Northeast

Mom Knows Best: 11 New England Family Vacations For Year Round Fun

To help inspire your itchy feet, we've pulled together 11 favorite New England family vacations recommended by Mom herself, from Mid Coast Maine to Cape Cod.

You’re yearning to plan a family vacation, but you’re worried about spending money and finding the vacation time to head across the country or even go overseas. Fortunately, you live in New England, one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the country. Your backyard is already full of family vacation possibilities that most people could only dream of.

To help inspire your itchy feet, we’ve pulled together 11 favorite New England family vacations from Mom herself.

Lincolnville, Maine

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Maine is called Vacationland for a reason, and the Mid Coast region offers the perfect jumping-off point to explore the many wonders the state has to offer. Nestled in the quaint town of Lincolnville, Maine is the Mount Battie Inn, a welcoming place my family loves to visit yearly. The rooms are pristine with all the charm of a coastal New England abode. From the lovely wrap-around porches you can take in a view of Penobscot Bay.

Owners Christine and Ed treat their guests like family and are especially welcoming to children. This was much appreciated when my active two-year-old son began exploring their antique toy collection. They generously pointed out the ones that he could play with and patiently accommodated us with a high chair when it was time to eat.

There was a lovely garden we could stroll around when breakfast was through, a gazebo to sit and relax, and woods beyond for our children to explore. Besides the warmth of the owners, I have to mention one of my favorite aspects of this place: Christine’s amazing breakfasts. She prepares an incredible array of baked goods herself, including muffins and homemade bread. I couldn’t get enough of it. “Welcome to breakfast!” she says to all of her guests. This is definitely not something to sleep through, and the kids are going to love those home-baked goodies.
— Lauren Ivy Chiong, Reel Mamma

Mount Battie

Top rated
8.7 Excellent (367 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
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North Conway, Maine

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North Conway, New Hampshire is the most ideal setting for families of all shapes and sizes. Situated in the heart of the White Mountains, it offers something for everyone (and every season), from skiing and tubing to water slides, theme parks, and antique train rides. For a truly immersive experience, stay in a Cave, Tree House or Dragon’s Lair at Adventure Suites, conveniently located on North Conway’s Main strip.

Named one of the top 10 theme hotels in the world, Adventure Suites is New England’s answer to Disney and our favorite place to stay with our four-year-old. Suites are perfect for families of three or more, and no surface is left without a theme. In our cave experience, we lit the fireplace, turned up the surround sound, and enjoyed every bat, bone, and artifact inviting us to explore the most primitive times.

Drive five minutes north to visit Storyland or five minutes south for a historic train on the Conway Scenic Railroad. Shop the local outlets, visit the Children’s Museum, grab a hot meal at the Muddy Moose and maybe even see an actual moose exploring the scenery on the Kancamagus Highway. If you have more time, bundle up and explore the beautiful castles, caves, and slides at Ice Castles in Lincoln, just one hour west of Conway.

When the day is done, you can head back to your themed suite to roast marshmallows and eat s’mores under the stars, grab one of the hundreds of free DVDs from the hotel lobby or simply rest your bones in the family-friendly in-suite hot tub. Hot cocoa optional! — Jennifer Valentino, Kiddo & Soul

Adventure Suites

Top rated
8.7 Excellent (111 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.1 / 10
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Rockport, Maine

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They say when you become a parent, the word “vacation” no longer applies. Travel with children is called a “trip,” and there is something to be said for that. For the most part, our recent “trip” to Maine was not what I would call relaxing. But despite bouts of whiney behavior, motion sickness, a sea of children’s menus and a lot of late-to-bed nights, we managed to make the most of our time together. I really welcomed the change of scenery, and coastal Maine, which was our ultimate destination, took my breath away with its raw and unencumbered beauty–not to mention the lobster.

Point Lookout Resort in Northport was an ideally located home base for exploring the midcoast of Maine. The resort operates as a conference center primarily but is also open to individuals and families. Our two-bedroom cabin was comfortable and roomy and came equipped with a full kitchen, which is ideal for families not wanting to eat every meal out. Additionally, the property has a number of activities available. We took advantage of their soccer field and hiking trails–there’s even a bowling alley.

The Copper Pine, Point Lookout’s on-site restaurant, benefits from the property’s own organic farm, which we had a chance to visit. It doesn’t get any more “local” than that. We also loved the fire pit that was dropped off at our cabin, which made for a great night of making s’mores.

A private beach available to guests is located across the street and is perfect for exploring during the fall and winter, and the quaint village of Camden is only a 10-minute drive away. All in all, Point Lookout was the perfect home away from home as our family explored coastal Maine. — Ellen Schmidt, Baby Meets City

Point Lookout

Top rated
8.7 Excellent (606 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9 / 10
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Dennis Port, Massachusetts

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Nothing says quintessential New England vacation like Cape Cod Massachusetts and the perfect resort for families is the Corsair & Crossrip Oceanfront Resort. The location right on the beach cannot be beaten, the staff is attentive and accommodating, and it has the charm of a seaside cottage. Every room in the Corsair & Crossrip is a suite with plenty of space for the whole family–a kitchenette, bathroom, bedroom area, dining and living area, and a balcony where you can sit and enjoy the fresh ocean air.

Of course, in the summer months, the highlight is definitely the beaches, with hours of making sand castles and the dipping of little toes in the ocean. Lots of family fun can still be had in the spring and fall at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History or a local glass blowing demonstration. Cape Cod is also a haven for foodie families with endless choices of restaurants and ice cream shops. (Seafood lovers will be in heaven with the freshest seafood around.)

Family-friendly amenities at the resort include free continental breakfast, two swimming pools, a huge selection of DVDs to borrow, and even a game room with freshly popped popcorn. With plenty to do from spring to fall, Cape Cod is the perfect vacation for families. — Lisa Santangelo, Food, Family, and Chaos

Corsair & Cross Rip Oceanfront

8.5 Excellent (156 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.2 / 10
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Falmouth, Massachusetts

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This easy, affordable Cape escape offers spacious grounds and several rooming options including independent cabins, large suites, and standard motel rooms. This resort is in a perfection location in a quiet neighborhood with an easy walk to Falmouth Heights Beach, Vineyard ferries, and Falmouth Village.

There’s a beautiful, clean pool, and lots of lawn space to let the kids run around. The yard offer swings, barbecue grills, and shade trees. You can easily relax as a family here with room to spread out and save some money by grilling dinner or enjoying a picnic at one of the many tables.

The entire grounds are impeccably maintained and the staff is responsive and friendly. The walkable neighborhood is close to grocery stores, pharmacies, and easy dining options. Falmouth Heights Motor Lodge also offers a free continental breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m. so you can grab a coffee on the way to that early morning beach visit with the kids. If you head to the village center for the afternoon, you’ll find a huge playground, accessible bike trail, a historic merry-go-round, and a public library with an excellent children’s room. Falmouth with kids can’t be beaten. — Valerie Smart, The413Mom

Falmouth Heights Motor Lodge

8.8 Excellent (674 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
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Bedford, New Hampshire

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Over the past four years, as our oldest daughter has been away at college in Manchester, New Hampshire, our family has needed a hotel to stay at overnight for various events and occasions throughout every year, that could meet all of our high standards. We needed one that could accommodate our large family, was comfortable, very clean, had high-quality amenities, and yet was also affordable. We’ve said it many times before that the Country Inn & Suites By Raddison has truly served as our home away from home.

Their bedding is so unbelievably comfortable, we can all count on a good night’s sleep, and the decor overall has a homey feel. Cleanliness is very important to us, and we have never been disappointed.

One of the highlights of every stay is the hot and delicious breakfast buffet included every morning. Their staff is always friendly, professional, and accommodating to any of our needs. While hotels can be expensive, we have found this hotel to be very affordable for a large family on a budget. They have even granted us a college discount for every stay while our daughter attends nearby. — Laura, House of Joyful Noise

Country Inn & Suites By Radisson, Manchester Airport, NH

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (1491 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9 / 10
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Carroll, New Hampshire

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Omni Mount Washington Resort at Bretton Woods is ideal for family travel. The historic Omni Mount Washington Hotel, Townhomes and budget oriented lodge offer different price points for different budgets. All of them are convenient to downhill and cross country skiing, tubing and ice skating in the winter. After a day of outdoor winter activities, you can warm up in the hot tub or indoor pool. Or you can swim outdoors in the heavily heated outdoor pool.

We took our daughters on a magical sleigh ride through the snowy woods bundled under blankets. The canopy tour, offered year-round, is the longest zip line in New England. In summer, you can hike, rent a mountain bike or go horseback riding.

