Hit me up with your 1 or 2 day Boston area trip suggestions!
April 26, 2011 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Decent 1 or 2 day trips from Boston area?

My partner and I are visiting Boston next week. I've been to the city many times and it's her first visit (we are flying in from Toronto). I've got a reasonable handle on things we can do in the city, but we'll also have access to a car and I'm thinking about taking day trips out of the city or even staying overnight somewhere. Would appreciate any suggestions -- trips out to the coast, etc, especially if there is some great seafood available. 2 hour drive max each way, unless it's an overnight suggestion.
posted by modernnomad to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The North Shore and Cape are really nice places to visit, and, depending on where you end up going, could be a day trip or an overnight. If you're keen on making more of a journey, North Adams in the western part of the state is really nice--where Mass MoCA, the museum of contemporary art, is. Really, anywhere in the Berkshires would be nice.

Salem, Lexington/Concord, Newburyport, Rockport, are all pretty little towns, steeped in history, etc.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:13 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Newport, Rhode Island is pretty, has a great cliff walk, and many good mansions. Also seconding Salem, Rockport, and Gloucester on the North Shore, too.
posted by ldthomps at 12:16 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Plymouth. Especially Plimoth Plantation. If you like fried seafood, you will die of joy at the Lobster Hut.
posted by Melismata at 12:22 PM on April 26, 2011

Cape Cod, yeah. The weather's starting to get nice but it's not overrun with tourists, yet. Maybe a day out, stay overnight at a B&B in Provincetown, then a day back? (Boston to Provincetown is something on the order of 2.5 hours)
posted by rmd1023 at 12:30 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Portsmouth, New Hampshire is just an hour away, and Portland, Maine is 2. Both are full of interesting shops and not yet overrun with tourists.
posted by noxetlux at 12:47 PM on April 26, 2011

Seconding Portland, Maine! You could combine it with a visit to Two Lights state park, which is a beautiful spot. (If you're there when the tide is coming in you'll be treated to some spectacular surf.)
posted by usonian at 12:55 PM on April 26, 2011

Marblehead, on the north shore, is charming. If you want to go out of Massachusetts, here's a second for Portsmouth, NH.
posted by bluesky43 at 1:36 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Newport has enough to keep everyone busy for the day and it's not too far of a drive, although an overnight stay is probably good. Salem, Gloucester, Rockport is definitely a day trip and if you're heading up to Maine, you can always visit the outlets in Kittery of the weather turns bad or you need some serious shopping.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:42 PM on April 26, 2011

Ogunquit and York, Maine are beautiful and only about 1 1/2 hours from Boston. Definitely worth the trip. Also, Gloucester, MA is a beautiful seaside town with lots of cute little shops.
posted by Sal and Richard at 6:02 PM on April 26, 2011

The Berkshires are gorgeous.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:27 PM on April 26, 2011

Somewhat closer to Boston is Salem, which is an interesting adventure. There are a whole series of pretty campy "witch history" museums and New Age stuff galore. Also, some great food and other activities. It's a nice place to window shop and take in some eccentric color.

Technically in Boston, but not to be missed, are the harbor islands. Pack a good picnic lunch and head for the harbor ferry. You pay to get there and once there can move, pretty much, from island to island for free. Don't forget your sunscreen, some things to entertain you. I recommend Grape Island for a nice garden and the main island, George's Island, for the Civil War-era fort and history. The Harbor Islands are one of the true treasures of Boston and make a fantastic no-drive day trip.
posted by driley at 8:04 PM on April 26, 2011

Out on Cape Ann, in Essex, you can find the iconic Woodman's Eat In the Rough seafood restaurant. And now, the place is going green, thanks to initiatives from 4th generation family management. Also, now, with ice cream (er, frozen yogurt, but with your own mix-ins!)
posted by paulsc at 8:18 PM on April 26, 2011

Also, west of town, I can recommend, in Lincoln, near Walden Pond (which I'd only recommend on a weekday, for crowd and traffic reasons), the deCordova Museum and Sculpture park, and further west still, if you're looking for vistas and hiking, the Quabbin Reservoir.
posted by paulsc at 8:30 PM on April 26, 2011

"Plymouth. Especially Plimoth Plantation. If you like fried seafood, you will die of joy at the Lobster Hut."

I'd skip Plymouth unless you are very interested in Plimoth Plantation, which is actually very cool. But Plymouth Rock is nothing to look at, the Mayflower (II) is pretty cool but you can see that in one hour. The waterfront is pretty to walk around, get some ice cream and just hang out. But I'm not sure it's worth it.

I say this as someone who spent the first 25 years of his life in Plymouth, and a few years after that, when I had the chance to move back. I love Plymouth, I plan to move back there someday, but as a tourist, I'd find it totally forgettable. And the Lobster Hut is highly overrated :) Cross the street and hit Cabbyshack, but don't go on weekend nights unless you are 22-25 and looking to get shitfaced. But the food is quite good.

I'd go to Newport.
posted by santaliqueur at 11:08 PM on April 26, 2011

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