It may no longer house Tom Brady, but New England stakes claim to a number of other regional treasures. As one of the first established areas of the country, New England has a lot of history to share. It's also got some amazing landscapes, eateries, and of course, its very own Great Wolf Lodge! Check out our new blog post for the best things to do during your visit.
Check out our blog post for the best things to do during your visit, and for even more resources, visit our local association websites:
Johnny Appleseed Trail Association
http://www.appleseed.org | 978-534-2302
Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism
https://www.visitma.com/ | 800-227-6277
Quick View: Best Things to do in New England:
- Great Wolf Lodge
- Boston Children's Museum
- Acadia National Park
- Fenway Park
- Ben & Jerry's Factory
- The Newport Cliff Walk
- Cape Cod National Seashore
- Freedom Trail
- Old Sturbridge Village
- Six Flags New England
- Flume Gorge
- The 1692 Salem Witch Museum
- Mystic Aquarium
- Goodspeed Opera House
- Gillette Castle
- Portland Museum of Art
- Conway Scenic Railroad
- Boston Public Garden
- Whale Watching at Bar Harbor
- Strawberry Banke Museum
- Mohegan Bluffs
- Crescent Ridge
- Faneuil Hall Marketplace
- America's Stonehenge
- The Charles W. Morgan
- Jay Peak
- Clam Box Ipswich
- Lizzie Borden House
- West Cornwall Covered Bridge
- WaterFire in Providence
- Roger Williams Park Zoo
- Plymouth Rock
- Ice Castles
- Clarks Bears
- Dog Mountain
- Foxwoods Casino
- Champlain Orchards
- New England Maple Museum
- Alpine Adventures
- Mystic Pizza
- Flying Horse Carousel
- The Glass House
- Jordan Pond House
- Norman Rockwell Museum
- Elizabeth Park Rose Garden
- Chuckster's Family Fun Park
- Winnipesaukee River Trail
- Nestlenook Farm
- New Hampshire Moose Tours
- Newbury Street
- Tanglewood Museum Center
- Kennebec River Rafting
- Wicked Tulips Flower Farm
- Boston Museum of Science
- Billings Farms
- Old Lighthouse Museum
Located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, this lodge has got all the Great Wolf staples. The indoor water park remains at a comfortable 84-degree, all year round and contains some of our most popular water slides, including the Howlin' Tornado, River Canyon Run and Alberta Falls. Don't forget to explore all our on-land activities, either! Play around the Northern Lights Arcade, the Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall or our very own miniature golf course. We also have an arcade, miniature golf course and a ropes course. Come spend the day with us, or even the night!
Source: Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park
Welcome to the second oldest children's museums in the world! Founded back in 1913, the Boston Children's Museum was designed to engage children and introduce them lifelong love of learning. Watch your kids exercise their creativity, curiosity and imagination! The museum houses traveling exhibits, hands-on experiences and tons of other learning experiences for kids.
Source: Boston Children's Museum Twitter
Acadia National Park has been recognized as one of the most beautiful landmarks on the east coast. Stretched across the coast of Maine, the 47,000-acre park features amazing views from Cadillac Mountain, sandy beaches, hiking trails, places to picnic and more. Once you're done exploring park head into the surrounding town of Bar Harbor for a bite to eat!
Source: Acadia NPS Twitter
Want to experience Red Sox nation? Now's your chance! Head over to Boston's Fenway Park. The field as been dubbed "America's favorite ballpark" and was originally opened back in 1912. There's even a museum on-site to teach visitors more about the park's history. The collection includes over 170,000 artifacts related to the history of Fenway Park and the Boston Red Sox, 150,000 photographs, 24,000 3D artifacts, signed baseballs, used baseball bats and more.
Source: Fenway Park Twitter
Get a sense of how the famous ice cream franchise got its start. The Ben & Jerry's Factory located in Waterbury, Vermont, offers tastings and tours to offer visitors a glimpse into the company history, a peak into the manufacturing process, a Q&A session in the famous Flavor Graveyard, and of course an opportunity to sample some of their most famous retired flavors!
Source: Ben & Jerry's VT Twitter
Newport, Rhode Island is home to sandy beaches, amazing architecture and impressive landscapes. If you want to get view of all of the area treasures, think about doing the cliff walk. The 3.5-mile walk offers panoramic ocean views and a peak into some the famous Newport Mansions.
