New England is a region of the USA that is known for its savvy for historical preservation, and when it comes to New England historic homes you can visit, there are plenty in each and every state! Many of these beautifully preserved historic homes in New England have ties to important historical figures, and a visit to these places they once lived, worked, and even visited, give a beautiful glimpse into their world.
Some of these New England historic homes are a part of impressive estates where you can walk the grounds and enjoy the scenic landscapes, some have been transformed into living museums where you can see for yourself what life back then would have looked like.
There are New England historic homes in every state in the region, so chances are that if you’re in New England, there will be a historic home for you to visit nearby!
New England Historic Homes
Historic Homes in Connecticut
Roseland Cottage, Woodstock CT
One of the most gorgeous historic homes in New England, Roseland Cottage is an impressive sight from the moment you arrive on the property. Built in the Gothic Revival style in 1846 and painted a deep pink, this historic CT property is an aesthetic masterpiece.
Featuring all the interior touches that one would expect in a Victorian home in New England, you’ll find dramatic and colorful wall coverings and carpets, and intricate wood work and stained glass. In addition to the beautiful interior, the grounds of this New England historic estate include a carriage barn, aviary, ice house, gardens, and the oldest surviving indoor bowling alley in the United States!
Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk CT
Magnificent and grand in both size and style, the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk is one of the most beautiful of all CT historic sites. Built in the Second Empire Style in the mid 1800s, this historic Victorian era country house was an impressive technological feat for its time, with indoor plumbing, central heating, gas lighting, and ventilation originally built into the home.
This Victorian New England gem takes about an hour and a half to tour through, and the stories this beautiful historic home have to tell are many. From the Grand Staircase to the hand carved Black Walnut finishes found in the Library, this historic estate is a feast for the eyes.
The Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford CT
One of those New England historic homes that holds a special place in United States history, The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford CT was home to Mark Twain and his family from 1874 to 1891, and it is where he wrote some of his most popular works.
The 11,500 sq ft historic home is full of Victorian era features like dramatic wall coverings and design motifs from Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Moroccan, and Indian elements. The Conservatory and its fountain are particularly lovely, but the entire home and its grounds are a wonderful way to explore historic New England.
Leffingwell House Museum, Norwich CT
One of the Colonial era historic homes in Connecticut, Leffingwell House Museum was built around 1675 as a two room home, and was built up to the structure that is seen today over the next few decades. This historic property has gone through many changes in its life, including from private home to pre-Revolutionary War tavern!
Today you can see Colonial-era furnishings and artifacts throughout the home, including pottery, table ware, decorations, and more.
Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme CT
The Florence Griswold Museum is a popular historic site both for its beautifully preserved home and grounds and its dazzling collection of art works and history as an art colony. Built in 1817 in the Georgian architectural style, the home itself is absolutely gorgeous with antique furnishings and artifacts, including a gorgeous antique piano.
Even the gardens on this historic estate have been recreated using the artwork created by the artists of the time who used the lovely gardens as their muse. The grounds, the art museum, the scenic landscape, and the beautifully preserved home serve to make this historic New England property a must visit if you are ever in coastal Connecticut!
Historic Homes in Maine
Castle Tucker, Wiscasset
Built in 1807, Castle Tucker was redecorated in the Victorian era to reflect the tastes of the era, and today it remains a beautiful Victorian New England home you can visit. Situated high on a hill overlooking the Sheepscot River, the grounds and the home of this historic estate reign over the Wiscasset harbor down below.
There are 33 rooms in this historic New England home, full of antique furnishings and decor including a Hallett & Cumston grand piano and a cutting edge (of the time) walnut and oak custom made indoor sink. This historic Maine home is a beauty.
Hamilton House, South Berwick ME
Built around 1785, Hamilton House is a historic New England home in a scenic setting overlooking Maine’s Salmon Falls River. Built in the Georgian style, this historic property has a simple elegance to it, and it remains decorated in the early 20th-century style of its private owners at the time.
In addition to the beautiful period furnishings and decor, this historic New England home has an interesting feature: two commissioned murals that are as whimsical as they are brilliant. The grounds are absolutely picturesque on this stunning historic New England estate.
