New England is home to some of the most iconic places in America, from Boston to Cape Cod, and some of the country's most iconic images - think clapboard houses with fluttering stars and stripes or long lobster lunches. Come 'fall', venture inland to verdant Vermont and New Hampshire to see beautiful autumnal colours.

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Why we think you’ll love it

New England is a foodie's paradise, from the world famous lobsters and clam chowder along the coast to maple syrup, ice cream (Vermont is the home of Ben & Jerry's), apple cider and pumpkin pie inland.


Our guide to holidays in New England

Add beaches, lakes, sailing, islands, mountains and picture perfect towns and there's pretty much something for everyone in New England, but for most visitors it all starts in venerable Boston, the cultural and historic epicentre of the region. History buffs will know all about the eponymous Tea Party, and the city has come to symbolise the cradle of the American Revolution. The Freedom Trail is a fascinating way to explore the heart of what is essentially the oldest city in America, but despite it's age, this is also one of the most liberal and intellectual cities too, thanks in no small part to the proximity of Harvard and MIT in neighbouring Cambridge. But Boston is not all about history and academia - the city also does a fine line in gastronomy (the seafood is sensational); nightlife (the Irish influence comes through in an excellent craic most nights) and sports, with the Red Sox and New England Patriots at the very tops of their trees in baseball and American football respectively. In season, an evening spent at Fenway Park watching a ball game is a Bostonian tradition that should appeal to even non-baseball lovers.

After a stay in Boston, it's decision time. Most visitors fly and drive, and depending on time and budget there are a number of wonderful circular routes that encompass much of what makes New England a special destination. For those with less time on their hands, and a healthy budget, we would recommend a southern circuit taking in those bywords for sophisticated New England - Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, all of which are still in Massachusetts.

Cape Cod is the perfect distillation of all that makes New England such an attractive destination, thanks to glorious beaches, picture perfect clapboard houses, a rich history dating back to the Pilgrim fathers, some prime whale watching opportunities, a thriving arts scene and seafood good enough to satiate the finickiest foodie. The main event has to be the beaches, all 115 of them, that stretch along the peninsula, culminating in an unbroken 40-mile expanse of sand that constitutes the Cape Cod National Seashore. Dotted along the shore are several quaint villages (some of them among America's oldest) with names that will have particular resonance for British visitors, from Sandwich to Truro and Chatham, while at the northern tip sits pretty Provincetown, the perfect place to explore the many galleries and restaurants. The temptation in Cape Cod might be to wander around, gorge on lobster and laze on beautiful beaches, but there's plenty more to do, from excellent whale watching (especially out of Provincetown), well-marked trekking trails (ideal for walking off the inevitable lobster overdose), sailing boat and kayak charters, birdwatching and museums recalling the area's Pilgrim and nautical history.

Cape Cod also works brilliantly in combination with nearby Martha's Vineyard, a short ferry ride away and a summertime playground for politicos and plutocrats, but which still retains the feel of an old island fishing community. This is somewhere to rent a moped and explore beautiful beaches, pretty villages and shack restaurants serving outstanding seafood. Martha's Vineyard is sometimes described as a miniature Ireland, with bright green pastures full of grazing cattle and sheep, but for even more idyllic views, and the full Ralph Lauren advertisement effect, take to the water on a rented sailboat. Last point on the triangle might be the island of Nantucket, another haven for Boston and New York's elite, and another perfect summer retreat with beaches, clam shacks and clapboard quaintness in spades. A word of warning at this point - availability in all three is extremely tight in summer so early planning is highly recommended. After this you could return north to Boston (swinging by Plymouth Rock to see the spot where the Pilgrims made land), or head on through rural Rhode Island and Connecticut to New York City.

Head north from Boston along the coast into Maine and many of the attractions - pretty fishing communities, beaches, clam chowder - remain, and the prices can be drastically lower than in Massachusetts, so this potentially works better for families. Prime spots to explore are the charming foodie city of Portland, the seaside havens of Rockport and Boothbay Harbo(u)r where you can sail in a traditional windjammer boat and go on lobster trips, and finally Bar Harbour near the Canadian border, home to New England's only National Park, Acadia National Park.

Another part of New England that should be lobbying hard for national parks is Vermont, which can be reached cross country from Maine. The main event here is the spectacular colour display every autumn, which merits a trip in its own right, but given we're talking circular summer driving routes, if you're in Vermont, head to Lake Champlain for kayaking and sailing and the towns of Stowe and Woodstock in the Green Mountains, a wonderful place for walking in summer and skiing in winter. Foodies, please note - Vermont is also home to countless craft breweries and small holding farms selling delicious local produce. Head back to Boston through New Hampshire for a perfect combination of coast and countryside.


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Flight from London

7:30 hrs

Time Difference

GMT -5 hrs


Top picks for New England

XV Beacon

XV Beacon

New England

On the crest of Beacon Hill lies the XV Beacon, set within a 20th century Beaux Arts building in one of Boston’s most historic districts. The historic façade conceals a modern boutique hotel, where slick service and personalised experiences are the order of the day.

Where to stay

The Vanderbilt Grace

The Vanderbilt Grace

New England

The Vanderbilt Grace in Newport, Rhode Island, was built by a scion of the supremely wealthy Vanderbilt clan during the so-called Gilded Age at the turn of the 20th Century, and as such is one of the only famous Rhode Island mansions now operating as a luxury hotel.

Where to stay

The Fairmont Copley Plaza

The Fairmont Copley Plaza

New England

Located in Boston’s historic Back Bay district just steps from the Boston Public Library, Beacon Hill and the Freedom Trail, the Fairmont Copley Plaza is one of the grand dames of the city, which has been a Boston landmark since its opening in 1912. Following its 100th anniversary, the guestrooms underwent a complete renovation ensuring that the hotel leaps well and truly into the 21st century, whilst retaining the historic façade and grand lobby which has made it such an icon.

Where to stay

Chatham Bars Inn

Chatham Bars Inn

New England

Chatham Bars Inn was built back in 1914, as a semi-private hunting lodge for affluent East coasters, looking for a break from the city. Having recently celebrated its centurion birthday, Chatham Bars remains the pinnacle of luxury accommodation on the cape, maintaining its old world charm, whilst offering todays guests a range of facilities and modern amenities.

Where to stay

Twin Farms

Twin Farms

New England

Twin Farms is a luxurious country house hotel surrounded by 300 acres of meadows and forests in the Green Mountains of Vermont, just 15 minutes from the lovely town of Woodstock.

Where to stay

Inn by the Sea

Inn by the Sea

New England

Just fifteen minutes from the vibrant city of Portland, Maine, the Inn By the Sea sits upon a mile of pristine sandy beach and offers the perfect option for both families and couples. The main building, with its slate grey clapboard, white picket fencing and manicured lawn is an atypical New England coastal retreat.

Where to stay

The trip was amazing!! Massive success and far exceeded our high expectations. Absolute proof that Original Travel's specialised high touch approach is hugely value additive to the discerning traveller!

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