Source: Discover Newport
Haven't had enough of the ocean? Cape Cod is home to some of the most famous beaches in New England. Its national seashore stretches across 40 miles in the towns of Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans and Chatham. You can swim, walk or bike your way around the national park! There are also plenty of lighthouses, cultural landscapes, wild cranberry bogs and other regional gems to explore.
Source: Cape Cod NPS Twitter
If you like history then you're in the right place! Boston's iconic 2.5-mile Freedom Trail connects 16 nationally significant historic sites. Soak up over 250 years of history with a visit to the many museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds and other important markers you'll encounter along the way!
Source: The Freedom Trail Twitter
Itching to get some more history under your belt? Travel back in time at Old Sturbridge Village, New England's largest outdoor living history museum. Enjoy the costumed historians and watch them get hard to work on the farm, in trade shops or in the house and learn more about what life was like during the 19th century.
Source: Old Sturbridge Village Twitter
Need another amusement park in your life? Head over to the town of Agawam, Massachusetts where you'll find Six Flags of New England. There are tons of rides to check out, from high-speed thrills to low-key family rides. Don't forget to check out the Hurricane Harbor Waterpark while you're there! From large pools and lazy rivers to multi-passenger rafting adventures, there's bound to be something for everyone over at this corner of the park! There's also tons of dining and shopping options to enjoy. Talk about a full day!
Source: SF New England Twitter
The Flume Gorge is a natural gorge extending 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty in Lincoln, New Hampshire. The walls of Conway granite rise to a height of 70 to 90 feet and are 12 to 20 feet apart. Before to visit the Visitor's Center for more information on the area before you embark on the two-mile loop. Prepare to take in some amazing views of the White Mountains.
Source: Cannon Mountain Twitter
The Salem Witch Trials account for one the most infamous chapters in American history. The museum was designed to introduce the events of 1692. Visitors can experience the drama through thirteen life-size stage sets, figures, lighting and narration depicting the witch hunts. A second exhibit provides information on the times that allowed the trials to take place. Once you're done there take some time to stroll around main street and explore the town of Salem!
Source: The Salem Witch Museum Twitter
Connecticut's Mystic Aquarium is home to thousands of species of marine mammals, fish invertebrates and reptiles. Enjoy up-close-and-personal encounters with beluga whales, penguins, sea lions, stingrays and more!
Source: Mystic Aquarium Twitter
Time to take in a show! The Goodspeed Opera House is a great place to see some musical theater. The organization also provides tons of educational opportunities, from classes, internships and writer workshops -- there's even a Kids Company Academy for the little ones!
Source: Goodspeed Musicals Twitter
Medieval fortress on the outside, chill hang-out spot on the inside, Gillette Castle ticks all the boxes! The residence was originally designed by William Gillette, an American actor best known for his stage portrayals of Sherlock Holmes. The property has now been transformed into a public park and spans across 184-acres. Stop by for a tour of the intricate architecture and check out some of the picnic spots or hiking trails offered around the property.
Source: Atlas Obscura Website
Source: PTLD Museum of Art Twitter
Take in the beauty of New Hampshire with the Conway Scenic Railroad. Enjoy an old-fashioned railroading experience as you journey on historic rail routes in vintage passenger cars. Pro tip: try to visit this corner of New England in the fall, that way, you'll get to experience an uninterrupted view of that famous fall foliage!
Source: Conway Scenic RR Twitter
Looking for a moment of Zen in a crowded city? Head over to the Boston Public Garden where you'll find 24-acres of grassy areas, flower beds, duck ponds and more! There are also monuments, fountains and the famous Swan Boats to explore!
Source: FOPG Twitter
New England has a long history with these majestic creatures. Back in the 18th and 19th century, whale hunting and harvesting was one of the most lucrative businesses in the region. Today, that relationship has shifted towards appreciation and preservation, with whale watching having become a popular pastime. There are tons of good spots to head out on a boat, but Bar Harbor boasts some unique rock formations that make sightings particular memorable. Remember, it can get cold on the water, so don't forget to bring a jacket!
Source: Bar Harbor Whales Twitter
New Hampshire's Strawbery Banke Museum provides 10 acres of heritage gardens, historic buildings, crafts, preservation programs, hands-on activities and more! It's believed the settlement was named after the wild strawberries growing along the banks of the Piscataqua River. Learn more about the area's colonial history from costumed historians and rotating exhibits!
