Last Updated on May 31, 2022 by Corinne Schmitt
If you’re planning a trip to Beantown, take advantage of some of the adventures in the surrounding area. I’ve put together a list of the Best Day Trips from Boston for anyone looking to explore beyond the city.
Visitors flock to the Bay State year-round, whether fans of skiing in the colder months or taking advantage of the vast beaches in warmer months, its a popular vacation destination. After you’ve walked the Freedom Trail, dined at the Cheers restaurant and seen the Paul Revere House, there are countless historical and educational things to do just a day trips drive from Boston.
Best Day Trips from Boston
Add the following day trip destinations from Boston to your itinerary when visiting Massachusetts.
1. A Bewitching Day Trip From Boston; Salem Massachusetts
Salem, famous for its witch trials in 1692, is located on the northern coast of Massachusetts. It makes an ideal day trip from Boston any time of year, however, Fall is a great time to visit. With countless Halloween events like a costume ball, Witches Magic Circle and Halloween Finale Fireworks, there’s always something fun to do.
Salem is also an ideal year-round destination. If you’re spending the day from Boston, consider visiting the 1692 Salem Witch Museum. Here you’ll see exhibits depicting the events leading up to and culminating in the Salem Witch Trials.
Delight the bookworms in your family with a visit to The House of Seven Gables. The home, built-in 1668 was the setting for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel of the same name. Meander through the Seaside Garden or take a house tour to learn more about the rich history of this popular Salem attraction.
2. Cape Cod in a Day: The Ideal Day Trip From Downtown Boston
Cap Cod, known as the Summer home to many prominent families, is approximately an hour from downtown Boston. Beachgoers and boaters will enjoy the multitude of water activities while naturalists and hikers will delight in the miles of unadulterated coastline.
With over 60 beaches on the 40-mile Cape Cod National Seashore, visitors can enjoy hiking trails, snorkeling, sailing and of course spending a lazy beach day soaking up the surf and sand.
Boston traffic has a reputation for being one-of-a-kind, in many ways. If you’d like to leave the driving to someone else, there are options. Travel The Cape Flyer which boards at South Station, downtown and drops visitors off 90-minutes later in Buzzards Bay.
Additionally, Boston Harbor Cruise will ferry city visitors to Fisherman’s Wharf in Provincetown. This trip is also a short 90-minute ride; an ideal, relaxing day trip transportation option.
3. Rockport on Cape Ann, Massachusetts: The ‘Other’ Cape Near Boston MA
The quaint fishing harbor of Rockport is located on Cape Ann in Massachusetts. While not as popular with tourists as Cape Cod, this serene day trip from Boston that deserves its place on the list. Many locals prefer Cape Ann to Cape Cod due to its low-key, relaxed beach-town vibe.
Rockport is the perfect Summer day trip from Boston for guests looking to for something different. Enjoy the rocky beaches if you just want to get in and out of the water and eclectic shopping opportunities.
Walking along the downtown area you’ll be greeted with countless candy shops like Tuck’s Candy Factory and The Rockport Fudgery. Be sure to stop into Roy Moore’s Lobster Shack and chat with Kenny while he prepares your lobster and drawn butter. And end the day with a stop into Helmut’s Strudel for some delicious pastries and coffee.
4. Historical Day Trips from Boston: Sturbridge Village
If you’re looking for an educational day trip from Boston, Old Sturbridge Village may be just the spot. This living museum located just an hour from Boston recreates life in rural New England. As the largest living history museum in the region, it covers over 200 acres. Guests can visit taverns, cafes, homes, stables, and craftsmen all the while learning first-hand what life was like from 1790 through the 1830s. While it is easy to spend an entire day at Old Sturbridge Village, many visitors spend three hours perusing the grounds, making it an ideal half-day trip from Boston.
5. Visit Plimouth Rock at Plimouth Plantation
A visit to Massachusetts wouldn’t be complete without immersing yourself in the history of the Native Americans that made this area home. Plimoth Plantation historians have painstakingly researched the history of the Wampanoag People.
This coupled with the Colonial English community that arrived here in the 1600s offers a straightforward and educational perspective that is unparalleled. Visitors will enjoy this day trip from Boston for what it truly is. A chance to experience the complex stories of both cultures; English and Native and what transpired between the two.
The Bay State has a unique, one-of-a-kind atmosphere. This makes it a favorite vacation option for visitors the world over. Massachusetts, though, has much to offer outside of the city with several opportunities to learn more about the origins of the country.