New England is a nature lover's paradise, home to more than 6,100 miles of spectacular Atlantic Ocean coastline and several mountain ranges, including the famed Adirondack Mountains, which serve as popular seasonal recreational areas for the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region.
Thousands of charming islands dot the region's coastline, with many gaining national notoriety as Gilded Age summer retreat colonies and retaining their turn-of-the-century character today. From prime seasonal ski resort areas to historic sites dating back to the nation's birth to artistic beach towns, the region offers many picturesque sites for unforgettable weddings, with a myriad of resort towns offering unique venues for receptions and accommodations for honeymooners.
Niagara Falls is the popular name for three major waterfalls at the United States-Canadian border between New York and Ontario, including the famed Horseshoe Falls, America's most powerful waterfall, and the smaller American and Bridal Veil Falls. The combined falls span a vertical drop of more than 165 feet and are one of the Great Lakes' most famed tourist attractions, located along the Niagara River, which forms the border between Lakes Ontario and Erie. Tourist attractions abound on both sides of the falls, including the famed Maid of the Mist boat cruise, which performs onboard weddings right at the backdrop of the falls. Other unique wedding venues include the Falls Wedding Chapel, which performs weddings in the air aboard its Sky Chapel Helicopter, and the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, which offers 604 guest rooms and a full Vegas-style casino.
Rehoboth Beach is one of Delaware's top year-round tourist destinations, offering a beautiful public boardwalk and expansive beachfront areas within the state's popular Cape Region. The city is frequently billed as the "Nation's Summer Capital" and has received five-star water quality ratings for its public beaches, the top-rated beaches along the Delaware coastline. More than a mile of shops, restaurants, family-friendly amusements, and nightlife spots are offered throughout its downtown district, including the central Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, which may be rented for wedding ceremonies. As the city is one of New England's top LGBT tourist destinations, many venues perform same-gender marriages and cater to gay and lesbian couples celebrating their honeymoons in the area.
© Dene' Miles/fotolia.com
The Adirondacks are a mountain range in Northeastern New York State, spanning approximately 160 miles in diameter that roughly correlate to the boundaries of Adirondack Park. As the largest protected natural area in the contiguous United States, the Adirondacks are comprised of 12 distinct regions offering a variety of outdoor recreational activities and quaint communities. Popular wedding destinations in the region include Raquette Lake's Great Camp Sagamore, a National Historic Landmark spanning more than two dozen buildings that were the former wilderness estate of the Vanderbilt family. A number of venues and resort lodges are offered on beautiful Oak Mountain, while wedding cruises may be scheduled aboard Raquette Lake's W.W. Durant vessel.
© Stuart Monk/fotolia.com
Bar Harbor is a popular tourist destination on Mount Desert Island in Maine, located within the stunning Acadia National Park, which is home to Cadillac Mountain, the Atlantic seaboard's highest peak. The town is known throughout the East Coast as a prime destination for outdoor recreational activities, offering opportunities for hiking, biking, and nautical nature tours throughout the national park and the waters of the surrounding Frenchman Bay region. Weddings and commitment ceremonies are permitted within the national park with advance application and adherence to National Park Service policies, though receptions are not allowed within park limits. Other popular wedding sites in the region include the beautiful Bar Harbor Inn, which offers bridal spa services and oceanview reception rooms, and the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel and Conference Center, which accommodates up to 300 wedding guests at its ceremonial and reception facilities.
© SE Viera Photo/fotolia.com
Block Island is one of the New York region's top summer tourist destinations, declared one of America's "Last Great Places" by the Nature Conservancy. The 9.7-square-mile island is located 14 miles off the coast of Long Island's Montauk Point within the Outer Lands archipelago, home to a number of protected natural areas, historic lighthouses, and a spectacular annual Fourth of July fireworks show and celebration, which draws tens of thousands of tourists from throughout the New York City region. Historic hotels throughout the island make for picturesque wedding sites, including the Narragansett Inn, Ballard's Inn, and the National Hotel. Up to 200 guests can also be seated at the stunning outdoor Stonebeach venue, which overlooks a preserved 1880s farmhouse.
