Waitsfield Field

While people in some parts of the country dread the cold season, New England winters are the stuff of fairy tales. From the first hint of snow to the final thaw, the Northeast transforms into a dreamscape, making it the perfect region for your winter getaways. Snow-covered mountains call adrenaline seekers offering every imaginable winter activity from skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing and sledding. Looking for your next exciting rush? You’ll find it in the New England winters.

Or maybe you’d rather play tourist — and they’ve got something for you too. Quaint towns beg for exploration full of art galleries, restaurants and shopping, and inns, many of them centuries old that always have a fire waiting to warm you after a day spent outdoors. Take a walk through the woods or visit a local spa. Whatever you’re looking for, you’re bound to find it in New England.

Whether you favor an active getaway full of sports and high-energy action, one where you get to squeeze in a whole lot of nothing, or something in between, these five New England winter getaways offer a romantic winter wonderland escape that will satisfy your every need.

Berkshires, Massachusetts

Most people head to the Berkshires in the slightly warmer months for the rich fall foliage, but between the farm-to-table food scene, art institutions, and a plethora of outdoor activities, the Berkshires make for an ideal retreat any time of year. And during the winter, the area is blissfully quiet with little need to worry about restaurant reservations or fighting crowds to see the European and American paintings at the museums. Try the Hampton Terrace Bed and Breakfast for glam, Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort for pampering, or Brook Farm Inn for tastes of nature. With plenty of winter sports, bed and breakfasts, cabins, campgrounds, resorts, orchards, wineries, and brewers, the Berkshires have something for everyone.

Litchfield, Connecticut

When you think New England town, you’re thinking Litchfield County, Connecticut, whether you realize it or not. Small storybook villages, complete with village greens, are dotted along winding roads, broken up by more green space than in any other part of the state. Go wine tasting at Haight-Brown Vineyards, Connecticut’s oldest continually operating winery. Take in the Federal, Colonial Revival, Italianate, and Victorian-era architecture in towns that date back to the early 1700s. Wander through the trails of Catlin Woods and stand in awe at trees that are more than 300 years old. Afterward, retreat to Woodlands Cottage, a luxe accommodation on a 113-acre farm, the nine-room Manor House built in the 1800s, or the six-room Inn at Kent Falls. Enjoy the town’s museums, history centers, and theaters, for a fun-packed getaway steeped in local culture.

Between the scenery, the history, and the ambiance, you won’t want to go home.

Kent Falls, Connecticut

Kent Falls, Connecticut

Meredith, New Hampshire

Charming Meredith, New Hampshire is one of the best winter getaways for sports-loving couples. The vibe is adrenaline-pumping with a range of winter sports including skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, and even ice sailing thanks to Lake Winnipesaukee. The 72-square mile lake serves as the backdrop to the White Mountain locale. After a day of hiking or snowshoeing, or if you’re simply not the biggest adrenaline junkie, take your pick of one of the town’s four inns where spas pamper sore muscles, onsite-restaurants offer localvore refueling, and rooms come with fireplaces for tucking into. It’s the perfect balance of adventure and R&R — the makings of a perfect vacation.

And let’s be honest: who wouldn’t want to spend their vacation staring at this gorgeous view?

White Mountains, New Hampshire

White Mountains, New Hampshire

Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Snow meets sea in this quaint New England village that will have you feeling as though you’ve stepped back in time to the Gilded Age. Here, the glamorous Ocean House that overlooks Watch Hill is a destination unto itself. While many of the shops are closed for the season, the elegant yellow inn with a spa, indoor pool, and farm-to-table options is an ideal spot for snuggling indoors. And if you do feel the need to explore, you can always walk the deserted beach, take in the lighthouse, or go antiquing in one of the nearby towns. Don’t be mistaken: there is more than enough to fill a vacation here.

Watch Hill Rhode Island

Watch Hill Rhode Island | Photo via Latham Jenkins on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Waitsfield, Vermont

Hidden between snowy peaks, Waitsfield is the type of place where you’ll find yourself staring at the landscape in awe. Crisp white snow covers dense trees while classic red barns add a pop of color. Waitsfield is a town that gets into your soul, and you and your sweetheart will find yourself reminiscing about it years later, longing to visit again. You can snuggle up to a fire, go to a beer tasting, chill in one of the many restaurants where it seems an indie band is always playing or hit the slopes at one of the two nearby resorts. Waitsfield’s laid-back vibe offers an “anything goes”  getaway and enough options to please any type of couple. It’s the perfect place to get away from the hurried pace of normal life and slow down for a little while.

winter getaways

Waitsfield, Vermont | Photo via Mike Norton on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Winter sends so many of us into hibernation mode, understandably. You retreat indoors, throw a blanket over your head, and ask a friend to tell you when it’s all over. If you plan the right trip, though, wintertime can be peaceful, relaxing, and possibly even one of your favorite times of the year. And wouldn’t you like to add another vacation to your yearly travel calendar? Life gets busy and stressful. It’s important to hit pause every now and then. Where are you planning on going for your next vacation? What are some of your favorite winter getaways? Have you ever visited one of these New England destinations? Tell us all about it in the comments below!