New England is the most densely populated area in the United States, with almost 15 million people living in the six states:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
The residents of these states could give you hundreds of reasons to visit the region, but here are the top five reasons New England should be your next vacation destination.
1. Urban Sprawl
Some of the country’s best cities are found in New England. Boston is the first place most people think of because of its storied history and distinct culture. Massachusetts’ capital has museums, art galleries, a vibrant nightlife and an obscure local dynamic unlike any other American city. These other towns also deserve recognition:
- Portland, Maine: The oft-forgotten “second Portland” is a growing metropolitan area along Maine’s southeast coast. It’s similar to Portland, OR, in terms of its progressive demographic.
- Newport, RI: Newport is one of the wealthiest towns in the country, with lots of “old money” from previous generations. The town remains a beach vacation hotspot for many New Englanders and a tourist destination for those who want to tour the massive beachside mansions.
- Portsmouth, NH: Are you noticing a theme with the names yet? Portsmouth is New Hampshire’s top coastal city, famous for its fresh seafood. It also has abundant hiking and biking trails with various scenic views.
Aside from the main urban centers, New England is home to dozens and dozens of quiet coastal towns. If you’re looking for a place to spend a peaceful beach vacation, you have plenty of options here.
2. Historical Significance
New England has always been a place of great historical significance, even before the Europeans arrived. Hundreds of Native American tribes occupied the region, interacting through complex fishing routes and trading networks. Tribes like the Wampanoag, Pequot and Mohawk played crucial roles in early American settlement.
Of course, New England is also the home of many significant American landmarks and events. The Revolutionary War started here. Most of the founding fathers came from Boston, Providence, Concord and other towns that remain prosperous today. Some of their original homes and estates are open to the public.
The region even has some supernatural elements locals have discussed for generations. Haunted lighthouses, shipwrecks, mermaids — you name it, New England has it. Anyone interested in American history would have a blast exploring the region.
3. Amazing Biodiversity
New England’s biodiversity is unmatched. The coastline from Connecticut to Maine has hundreds of beaches, islands and inlets to explore. The great Appalachian Mountains run through the heart of the region, containing some of the country’s best hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail itself. Picturesque hills and farmlands occupy much of the countryside.
The seasonal changes are also breathtaking. Winters are cold and brutal, but the skiing is phenomenal. Summers feature low humidity and perfect temperatures. The forests and mountains turn into fiery landscapes during the brisk fall season. Spring is rainier in New England compared to other regions, yielding beautiful flower blossoms year after year.
4. Food Variety
Most non-locals know New England’s propensity for Dunkin Donuts, but the region’s cuisine goes far beyond coffee and pastries. It was the site of the first Thanksgiving feast, after all. Turkey, pumpkin pie, stuffing and other holiday favorites first became popular among early New England settlers.
Along the coast, you can find delicious seafood items such as clam chowder and lobster rolls. The ingredients are fresh and flavorful, sometimes going from sea to table in under 24 hours. Vermont and Maine are known for their maple syrup production. Popular food brands like Ben and Jerry’s, Del’s and Ocean Spray originated in New England as well.
5. Athletic Traditions
Everyone thinks their city, state or region has the best sports fans, but New England truly has the most passionate fanbases. They give New England’s teams a hard time because they care. Their devotion has paid off, as the region has some of the oldest and most successful franchises in the country:
- New England Patriots: The Patriots have a record six Super Bowl championships, all won in the 21st century. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are household names in American sports. Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, is an excellent gameday destination.
- Boston Red Sox: Founded in 1901, the Red Sox is the most storied baseball team after the New York Yankees. Although the team had an 86-year championship drought, it has broken through with four World Series titles since 2004. Fenway Park is the best baseball stadium on the east coast, bar none.
- Boston Celtics: The Celtics have an NBA-record 17 championships, the most recent of which came in 2008. Even casual fans remember names like Bill Russell and Larry Bird. TD Garden is one of the country’s best indoor arenas, with dozens of banners hanging from the rafters.
- Boston Bruins: The Bruins are one of the NHL’s original six teams. Their last championship came in 2011. The team plays its home games at TD Garden just like the Celtics, so you can see both teams play on the same weekend during the winter if you play your cards right.
Even if you’re not a sports fan, you will have a great time at each of these four stadiums. The passion, tradition and success are unmatched.
New England Has Something for Everyone
The six states making up New England provide something for everyone. City hoppers, outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, sports fanatics and foodies will all have a great time exploring this region. Pack your bags and start planning, but be warned — once you arrive, you might never want to leave.
If you like these reasons to visit New England, see some more of my travel posts here