Burlington is Vermont's largest city, located approximately 45 minutes south of the United States-Canada border and primarily known as the home of the University of Vermont. The city is the first town in America to be fully operated on renewable energy resources and showcases a quaint downtown district centered on the historic Church Street Marketplace. Major regional attractions include the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum, the Shelburne folk art museum, and the Emily Post Institute, along with a number of nightlife venues known for their independent music scene. Scenic wedding venues are offered at several university facilities, including the UVM Alumni House restored historic home and the Davis Center, which offers stunning views of surrounding Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. Weddings at sea are also offered aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen wedding cruise ship, which may also be rented for receptions and rehearsals.
Cape Cod is one of New England's most beautiful tourist destinations, extending off the Atlantic Ocean coast from the southeastern portion of mainland Massachusetts between popular art colony Provincetown and the village of Woods Hole. It's best known for its charming local villages, which offer attractions such as the John F. Kennedy Museum and the Provincetown Art Museum and are home to historic lighthouses and regionally-famed seafood shacks. More than 559 miles of coastline are offered throughout the region, including 40 miles preserved as the Cape Cod National Seashore. Stately beach and country clubs throughout the region make perfect wedding venues, including the Ridge Club, Wychmere Beach Club, and the private Willowbend club. A number of bed and breakfasts and vacation lodges throughout the region also provide sites for honeymoons or wedding parties.
© Town of Georgetown
Georgetown is a Delaware city located within Sussex County that is known for its unique circular town center layout, which is home to historic buildings such as the Sussex County Courthouse, the Brick Hotel, and the 1844 St. Paul's Episcopal Church, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Cultural attractions within the region include the Marvel Museum, which showcases historic carriages, and yearly festivals such as the aviation-centric Wings and Wheels Festival and the Georgetown Art Crawl. Historic properties abound throughout the city, with many available for rental for weddings, receptions, and rehearsal events. Top venues include the Covered Bridge Inn, located within a preserved historic farmhouse property, and the Nassau Valley Vineyard in nearby Lewes.
© Enrico Della Pietra/fotolia.com
Kennebunkport is a prominent coastal city along Maine's southern coastline, located within the Portland metropolitan region. The city is centered around the historic Dock Square, which provides spectacular views of the Kennebunk River and the nearby Atlantic Ocean, and is home to attractions such as the Seashore Trolley Museum and the beautiful Goose Rocks Beach. Top wedding venues include the seasonal Nonantum Resort, which offers beautiful waterfront views and luxury overnight accommodations. Nearby, the Dunegrass Golf Club offers picturesque gardens for ceremonies, while the Old Marsh Country Club draws on the region's high-class heritage. A number of charming bed and breakfasts in the city's downtown make for perfect honeymoon spots, with top regional seafood restaurants in Dock Square available for private rentals for rehearsal dinners and receptions.
Killington is a small town and ski resort within central Vermont's Green Mountains, best known as the home of the Pico Mountain and Killington Ski Resorts, the eastern United States' largest ski areas. The town is a perfect choice for future spouses looking for dramatic backdrops for their big day, offering indoor and outdoor venues at the aforementioned Killington Resort, the Summit Lodge Resort, and the Highline Lodge. All-inclusive wedding packages are available at venues including the Trailside Inn, the Red Clover Inn and Restaurant, and the Foundry at Summit Pond, including catering from the venues' onsite restaurants. For couples looking for a more low-key, rustic wedding, the nearby Swallow's Nest and Five Bird Farms offer beautiful historic venues overlooking the Vermont countryside.
