25 Jan

Easy Day Trips from Boston

There are so many easy day trips or fun weekend getaways near Boston.  If you plan to rent a car here are some of my favorites:

  1. Gloucester MA– Gloucester is a fishing town that is part of Massachusetts North Shore.  It is about a 40 minute drive from Boston but you can also get there by boat or train.   The film The Perfect Storm was filmed here along with the show Wicked Tuna.  Things to go include whale watching, deep sea fishing, relaxing on the beach, visiting lighthouses dated to 1780s.  There are also many cute shops and restaurants. Visit http://gloucesterma.com/ for more information.
  2. Rockport MA-  If you are going to Gloucester you should also stop at Rockport, they are only a few minutes apart.   Rockport is even more quaint than Gloucester with great food, candy, and many artistic stores to buy paintings and crafts.  I recommend getting lunch in Rockport at Roy Moore Lobster Co.  Their lobster is amazing!  I also recommend going to Tuck’s Candy store for fudge or taffy.  The movie the Proposal was filmed her so a lot will look familiar if you have seen it.  If you only have time for Rockport or Gloucester I would choose Rockport.
  3. Salem MA– This city is just 40 minutes from Boston and is most well known as the site of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.  When my mother and I went here we took one of the guided tours which worked great because you can get off and on the trolley as you please.  Some of the main things to see are the Peabody Essex Museum, The House of Seven Gables, Salem Witch Trials Memorial, and The Witch House/Corwin House.  If you are more interested in history instead of quaint shops and cafes I would choose Salem.
    witch house 
  4. Cape Cod– Is a hook-shaped peninsula in southeastern Massachusetts about one hour from Boston.  It is a popular summertime destination. Its 15 main towns encompass quaint villages, seafood shacks, lighthouses,  and ocean beaches. Provincetown, at the far tip, marks the Pilgrims’ first anchorage in the New World with a towering monument.  One of the main areas is Hyannis which is where you can catch the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket.
    cape cod 
  5. Martha’s Vineyard– Is an Island just south of Cape Cod.  The port that you pull into from the Ferry is very touristy but if you rent scooters, you can see the whole island which has beautiful beaches and homes.  There are also many amazing restaurants.   If I had to choose I prefer Nantucket because it is more quaint but also has many fun restaurants and bars.
  6. Nantucket– Another Island just off of Cape Cod.  The downtown area where the ferry pulls in is very picturesque with many restaurants, bars, and small art stores.  I recommend just spending the day walking around downtown.  You can also rent bikes and bike to the Cisco Brewery which usually has live music and many different food trucks to eat lunch at.  I had the tacos which were amazing!
  7. Newport RI– Is a seaside city with many beautiful mansions and yachts that is about 2 hours away from Boston.  I recommend doing the Newport Cliff Walk which is 3.5 miles and runs behind many of Newport’s famous mansions.  Most of the walk is paved and it offers beautiful vistas, tunnels, and long winding pathways.  You can also take a tour of many of the historic mansions.  Next you can grab lunch at one of their many cafes and before driving back to Boston you should remember to do the scenic Ocean Drive.
  8. Boston Harbor Islands– Boston Harbor Islands State Park is a MA state park comprising 13 islands located in Boston Harbor,  which now forms part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.  On these islands you can visit Civil War-era Fort Warren, tour lighthouses, go hiking, or relax on the beach.  To get to the islands you take a quick ferry from Boston’s Long Wharf.  This is the closest and easiest day trip out of the ten I mentioned.
  9. Plymouth MA– Plymouth was the site of the colony founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims, passengers of the famous ship the Mayflower.  Plymouth is where New England  was first established.  Plymouth is only 45 minutes from Boston.  Some of the main attractions are the Plimoth Plantation, Mayflower II, and Plymouth Rock.  This day trip would be similar to Salem in that there is a lot of history.
  10. Portland ME– Portland is my favorite weekend getaway!  It is about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Boston so you may want to book a hotel for a night (if you plan to try out the breweries!).  I recommend just walking around the city, eating at as many restaurants as you can and going to breweries.  My favorite restaurants are Eventide Oyster Co and Street & Co.  At Street & Co you MUST get the Lobster Diavolo, it is to die for!  Some of the breweries to visit are Shipyard, Allagash, Rising Tide, Foundation, Sea Dog Brewing Co and many more.  Many of them are within walking distance from each other.
    portland maine full