New Castle, New Hampshire | Prettiest Coastal Towns in New England
Photo Credit : iStock.com/jiawangkun
We picked the 10 prettiest coastal towns in New England, from Down East harbors to Victorian island resorts. These New England coastal towns are perfect for your next daytrip or weekend getaway. Have a look and see if you don’t agree.
10 Prettiest Coastal Towns in New England
Often named one the best coastal towns in Maine, Kennebunkport has it all. The Kennebunk River adds even more waterline charm to the small shops, elegant ship captains’ homes, and fishing ports of this vibrant Southern Maine town of 3,474.
Unique View: The quintessential fishing village of Cape Porpoise, Maine.
See More: From the river and harbor on Rugosa Lobster Tours.
Learn More: Exploring Kennebunkport and Cape Porpoise.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Some Maine coastal towns have an unfair advantage. Perched on Mount Desert Island at the gateway to Acadia National Park, this historic resort town still resonates with the Victorian splendor of bygone days, not to mention the backdrop of Cadillac Mountain.
Unique View: From Bar Island, which you can walk to at low tide (plan ahead).
See More:Lighthouse and National Park Tour via catamaran.
The self-dubbed “Jewel of the Coast” is a well-deserved moniker, and this Mid-Coast harbor town of 4,823 on Penobscot Bay is tucked where mountains reach down to the sea.
Unique View: Three windjammers making this narrow harbor their home.
See More: From the water, on the Schooner Surprise.
All of verdant, windswept Block Island, just 13 miles off Rhode Island’s southern coast, is technically New Shoreham, but it’s the Victorian harbor-front that makes landing here forever captivating.
Unique View: Granite-blocked Southeast Lighthouse, perched at one of the island’s iconic bluffs.
Rockport, Massachusetts | Prettiest Coastal Towns in New England
Artists love Massachusetts coastal towns, and Rockport in particular. Painters turned this fishing village into an art colony for a reason—it’s an inspiration. Perched at the tip of Cape Ann, there are rugged shorelines, hidden coves, and a bustling, historic village.
Unique View: Motif No. 1, the most painted building in the world.
See More: By jeep, in personalized tours from Sweet Shots Secret Spots.
Learn More: Exploring Rockport, MA.
Stonington Borough, Connecticut
Connecticut coastal towns don’t always get the attention they so justly deserve. This delightful village of fewer than 1,000 residents boasts a wealth of 18th-19th-century buildings on its own narrow peninsula that juts into Fisher’s Island Sound and Little Narragansett Bay, with views in all directions.
Unique View: From “The Point,” a view of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York.
See More: On foot, with a self-guided walking tour available at the Old Lighthouse Museum.
Set at the outermost tip of Cape Cod, surrounded by water on three sides and backed by vast sand dunes on the fourth, Provincetown is a colorful gem that’s drawn artists and writers for generations.
Unique View: A bird’s eye, from the top of the Pilgrim Monument.
See More: By jeep, of Provincetown’s famous sand dunes, with Art’s Dune Tours.
Learn More: Exploring Provincetown.
What are your picks for the prettiest coastal towns in New England?
This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated.