(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Like that guy on the show with the dragons and incest once said: “Winter is coming.” So let’s talk winter wonderland destinations in New England.


Architectural Digest recently put together a pretty comprehensive report titled The Top Winter Wonderland Destinations in the United States. How’d they do it? They’ll tell you: “we harnessed data from Yelp, Airbnb, and other platforms to rank 95 destinations across six wintry categories. The result is a meticulously crafted guide.” Let’s see what some of those “wintry categories” are, shall we?


They include the following: luxury short-term lodging availability, winter activities, apres-Ski Scene, and how scenic the location is. Makes sense. So it would stand to reason that Colorado, the seat of the Rocky Mountains, would have a bunch of high-scoring, high-ranking destinations. And they do: 6 of the Top 10 Winter Wonderland Destinations are in the Centennial State. Good for them.


Winter Wonderland Destinations: 7 New England Spots Make Top 25

Now, while New England is only represented once in the Top 10, when you dig into the Top 25, a lot more local spots pop up. We’ll get to that, but first a shout to the top Massachusetts finisher. Princeton, MA landed at No. 38 on the overall list, scoring second in the winter activities category. Pretty impressive! Oh, and Great Barrington shows up at No. 57. Not too shabby! Berkshires or bust, baby!


You can view the entire list here to see who ranks where and what scores put them there (spoiler alert: Vail, CO is No. 1). Below, I’ve broken down the New England spots in the Top 25. So perhaps as your holiday schedule becomes your winter travel schedule, you’ll have a few more destinations to consider. And here’s your big market radio tease: the one New England locale that made the Top 10 isn’t in the state you’d expect it to be in.

  • 9) Exeter, RI

    No. 9 overall? And ranked No. 1 for luxury short-term lodging availability? You go, Li’l Rhody!

  • 12) Woodstock, VT

    Woodstock landed at No. 5 for apres-ski scene. No surprise, with Killington just a stone’s throw away.

  • 15) Manchester, VT

    Even though they fell behind Woodstock in overall rank, they edged Woodstock out for apres-ski scene at No. 4. No surprise, with Stratton and Bromley nearby.


  • 16) Franconia, NH

    I love Franconia. It’s where my kids and I would stay anytime we’d visit Cannon Mountain. Great town, great vibe.

  • 18) Bethel, ME

    Look at Bethel, making this list, making that list. They’re clearly worth a visit!

  • 23) Rangeley, ME

    Getting to Rangeley is a hike from the Boston area, but the payoff is worth it, especially in winter, according to my buddy Brad, who’s been going there with family for years.

  • 24) Sugarloaf, ME

    Good on Sugarloaf for making this prestigious list! Plenty to do and ski, er, see!

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