Logo   When to Go to New England
Early summer and early autumn are less crowded than high summer for a trip to New England. Autumn foliage season and Indian summer are New England's glory times, but winter has its own pleasures: skiing & snowboarding, concerts, First Night & more.


You can enjoy a trip to New England any time of year if you prepare for the weather and are wary of the busy times such as Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day weekend, and Thanksgiving when hotels, inns, restaurants, and transportation are filled to capacity.

There are also special local holidays such as Patriots Day in Massachusetts and Maine, Hallowe'en in Salem MA, and Christmas in Newport RI. More...

New England Climate

Spring brings maple syrup, summer means beaches, boating, hiking, biking, camping, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, and windjammer cruises along the Maine coast.

Autumn is New England's glory with its blazing fall foliage. Winter means skiing and snowboarding, concerts, theater, art and celebrations.

Here's more on New England's climate, with detailed descriptions of the four seasons (actually five), and horror stories of the dangerously severe weather at the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire's White Mountains. More...

High Season

Without doubt, the most popular times to travel in New England are the summer travel season from Memorial Day to Labor Day (late May, June, July and August) and the autumn foliage season (late September, October and early November) centered on Columbus Day, unless you're coming for New England skiing.

Frenchman Bay from Cadillac Mountain, Bar Harbor, Maine
Frenchman Bay from Cadillac Mountain,
Bar Harbor, Maine.

Mud Season

Late spring (April, early May), after ski season but before beach time, is traditionally called mud season, when the land thaws and runs to mud. Some New England country inns take the opportunity to close, take a rest or make repairs. It's not the best time for outdoor activities, but cultural New England thrives.


Skiing and snowboarding usually begins at northern New England's loftiest ski resorts in early December, but the shopping and partying frenzy leading up to Christmas and New Year's often distracts all but the most resolute skiers.

After the holidays, outdoor winter sports boom until mid- to late-March, with the February Dr Martin Luther King Jr Day holiday weekend being the height of the season—you'll need reservations for everything at your chosen ski resort on "MLK."

Mount Washington Snow Coach going up Mount Washington in winter
Mount Washington Snow Coach going
up the Mount Washington Auto Road.

New England Almanac

For a month-by-month description of weather, events, prices and crowds, see Tom's New England Almanac.

—by Tom Brosnahan




Fall Foliage Season

Indian Summer


Mid-Winter Thaw

Mount Washington Weather

New England's Climate

Tom's New England Almanac

Festivals & Holidays

  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Tanglewood Music Festival, Lenox, Massachusetts

Music lovers on the lawn outside the Koussevitsky Music Shed at the Tanglewood Music Festival in the Berkshire Hills at Lenox, Massachusetts.

Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan

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