Pick a passion, any passion, and there’s a New England locale perfectly suited to it. Whether you crave award-winning local India Pale Ale (IPAs), a windswept lighthouse tour, or miles of bike trails that lead to pristine beaches, there is a batch of New England weekend getaways planned for you.
1. For Beer and Cocktail Lovers – Stowe, VT
Sample Heady Topper along with other favorites like Focal Banger and Hellbrook at the state-of-the-art visitors center that opened in July 2016. Then make your way up the hill to the Trapp Family Lodge. Best known as the family that inspired The Sound of Music, the von Trapps turned in 2015 to making Austrian-style lager, which has reaped accolades such as silver medalist at the Great International Beer Festival since its debut.
2. For Foodies – Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth is coming into its own as a recognized foodie outpost. Matt Louis of Moxy and the Franklin was nominated in 2018 as one of the best chefs in New England by the prestigious James Beard Foundation, joining chef Evan Mallett of Black Trumpet, a four-time nominee. On Saturday mornings, see where the chefs get their just-picked produce at the weekly farmers market at City Hall.
3. For History Buffs – Bristol, RI
Dubbed “America’s most patriotic town,” Bristol is perhaps best known for its Fourth of July festivities, which started in 1785. But this small coastal community of 23,000 is worthy of a weekend trip almost any time of year. Walk the glorious grounds of the Blithewold estate, built in the 1890s, afterward, take a guided tour of historic Linden Place and learn how the DeWolf family made and then squandered their wealth in the slave trade.
4. For Antiques Collectors – Woodbury, CT
Whether you desire furniture, porcelain, rugs, paintings, books, mirrors, and even sleighs and buggies, you’ll find a dealer catering to your wishes at one of the more than 30 shops in town. A bonus on weekends is the Woodbury Antiques and Flea Market, which runs every Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm.
5. For Stargazers – Kennebunkport, ME
The largely rural state of Maine is known as one of the finest places in the nation to enjoy the night sky. Every September, Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor is home to the Acadia Night Sky Festival, where workshops will teach you to become a constellation connoisseur. Also be sure to check out the website of the Astronomical Society of Northern New England, based in Kennebunkport, to see if it has any special events happening during your stay.
6. For Art Lovers – North Adams, MA
Art lovers should start their tour of the Berkshires in the industrial town of North Adams, where you’ll find Mass MoCA, the largest center for contemporary art in the United States. A 2017 addition includes works by light artist James Turrell, whose pieces bathe the rooms in hypnotic colors.