Skip to Content

How to Tour New England: A Travel Guide to Visiting

Welcome to our guide to touring New England! This beautiful region of the northeastern United States is home to stunning natural landscapes, rich colonial history, and a wealth of cultural attractions that draw visitors from around the world.

Whether you’re interested in exploring charming coastal towns, hiking through verdant forests, or sampling some of the region’s famous seafood cuisine, there’s plenty to discover here.

We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you plan your perfect New England vacation, whether you’re traveling solo or with your family and friends. So pack your bags and join us on a journey through this enchanting corner of America!

Read more: How to Tour New England: A Travel Guide to Visiting

The Ultimate New England Road Trip

Winding Road through Scenic Autumn New England
Source: Adobe Stock / leeris

The Ultimate New England Road Trip is the perfect way to explore six beautiful states and see all the top spots throughout the region. This 7-day itinerary, with options for 5 and 10-day trips, takes you through Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut. Starting in Boston, MA, spend the first three days exploring the city and its vibrant North End on a secret food walking tour. 

From there, rent a car and head north to the White Mountains National Forest for hiking and other outdoor activities. Continue on through charming fishing villages and resorts, including Salem and Portland, before experiencing the stunning fall colors of New England.

This classic self-drive route will allow you to truly taste the region and make lasting memories. Make sure to double-check what’s open before your trip and follow all local guidelines for a safe and enjoyable journey.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Orange County, California

Rent a Car for Your New England Trip

Renting a car is a great way to explore New England, and there are plenty of options available. Major airports in the region host national car-rental chains, and there are several websites that offer competitive rates. However, it’s best to wait until you’re ready to leave the city before renting a car. 

Once you hit the road, you’ll be able to visit all of the top destinations in the region, from coastal cities and mountain resorts to historic towns and fishing villages. Plus, with public transportation options available in many major destinations, you can easily switch up your mode of travel as needed.

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a family road trip, renting a car is a convenient and flexible way to tour New England.

Best Places to Visit in New England & Things to Do

Experience Fishing Villages and Resorts in New England

Fishing Boats Docked in Fishing Village
Source: Adobe Stock / haveseen

One of the highlights of a New England road trip is experiencing the charm of fishing villages and mountain resorts. From sandy beaches to rocky shores, the coastline is lined with picturesque villages where locals still make their living from the sea. Visitors can explore the quaint shops, seafood restaurants, and historic lighthouses of towns like Salem and Portland

In addition to coastal towns, visitors can also enjoy the luxury and activities of mountain resorts like Stowe and Bretton Woods, which offer hiking, and skiing, particularly these best spas in Stowe are worth the trip to New England in their own right. With so much to see and do in New England, a self-drive tour is the perfect way to experience everything this region has to offer.

See Related: Best Bus Tours from San Diego, California

Visit Salem and Portland on Your New England Tour

Fort Pickering Lighthouse in Salem Harbor
Source: Adobe Stock / alwoodphoto

As part of your New England road trip itinerary, make sure to stop by Salem and Portland for an unforgettable experience. Salem is famous for its role in the persecution of alleged witches, and visitors can walk the Freedom Trail to learn about the city’s history. Don’t forget to stop by the spooky Salem Witch Museum! On the way to Portland, take a detour to explore the charming fishing villages along the coast. 

In Portland, make sure to wander around the Old Port and take in the stunning waterfront views. You can even take a lobster boat tour or visit one of the city’s many breweries. These two cities offer a unique glimpse into New England’s history and culture.

Experience the Stunning Fall Colors of New England

Brilliant Fall Colors in Autumn at Sunrise New England
Source: Adobe Stock / heyengel

Experience the Stunning Fall Colors of New England As autumn takes hold, New England attracts visitors from all around the world with its picturesque landscapes adorned in vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold. The best way to capture the stunning fall colors is to join one of the New England fall foliage tours or embark on a self-drive tour to feel the crisp air, see the leaves crunch beneath your feet, and marvel at the beauty of the changing seasons. 

Franconia Notch, in New Hampshire, is a must-visit destination for hiking, skiing, and incredible fall foliage views. Another way to soak in the breathtaking scenery is by driving along the Kancamagus Highway, where you’ll witness the stunning hues of maple, ash, and birch trees as they transform the landscape. Don’t miss the chance to capture this truly spectacular experience that New England offers during the autumn season.

See Related: Best Travel Bags for Car Seats

Enjoy a Classic Self-Drive New England Tour

Young Women Driving In A Car
Source: Adobe Stock / Flamingo Images

For those looking for a quintessential New England experience, a classic self-drive tour may be just the thing. This type of tour allows travelers the freedom and flexibility to explore the region’s quaint villages, charming seaside towns, and lush forests at their own pace. 

With so many iconic attractions to choose from, such as the revolutionary history of Boston’s Freedom Trail, the breathtaking coastline of Maine and Cape Cod, and the stunning fall colors of New England, there is no shortage of must-see destinations on this itinerary. By following this classic self-drive tour, travelers can experience the heart of New England and create unforgettable memories along the way.

Travel Tips for Visiting New England

Discover New England’s Charm in 6 States

Discover New England’s Charm in 6 States is a must-have experience for anyone seeking to explore the region’s history, culture, art, architecture, and outdoor adventures. With Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, this region offers diverse scenery ranging from white-sand beaches to jagged cliffs and towering mountains. The charming fishing villages, historic cities, and grand estates add to the region’s allure.

A driving tour of all six states is an excellent way to sample this natural beauty and explore the numerous attractions the region has to offer. You can visit the grandiose mansions in Newport or Hildene House, take a scenic drive through the White Mountains and up to Mount Washington, or soak up traditional New England village charm in Woodstock, Vermont. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover the charm of New England’s six states; you won’t be disappointed.

See Related: How to Plan a Greece Itinerary to Maximize Your Trip

Explore New England by Car

Whole family with dog driving for the weekend
Source: Adobe Stock / Valerii

Exploring New England by car is the best way to truly experience the region. From quaint fishing villages to bustling resort towns, the area is full of surprises around every corner. A road trip covering all six states allows visitors to sample the variety of New England’s charm, from the breathtaking fall colors to the stunning coastal vistas. 

Renting a car from the airport is a convenient way to start your adventure and have the freedom to explore at your own pace. Get ready to discover hidden gems and picturesque small towns as you embark on a classic self-drive New England tour.

Related Resources:


How many days do you need to see New England?

Although you need about three or four months for your trip you can cover a lot of the New England trip in only a couple of days. It is difficult for most of us to finish it altogether.

What is the best way to see New England?

There’s no denying the great convenience of exploring New England by car. A road trip through its picturesque landscape not only offers a sense of adventure but also allows you to enjoy the beautiful region at your own pace. One recommendation to kickstart this exciting journey is renting a car directly from your hotel.

This not only saves time but also provides you with the flexibility to settle in for a few days at your chosen accommodation before embarking on your voyage. That way, you can visit iconic sights such as the bustling city of Boston, and then easily transition to exploring the numerous historical and cultural attractions that New England has to offer. In the end, the freedom granted by a rented automobile will make your New England experience unforgettable.

What is the best time of year to visit New England?

The best time to visit New England is during the fall season when the foliage is at its peak and temperatures are still mild. Additionally, the summer months bring various festivals that offer visitors a unique New England experience.

Is a New England road trip worth it?

Yes, a New England road trip is worth it! With charming towns, picturesque scenery, and plenty of activities to enjoy, you can experience the best of the region in one unforgettable journey.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *