Boston’s Best Scenic Drives Within 60 Miles Of The City

April 28, 2012 6:00 AM

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Boston boasts rich, cultural history, sparkling, rocky shorelines and just stunning scenic drives, no matter which way you head out of town. These are some of the best, the most beautiful and entertaining, Boston has to offer.

duckworth bistro Bostons Best Scenic Drives Within 60 Miles Of The City

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Cape Ann Route 127 to Duckworth’s Bistrot
Duckworth’s Bistrot
197 East Main St.
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 282-4426

Distance: 15 miles one-way
Hours: Tue to Thurs – 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Fri and Sat – 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

This 15-mile drive takes you through the towns of Manchester-by-the-sea, Gloucester and Rockport. Bring a camera for fantastic views of the ocean, ancient ports and several movie sites. Time it right for a full view of the sunset. Stop by Duckworth’s Bistrot for dinner, where you will find American cuisine made with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. This practice supports local business and provides variety on the menu.

blue hills visitors pond Bostons Best Scenic Drives Within 60 Miles Of The City

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Chickatawbut Road through the Blue Hills
Blue Hills Reservation
695 Hillside St.
Milton, MA 02186
(617) 698-1802

Distance: 9 miles one-way
Hours: dawn to dusk

A scenic drive from Braintree to Milton, Chickatawbut Road takes you through the Blue Hills Reservation. With views of the city, rocky summits and lush forests, it’s a great escape from urban life. Be sure to look for the blueish hue on the slopes that gives the hills their name. Check out the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, run by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, for cultural and historical displays, as well as live animals to keep the whole family engaged. The Blue Hills Reservation is a year-round attraction, so take this scenic drive any season.

Related: Top 5 Hiking Spots Around Boston

adams farm aerial view Bostons Best Scenic Drives Within 60 Miles Of The City

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North Street in Westwood to Fisher Street in Walpole
Adams Farm
999 North St.
Walpole, MA 02081

Distance: 2 miles one-way
Hours: sunrise to sunset

A short drive through the farmland of Westwood and Walpole offers cultural and historical richness appropriate for the Boston area. Pass by Adams Farm, which boasts 365 acres of town-owned land. Visitors are welcome to hike, picnic, bird watch or join one of their outings. However, camping, hunting, and fires are not permitted. Alongside the large, colonial houses of Walpole, stop to see the United Meeting House and the Old Town Hall.

north bridge top photo web Bostons Best Scenic Drives Within 60 Miles Of The City

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Battle Road Scenic Byway
Minute Man National Historical Park
174 Liberty St.
Concord, MA 01742
(978) 369-6993

Distance: 21 miles one way
Price: $5 Wayside House Tours/free Road to Revolution
Hours: daily – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A historical drive through Arlington, Lexington, Lincoln and Concord, this route follows the path of the British during the start of the American Revolution. It also passes by Minute Man National Historical Park, which is bursting with Revolutionary history. Follow the road to Revolution or take a tour of the Wayside House. Group discounts are available, and reservations are required for groups larger than 15. Start the drive on Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington and end at the Colonial Barrett House on Mill Road in Concord.

essex ship building museum Bostons Best Scenic Drives Within 60 Miles Of The City

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Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
Essex Shipbuilding Museum
66 Main St.
Essex, MA 01929
(978) 768-7541

Distance: 28 miles one-way
Price: $7 general guided tour/$6 seniors/$5 children 6 to 18/free children younger than 6/$5 self-guided tour $5 general/free children younger than 6
Hours: Sat and Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This coastal route takes you from Essex to Lynn, north to south. Perfect for the ocean enthusiast, relish relaxing coastal views along the way. Colonial farms and period architecture add to the excitement, as does the Great Marsh, New England’s largest salt marsh. Stop to photograph any of the 13 historic communities along the route, or just enjoy the rocky New England coast. Set aside time to stop at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum for a little dose of the area’s history and culture.

Related: Guide to Boston Walking Tours

Kim is the owner of Vareika Personal Training and Yoga in Plainville. She has been in the fitness industry for over ten years, and believes that wellness is about more than just physical health. When she is not teaching, practicing, or writing, she resides in Bridgewater where she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her nephew Caesar. Her work can be found at