New England is the favorite winter getaway destination for those who want to make their holiday a little bit chilly and comfy. Who doesn’t like snuggling next to the chimney, wrapped up like a burrito, and sipping hot chocolate?
There are tons of places in New England to visit for winter vacation and the abundance of options may overwhelm you.
To make things easier for you, here are the 10 Best Winter Getaways in New England.
1. Burlington, Vermont
Burlington is a bustling city in Vermont that attracts a significant number of tourists every year, especially during winter. It is one of the most preferred winter getaways in New England.
The city is filled with picturesque views and rich culture. Its thriving culture, activities, and sightings are the star of the city.
Burlington offers innumerable activities along with the places that you will be able to visit. Art museums, historic landmarks, breweries, shopping malls, bike tours, and comedy clubs -this city has everything to make your getaway worthwhile.
Did you know that Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream was founded in Burlington? The brand is a national treasure and provides diverse yet delicious flavor profiles coupled with its clever names. Along with visiting its local shops for a scoop, you can also visit the ice cream factory and relish some of its flavorful scoops.
Winter weekend getaways in New England are a way to blow off some steam. Vermont Comedy Club is one of the best places to visit in New England. With incredibly funny comedians on rotation, there’s always someone new to see as well as diverse content to enjoy. You can munch on treats and drinks while having lots of laughs at the club.
When planning your getaway in Burlington, Vermont, make sure to book your accommodations at Bolton Valley Resort. It is, undoubtedly, one of the best winter resorts in New England.
Bolton Valley Resort offers some of the best mountain activities in Burlington, probably the best in New England. There are epic snow sports in the winter months that manage to keep tourists hooked during their getaway in New England.
The resort offers day/night skiing and snowboarding lift tickets as well as rentals, lessons, and childcare. There are additional sports such as snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, and backcountry skiing. And once you are tired of all the outdoor activities, there are tons of indoor activities -swimming, sauna, mountain biking, disc golf, and more- to keep you occupied.
Once you are done admiring the beautiful mountains of Burlington, it is time to go on tours around the amazing city. You can visit Switchback Brewing Company which thrives on crafting “unexpected, relatable, great-tasting beer.” which will also help you stay warm. You can visit Ethan Allen Homestead Museum, Frog Hollow Craft Center, Fleming Museum of Art, and ArtsRiot to absorb the culture of Burlington.
If you looking for hiking trails, look no further as you can go and hike in Mount Philo State Park. You can hike and even go camping, though that is not advised during the winter.
No getaway is complete without shopping. You can shop at Stella Mae, Danforth Pewter, Dear Lucy, and Liebling to up your fashion game. After all, who doesn’t want to appear all classy after a getaway?
Burlington is the most preferable winter getaway destination in New England. By now, you are probably booking your tickets and accommodation in Burlington, and trust me, you will not regret a single moment over there.
Things to do in Burlington:
- Go on bike tours around the city
- Hike in Mount Philo State Park
- Visit Ethan Allen Homestead Museum, Frog Hollow Craft Center, Fleming Museum of Art, and ArtsRiot
- Shop at Stella Mae, Danforth Pewter, Dear Lucy, and Liebling
- Visit Vermont Comedy Club
- Book accommodation at Bolton Valley Resort
- Visit the local breweries
- Visit Lake Champlain Chocolates
2. Stowe, Rhode Island
Want to plan a weekend getaway in New England that is suitable for both skiers and non-skiers? You can add Stowe, Rhode Island to your list and start packing.
It is fitting for everyone: you can travel solo, you can travel with friends and family and you can also enjoy a romantic getaway with your significant other. The charming town is packed with activities fitting for both skiers and non-skiers and amazing ski resorts.
The town is overlooked by Mount Mansfield, known for its trails and ski slopes. There’s Stowe Recreation Path, Wiessner Woods, Sterling Pond and Long Trail, Edson Hill Trails, and Trapp Family Lodge which are well-known in Stowe for hiking and skiing.
And if you happen to be someone who is not particularly fond of skiing or hiking, you can go ice skating at the public ice rink at the Lodge at Spruce Peak. You can also choose to go snow tubbing or snowshoeing.
For anyone planning a weekend getaway at Stowe in early winter, be well aware that you are in for a treat as Stowe starts the winter season off with its Traditional Christmas in Stowe celebration, and then makes a seamless transition to their Winter Carnival in January. During their Winter Carnival, you’ll find ice sculpture contests with dazzling creations all over town, fun sporting events, and evening parties.
