Medium 9781786573247

Lonely Planet New England

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Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet New England is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Swim, fish or surf the 5000-mile coastline, devour pancakes drenched in maple syrup, or walk in the footsteps of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of New England and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet's New England Travel Guide:

  • Color maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, literature, education, outdoor activities, festivals and celebrations, food and drink.
  • Over 50 maps
  • Covers Boston, Cape Cod, Nantucket & Martha's Vineyard, Central Massachusetts & the Berkshires, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine and more.

eBook Features: (Best viewed on tablet devices and smartphones)

  • Downloadable PDF and offline maps prevent roaming and data charges
  • Effortlessly navigate and jump between maps and reviews
  • Add notes to personalise your guidebook experience
  • Seamlessly flip between pages
  • Bookmarks and speedy search capabilities get you to key pages in a flash
  • Embedded links to recommendations' websites
  • Zoom-in maps and images
  • Inbuilt dictionary for quick referencing

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet New England, our most comprehensive guide to New England, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less traveled.

  • Looking for a guide focused on Boston? Check out Lonely Planet's Boston guide for a comprehensive look at all the city has to offer; or Pocket Boston, a handy-sized guide focused on the can't-miss sights for a quick trip.
  • Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out Lonely Planet's Eastern USA guide for a comprehensive look at all the region has to offer.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet.

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveler community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travelers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.

List price: $24.99

Your Price: $17.49

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POP 636,000 / %617

The winding streets and stately architecture recall a history of revolution and renewal; and still today, Boston is among the country’s most forward-looking and barrier-breaking cities.

For all intents and purposes, Boston is the oldest city in America. And you can hardly walk a step over its cobblestone streets without running into some historic site. But Boston has not been relegated to the past.

A history of cultural patronage means that the city’s art and music scenes continue to charm and challenge contemporary audiences. Cutting-edge urban planning projects are reshaping the city even now, as neighborhoods are revived and rediscovered. Historic universities and colleges still attract scientists, philosophers and writers, who shape the city’s evolving culture.

A April On Patriots’ Day, hordes of sports fans attend the world’s oldest marathon.

A Summer Hot and humid; many locals make for the beach.


Around Boston


%781, 978, 508, 339 / POP 4.7 MILLION

Boston may be the state capital, but it’s not the only town in eastern Massachusetts with traveler appeal. Many nearby places with rich histories, vibrant cultural scenes and unique events merit a visit. Easily accessible from Boston, most of these are ideal day-trip destinations.

The towns surrounding Boston represent every aspect of New England history: Colonial, revolutionary, maritime, literary and industrial. Inspired by intriguing events of the past and spectacular seascapes in the present, writers, artists and filmmakers continue to enrich the region’s cultural life. Miles of pristine coastline draw beachcombers and sunbathers. Hikers and cyclists, canoeists and kayakers, bird-watchers and whale-watchers have myriad opportunities to engage with the local active lifestyle.

A Apr Lexington and Concord re-create the battles that launched the American War of Independence.

A Summer North Shore beaches become irresistible in July and August, thanks to hot sun and cold sea.


Cape Cod, Nantucket & Martha’s Vineyard


%508, 774

When summer comes around, New England’s top seashore destination gets packed to the gills. Cars stream over the two bridges that connect Cape Cod to the mainland, ferries shuttle visitors to and from the islands, and sun-seeking bodies plop down on towels all along the shore.

This trio of destinations offers a beach for every mood. You can surf a wild Atlantic wave or dip a paddle into a quiet cove. Or just chill out and watch the kids build sandcastles.

But there’s much more than sun, sand and surf. You’ll find lighthouses to climb, clam shacks to frequent and beach parties to revel in. The Cape and Islands have scenic cycling paths and hiking trails, excellent art galleries and summer theater – and any one of them alone would be reason enough to come here. In combination, the appeal is undeniable.

A Jul–Aug In peak summer the ocean’s warmest, the partying’s hardest and the festivities maxed.

A Jun & Sep The beaches still dazzle but crowds are thinner, hotel rates cheaper and traffic jams fewer.


Central Massachusetts & the Berkshires


%413, 508

Artfully blending the cultural and cosmopolitan with the rural and rustic, the Pioneer Valley and the Berkshires offer a tantalizing mix of artistic offerings, verdant hills and sweet farmland. Stretch your quads on hiking trails up Massachusetts’ highest mountain and through nature preserves that blanket the surrounding hills. Alternatively, ramble through estate homes of the once famous, listen to world-class musicians from a picnic blanket on well-manicured lawn, and feast on farm-to-table cuisine at chef-driven restaurants. You could easily spend an entire summer hopscotching the patchwork of wilderness areas, while taking in a dance festival here, an illustrious music series there and summer theater all over the place.

At every turn, you’ll come across peppy college towns with shady campuses, bohemian cafes and exceptional art museums. And those lucky enough to be here in autumn will find apples ripe for the picking and hillsides ablaze in brilliant fall foliage.


Rhode Island


%401 / POP 1.05 MILLION

Rhode Island, the smallest of the US states, isn’t actually an island. Although it takes only 45 minutes to traverse, this little wonder packs in over 400 miles of coastline with some of the finest white-sand swimming beaches in the northeast, deserted coves, rugged seaside cliffs and isolated lighthouses.

