There is no denying the overwhelming beauty of the New England landscape. Across these 6 states, you can find some of the most beautiful places in New England for photography. With such a variety, it can sometimes be difficult to decide where to plan your next photography weekend.
Whether your primary interest is Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, or Rhode Island, I can help!
I will take you through each of these beautiful states and share what I think are the most beautiful places in New England for photography.
P.S. If you’re interested in seeing some of my best photography work, check out the Gallery or my Instagram. Some of my images are also available as photo prints, with a selection of my favorites HERE. If you’re curious, check out my current Gear List.
1. Rockport, MA:
Rockport is a coastal village in Essex County, MA. It is located about 40 miles northeast of Boston. If you haven’t visited Rockport before, it is certainly a place you must check out!
Not only is Rockport an iconic place for New England photography, but it also is a great place for a weekend getaway. Rockport features miles of beaches, harbors filled with fishing boats, and many small shops lining its streets. There is plenty to do and so much to photograph.
Probably the most popular subject in Rockport is Motif #1, as shown below. The building’s red color does a great job pulling your eyes in so I can understand why it’s so famous! There may be tons of photos of Motif #1, but I challenge you to create your own twist.
2. Maudslay State Park:
Maudslay State Park is located in Newburyport, MA. Growing up next door in Salisbury, it has always been one of my favorite photography locations.
The best part about Maudslay is that it offers a fairly diverse landscape. The park features 16 miles of trails through meadows, forest, and along the Merrimack River.
There are also many interesting features throughout the park, which make Maudslay one of the best New England photography locations. You can find stone bridges, old buildings/structures, gardens, wildflowers, and wildlife.
The park is about 450 acres and will certainly provide you with plenty to explore. If you are lucky you may even catch a glimpse of a White-tailed Deer, Barred Owl, or Bald Eagle!
3. Cape Cod National Seashore:
Cape Cod is a large area and you may initially be overwhelmed by the traffic. However, once you actually get to Cape Cod you will see that there are many gorgeous places to discover!
Of course Cape Cod is one of the most beautiful places in New England in terms of beaches, but there is much more. Cape Cod also offers lighthouses, harbors, little shops, and old cottages. You may also be able to photograph the seals!
A few notable beaches to explore: Race Point Beach, Coast Guard Beach, Longnook Beach, and Cahoon Hollow Beach.
4. The Berkshires:
Located in Western Massachusetts, the Berkshires offer a totally different landscape than the rest of the state. This region truly is one of the most beautiful places in New England.
In the Berkshires you are welcomed by farmland, mountains, and lakes. With the variety offered, you could easily capture a calendar’s worth of New England landscape photos in a single trip!
When visiting the Berkshires you need to do some hiking. There are many excellent trails, and in the Northern Berkshires you can find Mount Greylock, which is the highest peak in Massachusetts. This is an excellent region to visit for Fall foliage.
5. Sandy Point State Reservation:
Sandy Point is also one of my favorite photography locations. It is technically located in Ipswich, MA but is accessed through Newbury, MA. As an added bonus, you pass through Parker River National Wildlife Refuge to get to Sandy Point. It is free to visit Sandy Point, but there is a small fee if you would like to stop along the way for the wildlife refuge.
Sandy Point is a beautiful beach for photography. There is no shortage of interesting rocks, driftwood, and shells to create some amazing images. You will also often see a variety of shorebirds, as Sandy Point is adjacent to the refuge.
If you are looking to try out some creative shots with silky smooth long-exposure waves, you’re going to need a neutral-density filter. What I use and recommend is the ICE ND1000 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter for Cokin P.
6. Wachusett Mountain State Reservation:
Wachusett Mountain State Reservation is located in Princeton, MA. The mountain has a 2,006 ft peak and you can either drive or hike to the summit. The auto road is open 9 am – sunset from Memorial weekend to the last weekend of October.
The summit offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the area and is also a popular skiing location. This is a great Fall foliage location.
Mount Wachusett is also a popular location for photographing hawks. You can often get a fairly close look at the hawks, especially if arriving early in the day.
7. Acadia National Park:
Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island, ME. In my opinion is is the #1 most beautiful place in New England. The park is often very busy, but after visiting you will understand why.
I could write an entire article about photography locations in Acadia National Park, and probably I will at some point. It is just simply beautiful. The landscape is unlike other parts of New England with a dramatic rocky coastline. Aside from the coastline, Acadia also offers mountains, ponds, wildlife, and the Bass Harbor lighthouse.
A few notable places to check out: Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond, Sand Beach, Ocean Path, and Otter Cliffs to name a few.
