When to Go to New England
Depending on where you go in New England—Maine, Vermont or New Hampshire— determines the best times to visit. Summer—or more specifically, July 4 through Labor Day— is the peak travel season, especially on the coast. If you head up to Portland, Maine or Portsmouth, New Hampshire, you’ll be traveling alongside of tourists from around the world who are bouncing between the many sights New England has to offer. Check out cheapflights.com for some flight options. If you choose to come in the Fall (late September to mid October), you’ll be rewarded with fall foliage and smaller crowds compared to Summer. With this in mind, if you’re traveling to New England, the first thing you should understand (and embrace) is that New England is a four-season destination. Although Spring is often referred to as “mud season,” the other seasons have distinct colors, temperatures and even cultures. Since our business is focused on renting VW camper vans in New England, we tend to focus on the Summer and early Fall; however, there’s a lot to see and do in the winter if you’re willing to brave potential storms and cold temperatures.
When you travel to New England, you typically want to bring layers of clothing; even in the Summer. Since the best sights in New England are outdoors and often off a trail, near water or on the coast, you’ll want to bring some solid walking or hiking shoes to ensure you have adequate grip on slippery rocks or on primitive trails. However, a small investment in solid footwear is a small price to pay for the many scenic destinations you’ll encounter if you make the effort to seek out the many lighthouses, tall trees, beaches, rivers, blueberry patches and historic structures that cover New England. If you have enough time and you’re in one of our VW camper vans, you don’t want to miss Acadia National Park.
This national park neighbors Bar Harbor and is worth the drive. Don’t forget to reserve your campsite well before your visit and if time allows, plan on bicycling the carriage trail and taking some hikes within the park. If you’re headed to Acadia National Park, you won’t want to miss Portland, Maine, Maine’s biggest city. Although it’s not quite as sophisticated as its West Coast sister city in Oregon, Portland, Maine packs a punch when it comes to brew pubs, historic neighborhoods and restaurants.
Things Not to Miss in New England
- Lighthouses in Maine and New Hamsphire
- The Kangamangus Highway in New Hampshire–and of course the White Mountains
- Exploring Acadia National Park
- Fall leaves
- Lobster and seafood
- Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Brew pubs all over New England (see our brewpub post about with our list of favorites)
- The Portland Museum of Art
- Burlington, Vermont and the many things to do in the surrounding area