Five must-visit places in New England

From its ultra-scenic seaside towns to its quirky annual pumpkin festivals, there is perhaps no better place to indulge in autumnal bliss than the USA’s New England. You’ll want to spend forever uncovering the densely forested parks and rugged coastlines that make up its natural landscape, before digging into its historic colonial past – for history lovers and back-to-nature escapists, we seek out five ways to make the most of this slice of paradise.

Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Image: iStock

Concord, Massachusetts

Don’t be deceived by this town’s modest size: to the delight of history lovers, it comes with a rather big history – so much so that author Henry James dubbed it ‘the biggest, little place in America’. It’s the home and resting place to some of America’s most beloved writers, including Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Just outside of Boston, it’s the perfect quiet retreat with colonial-style houses, charming cafés and – surprisingly, for such a tiny town – an abundance of excellent antique shops. If you’re after a brisk walk, head to the nearby Walden Pond – the inspiration for many a poem.

Provincetown, Massachusetts. Image: iStock

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Pretty-as-a-picture Provincetown sits on the northern tip of Cape Cod, surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean, on the site of the Mayflower’s landing in 1620. Follow the crowds and visit the ever-so-cute Commercial Street for quirky souvenir shopping, and make your way to the end of it for breathtaking views. For a like-a-local experience, head down to the curved coastline to collect seashells and enjoy a relaxing stroll, or challenge your fear or heights to watch the sun set peacefully from atop the 77-metre-high Pilgrim Monument, which dates back to 1907 and offers a dramatic bird’s-eye view of the spectacular landscape below and beyond.

Pickity Place, New Hampshire. Image: www.pickityplace.com

Pickity Place, New Hampshire

Dating back to around 1786, this quaint red cottage-turned-restaurant is the pretty place that inspired Elizabeth Orton Jones for her illustrations of the 1948 edition of Little Red Riding Hood. Fragrant herbs grow amid petite wooden cabins, making it a true sanctuary for nature and gardening lovers, and there’s a five-course lunch menu incorporating Pickity Place’s own home-grown flavours. Eat yourself happy before buying a hot spiced cider and wander around the grounds, taking in the fresh mountain air – laced with the delicious smell of rosemary and sage.

Ogunquit Beach, Maine. Image: iStock

Ogunquit, Maine

This town certainly lives up to its motto of being a ‘Beautiful Place by the Sea’. Here you’ll find many restaurants with terraces overlooking the water, and serving piping hot seafood treats (almost) straight from the salty deep. The annual Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta is held in early October, perfect for Halloween and autumnal visits – prepare yourself to experience the art of pumpkin catapaulting, watch the giant pumpkin parade and witness dozens of giant, decorated pumpkins lining the main street. There’s also opportunity to get involved in a pumpkin cooking contest, a pie-eating competition and a giant pumpkin drop. In case you hadn’t yet realised, the people of Maine can’t get enough of the orange stuff.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park, Maine. Image: iStock

Acadia National Park, Maine

Spanning 47,000 acres of lush woodland, epic granite peaks and rugged rocky shores, this national park is a must-visit for lovers of the great outdoors. Stretching out onto the Atlantic coastline, it offers rather spectacular vistas alongside a dramatic inland setting. Spend some time on the serene shores of Jordan Pond, a tarn near Bar Harbor town, or top your visit to this park with a stop at Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the country’s East Coast – all the while keeping your eyes peeled for all manner of wildlife, from moose to majestic whales.

Words by Sally Rosetta Gurteen

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One Comment

  1. Terri Fletcher says:

    Looking for special get away places. Thank you.

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