6 Destinations for New England Weekend Getaways

bridge with fall leaves

Weekend Getaways in New England

New England, known for its rich history and stunning landscapes, is an excellent place to spend a weekend getaway. We enjoy leaving the hustle and bustle of our home city to enjoy the slower pace of life, strolling down tree-lined streets, sampling wines at local vineyards, and sitting on the beach. This area has so much to offer, regardless of whether you want a calming weekend or an action-packed getaway. 

But with all of the destinations to choose from, it can be hard to pick the best place to visit. While you could spend your weekend bouncing from place to place (many of these cities are pretty close together), that might feel like a bit much, especially if you want a relaxing getaway. So, if you want to pick a single place to spend your time, here are a few of our favorites to consider. 

6 Places in New England to Enjoy a Weekend Excursion

New England is full of places to see and things to do. Whether you want to kick back, relax, and soak up the sunshine on the beach or spend your days perusing old mansions and chateaus, there are plenty of things to do in New England. Here are a few of our favorite places to spend a weekend:

1. Providence, RI

Known for its quaint nature blended with big-city amenities, Providence is a good place to spend a weekend. Providence is a college town home to Brown University, which features an incredible campus. It’s a beautiful place, regardless of the season, so if you’re up for it, take a stroll through the campus. 

Providence Place Mall is a great place to shop, so if you’d like to go on a relaxing shopping spree, that’s a great place to start. Federal Hill has some outstanding Italian eateries (this is where many Italian immigrants put down roots and is often called Little Italy), coffee shops with delicious coffee, and flea and street markets with all sorts of wares. 

We eat our weight in pizza while we’re in Little Italy, so afterward, we usually need a nice stroll.  If you need to get your steps in, take a stroll down Wickenden Street, stopping to peruse all of the little vintage stores and sampling yummy foods at local eateries. Or, stroll down tree-lined Benefit Street, home to an assortment of adorable colonial-era houses.

Or, if you want to keep things relaxed, go for a picnic at Prospect Park or take a stroll through the impressive 427-acre Roger Williams Park. Who doesn’t love a picnic with yummy sandwiches, fresh fruits and veggies, and a crunchy snack (maybe even some dessert to sweeten the deal)? We definitely do!

2. Mount Greylock- Camping

If you enjoy nature like we do, you’ll love the pristine beauty of Mount Greylock. At 3,491 feet, it is the highest point in Massachusetts, offering incredible views of lower peaks and valleys below. 

It’s the perfect place for a weekend getaway in the mountains, giving you the opportunity to unplug and relax after a stressful week of work. We love the assortment of hikes scattered throughout the area. About 70 miles of trail are open year-round to hikers, so you won’t need to worry about running out of sights to see and trails to hike. 

We enjoy a good camping trip, and if you do, too, pitch a tent and stay here for your weekend trip. Be sure to check availability at local campsites and book ahead if you want a reservation. Many options are seasonal, and one, Sperry Campground, is currently closed for renovations. 

Some folks might prefer the comfort of a plush bed and four walls, and if that sounds like you, not to worry – there are plenty of nearby accommodations. You’ll find lots of familiar big-name hotels, plus a few adorable, local options. If you go this route, though, remember that you’ll probably need to drive to get to most of the trailheads (although it depends on where you stay)

3. Newport, RI

Could you go for a relaxing getaway with calming walks by the ocean, complete with a salt-kissed breeze off the sea, and a few tours at local wineries and breweries? Yes? Then Newport might be the place to spend your weekend. 

It’s a great getaway, whether you’re going for a weekend girls’ trip or a couple’s retreat. We’re ever fascinated by the ocean and its might, so we loved the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk, which took us along the picturesque coastline. Right now, one section of the walk is closed due to structural damage. Detours are available, though, so you can still enjoy the salty sea breeze as you stroll. 

If you’re a history buff, be sure to take a mansion tour. We thought these tours were simply incredible and beautifully maintained to preserve historical intrigue. They’re like a time capsule, transporting you back to the homes of turn-of-the-century high society, featuring breathtaking murals, statues, gilded elements, and much more. Make sure you check the operating schedule – they’re only open during certain times of the day. 

