New England Road Trip Itinerary 10 Days (Best of New England)

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Here’s the same New England road trip itinerary, and go for the best New England road trip tour in Northeastern USA.

New England Road Trip Itinerary - best road trips in new england

New England road trip itinerary (Road Trips in New England)

New England is worth visiting for its diverse and picturesque landscapes, ranging from coastal beauty to majestic mountains, rich history, charming towns, and a mix of cultural attractions that offer a unique and immersive experience in the heart of America’s northeastern region. This trip itinerary is one of the best road trips in New England.

Day 1: Boston, Massachusetts

Your New England road trip 10 days tour starts from Boston.

weekend trips from Boston - day trips from Boston

Why Boston, Massachusetts – Boston, Massachusetts, is worth visiting for its rich history showcased through the Freedom Trail, iconic sites like the USS Constitution Museum, and its vibrant blend of modern culture, diverse neighborhoods, and renowned academic institutions like Harvard and MIT.


  • Explore the Freedom Trail, 
  • Visit the USS Constitution Museum, 
  • Stroll through Boston Common and Public Garden, 

Useful Tip: Consider purchasing a Boston CityPASS for discounted entry to popular attractions.

Day 2: Cape Cod, Massachusetts 

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Why Cape Cod, Massachusetts – Cape Cod, Massachusetts is worth visiting for its stunning coastal beauty, boasting pristine beaches, charming seaside towns, and opportunities for whale watching, creating a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure in a quintessential New England setting.


  • Spend the day at Cape Cod National Seashore, 
  • Visit Provincetown for art galleries 
  • And whale watching.

Useful Tip: Book your whale watching tour in advance, as they can fill up quickly.

Day 3: Newport, Rhode Island 

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Why Newport, Rhode Island – Newport, Rhode Island is worth visiting for its opulent Gilded Age mansions that offer a glimpse into America’s past elite lifestyle, coupled with its picturesque waterfront, historic cobblestone streets, and vibrant maritime culture, making it a captivating destination with a unique blend of history and charm.


  • Tour The Breakers mansion, 
  • Explore Cliff Walk for stunning ocean views, 
  • And visit Fort Adams, State Park.

Useful Tip: To save money, consider purchasing a combo ticket for multiple mansion tours.

Day 4: Mystic, Connecticut 

New England Road Trip Itinerary - best road trips in new england

Why Mystic, Connecticut – Mystic, Connecticut is worth visiting for its immersive maritime heritage showcased at Mystic Seaport Museum and its captivating aquarium, providing an enriching experience for history enthusiasts and families alike, set against a quaint backdrop of charming shops and restaurants in Olde Mistick Village.


  • Visit Mystic Seaport Museum, 
  • Explore Mystic Aquarium, and 
  • stroll through Olde Mistick Village.

Useful Tip: Arrive early at Mystic Seaport to make the most of your visit.

Day 5: Green Mountains, Vermont 

best road trips in new england

  • Drive to the Green Mountains of Vermont from Mystic, Connecticut (225 miles – about 4 hours).
  • Overnight Stay: Stowe Mountain Lodge.

Why Green Mountains, Vermont – The Green Mountains in Vermont are worth visiting for their breathtaking natural beauty, offering outdoor enthusiasts a paradise of hiking trails, stunning foliage in the fall, and iconic attractions like the Ben & Jerry’s Factory, all set against a backdrop of serene countryside and charming small towns.


  • Explore the trails of Green Mountain National Forest, 
  • Visit Ben & Jerry’s Factory, and 
  • Enjoy the views at Lake Champlain.

Useful Tip: Check the availability of guided tours at Ben & Jerry’s Factory beforehand.

Day 6: White Mountains, New Hampshire 

Franconia Notch State Park - best new england road trips

Why White Mountains, New Hampshire – The White Mountains in New Hampshire are worth visiting for their awe-inspiring landscapes, featuring towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, and opportunities for hiking and winter sports, while also housing attractions like the Mount Washington Auto Road and Flume Gorge that provide a thrilling exploration of nature’s wonders.


  • Take the Mount Washington Auto Road or the Cog Railway to the summit, 
  • Hike in Franconia Notch State Park, and 
  • Visit Flume Gorge.

Useful Tip: Check the weather conditions before heading up Mount Washington, as they can change rapidly.

Day 7: Portland, Maine 

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Why Portland, Main – Portland, Maine is worth visiting for its captivating blend of coastal beauty and culinary delights. It offers visitors picturesque lighthouses, a vibrant arts scene, and a renowned food culture that includes creative cuisine, making it a charming and flavorful destination.


  • Visit Portland Head Light, 
  • Explore the Old Port District, and 
  • Enjoy local delicacies by the waterfront.

Useful Tip: Consider taking a lighthouse cruise to see more of the area’s iconic lighthouses.

Day 8: Acadia National Park, Maine 

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Why Acadia National Park, Maine – Acadia National Park in Maine is worth visiting for its breathtaking coastal landscapes, encompassing rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and dramatic ocean vistas, along with an array of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and kayaking, providing a truly immersive experience in nature’s grandeur.


  • Hike Cadillac Mountain, 
  • Drive the Park Loop Road 
  • and Explore Jordan Pond.

Useful Tip: Check the sunrise time for Cadillac Mountain and arrive early for a spectacular view.

Day 9: Portsmouth, New Hampshire 

weekend trips from Boston - road trips from Boston

Why Portsmouth, New Hampshire – Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is worth visiting for its historic charm, evident in its well-preserved colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and the living history museum at Strawberry Banke, combined with its vibrant arts scene, waterfront dining, and harbor cruises that offer a delightful blend of culture and relaxation.