Such local events are one of the main reasons why Stowe is such a beloved place to visit in New England.
There are so many bewitching places in Stowe that offer a brilliant background for pictures. Imagine the memories you will make!!
Here are some Intsagrammable spots for you: Sunset Rock, Historic Stowe Village, and Mt. Mansfield among many others that will make you an Instagram star among your friends. And if you are planning a romantic getaway, which will end with a ring on someone’s finger, these locations are the best ones that you can ever get in the entire New England.
You will need to get some shopping done to end your vacation. You can pay a visit to some of the classy shops along Main Street, there are also spas, amazing restaurants, and lovely walking paths for a relaxing stroll.
Make sure to document your getaway to Stowe !!!
Things to do in Stowe:
- Activities for both skiers and non-skiers: you can hike and ski in Stowe Recreation Path, Wiessner Woods, Sterling Pond and Long Trail, Edson Hill Trails, and Trapp Family Lodge.
- Activities for non-skiers: ice skating, snow tubbing, and snowshoeing at the Lodge at Spruce Peak. You can also go winter zip-lining.
- Take pictures in Sunset Rock, Historic Stowe Village, and Mt. Mansfield.
- Shop at Main Street
3. Rangeley, Maine
Considered one of the best winter destinations in New England for skiing, Rangeley, Maine is a winter getaway destination that you just won’t want to miss.
Its frosty, picture-perfect mountains are made for your perfect winter vacation. The mountains, the chilly air, the arctic snow -you are going to be nostalgic for all that once you go from here.
If you are looking for a winter destination that is fraught with winter sports, Rangeley is the right place for you. From downhill skiing to snowboarding, this place has it all.
Once you step into Rangeley for your winter getaway, you will understand that nobody stays inside the house in winter over there. And why will they? There are multitudes of events to enjoy such as snowmobile rides, snowmobile stunt shows, casino night, and many other activities. These activities can be enjoyed in a group, The Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club, which specializes in snowmobile activities.
You can also go ice skating on the ice rink on Haley Pond. Make a few friends over there and enjoy a hot mug of hot cocoa or coffee and roast marshmallows or corndogs at the gazebo park near Ecopelagicon, a shop from where you can get skates.
Kids even take it further and shovel off the rink and play hockey. The competitive spirit makes the game lively.
For those that are planning a getaway with family, you can ski and ride at Saddleback Mountain, Maine’s third-largest ski resort. It has a family-friendly environment and hosts special events throughout the season.
There are indoor activities for families as well. You can check out Moose Alley on Main Street. They have state-of-the-art bowling alleys, billiards, and arcade games, or simply choose to relax on the comfy couches while watching television. And if you are in luck, you may get to see bands from Portland and Boston that perform here on weekends.
Now onto shopping. No winter getaway is complete if you do not shop. A big fat wallet is what we need for it.
Some may want to enjoy a cozy winter getaway in Rangeley (and it is not wrong to want it, after all, Rangeley is so homey) and for a cozy winter getaway, you need to buy books. Books, Lines, and Thinkers have a great selection of books that will keep you hooked for days. You can unplug from the world and delve into the world of fiction.
As for clothes, The Alpine Shop of Rangeley has the best clothes for winter, especially outdoor wear. The shop stocks all the best outdoor wear such as Sigrid Olsen, Woolrich, Icelandic sweaters, Teva sandals and footwear, Lowa footwear, Royal Robbins, and Merrill hiking boots. You will also find local maple syrup, candy, and unique trinkets that will capture your heart.
Rangeley is the best winter destination in New England and is very much loved by sports enthusiasts.
Things to do in Rangeley:
- Enjoy snowboarding, downhill skiing, snowmobile rides, snowmobile stunt shows, casino night, and ice skating
- Play ice hockey on the ice skating rink
- Visit Moose Alley for its ray of indoor activities collection
- Buy books from Book, Lines, and Thinker
- Shop at The Alpine Shop of Rangeley
4. Woodstock, Vermont
Woodstock is home to an aesthetic rural landscape, especially in winter. It bewitches its visitors and tempts them to come every year. The gorgeous village is filled with pretty boutiques and tiny, cozy cafes, along with the winter celebrations that it hosts every winter.
