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New England Coastline Road Trip

The New England Coastline is one of the most beautiful drives in the country. No matter what time of year you take this road trip, you’ll be blown away by either the dreamy beaches, beautiful Fall foliage, snowy towns, or wildflowers.

Epic Road Trips To Take In The United States!

This 14-day road trip along the New England coastline will let you experience the region’s best towns, islands, cities, scenic drives, and, of course, Acadia National Park.

So here’s the best itinerary for a New England Coastline Road Trip!
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New England Coastline Road Trip

Two nights in Newport, Rhode Island

Start your road trip in the picture-perfect town of Newport. This dreamy island city is full of yacht-filled harbors and Gilded Age mansions.

Must-do activities when you’re here are seeing the Castle Hill Lighthouse, biking through town, and walking The Cliff Walk.

Make sure you eat at the White Horse Tavern and have some chowder at the Black Pearl.

For your accommodation, Newport has some incredible boutique hotels and historic inns – my favorites are Castle Hill Inn and The Chanler at Cliff Walk. Newport also has some beautiful vacation homes.

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New England Coastline Road Trip
New England Coastline Road Trip
New England Coastline Road Trip
New England Coastline Road Trip

Four Nights in Cape Cod, MA

On day three, leave Newport in the morning to make the 1.5-hour drive to arrive in Cape Cod around lunchtime. Eat, explore, and shop in the picture-perfect town of Falmouth, visit the Nobska Lighthouse, then check into your accommodation. I’ve rounded up the best hotels and vacation homes for every budget and preference.

The next day, take a day trip to Nantucket. This tiny, isolated island can be reached by a high-speed passenger catamaran from several towns in Cape Cod. You’ll want to visit the Whaling Museum, see the iconic steepled churches, shop, and wine and dine yourself.

Spend day five exploring the pristine, off-the-beaten-path Outer Cape. Start your scenic drive at the Chatham Pier Fish Market, then walk along the Cape Cod National Seashore, visit Rock Harbor, do a wine tasting at Truro Vineyards, explore Provincetown, and watch the sunset at Race Point Beach.

On your last day in Cape Cod, take a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Contrary to its name, there isn’t a vineyard on this island, but it does have beautiful coastal towns and incredible restaurants. Martha’s Vineyard is the perfect biking destination, so I recommend renting a motorized bike when you get to the island.

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New England Coastline Road Trip

One Night in Portsmouth, NH

One Night in Portsmouth, NH

Leave Cape Cod early on day seven and drive two hours north to Portsmouth. This town is full of interesting shops, delicious restaurants, and history, so spend as much of the day as you can here.

Visit the outdoor Strawbery Banke Museum, eat at La Maison Navarre, shop in the historic downtown area, get a drink at the Portsmouth Book & Bar, and stroll in the waterfront Prescott Park.

Browse the best vacation homes or hotels for your night here.

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New England Coastline Road Trip
New England Coastline Road Trip
New England Coastline Road Trip

Two Nights in Portland, Maine

On day eight of your road trip, stop in the town of Kittery for brunch on your way to Portland. Visit the Portland Head Light on your way into the city. Then check into your accommodation, explore the Old Port, and have dinner along the waterfront.

Start day nine with a visit to the Portland Observatory, then stroll along the Eastern Promenade. Do a food and beer tour in the historic city center in the afternoon. Then end the day with a sunset schooner cruise.

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New England Coastline Road Trip
New England Coastline Road Trip
New England Coastline Road Trip
New England Coastline Road Trip

Four Nights in Acadia National Park

When you leave Portland on day ten, stop in Freeport, Maine, to visit the L.L. Bean store on your way to Acadia National Park. Check into your vacation home or hotel, then watch the sunset at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.

The next day, drive the Park Loop Road – make sure you stop at Thunder Hole, Otter Point, and hike part of the Ocean Path. Then explore Bar Harbor and have a waterfront dinner.

Start day 12 by renting a motorized bike to bike the carriage roads for as much of the day as you’d like, and you can do a hike (or two or three) along your bike route.

Then the next day, drive up to the Cadillac Mountain Summit and hike the Cadillac Summit Loop Trail. Then take a puffin cruise or do a sea kayak tour.

On day 14, you can head home (the closest airport is in Bangor), drive west to visit more of New England, or take the ferry north to Canada.

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Plan Your Trip

Need help planning your road trip? Then you should use Roadtrippers, my favorite app for mapping out road trips and finding Roadside America stops. If you’re going to rent a car, then I recommend Momondo, and if you want to rent an RV (which would be SO much fun for a New England Coastline Road Trip), you should use RVshare.

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Shop My Road Trip Essentials
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Is there anything you’d add to this New England Coastline Road Trip? If so, share in the comments!
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For Planning The Rest Of Your Northeast U.S. Trip
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This post is not a sponsored post, and, as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this New England Coastline road trip itinerary are entirely my own. Some of the links in this New England Coastline road trip itinerary are affiliate links, and, at no cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

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