If you book a room in the 1902 hotel, on National Historic Landmark, you can stay inside for great meals. If the main dining room is too formal, try the more casual Pub. There is also an afternoon tea, with a Mad Hatter tea for younger kids. There’s a Kids Club if you want adult time alone, and a spa for indulgent kid-free time (no kids under 16 allowed). — Judy Antell, Wheels and Eats

Hotel Omni Mount Washington Resort

Top rated
8.9 Excellent (1394 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.1 / 10
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Francestown, New Hampshire

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Located in Francestown, New Hampshire, Crotched Mountain Resort is particularly great during fall and winter. The resort offers various amenities that make it suitable for family travel, such as an outdoor pool, play and game room for kids, and even a mini library.

Their rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable. My favorite part is the separate dining room and kitchen that’s equipped with all the basic appliances, utensils, and condiments. There’s a small man-made lake right outside the resort that provides beautiful sunrise views. The resort is also well suited for adventurers with several activities to do near the resort like golfing, mountain biking, skiing, ice-skating, and hiking. — Surabhi Surendra, Womanatics

Crotched Mountain Resort

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (265 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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Manchester, Vermont

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My family of four stayed at the Inn at Willow Pond in Manchester, Vermont last winter over the weekend during a big Nor’easter. Located in the heart of Vermont’s Green Mountains, The Inn at Willow Pond was originally a dairy farm built in the 1770s. The Farmhouse is where you’ll find the main office, plus a secret library in the loft. My family and I spent time in the secret library using the free WiFi and toys set out for kids.

They offer a tasty continental breakfast and evening snack in the main office, too. The front desk manager, Alyssa, was incredibly hospitable. She made sure we had a new pack-n-play and stroller during our stay and also put the lights and heat on in our room upon arrival. The most wonderful surprise of our trip was the sleds outside our door. We spent a lot of time sledding when we weren’t exploring Manchester.

We stayed in a suite with a bedroom and living area (with a fireplace) on the back end of the property. The room was dated, but it was clean and cozy.  — Caitlin Houston, Confessions of a Northern Belle

The Inn at Willow Pond

7.5 Good (62 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.5 / 10
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Vergennes, Vermont

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When we need a break from the daily grind of work and school, we head north to our favorite lakeside resort, Basin Harbor Resort in Vergennes, Vermont. Located right on the shore of Lake Champlain, Basin Harbor has been welcoming families to its historic guest houses and cottages since 1886. The staff is incredibly friendly and welcoming—it’s no wonder the Beach Family won the Legendary Family Historic Hoteliers of the Year for 2018.

So, why do we love this Vermont retreat so much? Basin Harbor caters to families of all ages and sizes and offers comfortable and roomy accommodations in three guest houses or private cottages across 700 acres. Indoor and outdoor activities provide plenty to do for everyone, from golf and tennis to swimming, paddling, and hiking. When our kids were younger, they loved the Kids Camp, where they spent endless hours romping around the property, fishing, and swimming in Lake Champlain, and making friends with kids from all over the country.

Basin Harbor is an all-inclusive resort, so we can happily spend the whole week relaxing and recreating lakeside and dining at the Fairway Cafe or Ardelia’s. If we do feel the urge to explore a bit, we’re just a short drive to the bustling city of Burlington where we can shop on Church Street and choose from dozens of world-class restaurants. — Tara Schatz, Back Road Ramblers

Basin Harbor

8.0 Very good (223 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.1 / 10
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Woodstock, Vermont

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When you live in New England, amazing day and weekend trips are right at your fingertips. That’s how we stumbled upon the Woodstock Inn & Resort.

The resort has a small town feel and great shopping and seasonal activities year round. You can go biking, fly-fishing, hiking and golfing in the spring, summer, and fall, and you’ll be delighted in the wintertime because the resort lights up like a Christmas village.

There’s a spa for some rest and relaxation for the adults (Hello, Signature Body Therapies!) as well as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing for the family. As far as resorts go, what makes this one unique for our family is the on-site gardens and the falconry. You can learn about raptors with group or private sessions.

Then follow up a full day with dinner at one of the four resort restaurants. (They use produce from the resort’s gardens.) We especially love The Red Rooster for its Children’s Menu, with house-made meatballs and roasted potatoes. — Tamara Bowman, Tamara Camera Blog

Hotel Woodstock Inn & Resort

Top rated
9.1 Excellent (383 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.4 / 10
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Feature image courtesy of Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash