New England—the storied Northeastern region that spans Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont—is known for its fairytale ambiance, history, natural beauty, and having some of the most pronounced seasons of anywhere in the country. All this makes it perfect for a romantic getaway.
Within the region, each state boasts its own unique personality and attractions. From the maritime heritage of Mystic to Litchfield’s many antique shops and family-run farms, Connecticut, which was established way back in 1788, brims with history and charm. Seaside villages like Kennebunkport, sandy beaches, and lobster rolls define The Pine Tree State of Maine—and, of course, Acadia National Park remains a huge draw. Massachusetts is a bastion of history and also boasts some of the most beautiful beach destinations on the Eastern Seaboard in Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. New Hampshire exudes an off-the-beaten-path attractiveness and is home to Lake Winnipesaukee as well as some wonderful ski resorts.
Even Rhode Island, which is the tiniest state in the country, has cities with big-name recognition and incredible lodgings like Newport as well as lesser-known gems such as Watch Hill. And finally, Vermont is the epicenter of pastoral appeal with its rolling green rolls and forests, and the old houses and church steeples epitomize New England charm.
Best Time to Visit New England
New England embodies the best of all seasons, making the region a dreamy year-round destination. Spring brings mild weather, the flowers bloom, and it still feels calm and quiet in much of New England. The coastal towns, sandy beaches, and scenic private boat charters shine in the summer. Autumn is synonymous with romantic covered bridges and changing leaves bursting into red, orange, and gold glory. It’s one of the most beautiful and temperate times to go hiking or plan a scenic drive as well. Then again, winter brings a blanket of snow to many quaint villages and makes for excellent skiing and snowboarding at the numerous ski resorts. Snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing are also popular pastimes in the colder months. Needless to say, few things are more romantic than cozying up by the fire with your sweetie and a glass of red wine, hot chocolate, or mulled cider.
Cost of a New England Getaway
There’s such a wide range of price points depending on the season and location of your getaway. Have a fixed amount to spend on your honeymoon or an upcoming vacation? Travel advisor Emily Prentiss suggests being flexible as to the duration and dates to ensure your desired destination is doable within your allotted budget. Rates in the summer tend to be much higher and even more so on a holiday weekend. Alternatively, you might want to consider an off-season trip to keep costs down. (Just be mindful that some hotels and resorts may close at certain times of the year.)
Meet the Expert
Emily Prentiss is a New York City-based travel advisor and an affiliate of Valerie Wilson Travel, a Virtuoso Agency. With nearly 12 years of experience, Prentiss curates tailor-made domestic and international leisure travel.
Of course, some places always come with a higher price tag. Twin Farms, for example, starts at $2,500, but it offers next-level luxury and is fully inclusive. You can book a cozy B&B with oodles of character for just under $300 per night. On average, you’re probably looking at upwards of $500 per night for a five-star stay.
It’s also smart to start thinking about the cost of activities and excursions. While a lovely hike through nature is free, we can’t say the same for a boat charter during peak tourist season. Another detail to keep in mind is that for most New England destinations, you’ll need a car. If you live within driving distance, this doesn’t apply. But for couples who will need to rent a car, that’s an added expense. On the other hand, some properties actually have partnerships with Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus, so you just get to "sign and drive" and have the flexibility to explore surrounding areas on a complimentary basis.
Whether you're planning a quick weekend away or a lengthier honeymoon, ahead are the best hotels, resorts, and inns for a romantic New England getaway.
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A grand dame hotel with major staying power, the Ocean House is a yellow-and-white Victorian idol that stands atop the bluffs in Watch Hill. Its refined interiors, attentive service, and gorgeous grounds—which include a tournament-level croquet lawn, shuffleboard court, and private stretch of white sand—are the stuff of legends.
The pinnacle of romance and relaxation, Twin Farms, part of the Relais & Châteaux portfolio, reinforces why it's worth the price tag at every turn. Set on a beautiful 300-acre estate, it’s the perfect place to unwind with an organic spa treatment or try a cooking class. Stand-alone cottages with freestanding tubs and wood-burning fireplaces are also part of the utterly appealing package at this one-of-a-kind all-inclusive.
Pickering House Inn is without a doubt the most charming and romantic lodging in the Lake Winnipesaukee area. Formerly a beloved family homestead, this conscientiously restored property now has a second life as a top-rated boutique hotel that attracts pairs keen to spend some quality time in a setting that’s lovely and laid-back with personalized service, a peaceful atmosphere, and thoughtful touches. Don’t miss the gourmet breakfast.
Bringing your better half along for some R&R can be super romantic. For a weekend of luxurious pampering, nowhere quite compares to the Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection. Enjoy a couples massage, followed by a swim at the pool at THE WELL. Afterward, pop a bottle of bubbly or request a pot of calming herbal tea and just lounge in the sumptuous bathrobes.
For a quintessential Cape Cod escape, look no further than Chatham Inn, a polished yet breezy Relais & Châteaux property that blends character and luxurious amenities like wood-burning fireplaces and soaking tubs big enough for two. Plus, the seven-course tasting menu and sharing a bottle of wine at the award-winning restaurant, Cuvée, all but guarantee an unforgettable date night.
New and modern definitely has its place, but there’s just something so incredibly enticing about a property with a past. The Chanler at Cliff Walk is a grand five-star hotel housed in a magnificent Gilded Age mansion. Walking through the regally decorated interiors and manicured gardens you really feel the history. It’s nearly impossible not to be swept up in the timeless elegance of it all.
Most people associate Kennebunkport with the beach and a bustling downtown. A secluded sanctuary on the pastoral side of town, White Barn Inn, Auberge Resorts Collection delights discerning travelers with its inimitable mix of quietude, adult ambiance, and stand-alone farmhouse-style cottages featuring rainfall showers and fireplaces that are particularly well-suited for romance.
For a grown-up getaway that's all about unwinding and reconnecting in an endlessly beautiful and upscale seaside environment, we absolutely adore The Wauwinet. An exclusive adults-only retreat on the island of Nantucket that’s steeped in romance and sophistication, couples can expect plush comforts, exquisite views, and access to a private sandy beach.
Overlooking Guthrie Pond and the Silvermine River in the quaint town of Silvermine, The Inn at GrayBarns on the Silvermine River, a member of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, is a respite of tranquility where rustic-chic décor meets a warm, inviting vibe and a major dose of New England nostalgia. It was also famously the honeymoon destination of choice for Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher.
Sometimes you just really want to get away from it all. A vacation that’s tailor-made for decompressing awaits at Wheatleigh, a halcyon hideaway on a private estate in The Berkshires that’s wrapped in serenity and scenic splendor. The 1893-built Italianate-style mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While the beautifully landscaped grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted of Central Park fame.