• Fall foliage, Stowe, Vermont
    Magnificent fall foliage
    Stowe, Vermont

Scenic New England Road Trip (Southern)

Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut

See also: Scenic New England Road Trip (Northern)


This suggested itinerary takes you on a New England road trip through western Massachusetts, western Connecticut, the Rhode Island southern coastline, and Cape Cod.

Trip ideas and itineraries are meant as suggestions only. They are intended as ideas and to highlight all there is to see and do in New England.

  1. Route 2, Massachusetts: The Mohawk Trail
    America’s first ‘scenic highway’ was designated back in 1914 and stretches for 63 miles. It follows a centuries-old trail used by Native Americans, who are commemorated by the Hail to the Sunrise statue. Highlights include the notable art museums in Williamstown and North Adams, and the Bridge of Flowers at Shelburne Falls. In the fall/autumn, when the leaves change color, views of the rolling hills and valleys are spectacular.
  2. Route 7, Connecticut: The Housatonic Valley
    Route 7 follows the Housatonic River through one of the most beautiful parts of western Connecticut. From New Milford to Canaan (some 35 miles), you can drive through a 160-year-old covered bridge (Bulls Bridge) and see the 250-foot Kent Falls, meet hikers on the 2,000-mile long Appalachian Trail at Cornwall Bridge and watch fly fishermen casting for trout. Fans of motor racing visit Lime Rock Park, history buffs head for Lakeville’s two intriguing museums and railroad enthusiasts stop at Canaan’s Victorian station.
  3. Route 169, Connecticut: 'The Quiet Corner'
    The gentle countryside of northeastern Connecticut is known as the Quiet Corner. This 40-mile drive past stonewalled fields and through unspoiled villages follows the centuries old Norwich to Woodstock Turnpike. History is everywhere: in Canterbury, Prudence Crandall dared to teach young black women in the 1830s; Revolutionary War hero, Israel Putnam, ran a tavern in Brooklyn Green; and Roseland Cottage in Woodstock illustrates the gracious living of 1846.
  4. Route 1, Rhode Island: The South County Shore
    From Narragansett to Westerly, this 25-mile route passes sandy beaches and communities with Indian names such as Misquamicut and Weekapaug. Jerusalem is across from Galilee, where ferries leave for Block Island. Take the side roads down to the beaches and to Watch Hill, on a point. This charming little resort boasts the country's oldest carousel, going round and round since 1879.
  5. Route 6A, Massachusetts: The Old King's Highway (Cape Cod)
    Some of America’s earliest settlements straddle this 34-mile route, where villages sport Old English names such as Sandwich, Barnstable and Yarmouth. The road links historic churches and sea captains’ houses, protected harbors and open beaches. Museums along the way showcase art and glass, vintage cars and even fire engines. There are antiques stores and craft studios: no wonder visitors return year after year. Ideally, you may want to stay two or more days on Cape Cod.

See also: Scenic New England Road Trip (Northern) Southern New England driving tours map