Plan a Historic and Picturesque New England Honeymoon
Thinking about going on a New England honeymoon? Recognized for its quaint small towns, well-preserved historical elements, natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle, New England will appeal to nature and history-loving couples. The region offers colorful foliage in the fall, fresh seafood and beach weather in the summer, and coziness and romance during the winter holidays.
Plan the perfect getaway with this detailed guide.
Is New England Good for a Honeymoon?
With lush woodlands, picturesque small towns and dramatic coasts with lighthouses and beaches, New England is a postcard-perfect backdrop for a romantic retreat. Along with a wealth of bucolic scenery, the region is full of historic architecture, five-star accommodations and award-winning restaurants.
Pros of a New England Honeymoon
New England can work for all seasons, say Kara Bebell and Harlan deBell, co-owners of The Travel Siblings. "In the fall, honeymooners can see beautiful foliage and go pumpkin- or apple-picking at local farms," they say. "In the spring, they can enjoy temperate weather in cities like Boston or Providence. Come summer, the coastal towns of Maine and Rhode Island are abuzz with water activities and fresh seafood. Even in the winter, the Christmas displays and snow-capped scenery across the region are enthralling."
As an added plus, the region is easy to access. Although East Coasters can reach New England quicker and generally for less cost, Bebell and deBell say nearby Boston Logan International Airport allows anyone to hop on a quick flight and visit.
Cons of a New England Honeymoon
Seasonality can be an issue, say Bebell and deBell. For example, if traveling to Boston in the winter, a snowstorm could divert your flight and wreak havoc on your itinerary. While summer is pleasant, rates can be high and popular hotels in beach towns book up quickly, they add.
Although renting a car can be an adventurous way to travel, some couples may not want the responsibility of navigating highways and roads in small towns, Bebell and deBell say. "Consider this when planning a New England honeymoon, since this type of adventure is really one big road trip."
The Best Times of Year to Go on a New England Honeymoon
Fall and summer are the best seasons in New England, say Bebell and deBell. Fall brings colorful foliage and slightly cooler temperatures that are ideal for sightseeing, dining al fresco and exploring small towns. With its warm weather, summer means lazy days spent at pristine beaches. But don't rule out spring and winter, Bebell and deBell say. Fans of winter sports like skiing or snowboarding will relish mountain towns, such as Stowe, Vermont.
Places to Visit on a New England Honeymoon
This 72,000-square-mile region is vast, with a wealth of places to explore. Here are a few highlights.
Founded in 1630, Boston is the most populous city in New England. Couples should stroll this walkable metropolis to soak up its rich history, museums, shops, restaurants and nightlife.
Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
This hook-shaped peninsula and set of islands offer a swanky all-American type of vacation, with quaint villages, beaches, lighthouses and seafood shacks.
The Berkshires, New York
A long-time vacation stronghold for the wealthy, this area is filled with luxury resorts, some of which focus on wellness. Try to visit during the fall when the foliage is dramatic.
The most populous city in Maine is rich in maritime charm, funky boutiques, art and boat rides. Go on a food tour, see the lighthouses and sail on Casco Bay.
Newport, Rhode Island
Famous for its glamorous Gilded Age mansions-turned-museums and yacht-filled harbor, this city in Rhode Island is charming and upscale. Bike between the opulent homes, stroll along Cliff Walk and stay at a luxe hotel.
This city in Vermont blends the bustle of a city with small-town charm, say Bebell and deBell, adding that Burlington is an ideal jumping-off point for ski trips or exploring other New England towns.
Visit this quintessential Vermont town, a haven for skiing and other cold-weather adventures.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
New Hampshire's oldest settlement town, Portsmouth still holds on to its historical roots with 18th-century architecture, homes and museums, say Bebell and deBell. "For honeymooners who enjoy a bit of history and nostalgia, Portsmouth delivers."
Come in the fall during peak foliage season. The quaint downtown of this Connecticut village is full of shops and restaurants, with the surrounding area rich in bed and breakfasts, farms and trails.
Things to Do During a New England Honeymoon
Go on a Boat Ride
In coastal Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut, you can take a sunset cruise or go on a whale-watching or lobstering excursion.
Hunt for Antiques
Head to Brimfield, Massachusetts, for its famed outdoor antiques market, held in May, July and September. Connecticut's Litchfield Hills is also known as an antique-lovers destination.
For winter sports, consider Killington Ski Resort and Mad River Glen in Vermont; Bretton Woods and Loon Mountain in New Hampshire; and Sugarloaf in Maine.
Dine at Famed Restaurants
Boston and Portland are known for their restaurant scenes. Couples should seek out spots helmed by star chefs like Barbara Lynch, Karen Akunowicz and Ana Sortun. While in Portland, don't miss the lobster roll from Eventide Oyster Co. and the poutine from Duckfat.
Consider a leaf-peeping road trip through New Hampshire and Vermont. In Vermont, take Route 100, which runs along the Green Mountains. Or, cruise between Manchester and Bennington. In New Hampshire, check out fall color in the White Mountains, Franconia Notch State Park or Conway.