Victoria Mansion, Portland ME
Dramatic. Magnificent. Ornate. These are just a few words that describe the Victoria Mansion, one of the most gorgeous historic homes in Maine. Also known as the Morse-Libby House, this historic home was built in the style of an Italian villa between 1858 and 1860. Features such as the grand staircase and intricate woodworking, ceiling features, and more seem to be everywhere you look, making this historic home a true feast for the eyes.
Over 90% of the original interiors remain in this beautiful New England historic home, and the antique furnishings and decor are just as lavish as the structure of this elegant Italian villa-esque home. This is one of those must visit New England historic homes.
Sayward-Wheeler House, York Harbor ME
Overlooking the York River in York Harbor Maine stoically rests the Sayward-Wheeler House, said to be home to one of the best preserved colonial interiors in the United States of America. Built around 1718, today there are still furnishings and belongings in the home that predate the Revolutionary War.
This beautiful New England historic home sits unassumingly on the shoreline, sometimes shrouded in coastal fog, lending it an air of mystery. If you’re a fan of colonial historic homes in New England, this one should certainly be added to the list.
The Olsen House, Cushing ME
Made famous by its role in the Andrew Wyeth painting Christina’s World, The Olsen House is a historic Colonial house in New England that as of this writing, is undergoing a significant restoration process to preserve this beautiful historic property. What began as a simple cabin in the 1700s transformed over the years to what can be seen today and what was locally known as a summer house.
While it is not currently available for physical tours, you can take a virtual tour of this historic New England home to tide you over until you can return in person!
Historic Homes in Massachusetts
Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, Gloucester MA
The Sleeper-McCann House, also known as Beauport, is one of the finest historic homes in New England. Built in 1907 and once the summer home of one of America’s first professional interior designers. Interestingly, each of the 40 rooms of this historic New England estate have their own theme defined by a color, pattern, object, or historical/literary figure!
Original details like the hand-painted Chinese wallpaper in the China Trade Room abound, and the entire home sits on the rocky edge of Gloucester Harbor, providing stunning water views from this historic home in New England.
Gibson House Museum, Boston MA
One of those historic New England homes that seem to be frozen in time, providing a perfect time capsule peek at Victorian New England, Gibson House Museum is a well-preserved house museum.
Built in 1859, Gibson House was a private residence until the 1950s, and still has the original kitchen! This is one of the neatest Victorian homes in New England you can visit, so if you’re in Boston and would like to see what life was like in the Back Bay Neighborhood of Boston 100+ years ago, add this one to your list.
Old House at Peace field, Quincy MA
The Old House at Peace field is one of the nation’s most treasured historic homes, as it was once the home of four generations of the Adams family, beginning with John and Abigail Adams, the second President and First Lady of the United States. Originally built in 1731, it was a simple structure until Abigail Adams began the expansions that made it into the impressive home it is today.
The entire property is an interesting sight to see both for its carefully preserved history and its cultural significance, but one of the most popular points of interest at this historic site in MA is the Stone Library, built by one of John Adams sons in 1870 to house his incredible collection of books. Book lover or not, this is an amazing library to visit!
The Mount, Lenox MA
One of the finest historic homes in New England that you can visit, The Mount is a spectacular estate in the beautiful Berkshires of Massachusetts. The estate was built in 1902 and borrows elements from Italian, English, and French architectural design.
The rooms of the Main House are impressive to tour through, but the grounds themselves are landscaped so beautifully that a walk around the property is a delightfully immersive experience in the tranquility of the space, and they host community events throughout the year in the gardens around the home. If you can’t tour the inside of this historic home, at least tour the grounds!
House of the Seven Gables, Salem MA
One of the most popular historic homes in New England, the House of the Seven Gables in Salem was built in 1668 and expanded as the years went on to become the dramatic multi-gabled home that was made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel of the same name.
Today this historic home is one of the “largest timber framed mansions in North America still on its original foundation,” so it is a true testament to the preservation efforts that have been made to keep this national treasure strong and sturdy for generations to come.
Naumkeag, Stockbridge MA
Similar to The Mount, Naumkeag is another incredibly impressive historic home in the beautiful Berkshires region of Massachusetts. This 48-acre estate is home to a historic home with 44 rooms and 8 acres of gardens, meadows, and farmland.
