As summer kicks off, it’s time to figure out where to go for a picture-perfect getaway in New England. From Cape Cod to Kennebunkport, here are some of our favorite spots to soak up warm-weather vibes.
Famously known as the summer home of the Bush clan, this coastal town in southern Maine offers much more than a place to catch a glimpse of former presidents. This is a lovely seaside spot where you can enjoy quiet beaches, freshly caught seafood and getting out on the water. Downtown Dock Square is the place to be, where you’ll find outdoor cafés and boutiques showcasing local art to tempt passersby.
Set on 60 secluded acres, the unique Hidden Pond is composed of private cottages and bungalows, providing the ultimate New England hideaway. While it’s close enough to town for shopping and dining, the lush property makes it hard to tear yourself away from its abundant amenities, including walking trails, two pools and a tree-top spa.
Thirty miles from the mainland, this enclave has pristine beaches, high-end shops, world-class restaurants and lots of nature to explore. With a name that literally means “place of peace,” it’s just the spot to unplug. Popular annual gatherings like May’s Nantucket Food & Wine Festival and June’s Nantucket Film Festival attract big-name stars and other luminaries.
Between events and beach time, rest your head at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Wauwinet, a tranquil escape less than nine miles from town that unveiled a new, more modern look in April after a multimillion-dollar renovation. With just 32 rooms and four cottages, two private beaches and Four-Star Topper’s restaurant, this retreat makes it easy to unwind.
Opt to stay across the street at The Anchorage House by Serena & Lily, a redesigned three-bedroom cottage from The Wauwinet and furniture company Serena & Lily that was unveiled on June 1. Dressed in blues and neutrals, the coastal-influenced abode delivers a private beach house experience but with perks like use of a 2019 BMW 760L SUV and access to all of The Wauwinet’s amenities, including bicycles, kayaks and guided tours to Great Point Lighthouse and through ‘Sconset.
This idyllic stretch of coast about 90 minutes from Boston is what you envision of New England: historic lighthouses, national parks, extensive bike trails and, of course, miles of beautiful beaches. With 15 towns to choose from, there is much to see and do.
The historic and elegant Four-Star Chatham Bars Inn is quintessential Cape Cod. With a private beach, a fleet of boats, tennis facilities and a croquet lawn, you can play to your heart’s content. When it’s time for a break, try a locally grown treatment (services might include cranberries from nearby bogs and sea salt harvested along the Cape) at the spa or an elegant New England feast with ocean views at Four-Star STARS.
New this season: the inn will host a series of farm-to-table dinners on its own nearby eight-acre farm. Savor a four-course, family-style dinner complete with wine at these rustic monthly affairs.
Chock-full of history, the Hub’s best feature might just be its walkability, making summer a great time to visit. Stop and smell the flowers in the Public Garden and be charmed by the Swan Boats in the Lagoon. Follow the Freedom Trail to colonial-era sites or wander along the Rose Kennedy Greenway, where pop-up beer gardens and live entertainment bring a festive vibe.
One of Boston’s most luxurious stays, Five-Star Boston Harbor Hotel happens to be well-situated on the waterfront, with stellar views and easy access to many of the city’s attractions. The property’s Summer in the City entertainment series, which runs June through August, is a major bonus. Enjoy the sunset, free movies and live music on the deck. Make an evening of it with fresh seafood from Rowes Wharf Sea Grille and a glass of vino from the hotel’s excellent cellar.
Each summer, New York City residents practically relocate to the Hamptons, where high-end restaurants, boutiques, art galleries and wineries meet windswept dunes, long stretches of sand and celebrity sightings. Look out for annual soirees like Polo Hamptons, hosted this year by model Christie Brinkley.
When you head to the Hamptons, Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa is the place to stay. Thanks to its gorgeous waterfront location, unique ocean-fed Olympic-sized indoor seawater pool and enormous 32,000-square-foot Seawater Spa with its Finnish rock saunas and Russian steam rooms, you’ll feel pampered. Tip: Check out one of the newly renovated Beach Cottages.
Famous for its Gilded Age mansions, this harbor town is also home to picturesque beaches, seaside restaurants, art galleries and plenty of nightlife. The historic city comes alive during the summer when it plays host to a number of big-name events, such as Newport Regatta in July and Newport Jazz Festival in August.
To bask in some peace and quiet during your summer getaway, check into the postcard-worthy Castle Hill Inn. Perched on its own private peninsula above Narragansett Bay, the Four-Star hotel occupies a 19th-century mansion (the former home of Harvard marine biologist Alexander Agassiz) and 40 sprawling acres. It invites you to partake in bike rides, afternoon tea, clambakes and sunset sails.
This 100-square-mile island just off the coast of Cape Cod makes for a delightful getaway. The Vineyard (as its commonly known) attracts native New Englanders each summer with its small towns (each with its own personality), gorgeous beaches and a plethora of activities from water sports to festivals. Don’t miss local events like the 157th annual Martha’s Vineyard Livestock Show and Fair (August 15 to 18) or Grand Illumination Night (August 14) in Oak Bluffs, when all of the campground’s tiny gingerbread cottages are lit up with Chinese lanterns.
Step back in time while staying the heart of the action at The Charlotte Inn, a Four-Star retreat in Edgartown. Featuring stunning landscaped grounds, period antiques and fine art, the 19th-century property is an adults-only, no-cell-phones-in-public-places haven, which keeps things serene. The romantic inn holds all sorts of sitting rooms and nooks that will make you want to sit a while, read a book, sip tea and dream away the afternoon.