The New England area conjures up a cozy image of warm, friendly locals and fall foliage. Six states form the New England area, and they are all part of the original colonies that existed before the American Revolution. These states include Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Find the perfect New England vacation rentals, and choose from rustic lake cottages and colonial homes to trendy condos and modest cabins. Check out the most unforgettable towns and cities in New England.

1. Portland

lighthouse on the island
Source: Flickr/Paul Frederickson

Enjoy a vacation rental in one of Maine’s oldest towns and take a gander at the state’s oldest lighthouse, the Portland Headlight, that George Washington ordered constructed in 1791. Spend a day wandering around the eclectic shops and eating fresh from the sea lobster at local restaurants in the Old Port section of town. From here, you can hire a charter boat to head out on the water for some deep-sea fishing or catch a ferry for a day trip on one of the nearby islands.

2. Castine

Source: Pixabay/prunkova

Immerse yourself in Maine’s rich and long history when you choose the town of Castine, which has been around since the 1600s. Stroll along the streets to check out the historic homes and inns. In the evenings, enjoy stunning sunsets at Wadsworth Cove Beach. Learn more about the War of 1812 at Fort Madison. The British captured the fort during the brief war in the early days of the United States.

3. Bar Harbor

pretty flowers
Source: Flickr/John Brandt

Located on Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor is a picturesque seaside town. Choose a vacation rental along the coast with an ocean view, or find a family home in the town center. Rent bikes a ride around town or hop in the car for a trip to Acadia National Park. Once there, hike into the mountains for stunning views. Contact one of the local tour companies to explore the island shoreline from a kayak or canoe.

4. Rockport

old sailboat
Source: Flickr/Charles Hoffman

Rockport’s claim to fame is that limestone from the area was used to build the United States Capitol building. This town is a small fishing port, so the local restaurants offer a variety of fresh seafood dishes. Visit the harbor to watch boats of all shapes and size navigating the water. While there, rent a sailboat and enjoy a day out on the water reconnecting with your family.

5. Kennebunk

beach scene
Source: Flickr/InAweofGod’sCreation

Time your visit to the quaint town of Kennebunk for June or the Christmas holidays to the town’s festivals. In June, the town hosts the Kennebunkport Festival with live music, great food, activities, and culinary exhibits led by top chefs. During the Christmas holidays, the Christmas Prelude welcomes visitors to tour historic homes, listen to carolers, sample wines, and enjoy cider in the local stores. At any time of year, you can explore Walker’s Point to see its rocky shoreline and breathtaking views.

6. Boothbay Harbor

rocky coast
Source: Flickr/alans1948

Take a deep breath of fresh ocean air when you stay in Boothbay Harbor. Spend your days wandering around quaint boutiques and enjoying scrumptious fresh seafood meals. Plan to spend the entire day discovering the plants and flowers at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, which features 250 acres with sculptures and walking trails. Find a quiet cove and throw down a blanket to soak up the sun or indulge in a picnic lunch with the family.

7. Ogunquit

Source: Pixabay/nosheep

In the summer months, families flock to one of Maine’s favored vacation spots for time on the beach. With 3.5 miles of sandy beaches, it’s easy to find vacation rentals with ocean views. Take the family for a walk along the Marginal Way that connects Ogunquit to the nearby fishing village of Perkins Cove. Shop in the downtown area, or choose a different restaurant every evening for the freshest catch of the day.

8. Old Orchard Beach

covered pier
Source: Flickr/Michelle Callahan

Known as “Maine’s Best Beach,” Old Orchard Beach draws families from all around New England to join in on the summertime fun. Take the kids to the Old Orchard Beach pier to enjoy the amusement rides and play the arcade games. Pass your days playing on the extensive beach, kayaking, and biking around the scenic area. If there’s a golf lover in the family, they can take advantage of the 10 different golf courses in the immediate area.

9. Camden

boats resting at the harbor
Source: Flickr/Nick Kinkaid

Located midway up the coast of Maine, Camden enjoys the moniker, ‘Jewel of the Maine Coast.’ Take a walk along the brick paved streets and duck in and out of the shops to find that must-have item to take home. Walk down to the harbor and schedule a tour out on the water on one of the schooner ships. Sample some tasty wines at the Cellar Door Winery and select a bottle to enjoy back at your vacation rental.

10. York

beautiful lighthouse
Source: Flickr/jenn

In York, you’ll find someone for everyone in your family. Start the day with a little surfing and sunning on Long Sands Beach. Later in the day, visit one of the museums in the downtown area or indulge in some retail therapy. Take the kids to the largest zoo in the state, and visit the Nubble Light, which is the most photographed lighthouse in the state.