For many people, spring in New England is the most wonderful time of year. The days are getting longer and the temperature is warming up, making it the perfect time to explore all that the region has to offer.
Springtime in New England is one of the most beautiful times of year. From hiking and biking in the mountains to fishing and boating on the lakes and rivers, there is no shortage of activities to keep you busy. It’s a great place for a family trip during spring break.
If you aren’t familiar with New England, it is a region in the northeastern United States made up of six states. These states are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Each state has something special to offer visitors during the spring season.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to relax or an adventure to fill your days, these are some of the best places to visit during spring in New England.
Table of Contents
Springtime in Massachusetts is a beautiful time of year. The temperatures are mild and the trees and flowers are starting to bloom. There are plenty of things to do in Massachusetts during springtime, and here are some of the best places to visit:
The Berkshire Mountains are a great place to visit during the springtime. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking, biking, fishing, and golfing. If you’re looking for something outdoorsy, why not check out Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts? You don’t even have to hike to get amazing views at Mount Greylock. You can take the scenic byway to get some seriously breath-taking views.
The beaches on Cape Cod are a popular destination for tourists during the springtime. There are also many other attractions in the area, such as lighthouses, nature preserves, and historic villages.
Plymouth Plantation is a living history museum that tells the story of the Pilgrims who arrived in America on the Mayflower in 1620. 5. The USS Constitution Museum in Charlestown celebrates “Old Ironsides,” the world’s oldest commissioned warship still afloat.
While most people think of Salem as a place to visit around Halloween, it’s a great place to visit in the spring! I personally love visiting this cute city in its “off-season” when it’s not as crowded. Enjoy the charm that this old New England town has to offer without the crowds that Halloween brings.
Take a walk along the shore to visit the beautiful lighthouses. While Salem might not be known for lighthouses, they are quite the sight to see. You can visit Winter Island Light and Derby Wharf Light Station. Both parks where the lighthouses are located are great places to walk along the coast.
For those of you that don’t know, I’m from Connecticut. There are many great places to visit in Connecticut during the springtime. Some of the most popular destinations include Hartford, Mystic, and Litchfield County.
A popular town to visit in Southeastern Connecticut is Mystic. It has a great downtown loaded with great places to grab a bite. It’s not just great for delicious food though, it’s also quite beautiful. There is a park in downtown where you can enjoy the views of the Mystic River. This park also has a great view of the famous historic drawbridge.
If you’re into shopping, be sure to check out Olde Mistick Village. There are various different speciality stores here, including a Harry Potter themed store! But, there’s more than just shopping. There’s also a theater, restaurants, and a duck pond!
Next to Olde Mistick Village is the Mystic Aquarium. This is a great place for family fun. There are both indoor and outdoor sections of the aquarium. My sister loves this aquarium so much that we get the yearly membership!
If you’re into history, you can take a trip to the Mystic Seaport Maritime Museum! This outdoor museum on the River is great for all ages! Growing up, we often went to the Seaport and it was always a blast!
If you’re visiting the Mystic area, be sure to also check out the Stonington Borough! There are restaurants, shopping, and a small lighthouse that you can climb at Stonington Point! Stonington Point is my favorite spot to watch both sunrises and sunsets, so be sure to catch one while you’re there!
Another great thing to do in this area in the spring is go to Wicked Tulips Flower Farm in the small town of Preston, CT. There’s nothing more peaceful than walking through a beautiful field of colorful tulips. Plus, it’s a great spot for photos! The best part is you can also pick your own tulips! It’s a great time!
While the Connecticut shoreline is beautiful, there’s a different kind of beauty to be found in the northwest corner of Connecticut in the Litchfield Hills. This beautiful part of Connecticut features beautiful rolling hills that are just short of mountains. Some of the towns here really feel like small mountain towns that you’d find further north!
There are various beautiful waterfalls in Connecticut. The most notable is Kent Falls in the northwestern part of the state. This giant waterfall really is quite the sight to see. The best part? There’s no long hike involved! You can see the falls from the parking lot and it’s a very brief walk to get to the bottom of the falls.