Throughout the year, Naumkeag hosts a variety of community events and festivals, so even if you’re not interested in touring this historic home in New England, you should certainly keep an eye out for their yearly events so you can enjoy the gorgeous grounds of this beautiful estate.
Paul Revere House, Boston MA
Another one of the most popular historic homes in New England, the Paul Revere House is one of the stops on the Boston Freedom Trail, so it’s easy enough to roll right into a great historic tour in Boston!
This historic home is downtown Boston’s oldest building and was built around 1680, then transitioned from private house (at one time the home of the great Paul Revere, of course) to boarding house to shops until it was purchased by Revere’s great grandson and restored to its prior glory. It is said that 90% of the original structure remains, so this historic New England home is a grand testament to preservation efforts.
The Old Manse, Concord MA
One of those New England historic homes with great cultural significance, The Old Manse in Concord has housed several of America’s literary greats including Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and it is even said that Henry David Thoreau even planted the original heirloom vegetable garden that is found on the grounds!
Built in 1770, this historic home is one of simple elegance and cultural significance, as many of the most foreward thinking individuals of their time would meet on its grounds to exchange ideas. Today, it is a site of great interest for those with literary interest, especially.
Lizzie Borden House, Fall River MA
Likely the most infamous of historic homes in New England – on this list, at least, the Lizzie Borden House is a beautiful Victorian home in New England that is of course, well known for the great tragedy that took place within its walls in 1892.
Interestingly, it has now been converted to a B&B, so this is a historic home in New England you can stay in for yourself! If you’d rather not stay overnight on this historic property, tours are available.
Historic Homes in New Hampshire
Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough NH
Beautiful Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough NH is just as impressive a historic home as its name suggests! Built 1913-1914 by a husband and wife as a country estate, it changed hands numerous times over the years until it became known as Castle in the Clouds.
In addition to touring the 16-room historic home, there are also beautiful walking trails and two restaurants on the grounds where you can enjoy a meal and the delightful views of this picturesque property. Castle in the Clouds is currently undergoing many restorations as of this writing in 2022, so be sure to check in with the property to see if access is available.
Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth NH
Located in charming downtown Portsmouth NH, Strawbery Banke Museum is not just one historic home to visit, but several! With 32 historic buildings dating as far back as 1695 (most on their original foundations!), many are furnished and used for a variety of exhibits in this living museum in NH.
You’ll be able to get what feels like an authentic,real life peek at life in early Portsmouth New Hampshire as you tour these historic New England homes. Strawbery Banke Museum is a must visit for any history lover visiting Portsmouth!
Robert Frost Farm, Derry NH
You don’t have to be a Robert Frost fan to want to see the Robert Frost Farm in Derry NH, but if you are, you most certainly will! Built in 1884, this historic estate became the New Hampshire home of Robert Frost between 1900 and 1911, and many of his great works were penned from the property.
Original items remain in this historic home like the soapstone sink in the kitchen and a large, antique woodstove. It’s easy to tour this historic New England home and feel as if you can imagine what life was like while Robert Frost and his family called it home.
Historic Homes in Vermont
Hildene, Manchester VT
One of the most gorgeous historic estates in New England, Hildene is the Lincoln family home of the only surviving adult son of Abraham Lincoln, and it is one of the crowning jewels of historic homes in America. Built as a summer home at the turn of the 20th century, Hildene is a Georgian Revival style mansion set on a 412 acre estate.
Today, this gorgeous historic estate is home to beautiful gardens, a historic carriage barn, an observatory, a solar-powered goat dairy and cheese-making facility, and so much more! A visit to Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home, is more than just a chance to tour a historic home; it’s an immersive step into how the past meets the present.
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion, Woodstock VT
Located in picturesque Woodstock, Vermont, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion was originally built in 1805, but continued to be expanded over the next several decades until it became the stately historic home that can be visited today.
With period furnishings and decor accenting the dramatic woodwork in this historic home, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you walk through the doors of this gorgeous New England historic gem.
