Charming Coastal Towns in New England

New England is famous for its coastal towns, each brimming with unique charm and beauty. The coastal towns in New England are a haven for travelers looking for scenic landscapes, historic lighthouses, quaint villages, and inviting beaches.

Experience the charm of coastal New England. If you are a history lover, there is nothing better than exploring the historic lighthouses in New England. For beach lovers, a relaxing tour of New England beaches is one of the best things you can do. This guide will help you plan an easy, relaxing tour of charming coastal towns in New England.

For those seeking a DIY experience, here are some ideas for your tour:

Day 1: Arrival in Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic, Connecticut, is the perfect starting point for your tour of the coastal towns in New England. Known for its maritime history and charming downtown area, Mystic offers a delightful mix of attractions and activities.

Things to Do in Mystic

  • Mystic Seaport Museum: Explore one of the largest maritime museums featuring historic ships, a recreated 19th-century seafaring village, and fascinating exhibits.
  • Mystic Aquarium: Discover marine life up close, including beluga whales, sea lions, and penguins.
  • Downtown Mystic: Stroll through the streets with unique shops, cafes, and restaurants. Don’t miss the iconic Mystic Pizza, made famous by the 1988 film.

Day 2: Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island, is a treasure trove of Gilded Age mansions, scenic coastal views, and a vibrant cultural scene. It is one of the most charming coastal towns in New England.

Things to Do in Newport

  • The Breakers: Tour the grandest of Newport’s Gilded Age mansions, once the summer home of the Vanderbilt family.
  • Cliff Walk: Take a leisurely walk along this 3.5-mile path that offers stunning ocean views and passes by several historic mansions.
  • Newport Harbor: Enjoy a sunset cruise or dine at one of the waterfront restaurants to savor fresh seafood and views.

Day 3: Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plymouth, Massachusetts, has a lot of historical importance as the Pilgrims’ landing site in 1620. It’s a town rich in history and aesthetics.

Things to Do in Plymouth

  • Plimoth Patuxet Museums: Explore this living history museum that includes a recreation of the 17th-century English village and the Wampanoag Homesite.
  • Plymouth Rock: Visit the iconic rock where the Pilgrims are believed to have landed.
  • Mayflower II: Check out the replica of the Mayflower, which brought the Pilgrims to the New World.

Day 4: Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts

Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts, offer ideal New England coastal charm with their fishing legacy, art galleries, and stunning seaside views.

Things to Do in Rockport and Gloucester

  • Motif No. 1: Visit Rockport’s iconic red fishing shack, one of the most painted buildings in America.
  • Bearskin Neck: Stroll through Rockport’s historic district, which is filled with galleries, shops, and restaurants.
  • Gloucester Harbor: Explore this historic fishing port, take a whale-watching tour, or visit the Fishermen’s Memorial.
  • Whale Watch: Book with Cape Anne Whale Watch, a highly recommended whale watch experience which features the fastest boats in the area.

Day 5: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, combines historic charm with a vibrant arts and dining scene, making it a must-visit coastal town in New England.

Things to Do in Portsmouth

  • Strawbery Banke Museum: Wander through this outdoor history museum, which includes restored homes and gardens from four centuries.
  • Market Square: Enjoy the bustling atmosphere of downtown Portsmouth, with its boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants.
  • Prescott Park: Relax in this waterfront park, featuring beautiful gardens and seasonal outdoor performances.

Day 6: Kennebunkport, Maine

Kennebunkport, Maine, is renowned for its charming coastal scenery, historic homes, and maritime heritage. It’s one of the most beautiful coastal towns in New England.

Things to Do in Kennebunkport

  • Walker’s Point: Drive by the summer home of the Bush family and take in the stunning coastal views.
  • Dock Square: Explore the heart of Kennebunkport, with its quaint shops, galleries, and restaurants.
  • Kennebunk Beach: Spend a relaxing afternoon at this beautiful beach, perfect for sunbathing and swimming.

Day 7: Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine, offers a perfect blend of historic charm and modern amenities, making it a highlight of any tour of the coastal towns in New England.

Things to Do in Portland

  • Old Port: Wander through this historic waterfront district famous for its cobblestone streets, street shops, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Portland Head Light: Visit one of the most photographed lighthouses in New England, located in Fort Williams Park.
  • Casco Bay: Take a cruise or ferry ride to explore the Casco Bay Islands.
  • Must do: Book dinner or brunch at Central Provisions. You’ll thank us later : )

Lighthouses in New England

One of the most iconic features of the coastal towns in New England is their historic lighthouses. These structures offer stunning photo opportunities and provide a glimpse into the region’s maritime history. Some must-visit lighthouses include:

  • Portland Head Light in Maine: One of the oldest lighthouses in the United States.
  • Nubble Light in York, Maine: Situated on a small rocky island, offering stunning views from the mainland.
  • Chatham Light in Massachusetts: Overlooking the treacherous Chatham Bars, this lighthouse has been guiding sailors since 1808.

Affordable Trips to New England

Traveling through the coastal towns in New England can be surprisingly affordable. With a variety of lodging options, from charming B&Bs to budget-friendly hotels and numerous free or low-cost activities like beach outings, lighthouse visits, and scenic walks, you can enjoy a fantastic trip without breaking the bank.

Planning Your Tour to New England Beaches

When planning your tour to New England beaches and coastal towns, consider the best times to visit. Summer offers warm weather and bustling activity, while autumn brings spectacular foliage and a more relaxed pace. New England Tours can create well-researched plans to meet your schedule and interests to have the best trip.

Tips for Having a Great Time At The Coastal Towns In New England

  • Pack Comfortable Shoes: With plenty of walking and exploring to do, comfortable footwear is essential.
  • Bring a Jacket: Coastal towns can be breezy, especially in the evenings.
  • Book Early: Coastal New England is a popular destination, so early reservations are recommended.
  • Explore Local Cuisine: Don’t miss out on local specialties like clam chowder, lobster rolls, and fresh seafood.
  • Respect the Environment: Respect local wildlife and plant life.


Exploring the coastal towns in New England is a journey filled with scenic beauty, historic charm, and delightful experiences. Each town offers something unique, from Mystic’s maritime history to Newport’s Gilded Age splendor. Uncover the timeless allure of New England’s coastal towns, and book with us if you want a perfect guided tour you’ll never forget.