While you might be familiar with some of the popular ski resorts around New England, there are plenty of other cozy destinations that make for the best winter getaways in New England—whether you ski or not.
For the classic winter experience, you really can’t go wrong with New England. This region is perfect during so many seasons of the year, but it really shines in the wintertime, with its snowy fields and cozy towns. It’s really a Christmas wonderland!
We’ve compiled a list of fabulous places in New England to visit this winter. These range from typical vacation spots to those more unexpected New England winter getaways. And with warm and cozy winter getaways in each state, you’re bound to find something perfect for your next New England weekend escape.
Grab your boots, some hot cocoa, and a good book. It’s time to get cozy planning your New England winter getaway.
Best Winter Getaways in New England
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, RI may not be your first thought when considering New England winter getaways. While Newport has traditionally been more of a summer destination, it’s one of the more unique New England winter getaways too, and with a quarter of the tourists! We recently visited Newport for a pre-Valentine’s getaway and it was cold yet sunny. We had nearly every place we visited all to ourselves. Très romantique! Perfect for romantic winter getaways in New England.
Newport makes for an easy weekend or day trip from Boston, and it’s also quite accessible from other states in the northeast. It’s great to escape to the coast, dine on local fresh seafood, and then warm up indoors with views out to the sea.
Don’t miss in Newport: The Gilded Age Mansions where you can feel like royalty
Where to Stay: Hotel Viking
Winter is an excellent time for a short New England city break—especially if you’re not really interested in winter sports.
The small, hip city of Burlington, Vermont is such an awesome destination (we’re biased since we live here currently) with so much to do. And there’s a lot to do indoors, which might be key in the coldest winter months.
Walk up and down Church St. and pop into any shop that catches your eye. There are also plenty of excellent restaurants lining this pedestrian avenue and many cozy coffee shops, bars and pubs, too. The Whiskey Room will make you feel like you’ve stepped straight into Britain. Want to warm up with a cup of coffee? New Moon Cafe, one of many great coffee shops in Burlington, has a roaring fireplace and comfortable, ample seating and yummy vegetarian dishes. Later, you can create a DIY tour of all the local craft breweries.
Don’t Miss in Burlington: Lake Champlain. In mid-winter, this mini “Great Lake” might even be frozen over.
Where to Stay: One of these great spots
If you’re looking for great winter activity destinations in New England, Maine has got it covered! Rangeley Maine, in particular, is a great spot to go for a winter getaway that has a bit of the best of all worlds: plenty of opportunity to play in the snow and the perfect places to get nice and cozy and warm up afterwards!
Stay in town and go snowshoeing, cross country and alpine skiing at the Rangeley Lakes Trail Center or ride up the road to Saddleback Mountain and/or Sugarloaf. Rangeley is also one of the best places in Maine to see moose, so keep your eyes peeled.
Don’t Miss in Rangeley: Ecopelagicon for classic Maine staples
Where to Stay: Loon Lodge Inn
It’s no secret that Boston is a great city. Why not pay it a visit in the winter? As with other spots, you’re likely to find thinner crowds, and you will probably get lower rates for your accommodation.
Boston in winter is likely going to focus on indoor pursuits. Might we recommend the museums and galleries? There are dozens. The science museum is one of our personal favorites, and the aquarium is always incredibly fun, too.
If you want to get outdoors, however, you can go ice skating at the Boston Common Frog Pond. Later, warm up at an award-winning spa and dine at a fabulous restaurant. Need more travel inspiration? We’ve got a whole list of things to do in Boston, MA with kids for you to consider, or even a one day or two day Boston itinerary!.
Don’t Miss in Boston: Faneuil Hall or these ideas for Christmas in Boston.
For many, the best winter weekend getaways in New England involve a near-guarantee of snow. Well, Stowe is likely to deliver! My family actually visited Stowe in 2001 for the first time. We were living in Florida and my sister and I had never seen snow. Off we went to Stowe, Vermont, where we were pretty much certain we’d get to see and play in the snow. We weren’t wrong. We had an absolute blast sledding, ice skating, and sipping hot chocolate. Oh, and we loved it so much we actually ended up moving to Vermont. Clearly, Stowe has a magical influence.
