6 Best Summer Road Trips to Take in New England

Summer in New England is impossible to beat – sunny, perfect days make for an ideal backdrop to explore some of the region’s gems by way of a weekend road trip! Each of the six New England states offers its own unique twist on summer fun and are all very accessible. Whether you visit each state in one big trip or break it down into several smaller adventures, there is no better way to enjoy your summer! Below, we’ve put together a helpful guide with some favorite highlights to inspire your next New England summer road trip! 

1. Rangeley Lakes, Maine

Though the Rangeley Lakes Region in Maine is gorgeous any time of year, summertime makes for a scenic road trip along ME Routes 17 and 4 and a guaranteed amazing weekend to be had!

Rangeley offers nearly endless activities, including hiking, fishing, boating, bicycling, kayaking and canoeing. We’d recommend checking out Angel Falls as your first stop, which is an easy 45-minute hike through the forest leading to a crystalline waterfall. From there, plan to check out a couple of the area’s famed lakes, especially Rangeley Lake and Mooselookmeguntic Lake (be sure to pull off at the Height of Land lookout for a spectacular view of Mooselookmeguntic on your way in!).

You can’t leave this region without stopping at Coos Canyon, one of the most well-known swimming holes in the state. Located just off Route 17, Coos Canyon boasts smooth, curved rocks and fresh flowing water to enjoy!

2. Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park, Maine

Bar Harbor – home to Acadia National Park – is one of the best places to vacation in Maine, and once you experience it for yourself you’ll understand why! 

Acadia National Park offers more than 47,000 acres of mountains, woodlands and rocky beaches along the Atlantic coast. Catch the sunrise at the top of Cadillac Mountain, rent bikes to ride along the beautiful Carriage Trails, hike the Beehive Loop Trail for unbeatable ocean views, then stop into the Jordan Pond House for their famous popovers. After exploring Acadia, head to downtown Bar Harbor for shopping and dinner at any of their many delicious seaside restaurants. 

There is so much to see and do in Bar Harbor, you may even want to extend this trip because you won’t want to miss a thing!

3. North Conway, New Hampshire

A New England adventure calls for the mountains, which are equally as impressive during the summer as they are in the fall – especially if you love to hike. Venture to North Conway to experience firsthand the striking beauty of New Hampshire’s White Mountains – the largest in New England! Check out the White Mountain National Forest for some amazing natural wonders and lovely scenery. From the “Basin,” a deep granite hole at the base of a waterfall, to “Flume Gorge,” a natural ravine that’s become a boardwalk-covered hiking trail, you will find wonder around every corner.

The only thing that might be better than North Conway’s hiking is the road you take to get there: the famous Kancamagus Highway. This route is 26 miles of jaw-dropping scenic views to get you excited about your weekend adventures to come!

4. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod makes for a quintessential New England summer road trip! Once you hit the Bourne Bridge, the many quaint seaside towns of Cape Cod are at your fingertips. Beaches, scenic ocean views, fresh seafood – what more could you want on a summer weekend trip? Ferry out to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard, experience the rich creative history in Provincetown, or walk the streets of downtown Chatham for an authentic Cape Cod experience. 

If you have time, take a bike ride along the Cape Cod Rail Trail, a paved 25-mile trail that takes you through Lower Cape Cod’s incredibly diverse ecosystems. The Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is another natural resource that makes for a great way to spend the day. Experience more than 7,600 acres of protected marshes, dunes, wildlife, and a decommissioned historic lighthouse on this beautiful refuge.

5. Narragansett, Rhode Island

If you’re a beach lover, taking a trip to Narragansett, Rhode Island this summer is a must! Follow US Route 1 all the way down to this historic seaside town. Established in the late 1800s, Narragansett has some of the most beautiful sandy white beaches, freshest seafood and friendliest atmosphere in New England. Bike or walk along Ocean Road’s iconic sea wall, kayak on Narrow River, and spend some time exploring the many incredible restaurants this town has to offer – Coast Guard House, Monahan’s Clam Shack, and Iggy’s Doughboys & Chowder House, to name a few!

6. Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont is like a scene from a painting! This mountain town is small, charming and completely picturesque. Take Route 100 to Stowe for the best views and to get you excited about a relaxing weekend to come! Stowe’s Main Street has many of the classic small town fixtures: a general store, classic white-steepled church, and even a 50’s style diner. There are also several beautiful waterfalls in the area that you can get to by relatively short hikes, including Moss Glen Falls and Bingham Falls.

Cumberland Crossing by OceanView

Cumberland Crossing by OceanView is an active retirement community centrally located in charming Cumberland, Maine. Our maintenance-free living allows you to leave the stress of homeownership behind and instead spend your hard-earned retirement years doing what you love, like traveling or spending time outdoors! 

To learn more about our community at Cumberland Crossing, please contact us today!