Another great place to visit in the spring is Hartford, CT. Hartford is home to Elizabeth Park, which is home to beautiful flower gardens. This beautiful park covers a total of 102 acres. It is a great place to visit if you have children.
One of the most famous parts of the park is the Rose Garden. It is the oldest municipal rose garden in the U.S. and is made up of 15,000 rose bushes representing 800 varieties. Late spring is when you have the best chance of seeing the rose garden. Early summer is the best time for to see the roses in full bloom though.
In addition to the rose garden, there are other features of this park including a pond, other flower gardens, and a small cafe. Some other flowers you can view in early spring here are the tulips and daffodils. But, no matter what time of spring you make the trip, you’re guaranteed beautiful flowers.
Another great thing to do in Hartford that’s kid-friendly is going to the Connecticut Science Center! Growing up, this was a place that my family took me to often and it was always a blast! This great center filled with tons of interactive exhibits is located along the beautiful Connecticut River.
If you’re interested in history, you can visit the Mark Twain House & Museum. This house is where Mark Twain wrote some of his most famous books, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Not only is this house historically interesting, but it is also a beautiful Victorian Gothic style home. It’s definitely worth the visit!
Some other places worth visiting if you’re into history include the Museum of Connecticut History, The Connecticut Historical Society, and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.
Maine is a great place to visit during the springtime. Whether you’re looking to go see lighthouses, go on an outdoor adventure, do some shopping, or do the Maine Beer Trail, there’s a little something for everyone!
Bar Harbor, Maine is a beautiful coastal New England town that’s great to visit in the spring. If you’re going to make the trip, be sure to visit Acadia National Park! Acadia National Park falls into the top ten list of most visited parks in the United States, so you know it will be worth it.
Many people travel here to watch the sunrise because it is one of the first parts of the United States to see the sun rising. Even if you’re not into waking up early, this park is still worth the visit. You can enjoy the natural beauty this park offers by driving through, walking, or biking!
While in Bar Harbor, also be sure to check out some of the beautiful lighthouses along the coastline! The closest one is Bass Harbor Head Light, which is located at the southwestern reach of Acadia National Park in Bass Harbor. While you’re enjoying the coast, you can also take a whale watching tour to see some Beluga Whales!
There are many things to do in Bangor in the spring. If you’re into the outdoors, take a walk along the Penobscot River walkway, through Cascade Park, or the Bangor City Forest. Each of these parks offers different natural beauty.
If you’re into horror, you can admire Stephen King’s house from afar because it is a private residence. You can also take a stroll through Mount Hope Garden Cemetery. Sometimes there is a guided tour.
If you’re looking for something family-friendly to do during school vacations, you can visit the Maine Discovery Museum. Your kids are sure to have a blast here!
If you’re looking to do some unique shopping, take a trip to The Rock & Art Shop. This gift shop has a variety of rocks and crystals, jewelry, bugs, books and many other interesting items for all tastes and ages. They also have some cool air plants and other beautiful works of art.
Kittery is one of my favorite spots to visit in Maine. Because it’s southern Maine, I will typically take a day trip here as it’s only 2.5 hours from where I live in Connecticut. There are various historical forts to visit and plenty of places to get your coast and nature fix.
When I’m in Kittery, I love bird watching on the shoreline and viewing the lighthouse. My favorite park to go to the enjoy the shoreline is Fort Foster. Here, you can enjoy the serene calm of the Gulf of Maine. Additionally, it is a great place for scuba diving!
Kittery is also a great place to go shopping! If you’re looking for just your typical stores, you can go shopping at Kittery Premium Outlets.
For more Maine specific items, check out Kittery Trading Post. If I had to describe the Trading Post, I would compare it to a Cabela’s because there is a lot of outdoor gear, taxidermied animals, but also lots of great Maine gifts!
I love visiting Portland to go to the lighthouses. There are five lighthouses within 30 minutes of downtown Portland! If you don’t want to bounce around to various lighthouses like me, be sure to at least see Portland Headlight.
This stunning lighthouse sits on the coast of Maine and people come from all over the world to see it. In fact, Portland Headlight is the most photographed lighthouse in the United States.