Source: Strawberry Banke Twitter
Block Island is easily one of the best places to visit in New England. The popular tourist destination is located 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. The bluffs are located on the southern side of the island and rise 200 feet above sea level. The three-mile stretch offers some of some great trails and vistas!
Source: Block Island Organics
Who doesn't love homemade ice cream? Located in the town of Sharon, located about 30 minutes south of Boston is the Crescent Ridge Dairy Bar. Each flavor starts with a 50-year old family recipe and is carefully churned and hand packed. Take some time to explore the farm - cows and sheep included!
Source: CRDairy Twitter
Welcome to one of the oldest marketplaces in America! Opened in 1743, the Faneuil Hall Marketplace was once used as a meeting spot during the Revolution. These days, it's become a commercial hotspot, with high-end boutiques, stores and amazing eateries and is open to the public, 365-days a year!
Source: Faneuil Hall Twitter
America's Stonehenge is located in Salem, New Hampshire and is believed to have been built by a community of Native Americans some 4,000 years ago. Most likely the oldest man-made construction in the United States, the site functions as an accurate astronomical calendar. It was - and still can be - used to determine specific solar and lunar events throughout the year. Visitors are invited to watch an 11-minute introductory film before touring the grounds.
Source: via Atlas Obscura
The Charles W. Morgan is the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,7000 vessels. The ship can be found in the shipyard of the Mystic Seaport Museum. Originally launched in 1841, the Morgan is now America's oldest commercial ship still afloat. Check out the rest of the museum to learn more about America's maritime history!
Source: Mystic Seaport Twitter
Looking for things to do in New England, come winter? Head to the more northern part of the region for all your favorite winter sports. Jay Peak is located in Orleans County, Vermont, about five miles south of the Canadian border. The Mountain stands at 3,862 feet above sea level and offers a host of things to do including skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and more!
Source: Jay Peak Resort Twitter
The name says it all! Make your way to the north shore of Massachusetts for some of the best local seafood around. The Clam Box is a local favorite, having been in business for over 80 years. The shack offers a great variety of grab-and-go bites, including fried clams, fresh fish, as well as their famous lobster rolls.
Source: Clambox of Ipswich Instagram
It may not be the happiest story in American history, but it sure is fascinating! The Lizzie Borden House is located in Fall River, Massachusetts and became a well-known crime scene following the murders of Andrew Borden and his wife Abby. Their youngest daughter, Lizzie, is believed to have been responsible, but was acquitted during her trial. Today, the house has been transformed into a museum and bed-and-breakfast. Pro tip: the house is known for its supposed paranormal activities, so if you're not into ghosts, do yourself a favor and stay somewhere else.
Source: Atlas Obscura Official Site
New England is known for its covered bridges - crossings that contain a roof, decking and siding, creating an almost complete enclosure. This was thought to help preserve the structure and allow animals to cross without getting spooked. The first covered bridge built in America was constructed back in 1804. Today, you can find them scattered across New England. Check out the West Cornwall Covered Bridge in Connecticut to get a better feel for this kind of architecture. The landmark spans 172 feet over the Housatonic River and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Source: CT Visit
Every city has their set of special traditions, and Providence is no exception. Every summer, the city of Providence lights bonfires over its rivers. Also known as WaterFire, this event is known as "the most popular work of art created in the capital city's 371-year history." The lightings take place at dusk but try getting there early to get a good spot! Remember, it's New England, so dress prepared for its unpredictable weather.
Source: Water Fire Providence Twitter
Speaking of things to do in Rhode Island, have we mentioned the Roger Williams Park Zoo? The zoo sprawls across 40 acres of beautiful woodlands and is home to 160 different species of animals, including a Komodo dragon, as well as zebras, red pandas, African elephants, Masai giraffes, snow leopards, flamingoes and more! There's also a feeding area, zip ride and train excursion to explore!
Source: RWP Zoo Twitter
Any history buffs around? If so, you won't want to miss out on the next destination on our list! Plymouth rock, that's right, *the* Plymouth Rock, as in the very spot the Pilgrims first set foot on the "New World," has been preserved in the Pilgrim Memorial State Park and is viewed by more than a million visitors each year!
Source: Plymouth Rock Foundation Facebook
If you're looking for things to do in New England during the winter months, think about checking out New Hampshire's famous ice castles. The man-made sculptures use millions of pounds of ice and produce over 12,000 icicles every day. You won't want to miss out on this winter phenomenon!