There’s so much to do here, more than enough to fill a weekend (or more). There are rail bike tours, hiking and walking trails, museums, downtown shops, eclectic eateries, and festivals (at certain times of the year) to fill your days, ensuring you won’t run out of things to do. 

4. Acadia National Park

Whether you want a quiet, low-key getaway surrounded by nature or an invigorating weekend packed with fun hikes and other outdoor activities, Acadia National Park is a must-visit. Like our Mount Greylock camping recommendation, this one is a good option for outdoor adventurers.

The park is packed with trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. If you’re up for it, you can even rock climb in certain areas. There are more than 47,000 acres to explore, featuring jagged coastlines, pristine mountain lakes, and a diverse array of trees that paint the landscape orange and red when summer ebbs into fall. 

We enjoy immersing ourselves in the beauty of this area 24/7 on our getaways, so we like to camp while we’re here, but you don’t have to. You can find all sorts of inns, hotels, and quaint Airbnbs to hang your hat in at night. 

If you want to camp, you’ll need to plan ahead. There are just a handful of campgrounds with sites available: one on Mount Desert Island and one on the Schoodic Peninsula. You can also stay in the lean-tos on Isle au Haut. To stay at one of these sites, you have to reserve a spot in advance, as same-day reservations aren’t permitted. 

You can’t go backcountry, “out-of-bounds,” or winter camping here, nor can you park there overnight, so you need to book a campsite to stay in the park. 

5. Portland, ME

Portland is another entertaining place to spend a weekend. If you need some time to decompress after a particularly stressful week of work, there are some excellent wellness spas in the area. We always appreciate a relaxing massage or even a facial to take the edge off of a long week, so if that sounds like what you need, Portland can be a great place to stay. 

Or, if you’re looking for an action-packed weekend of entertainment, Portland has you covered. Spend a day out on the water looking for wildlife, including puffins and whales (only in the area from May to October). Or, take a sunset kayak tour through Casco Bay (we think that being on the water as the sun dips below the horizon is simply magical).  

Or, if you’re a history buff, visit the historical sites in the area. We appreciate an interesting historical moment, and given the rich history this area boasts, there’s no shortage of sights to see. Tour a former United States military fort built in the mid-1800s or peruse the meticulously preserved Victorian period. 

6. Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a popular spot for weekend getaways, vacations, and more. We enjoy spending a long weekend here, taking a step back from the hectic nature of daily life to enjoy it all at a slower pace. 

We love hiking the scenic trails (who doesn’t love a good stroll with an incredible view of the ocean) and spending time on the beach. The Great Island Trail is one of our favorites. It’s a 7.5-mile trail that takes you through the woods, across sand dunes, and along the beach. As you stroll, you’ll get a diverse range of views, including an incredible view of Cape Cod Bay from the cliffs overlooking it. While it takes about three and a half to four hours to complete, it’s well worth it. 

While you’re in the area, meander over to Martha’s Vineyard, a quaint island just seven miles off the Massachusetts coastline. The colorful buildings, pristine beaches, and assortment of shops make for an entertaining stay. We took the ferry across the water to reach the island, as this was the easiest way to hop across the puddle. 

If you’re there during the evening, be sure to catch a sunset in Aquinnah, the westernmost town on the Vineyard. The views are incredible, especially atop the red-brick Aquinnah Lighthouse (we may or may not have a few dozen photos of the sunset and lighthouse on our camera roll).

Enjoy 8 Days of Fun in New England With Caravan

There’s so much to do in New England, whether you enjoy immersing yourself in history, taking strolls by the ocean, or spending time at vineyards sampling delicious wines (or all of the above). A weekend isn’t nearly enough to scratch the surface of everything you can see and do while in the area, but 8 days is enough to enjoy the high points. 

Ready to see some of the best parts of New England in a guided tour? Call 1-800-CARAVAN or 1-312-321-9800 to book a tour with Caravan today.