In addition to lighthouses, Portland, Maine hosts a number of daytime and nighttime activities for all. One thing you cannot get enough of in Portland are the breweries. For those that take part in the Maine Beer Trail, ‘Industrial Way’ is a great way to get your stamps! All adjacent to one another, Industrial Way hosts Allagash, Foundation, Definitive, Battery Steele, and Austin Street Brewing. To avid Untappd users, this brewery honeypot helps you get the leg up in your ‘unique beer’ challenges with friends!
If breweries are not your thing, Old Port hosts a great number of activities for all to enjoy. Take a stroll down the cobblestone streets of Wharf Street and explore the bars and restaurants that dot these vintage New England streets.
If you are looking for a great pizza, Old Port Slice Bar is the place to be. They have the best lobster pizza! Go upstairs from Slice Bar to see Portland’s only ice bar. If you are looking for a post-dinner cocktail, go across Wharf Street to Bar of Chocolate. I challenge you to go around the ‘Martini Wheel’ (I haven’t been able to complete it)! They pair well with Bar of Chocolate’s charcuterie board.
If you want to close your time with a fun, vibrant atmosphere, go across the street to Bonfire Country Bar to enjoy some mason jars of beer while swinging in chairs or sitting in oversized ‘asses’. Otherwise, Fore Play Sports Bar is the place to be for arcade games and a club upstairs!
Don’t forget to walk the piers and see the lobster fishing boats during the day off of Commercial Street!
There are many things to do in Rhode Island during spring. It only takes me 30 minutes to get to the Rhode Island border from where I live, so I go very often.
At one point, I was going multiple times a week. So, it’s safe to say I know Rhode Island pretty well! Below are some of the best things to do in the springtime!
Roger Williams Park
One of the best places to visit is Roger Williams Park. This park has a botanical garden, a zoo, and a carousel. I have been going to this park since I was a little kid and it’s just as amazing to me now as an adult as it was as a child. It is also home to the largest free Easter egg hunt in the country.
Another great place to visit is Newport. This town is known for its mansions and beaches. There are eleven different mansions that you can visit in Newport. If you’d like to visit multiple, there are day passes available at a discounted rate. But, the most popular mansion is the “Breakers” mansion that was once the Vanderbilt’s summer home.
The Cliff Walk, which runs along the coastline, is a must-see attraction. It’s a great place for hiking in Rhode Island during the spring. Not only does it have a beautiful view of the ocean, but you’re also able to see the mansions of Newport along the way too! If you do the walk in its entirety, it is a 7 mile out and back hike.
Another great place to visit in the spring is Block Island! I personally like to visit during this time of year because it is less than it is in the summer months. While spring might not be the ideal beach time, if you go in late May, you can probably swing a beach day.
But, there’s more to Block Island than the beaches. There are lighthouses, great hikes, a farm where you can feed animals, plenty of trails for bike rides, and a great downtown with shopping.
If you’re planning a trip and you don’t want to bring your car, I’d recommend going in late April. When I went in early April last year, the mopeds weren’t available to rent yet. It’s hard to see all of Block Island on foot.
Whether you’re staying for an extended period or just taking a day trip to Block Island, it’s a great visit in the spring!
Westerly is one of my favorite spots to go. It has a cute downtown with great shops and restaurants, a beautiful park in the center of downtown, and don’t forget the beautiful beaches! There’s something for everyone in Westerly!
If you’re someone who likes cute little downtowns, Westerly is for you. Some of my favorite stores are located here and they even have a movie theater!
If you visit, I highly recommend you visit Savoy Bookshop & Cafe. This two-story bookstore is worth stopping into even if you’re not a fan of reading. While they do sell lots of books, they also sell toys, cards, journals and gifts. And of course, their cafe is another great reason to stop in!
Another place I’d recommend visiting in downtown Westerly is Homespun Antiques. This shop isn’t your typical antique store. This antique store is home to a cat named Miss Lucy! Be sure to do some antiquing and say hello to the beloved antique store cat!
As I mentioned earlier, there is a beautiful park situated in the center of town. That park is Wilcox Park. This park features beautiful trees, a pond, and statues. Enjoy a nice stroll in the park when you’re all shopped out!