Woodstock’s highlights are its rolling mountain landscape, historic farm fields, and iconic covered bridges. It is a slice of early nineteenth-century America that is the perfect winter destination in New England.
Just imagine the mountains covered in crisp, white snow!! Woodstock is that small village with cozy winters and cafes from your favorite fictional book.
You can visit the historic Covered Bridge Trio, Sugarbush Farm (and get local cheese and maple syrup) and the New England Falconry to absorb the local history. You would also like to visit the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Historical Site which is the home of George Perkins Marsh, known as the father of American ecology. You can enjoy the scenic views of the land and soak up its beauty, along with taking part in their workshop to learn how to manage and conserve the land.
Dining in villages is a blessing. No noise, no chaos. Just serene beauty and a delicious meal.
Woodstock has some really amazing restaurant options that provide organic and locally-grown veggie meals. There is Mon Vert Cafe, which is a staple amongst both the locals and visitors for its organic breakfast and lunch menu. You may also like Richardson’s Tavern and Worthy Kitchen for their cozy interiors and mind-blowing menu options.
As for outdoor activities, you can go hiking at Mount Tom. You can take the Faulkner Trail, which many hikers have remarked on for the serene and breathtakingly beautiful view that it provides.
Woodstock is an ideal winter getaway destination in New England for its composed, unspoiled, and pristine nature. You can choose Woodstock when you want to unwind from the daily chaos of your city life.
Things to do in Woodstock:
- Visit Covered Bridge Trio, Sugarbush Farm, and New England Falconry
- Visit Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Historical Site and learn about conserving a land
- Dine on Mon Vert Cafe, Richardson’s Tavern, and Worthy Kitchen
- Hike at Mount Tom
5. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
One of the most gorgeous winter getaway destinations in New England, Portsmouth is a place that you will not want to miss after reading about it.
Portsmouth is a drop-dead, breathtakingly mesmerizing city. It excludes an idyllic and pleasant aura, especially when the snow hits and reflects on the waters. It is cozy and perfect for holidays when you want to laze around.
The cold winds sweep everyone inside and most love to spend time in cafes, shops, or restaurants with a group of people. The historic town has some really adorable cafes where communities come and mingle.
Portsmouth is one of the most budgeted winter destinations in New England. It is less crowded and the prices aren’t skyrocketing.
The first thing that you can do when you step into Portsmouth is taking a self-guided walking tour of downtown Portsmouth. After that, you can dine in one of the restaurants in Portsmouth, which has some quality options ranging from the freshest coffee and baked goods to right-off-the-boat seafood selections and eclectic farm-to-table meals.
One of the most fun things to do in the winter in Portsmouth is to head to the Strawbery Banke Museum. You can put on some skates and enjoy your time at their outdoor rink. Next to the rink is the waterfront park and you’ll also be able to enjoy views of the historic homes, which are beautifully decorated at Christmas.
You can also catch a show at The Music Hall. It hosts world-class musical acts, comedians, theater productions, and films.
For activities, you can hike on the trails at Odiorne Point State Park.
As for shopping, you can find some comfy wear at Fox Run Mall while Kittery Outlet Mall has the best dresses from some fine luxury brands.
Things to do in Portsmouth:
- Take a self-guided tour around downtown Portsmouth.
- Dine at restaurants and cafes
- Visit Strawberry Banke Museum
- Catch a show at The Music Hall
6. Portland, Maine
Portland is a stunning place to visit in winter in New England. The beauty of this city lies in its untouched mountains.
When snow sticks to the ground, the beauty of the city is unmatched. Especially the city’s three lighthouses.
The lighthouses are the city’s main attraction. Anyone who wants to visit Portland should definitely pay a visit to at least one of the lighthouses.
Portland is well-known for its food. If you are a foodie, and you are visiting Portland, you are in luck as the city has some of the best restaurants in New England. You can make reservations at some of the best, top-notch restaurants in Portland.
You can take culinary tours around the city and explore its flavorful seasons. The best-selling tour is the Old Port Culinary Walking Tour, which starts at $139.99. You will be introduced to the city’s traditional seasoning. Such tours are a feast for your palate.
Since you will be on a winter getaway, you can check out the Holiday Markets, which stock fine Christmas decorations and gifts. You can also check out Victoria Mansion, which will all be decked up in the festive season.
