New England is a nice place for a family getaway, especially for families who live in an East Coast state. You can drive through tiny towns with fun attractions, see the landmarks of Boston or New Haven, or you can go swimming at one of the many beaches. So, if your family has a free weekend and you’d like to enjoy a quick getaway, consider one of the following destinations.

Enjoy the Ocean in Mystic

Mystic is a small town in southeast Connecticut, just a few miles away from the Thames River. The town has two important family attractions: Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport. The aquarium is one of the biggest in New England and houses whales and penguins along with fish from just about every environment. Mystic Seaport is a working historical museum, so you and your kids can watch as shipwrights work to keep the port’s sailing ships in perfect condition. Nearby, you’ll find the New London Ledge Lighthouse, one of the most unique lighthouses in New England.

Relax on Hampton Beach

New Hampshire’s coastline is the shortest in New England, so people often overlook the resort destination of Hampton Beach. But Hampton Beach has a long stretch of warm sand and open swimming, and when you use a service like HotelPlanner to find a Hampton Beach hotel you can get a bargain on a family suite with an ocean view. There are also family-friendly attractions like boat rentals and the Explore the Ocean World Oceanarium.

Explore History in Boston

Image via Flickr by Sharon Mollerus

Boston played a major role in early America, both before and after the Revolutionary War, and the city is still full of monuments and museums that tell the story of America’s youth. And if all that isn’t enough, Salem is just half an hour north of Boston and features many Witch Trial attractions. At the same time, Boston is a modern city, so it also has a zoo, a children’s museum, and family-friendly conventions and festivals.

Go Camping in the Green Mountain National Forest

Green Mountain National Forest covers the southwest corner of Vermont. With a land area of over 600 square miles, the Green Mountain National Forest has plenty of campsites both primitive and with the full list of amenities. There also are a few towns in the area where families can rent a cabin or a hotel room if they don’t like to rough it. But no matter where you sleep, you’ll enjoy finding forest highlights like the Thundering Falls, the White Rocks Cliffs Trail, and the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail.

New England might be a small part of the United States, but it’s big when you’re trying to nail down a destination for a family weekend away. New England states have a lot of history and natural beauty, and between Boston and the other big cities, they also have plenty of modern attractions to distract the kids — a definite plus on any family vacation.

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