Boston and New England holidays are russet red autumns, white-sand beaches, waterfront towns, lobster pots and wooden docks
Make like well-heeled New Yorkers who head off on holidays to Boston and New England for their weekend escapes for those Atlantic Ocean views, palatial summer houses, multi-course seafood dinners and romantic retreats. New England has plenty of chic coastal charm, and the city of Boston – home to the Red Sox, ‘Cheers’ and the Freedom Trail – isn’t far behind, with its Instagrammable skyline, beautiful brownstones, literary history and beloved pedal swan boats.
Don floaty dresses, tailored shorts and floppy sunhats as you navigate the charming towns of New England, meandering along beautiful coastline in Kennebunkport or sinking into the white beaches of sailing capital Rhode Island. Think of it as a swish grown-up summer camp for adults and a delight for kids, with the super soft sands and shallow waters of Cape Cod ideal for paddling and spotting frolicking seals. Preppy, nostalgic and full of old-fashioned charm, it’s a world away from chain restaurants and big brand shops and the kind of place where sepia coloured photographs come back to life. Watch schooners sail by as you tuck into an Atlantic swordfish dinner on the exclusive Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard, try your hand at fly-fishing in leafy Vermont and breathe in giddy scents of pine and sea air as you cycle to lobster shacks and rocky beaches in Maine.
Boston and New England holidays in busy but beautiful autumn are the star of the show, when foliage turns astonishing shades of burnt orange, rusty red and gold. And as the sound of crickets linger late into the night and the ocean turns a violet shade, there’s the promise of pumpkin patches, crackling fires and a whole new season of adventure. Our Personal Travel Experts are on hand to help create your perfect holiday in Boston and New England.
- Boston is scattered with historic sights and quaint brownstone-lined streets while being compact and easy to explore on foot – be sure to follow the famous Freedom trail while in town
- The eastern-most point of the state of Massachusetts is beautiful Cape Cod, with beaches, lighthouses and wildlife-rich waters
- New England is the ideal self-drive destination, with mile upon mile of scenic roadway dotted with villages and towns
- Although autumn is most popular, spring and summer are also ideal times to visit with wildflowers blooming and temperatures rising
- A trip to New England is not complete without a whale watching trip, with spring and summer the best time to spot a variety of species
Boston & New England holiday highlights
It is standard practice for resorts/hotels within the USA to charge a mandatory resort fee which is payable locally. This fee can be anywhere between 5USD to 40 USD per room per night and is not included in the cost of your Kuoni holiday.
Compact in size and with plenty of European influences, Boston is one of the USA’s prettiest cities, thanks to a gorgeous skyline, its Back Bay café culture and plenty of history and architecture. Walk the two-and-a-half-mile Freedom Trail for a step back in time through American history, see Old Masters at the Museum of Fine Arts, go modern with a trip to the Skywalk Observatory, catch a Red Sox ball game at Fenway Park and head to Beacon Hill for gorgeous Victorian brick-row houses and Massachusetts State House. A Boston Duck Tour will take you by unique mode of transport through Boston’s streets before landing in the Charles River and if you’ve ever had American University dreams, head across the river to Cambridge for a peek at Harvard University.
Get out of the city and head to the coast to experience the other captivating states of New England. From whale-watching to watersports and white-sand beaches to colonial architecture, you’ll find yourself embracing picture-postcard all-American charm loved by royalty, celebrities and Presidents of past. Off the shores of glorious beachy Cape Cod, you’ve got Martha’s Vineyard and beautiful Nantucket, voted one of the best small islands in the world by Condé Nast in 2012. New England life is rustic family-owned inns, water and beach – lighthouses still flash out warnings, super yachts dock in the harbours and clam shacks pop up everywhere. Chase the Connecticut Wine Trail through beautiful countryside, follow Rhode Island’s Newport Cliff Walk past the back gardens of millionaire mansions and don’t leave Vermont without trying the maple syrup or Maine without trying the lobster. Hop on board a windjammer sailboat, look out for moose and puffins, catch the spectacular Waterfire Providence show in Rhode Island in May and October and visit mid September to mid October for that famous New England Fall.
Where is Boston and New England?
Boston is one of the USA’s oldest cities and is New England’s largest. It’s the capital state of Massachusetts and is situated on Massachusetts Bay in northeastern USA. Its compact in size and over one fourth is made up of the Charles River, Boston Harbour and part of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the gateway to the rest of New England, which is made up of five other states — Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine, all sitting along the Atlantic Ocean. Martha’s Vineyard lies 7 miles off the Cape Cod peninsula and is reached by ferry or plane.
With its stunning coastline and scenic roadways, New England is an ideal self-drive destination. You can start in Boston and tour all the states and towns with our handcrafted self-drive itinerary. It's a 5½-hour drive from Boston to Acadia National Park in Maine, and only 2½ hours by car to The White Mountains in New Hampshire. Downtown Boston is easily walkable, has lots of taxis and a good public transport system including the ‘T’ subway, which provides access to all the main attractions. In Maine, you can catch a ferry or charter a boat across to the Casco Bay Islands for the day. In all the New England states you’ll find driving a leisurely and scenic way to get around, and due to their small size, hiring a bicycle to explore is also a great option.
Food and drink
In a destination known for its seaside living, you’re never going to be far from a lobster shack or ocean-sweet seafood dinner. Imagine summers spent in chic restaurants dining alfresco as star guest chefs prepare lavish menus and experience culinary events around charming towns that show off the best chefs and mixologists across New England. Expect farm-to-table dining, lamb loin with rhubarb and snap peas sprinkled with salt. There’s that famous Maine lobster, Boston’s cream pie, Rhode Island’s clam chowder and sweet maple syrup in Vermont. Pop by the ‘Cheers’ TV bar in Boston for beers, go European in Little Italy and head to rooftop bars for ice-cream sandwiches and cocktails. And those with a sweet tooth should put a tour of the Ben & Jerry’s Factory in Vermont on the list of things to do. Come autumn, dine by roaring fires in restaurants with ocean views and settle into quaint little bistros for pumpkin puree and seared day-boat scallops.
In Boston, there’s Julia Child’s beloved Savenor’s Market, luxury shopping plazas and designer stores in Back Bay and Newbury Street, and antiques and one-of-a-kind gifts in Beacon Hill. The rest of New England is void of big chains, instead offering delightful independent boutiques and artisan shops with everything from pottery and painting to jewellery and woodwork. Expect to pick up colorful maxi dresses, woolen socks, cute gifts and preppy basics.