Madison is a Long Island Sound shoreline town in New Haven County, Connecticut, named in honor of the United States' fourth president James Madison. The quaint shorefront community is a noted favorite New England destination of former president Bill Clinton and is home to Hammonasset Beach State park, the longest public beach in the state, offering a public fishing pier, athletic fields, and a stunning stretch of purple sand beach at the park's East Wharf. A large number of buildings within the town are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Allis-Bushnell House, the Hammanasset Paper Mill Site, and the Deacon John Grave House, with many operated as living history sites available for private special event rental. The beautiful Madison Beach Club and Hotel, located near Madison Country Club, offers a private beach available for outdoor seasonal weddings, along with a private golf course and luxury accommodations.
Martha's Vineyard is the ultimate in luxury New England vacation getaways, located off the coast of Cape Cod and known throughout the world as an elite summer colony. The island is accessible only via private plane or ferry and spans both the main island and the smaller nearby Chappaquiddick Island, which is connected to Martha's Vineyard during low tide times. As one of the American East Coast's top summer resort destinations, the island is a favorite summer estate spot for celebrities and politicians, known primarily as a residential region. Since 1985, the island has been declared as an American Viticultural Area, producing two unique varietals of winemaking grapes. Public venues include the Martha's Vineyard Film Center in Vineyard Haven and the Oak Bluffs community, which features the United States' oldest platform carousel. Private venues are also available for rental, including venues for overnight honeymoon and guest stay.
Milford is a coastal Connecticut city near the larger communities of New Haven and Bridgeport, located within the greater New York-Newark combined statistical area. The city is best known for its annual Oyster Festival in August, which is celebrated in the city's Milford Green town center and draws internationally-renowned music acts such as Joan Jett and the Marshall Tucker Band. Other major attractions include the Milford Cultural Center, which showcases public arts special events throughout the year, and the picturesque Silver Sands State Park, which is home to beautiful rocky beaches and public golf courses. Quaint wedding venues are available for rental throughout the city, including the charming Sunnybrae Mansion farmhouse and the Rookery North, which offers options for indoor and outdoor ceremonies. Catering services are available from the city's renowned Abbott's Grill, which offers full menu planning and service packages.
Nantucket is a popular Massachusetts summer tourist destination, located approximately 30 miles south of Cape Cod. The island combines with nearby Muskeget and Tuckernuck Islands to form the town of Nantucket, which is home to a population of more than 10,000 residents and offers cultural attractions such as the 19th-century Whaling Museum. High-end boutiques and upscale restaurants are plentiful throughout the city's downtown district, along with a number of Victorian-era steepled churches that are available for wedding services. Spectacular venues for receptions include the beautiful Grand Ballroom of the Nantucket Hotel, which seats up to 220 guests, and the panoramic Galley Beach restaurant and event space, a popular dining spot for several American presidents.
Narragansett is a famed Rhode Island coastal town that is best known as a summer recreational getaway and resort town, offering expansive public beaches such as the Narragansett Town Beach, the Scarborough State Beach, and the Roger Wheeler State Beach. The remains of the Fort Greene military complex are preserved at Fishermen's Memorial State Park, which also offers public campground facilities. Many buildings and structures within the town are preserved on the National Register of Historic Places, including Narragansett Baptist Church and the Point Judith Lighthouse. Other venues include the intimate Kinney Bungalow at Sunset Farm, the exclusive Galilee Beach Club, and the charming waterfront Blueberry Cove Inn.
North Conway is a small village along the New Hampshire-Maine border, home to a year-round population of more than 2,300 residents. As one of New Hampshire's top resort areas, the village serves as a gateway to the White Mountain National Forest and Echo Lake State Park, one of the United States' top rock climbing destinations. Throughout the autumn months, the village is a top site for spectacular autumn leaf displays, with several winter ski resorts operated at nearby Cranway Mountain. Mountain-view wedding and reception venues are offered at Cranmore Mountain Resort, Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, and the White Mountain Hotel and Resort, which also offer restaurant catering and overnight accommodations. Weddings may also be performed aboard the Conway Scenic Railroad, which offers excursion train rides departing from a restored Victorian-era railroad station.
