Summer is here, which means that it’s time to start planning your sunny getaway. For those of you who prefer to travel on the open road rather than fly or take a train, have you planned out your road trip yet?

Road trips can be an incredibly fulfilling and sustainable way to travel, but also really overwhelming to plan. That’s why HomeExchange has put together the first of many regional road trip guides. This time, we’re focusing on the Northeast, specifically Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Make sure you book your HomeExchange as early as possible to make sure you have some great places to rest after a long day of driving and sightseeing!

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Boston, MA


What to Do:


Walk the Freedom Trail

Take advantage of the city's abundance of historical events by walking the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile tour that covers 16 historically significant sites of the American Revolution. Some highlights include the U.S.S. Constitution, Paul Revere’s house (which is, sadly, not available on HomeExchange), and the Old South meeting house.

Visit the Museum of Fine Arts

Satisfy your inner artist and swing by the MFA to check out its extensive exhibits and collections. We recommend the Dutch and Flemish art galleries, the Egyptian sculpture exhibit, and the artwork from 19th century Americas.

Visit the New England Aquarium

Take a trip under the sea by heading to the New England Aquarium. There, you can coo over the adorable seals, pet a shark or a stingray in the touch tank, and learn about coral reefs.

Where to Eat:


James Hook & Co.

Try your first of many lobster rolls on your trip by stopping by this family-run restaurant and Boston staple. If lobsters aren’t your thing (gasp!) then we recommend their New England clam “chowda.”

Trident Booksellers and Cafe

Bookworms and foodies alike will love visiting this staple on Newbury Street! Whether you’re looking to peruse the shelves, grab a bite in between shopping at the local boutiques, or to put your knowledge to the test with Trident’s weekly trivia nights, it’s easy to get lost amongst the shelves and the extensive menu. Our recommendation: Try the grilled cheese on Challah bread, and consider adding bacon and avocado for some extra flair!

Seoul Soulongtang

Your mouth won’t stop watering once you smell this restaurant’s soulongtang, a traditional Korean soup made with ox bones. We recommend trying the spicy kalbitang (if you can take the heat).

Where to Stay:

Magda’s apartment

Keren and Zach's home


Doug’s home


Newport, RI


What to Do:


Easton’s Beach (First Beach)

Soak up the sun at Newport’s largest beach! If swimming and sunbathing aren’t for you, you can visit the Save the Bay Aquarium, also located on the beach. Make sure to check out their website for fun activities like an organized beach cleanup, concerts, and kids’ nights.

Rail bike tours

If you have 90 minutes to spare during your trip, take a rail tour with Rail Explorers. This eco-friendly way of exploring uses already-existing railroad tracks and pedal-powered vehicles to take tourists on a journey through Newport.

National Museum of American Illustration

If you want to explore your artsy side, check out the National Museum of American Illustration to view works from the “Golden Age” of America illustration art as well as pieces from other eras of illustration art.

Where to eat:


Flo’s Clam Shack & Raw Bar

Get your seafood fix while you’re in Rhode Island by picking up some fried clams or some raw Chesapeake oysters. We also recommend grabbing a cup of chowder (if it’s not too hot outside, of course)!

The Black Pearl

If you’re not full from all the clams you ate at lunch, treat yourself to a dinner at The Black Pearl for some more seafood (you can’t visit the Northeast without running into a lot of lobster rolls and fried clams). Take the chance to order an appetizer - We recommend the scallop gratin!

Where to stay:

Elizabeth’s home


Sue’s cottage


Christopher’s home (with a clocktower!)


Visit New England

Mystic, CT


What to do:


Mystic Boat Adventures

Hop on a boat for a one-of-a-kind guided tour where you get to drive your own boat. Explore the Mystic coastline, including lighthouses, Fishers Island Sound, and more in a two-person boat. Anchors (or motors) aweigh!

Mystified: Escape Rooms

Put your skills to the test to figure out how to beat one of Mystic’s escape rooms! Choose between the adventurous “Keeper of the Light,” the puzzling “Curtain Call at the Cabaret!” or the fantastical “Mystic’s Ritual.”

Charles W. Morgan

Climb aboard this ship and explore the world’s oldest commercial ship and the last remaining wooden whaleship. The Morgan was last active about a century ago, with the vessel setting sail 37 times between 1841 and 1921. Step back into history while you tour this staple of seafaring history.

Where to eat:


Mystic Pizza

Movie buffs can grab a slice at the restaurant that inspired Amy Jones, the screenwriter of the 1988 film Mystic Pizza. However, their brush with Hollywood isn’t the only noteworthy part: Their pizza is also divine! We recommend the House special and Seafood Delight.

The Shipwright’s Daughter

This relatively new addition to Mystic serves up some delicious (and sustainable) seafood. Because this restaurant likes to serve up fresh and in-season food, the menu can change daily, so make sure to check their website for the most up-to-date selections. We recommend the golden tilefish a la plancha with spring peas, fiddlehead ferns, asparagus, and parsley butter.

