Best Places to Live in New England

New England is the most historical area in the country, with a written history dating back hundreds of years. It encompasses several different U.S states, including Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

New England is a region filled with dream Atlantic Coast landscapes. It has quaint, charming towns, from Newton and Boothbay Harbor to Stockbridge and Meredith. It also has major urban areas, with cities like Boston and Worcester.

Let’s explore some of the best places to live in New England, ranging from quiet, Oceanside towns to major cities.


Maine is known for its classic East Coast look, with a rugged coastline, charming lighthouses, and delicious seafood. It is a sparsely populated state without many major urban areas. Let’s look at some of the different Maine towns that provide a perfect New England lifestyle.

First, there’s Kennebunkport, Bar Harbor, and Camden. Kennebunkport is a town with a history dating back to the mid-17th century. Home to under 4,000 residents, it is quaint and quiet, with incredible beaches and top-notch fishing. Bar Harbor is a charming town on Mount Desert Island, near the famed Acadia National Park. It has a pleasant downtown area, with old-fashioned storefronts and cute shops. Camden is a small town of roughly 5,000, but in the summer, its population swells due to the top-notch boating, gorgeous summer homes, and great hiking areas.

Maine also has great towns like Ogunquit, York, and Wiscasset. Ogunquit is a tiny town on the Southern coast of Maine, known for its great art scenes, coastal views, and nearby lighthouse. It also has a sandy beach. York is another popular summer hotspot right near Ogunquit. It is a great place for beaches, golf, country clubs, and boating. Wiscasset is a small town home to just under 4,000. It is famed for its early architecture, quiet feel, and heavy snowfalls come winter.


Massachusets is a state of massive historical significance, the landing place of the Mayflower. It is a state filled with culture, incredible sites, and delicious food. From Rockport and Chatham to Lenox and Lexington, there are countless towns worth exploring in the Bay State.

Let’s start with Gloucester, Newburyport, and Concord. Gloucester is a classically picturesque New England town, a fishing village with some of the best seafood in the country. It has a colonial history dating back almost 400 years. Newburyport is a coastal city near Boston, home to just over 20,000. It is a popular tourist attraction due to its historical sites, great restaurants, and Maritime feel. Concord is another New England town with a rich history, as it was a pivotal site in the Revolutionary War. It offers great historical tours, museums, and is a town ripe for exploration.

Other great Massachusetts towns include Falmouth, Provincetown, and Sudbury. Falmouth is a town on Cape Cod, famed for its incredible beaches, lighthouses, and history. The town was founded in the late 1600s, making it a deeply historical place. Provincetown is also located at Cape Cod, right on the Northern tip. It is a town on the site of where the Mayflower landed, meaning it can trace its history back 400+ years. It is a great place for nightlife and eating, with Commercial Street being a lively town hub. Sudbury is a town in the Boston metro area, an affluent place with a rich history and sprawling brick and stone homes.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a small state in both size and population. It is best known for its quiet and charming towns, incredible nature, and winter sports areas. It is a beautiful place to live with a peaceful feel.

Two attractive New Hampshire towns are Portsmouth and Dover. Portsmouth is a port city along the Piscataqua River. Portsmouth has a long history as an important commercial hub, and there are numerous museums and still-standing relics of the town’s great history. Dover is one of the biggest cities in the state, home to over 30,000. Dover is an extremely pleasant town, great for families. With farmer’s markets, art galleries, and great fishing, it is a picturesque place to settle down.

There’s also Exeter and Manchester. Exeter is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in New Hampshire, and its residents would certainly agree. It is a quiet, safe town, with great schools, perfect for families. Manchester is the most populated city in the state, a metro area with a great culture. It has numerous museums and galleries and a bustling downtown with top-notch restaurants, shopping, and ample walking areas.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a tiny state, home to just over a million residents. It is the smallest U.S state in size, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t much to do and see in this great Atlantic state. Four Rhode Island towns that offer a classically New England feel are Bristol, Tiverton, Jamestown, and Newport.

Bristol is a town on Mt Hope Bay, a deep-water seaport home to over 20,000. It is a small town great for boating, hiking, or water sports, with delicious New England food. Tiverton is another coastal community with a dock filled with boats and a town covered in trees and greenery. It is a picturesque, busy community that is friendly and fun.

Jamestown is one of Rhode Island’s most popular towns, an affluent community known for the long bridge that leads into the town. It has incredible architecture, lovely shops, and ocean views. Few places will appeal to you more than Newport if you’re a boat lover. Newport has a harbor filled with yachts that is the site of the America’s Cup, a major sailing regatta. It has luxurious homes and museums and is absolutely a must-visit town.


Lastly, there is Vermont. Vermont is a land-locked, small state with the second smallest population of any state. It is known for its arching mountains (which provide great ski conditions), deep green forests, and colonial history. Four great towns in Vermont include Stowe, Woodstock, Burlington, and Manchester.

Stowe is a community in Vermont with a permanent population in the hundreds. However, the area is a hotspot for tourists hitting the slopes at the Stowe Ski Area during the winter. The town has great hiking trails and mountain views. Woodstock is another town that attracts many tourists. That is primarily because of its historic buildings, museums and New England small town architecture. There are also nearby national parks that make it a great area for nature lovers.

Burlington is a city in the northwestern area of Vermont. It is a pleasantly walkable town, with markets, restaurants, and shops. It has a colonial and Revolutionary War history, remembered through the many monuments and museums scattered across the town. Manchester is a quiet town home to less than 5,000 residents. It is near Mount Equinox, with trails leading up to an incredible hike. It is a charming town that is very green, picturesque, and welcoming.