Ogunquit is a Maine coastal tourist town that is a popular retirement village and summer tourist destination in northern New England, located within the greater Portland metropolitan region. The town was voted as America's best small coastal town by USA Today and offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean from its peninsular Ogunquit Beach, which is connected to the city's downtown retail and dining district via the 1.25-mile Marginal Way cliff walk. As one of New England's top LGBT tourism destinations, the city offers a number of wedding and reception venues and overnight honeymoon resorts that cater to gay and lesbian couples celebrating their marriages. Popular venues include the picturesque Beachmere Inn, which offers outdoor ceremony venues with oceanfront views.
18.Old Orchard Beach
© Jorge Moro/fotolia.com
Old Orchard Beach is a popular summer beach tourist destination along the Maine coastline, located along Saco Bay's inner side near the city of Portland. The town is famed for its historic Palace Playland seaside amusement parks, one of New England's final remaining turn-of-the-century amusement parks, which features a unique LED-lit Ferris wheel offering spectacular oceanfront views. Other beachfront sites include the 500-foot Pier at Old Orchard Beach, which is home to clam shacks, souvenir shops, and a beachfront nightclub. Wedding and reception venues in and around the city include the expansive Dunegrass Beach Club, the charming Inn By the Sea, and the modern industrial Brick South at Thompson's Point.
Plymouth is the famed site of America's first Pilgrim settlement, originally founded in 1620 by English settlers aboard the Mayflower. The Massachusetts coastal town, which is commonly referred to as "America's Hometown," is located approximately half an hour south of Boston and is a major New England center for historical tourism, home to the famed Plymouth Rock landing site within Pilgrim Memorial State Park, the Plimoth Plantation living history museum, and the Mayflower II replica transatlantic vessel. Opportunities abound for weddings and receptions at unique historic venues, including the Pilgrim Hall Museum, America's oldest continuously-operating museum, and the 1620 Winery, one of New England's oldest wineries. Weddings are also performed aboard the Captain John paddlewheel boat, which offers excursions around Plymouth Harbor.
Portland is Maine's most populous city, home to more than half a million residents throughout its metropolitan region, over a third of the state's total population. The city is located along Casco Bay and is noted for its historic Old Port waterfront district, which is home to working fishery wharves and many shops and restaurants within converted historic buildings. Its arts and cultural district contains many nationally-renowned arts organizations, including the Portland Museum of Art, the Maine College of Art, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and Merrill Auditorium, which presents touring Broadway productions. Victorian-era homes and buildings abound throughout its West End, while its Western Promenade blufftop public park offers spectacular mountain and river views. Ample options for wedding and reception venues are available to cater to every couple's needs, from the historic 1927 Eastland Park Hotel and the waterfront Diamond's Edge Restaurant and Marina to the region's many golf clubs, conference centers, historic farms, and National Register of Historic Places-listed churches.
Provincetown is one of Cape Cod's top tourist destinations, home to a summer population that peaks as high as 60,000 residents. The resort town is is famed as an artist colony, home to the nationally-acclaimed Provincetown Art Association and Museum, which presents more than 35 annual art exhibitions and offers a variety of workshops for artists of all ages. It has long been considered one of the nation's premiere LGBT tourist destinations, home to the Atlantic House, the United States' oldest operating gay bar. Many venues within the town cater to gay and lesbian couples celebrating their weddings and honeymoons in the region, including LGBT-friendly nightclubs and cabarets that offer options for bachelor and bachelorette parties. Top event venues include the sleek Harbor Hotel and the quaint Sage Inn and Lounge.
© Chee-Onn Leong/fotolia.com
Rockport is a small town within Massachusetts' Cape Ann peninsula, located approximately 40 miles from the city of Boston. The charming tourist town is home to a year-round population of less than 7,000 residents and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on three sides, home to many dramatic rocky beaches and seaside parks. As a top artist colony in New England, the town is home to unique tourist sites such as Motif Number 1, a much-photographed fishing shack on Bradley Wharf, and the Paper House, a home fully constructed and furnished from paper materials. Unique wedding venues include the Rockport Art Association, which performs ceremonies against the backdrop of fine art displays and exhibits, and the Rockport Music performing arts center, which offers opportunities for ceremonies and receptions directly on the stage of its concert hall.
