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Best Weekend Getaways in New England

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

Known for its historical roots, rugged landscape, savory seafood and notorious sports teams, New England is home to a variety of vacation destinations. But with so many towns spread from the coast to the mountains, it's hard to decide where to head for a weekend getaway. That's why U.S. News took into account sights, culture, food and more to determine the ideal spots for a New England escape. Have a favorite haven? Vote below to help decide next year's ranking. Considering a fall trip to New England? Read our top travel tips »

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#1 Boston

#1 in Best Weekend Getaways in New England

The largest city in New England is fairly compact and walkable – perfect for sightseeing in just a few days. Hit the highlights along the Freedom Trail to learn about the American Revolution and catch a game at Fenway Park. And don't leave without indulging in some fresh oysters and a bowl of clam chowder. Read More »

Boston Harbor View 43 photos
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#2 Portland, ME

#2 in Best Weekend Getaways in New England

An ideal destination for foodies and culture hounds, Portland, Maine, is filled with award-winning restaurants, museums, breweries, art galleries, boutiques and coastal views. Spend some time wandering the cobblestone streets of the historic Old Port, where boats line the harbor and fresh seafood is aplenty. Read More »

Portland View 26 photos
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#3 Cape Cod

#3 in Best Weekend Getaways in New England

For a quintessential New England summer getaway, head to this Massachusetts peninsula known for its laid-back vibe. You can spend your days along 40 miles of national seashore before retreating to a quaint bed-and-breakfast. Read More »

Waves Crashing Along Cape Cod View 33 photos
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#4 Martha's Vineyard

#4 in Best Weekend Getaways in New England

A popular summertime island retreat for New Englanders and presidents alike, Martha's Vineyard appeals to all types of travelers. Take the ferry over from Cape Cod (or fly) to explore the island's six towns and numerous beaches. Don't miss the colorful gingerbread cottages in Oak Bluffs, the fresh seafood in the village of Menemsha or the restaurants and boutiques in Vineyard Haven. Read More »

Sunset on Martha's Vineyard View 21 photos
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#5 The Berkshires

#5 in Best Weekend Getaways in New England

This region of western Massachusetts is a refuge for city dwellers looking for wide open spaces. Charming towns like Great Barrington and North Adams draw visitors with their quaint main streets, historical homes and fall foliage. You'll find a variety of festivals to attend during the summer months, too.

The Berkshires
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#6 Acadia National Park

#6 in Best Weekend Getaways in New England

This 47,000-acre national park offers endless outdoor activities, including hiking, biking and rock climbing. Plus, the park's 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the United States to see the sunrise from October to March, so it's worth getting an early start. Read More »

Beehive Trail Overlooking 'The Bowl' View 23 photos
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#7 White Mountains

#7 in Best Weekend Getaways in New England

If you're looking for a quiet mountain hideaway, potential abounds in the White Mountains. Mostly designated as a protected national forest, the White Mountains cover about a quarter of New Hampshire and parts of western Maine. Take the scenic route along the Kancamagus Highway and stop at one of the six available campgrounds to spend the night and enjoy some breathtaking fall foliage.

White Mountains
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#8 Kennebunkport

#8 in Best Weekend Getaways in New England

It doesn't get more relaxing than Kennebunkport, Maine. This beach town is home to rugged shorelines, cute boutiques and seafood galore. Plus, you might even spot a politician or two vacationing with their families in the summer (Kennebunkport is home to the Bush family compound). And make sure you eat your fill of lobster rolls. Read More »

Kennebunkport View 17 photos
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#9 Narragansett

#9 in Best Weekend Getaways in New England

To see Rhode Island at its best, head to the coastal town of Narragansett. This popular summer haven on Rhode Island's southeastern shore is ideal for travelers in search of rest and relaxation. Spend the day on one of the public beaches before devouring fresh local seafood at the Port of Galilee.

Narragansett
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#10 Block Island

#10 in Best Weekend Getaways in New England

A quick ferry ride from the surrounding mainland will take you to picturesque Block Island. Off the southern coast of Rhode Island, Block Island is home to old-fashioned cottages, historical lighthouses and soft sands, not to mention the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Block Island
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#11 Bar Harbor

#11 in Best Weekend Getaways in New England

Bar Harbor is a charming town to explore on Maine's Mount Desert Island, and is a popular spot to begin or end your exploration through nearby Acadia National Park. This area is bursting with locally owned boutiques, restaurants serving fresh seafood, lobster boats and gorgeous coastal views. You’ll find Bar Harbor about 50 miles southeast of Bangor International Airport.

Bar Harbor
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#12 Salem

#12 in Best Weekend Getaways in New England

About 20 miles north of Boston, this town is best known for the witch trials of the late 17th century. And you can learn all about it on a historical walking tour. For an even bigger dose of local culture, visit in October when the town hosts Halloween-themed events all month long.

Salem
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Plymouth

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