Source: Ice Castles Twitter
Spend the day on White Mountain with the Clark Family! This destination combines circus-style entertainment, including acrobats and a live show featuring trained black bears, with traditional theme park attractions. Cool off on the Water Blaster Boats, scale the walls of the Old Man Climbing Tower and learn to glide on a Segway! There's truly no shortage of things to do over at Clarks Bears. If you have time to spare, head into town. There are five museums to enjoy on the Victorian Main Street and four Specialty Shops to pick up a souvenir!
Source: Clarks Bears Official Site
Vermont is known to get a little quirky, and this next stop certainly falls in line with that reputation. Dog Mountain refers to a 150-acre property singularly devoted to honoring the healing power of "dogs, nature, love and art." There's even a dog chapel on the property. Now open to the public, the building is lined with photographs of puppy pals now passed. There are also hiking trails, ponds and wildflower meadows for our four-legged friends to explore. Leashes optional!
Source: Dog Mountain Official Site
Time to get a sitter! The Foxwoods Casino & Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut helps bring some of that Vegas spirit to New England. The property also includes a hotel, restaurants, world-renowned spas, golf courses, theaters and more!
Source: Foxwoods CT Twitter
There are certain activities that simply scream "New England." Apple picking is one of them. Champlain Orchards in Shoreham, Vermont, boasts over 220 acres of fruit trees, including over 115 varieties of apples. There are also plums, peaches, nectarines, pears, raspberries, cherries and currents growing around the property. Adults will also enjoy the orchard Cidery, where apples are turned into a number of delicious hard ciders Relax with a drink as you take in some amazing views of the Champlain Valley!
Source: Champ Orch Twitter
38. New England Maple Museum
The New England Maple Museum, located in Pittsford, Vermont, will introduce you and your family to another regional staple: maple sugaring. The process is a deeply rooted tradition throughout New England's farming community. Learn more about the industry and get a sense of how folks harvest pure maple syrup. Don't forget to stop by the gift shop before you go and pick up some local products!
Source: Maple Museum
Take in an aerial view of the White Mountains! Alpine Adventures offers canopy tours of the mountains. The ziplines range from 250 to 1,000 feet and get progressive faster and longer throughout the tour. The experience is perfect for families, beginners and thrill seekers alike!
Source: Alpine Zipline Twitter
Film buffs will appreciate the next stop on our list. This family-owned pizzeria was made famous after a Hollywood executive decided to make the restaurant the setting of her 1988 hit film, "Mystic Pizza." Today, the shop is still up-and-running. Stop on by for a big slice of Connecticut pizza and a little taste of Hollywood!
Source: Mystic Pizza Instagram
Located on Martha's Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts, is the oldest operating platform carousel in America. The structure has been delighting vacationers since 1884. Grab a ring each time you go around the carousel. Anyone who nabs a gold ring gets a free ride!
Source: Atlas Obscura Official
If you've got a thing for architecture, then you'll want to head over to Connecticut's famous glass house. The building was built between 1949 and 1955 by architect Philip Johnson. The house is registered as a National Trust Historic Site and is situated on 49-acres of pastoral landscape. Take a tour to check out the quirky design aesthetic!
Source: PJ Glass House Twitter
Want a taste of the real New England? Check out the annual Chowdafest on the north shore of Massachusetts. Every October, over 30 award winning chefs and restaurants come from all over New England to compete for the title of best chowder, soup and bisque in New England! Come to sample the goods and help select this year's winner!
Source: Ipswich Chowder Fest Facebook
Take a tour of the prestigious Harvard University and get a feel for what those "wicked smaht" students experience on campus! As the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, you'll feel a sense of history across classrooms. Keep an eye out for other gems, including the statue of John Harvard, also known as the "Statue of Three Lies," the Widener Library and Memorial Hall!
Source: Harvard Twitter
Stop by the Jordan Pond House after a day of picnicking, bike riding or hiking around the Acadia National Park! The restaurant and shop are situated on a big, beautiful lawn overlooking the Jordan Pond. Guests have been enjoying the views and dining at the site since 1893!
Source: MND Photo Twitter
The Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts presents the world's largest collection of original Norman Rockwell art. The entire collection features more than 14,000 works by more than 250 artists.