Salem is one of Massachusetts' most iconic historic towns, famed internationally for its 1692 witch trials. The city is a top honeymoon destination for history buffs, home to historic attractions such as the Witch House, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Burying Point Cemetery, the United States' second-oldest burial ground. A wide variety of historic buildings are preserved throughout the city, including the 1668 House of the Seven Gables, immortalized in the writing of American author Nathaniel Hawthorne, which may be rented for private special events such as weddings and receptions. The beautiful Colonial Hall at Rockafellas offers a vintage banquet hall, while the Hawthorne Hotel offers indoor and outdoor venues overlooking the Atlantic Ocean waterfront.
© Town of Smyrna
Smyrna is a small town spanning areas of Delaware's New Castle and Kent Counties, home to a population of more than 10,000 residents. The town is located near a number of outdoor recreation and preserve areas, including the Blackbird State Forest, the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area, and the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Historic properties are scattered throughout the area, including the National Register of Historic Places-listed Bannister Hall, Ivy Dale Farm, and Short's Landing Hotel Complex, with many open as living history facilities available for private special event rental. Beautiful Belmont Hall offers indoor and outdoor wedding facilities, including an historic estate house and spacious landscaped grounds and gardens. Other nearby venues include the Chesapeake Inn Ballroom, Worsell Manor, and the historic Cantwell's Tavern.
Stowe is a charming ski resort town in northern Vermont's Lamoille County, nicknamed as the "Ski Capital of the East" for its expansive Stowe Mountain Resort, which offers skiing opportunities atop looming Mount Mansfield. The town is home to cultural attractions such as the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum and the Stowe Theater Guild and is the site of annual festivals including a weeklong British Invasion festival and a hot air balloon festival. Austrian-style accommodations are offered at the beautiful Trapp Family Lodge, which offers indoor and outdoor venues for weddings and receptions. Other mountainview venues include the Stowe Mountain Lodge, the Topnotch Resort, and the Stoweflake Mountain Resort, which offers bridal spa services. For a more casual reception venue, local Idletyme Brewing Company may be rented for private special events.
25 Best Wedding Destinations in New England
- Niagara Falls, Photo: pumppump/fotolia.com
- Rehoboth Beach, Photo: Chee/fotolia.com
- The Adirondacks, Photo: Dene' Miles/fotolia.com
- Bar Harbor, Photo: Stuart Monk/fotolia.com
- Block Island, Photo: SE Viera Photo/fotolia.com
- Burlington, Photo: jiawangkun/fotolia.com
- Cape Cod, Photo: jiawangkun/fotolia.com
- Georgetown, Photo: Town of Georgetown
- Kennebunkport, Photo: Enrico Della Pietra/fotolia.com
- Killington, Photo: Bastos/fotolia.com
- Madison, Photo: FLX2/fotolia.com
- Martha's Vineyard, Photo: alwoodphoto/fotolia.com
- Milford, Photo: Milford
- Nantucket, Photo: Elisabeth/fotolia.com
- Narragansett, Photo: lucky-photo/fotolia.com
- North Conway, Photo: rickmandia/fotolia.com
- Ogunquit, Photo: Thomas/fotolia.com
- Old Orchard Beach, Photo: Jorge Moro/fotolia.com
- Plymouth, Photo: lightningboldt/fotolia.com
- Portland, Photo: Crin/fotolia.com
- Provincetown, Photo: haveseen/fotolia.com
- Rockport, Photo: Chee-Onn Leong/fotolia.com
- Salem, Photo: jiawangkun/fotolia.com
- Smyrna, Photo: Town of Smyrna
- Stowe, Photo: spiritofamerica/fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: lucky-photo/fotolia.com