Few places are home to such jaw-dropping beauty as that which is found in New England in the northeastern United States. Many people have commented that the region practically seems to have been made for road trips. By car, you have the chance to hit up numerous states in one day, pass through charming traditional villages and towns and take in some incredible natural sights from the backroads.
New England is the closest place in the mainland United States to Europe, and the region has indeed been popular among Europeans as a popular road trip destination. All you need is an air ticket, a rented car and permission to enter the country through the ESTA visa waiver scheme and you are ready to set off! If you would like more info on how to apply for the scheme, take a look at this helpful ESTA guide to see whether you qualify.
Once you have everything organized, it is time to put together a road trip itinerary. With so many great routes to choose from, we thought that we would provide you with a few of our personal favourites. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!
- Old King’s Highway, Massachusetts
Heading out along the Old King’s Highway from Cape Cod bay will take you on a winding route through some of America’s most historic small towns and villages. This region of Massachusetts was among the first to be settled by Europeans, and the history of their way of living is still there for all to see. Passing through villages hundreds of years old, such as Barnstaple, Bourne, Brewster, Sandwich, Yarmouth, Dennis and Orleans, you will come across buildings that bear the unmistakable hallmarks of European architectural style.
- Route 100, Vermont
Known colloquially as Scenic Route 100, this road is the tiny state of Vermont’s longest highway. It meanders through the verdant Green Mountains as well as through some charmingly typical Vermont villages. The route, which traverses the state from north to south, affords road-trippers with the chance to take part in a wide range of recreational activities, as well as a plethora of excellent accommodation and gastronomic options.
- Mount Desert Island Loop Road, Maine
The best way to see the magnificent Arcadia National Park is from behind the wheel. Fortunately, this is made possible by a road known as the Mount Desert Island Loop Road. The trip is only 21 miles long, but it will take you past some of the most scenic landscape that you will find anywhere. Think lush pine forests, crystalline lakes and soaring mountain peaks.
- Mohawk Trail, Massachusetts
Starting at Williamstown and traversing some of the most stunning landscape in Berkshire county, this road trip is not to be missed when in Massachusetts. As you move east along Route 2, you will follow in the footsteps of a trail that was used by many a pilgrim and pioneer as they made their way west to colonize new lands. The road itself was one of America’s first paved highways, sticking close to the Cold River and winding its way quite dramatically up and down through the valley.
- Housatonic River Valley, Connecticut
Cutting through Connecticut’s heavily wooden north-western corner, the Housatonic River Valley Scenic Route offers the best of New England in any season. In spring and summer the abundance of verdant foliage makes for a spectacular drive. The same can be said when the leaves start to redden in fall when a quick hike up Cobble Mountain will confer an idyllic autumnal sensation on all who come.
- Route 102, Rhode Island
Stretching from North Smithfield past the attractive towns of Burrillville, Glocester and Scituate, this route is the best way to see Rhode Island in our opinion. Embracing the best of small-town America, the route then passes through the forest and on to Foster and before moving on to end in the incredibly picturesque town of Wickford. The route is a healthy 44 miles long, and it is a great choice no matter what time of the year.
The road trips above are some of the best ways to take in the real heart and soul of beautiful New England. If you rent a car, they are simple and easy to follow and offer a cost-effective way of getting a feel for a part of America that has long been lauded for its shape-shifting magnificence as the colors change profoundly with the passing of the seasons.