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.
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 ice harvesting. You can even let rescue dogs do the pulling and cross dog sledding off your bucket list at New Hampshire's Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel. 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. Even Hartford, Connecticut, is surprisingly romantic. Blustery winds may blow and snowflakes may fly, but February only has 28 days (29 in leap years like 2020), so make the most of them!
New England Weather in February
Average February Temperatures (Low / High):
Hartford, CT: 21º / 39º Fahrenheit (-6º / 4º Celsius)
Providence, RI: 26º / 40º Fahrenheit (-3º / 4º Celsius)
Boston, MA: 24º / 39º Fahrenheit (-4º / 4º Celsius)
Hyannis, MA: 23º / 40º Fahrenheit (-5º / 4º Celsius)
Killington, VT: 10º / 31º Fahrenheit (-12º / -1º Celsius)
North Conway, NH: 11º / 33º Fahrenheit (-12º / 1º Celsius)
Portland, ME: 16º / 34º Fahrenheit (-9º / 1º Celsius)
What to Pack
Got warm woolies? You'll need them for your February visit. Pack shirts, sweaters and pullover sweatshirts to layer, and don't forget warm socks and pajamas. You'll need a warm winter coat or jacket, snow boots, gloves and a scarf, too. Ear muffs aren't a bad idea, either. Keep in mind that your clothes may take a while to dry if you've been playing outdoors in the snow, so err on the side of overpacking.
Top February 2020 Events in New England
One-of-a-kind events in February help New Englanders and visitors embrace winter and celebrate romance.
February 1: Keene Ice & Snow Festival in Keene, New Hampshire
February 1: No Child Left Inside Winter Festival in Torrington, Connecticut
February 7-9: Jumpfest in Salisbury, Connecticut
February 7-9: US National Toboggan Championships in Camden, Maine
February 14-23: Newport Winter Festival in Newport, Rhode Island
February 16: Ice Harvest at the Thompson Ice House in Bristol, Maine
February 20-23: Connecticut Flower & Garden Show in Hartford, Connecticut
February 23: Chocolate Festival in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire
February 28: Incredible Breakfast Cook-off in South Portland, Maine
February Holidays in New England
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. The third Monday of February is Presidents' Day (February 17 in 2020).
Best Destinations for February in New England
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:
- If you want to take your family skiing during Presidents' Week, fun activities on and off the slopes await at Killington, Cannon Mountain, and Sunday River.
- 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.
- Don't have the time or money for an overnight getaway? February is the ideal month for a day trip to a winery, an indoor garden or a year-round attraction like the Basketball Hall of Fame.
- 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.