Hugging the shoreline before heading inland, delightful resorts, quaint colonial villages and extravagant mansions give way to lush fields of berry farms, vineyards, and the horse studs of Middletown and Portsmouth. Rhode Island’s two cities, Providence, of working-class roots, and Newport, born of old money the likes of which most cannot conceive, are each among New England’s finest, brimming with fantastic museums, neighborhoods boasting utterly gorgeous historic homes, and an urban fabric of top-notch restaurants and seriously cool bars. It’s no wonder the nouveau riche continue to flock here for summer shenanigans.

A Jun This is the Ocean State, so hit the beach. In Newport, Rosecliff hosts the flower show.




POP 3.6 MILLION / %203, 860, 959

Known for its commuter cities, New York’s neighbor is synonymous with the affluent lanes and mansions of The Stepford Wives and TV’s Gilmour Girls. In old-moneyed Greenwich, Litchfield Hills and the Quiet Corner, these representations ring true, although many regard the state as a mere stepping stone to the ‘real’ New England, of whose tourist boom Connecticut was spared.

The upside is that Connecticut retains a more ‘authentic’ feel. The downside is a slow decaying of former heavyweights like Hartford and New London, where visitors can ponder the price of progress and get enthused about urban renewal. New Haven, home of Yale University, is one such place rewiring itself as a vibrant cultural hub.

Dense with historical attractions and the kind of bucolic nature that continues to inspire artists as it has for over a century, Connecticut begs for your attention and a well-deserved spot on your New England itinerary.




POP 626,000 / %802

Whether seen under blankets of snow, patchworks of blazing fall leaves or the exuberant greens of spring and summer, Vermont’s blend of bucolic farmland, mountains and picturesque small villages make it one of America’s most uniformly appealing states. Hikers, bikers, skiers and kayakers will find four-season bliss here, on the expansive waters of Lake Champlain, the award-winning Kingdom Trails Network, the 300-mile Long and Catamount Trails, and the fabled slopes of Killington, Stowe and Sugarbush.

Foodies will love it here: small farmers have made Vermont a locavore paradise, complemented by America’s densest collection of craft brewers. But most of all, what sets Vermont apart is its independent spirit: the first state to endorse same-sex civil unions, the only one to elect a socialist senator in the 21st century and the only one without a McDonald’s in its capital city, it remains a haven of quirky creativity unlike anyplace else in America.


New Hampshire


POP 1.3 MILLION / %603

New Hampshire bleeds jagged mountains, scenic valleys and forest-lined lakes – they lurk in every corner of this rugged state. It all begs you to embrace the outdoors, from kayaking the hidden coves of the Lakes Region to trekking the upper peaks surrounding Mt Washington. Each season yields a bounty of adrenaline and activity: skiing and snowshoeing in winter, magnificent walks and drives through autumn’s fiery colors, and swimming in crisp mountain streams and berry-picking in summer. Jewel-box colonial settlements like Portsmouth buzz a sophisticated tune, while historic attraction and small-town culture live on in pristine villages like Keene and Peterborough.

But there’s a relaxing whiff in the air too – you’re encouraged to gaze out at a loon-filled lake, recline on a scenic railway trip or chug across a waterway on a sunset cruise – all while digging into a fried-clam platter or a lobster roll, of course.

A Dec Glide across trails on a horse-driven sleigh ride.




%207 / POP 1.3 MILLION

With more lobsters, lighthouses and charming resort villages than you can shake a selfie stick at, Maine is New England at its most iconic. The sea looms large here, with mile upon mile of jagged sea cliffs, peaceful harbors and pebbly beaches. Eat and drink your way through food- and beer-crazed Portland, one of America’s coolest small cities. Explore the historic shipbuilding villages of the Midcoast. Hike through Acadia National Park, a spectacular island of mountains and fjord-like estuaries. Let the coastal wind whip through those cobwebs and inhale the salty air. Venture into the state’s inland region, a vast wilderness of pine forest and snowy peaks.

Outdoor adventurers can race white-water rapids, cycle the winding shore roads or kayak beside playful harbor seals. For slower-paced fun, there are plenty of antique shops, cozy lobster shacks, charming inns and locally brewed beer on hand.

And, oh, did we mention the lobster?


Directory A–Z


For more accommodations reviews by Lonely Planet authors, check out You’ll find independent reviews, as well as recommendations on the best places to stay. Best of all, you can book online.

New England provides an array of accommodations, but truly inexpensive options are rare. Reservations are recommended, especially in high season.

AB&Bs Intimate, family-run guesthouses are often contained in historic or architecturally interesting homes. Properties range widely, from economical to luxurious.

ACamping The most basic campgrounds have bathing facilities and electricity/water hook-ups, while others offer more extensive recreational facilities.

AHotels Found mainly in cities, hotels include run-of-the-mill chains, historic properties and stylish boutique hotels.

ARoadside motels What they lack in style, they make up for in convenience and cost. Often offer the best value for budget and midrange travelers.



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