Fishing boats docked in Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, Maine

7 Cozy Towns To Visit In New England

There is no adventure like sinking one’s soul in powder-soft sand, standing on the same spot the Mayflower once landed, hiking the necks of picturesque hills and mountains, and staying in hotels whose windows open out to the sound of crashing ocean waves. Fill up the gas tank, buckle up, and explore New England, a vast, charming region laden with fascinating history and delightful pleasure spots. If you are looking for beautiful and cozy spots, discover below these seven New England towns.

Woodstock, Vermont

The scenic town of Woodstock, Vermont
The scenic town of Woodstock, Vermont. Editorial credit: MindStorm /

There are many reasons one will want to visit Woodstock, including to marvel at its covered bridges, set eyes on Calvin Coolidge’s childhood home, and explore the picturesque trails and historic buildings of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Founded in 1761, a visit to Woodstock is like a step back in time. The Sugarbush farm is located a few miles from downtown Woodstock and offers four grades of pure Vermont syrup, 15 kinds of cheese, and a lovely walking trail sidetracked with beautiful maple trees. For a stay that will make you feel like a medieval knight, Woodstock Inn & Resort, conveniently located in the Village Green, provides a luxurious accommodation experience.

Ogunquit, Maine

Fall in Ogunquit Maine
Fall in Ogunquit, Maine.

Criminally underrated, the quaint, seaside town of Ogunquit could easily be the best beach town in New England. One can come in December to experience the magical Christmas by the Sea, in October for the OgunquitFest, and in summer for the Fourth of July fireworks celebration. Lobster connoisseurs will have a delightful range of eateries to work with, including Barnacle Billy's, a casual spot that overlooks the Perkins Cove harbor. Marginal Way is a short and sweet trail right by the sea, while the Ogunquit Museum of American Art is the only museum in the state exclusively devoted to American art. Then there is the beach, a nice sliver of soft sand ideal for walking barefoot and catching extraordinary sunsets.

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Beach in Provincetown, Massachusetts
Beach in Provincetown, Massachusetts

Mostly known to be where the Mayflower first stopped before continuing along to Plymouth, Provincetown has the same mystic vibes as historically rich towns such as Athens, Rome, and Memphis, the first capital of Ancient Egypt. Sandy beaches, a vibrant nightlife, and delicious restaurants — is a combination that can easily steal a long weekend. Appreciate nature’s pristine beauty with a stroll along Snail Road, sample locally produced art at Provincetown Art Association and Museum, weave through sand dunes at Province Lands Bike Trail, then lock eyes with hungry humpbacks while aboard one of the daily Dolphin Fleet boats. It is hard to find a solid 5-star rated hotel on Google. 8 Dyer Hotel, about 700 meters from Ryder Street Beach, bucks the trend.

Williamstown, Massachusetts

Aerial view of the Thompson Memorial Chapel in Williamstown, Massachusetts
Aerial view of the Thompson Memorial Chapel in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Editorial credit: pics721 /

A cute, dainty town of just about 4,400 residents, Williamstown is as cozy as it gets. Tucked away in the Berkshires, a dramatic expanse internationally renowned for its natural beauty, a first-time visitor here will enjoy a nature-themed retreat. Leaf peepers come to Williamstown to marvel at the area’s sea of heart-melting fall foliage, while art lovers come to meet the genius of Rodin, Renoir, and other big names at the Clark Art Institute. Artists do not die, anyway — but live on through their works. There is the Williams College Museum of Art as well, which displays an expansive global collection of more than 15,000 works. Also, the Williamstown Theatre Festival enlivens the town every summer and if possible, should never be missed. If you are seeking a clean and cozy nest and want to promote a small business, a well-appointed room at Maple Terrace will come in handy.

Albany, New Hampshire

Chapel, museum, and town offices, Albany, New Hampshire.
Chapel, museum, and town offices, Albany, New Hampshire. Image credit: Magicpiano via Wikimedia Commons.

Buckle up, clear that lump in the throat, and experience the famous Kancamagus Highway, a drive that features a true heart-in-the-mouth experience. There is no scintilla of hyperbole: This could just be the most scenic drive in New England. Albany is also home to the rocky and rugged Mt. Chocorua, one of the most photographed in the world. A 7.2-mile hike takes visitors to a rocky summit, providing a 360-degree view of the state’s mountains and lakes. Just outside town is the Rail and River Trail, a short, well-maintained trail ideal for both walking and biking. The Swift River, so appropriately named, flows through the town and imbues it with a peaceful, endearing look. However much one is pressed for time, it would be inconceivable to miss one of the most-photographed bridges in New Hampshire—the 120-foot-long Albany Covered Bridge.

North Conway, New Hampshire

Classic US styled railroad station in North Conway, New Hampshire.
Classic US-styled railroad station in North Conway, New Hampshire. Editorial credit: Nick Beer /

Nestled in the Mount Washington Valley, one of New Hampshire’s most popular tourist attractions, North Conway offers visitors a rich menu of fun and engaging activities. There is a lifetime chance to experience first-class skiing at the nearby Cranmore Mountain Resort, hike up to Cathedral Ledge for tasty views of Echo Lake State Park, and savor a bite-sized taste of delightfully old-fashioned train rides associated with the Conway Scenic Railroad. Also, one can shop the day away at Settlers Green, which features over 60 stores that offer a wide variety of shopping and food items. Then again, Diana’s Baths, known for many swimming holes and waterfalls, is just a stone's throw away in Bartlett. If spending the night, one can plan with Eastern Slope Inn Resort, a sprawling resort at the foot of White Mountain National Forest with nice rooms and large, relaxing jacuzzi tubs.

Westerly, Rhode Island

The Ocean House in Westerly, Rhode Island
The Ocean House in Westerly, Rhode Island. Editorial credit: Allard One /

A small but vibrant town of about 18,000 residents, Rhode Island’s southernmost town deservedly rounds off the list of 7 cozy towns to visit in New England. There is a reason first-time visitors swoon over this seaside charmer. Misquamicut Beach comes with delicious views, singing waves, and seven miles of sand. Watch Hill, on the other hand, is known for its sizzling sunsets, which are one of the most beautiful in all of Rhode Island. Taylor Swift reportedly owns an eight-bedroom mansion in this swanky slice of paradise. It has been labeled the most expensive private home in the state. Perched high on the bluffs and patronized by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Ocean House provides the greatest accommodation experience money can buy. Other outdoor venues here include the Napatree Point Conservation Area, where one can enjoy a leisurely stroll by the water — and Watch Hill Light — a 45-foot square tower of Westerly granite that predates the Civil War.

The Takeaway

New England is where history comes alive, views melt the heart, and the culture is rich, diverse, and a joy to discover. Check out Woodstock and savor the legendary flavor of Vermont’s maple syrup at the famous Sugarbush farm. Sample the varied flavors of lobsters in Ogunquit, Maine. Then, walk in the footsteps of the Pilgrims at Provincetown, Massachusetts, who braved all odds to establish a new civilization in America. Westerly, Rhode Island; North Conway, New Hampshire; and Williamstown, Massachusetts — are other cozy New England spots worth visiting.

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