Things to do in New England – 10 Small Towns Not to Miss!

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New England is in the northeast of the United States and includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

Best things to do in New England

Most people only think of autumn road trips, but New England can be great any time of year and can even be romantic.

These are some small towns you can’t miss!

10 things to do in New England
1. Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plymouth rock, not worth it. It’s a rock with “1620” carved into it from when the pilgrims first came to the coast.

What is worth it? Plymouth Plantation where you can interact with actors dressed as the pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe and it’s kid friendly.

Perfect for historians and a great getaway from Boston.

Plymouth Trip Planning:

  • Book hotels in Plymouth directly on Booking.com
  • Read reviews of hotels in Plymouth on Trip Advisor
  • Book tickets to Plymouth Plantation here 

2. Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont

One of the best New England vacation spots since Burlington isn’t really near any major highway systems like I-95 so it’s a perfect off the beaten track New England road trip in fall!

From their waterfront park where you can enjoy Lake Champlain weird things like the world’s tallest filling cabinet, this small town has tons to enjoy.

Burlington Trip Planning:

  • Book hotels in Burlington directly on Booking.com
  • Read reviews of hotels in Burlington on Trip Advisor 

3. Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, Maine

If you really want a full weekend getaway in New England, you have to see this small island.

From Acadia National Park that’s right there, full of hikes and viewpoints in Maine to historic Bar Harbor.

There are carriage rides to enjoy at all times of the year too, and learn things you never knew about the Rockefellers!

Bar Harbor Trip Planning:

  • Book hotels in Bar Harbor directly on Booking.com
  • Read reviews of hotels in Bar Harbor on Trip Advisor 

4. Merrimack, New Hampshire

Merrimack, New Hampshire

Romantic getaways in New England have to include this small town, simply because of all of the breweries (both beer and wine) in the area.

Seeing the leaves change colors with fall is great along the several trails you can hike and different town parks you can visit.

Merrimack Trip Planning:

  • Book hotels in Merrimack directly on Booking.com
  • Read reviews of hotels in Merrimack on Trip Advisor 

5. Camden, Maine

Camden, Maine

One of the not-so-famous New England vacation spots is Camden Hills State Park.

On top of Mount Battie you can see Camden and all of Penobscot Bay. The small town itself has harbor cruises and whale watches during the appropriate times of the year, including the Snow Bowl ski resort in winter.

Camden Trip Planning:

  • Book hotels in Camden directly on Booking.com
  • Read reviews of hotels in Camden on Trip Advisor 

6. Chatham, Massachusetts

Chatham, Massachusetts

This cute beach town on the end of Cape Code can’t be missed during your New England day trip.

From pristine beaches to beautiful and historical lighthouses with amazing views it’s the place to be.

If you’re into rail roads, don’t forget to visit the Chatham railroad museum.

Chatham Trip Planning:

  • Book hotels in Chatham directly on Booking.com
  • Read reviews of hotels in Chatham on Trip Advisor 

7. Greenwich, Connecticut

Greenwich, Connecticut

From boating in Long Island sound and seeing old colonial style homes mixed in with modern mansions, Greenwich has it all.

An hour from New York makes it a great place to start your New England getaway. A famous New England attraction is Great Captain Island, which is a quick ferry ride away.

Greenwich Trip Planning:

  • Book hotels in Greenwich directly on Booking.com
  • Read reviews of hotels in Greenwich on Trip Advisor 

8. Jamestown, Rhode Island

Jamestown, Rhode Island

With lighthouses, beaches, and forts this small island has it all.

Don’t miss Fort Adams State Park where there’s swimming, sailing, and festivals to enjoy at different times of the year.

Also, visit Castle Hill Lighthouse, which is technically on Newport Island, which is right next to Jamestown.

Jamestown Trip Planning:

  • Book hotels in Jamestown directly on Booking.com
  • Read reviews of hotels in Jamestown on Trip Advisor 

9. Rutland, Vermont

Rutland, Vermont

From hikes to children’s museums to 19th century castles, what more could you want from this beautiful New England small town?

This makes it for the perfect family destination for a New England road trip.

If you’re a fan of Norman Rockwell, visit his museum while you’re there too.

Rutland Trip Planning:

  • Book hotels in Rutland directly on Booking.com
  • Read reviews of hotels in Rutland on Trip Advisor 

10. Groton, Connecticut

Groton, Connecticut

One of the best New England attractions has to be the fact that the navy has submarines in Groton.

All things aquatic are to be seen here, from their aquarium to their submarine museum and an old whaling ship now out of commission for you to enjoy during your New England trip.

Groton Trip Planning:

  • Book hotels in Groton directly on Booking.com
  • Read reviews of hotels in Groton on Trip Advisor 

More Tips for New England:

  • 17 things to do in Boston
  • 7 tips for a New England road trip in the fall
  • 6 beautiful places to visit in Vermont

Activities in Boston with Get Your Guide:

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10 places to visit in New England for your New England road trip. Click inside for tips on a New England road trip.

Things to do in New England - Here are 10 places to visit in New England for your New England road trip. Click inside for all the tips.

Things to do in New England - Here are 10 places to visit in New England for your New England road trip. Click inside for all the tips.

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