The Northeastern region of the US is best known for the Big Apple. But with Canada at its northern border and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, this region is also a great spot for those who want to enjoy the great outdoors. Here are the most highly rated destinations in this region for enjoying natural beauty, according to travelers from all over the world.
Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine
Marvel at the rocky mountains meeting the pastel-blue Atlantic Coast
Bar Harbor , located in Maine, is a town serving as a gateway to the mountains and cliffs of the nearby Acadia National Park. The park itself spans 47,000 acres on Maine's Mount Desert Island and offers stunning views of rocky mountains covered in pines and the Atlantic Coast. You'll find lots of outdoorsy activities here, with around 120 miles of hiking trails throughout. Some trails are more difficult than others, some featuring makeshift iron bar stairs soldered onto sides of boulders. But there are also plenty of more relaxed, family-friendly hikes along the coastline. After a long day of hiking, head back to the Bar Harbor Grand Hotel, which is just over a mile from Acadia National Park.
Mount Mansfield State Forest, Stowe, Vermont
Climb above the treeline for a stunning view of the valley
Stowe is a small town in northern Vermont overlooking Mount Mansfield State Forest. Thanks to this mountainous landscape—which is 20 minutes by car from Stowe and stretches over 44,444 acres—this area is popular year-round. Come here in the winter for the ski slopes, or in the summer to enjoy its many hiking trails. There are 11 moderate hiking trails in Mount Mansfield State Forest, suitable for all age groups and abilities. Climb above the treeline to get great views of the valley. Before setting off, rest up at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.
Blue Hills Reservation, Massachusetts
Head to the Blue Hills Reservation and enjoy the epic views
Looking for an outdoor adventure near Boston? Head to Blue Hills Reservation, where you'll find hiking trails (both paved and unpaved) leading over hills, through marshes, across meadows, and forests full of pure-white Dogwood blossom in the spring. If you enjoy more challenging hikes, check out the Skyline Trail, a steep 7.5-mile-hike that can take about six hours to complete. Though this trail will be challenging for beginners, the view from the peak is well worth it. Stay alert since this reserve is home to many endangered species, including timber rattlesnakes and copperheads. If you do come across a snake, just stay calm – they don’t want to hurt you. After a day in the great outdoors, head back to the center of Boston and rest up at the Hyatt Regency.
Go whale watching at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Provincetown—or P-town, as it’s commonly called by locals—is a town at the northern tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Just 90 minutes from Boston by ferry, it’s an interesting blend of fishing village, summer resort, and artist community. Though it’s best known for its creative and inclusive atmosphere, many visitors come for the whale-watching. There are lots of boat tours departing from Provincetown to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, during which you will likely see humpback, finback, pilot, minke, and right whales feeding in the protected waters. If you’re lucky, the whales might even surface just a few feet from your tour boat. Back on the shore, expect lots of great seafood restaurants to try, art galleries to browse, and artisan shops to check out. Book a stay at the Inn at Cook Street in the heart of the art gallery district.
Ogunquit Beach, Ogunquit, Maine
Walk along the caramel-colored, soft sand or cruise along the coast on a bike
The small village of Ogunquit is located on the southern coast of Maine, and features a beach with soft, golden sand surrounded by grassy dunes. There are also plenty of options of things to do here for all types of travelers; relax and watch the sailboats drift by, body surf through gentle waves, or check out the village where you can buy homemade fudge and saltwater taffy. It’s really easy to navigate the area without a car, so borrow a bike for free at the Norseman Resort on the Beach and go for a ride along the coastline.