Source: NRockwell Museum Twitter
The Elizabeth Park Rose Garden is recognized as the first municipal rose garden throughout the United States and the third largest rose garden in the country today. Plan for visit between June to October to enjoy over 2.5 acres of roses, 475 beds and eight grass pathways. In total, the garden boasts over 15,000 rose bushes and 800 varieties of old and new roses.
Source: Elizabeth Park CT Twitter
48. Chuckster's Family Fun Park
Looking for an all-inclusive way to spend the day with the kids? Head over to Chuckster's Family Fun Park for mini golf, batting cages, climbing walls, zip lines, laser tag and more! Make sure to stop by the Inside Scoop before you go. The ice cream stand offers homemade gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt and ice cream in dozens of flavors!
Source: Chucksters NH Twitter
Ready to get back in touch with nature? Head over to the Winnipesaukee River Trail. The path contains tons of seasonal wildlife, flowers trees and leads to a pond only accessible by boot or bike.
Source: All Trails
Looking for things to do in New England during the holidays? Look no further than Nestlenook Farm where you and your family can ride a horse-drawn sleigh through the woods. Nestled in the heart of the White Mountains, the farm also offers ice skating, snowshoeing, bonfires and also seasonal specialties!
Source: Nestlenook Farm Facebook
Did you know that moose are the largest of all the deer species? The males can be recognized by their antlers which can spread up to 6 feet from end to end and can weigh up to 1200 pounds! If you want to learn more about these majestic creatures, sign up for a White Mountain moose tour. Their guides will take you out on a night ride to get up-close-and-person with these animals.
Source: NH Moose Tours Facebook
Take a self-guided tour of Boston's "most enchanted street." The 8-block stretch is filled with salons, boutiques and fabulous dining! There's also a lot of history to take in. Unless the mid-1800s, the 2-mile stretch was part of Boston Harbor. The area was eventually filled to become the Back Bay section of the city.
Source: Newberry Street Twitter
Head to the Tanglewood Music Center in western Massachusetts during the summer months to take in an outdoor concert. Every Sunday, beginning at 12 noon, the grounds fill up with food vendors, crafts stations in preparation for the musical performance! Lectures and demonstrations are also offered for adults. If you're looking to move around a bit, think about taking a guided nature walk of the grounds, led by staff from the Mass Audubon!
Source: Tanglewood Twitter
Looking for a little adventure? Think about embarking on a white-water rafting adventure! The Kennebec River offers a variety of rafting trips for all skill levels, ages 8 to 80! Keep an eye out for moose, eagles and other wildlife along the way!
Source: Maine Adventures Twitter
This family-owned farms boasts over 800,000 tulips! Take the family for a stroll through the field and hand-pick your very own bouquet! Pro tip: try to schedule your visit during the peak bloom season, in late April or early May.
Source: Wicked Tulips
Boston's Museum of Science provides tons of sensory exhibits to help you and your family learn more about the natural world! Each season brings new traveling exhibits, so you'll never the same thing twice! The Permanent exhibits revolve around dinosaurs, nanotechnology and everything in between. There's also a 4D theater and Planetarium to explore during your visit!
Source: Museum of Science Twitter
Billings Farm is both a rural heritage museum and working dairy farm! Enjoy the educational and exhibits around the property, explore the carefully restored 1890 farmhouse, sample some of the Billing Farm's famous cheddar and take part in many of the other hands-on activities offered! Don't forget to say hello to the animals, either! The farm contains over 70 Jersey cows, five draft horses, a flock of sheep and tons of chickens running around.
Source: Marcos Stafne Twitter
Did you know that New England has over 200 lighthouses? Be sure to check out the Connecticut's Old Lighthouse, which was built back in 1840. The structure actually helped prevent two attacks by the British Navy, first in 1775 and again in 1814. In 1925, the building became the first museum lighthouse in the nation. Climb up the lighthouse's 29 stone steps for a sea-girdled view of three states!
Source: Stonington Borough
We hope you enjoyed our list of things to do in New England! Be sure to check out Visit New England if you need any more ideas to add to the itinerary.
If you haven't already figured out where to stay during your visit, think about making Great Wolf Lodge home base. Our Fitchburg Lodge has over 400 guest suites for you to choose from.
We also offer a host of activities to explore outside of our indoor water park, including our MagiQuest adventure game, Moon Mini Golf Course, Ten Paw Bowling Alley and more.
There's also a fitness center, spa and "wine-down service" for the adults to explore before bed! Be sure to sign up for our email list to hear about our best deals. We hope to see you soon!