8. Cadillac Mountain:
Cadillac Mountain is within Acadia National Park but deserves its own heading. The summit of Cadillac mountain is the first point in the USA that experiences the sunrise from October 7th – March 6th.
Naturally, it is a beautiful sunrise photography location! However, Cadillac Mountain offers more than just the sunrise. On a clear day, you are also provided with magnificent views of the Bar Harbor islands. Oh, and don’t forget about sunset on Cadillac Mountain as well.
The only downsides of Cadillac Mountain are the crowds and potentially the weather. This is a beautiful photography location on a mountain you can drive up, which means it gets busy! Plan to get there early to find your perfect spot. Also, bring jackets and blankets as the wind can get very cold.
Be sure to check the current regulations before going. Last time I visited Cadillac Mountain you could drive up and down all day and night, no problem. However, they have started requiring reservations so plan ahead!
If you’re planning to shoot sunrise or sunset and anticipate low light, make sure you have a tripod handy. If you want bang for your buck check out the K&F Concept 78-inch Aluminum Tripod, but if you really want to kill it consider the Peak Design Travel Tripod (Carbon Fiber).
9. Rockland, ME:
Rockland is a beautiful small town along the rocky Maine coastline. It is located about 75 miles Northeast of Portland, ME.
Similar to Rockport, MA you will find a functioning harbor and many small shops. With no shortage of fishing boats or picturesque rocky inlets, Rockland is certainly a top stop for New England photography, especially if you’re heading to Acadia.
While in Rockland, you can’t miss the Rockland Breakwater. This is the iconic mile-long granite pier with the lighthouse situated at the end, as shown below.
10. Ogunquit, ME:
Ogunquit is a town in southern Maine that you can’t miss. I mean Ogunquit literally means “beautiful place by the sea” in Abenaki.
This is an excellent weekend getaway with plenty to do. More importantly though, Ogunquit features sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and a harbor.
Don’t miss the famous Marginal Way, which is an easy 3-mile coastal walk. There are infinite photo opportunities along the way, with many strategically placed benches to enjoy. Better yet, Marginal Way ends at Perkin’s Cove which is a great place for harbor photography and also lunch.
11. Baxter State Park:
Baxter State Park is located in North Central Maine. The park is amazing and feature more than 200k acres of wilderness.
The park doesn’t offer running water, paved roads, or electricity. However, Baxter State Park provides access to a variety of ponds, streams, and wildlife. Baxter State Park also features more than 40 mountain peaks, one of which is the highest peak in Maine, Katahdin.
If your goal is to capture Maine’s raw beauty, Baxter State Park is an excellent place for you! This is one of the most beautiful places in New England for viewing undisturbed landscape. Also, Maine wildlife photography opportunities are spectacular here, with much of Maine’s species inhabiting the park.
12. Two Lights State Park:
Two Lights State Park is located in Cape Elizabeth, ME and is less than a 20-minute drive from Portland. The park occupies 41 acres of rocky headlands and offers excellent views of Casco Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
The park is a great location for photographing waves crashing on the rocks. However, I’m sure you are mainly interested in the lighthouses, as most people are. The lighthouses are actually located a short drive down Two Lights Road, not within the state park!
These lighthouses were the first twin lighthouse to be built in Maine, dating back to 1828. The eastern light remains active today. The western light is actually now a private home. With this said, you can’t get too close to the western light but it is stunning!
13. Franconia Notch State Park:
Just a short drive north from Lincoln, Franconia Notch State Park is located on the western side of the White Mountains. Franconia Notch is a stunning mountain pass extending along 8 miles of I-93, and the prior home of the Old Man of the Mountain.
Franconia Notch offers tons of activities, and even more to photograph. It is absolutely one of the most beautiful places in New England. Here are some of the highlights:
Flume Gorge is a spectacular natural granite gorge. This is an impressive 12-20 foot wide gorge with walls over 70 feet tall. There is a boardwalk that you can take through the gorge and also additional hiking trails. You can find a covered bridge within Flume Gorge, in addition to many other photogenic features.
Beautiful Echo Lake is located in the northern portion of Franconia Notch. As a side note, don’t confuse this with Echo Lake in Conway! Anyway, the lake is beautiful on its own but also offers views of Cannon Mountain and Mt. Lafayette.
Speaking of Cannon Mountain, the summit offers breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys. You can either hike the mountain or take the scenic Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway.
14. Crawford Notch State Park:
Crawford Notch State Park is located in Hart’s Location, NH. You can find the park along US-302, southwest of Mt. Washington.
Crawford Notch is a photographer’s dream, offering mountain views, waterfalls, the Maine Central Railroad, and the Willey House site.
