New England is one of the greatest areas in the entire world to live when it comes to weekend getaways. We’ve got culture, great sports teams, history and everything is within a few hours drive. However there is this little thing called winter that comes around a few months out of the year and
rains snows on your parade.
As someone who gets hit hard with the winter blues, it’s easy to curl up in a ball and Netflix the winter away. But I’ve learned in the last couple years, that it doesn’t have to be that way! Winter doesn’t have to stop you from taking day trips and weekend getaways around New England. In fact, sometimes the winter can enhance these experiences.
Need some suggestions for where to go this winter? You’ve come to the right place! I’ve decided to highlight a few of the great towns worth visiting this winter.
I was lucky enough to travel through Portland last year on my way up to Northern Maine with my boyfriend. As a town that is new on my radar, I’m still excited to see what else this town has to offer.
The beer scene in Portland is what brought us there initially. In the few hours that we were there, we visited Liquid Riot, Allagash Brewing Company and Foundation Brewing Company. Each location had their own personality, and brought something new to the table.
Liquid Riot Bottling Company is actually known as much for their spirits as they are known for their beers. We also showed up around lunch hour and tried some of the funky and unique food items that have on their food menu. If you’re a foodie, you’ll enjoy the creative options they offer. We didn’t have a chance to try any of their spirits but we took several 4-packs of their beers to go because we loved them so much!
Our next stop on the list was Allagash Brewing Company. This is a much bigger name brewer and you could tell the second you walked in. Every person gets a free beer tasting upon entry and if you make friends with the bartenders enough, they’ll give you free tastes of their more lesser known brews. The vibe was inviting and everyone there was more than friendly. I loved that they created a small brewery vibe in a large brewing company location.
Right across the street, you’ll find three more small breweries. We unfortunately only had time to stop at one, and chose to grab a beer at Foundation Brewing Company. With a large variety of beers on tap, it’ll be hard to find something you don’t like.
ProTip: Don’t go to Foundation hungry because they only offer bags of chips for snacks!
Portland has so much more to offer than just the beer scene and I can’t wait to explore it more in the future! The lighthouses in the region alone are reason to head up that direction. Lighthouses are just as picturesque in the winter as they are in the summer!
Mt. Snow, Vermont
Mt. Snow is a more recent discovery to me as well. I’m not a skier or snowboarder so I’d never been tempted to go up there before. However a friend of mine has a family condo up there and we’ve turned it into a frequent destination now!
If you’re feeling adventurous but not ready to hit the slopes, there is still plenty for you to do. Mount Snow’s website boasts cross country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, sleigh rides and snowshoeing. The mountain even has an area for tubing with a convenient “Magic Carpet” to bring you back up to the top.
Make sure to check out their calendar of events because they frequently host events worth attending whether you are a snow sports enthusiast or not. Last year we made it up for a snowy Reggaefest and had a blast drinking beer, listening to reggae music and watching the skiers and snowboarders fly down the mountain.
For dinner and nightlife, you’ll find plenty of places to go. The Last Chair has a wide selection of beer, great food and an entire arcade inside! If you’re looking for more of a local scene, Dover Bar and Grill or The Saloon will hit the spot. And for some live music, I’d suggest the Snow Barn or One More Time Billiards Parlor!
ProTip: Grab a cinnamon roll from Sticky Fingers or a big hearty breakfast from Dots of Dover to help cure your hangover!
Newport is typically considered a summer destination but there are plenty of reasons to go in the winter as well. Reason Number 1: Avoiding crowds! Shops and restaurants get inundated in the summer so you’ll be able to explore with a little more freedom and breathing room this time of year!
Now during the Christmas season, three of the Newport Mansions are remaining open for visiting. Since they will be decked out in a rich array of Christmas decorations, it’ll be worth a visit even if you’ve already visited them in the past.
Unfortunately, due to my delay in getting this post out, the Christmas season will pretty much be over, but make note of this for next holiday season! I’ll get better at this someday, I promise 🙂
Newport is also host to a Winter Festival taking place February 16th-25th through the town and the surrounding county. The website boasts events ranging from a food and drink competitions, plenty of live music, winter beach activities, family-friendly activities, ice sculptures and more!
But wait, there’s more weekend getaways!
These are only a few of the many options for weekend getaways. I”m personally not a skier or snowboarder so I can’t speak on the large variety of mountains to visit in New England, but if you’re looking for some other options, I’d be happy to help you out in planning your visits! Below is a list of some other New England activities for you to consider!
- Brewery Hop in Burlington, Vermont
- Rent Snowmobiles in Upstate Maine
- Draw out the Christmas vibes at the Yankee Candle Flagship store in Deerfield, MA
- Wander the scenic downtown of Stowe, VT
- Glamping in the Berkshires of Massachusetts
- Extreme Tubing at Nashoba Valley Tubing Park
- Sip wine by the fire of Connecticut Wineries
- Explore the Ice Castles in Lincoln, NH
I will not let the winter blues get me this year! Not when there is this much to see and do in the cold New England months! If you’d like some long weekend tips, check out my previous blog post “The Art of the Long Weekend.”
Comment below with any additional suggestions for New England Winter Getaways! I’d love to hear your experiences!
Merry Christmas everyone!
Stay Wild and Adventure on!