One of the best parts of living in New England is that we have a little bit of everything: Mountains, lakes, the ocean, cities, farms and everything in between. Boston is one of the only cities that has both a mountain range (the Berkshires and the White Mountains) and the sea within a two hour drive. Enjoy the best of nature and urban live by seizing the day and enjoying one or more of these easy day trips this summer!
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Provincetown is a fun and easy day trip from Boston. Though it is located at the very tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown is easily accessible via the daily fast ferry from the Seaport District. The ferry takes just a little over an hour, which is a small price to pay to quickly get to one of the best places in New England. Provincetown boasts picturesque beaches, top notch restaurants, great boutiques, and super fun bars and clubs. Great for partiers, foodies, and beach goers, Provincetown has a little bit of everything, so it is great for travelers with a little bit of ADD when it comes to choosing the day’s activities!
Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a surprisingly short drive north of Boston. About an hour away, it is easy to visit for a day or even just a few hours. This beautiful coastal town is less touristy than Gloucester, Hingham, and the other seaside towns of Massachusetts. There are also a plethera of breweries in the area, so a brewery tour makes a great day activity, especially in poor weather. Otherwise, enjoy a meal outside and watch the busy, working port and explore the boutiques.
North Shore, Massachusetts
If you are in the mood to spend the entire day in the sun on the beach, heading up to Plum Island in Newburyport, Massachusetts is a fabulous choice for a day trip. Parking here is more affordable than many other North Shore beaches, but make sure to leave Boston early in order to find the best spot. After you are totally baked by the sun and worn out from swimming, drive a mile inland and enjoy dinner at one of downtown Newburyport’s many restaurants. A margarita at Agave restaurant is particularly refreshing after a day at the beach.
Related: Boston Best Beer Gardens
Sick of the beach? Want to avoid the traffic and the crowds associated with heading to the coast? Another great alternative is to spend the day hiking in New Hampshire. For inexperienced hikers, Mount Monadnock is a great mountain to start with. Even this relatively easy hike will reward you with spectacular views and an easy drive home. Mount Monadnock is about two hours away from downtown Boston, making it a doable day trip, especially compared to other popular trails which typically require staying overnight nearby or at a campsite.
North Shore Massachusetts
Rockport is the most beautiful place within an hour of Boston. This outshoot of Gloucester is a picturesque, pedestrian friendly town that feels like stepping back in time. Unfortunately, Rockport is thoroughly discovered, and often crowded with visitors. So, if you have no patience for crowds, try visiting on a day with less-than-perfect weather, or in September or October after the busy season. It is still very worth the trip to see this quintessential New England home of salt water taffy, and the famous “Motif Number One.”
Cameron Bruns is the founder of BostonGreenBlog.com and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.