Young Buns Doughnuts

Who doesn’t love the taste of homemade doughnuts? Grab a freshly made delicious treat (or two… or three), like their Mystic Cream, Young Bun, and Mixed Berry Jelly.

Where to stay:

John’s home


Anne’s home


Kerri’s home


Portsmouth, NH


What to do:


Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire

Walk through Black history either by yourself or with a tour guide to learn about New Hampshire’s past and present. Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire also offers other educational opportunities, like Frederick Douglass readings and art exhibitions.

Peirce Island

Take some time out of your busy sightseeing schedule to have a beach day at Peirce Island! Explore the tidal pools, walk along scenic trails, or bring your dog for some off-leash beach time!

Prescott Park

Along the banks of the Piscataqua River lies Prescott Park, a beautiful garden perfect for a relaxing, Insta-worthy stroll. The park is a popular destination for its stunning tulip displays in the spring and the Prescott Park Arts Festival during the summer.

Where to eat:


Black Trumpet Bistro

Sit down for a meal of locally sourced food and great harbor views. We recommend the lomo pork schnitzel with stewed beans, turnip slaw, and rhubarb mostarda. Make sure to stop by Stock + Spice next door to buy some common and totally unique spices to take home with you.

Blue Mermaid

If you’re in the mood for jerk chicken and other island cuisine, then make sure to reserve a table at Blue Mermaid! We recommend the Jamaican jerk shrimp tacos and the Rasta burger. If you’re in the mood for brunch, try their popular mimosas!

Ceres Bakery

Satisfy your sweet tooth by grabbing a midday snack at Ceres Bakery for some fresh, home baked goods. Try their brown sugar shortbread cookies, or check their bread schedule online to see what freshly baked bread is in stock that day!

Where to stay:

Dana’s home


Richard’s home


Carol’s condo


Travel to the East Coast

Portland, ME


What to do:


Palace Playland

Thrills await you at New England’s only beachfront amusement park! Get your heart pumping with a roller coaster like Riptide, take the wheel at the bumper cars, or let your competitive side out at the arcade.


Hop aboard and take a boat tour around Casco Bay’s gorgeous harbors, lighthouses, and magnificent stone forts.

Maine Museum of Photographic Arts

Take a trip to this museum to learn about not just photography, but similar forms of art, like film, videography, installations, and new media. Make sure to check out their website to see which artists’ works are on display!

Where to eat:


Pom’s Thai Restaurant

Grab your chopsticks and get ready to stuff yourselves with some delicious bites at Pom’s Thai Restaurant. Try out their pad see ew - You won’t regret it!

Luke’s Lobster Portland Pier

Enjoy the taste of fish, lobster, and crab caught fresh here ate Luke’s Lobster Portland Pier. We recommend having another warmed lobster roll with butter!

Dean’s Sweets - Cove St.

Sate your sweet tooth with some delicious high-quality chocolate made with local ingredients here at Dean’s Sweets. Don’t forget to buy some extra snacks to bring with you for the rest of your road trip!

Where to stay:

Ellen’s cottage


Aaron’s home


John’s condo


Burlington, VT


What to do:


Vermont Teddy Bear Factory

Whether you have kids or if you just wish to connect to your inner child, then you’ll have a blast at this factory! Create your own teddy bear, watch a small group of craftspeople creating teddy bears by hand one at a time, and check out the factory’s Bear Hospital, where resident bear specialist Dr. Nancy will repair injured teddy bears (no insurance required).

Shelburne Farms

Take an eco-friendly tour of Shelburne Farms, a nonprofit organization that strives to educate people about sustainable living. Learn about the art and science behind making cheese on their Sun to Cheese tour, connect to nature by forest bathing, or watch a family-friendly ballet on the farm.

Ethan Allen Homestead

Travel back in time (about 235 years, in fact) and visit the homestead of Revolutionary War veteran, Ethan Allen. Learn about the early northeastern American frontier, the Native American people who lived there, and take a walk around the recreated colonial garden.

Where to eat:


Champlain Valley Dinner Train

All aboard for three hours of food, sightseeing, and fun! This train tour lets passengers appreciate the beauty of Vermont’s landscape as they enjoy a three-course gourmet dinner.

NU Chocolate Factory

If chocolate means life to you, then you’ll love this popular destination for chocolate lovers near and far. Each piece of candy is lovingly crafted by master chocolatiers and made with some of the highest-quality chocolate in the world.

Waterworks Food and Drink

After a long day of exploring Burlington, take a step back and eat a filling dinner while taking in the view of the Winooski river. At Waterworks, you won’t find a bad seat in the restaurant - every table has a gorgeous view! When it’s time to order, we recommend the Rainbow Rice Bowl for something filling and nutritious.

Where to stay:

Joan’s home


Gale’s home


April’s home


Travel with HomeExchange

With these suggestions, we hope that you feel more prepared for your Northeastern U.S. road trip. This region contains so much history, adventure, community, and of course lobster rolls! HomeExchange will be with you along the way, so don’t forget to book your exchanges to continue your authentic travel experience while on the go.