To expand your social circle, you can visit Blyth & Burrows and sip on the fusion cocktails with the locals. The vintage-inspired bar is the quintessential place for chic Instagram pictures. The bar is a favorite amongst the locals, especially during winter.
Every holiday season, the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum hosts a mystical ride to the North Pole on the Polar Express. Once you step inside the vintage passenger cars, you’ll be greeted with beautiful Christmas decorations, hot cocoa, and cookies. And, of course, no Christmas celebration is complete without a visit from Santa Claus, and he will come bearing gifts for the kids!!
But the show stealer of all the celebrations in Portland is The Casco Bay Parade Of Lights. It is a celebration that takes place every year on a Saturday in mid-December, where lots of boats string twinkle lights around their vessels and cruise down the harbor. The celebration brings together the community and everybody celebrates together.
P.s. Anyone that has watched Ginny & Georgia will find Portland really similar to the fictional Wellsbury. Just like Wellsbury, Portland is also a close-knitted and socially active city.
Things to do in Portland:
- Take culinary tours with Old Port Culinary Walking Tour
- Visit Holiday Markets, Blyth & Burrows, and the Victoria Mansion
- Attend The Casco Bay Parade Of Lights
- Visit Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum
7. Boston, Massachusetts
The biggest city and the most happening place in New England in winter is Boston. Boston is the heart of New England and everybody pays a visit to Boston in winter because of how cozy and chilly the weather is.
Boston has many activities and notable restaurants that are such a treat for your palate. Boston is a majestic city in winter.
Let’s start with outdoor activities. You can go skating at the Boston Common Frog Pond; it is purely a wholesome experience to skate over there. Not only is it a fun experience but also a memorable one, especially for newbies.
After skating, you can head to Frog Pond Cafe and gorge on warm meals.
If you are not satisfied with ice skating, you can try out sledding at Flagstaff Hill or snowshoeing at Gore Place. Sledding is one of the most popular winter vacation activities in Boston.
To absorb the local culture, you can hop into the museums in Boston and learn a thing or two about the mesmerizing city. There is The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum (it is an unmissable opportunity), the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (it has some great masterpieces and also celebrates various festivals such as Diwali), and the Boston Children’s Museum (it has some great activities to engage children).
Of course, how can we forget about hot chocolate? Your soul needs to warm up after a pipping cup of hot chocolate from L.A. Burdick Chocolates and 1369 Coffee House. They are connoisseurs in hot chocolate making. See how your soul melts after a cup of Mexican hot chocolate from 1369 Coffee House.
And if you happen to love chocolate so much, you can add a tour of the Taza Chocolate Factory to your list of the best things to do in Boston in winter.
For entertainment, you can catch a show at the Theater District or watch opera at the Boston Opera House. The glitz and glamor will knock your socks off and you will feel like an elite class over there.
If you are in Boston during the festive season, you can buy things from the Holiday Market. The Boston Winter Holiday Market has the best of everything for the holidays and is very popular amongst both the locals and visitors.
After lots and lots of touring and activities, end your day with a shopping spree at the cozy Prudential Center. They have all the big names: Saks Fifth Avenue, Ann Taylor, Canada Goose, Lululemon, L’Occitane, and Sephora.
All the hectic shopping calls for a scrumptious meal. Relish the savory meals from the best-loved Wagamama, Sweet Green, and Eataly.
Boston is every It Ends With Us fan’s dream city. It is a city of love, escapade, and trials.
The city will hypnotize you from the moment you set your eyes on it and will forever be the best place you have ever visited in New England.
Things to do in Boston:
- Skate in Boston Common Frog Pond
- Sled at Flagstaff Hill
- Snowshoe at Gore Place
- Visit The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Boston Children’s Museum
- Drink hot chocolate from L.A. Burdick Chocolates and 1369 Coffee House
- Visit the Holiday Market, especially Boston Winter Holiday Market
- Take a tour of Taza Chocolate Factory
- Shop at Prudential Center
- Eat at Wagamama, Sweet Green, and Eataly
8. Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the second-best winter vacation destination in New England. It is rich in culture and abundant activities.
Providence is full of unusual activities. One of them is WaterFire, which is braziers in the middle of the river filled with bonfires that light Downcity Providence.
To learn more about its culture and cultural activities, you can visit the RISD Museum of Art, Rhode Island State Capitol, Providence Performing Arts Center, and of course, Brown University. And how can you forget Stephen Hopkins House?
