I am FINALLY getting around to writing about our super special trip to New England! We had such a fun time, saw so many new places, and grew such an appreciation for this sweet corner of our country! So, let’s get right into it!
START – Boston, MA
STOP 1 – Kennebunkport, ME (quick stop)
STOP 2 – Portland, ME
STOP 3 – Lincoln, NH
STOP 4 – Burlington, VT
STOP 5 – Stowe, VT (quick stop)
STOP 6 – Salem, MA(quick stop)
END – Boston, MA
So, we started our trip flying out of CVG straight into Boston, MA! Took the shuttle to grab our rental car and we were off! PRO TIP – if you are driving in Boston, have your GPS up and ready! It is not the easiest city to get around if you aren’t familiar. We started our time in Boston at Harvard University! We walked around campus for a while, picked up a Harvard t-shirt, and grabbed lunch at a local favorite, Mr. Bartly’s Burgers. It is a burger tavern that serves yummy and unique burgers! It is normally pretty busy – so prepare yourself for a wait! But it is totally worth it! After we were done exploring, we grabbed an iced coffee at another local spot, Tatte Bakery & Cafe and headed to our hotel for the night.
That night we stayed in The Double Tree Boston Bay Side, and we loved it way more than we thought! We were close to the bay and about a 30 minute walk to South Boston, where we spent the evening. There are A TON of cool spots in the area, but we heard wonderful things about Capo’s.
We woke up the next morning and hit the road to Maine! We were staying in Portland, but made a quick stop to a super cute town called Kennebunkport and it was so worth the drive! The town has an old school charm, with lots of shopping and spots to grab a bite. We grabbed lunch at Arudel Wharf House before exploring the town for a few hours. Then headed on up to Portland. When we were first planning this trip, I thought for sure that Boston would be my favorite spot. I am a sucker for a big city and love the energy that it brings… but once we crossed the border to Maine, I knew I was going to be hooked. And I was completely right. Portland is seriously one of the coolest cities that I have been to stateside. There is some fun nightlife, lots of breweries, an amazing food scene, and the views from downtown overlooking the water are seriously breathtaking. We stayed in the AC Hotel – Portland and really enjoyed it. The service was great, the room was super clean and chic, and you literally could not beat the location. It was right across the street from the water and right next to one of the best coffee shops I have ever been to.
Portland has a lot to offer – and I could probably write an entire blog post about it. But I wanted to make sure I highlighted a few places that we loved. First – DuckFat. DuckFat is a sandwhich shop that is known for it’s duck fat fries. Let me tell you something – this place was TOTALLY worth the hype! Jordan and I got DuckFat fries to share and a house smoked pulled pork cubano and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Another place we loved was Otto’s Pizza. We went there for dinner one night and got a pepperoni pizza to share and it was super yummy. Their dining room had a very chill and cozy aesthetic. It was just really charming.
If you are looking for a good spot to get dessert, Beal’s Old Ice Cream is the place to go! We got the blueberry ice cream and it was to die for! We also LOVED the Speckled Ax, which was the coffee shop right next to our hotel. One of the best chai lattes I have ever had!
If you decide to stop in Portland – make sure to take the ferry over to Peak’s Island. It is literally $7 round trip and it was our favorite part of our entire vacation. Peaks Island is small, and people love to get around via golf cart. So we rented one for 2 hours and drove along the coast. It was such a beautiful and peaceful experience. We loved it so much.
After our two days in Maine, we headed towards the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. Full disclosure, I thought for sure this would be my least favorite stop on this trip and it ended up being RIGHT UP THERE with Maine – but for super different reasons. When we started our drive from Conway, NH – a small town right outside the White Mountain National Forest – we noticed that we were losing cell service. So for about 4 hours we drove around without cell service, stopping off at every possible spot to see the amazing views, and it was absolute bliss. It really made both of us be absolutely present in the moment – and that was such a blessing. God spent extra time in the White Mountain National Forest. We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Lincoln that I would deffs not recommend to you LOL. But there were not very many options – so we pick and choose our battles.
We stayed one night in New Hampshire and started the HAUL to Burlington, VT. Now this hotel is one I would recommend a million times over. We stayed at the Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain and YOU GUYS. The service was amazing, the views were amazing, the amenities were great, AND there was a coffee bar on every single floor. PARADISE. I won’t lie to you, the first day we were in Burlington, we did a whole lot of nothing. We were both exhausted from the past few days and decided to take it easy. We walked along the boardwalk to see Lake Champlain and grabbed a bite to eat at The Skinny Pancake, which we both LOVED. It is a casual place that serves both breakfast and lunch. If you are a pesto lover like myself, be sure to get the Chicken Pesto Crepe. It was AMAZING.
The next day we headed to the dreamy town of Stowe- which literally looks like it is straight out of a Hallmark movie. It is especially known for it’s ski slopes in the winter, but since it is tucked away in the mountains, you can only imagine the fall foliage we got to see! We spent the afternoon shopping around and grabbed a coffee at Black Cap Coffee & Beer to keep warm. On our way out of Stowe, we stopped at Cold Hollow Cider Mill for the BEST cider donut I have ever had and a cup of warm cider for our trek home. Stowe is only about 40 minutes away from Burlington, so it was the perfect day trip! We ended the day on Church Street in Burlington! There are TONS of shops and lots of restaurants to grab a bite at! We did an early dinner at Leunig’s Bistro – a super cute french restaurant on Church Street. The steak frites here are amazing! We headed back to the hotel early, because we had a HAUL to a super spooky place the next day.
Que “I Put A Spell On You” by Bette Middler
SALEM, WE MEET AT LAST!! We did a little self guided tour of all the Hocus Pocus filming spots and did some shopping while we were there! This was the perfect day trip, as it is about 40 minutes outside of Boston! My favorite spot we got to see was Max and Dani’s house, which is about a ten minute drive outside of downtown Salem. After seeing this ICONIC landmark, we headed back into Boston for a SUPER yummy dinner at Bogie’s – which is a speakeasy type of steakhouse. BIG HUGE FAN. The food was amazing and the atmosphere was so cool. It was a fab date spot. We checked into our hotel, The Colonnade, which was in an awesome location right downtown and headed to bed!
Our plan for our last day of vacation in Boston was to see Little Italy and explore Beacon Hill, and that is exactly what we did! Our FAVORITE meal we had the entire time we were in New England was in Little Italy and DANG it was amazing. We ate at a small cafe called Trattoria Il Panino – I got Caico e pepe (my fave meal ever) and Jordan got Penne Arrabbiata and we shared a charcuterie board. And it was so worth it. After dinner we walked (uphill….after eating pasta…..ROUGH) to see Beacon Hill and Acorn Street – which are iconic spots in Boston.
Overall, we really loved spending time in New England and will definitely be back! Have you been to New England before? What is your favorite place you have been?