Top 5 New England Winter Destinations for 2023

Top 5 New England Winter Destinations for 2023

Winter woolies, hot cocoa, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire…it’s that time of year again. With snow season officially upon us, we are sharing our top 5 New England winter destinations for 2023. From the hip city of Burlington, Vermont, to the sensational slopes of North Conway, New Hampshire, there’s something for everyone.

1) Newport, Rhode Island

When you think of New England winter destinations, Newport, Rhode Island may not jump to the top of your mind. Traditionally more of a summer destination, the seaside town is known for its seafood restaurants, beaches, and cliff walks. However, we can think of copious reasons as to why Newport is the perfect winter getaway. The cozy coffee shops, indoor mansion tours, and beautiful sea views on a crisp winter afternoon are just some of Newport’s gems. Being able to enjoy all of this without the crowded streets and long wait times is the cherry on top!

A trip to Newport is not complete without a tour of the famous Gilded Age mansions lining its roads. Breakers is the most popular of the mansions and offers visitors an insight into the opulent lives of the Gilded Age’s wealthiest families. If you are keen to learn more about this historical time period, we recommend a scenic self-guided driving tour. Typically, you begin your drive at the Visitor Center on the beautiful Bellevue Avenue. This is followed by a tour of the Gilded Age mansions, and continues along Ocean Drive, which features celebrity homes and stunning seaside views.

2) Burlington, Vermont

Enjoy a relaxing weekend getaway to the hip and trendy city of Burlington, Vermont. The city’s idyllic Church Street is lined with quaint shops, quality restaurants, and charming cafes (including our personal favorite – New Moon Cafe). The award-winning Farmhouse Tap & Grill is a popular Burlington gastropub with an extensive list of draught beers and dishes featuring the best of Vermont’s small farms. Meanwhile, Leunig’s Bistro & Cafe, a favorite amongst locals, boasts a menu that will satiate you morning, noon, and night. Don’t forget to try the steak frites (you can thank us later!). If live music is your thing, head to ArtsRiot in the South End district. The renovated warehouse contains art galleries, performance space, and plenty of great food.

Art lovers will revel in the colorful Fleming Museum of Art. The museum is located at the University of Vermont where visitors can study a collection of more than 25,000 art and artifacts ‘from the dawn of civilization to the present time’ spanning across all continents. Meanwhile chocolate lovers (I mean who isn’t?) can watch talented chocolatiers working their magic from the viewing area of Lake Champlain Chocolates. There are also chocolate tasting classes and free chocolate bar making courses.

3) North Conway, New Hampshire

Sitting snugly amongst the beautiful White Mountains, North Conway is an area ripe with some of the best slopes in New England. Cranmore Mountain Resort has slopes suitable for all ages and comfort zones, Attitash Mountain Resort boasts over 68 ski trails and 11 running ski lifts, and Wildcat Mountain offers some of the most spectacular views of Mount Washington and the Tuckerman Ravine.

If you would prefer to stay warm indoors, North Conway has you covered. Start your morning off right with a trip to the Met Coffeehouse. Their Western Breakfast Lavash which consists of fresh flatbread topped with shredded mozzarella, scrambled eggs, onions, and baked ham is a must. Then, head to the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen for a day of creativity. The center provides art classes, workshops, and exhibits…the perfect way to pass a cold afternoon.

4) Stowe, Vermont

The picture-perfect town of Stowe is every Instagrammer’s dream. Surrounded by sprawling woodland which sparkles in the snow, you are going to want to wrap up in your winter woolies and get the camera out. Stowe’s Main Street is like something straight out of a postcard. There are copious gift stores and great eateries, while the Stowe Visitor Center is a must visit. Although ice cream may not be at top of mind in the wintertime, we recommend taking a trip to Ben & Jerry’s original location. You can tour the factory and grab an ice cream at the flagship store. Don’t forget to check out the flavor graveyard! Here you will find tombstones marking every failed flavor accompanied by a witty rhyme detailing their demise.

If you are looking for something more thrilling, there are also a number of outdoor winter activities to enjoy. Spend an afternoon reveling in stunning panoramic views on a gondola sky ride at the Stowe Mountain Resort. Dust off your skates and head to the public outdoor rink that sits in the heart of Spruce Peak Village. Or, take a 25-mile journey through the Mount Mansfield State Forest with Snowmobile Vermont. The options are endless!

5) Bethel, Maine

Often referred to as the ‘jewel of Oxford County’, the town of Bethel doubles as the perfect place for a peaceful getaway or an action-packed trip. If you are itching to hit the slopes, then you will be thrilled to learn that some of the best ski slopes in Maine can be found nearby. Sunday River is a popular Maine ski resort consisting of eight interconnected mountain peaks. The peaks are consistently covered by legendary Sunday River snow making it a strong ski choice all season long. Other options include Sugarloaf, with breathtaking views from the 4,327’ summit, and Mt. Abram.

Grafton Notch State Park offers a more relaxed outdoor experience. The beautiful parkland provides visitors with the opportunity to backcountry hike along part of the Appalachian Trail. Alternatively, you can take a shorter walk along the Table Rock Trail. This signposted walk guides hikers to stunning gorges and waterfalls.

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