Bob Barney: I grew up in the Housatonic Valley of Ct. The road trip from Boardman's Bridge to Canaan is beautiful- year round!
Dreaming of a New England road trip? From back roads and small towns to coastal spots, these are the best summer road trips in New England.
Tracey Minkin •
Dreaming about a New England road trip? This region was practically made for summer road trips. We’ve got great back roads, fascinating small towns, endless natural splendor, and the ability to hit several states in one day (if that’s your thing). When the time is right, grab your sunglasses, buckle up, and check out these ten tremendous rambles that we think qualify as the best summer road trips in New England.
Get ready for a summer road trip! Here are the 10 Best Summer Road Trips in New England.
Flickr/MA Office of Tourism
10 Best Summer Road Trips in New England
Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway
This New England road trip will have you going to go from Mexico to Madrid, Maine-style, on ME routes 17 and 4 as they traverse the pristine lakes and mountains of this wild section of northern New England. Don’t miss the panorama at the Height of Land pullout, and keep an eye peeled the whole way for moose, bear, and bobcats.
Distance: 50 miles.
Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, Maine. | 10 Best Summer Road Trips in New England
Mount Desert Island Loop
Acadia National Park, Maine
Make charming Bar Harbor your base, and take a relaxed circumnavigation of Acadia National Parkvia the Mount Desert Island Loop Road. This rugged, spectacular island is the second-largest in the New England. Bring a picnic, and make time for the Hulls Cove Visitors Center.
Distance: 27 miles round-trip.
Brown’s Lobster Pound in Seabrook, New Hampshire. | 10 Best Summer Road Trips in New England
Here’s a short, summer delight of a New England road trip—take in the length of the New Hampshire coastline, from Seabrook Beach to Portsmouth in a breezy half-day. It’s only 18 miles, but full of great places to stop, including funky Hampton Beach, Fort Constitution, and charming New Castle, home of the elegant Wentworth by the Sea Hotel.
Distance: 18 miles.
Green Mountain Ribbon
Vermont’s Route 100 is a road-tripper’s dream: long, straight, and flanked the entire way by the beautiful Green Mountains. While the road runs the entire north-south length of the state, a great section begins in Ludlow and ends in Waterbury. Must-stop: the charming villages of neighboring Warren and Waitsfield.
Distance: 90 miles.
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With this New England road trip, you’ll think you’re in the Alps, as VT108 climbs steeply from Stowetoward Smugglers’ Notch in the Green Mountains, tightening into a blacktop corkscrew past boulders and cliffs. Get ready to have your breath taken, and Instagram all those photos on the other side, over a meal in tiny Jeffersonville.
Distance: 18 miles.
The Bridge of Flowers can be found along the Mohawk Trail in Massachusetts. | 10 Best Summer Road Trips in New England
Famous at foliage time, but equally splendid in the summer, this historic scenic highway winds along northern Massachusetts via MA2, among the rolling hills of the Berkshires, combining art museums like Mass MoCA with classic roadside Americana (like the Shelburne Fall “Big Indian”) and great vistas.
Distance: 63 miles.
On this New England road trip, following Route 7 along the Housatonic River from New Milford to Canaan reveals the green beauty of Western Connecticut. There’s a covered bridge and waterfalls.
Distance: 35 miles.
The Quiet Corner
Travel back in history for bucolic tranquility on quiet CT169 from Old Norwich to Woodstock, meandering past colonial homesteads and stone walls, farmers’ fields, and quaint town greens.
Distance: 40 miles.