February is a short and sweet month in New England. Couples cuddle up at romantic B&Bs and celebrate Valentine's Day at chocolate tastings and other events in the region. Families play in the snow or visit kid-friendly museums when schools close for Presidents' Week. And, inside New England's maple trees, sap starts to flow, signaling the start of maple sugaring season.
Our New England Patriots will be playing in Super Bowl LI on February 5, so the month gets off to an exciting start! Why not make New England-y football snacks for the Big Game between the Patriots and the Falcons.
February is prime time for winter sports in New England, now that mountain resorts have a deep base of machine-made and natural snow. If you don't ski, you can embrace outdoor winter activities like snow tubing, snowmobiling or even ice harvesting. You can even let rescue dogs do the pulling and cross dog sledding off your bucket list. By mid-February, you can embark on a memorable eagle watch cruise on the Connecticut River and spy on the majestic national bird.
If you truly want to impress your beloved--maybe even propose--reserve the nation's only table at the top of a lighthouse or book an overnight lighthouse stay. February is also the perfect month to visit the sweetest moose in Maine or the world's longest candy counter. Blustery winds may blow and snowflakes may fly, but February only has 28 days, so make the most of them!
Average February Temperatures in New England (Low / High)
Hartford, CT: 22º / 39º Fahrenheit (-6º / 4º Celsius)
Providence, RI: 24º / 40º Fahrenheit (-4º / 4º Celsius)
Boston, MA: 25º / 39º Fahrenheit (-4º / 4º Celsius)
Hyannis, MA: 24º / 40º Fahrenheit (-4º / 4º Celsius)
Killington, VT: 8º / 29º Fahrenheit (-13º / -2º Celsius)
North Conway, NH: 10º / 32º Fahrenheit (-12º / 0º Celsius)
Portland, ME: 17º / 35º Fahrenheit (-8º / 2º Celsius)
Coolest Must-Do Things in February
It's like Rockefeller Center here in New England! Foxwoods Resort Casino has once again installed a temporary outdoor ice skating rink and winter patio, but it's only open through March 5, so you'll have to hurry to Mashantucket, Connecticut, to enjoy skating by day or surrounded by more than 100,000 twinkling lights at night. All-day skating is just $15 for adults and $8 for kids including skates, making this an affordable family outing or date night during the romantic month of February.
February Holidays in New England
The third Monday of February is Presidents' Day (February 19 in 2017). February 2 is Groundhog Day. (Did you know Connecticut has its own official groundhog named Chuckles, and Vermont celebrates Woodchuck Day?) February 12 is Abraham Lincoln's Birthday. Take a self-guided tour of Hartford's Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk. February 14 is Valentine's Day. February 28 is Fat Tuesday. New England may not be New Orleans, but it’s still a fun place to celebrate Mardi Gras.
Sold on the charms of February in New England? Here are a few of your best bets, whether you'll be traveling with family, friends or the one you love:
To rekindle your romance, book a room at one of these New England inns with a fireplace in every room.
Love the beach? Plan a winter ocean weekend! If you've only been to southern coastal Maine during the summer high season, consider visiting during this quiet time of the year, when you can take advantage of lower rates and still enjoy a walk along the Marginal Way, dinner at the incomparable White Barn Inn, sipping beer at Federal Jack's and outlet shopping.
Last, don't overlook the Olympic village of Lake Placid in neighboring New York. High Peaks Resort makes an ideal home base for a family vacation in this mountainous region where Olympic history was made in 1932 and 1980, and you can try Olympic sports like bobsledding... either on a real course or aboard a simulator.
More February in New England Travel Advice
February is a notorious month for East Coast snowstorms, so be prepared. Make sure to stow a snow scraper, shovel, rock salt or ice melt and blankets in your car, and fill up whenever your tank is less than half full. An SUV is the best choice if you're renting a car for your New England adventures.
Download the free OpenTable app, and you'll be one step ahead of other couples when it comes to making reservations for a romantic Valentine's Day dinner out in New England this month.