Seriously though, Stowe is incredibly quaint and postcard-perfect, especially in the winter months; it’s one of the best winter towns in New England. Dine at any of the stellar restaurants, stroll through the snow in the village, or go cross-country skiing at the Trapp Family Lodge.
Westerly, Rhode Island
Another charming coastal New England town, Westerly is most often thought of as a charming summer vacation destination, but those incredible ocean views don’t stop being gorgeous in the winter! You’ll enjoy being able to explore downtown Westerly without having to battle the summer crowds, and there’s plenty to explore! Go shopping, stop in Tapped Apple Cidery and Winery for a tasting, and eat at any one of Westerly’s top restaurants.
Of course, if you decide to book a room at the luxurious Ocean House resort, you won’t even have to leave the grounds to have the perfect New England winter getaway! One of the more pricier New England winter resorts, it delivers a whole lot of value in exchange for its high rates, with an onsite spa, gourmet dining, ocean views, and little touches of luxury everywhere you turn. If you’re looking for a luxurious New England winter getaway, Ocean House is perfect. Ask about their charming Gondola Village (formerly the Fondue Village) winter experience and book a suite with a fireplace and ocean view to maximize on the winter coziness!
Don’t Miss in Westerly: beautiful Watch Hill lighthouse
Where to Stay: Ocean House
City breaks are definitely a good choice for winter weekend getaways in New England. Hartford fits the bill. There are many museums, historic homes, and other spots ideal for staying indoors on a cold day. In this capital city, there’s a great deal of history, including the Mark Twain House and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.
But in late winter, you can actually experience a bit of spring come early in Hartford. In mid-March, the Elizabeth Park Conservancy hosts a Spring Greenhouse Show where you can walk through beautiful, vibrant flowers. It’s a great respite from the cold and an exciting look into what spring will soon bring in spades!
Don’t Miss in Hartford: Bushnell Park, and it’s 1914 carousel (but note, the carousel is closed in February/March)
North Conway, NH
When you think of winter in New England, the mountains of New Hampshire almost certainly come to mind. After all, they are home to some of the best ski resorts in New England, and are generally a haven for outdoor adventurers. Even in the summer, the highest of the White Mountains occasionally has snow! That makes this region one of the best snowy holiday destinations in the US.
North Conway is a place that could be considered the best of both worlds. It appeals to outdoor enthusiasts and non-explorers alike. There are classic New England shops (including an old-fashioned general store) and other places to stay warm and cozy, but endless winter sports and activities are all within easy reach. Snowmobiling, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snow tubing: everything is available.
Don’t Miss in North Conway: Dog sledding at Muddy Paws
Nashoba Valley Ski Area, Massachusetts
Looking for a bit of New England snow without having to head far into northern New England? Then the Nashoba Valley might be right for your next weekend trip.
This is a super easy drive from Boston and other points south. The Nashoba Valley Ski Area is located in Westford, MA and offers 17 trails, lifts, and lessons. For non-skiers, there’s also a huge snow-tubing area. This is always fun for kids and adults alike, and there are many other family-oriented activities (check out Animal Adventures rescue center!) making this region ideal For New England winter family getaways.
Don’t Miss in the Nashoba Valley: Literary & history lovers should head over to nearby Concord, MA
Where to Stay: Residence Inn Boston Westford
Manchester, Vermont holds a place in many a visitor’s heart. It’s just so cute. Located in Southern Vermont, Manchester feels more easily accessible than other parts of Vermont. But you get all the charm and mountain scenery here in Manchester just as you might further north.
Manchester is well known for its luxury shopping outlets, but really, this is a place to come and relax in the wintertime. There are numerous B&Bs and inns alongside delicious restaurants, and there are fireplaces everywhere. Come to Manchester for a laid back winter weekend. (Of course, you can head up to nearby ski resorts like Stratton if you’re itching for winter adventures!)
