Want to go out of Boston for a day? Looking for top destinations to travel to? Here is the list of the 12 best day trips from Boston.
While Bostonians have a lot to do in the metropolis, heading out for the day every once in a while allows you to enjoy the many attractions that are just a stone’s throw away from the city.
If you want to sit by the beach, Cape Cod is just 70 miles away and can be reached via a bus or a ferry. Those who enjoy history will have a wonderful time in Salem, which is about an hour’s drive away.
Meanwhile, Rhode Island, a little over an hour’s drive away, is the hub of early 20th-century architecture. Needless to say, you can plan all sorts of day trips from Boston, owing to the city’s convenient location in the New England region.
In this guide, we list the best family day trips from Boston, along with one-day ventures for couples and solo travelers.
Regardless of your taste, you’ll find the perfect adventure for yourself in this guide.
Table of Contents
Best Day Trips From Boston
As discussed earlier, the location of Boston makes it at a convenient distance from many national attractions, including national parks, museums, art galleries, historic houses, and much more.
If you have an American Express card, make sure to put your points to use during your trips.
Daytrips to Salem from Boston are very popular among people who want to get home before nightfall.
The city’s folklore about witches and their persecution never ceases to be enticing. Apart from this, Salem also has a lot of other attractions.
The Peabody Essex Museum showcases the original documents of the witch trials from centuries ago. You can even see the copy of Malleus Maleficarum, a guide for witch hunters.
If you want to get the most of the city in a day, hop on the Salem Trolley. It goes through the Old Burying Point, Witch Dungeon Museum, House of the Seven Gables, and the Salem Witch Museum.
You can also ride the trolley at night when it converts into Tales & Tombstones Trolley, revisiting the historical murderers. If you love binge-watching horror movies, this ride will be perfect for you.
If it’s too late to go back home after the ride, book an Airbnb in the city.
Oh, and did we mention that the Halloween-favorite Hocus Pocus was filmed in the city? None of the day trips to Salem from Boston are complete without visiting the film locations, such as the school and Allison’s House.
See Related: Boston CityPASS Review
Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire
A visit to Mount Sunapee constitutes one of the best day ski trips from Boston. The region has 66 trails with some of the best grooming and snowmaking experiences in the east.
Since it’s just two hours away, you can make it a skiing road trip experience with kids.
With 230 acres of the trail area, Mount Sunapee has something for beginners, intermediates, and pros. In fact, there’s a designated beginner slope where you can practice skiing if you’re not yet skilled at it.
If the skiing tires you out or you just want to give it another go the next day, book a hotel from Kayak and rest the night away.
Wachusett Mountain, Massachusetts
Speaking of ski resorts near Boston, a visit to Wachusett Mountain makes one of the best day ski trips from Boston.
For one, it’s just an hour away, and you can even take the train. Secondly, there’s a designated bus that will take you to the base lodge of the Mountain.
Here, you’ll find 25 trails, divided according to the experience level. Plus, there’s a separate area for newbies. Since the trails stay open for up to 10 pm, you can even go there after work to enjoy skiing.
Moreover, Wachusett Mountain also has a huge selection of rental equipment, such as snowshoes, telemark skis, advanced boots, and snowboards.
Before you leave, make sure to take a picture of the Boston skyline from the summit, as that’s one of the highlights of this location.
If you want to explore Niagara Falls, you’d have to clear your day because it’s a long drive. For the day trips to Niagara Falls from Boston, you’ll have to drive for approximately eight hours. If you set on your journey early in the morning, you can come home before midnight.
However, if you’re too tired to drive back, find a hotel on Booking and stay the night.
Plus, Amtrak is a train that goes from Boston to Niagara Falls. But there’s only one train a day, so you must plan accordingly.
While the waterfall obviously is the most remarkable attraction in the region, you can do a lot more on your day trip to Niagara Falls from Boston.
For instance, you can enjoy a leisurely afternoon surrounded by nature in the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens & Butterfly Conservatory. If you have more time on your hands, you can also drive to the nearby Inniskillin Winery, which is famous for its icewine.
Newport, Rhode Island
About a hundred years ago, the wealthy from New York came to Newport to spend the summers and built the most marvelously extravagant mansions for themselves.
Today, these summer residences serve as tourist attractions that you must visit when planning family day trips from Boston. If you’re in the mood for a walk with a view, the Cliff Walk is the best place to spend your afternoon.
It’s a 3.5-mile walk spanning the city’s shoreline. Plus, you’ll have a view of some of the most exorbitant mansions in the region. For lunch, come to Thames Street, where you can also shop and enjoy a refreshing dining scene.
If you enjoy architecture and history, the Breakers Mansion is a must-visit when in Newport.
It’s among the most famous homes in America, being a Renaissance-style residence used by the Vanderbilt’s for their summer stay in the city.
See Related: Do You Need a Car in Boston?
At a little over three hours’ drive away from Boston, Vermont is a picturesque location to enjoy a full day.
To start your day trip to Vermont from Boston, head over to Lake Champlain. It has one of its tips in Canada and the other in Vermont.
Besides the scenic beauty, the lake is also in proximity to historical attractions and wildlife. The lake is habitat to 318 bird species and 81 fish species. Meanwhile, some claim to have seen a serpent-like animal in the lake, which is nicknamed Champy by the locals.
For those of you who’re always on the hunt for the best ski resorts near Boston, Stowe should be the ideal place for the day. You can visit the Vermont Ski Museum on your day trip to Vermont from Boston, which is one of the most prestigious attractions in the town.
