Mystic is a village and census-designated place in Groton and Stonington, Connecticut, United States. Historically, Mystic was a significant Connecticut seaport

See the Best of New England in a Week

Throughout New England – consisting of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine – visitors will find more than enough activities, entertainment and food to fill out a full week’s itinerary. Of course, narrowing down your choices may be quite the challenge.

We’ve picked some of our favorite New England destinations to make planning your road trip a little easier. Wherever your starting point, you can use the AAA mobile app to map out the perfect route.

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Dive into Mystic, Conn.

Take a deep dive into America’s seafaring past at the Mystic Seaport Museum (pictured above). Check out the artifacts in the formal exhibit halls, wander the streets of a recreated New England coastal village, see historic boats like the Charles W. Morgan whale ship, tour a working shipyard and hear the stories of those who made their living from the sea. Of course, no visit to Mystic complete without your own excursion on the water. Whether it’s a river cruise on the 1908 steamboat Sabino, a sail on the Breck Marshall–a 20-foot Crosby catboat, or some time on a pedal boat, you can enjoy the sea air as you travel through the water.

Providence is the capital and most populous city in Rhode Island. Downtown Providence has numerous 19th-century mercantile buildings in the Federal and Victorian architectural styles. Providence is known for its nationally renowned restuarants,great museums, and galleries

Head to Providence, R.I., for bites and sites

Get a well-rounded taste of Providence on a food tour. During Providence Tour Company’s Crime and Cuisine on Federal Hill tour, you’ll sample some of the city’s notable Italian cuisine from such restaurants as Roma and Trattoria Appia. Along the way, you’ll hear the tales of how one mayor went after a mob boss, the corruption that shook the state’s banking system and how the city police cracked down on an illegal dice game. You’ll walk away with satisfied taste buds, a bit of history and a special memento.

Make your way to Worcester, Mass.

New England’s second largest city, Worcester offers plenty of outdoor recreation, including Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary. This is a great place to get outside and stretch your legs. There are 5 miles of trails, ranging from 0.1 to 1.7 miles in length. Along the way, you can watch for a variety of wildlife, including wild turkeys, great-horned owls, green herons, turtles, butterflies and much more. There’s also a nature center, where you can learn more about the area and its inhabitants.

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Set out for Concord, N. H.

One of the best ways to explore this capital city is by taking the Historic Walking Tour. This self-guided tour takes approximately 1.5 hours and covers 2 miles. Prominent stops include the New Hampshire State House, the JFK Apartments and the New Hampshire State Library. Because you take the tour at your own pace, you can pop into the many boutiques, galleries and shops throughout downtown as you go along. When it’s time to refuel, choose one of downtown’s restaurants to sample a bit of local flavor.

Visit Vermont’s only national park

Don’t drive past Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vt. Here, you can learn about the families that called this area home, and tour some of the buildings they resided in. For instance, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion is open for tours each May through October, and the Belvedere – which includes a bowling alley and fallout shelter – is open for select guided tours. Outside, you can walk the gardens, hike more than 20 miles of trails or participate in one of the many programs and special events held each year. 

Portland Head Light is a historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The light station sits on a head of land at the entrance of the primary shipping channel into Portland Harbor, which is within Casco Bay in the Gulf of Maine. Completed in 1791, it is the oldest lighthouse in Maine

Relax in Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Check out the collection of lighthouses in Cape Elizabeth. These include Maine’s oldest lighthouse, Portland Head Light, Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse and Two Lights (twin lighthouses, including Cape Elizabeth Light). You’ll also find two state parks and a municipal park where you can hike, picnic and swim the day away. Of course, you can indulge your love of seafood, especially lobster, at the many local restaurants. You’ll find plenty of cozy accommodations in and around the town.

New England is an ideal choice for any road trip, so feel free to use this itinerary as a guide to crafting a journey that suits your interests. Each destination features a wealth of accommodations, from familiar brands to local inns and plenty of private rentals, so you can find exactly the right spot to lay your head at night. When all is said and done, you’re sure to have great memories to talk about on the ride back home. 

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