My personal favorite bang-for-the-buck hike is located within Crawford Notch State Park. This is Mt. Willard, which is a very doable, moderate hike. You can see the spectacular views of Crawford Notch in the image below.
With almost 6,000 acres of hiking trails, there is no shortage of interesting landscape features to photograph.
Since you’re going to be hiking you want to keep your gear lightweight. If you want a tiny super light tripod for hiking, look at the Fotopro UFO Flexible Tripod. This is what I bring and I love it. Plus with the flexible legs you can attach it to tree branches and whatnot for the extra coolness factor.
15. Arethusa Falls:
Arethusa Falls is actually located within Crawford Notch State Park, but it deserves its own recognition as it is the tallest waterfall in New Hampshire.
Standing at least 140 feet tall (depends on who you ask), this is a can’t miss waterfall to add to your list. There is a bit of hiking to get to the falls, but manageable. The hike is 1.5 miles with the first 0.6 miles being fairly rocky. Try to get here early as the crowds can make it difficult to get the best shots!
16. Kancamagus Highway:
The Kancamagus Highway (Rt. 112) is a 34.5 mile scenic drive that connects Conway, NH and Lincoln, NH. This is probably my favorite road in the state as it has so much to offer.
There are truly 4 seasons of beauty along the Kanc, but Fall is the most popular. The Kancamagus Highway is regarded as one of the best places in the country to view the Fall foliage.
The scenic byway is a windy road with no shortage of spectacular views. The views of the White Mountains are amazing, but that’s not all you will find. Along the Kancamagus Highway, there are also numerous locations for viewing cascades, rivers, and rocky gorges.
Some notable locations: Lower Falls, Rocky Gorge, Sabbaday Falls, Hancock Overlook, and Pemigewasset Overlook.
17. Odiorne Point State Park:
Odiorne Point State Park is located in Rye, NH. Rye is a beautiful coastal town just south of Portsmouth, NH.
Odiorne offers an array of photographic opportunities with its varied landscape. The park stretches 18 miles providing views of the Atlantic ocean, as well as of the Piscataqua River to the north. The rocky coastline provides many photographic opportunities.
Odiorne State Park also houses the Frost Point jetty, tide pools, the Sunken Forest, and old military bunkers.
18. Portsmouth, NH:
Portsmouth, NH is a wonderful port city located about an hour north of Boston, or half-way between Boston and Portland, ME.
This lovely city is located along the Piscataqua River and offers many opportunities for harbor photography. A notable point within Portsmouth is Prescott Park, which is a waterfront park with beautiful gardens and boat docks.
Also, check out the numerous shops and colonial architecture. If you are looking for more, grab a ferry to the nearby Isle of Shoals.
19. Quechee State Park:
Quechee State Park is located along US-4, in Hartford, VT.
The focal point of the park is Quechee Gorge, which is Vermont’s deepest gorge. The gorge is 168 feet deep and is referred to as “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon.”
There are trails along both sides of the gorge. However, you can also view Quechee Gorge from the US-4 bridge if you choose.
20. Lake Champlain:
Burlington, VT is probably the most popular place in Vermont to view Lake Champlain. However, Lake Champlain lies along many town in Vermont and New York, and also Canada.
Lake Champlain is an iconic lake for photography. In Burlington, some popular locations to photograph the lake are Battery Park and Waterfront Park. Sunset photography seems to be most popular for Lake Champlain. There are also excellent views of the Adirondacks.
Also, don’t be afraid to venture outside of Burlington. There are numerous excellent viewpoints in the nearby towns as well!
21. Camel’s Hump State Park:
If you’re traveling along I-89, Camel’s Hump State Park is located about halfway between Burlington, VT and Montpelier, VT. Camel’s Hump is a double-peaked mountain within a totally undeveloped and undisturbed area.
Dedicated to fighting encroachment from communications towers and ski resorts, Camel’s Hump remains a fabulous location to enjoy the truly natural forest. There are plenty of hiking trails to the summit with great views.
22. Peacham, VT:
Peacham is a picturesque small town in Vermont, located in Caledonia county. The population was 732 at the 2010 census.
This small town provides opportunities for some quintessential New England photography shots. Old churches and traditional red barns both make for amazing photos, and Peacham has both. The Peacham Congregational Church is one of the most photographed churches in Vermont.
Peacham offers great opportunities for Fall foliage photography. Also, don’t forget to check out Peacham Pond.
23. Smugglers’ Notch:
Smuggler’s Notch itself is a narrow pass through the Green Mountains which is lined by 1,000-foot cliffs. There is no denying this is one of the most beautiful places in New England during the Fall.