Meanwhile, the Stowe Mountain Resort is among the best ski resorts near Boston for people who want to have the best ski trips from Boston involving other recreational activities too.
Some options include biking through on the Stowe Recreation Path or visiting the Shelburne Museum to explore America’s traditional fine art and folk.
See Related: Route 100 Vermont Road Trip
While skiing near Boston is a prime way to enjoy the snow and terrain, a day trip to Cape Cod allows you to enjoy the beach while going on bike trails and marveling at the wildlife.
Hailed as one of the finest and most enjoyable bike trails in the region, the Cape Cod Rail Trail is perfect for spending the day. The 22-mile trail takes you through the ecosystems of the Lower Cape.
Another place to explore in the region is the Cape Cod National Seashore, which was designated a national park by President John F. Kennedy. Today, you can go there to sit on one of the many beaches, including the Marconi Beach, Nauset Beach, and Herring Cove beaches.
If you can drive to Provincetown, make sure to visit the Pilgrim Monument, which is a 10-mile climb to the top.
Apart from satisfying your history-living soul, this will also allow you to take a splendid picture of the Provincetown skyline from above.
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Being the most productive biological ocean environment in the world, the Stellwagen Marine Sanctuary is an ideal place for whale watching.
Don’t worry; you won’t end up wasting your whole day at the sanctuary without a whale in sight. Some cruises in the region guarantee you a free trip if you don’t see a while – that’s how common the sightings are.
You’ll most probably see a female humpback as these whales come back to the waters to teach the young ones how to hunt. Furthermore, you’ll also spot other species, such as the harbor porpoise, white-sided dolphins, and seals.
If you love to go on family day trips from Boston every few months, whale watching should definitely be on your list.
Keep your cameras ready while you’re there.
Based in Somerville, Aeronaut Brewery is among the best breweries near Boston as it’s a hub of community and entertainment. Along with beer, the brewery also offers nightly events, such as dance takeovers and live music.
It was started by MIT graduates, who leveraged the science of beer making to plan their business back in 2013. Today, you can enjoy regularly rotating beer drafts at their brewery and make a day trip out of it with friends or family.
Also, while you’re in Somerville, you can also go to the Winter Hill Brewing, which is another one of the best breweries near Boston. In the morning, the brewery turns into a coffee shop that serves espresso drinks and Counter Culture Coffee brews.
You can also get a breakfast sandwich with your coffee.
Dune’s Edge Campground
If you’re in Cape Cod and want to explore the region a little bit more, the Dune’s Edge is one of the best campgrounds near Boston.
It’s no Marriot when it comes to convenience and ambiance. But the campsite’s proximity to the Cape Cod National Seashore is a sight you shouldn’t miss.
For forty miles, there’s a stretch of beautiful landscape. It includes outdoor recreational spaces, beaches, ponds, marshes, and wildlife habitats.
The camping season lasts from May to October, offering a long timeline to plan your trip to the campgrounds near Boston. While you’re there, book a tour with Art’s Dune Tours. They provide an up-close experience of the beaches in the region.
You can also visit Commercial Street. It has a number of souvenir shops, art galleries, and restaurants to blow away the big city Bostonian smoke.
On the other hand, if you’re searching for campgrounds near Boston that are less than an hour’s drive away, opt for the Waterfront Camp.
It’s only 10 miles from the city.
See Related: Best Road Trip Books for Kids
How could we miss New York when talking about the best day trips from Boston?
Although it’s three and an hour away from Boston, New York’s irresistible appeal makes the drive worthwhile.
When on a one day trip from Boston to NYC, there’s a lot you can do. For instance, if you’re with your partner or children, catch a movie at the Sidewalk Cinema in East Williamsburg.
If it’s your first time in the city, go see the Statue of Liberty in the spirit of being a tourist. Take the free Staten Island Ferry to get a close look at lady liberty.
To get an up-top view of the city, you can go to the Empire State Building or the Top of the Rock. Apart from these common attractions, New York is also known for housing over 80 museums.
It’s hard to choose one museum to visit during your one day trip from Boston to NYC, with options like the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Sex. Art lovers can also fulfill their life-long wish of visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
To get in some scenic views, go for a walk in Central Park. Just a heads-up that it’s much bigger than it looks in movies. It would be helpful to take a map along if you don’t want to get lost in its winding paths.
Sure enough, when you go to NYC, you can’t miss the Theatre District. Here, you can go to the Shubert Alley, a famous alley that has two historical playhouses.
Moreover, don’t forget to take in the blinding moving signs of Times Square. Who knows, you might end up experiencing a live mob?
Anyway, there’s only so much that you can fit in your one-day trip from Boston to NYC. If you’d like to explore the Big Apple more, book a hotel from Kayak to spend the night in a city that never sleeps.
Check out these NYC guides:
- Best Parks in New York City
- Where to Stay Outside of New York City
- CityPASS New York vs New York Pass
- New York Pass Review
See Related: Next Vacay Review
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Finally, we have something for sports lovers who might be looking for something a little different from skiing near Boston.
The Hall of Fame at the Naismith Memorial has more than three hundred expert players. Plus, it has artifacts and a lot more to appease your love for sports.
Moreover, the memorial holds the honor of being the largest monument of its type since it spans over 40,000 square feet.
You can also buy novelty items from the Fame Store. Items from memorabilia and basket kits are ready to be purchased here.
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