Best Hotels and Resorts in New England for a Honeymoon
The only Relais & Chateaux property on Nantucket Island, this oceanfront destination is adults-only. Newlyweds can take advantage of bikes, tennis courts, kayaks, paddle-boards, cooking classes and lobstering excursions. For dinner, visit Topper's, a AAA Five-Diamond seafood restaurant.
Chatham Bars Inn
This historic property in the charming town of Chatham on Cape Cod offers adults-only cottages and spa suites, which come with hydrotherapy tubs, saunas, steam showers and fireplaces. The cottages are located on the inn's quarter-mile of private beach, and provide views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Harbor View Hotel
This hotel on Martha's Vineyard offers panoramic views of the Edgartown Lighthouse. Newlyweds can choose between standard guest rooms, captain's cottages or presidential suites (which come with a soaking tub in the bedroom). Harbor View can arrange a horse-drawn carriage ride through historic Edgartown, a private yacht excursion or a couples massage.
Built in 1902, this Tudor-style mansion and estate is now a resort in the Berkshires. A member of Relais & Chateaux, the property offers a restaurant overseen by celebrity chef Daniel Boulud; a wine cellar with nearly 8,000 bottles; a spa; and a tennis court. Set on 110 acres of lawns and woodlands, Blantyre hosts year-round events, including a Christmas tree lighting, lobster picnics and New Year's Eve parties.
Miraval Berkshires Resort and Spa
Newlyweds should visit this acclaimed spa brand with an outpost in the Berkshires. Miraval creates custom itineraries for its guests, who can also book spa treatments and take yoga and other fitness classes.
Located at the 19th century Bellefontaine Mansion in the Berkshires, this highly regarded spa brand offers its guests nature hikes, educational workshops, cooking classes, fitness courses, spa treatments and more.
Castle Hill Inn
Offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Narragansett Bay, this Relais & Chateaux property is situated on a historic estate in Newport. Castle Hill features a private beach, expansive lawn (sipping cocktails on its Adirondack chairs is a must), acclaimed dining room and private beachfront cottages. Couples can opt for the "Retreat to Romance" package, including a two-night stay, a bottle of champagne, flowers, chocolate-dipped strawberries, a three-course dinner, daily breakfast and afternoon tea.
Built just after the Civil War and completely renovated in 2010, this Relais & Chateaux property in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, has been designated among the world's best hotels and resorts by Travel + Leisure and Fodor's.
Newlyweds should book one of its 20 suites with waterfront views. Yacht, play squash or croquet, bike, relax by the beach, sip a cocktail by the outdoor fire pit, watch a movie in the screening room, take a cooking class or get a couples massage. End your day with a meal at the five-star COAST Restaurant.
Cliff House Maine
Situated on the southern coast of Maine, this resort with sweeping ocean views offers a standalone cottage and 40 high-end suites, some with private balconies. On site, couples can spend time at the beach or pool, book a couples massage and dine fireside. Off site, they can fish, go on a lobstering excursion or head to the beach in Ogunquit. The Honeymooner's Package includes three nights, champagne and a spa credit.
Hidden Pond Kennebunkport
Nestled in the woods and minutes from the beach, this luxury resort in Maine offers two outdoor pools, a treetop spa and organic dining at its on-site restaurant. For privacy, choose a one-bedroom bungalow.
White Barn Inn and Spa
At this 150-year-old inn in Kennebunkport, honeymooners can take a private cooking class or cycling tour, participate in a traditional Maine lobster bake, sail or venture on a lighthouse or lobster excursion. The inn's restaurant offers a seasonal menu.
Mayflower Inn and Spa
Situated in Litchfield County, Connecticut, on 58 acres of gardens and woodlands, this boutique hotel boasts a 20,000-square-foot wellness center with an indoor pool. Newlyweds will appreciate interiors by famed designer Celerie Kemble; food by renowned chef April Bloomfield; and wellness treatments overseen by functional medicine practitioner Frank Lipman. A two-hour drive from New York City, Mayflower is easy to access.
Part of Relais & Chateaux, Winvian Farm In Connecticut is made up of a 1775 manor and 18 cottages set on 113 acres in Litchfield County. Each cottage has a unique theme, from treehouse and greenhouse to musical conservatory. Guests can sit down to meals at the property's five-star farm-to-table restaurant and get treatments at the spa.
Located 90 minutes from Burlington, this all-inclusive luxury resort sits on 300 acres of land. For the ultimate hideaway, honeymooners can book the aviary cottage, which has an in-bedroom natural stone hot tub and fireplace. Choose from myriad activities, including biking, fly-fishing, canoeing, hiking, archery, snowshoeing, axe throwing, yoga and bee tours.
The Manor on Golden Pond
Located near the White Mountains in New Hampshire's Lakes District, this Tudor-style manor was built in the 1940s and includes a wood-paneled pub. Couples can choose from 23 guest rooms and two private cottages. In addition to sipping afternoon tea and taking cooking classes, they can get spa treatments and sit down to candlelit dinners.
What to Pack For a New England Honeymoon
"Think chunky cable-knit sweaters, smart coats, boots and relaxed jeans for most seasons," suggest Bebell and deBell. "Come summertime, seasonal whites and colorful prints fit the New England vacation vibe."