Its location on the New England coast means Boston is one of the best places to live for people who need the occasional escape from city life. From charming Kennebunkport to the wooded Blue Hills Reservation, a day trip from the city is never more than a quick drive away. Here are some of the best and most accessible ways to spend a little time outside the capital of Massachusetts.
Blue Hills Reservation
Just a 20-minute drive from downtown Boston, the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton boasts 125mi (201km) of hiking trails through forests, hills and wetlands. The Skyline Trail is a popular choice for day hikes and can take anywhere from four to seven hours to complete.
Few New England destinations can match the charm of this gorgeous and historic seaside town in Maine. Kennebunkport is approximately 90 minutes from Boston by car, making it a great day-trip option. Visit this coastal gem for scenic views of the coast, seafood platters and plenty of shopping.
Cape Cod National Seashore
Stretching about 40mi (64km) along the coast, the Cape Cod National Seashore offers incredible views of the ocean, old lighthouses, cranberry bogs and marshes. Only about a two-hour drive from Boston, the area is especially popular with hikers and cyclists. If you’d like to make it more than just a day trip, we recommend booking one of these excellent Cape Cod hotels.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Approximately an hour’s drive from Boston, Portsmouth is a small New Hampshire port city with a ton of character. Craft breweries, vintage clothing stores and charming cafes and restaurants are in no short supply, with the Portsmouth Brewery and Liars Bench Beer and Bodega being two favorites.
Good Harbor Beach
Less than an hour’s drive from Boston, Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester offers smooth, white sand and beautiful Atlantic Ocean views. During low tide, it’s possible to walk out to Salt Island, a 5-acre (2ha) sandbar that’s popular with beachgoers and explorers.
Old Sturbridge Village
Old Sturbridge Village is a great choice for families. This historical village-living museum will give you a window into what life was like for New Englanders in the 1800s. It’s only an hour from Boston and hosts special events and re-enactments throughout the year.
This small coastal town is known for its thriving art scene, rich history and popularity among the LGBTQ community, and its population grows significantly in the summer – from 3,000 to 60,000. The drive takes approximately two hours from Boston in easy traffic, so you may want to consider staying the night.
Boston Harbor Islands
Six of the 34 islands off the coast of Boston are easily accessible by ferry from the Long Wharf North. Check out Peddocks Island for camping, Spectacle Island for hiking and Georges Island for exploring Fort Warren (a Civil War-era prison for Confederate soldiers).
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.