Disclosure: Some of these New England family vacation spots listed and linked here were part of a hosted stay at a discounted or no cost to us. See each link individually for specific details. All opinions are my own.
With New England schools getting out over the next week or so (thanks to many, many snow days), families are starting to make last minute plans for quick summer getaways.
There is still some time to book a New England vacation, whether you are from New England, or are just visiting the area. With so many great spots within a short distance of each other, you can definitely make a road trip of it.
Here are some of the best summer vacations in New England including some family resorts in New England. What else would you add? Leave a comment below! (Click here to find tips for cheap family beach vacations).
Best Summer Vacations in New England: Family Vacation Spots
I grew up in Rhode Island, and didn’t fully appreciate how beautiful it is until I moved away. Newport RI is such a fabulous place for a family vacation, with delicious restaurants, great attractions (don’t miss the Newport Mansions), fun shops, and beautiful beaches. Consider a stay at the Hotel Viking, located right near the downtown area, or the newly reopened Newport Marriott, Rhode Island, which renovated all 320 rooms & suites.
Weekends in Newport in the summer are busy! To save money, try staying during the week when it will be a little less crowded.
The capital city of Providence is also a popular vacation spot, offering lots of hotels, shops, restaurants, and museums. It’s accessible via train too, so if you plan to take a train trip through New England, definitely add Providence to your list. If you are visiting Newport, you can also take a day trip to Newport.
My home state of Massachusetts offers so many fantastic places to visit year round. For anyone looking to get out of the sun, the Great Wolf Lodge New England is a great option, because it offers a wonderful indoor water park and other family friendly attractions. Located in Fitchburg, MA, it’s also a nice stop during a longer New England vacation.
Our capital city of Boston is a year round family favorite, but summer is a special time. There are many hotels located throughout the city – I recently stayed in the newly renovated Revere Hotel in the theater district and enjoyed my stay. Don’t miss a trip to the Boston Harbor Islands, which are absolutely beautiful in the summer. Check out our list of the best places to stay in Boston. While you could easily spend your whole vacation in Boston, it’s also easy to drive to other destinations on this list.
Interested in history? While Boston definitely has many historical sites to visit, you may also consider a day trip to Plymouth. Plimoth Plantation is a perfect attraction for families with school-aged kids. You could definitely spend at least part of a day there, and it’s on the way from Boston to the Cape.
The Cape and the Islands are an extremely popular Massachusetts summer vacation destination. On Cape Cod, Sea Crest Beach Hotel is one of our favorites, and is located right on the ocean. A little further down the Cape is Ocean Edge Resort, a high-end family friendly resort with a golf course, several pools, and much more. On the Outer Cape, the Harbor Hotel in Provincetown is a fun motel located right near the beach. Or, head to Nantucket for a stay at the luxurious White Elephant.
If planning to visit Cape Cod, I’d recommend staying overnight for a few nights rather than taking a day trip. You’ll want to spend some time at the beaches!
If you are looking for something different, go north of Boston to Cape Ann. Rockport is a beautiful spot with lots of hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts. In the winter, we stayed in the family suite at the Halyard Guest House and loved the quick walk to downtown. There’s also Salem, MA, where you can learn about the witch trials and enjoy some delicious food.
Vermont is typically known for it fantastic ski resorts, which also have great summer activities for families. Stowe is a quaint little town with lots to offer. Both the Stoweflake Resort and the Stowe Mountain Lodge are great for families. Be sure to plan a little downtime for a visit to the spa at either resort. During your trip to Stowe, stop in at the Ben and Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury, VT for a tour and a cone. You can’t visit Vermont without touring the factory!
For a more quintessential family vacation, Smugglers’ Notch resort has it all. With camps for the kids and loads of family activities, it really is the perfect place for a family vacation – year round. You’ll definitely want to stay for at least a few days, because there is so much to do. The kids’ camps are really top notch, and that will free up your day for some relaxation.
The White Mountains of New Hampshire offer lots of different family activities – from hiking to shopping. On one end of the Kancamagus Highway is Lincoln, a small town that is home to Loon Mountain. The Mountain Club at Loon is a centrally located hotel that offers some family suites. North Conway is at the opposite end of the Kancamagus, and is located near Attitash Mountain Resort, Cranmore Mountain, Story Land, and the Settlers’ Green Outlets. The Red Jacket Mountain View resort is offers an indoor water park and is minutes from all of the action.
Families also love Lake Winnipesaukee, a quintessential family lake that offers lots of summer water activities. On the coast of New Hampshire is Portsmouth, NH, a town with beautiful views, delicious restaurants, and quaint shops. It’s adjacent to Kittery, Maine, so you can definitely visit both.
Mystic, located right on the Rhode Island border, is one of my favorite summer New England destinations. There’s so much to see and do, including the Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport, and Olde Mistick Village. The Mystic Hilton is conveniently located right near the action, so you can even walk over to the Aquarium and the Village.
We also really enjoy visiting New Haven, home of Yale University. This college town offers delicious restaurants and some fantastic museums that are perfect for kids to explore.
Maine is a beautiful place to visit in the summer, and is one of the most popular New England vacation spots. Kittery, Maine, located right on the New Hampshire line, offers delicious seafood, outlets, and is adjacent to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. For even more outlet shopping, as well as a stop at the LL Bean flagship store, head north to Freeport. The Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport is reasonably-priced and great for families.
Another popular vacation spot is Portland, the largest city in Maine. The Press Hotel in Portland is a brand-new boutique hotel with a restaurant and a fun theme. We’ve also enjoyed our stays at the Westin Harborview and the Hyatt Place Portland.
For a quieter, more all-inclusive vacation (and there aren’t many all inclusive family resorts in New England), head up to Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake – a luxurious resort that offers fantastic activities for the whole family in a relaxing environment. Migis Lodge is everything I think of when I think about a family lake vacation – delicious cookouts, beautiful views, and fun water sports. Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor are also popular family destinations in Maine.
Where are you headed on vacation this summer? What would you add to this list?