Stowe, Vermont in autumn haveseen | Adobe Stock

The 7 Best Weekend Getaways in New England

See recent posts by Megan Johnson

There is nothing quite like New England in the fall—or, quite frankly, any time of the year. New England has it all: big cities, quaint small towns, the ocean, mountains—you name it, you can probably find it in New England. Here are some of the best trips for families in New England. 

Portland, ME 

Maine Wharf, Portland, Maine

Portland has blossomed recently, with breweries popping up, delicious food, and proximity to the ocean. Stay in the Old Port section to be near the best shops, restaurants, and art galleries, all found on the quaint cobblestone streets and within old buildings. Take a ferry to the islands of Casco Bay, where you can relax with a bike ride, a stroll along the island, or visit sites including the Inn ad Diamond Cove, which was built on the site of Fort McKinley. Take a brewery tour, where you can visit Allagash, or Shipyard, plus many of the other microbreweries and wineries in the area. There are plenty of things to do with kids as well, including the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, and the Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park. 

The Berkshires 

The Berkshires in autumn

The Berkshires have been a vacation destination for years, and there is good reason for it! From stunning scenery to fun attractions the whole family can enjoy, a weekend in the Berkshires will be worth your while. Visit the living history museum of Hancock Shaker Village, a former Shaker commune bringing the Shaker story to life. Check out the art exhibits at Mass MoCA, or have a day of fun at the Jiminy Peak Mountain resort. There is plenty of theatre, great restaurants and breweries in the area for a fun-filled weekend! 

Boston, MA

Boston Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts

The largest city in New England has a lot to offer for families as a fun getaway. Check out a game at Fenway Park, learn about the history of the formation of the nation on the Freedom Trail, or tour the city on a Duck Tour, which takes you around Boston by land and in the harbor.  Enjoy shopping at Quincy Market, or on Beacon Street, and visit breweries and cideries to wet your whistle while the kids have fun seeing how the beverages are made (the Samuel Adams Brewery even has root beer for kids to try while you enjoy a tasting!) 

Related: The 17 Best East Coast Family Vacations

Acadia National Park, ME

Lighthouse at Acadia National Park, ME

There is a reason Acadia National Park is consistently on lists of the top national parks in the country—it’s gorgeous, and perfect for families. Kids will love using Acadia Quest during your stay to explore and learn all about Acadia National Park—it will keep your trip fun, entertaining, and a learning experience! You’ll love the hiking on Cadillac Mountain, enjoy the views of the Atlantic Ocean on Park Loop Road, and watching the waves crash on the rocks at Thunder Hole. There are plenty of accommodation options, from camping, to inns and hotels

Stowe, VT 

Aerial view of Stowe, Vermont during the autumn

Although Vermont is known for skiing in the winter and vibrant colors in the fall, it truly is gorgeous at any time of the year, and Stowe has plenty to do no matter when you visit. Take a short hike to Moss Glen Falls, where you can see a beaver dam, evidence of beaver activity (chewed trees), and you may even spot a beaver! Take a bike ride through nature on the Stowe Recreation Path, where you may even find a corn maze to occupy some time! Drive or hike up Mount Mansfield, the highest mountain in Vermont, which offers spectacular views, and, in the winter, fantastic skiing.  Stowe is also home to what some consider one of the best microbreweries in the country: The Alchemist

Salem, MA 

Historic houses in Salem, Massachusetts

Known for its hopping Halloween scene, which peaks in the month of October, Salem is the perfect spot for a quick getaway with the family. Salem is a super walkable city, with great accommodations, dining options, shopping, and attractions all easily accessible by foot. Besides the witch-themed attractions, (of which there are plenty) you will also find the House of the Seven Gables, the Peabody Essex Museum, two fantastic places to explore. There are a variety of walking tours to choose from, that cover everything from history, ghosts and movie filming locations.

North Conway, NH 

North Conway, NH train station

Nestled in Mount Washington’s Valley, North Conway is a perfect blend of shopping, hiking, and fun. The factory outlets from big name stores are perfect for loading up on back to school clothes, or gifts, or just picking up necessities. There are loads of breathtaking hikes that will take you to places like Diana’s Bath, where you’ll see waterfalls, Cathedral Ledge and the Black Cap Hiking Trail. For fun, you’ll find the Kahuna Laguna, the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center, and Storyland, which is just a short car ride away in Glen, NH. 

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