Don’t Miss in Manchester: The Northshire Bookstore
Where to Stay: Kimpton Taconic Hotel
We can’t forget about Maine on the list of New England winter vacations. You may be more likely to associate Maine with summer trips, as it is so well-known for its exciting coast. Well, in winter, you’ll enjoy wonderful views of this coast without the number of visitors seen in the more popular months.
You can still enjoy the beaches of Maine in the winter (and many prefer them quiet and calm as they are at this time of year). And let’s be honest, it’s probably too cold to swim in the ocean even in July, so you may as well come to Maine in the winter.
A lovely spot for a getaway is the town of York. This is a serene and peaceful spot where you’ll feel close to nature and totally at ease. For more activity, pop up to Portland, Maine with its many breweries and other sites.
Don’t Miss in York: Stonewall Kitchen
Where to Stay: The York Harbor Inn
When it comes to those New England towns that go all in on Christmas charm, Stockbridge MA is on the very top of that list! If you’re looking for a winter getaway spot in New England that serves up all the Christmas charm, what better place to go than the very inspiration and subject of one of Norman Rockwell’s most iconic works of art, “Home for Christmas (Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas)” to get in the Christmas spirit?
Stockbridge is fun to visit year round, but while the twinkle lights are twinkling and the holiday festivities are happening, it’s basically impossible to be a scrooge in Stockbridge. Be sure to take a Holiday House Tour at The Mount and check out the Winterlights at Naumkeag!
Don’t Miss in Stockbridge: Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas
Where to Stay: Red Lion Inn
One of the best cozy winter getaways in New England, Woodstock VT is a great vacation destination for families or romance! Woodstock is one of the cutest small towns in Vermont, and as temperatures drop and snow begins to fall, it becomes the perfect winter wonderland.
There’s Woodstock Nordic Center in town for snowshoeing and cross country skiing, and just a few minutes up the road is Saskadena Six Ski Area if you’d prefer to really hit the slopes! There’s lots of small town fun to be had in Woodstock, especially if you’re looking for festive Christmas things to do.
Don’t Miss in Woodstock: F.H. Gillingham and Sons
Where to Stay: Woodstock Inn and Resort
One of the best places to visit in Connecticut any time of year, this darling waterfront town is a great winter vacation spot in New England. In addition to having lots of fun things to do (including exploring the always interesting Mystic Aquarium!) and delicious restaurants to try, you also get gorgeous waterfront views.
There are several great places to stay in Mystic, including some fantastically cozy bed and breakfasts that make the perfect romantic winter getaway spot! Located just outside of Mystic, Stonecroft Country Inn offers a comfortable elegance and a beautifully manicured outdoor space with centuries old stone walls and a delicious country breakfast. Ask for a room with a fireplace to really kick the cozy romantic vibes up a notch.
Don’t Miss in Mystic: Mystic Pizza, of the 80s Julia Roberts movie of the same name!
Where to Stay: Stonecroft Country Inn
Jackson, New Hampshire
Another lovely little White Mountains town, Jackson is home to so much New England winter fun, making this a great family vacation destination. Go skiing at Wildcat Mountain, then head to Nestlenook Farms for quaint family-friendly winter fun like ice skating, sleigh riding, and hot cocoa sipping! Families with small children will love nearby Story Land amusement park in nearby Glen and Santa’s Village amusement park in Jefferson!
There are several cozy cabins in the White Mountains if you’d like to rent a cabin for your stay, but if you’d like to stay in Jackson, check out Christmas Farm Inn and Spa! While not Christmas themed, it is comfy, cozy, and has an indoor pool and onsite spa, so there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy onsite!
Don’t Miss in Jackson: Nestlenook Farms
Where to Stay in Jackson: Christmas Farm Inn and Spa
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Amy is the founder of New England with love. A proud Vermonter, she hopes to share her love of New England and help you find the best adventures in the region. Amy is also blogger/founder at Two Drifters, where she writes alongside her husband about romantic and couples travel, relationships, honeymoons, and more. When not working on websites, Amy is probably reading, cuddling with her husband, son, and cats, & drinking a maple latte.