Familiar, yet a world away from our own, the region of New England is an absolute joy to explore. One of the top road-trip destinations in the United States of America, it has rugged coastal landscapes, verdant mountain ranges, charming towns and villages and breathtaking beaches. While it's possible to follow this itinerary throughout the spring and summer, the ultimate bucket-list experience is 'New England in the fall' when the leaves change colour from green to gold or vivid reds and oranges.
Suggested route & duration
Suggested duration: 14 nights
• Boston, Massachusetts: 2 nights
• Mid-coast Maine/Kennebunkport: 1 night
• Bar Harbor, Maine: 2 nights
• White Mountains, New Hampshire: 2 nights
• Stowe, Vermont: 1 night
• Green Mountains, Vermont/Massachusetts: 1 night
• Connecticut River Valley, Massachusetts: 1 night
• Newport, Rhode Island: 2 nights
• Cape Cod, Massachusetts: 2 nights
About this independent tour
Discover New England is a recommended self-drive itinerary including 15 days car hire, accommodation for 14 nights in mainly 3 and 4 star country inns and a personalised documentation pack. Destinations, durations and accommodation are all completely flexible and easily adapted to suit your own needs. All sightseeing is a suggestion only and is not included. This is an unescorted, independent journey and no Kuoni representative will be available. Transfers are not included so upon arrival at each destination you will be required to make your own way to your hotel and you will also be required to independently reconfirm any arrangements locally.
A useful e-Road Book (in PDF form) will be provided for you prior to departure that will help guide you along your itinerary and find local sites of interest as well as your accommodations. We can book a range of rental car types from a range of different providers, please speak to one of our Personal Travel Experts for more details.
BOSTON Begin your self-drive adventure in the historical city of Boston. A must for his friendly city is a walk along the iconic Freedom Trail. Start in pretty Boston Common and follow the path as it turns to red brick and snakes through North End and Charlestown, finishing by the water at the Boston Harbor near the historic ship, the USS Constitution.
Hotel: Royal Sonesta Boston
KENNEBUNKPORT From Boston head north, perhaps visiting the infamous city of Salem before driving through New Hampshire and into the beautiful state of Maine. Your destination is the historic maritime town of Kennebunkport. Soak up the authentic coastal New England atmosphere, rub shoulders with ex US Presidents or perhaps even head out on the water on a kayak, whale-watching tour or even a lobster boat.
Hotel: Nonantum Resort
BAR HARBOR Leaving Kennebunkport, travel along the idyllic coastline to Portland, Maine’s largest city and New England’s largest port, a perfect lunch-stop en route to Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor itself is the main town on Mount Desert Island, which is also home to the awe-inspiring Acadia National Park. Here you can hike up mountains or around the coast, stop for lunch in hidden spots along the coast or ride a bike or horse and cart ride on one of the historic carriage roads that criss-cross the park.
Hotel: Bluenose Inn
WHITE MOUNTAINS From Bar Harbor it's time to head inland to rural New Hampshire and the beautiful White Mountains, a section of the renowned Appalachian Mountains. The range is home to Mount Washington, which, at 1917 metres, is the highest mountain in the Northeastern USA. You can head to the peak of Mount Washington by car or the historic Mount Washington Cog Railway, the second-steepest railway in the world.
Hotel: Christmas Farm Inn & Spa, Jackson
STOWE, VERMONT The next leg of your self-drive takes you into the state of Vermont and towards the rolling Green Mountains. You'll be based in the quaint town of Stowe and from here you can drive to the shores of Lake Champlain, the quintessentially-New England town of Woodstock or the nearby Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory.
Hotel: Golden Eagle Resort, Stowe
GREEN MOUNTAINS From Stowe head south towards the Green Mountain National Forest, and cross into Massachusetts where you'll stay at least one night in Williamstown. From here you can head out on one of the hiking trails including the famous Appalachian Trail.
Hotel: The Williams Inn, Williamstown
CONNECTICUT RIVER VALLEY/THE BERKSHIRES Drive into the beautiful 'Berkshires', a holiday destination of Boston and New York's elite since the 1800s.
Hotel: The Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge
NEWPORT You'll return to the coast today as you make your way to Newport in Rhode Island, the smallest of the 50 U.S. States. The town is known for the grand mansions which were built as summer homes for America's wealthiest families. You can follow the Ocean Drive or the Cliff Walk, or visit one of the grand houses, some of which resemble Britain's Palladian houses.
Hotel: Newport Beach Hotel & Suites
CAPE COD The final stop on your self-drive is the hook-shaped peninsula of Cape Cod, a popular summer holiday destination. Waves from the Atlantic break over the wild beaches of the western Cape while sandy, shallow and family-friendly beaches face the calmer waters of Cape Cod Bay. Head up to Sandy Point Beach at the very top of the cape, explore charming Chatham which is close to the south eastern tip or do a tour of the numerous lighthouses that the New England region is famous for.
Hotel: Inn on the Square, Falmouth
Tailor your tour
Don’t forget that you can tailor make your own self-drive around the USA, choosing your number of nights, where you stay, and even adding excursions. Or combine your self-drive with a stay at any of our city, beach or resort hotels in USA.