forehead, brow, nose, lip, and chin. This stone profile has been attracting visitors to the White Mountains since the 1800s for its unique characteristics.
Unfortunately, the ‘nose’ part of the stone face broke off in 2003. Now the rock is missing some of the essential features that made it look like a human face. In 2011 a plaza was created with profiler rods that are meant to re-create its original look.
For those interested in learning more about The Old Man Of The Mountain, be sure to stop by the nearby museum that shows exhibits of what this unique rock formation has looked like over the years.
LOCATION: Old Man of the Mountain
34. Go Whale Watching
If you’re looking for an exciting activity, we recommend going on a high-speed catamaran whale-watching cruise in Boston! In the summer whales migrate to Massachusetts so Boston is a prime location to go whale watching between May to October. As the weather starts getting cooler in the fall, the whales start leaving for other warmer regions.
During the high-speed catamaran tour, you’ll get to see an abundance of whales just yards from the boat. A few of the whales that you might spot include Humpbacks, Finbacks, Right Whales, along with Atlantic white-sided dolphins, and other marine animals.
This tour is around 3.5-4 hours long, but you can purchase drinks & food on the catamaran if hunger strikes.
35. Go For a Scenic Drive Along The Park Loop Road
Park Loop Road is a paved 27-mile long highway that travels through Acadia National Park passing some of the best attractions along the way. Driving this road is a great option for those who wish to visit Acadia National Park but are short on time and just want to enjoy the scenery out of their car’s window.
Park Loop Road is a mostly one-way road that starts next to the coastline and continues through the mountains that look especially colorful in fall.
Some of the most popular stops along Park Loop Road include:
- Sand Beach
- Thunder Hole
- Otter Cliff
- Jordan Pond
- Cadillac Mountain
Want to sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery instead of driving yourself? Check out this narrated bus tour of Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park that will take you to all the top attractions within the park!
36. Photograph The Stowe Community Church
The Stowe Community Church is one of the most popular places in Stowe for photography especially in fall when this stark white church stands out against the colorful trees in its background.
One of the best spots to view Stowe Community Church is located in a parking lot by Salon Salon in Stowe. From this parking lot, you can see an unobstructed view of the church – perfect for landscape photography!
LOCATION: Stowe Community Church
37. Visit The Flume Covered Bridge
If you’re interested in visiting a few wood-covered bridges on your trip, there are many to choose from in New England. There are estimated to be around 200 covered bridges in this region so picking a few to see on your trip can be a challenge!
The Flume Covered Bridge was built in 1886 and is one of the most recognizable covered bridges in New Hampshire.
COST: The Flume Covered Bridge is located within Flume Gorge so you will need to pay the $18 entrance fee if you plan to visit it (our opinion- it’s well worth it!).
LOCATION: Flume Covered Bridge
38. Enjoy Falls Colors Along The Stowe Scenic Auto Road
The Stowe Scenic Auto Road is an epic drive that you can go on in New England, especially in the fall. The entrance for Stowe Scenic Auto Road starts off Mountain Road in Stowe, Vermont. From there you can drive to the summit for 4.5 miles up a narrow, windy mountain road that ends at the Mount Mansfield Peak Visitors Center.
Along the way, you’ll get to experience sweeping views of Stowe and some of the best fall foliage around – the colors are truly unbelievable!
COST: It costs $25 for the car and driver (plus $9 for every additional person) to enter the Stowe Scenic Auto Road.
LOCATION: Stowe Scenic Auto Road
39. Go On a Thrilling E-bike Ride In Acadia NP
Did we already mention how much we love Acadia National Park? This East Coast park is famous for jaw-dropping mountain peaks, miles and miles of hiking trails, and rocky coastlines.
If you’re looking for an exciting way to experience Acadia National Park, consider renting an e-Bike for the day to enjoy everything it has to offer!
An E-Bike allows you to freely roam around and explore without worrying about parking your car. With an e-Bike rental, you can cruise around Acadia National Park in the fresh air while tackling hills with assisted pedaling like a pro!
40. Marvel At Interesting Geological Features
The Basin is a unique geological feature that consists of a 30-foot wide basin and a waterfall at the center of it. The Basin looks like nature’s slip-and-slide where the water flows down along the granite rock walls before plummeting into the deep pool below it.
This is a quick and easily accessible attraction that is located off Highway 93 in Franconia Notch State Park. If you enjoy waterfall hikes – we highly recommend adding this one to your list!
LOCATION: The Basin
Ready to book your flight and head out on an epic road trip in New England? Let us know in the comments below which of these places you have added to your New England bucket list!
Looking for more East Coast travel inspiration? With endless hiking trails and surreal mountain landscapes, we don’t blame ya! Here are a few of our other popular East Coast travel posts that you may enjoy:
- 10 Fun Things To Do In Burlington, Vermont For Visitors
- Best Airbnbs In Stowe For A Cozy Stay In Vermont
- 12 Outstanding Places To Stay In Stowe Vermont
- The 10 Best VRBOs In The Adirondack Mountains
- Indian Head Trail In The Adirondack Mountains
- 15 Wonderful Things To Do In The Adirondack Mountains In Fall
Recommended Travel Camera Gear
Interested in stepping up your photography game? Here is the camera gear that I carry everywhere I go to create amazing travel photos:
- Main camera: Sony a7c Camera. The Sony a7c is tiny, light, full-frame, durable – in other words, amazing!
- Polarizer Filter: Hoya 40.5 mm Filter. Polarizing filters reduce glare in water, protect the lens from getting scratched and bring out the best colors when it’s bright outside. Having a polarizing filter is a must-have if you plan to photograph lakes, oceans, rivers, and waterfalls.
- Wide Lens: Sony 16-35 mm F4. Great for capturing wide panoramas, nature landscapes, and cramped city streets. Mounts to any Sony mirrorless camera and features autofocus, image stabilization, and incredibly sharp images.
- Lightweight Travel Tripod: Manfrotto Carbon Fiber Tripod. A good tripod is essential for capturing images in low light conditions, such as during sunset and sunrise, or creating smooth water effects when shooting waterfalls. The Manfrotto Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod is very sturdy, light, and folds small so you can take it on all of your adventures!
- Memory Cards: SanDisk Extreme 256 GB. It’s always good to bring a few extra memory cards on trips. SanDisk Extreme is ultra fast for capturing high-quality images, bursts, long exposure night shots, and 4k videos. This memory card is also durable and reliable yet very affordable.
- Camera Batteries: Wasabi Power Battery Set. I’ve made the mistake of getting to a location to realize my camera is out of battery. Always keep your batteries charged with this camera charger set!
- Camera Bag: Lowepro adventure shoulder bag. A camera bag is something you should definitely invest in! Without having a proper place to store it I would get my camera scratched, sandy, or even occasionally drop it.
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