I saved the best for last. Westerly is known for its beautiful beaches! Rhode Island has a breath-taking shoreline and various access points where you can enjoy it in Westerly.
One of the most popular beaches in Westerly is Misquamicut State Beach. If you’re visiting in the springtime, it’s free to park because it’s off-season and it’s less likely to be crowded! If you choose to visit Misquamicut during your visit, be sure to go up the road to the Weekapaug Overlook for great views of the coast.
If you’re visiting Westerly, be sure to check out Watch Hill too! Watch Hill is a small section of Westerly that has a cute little downtown right on the shoreline. There’s a handful of restaurants and lots of great shops! It even has a carousel! The best part about going in the spring is it’s much less crowded than visiting in the summer.
Watch Hill is also home to Ocean House, a historic Rhode Island luxury hotel that has been meticulously reconstructed to pay tribute to its storied past. It offers exceptional personal experiences for guests, members and residents.
The Ocean House is a great place to dine, but it is definitely a bit pricey. The high price is worth it though for the beautiful views of the ocean while you eat! Even if you’re not interested in dining at the Ocean House, it is still quite the sight to see!
While you’re in Watch Hill, also be sure to check out the beautiful beaches. You can go to Napatree Point to get beautiful views of the ocean from the top of the dunes or you can visit East Point Beach which is right next to Taylor Swift’s house!
One of the best things about Vermont in the spring is that the hiking trails are finally free of snow. There are plenty of great hikes to choose from, including Mount Mansfield, Camel’s Hump and Killington Peak.
There’s more than just hiking though. If you’re looking for a place that has plenty to do besides hiking, take a trip to Manchester, Vermont. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone. Whether you’re looking to do a guided tour, go shopping, go to a museum, or have some great food, you can do it in Manchester.
Another great Vermont town to visit in the springtime is Burlington, VT. You can go on a wildlife tour, explore the mountains, or just hangout in downtown. Whether cute downtowns are your thing or the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone in this cute little mountain town!
Explore scenic byways
If all else fails, you can always count on a scenic drive! There are various scenic byways throughout Vermont. Which one you choose all depends on what you’re trying to see! My last road trip to Vermont, we took the scenic byway through the southern portion of the Green Mountains that also took us along a beautiful lake.
There is no shortage of things to do in New Hampshire during the springtime. From enjoying the warmer weather outdoors to exploring the state’s many interesting attractions, visitors will find plenty to keep them busy and entertained.
Top spots to see
A few of the top things to do in New Hampshire during spring include:
- Take a scenic drive through the countryside. There are many lovely areas to explore, including along the Connecticut River and in the Lakes Region.
- Visit one of New Hampshire’s charming small towns. Some great options include Hanover, Portsmouth, North Conway, and Keene.
- Explore some of the state’s interesting museums and historical sites.
One of my personal favorite spots to go to in New Hampshire is Portsmouth. Portsmouth has such a cute downtown area filled with shops and restaurants. If you’re into beer, there’s even a brewery!
One of the most popular restaurants in Portsmouth is The Friendly Toast, which I actually have not been to because every single time I’ve been in town, there was a line out the door! Typically, we like to go to The Goat which serves some pretty great breakfast on the weekend, including breakfast drinks!
The White Mountains
As much as I love the downtown of Portsmouth, I also love going to the White Mountain National Forest. Typically when we take a trip to the White Mountains, we will start in Woodstock, New Hampshire and grab a bite to eat at The Woodstock Inn & Brewery.
After our meal, we will typically make the short walk to the small park that is on the river. There are some beautiful views there. I love walking around in Woodstock because it has such a nice small mountain town feeling.
We like to end our trip to Portsmouth by driving along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, aka “The Kanc” for a scenic drive through the mountains. It’s a great way to get your mother nature fix with minimal effort.
There are several places to pull off in the National Park to hike and take in the views. The great thing is, there are a lot of pull-off spots with great views that require zero hiking! But, the best views can be found on the hikes.
Related to Spring in New England
If you have extra time, New England is right next to the Big Apple. So it may be worth your time to add in a day trip to NYC during your stay.