This post was contributed by our Couples Travel Expert, Christine Culgin.
Whether you’re living with your significant other, married, or just settling into a relationship, we all need to get away sometimes.
If you’re unfamiliar with New England (a conglomerate of six states in the Northeastern US), it might be time to familiarize yourself! The area is unique with its beautiful nature and lots of history, being a pivotal region in the US declaration of independence.
As a native to the area, I’ve made the rounds and I’m thrilled to give you a rundown of the top romantic getaway spots in New England. My boyfriend John and I have visited all of these together and each trip brought us closer together in different ways.
Newport, Rhode Island
Once an important trade city and later a popular summer getaway for the nation’s wealthiest, Newport is sure to charm you.
A visit to the Newport Mansions will leave you in awe. Can you imagine a “summer cottage” that’s over 125,000 square feet?!
Newport’s Cliff Walk is a 3.5 mile, oceanside path with breathtaking views. You’ll essentially be in the backyard of some of the aforementioned mansions.
Other Things to do in Newport
The ten-mile loop of Ocean Drive will take you to beautiful beaches and striking homes and mansions (I know it seems like I’m harping on the mansions, but trust me).
Take to the sea via a ferry ride or boat tour. Newport is surrounded by islands and traveling by ferries is a fun way to take in amazing views.
Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or newbie, Newport Vineyards will have you falling in love all over again (or perhaps for the first time). Tour, taste and enjoy the romantic vibes.
An 18th century US army base, Fort Adams is an impressive, intricate structure. Hop on a ferry and catch a daily tour!
For food, the world is your oyster (yes, they have those). Get an upscale meal at The Mooring, a fancy cocktail at Fluke, or split some nachos at the Brick Alley Pub. Lastly, tennis fans should stop by the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
While not the actual capital, Portland is certainly the cultural capital of Maine.
You must check out at least one brewery because… when in Rome. It is a huge part of the scene and there are a bunch around: Rising Tide, Shipyard, Allagash, Bissell Brothers, Peak Organic (who sources directly from local farms, contributing to sustainable agriculture) and more.
Eat! This may seem obvious (who doesn’t eat on vacation?), but Portland specifically is very “foodie” and has the freshest seafood around. This could mean waterfront lobster at DiMillo’s, a unique sandwich at Duckfat, or life-changing doughnuts at Holy Donut (personally, I’d recommend all of the above… and then some). Swap plates so you can both try as much as possible!
Other Things to do in Portland, Maine
Hop from island to island. There is a boatload (pun intended) of small, picturesque islands nearby, and Casco Bay Lines can take you there for cheap. Peaks Island is only 15 minutes away by ferry. Rent some bikes for sustainable sightseeing while you’re there. It’ll help burn off some of that food and beer.
Catch a sports game! Portland is home to minor league sports teams that make for a fun, localized date. If it’s summer, root for the Seadogs (baseball), while in the winter cheer on the Pirates (hockey) or the Red Claws (basketball).
Get artsy. The Portland Museum of Art is sure to impress. Recognize classics and discover new favorites! Outside the museum, you’ll notice amazing art, pottery, and jewelry stores around – at least give them a window shop!
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Another quaint seaside town with lots of charm, Portsmouth will not disappoint.
The Strawberry Banke Museum is an American history museum surrounded by beautiful gardens and ocean shores. Keep an eye on their calendar for a special event!
Take a stroll through Prescott Park, a free, public-access waterfront park with gorgeous gardens and regular festivals. Pack a Frisbee or a picnic and soak it in!
Other Things to do in Portsmouth
Portsmouth Book and Bar is a used bookstore/café/bar inside a restored historical building. If you’re a book-lover, move this up to your “can’t miss” list. Such a cozy way to spend time with your significant other!
Check out the USS Albacore. Once a Navy research submarine, the vessel is open to the public for self-guided tours. If you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to live in a submarine, here’s your chance. Unfortunately, it’s not yellow.
Jam out to a concert at The Music Hall downtown. You could also catch a show, film, or book signing – they do it all! So you’re sure to find something you can both enjoy.
My only non-coastal pick, Burlington is perfect for those who have a penchant for the outdoors and who don’t mind a touch of hipster. Even better, Burlington is globally renowned for its sustainable practices and many of the local businesses are green-conscious.
Walk down to Lake Champlain and its surrounding park and snap away for some picture-perfect views. You’ll also want to stroll through the heart of town – Church Street Marketplace – for crafts, food, and entertainment.
Burlington is loaded with trails for all levels which makes it great to go hiking. Mount Philo State Park is relatively short and easy (but you’ll get unbelievable pics at the top) while Burnt Rock Mountain is a bit more challenging.
Other Things to do in Burlington, Vermont
Visit a brewery. From what I can tell, Vermonters love two things: The Great Outdoors and quality brews. So live like the locals! Zero Gravity, Foam Brewing, Citizen Cidery and Magic Hat are all close by. If it’s nice enough, do your own walking tour for a more sustainable approach.
Treat yo’self … to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at their headquarters, a 30-minute drive from downtown Burlington. Tour the factory, visit a graveyard of “extinct” flavors and get a free sample!
Hit the slopes in the wintertime. Nearby mountains include Sugarbush, Bolton and Stowe. If you’ve never skied before, grab a lesson together and then cozy up in the lodge!
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
Ideal for a peaceful retreat with your loved one, The Berkshires are a little more off-the-beaten-path.
Get an aerial view by ziplining. The Berkshires are surrounded by mountains, rivers, and ponds so there is a lot to see, and this is an eco-friendly way to do so.
Other Things to do in the Berkshires
If the season’s right, visit Bear Swamp Orchard and Cidery. It’s not Fall in New England if you don’t have photos of you apple picking with your significant other.
Get outside with outdoor activities for all seasons: hiking, kayaking, swimming, skiing, biking and so on. It’s too beautiful to spend too much time holed up inside.
Be a kid again at the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. Did someone say green eggs and ham?
So there you have it! If you’re looking for new places to visit with your significant other, consider New England. What makes it even sweeter is that some of these cities are near each other, so you don’t have to choose just one!