Living in greater Boston provides so many opportunities to explore. Head northeast or southeast for world class beaches, charming lighthouses and picturesque seaside villages. Trek west and see the forest grow thicker as you continue to drive, only to open up again in the rolling Berkshire Mountains. There are few places with both rocky mountain faces and ocean shore within just a few hours drive of one another. This gives lucky New Englanders plenty of options for fun day trips outside the city. From Boston, here are a few suggested day drips that are all within a two-and-a-half hour drive.

Crane Beach in Ipswich (credit: thetrustees.org)

Crane Beach in Ipswich (credit: thetrustees.org)


Crane Beach
290 Argilla Road
Ipswich, MA 01938
(978) 356-4351
www.thetrustees.org

Of the day trip suggestions on this list, Crane Beach is the closest to Boston. Just a 45-minute drive north of the city is the beach, lovingly known as Crane’s, a pristinely preserved beach and nature reserve protected by the Trustees of Reservations. This beach is a true escape from all the chaos of living in the city. The water is clean, and the beach and its facilities are well-maintained. There is also a fairly extensive set of nature trails behind the beach in the dunes, which is great for birders and exercise enthusiasts.

Brattleboro, Vermont
180 Main St.
Brattleboro, VT 05301
(802) 254-4565
www.brattleborochamber.org

Two hours northwest of Boston is Brattleboro, a charming mountain town that’s also a famed haven for hippies. Among the vintage boutiques, outing goods stores and quiet gift shops is the famous Brattleboro Co-op, where the towns residents can buy organic goods in bulk, stock up on essential oils, and farm fresh groceries. Brattleboro has some great, easy hiking and is also just a short drive from Keene, New Hampshire. Wherever you go, make sure to grab some baked mac and cheese at the deli on the way out of town!

North Conway, NH (Image: iStockphoto)

North Conway, NH (Image: iStockphoto)



North Conway, New Hampshire

North Conway Village Visitor’s Center
2617 White Mountain Highway
North Conway, NH, 03860
(603) 356-5947
www.mtwashingtonvalley.org

Like Brattleboro, North Conway is another mountain village, but this one is further east in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Perfect for skiing in the winter or hiking, zip liningand swimming in the summer, North Conway is a great day trip destination all year long. One of the most popular times to visit is in Autumn during leaf peeping season. People come from around the world to drive along the Kancamagus Highway and catch the panoramic views of the rust and yellow colored leaves. This is a drive that every true Bostonian needs to take at least once!

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(Photo credit: Portsmouth, NH)

(Photo credit: Portsmouth, NH)



Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Discover Portsmouth Center
10 Middle St.
Portsmouth, NH 03801
(603) 436-8433
www.portsmouthnh.com

Drive along the coast north of Boston and you will eventually find Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a seaside town that is equally parts touristy-cute and gritty working shipping port. The cobblestone streets are lined with quirky shops and divey pubs. A Portsmouth pub-crawl is a must-do activity for any craft beer lover, especially one that likes to support hyperlocal breweries. Portsmouth is the perfect town to stroll on a sunny summer day. Grab an ice cream or enjoy lunch outside between exploring all of the one-of-a-kind boutiques.

Newport, Rhode Island (Image: iStockphoto)

Newport, Rhode Island (Image: iStockphoto)



Newport, Rhode Island

Discover Newport
23 America’s Cup Ave
Newport, RI 02840
(401) 849-8048
www.discovernewport.org

Newport is another wonderful seaside destination that can be made into a one-day trip from Boston. Unlike the other towns on this list, Newport is uber chic with designer shopping, country clubs, yachts and dazzling mansions. Take a mansion tour, visit an art gallery or stroll along Newport’s world renowned cliff walk. Don your summer seersucker and sip mint juleps at one of Newport’s oyster bars. A day trip to Newport will give you a lovely taste of New England’s old money glamour.

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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.

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