Plan a family vacation to New England. Visit historic sites, national parks, and fun destinations.
Boston is a city with many famous historical landmarks, including historic Faneuil Hall, the scenic Public Gardens, and the imposing Bunker Hill Monument. Kids will especially love the world-famous aquarium, with a huge penguin habitat. As a highly walkable city, it is a great place to visit from spring through fall. Also make sure to visit Fenway Park, the oldest baseball stadium in continuous operation. Don't forget to eat a Fenway Frank or two!
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Historic Cape Cod is a spectacular warm-weather getaway. Enjoy sandy beaches on the tranquil Cape Cod Bay, the rustic charms of Provincetown on the tip of the cape, or take a bike ride on the scenic, 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail. Just make sure to schedule your trip early, because weekend traffic is a beast.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia is a unique park off the coast of Maine's popular Bar Harbor vacation town. Located primarily on Mount Desert Island, but including several smaller islands as well, the park includes mountains, forests, and beaches all in a relatively small space. It's easy to hike or ride large swaths of the park in a day. And if you get tired of roughing it, Acadia is located right next to the beautiful and comfortable town of Bar Harbor.
Why is Maine known as Vacation Land? Rockport is a good reason. In 2008, Forbes.com named it "America's prettiest town," thanks to its gorgeous harbor, rustic buildings, and small-town setting that has barely changed over the centuries. Besides the usual summer attractions, Rockport features a vibrant culture scene, and is famous for the many talented artists and musicians who ply their trade there.
Franconia Notch, New Hampshire
The Franconia Notch is the hub of some of the White Mountain's best hiking and camping. Sleep under the stars, or rent a cozy cabin to rest in comfort between excursions. Beyond the dramatic views and natural wonders, the nearby towns of Lincoln and Woodstock offer terrific dining and cultural options. In the wintertime, the area is convenient to the ski resorts of Loon Mountain, Cannon Mountain, and more.
Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire
For the most stunning foliage you've ever seen, take an autumn drive along the Kancamagus Highway in northern New Hampshire. At either end of the drive, in Lincoln or Conway, you'll find excellent lodging, dining, and entertainment options, plus great skiing in the winter
New England's quintessential ski village is Stowe, Vermont, a picturesque, European-style resort town. The ski resort is among the best in the region, featuring Mount Mansfield, the northeast's highest peak. But it's a wonderful summertime destination as well, with spas, golf, and outdoor activities in a gorgeous natural setting.
Mystic Seaport, Connecticut
Like Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, Mystic Seaport is a living history museum that teaches visitors about nautical life in the 1800s. Visitors can tour vintage sailing ships, historical trade shops, and other educational exhibits. Each June, the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival is held, which is the largest celebration of sea shanties in the nation.
Newport, Rhode Island
High on the cliffs above Narragansett Bay are some of the most sumptuous and luxurious mansions you will ever see, and many of them are open to visitors. Tour legendary homes like the Breakers, or witness the seasonal decorations all across the region. Newport also hosts many terrific nautical activities, like the annual yacht race, and the occasional tall ships show. Kids will also love the Brenton Point Kite Festival, held each summer at Brenton Point State Park.