This winding road provides many photographic opportunities, but it is closed in the winter. You can expect about a 3.5 mile scenic drive with beautiful vistas.
There is also Smuggler’s Notch State Park. Here you have access to hiking trails, a wetlands boardwalk, swimming holes, Bingham Falls, and more.
If you’re new to photography make sure you have good post-processing software. Editing your photos is what separates good photos from great. I tried multiple free options along the way but ultimately settled on Adobe Lightroom and wouldn’t look back.
24. Sleeping Giant State Park:
Sleeping Giant State Park is located in Hamden, CT. The name “Sleeping Giant” is in reference to Mt. Carmel’s two miles of mountaintop resembling a man lying down to rest.
You can take a 1.5-mile trail up to the top of Mt. Carmel where you will find a stone observation tower. This tower offers excellent views of the surrounding area and the Long Island Sound.
Aside from the trail to the top of Mt. Carmel, there are also many other hiking trails providing photographic opportunities of the forest and rugged terrain.
25. Devil’s Hopyard State Park:
Devil’s Hopyard State Park is located in East Haddam, about 30 miles southeast of Hartford. The origin of the name is unclear, with some spooky theories dating back to the Puritans. However, what is clear is that Devil’s Hopyard is astonishingly beautiful.
The main feature of the park is Chapman Fall. These falls drop more than 60 feet over a series of stone steps. There are also excellent views of Eightmile River and interesting potholes within the bedrock near the falls.
26. Mystic Village, CT:
Mystic is easily one of Connecticut’s most beautiful coastal towns. The village is located down in the southeast corner of Connecticut.
Mystic Village has a lot to offer for photographers. Located along the Mystic River, the Mystic Seaport is a must visit with photogenic building and historic ships.
Olde Mistick Village is a reconstruction of a quaint 16th century village. You will find plenty of small shops and cobblestone streets.
27. Lover’s Leap State Park:
Lover’s Leap State Park is located in New Milford, CT. The park occupies 160 acres along the Housatonic River.
The park offers hiking trails, scenic views, and historic features. Lover’s Leap is home to the 17th-century red wrought-iron bridge which is popular amongst photographers. This bridge spans a rocky gorge and is 1 of 4 remaining bridges of its kind in Connecticut.
Although the bridge is the main attraction here, don’t forget to walk the trails. You will find many scenic vistas along the Housatonic River and Lake Lillinonah.
28. Newport, RI:
Newport, RI is located in Narragansett Bay. You can find the beautiful seaside city about 30 miles southeast of Providence, RI.
Newport is certainly one of the most beautiful places in Rhode Island and offers an array of photographic opportunities. With a rocky coastline, scenic trails, and historic buildings, Newport is a must-visit location in Rhode Island.
Some notable spots to check out: Newport Bridge, the Cliff Walk, and Castle Hill Lighthouse.
29. Block Island:
Block Island is a great vacation spot and is certainly one of the most beautiful places in New England for photography. The island is located 13 miles off the southern coast of Rhode Island.
This is a tiny island with a lot to offer. You will find beaches, lighthouses, scenic trails, and cliffs.
Definitely visit Mohegan Bluffs where a short hike will take you to a 200-foot high coastal vista. Then check out the historic lighthouses, Southeast Lighthouse and North Lighthouse. There is even a nature preserve on Block Island called Rodman’s Hollow.
30. Beavertail State Park:
Beavertail State Park is located in Jamestown, RI and offers some of the best views of the New England coastline.
The park sits at the southern tip of Conanicut Island, which means you get beautiful coastal views on both the east and west sides of the park. The rocky coastline within the park provides the opportunity for some of the best coastal New England photography.
The best part about Beavertail State Park’s location is that it is ideal for both sunrise and sunset photography.
Also, don’t forget to photograph the Beavertail Lighthouse at the southern tip of the island.
If you’re going to be shooting long exposures, in addition to a sturdy tripod you need to minimize internal camera shake. On most cameras you can shoot in mirror up mode with a timed shutter release. However, if you want to take it 1 step further, look into a remote shutter release.
31. Colt State Park:
Colt State Park is located off of route 114 in Bristol, RI.
The park offers 464 acres of lawns, stone walls, hiking trails, and paved paths. The best part is that the entire western border of the park faces Narragansett Bay. This provides panoramic views which are excellent for photography.
So there it is, my favorite photography locations in each of the New England states. These are certainly some of the most beautiful places in New England. There are also so many more, but this is an excellent list to start with!
Now get out there and take some pictures!
Have you tried photographing at any of these locations? Where do you think is the most beautiful place in New England for photography? Leave a comment below!
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