To calm your mind, you can stroll through Swan Point Cemetry. It is not at all spooky and is elaborately decorated with tombs, vaults, Victorian and Art Nouveau figural sculptures, simple early stones, and large family plots walled and landscaped like little gardens.
To take yourself back in time, pay a visit to the 1865 mansion of Governor Henry Lippitt. The stained glasses, the faux wood, and the marble finishes -you will be taken back to the Victorian era.
Those who are worried about keeping their children entertained can pay a visit to Rhode Island Children’s Museum. It has everything for children ages 1 to 11 to explore the worlds of science, art, technology, physics, architecture, botany, engineering, and world cultures.
When you are done being captivated by its culture and history, it is time for a little bit of retail therapy. Shop at the Arcade on Weybosset Street, it has independent stores with amazing quality clothes.
Providence manages to leave a mark in each and every visitor’s heart. You may ask why but dont knock it until you have seen it. It is enchantingly beautiful in winter and one of the most visually attractive winter getaway destinations in New England.
Things to do in Providence:
- Catch the WaterFire celebration
- Visit the RISD Museum of Art, Rhode Island State Capitol, Providence Performing Arts Center, and Brown University.
- Stroll through Swan Point Cemetry
- Visit the Governor Henry Lippitt Mansion
- Take your children to Rhode Island Children’s Museum
- Shop at the Arcade.
9. Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford is the capital and heart of Connecticut. It is home to museums, historic homes, and other valuable locations.
Hartford is filled with world-class art galleries, lush gardens, and historic buildings. And a bonus point to Hartford, for fitting into the budget and making it a financially accessible winter getaway destination in New England.
To gain a great deal of knowledge about Hartford, you can visit Mark Twain House and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. It is rich with Hartford’s history, and will also make you knowledgeable.
Winters in Hartford are bitterly cold and this demands everybody to stay in and enjoy their time. Or visit its many museums and art galleries during the day, while it is fairly warm.
There is the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Connecticut Science Center, and the Connecticut State Capitol. These destinations are for the history geeks, who love to enjoy learning new information.
When you are done visiting all the museums and galleries, take a stroll at the gardens of Elizabeth Park for a change. It is refreshing with its gardens and greenhouses.
Hartford is a must-visit for the ones that want to enjoy a budgeted holiday. It is one of the most affordable destinations in New England.
Things to do in Hartford:
- Visit the Mark Twain House and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
- Visit Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Connecticut Science Center, and the Connecticut State Capitol
- Take a stroll at the Elizabeth Park
10. Mystic, Connecticut
One of the best winter towns in New England is Mystic. It is remarkably gorgeous during winter and attracts a fair amount of crowds in winter.
One of the famous spots in Mystic is Olde Mystik Village. It has some incredible shops where you can immerse yourself in retail therapy.
Olde Mystik Village is a real-life Hogsmeade (cue the gasp of all Harry Potter fans). You can have a customized hot cocoa from the potion bar and Cloak & Wand. Or, if you are a tea person on a chilly day, you can head to Alice in the Village for a very fun afternoon tea service.
For family-friendly outings, you can visit Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Museum of Art, Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, and B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill. Treat yourself to a little apple cider donut from B.F. Clyde’s Cider Millis, they are mouthwateringly delicious.
Of course, apple cider donuts are not enough to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. There is Sift Bake Shop, which is owned by French-trained pastry chefs.
For adrenaline-rushing activities, how about a tour of Seaside Shadows Haunted Tours? Make a reservation for a haunted tour and find yourself in a spooky boat along with a group of historians to guide you on this tour. Happy haunted house tour!!
Winters call for booze and you do have to look any further as we have Barley Head Brewery. They use locally grown ingredients to concoct fine local beers.
Mystic is as mystical as it sounds. It is fun, it is beautiful, and it is full of friendly people.
Things to do in Mystic:
- Visit Olde Mystik Village
- Visit Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Museum of Art, Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, and B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill.
- Eat from Sift Bake Shop
- Take part in Seaside Shadows Haunted Tours
- Pay a visit to Barley Head Brewery
New England is not short of elegant places to visit. Each and every winter getaway destination in New England is remarkably beautiful and captivates the heart of its visitors.
Visit each and every place mentioned above and let us know which one became your favorite.