Your Guide to a Romantic New England Honeymoon

These six states steeped in historic charm and beloved for both their mountain peaks and pretty coastlines make an ideal destination for couples eager to taste the creamy clam chowder, briny oysters and the world's freshest lobster chased by a splash of sea spray. Also on offer: snug mountain towns criss-crossed by rivers topped by wooden bridges and bathed in the aroma of pine. Yes, New England has it all, a playground for all seasons and pursuits — from sailing to skiing to hiking to antiquing — a celebration of Americana at it's finest.

By: 
Donna Heiderstadt

  • Nantucket

    Nantucket's White Elephant

    To really appreciate New Englanders’ fascination with the sea, spend a few days on Nantucket. This postcard-perfect island off the Massachusetts coast is all about the rough and rollicking Atlantic—biking to it, picnicking beside it, sailing on it and fishing and clamming from it. There’s even a museum devoted to its famed whaling past. Other musts during your stay: enjoying a traditional clambake, sampling chocolate-covered local cranberries from Nantucket Chocolatier and snuggling in a harbor-view room at the historic White Elephant (room rates start at $195 a night; whiteelephanthotel.com).

    Photo Credit: White Elephant Hotel

  • Over-looking Stowe Vermont

    Over-looking Stowe Vermont

    Skiing down blackdiamond runs or hiking up wildflower-lined trails are just two ways to get vertical at Vermont's celebrated ski areas. Winter may be prime time to visit but summer (for ziplinning and mountain biking) and fall (for hiking and leaf peeping) are also full of fun. Check out Stowe for its charming downtown and sleek resort spas, Sugarbrush for its quaint wooden bridges and guided backcountry adventures and Killington for its great golf courses and music and wine festivals. 

    Photo Credit: Mount Snow Resort

  • The Mandarin Oriental in Boston

    The Mandarin Oriental in Boston

    Massachusetts may be where 1775’s “shot heard ‘round the world” was fired, but historic Boston entered the 21st century with some wicked-cool contemporary hotels, bars and restaurants. Make the Mandarin Oriental, Boston your base to enjoy top-notch service, a superb spa and luxurious rooms with deep soaking tubs (room rates start at $395 a night; mandarinoriental.com).  

    Photo Credit: Mandarin Oriental, Boston 

  • Boston

    Boston's Liberty Hotel

    Channel a quirky past-meets-present vibe at the Clink bar at The Liberty Hotel, housed in a historic jail, where you can toast among mug shots of celebrity felons (yes, Lindsay Lohan is there). Chase that with a dinner at L’Espalier, veteran Chef Frank McClelland’s top-rated seasonal eatery (Jonah crab salad, slow-poached Nova Scotia halibut) now located in a chic Back Bay space.

    Photo Credit: The Liberty Hotel 

  • The Majestic Chanler: Newport, Rhode Island

    The Majestic Chanler: Newport, Rhode Island

    Gilded Age mansions—built by the Vanderbilts, Astors and Dukes—line one side and white-capped waves crash against rocks on the other. That’s the panoramic magic of Cliff Walk, the 3.5-mile (one way) seaside trail in Newport, Rhode Island. While it starts out fairly flat and easy from the northern end, where you’ll be joined by dozens of locals walking all sizes and breeds of dogs, the terrain gets a bit treacherous about two-thirds of the way along. Wear the right shoes and work up a hearty appetite.

    Photo Credit: The Chanler 

  • Gorgeous Sea-view Rooms at the Chanler

    Gorgeous Sea-view Rooms at the Chanler

    There’s an amazing meal and a ridiculously romantic bed waiting at The Chanler at Cliff Walk, a circa-1873 mansion-turned-boutique-hotel with 20 elaborately decorated rooms. At the hotel’s Spiced Pear restaurant, you can sip a pear-inspired specialty cocktail and share bites of the creative seasonal menu while enjoying the ocean view (room rates start at $359 a night and include breakfast and transfers; thechanler.com)

    Photo Credit: The Chanler 

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  • Inside the rustic Hidden Pond

    Inside the rustic Hidden Pond

    If you love the simple pleasures of summer camp—nature hikes, painting classes and bonfires—but desire a romantic hideaway in the woods that offers pampering, check out Hidden Pond, set about a mile from the sunny beach in Kennebunkport, Maine. Two recent additions have made this haven even more honeymoonperfect: the one-bedroom Bungalow Cottages with soaring ceilings and rustic elegance, and Boston-based James Beard Award-winner Ken Oringer’s farm-to-table eatery Earth, where the lobster and mussel paella is heavenly (room rates start at $379 a night and include breakfast and most activites; hiddenpondmaine.com).

    Photo Credit: Trent Bell