  • Walk around Strawberry Banke Museum, 
  • Explore the shops and restaurants in Market Square, 
  • And take a harbor cruise.

Useful Tip: Check the schedule for guided tours at Strawberry Banke Museum.

Day 10: Back to Boston, Massachusetts 

  • Drive back to Boston (60 miles – about 1 hour) to conclude your New England road trip 10 days tour.

Activities: If time allows, visit attractions you missed on Day 1 or explore additional neighborhoods.

Useful Tip: Avoid parking hassles before returning your rental car and exploring Boston.

Events/Festivals during New England road trip itinerary

Here are some notable events and festivals you might consider attending during your New England road trip:

Prescott Park Arts Festival - new england road trip itinerary

  • Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular (July 4th) – Boston, Massachusetts Celebrate Independence Day with a spectacular fireworks display on the Charles River Esplanade and a live performance by the renowned Boston Pops orchestra.
  • Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival (July) – Cape Cod, Massachusetts Experience the beauty of blooming hydrangeas during this festival, featuring garden tours, workshops, and events showcasing the stunning floral landscapes of Cape Cod.
  • Newport Folk Festival (July) – Newport, Rhode Island. Immerse yourself in folk music at this historic festival held at Fort Adams State Park, featuring performances by renowned artists and a vibrant atmosphere.
  • Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival (June) – Mystic, Connecticut  Enjoy maritime music, sea shanties, and traditional performances at the Mystic Seaport Museum’s annual Sea Music Festival, celebrating the region’s rich nautical heritage.
  • Vermont Maple Open House Weekend (March) – Green Mountains, Vermont Experience the magic of Vermont’s maple sugaring season with guided tours, demonstrations, and tastings at sugarhouses across the state.
  • White Mountains Art and Artisan Festival (August) – White Mountains, New Hampshire Explore a diverse array of art and crafts from local artists against the backdrop of the White Mountains, offering a unique opportunity to appreciate regional creativity.
  • Portland Old Port Festival (June) – Portland, Maine Join in the lively atmosphere of the Old Port district with live music, local food, arts and crafts, and family-friendly activities during this annual street festival.
  • Acadia Night Sky Festival (September) – Acadia National Park, Maine, Explore the wonders of the night sky with stargazing events, workshops, and activities that highlight the park’s designation as a Dark Sky Community.
  • Prescott Park Arts Festival (Summer) – Portsmouth, New Hampshire Enjoy outdoor theater performances, concerts, and movie nights in beautiful Prescott Park along the waterfront of Portsmouth.

Remember that event dates and details can change, so it’s a good idea to check the official event websites for the most up-to-date information and to ensure they align with your travel dates. Attending these events can provide unique insights into the New England region’s local culture, arts, and traditions.

FAQs – New England road trip itinerary

  • How long should I plan for a New England road trip? 

A typical New England road trip can range from 7 to 14 days, depending on how many destinations you want to visit and how much time you’d like to spend in each location.

best road trips in new england

  • What’s the best time of year to embark on a New England road trip? 

The best time for a New England road trip is during the fall (September to October), when the foliage is most vibrant. Summer (June to August) is also famous for coastal activities, while winter offers skiing and winter sports opportunities.

  • What are the must-visit destinations in New England? 

Must-visit destinations include Boston, Cape Cod, Newport, the White Mountains, Acadia National Park, and charming coastal towns like Portland and Portsmouth.

  • Are there any tolls or road fees on this road trip? 

Yes, tolls might be along your route, especially on highways and bridges. Make sure to have cash or an electronic payment system like E-ZPass for smoother travel.

  • How should I plan accommodations for this road trip? 

It’s recommended to book accommodations in advance, especially during peak seasons. Consider a mix of hotels, inns, and lodges, and make sure they align with your planned stops.


  • Can I modify this itinerary to fit my preferences? 

Absolutely! This itinerary is a template; feel free to adjust the number of days spent in each location, add or remove stops, or focus on specific activities that interest you.

  • How should I prepare for varying weather conditions? 

New England weather can be unpredictable, so pack layers, rain gear, and appropriate footwear. Check weather forecasts regularly and be prepared for temperature changes, especially in mountainous areas.

  • Do I need a rental car for this road trip? 

A rental car is recommended for maximum flexibility in exploring each destination and moving between them.

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  • Are there any recommended apps or resources for navigation? 

Apps like Google Maps, Waze, or a dedicated GPS device can help with navigation. Also, consider downloading state-specific travel apps for local information and attractions.

  • Should I purchase attraction tickets in advance? 

Buying tickets in advance for popular attractions, like mansion tours or guided activities, can help secure your spot and sometimes offer discounts.

  • How should I budget for this New England road trip? 

Budget considerations should include accommodations, meals, fuel, tolls, attraction fees, and shopping or souvenirs. Having a flexible budget for unexpected expenses is also wise.

  • Is travel insurance recommended for this road trip? 

Travel insurance can provide peace of mind if unforeseen circumstances, such as cancellations or medical emergencies, affect your trip. Consider it based on your needs.

  • What’s the best way to balance relaxation and exploration on this road trip? 

To balance relaxation and exploration, plan a mix of activities and downtime. Plan leisurely walks, scenic drives, and unplanned moments to enjoy the charm of each destination.

New England Road Trip Itinerary - best road trips in new england

Now you know some of the best road trips in New England with this New England road trip itinerary planner. So save the itinerary for New England road trip and explore some of the unique spots in the Northeastern USA.

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