Wilson Castle, Proctor VT
When it comes to architectural prowess, Wilson Castle in Proctor VT has plenty! Built in a combination of various European styles, the English brick and marble facade creates a feeling of drama as you approach this beautiful historic home, and the interiors only continue that feeling!
Of the 32 rooms on this 155-acre estate, you’ll find 84 stained glass windows and antique furnishings and decor that highlight the architectural details found in this gorgeous historic home. This beautiful historic home in New England is considered Vermont’s only “real” castle!
Ethan Allen Homestead, Burlington VT
The Ethan Allen Homestead of Burlington (yes, that Ethan Allen!) was designed in an architectural style that was typical of the 1780s, and it is a modest representation of life in Vermont in that era.
Several original touches remain in this historic New England home, and you’ll find period furnishings and touches within as well as educational exhibits about Ethan Allen and the part he played in Revolutionary War history.
Justin Smith Morrill Homestead, Strafford VT
Originally built in 1851, the Justin Smith Morrill Homestead in Strafford is a beautiful historic home built in the Gothic Revival style and surrounded by gorgeous gardens. Justin Smith Morrill was a self-made man and influential American politician, and he served in Congress for 44 years.
Today, this historic home in New England is beautifully preserved and hosts events and workshops throughout the year on its gorgeous grounds.
Historic Homes in Rhode Island
Hearthside House, Lincoln RI
Built in 1810, Hearthside House was originally built to impress a love interest, and today this Federal style remains a testament to the style and design of the time with restoration efforts focusing on preserving and upholding traditions as best as they can.
While there was very little in the way of original furnishings and decor left in Hearthside Home before it became what it is today, it has been lovingly filled with antique furnishings and pieces of the period to showcase what this historic New England home would have looked like in its hey day!
Newport Mansions, Newport RI
Oh, the Newport Mansions! Of course, any discussion of historic homes in New England that you can tour would not be complete without these magnificently preserved estates from the Gilded Age on Rhode Island’s classic coast.
There are several ways to see these beautiful homes and estates, and you can see more about what to expect while touring the mansions here. If you’re not sure what the Newport Mansions might be like, think “The Great Gatsby” and you got it!
Blithewold Mansion, Bristol RI
Another testament to the Gilded Age of America, Blithewold Mansion is a 33-acre estate that overlooks the Narragansett Bay and is particularly renowned for its perfectly manicured grounds.
The 45 room mansion is unique in that everything seen in this gorgeous historic New England home belonged to the family whom called this stunning place home! Blithewold Mansion is certainly one of the most stunning historic homes to visit in New England.
Smith’s Castle, North Kingstown RI
Smith’s Castle is a Rhode Island historic home that dates back to the early 1600s, with the property as seen today having been built in 1678. A walk through tour of this historic home today will reveal artifacts and furnishings of the time that help to give a glimpse of life through the years at Smith’s Castle.
In fact, there are regularly costumed docents giving the tours at Smith’s Castle, so if you’re the type of person that feels a tour is enriched by a costumed character, then this will certainly appeal.
Clemence-Irons, Johnston RI
One of the oldest of Rhode Island’s historic homes, Clemence-Irons House was built in 1691 and is what is known as a stone ender, a particular type of English construction.
While appearing quite unassuming from the outside, the inside reveals rich woods and interesting window shapes. This is a great historic home in New England for those interested in now defunct architectural styles.
There are so many beautiful historic homes in New England to visit, these are just a few of the most impressive and the most popular. Hopefully you’ve found some great spots to get started delving into beautiful historic New England!
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- 50+ Best Things to Do in Maine: Ultimate Maine Bucket List
- 50+ Things to Do in New Hampshire: Your NH Bucket List
- 50+ Best Things to Do in Vermont Bucket List
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Amy Hartle is the owner and editor of New England With Love, a comprehensive resource for travel in the New England region. Amy lived in Vermont for 15 years, attended Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, and continues to travel regularly around the entire New England region. On this site, Amy aims to share her love of New England and help you to have the best possible adventures!
Amy has been a full time blogger since 2012, and is also the publisher of Two Drifters, where she writes about couples travel and relationships, as well as Let’s Adventure Baby, a family travel site. When not traveling the world or creating epic blog content, Amy can be found cuddling with her husband, son, and cats, & drinking a maple latte.