Next Stop: New England

Road Tripping through America’s Historic Northeast

One of the most scenic and historic areas of the United States, New England includes six states with sweeping mountain views, more than 150 lighthouses, historic covered bridges, seafood shacks (lobster rolls!), charming seaside towns, and storied fall foliage. You can drive through New England in just a few hours, but you won’t regret taking your time and choosing the back roads. 

From Boston to Bar Harbor, explore the best of New England with this easy-going East Coast itinerary.

Begin in Boston – walk the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail, visit the The Public Garden, and catch a game at iconic Fenway Park. Then head south to explore Rhode Island and Connecticut, or drive north to experience picturesque Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.  

nipmuck state forest

I-95 South will take you to New Haven in just over two hours. It’s a direct route, but try US-20 west from Boston to Sturbridge, home to Old Sturbridge Village living history museum, through the Nipmuck State Forest to Willimantic, once the center of America’s textile industry, and across the Connecticut River on the nation's oldest continuously operating ferry service to East Glastonbury. Then, CT-15 will take you right to the ivy-covered Yale campus. 

ocean drive

Return to Boston, alternating between 1-95 and US-1. Take a detour for Newport’s scenic 10-mile Ocean Drive, then back on the interstate to Cape Cod. With more than 500 miles of pristine coastline, miles of oyster farms, cranberry bogs, trails and nature sanctuaries, and a laid-back atmosphere, you’ll want to spend some time here. 

lobster roll

From Boston to Bar Harbor, I-95 is another two-hour road trip, but there are many chances to hop off and on. The drive from Kittery to Portland offers beautiful, sandy beaches in Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, and Old Orchard. Stop in Portland for a craft beer and a lobster roll. Try Bite into Maine where you can choose Maine-style (cold with mayo) or Connecticut-style (hot with butter). US-1 keeps you close to Maine’s craggy shoreline from Freeport to Bar Harbor. Kayak Muscongus Bay; stroll Wiscasset’s enchanting main street; explore Camden Hills State Park and Moose Point State Park, where you can beachcomb in the tide pools.  

kancamagus highway

New England is scenic any time of the year, but it’s truly dazzling in the fall, so few side trips during “peeping season” will disappoint. Choose a peaceful scenic stretch of Route 20 that runs almost parallel to the Mass Pike; the 30-mile Blackstone River Valley Corridor; New Hampshire’s winding Kancamagus Highway (known as “the Kanc”); the Vermont Green Mountain Byway; or Acadia National Park’s 27-mile loop. 

No matter when you visit or which route you choose, have your camera ready, because the scenery is spectacular every step of the way.