Are you looking for the best day trips from Boston? With so many unique destinations within reach of this vibrant city, there’s no reason why your next adventure should be anything less than spectacular.
We’ve put together a list of 11 day trips from Boston, each one complete with tips on where to stay and what exciting activities you can do while you’re there.
So let’s discover the hidden gems of New England, hand-picked by our travel experts, just for you. Let us be your guide!
The 11 Best Day Trips From Boston in 2023
When it comes to day trips from Boston, you better believe there are plenty of great options. Whether you’re looking for a beach getaway or an outdoor adventure, there’s something in store for everyone.
1. Cape Cod
- Travel Time: 1 hr 23 min by car
With its charming beaches and quaint towns, Cape Cod is the perfect place to escape the city life’s hustle and bustle.
Whether you’re looking for a stroll on miles of sandy shores or want to soak up some classic New England charm, this destination won’t disappoint! From whale watching to lighthouses, there’s plenty to explore in a single cape cod day trip.
Read Next: The Best Time to Visit Cape Cod in 2023
2. Martha’s Vineyard
- Travel Time: 2 hr 57 min by car and ferry
Martha’s Vineyard is the perfect destination for those hoping to escape their stressful day-to-day lives. With its picturesque villages, stunning shorelines, and tranquil atmosphere, it can provide a peaceful getaway from city affairs.
You can also enjoy fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants or stroll along the waterfront boardwalk to enjoy a bit of quiet.
Read Next: The Best & Worst Times to Visit Martha’s Vineyard
- Travel Time: 39 min by car
If you’re a culture connoisseur, Salem could be an awesome day trip. You can explore the iconic Witch House or attend any of its renowned festivals. From comedy nights to Friday night ice sculpture illumination, these festivals are the heart of this incredible town.
Less than an hour from Boston, Salem could make one of the perfect Boston day trips, especially if you want to learn more about the area’s past while having fun in present-day New England.
Read Next: The Best Time to Visit Salem in 2023
- Travel Time: 1 hr 33 min by car
A popular summer destination on Rhode Island’s coast, Newport has something for everyone — from luxury shopping opportunities to stunning ocean views.
We suggest you take time out to visit some of its famous mansions, like The Breakers or Marble House, before heading back home again.
- Travel Time: 2 hr 19 min by car
Provincetown is the ideal destination for anyone seeking a chance to escape and reconnect with nature. Located at the end of Cape Cod National Seashore Park, this beautiful locale offers spectacular coastal views.
These include view of the dramatic cliffs that give way to clear waters below. If you’re a nature enthusiast, you definitely won’t want to miss out on Provincetown!
6. Nantucket Island
- Travel Time: 3 hrs 34 minutes by car and ferry
Nantucket Island, located just off Massachusetts’ south coast, is the perfect location for visitors looking to immerse themselves in a mix of historic charm and beachfront beauty.
This picturesque island offers endless sandy shores backed by centuries-old homes with unique galleries and boutiques lining cobblestone streets. If you’re a history enthusiast, Nantucket Island is set up to become a perfect day trip.
Read Next: The Best & Worst Times to Visit Nantucket in 2023
7. Acadia National Park
- Travel Time: 4 hr 32 min by car
Acadia National Park is a treasure trove of natural beauty and outdoor adventure, with the east side of Mount Desert Island being its busiest area.
Those who explore here can drive along the 27-mile “Park Loop Road” for stunning views and easy access to some of Acadia’s most popular attractions.
Maine’s largest national park boasts over 47000 acres filled with breathtaking landscapes, including mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, and more.
For us, it’s the perfect place if you’re looking for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. All-in-all, Acadia National Park has all the elements to feature on our list of top day trips in Boston.
Read Next: The Best Time to Visit Acadia National Park in 2023
8. The Berkshires
- Travel Time: 2 hr 15 min by car
This area in western Massachusetts features rolling hills dotted with small towns offering cultural attractions such as museums, performing arts centers, and numerous historical sites. It also provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, like skiing and fishing.
9. Foxwoods Resort Casino
- Travel Time: 1 hr 49 min by car
If you’re feeling lucky, then Foxwoods Resort Casino might be just what you need. Located 2 hours from Boston, this casino complex includes six casinos offering table games, live entertainment, and many more fun activities.
Mystic, Connecticut, is known for its seaport and aquarium, which houses thousands of aquatic species, making it the perfect spot if your family loves exploring marine life.
Other attractions are nearby, including Olde Mistick Village – a recreated colonial village – and various parks ideal for picnicking.
10. Block Island, RI
- Travel Time: 25 min by car
Escape reality by taking a ferry ride over to Block Island, which boasts pristine beaches surrounded by lush greenery — perfect for beach bums who want some rest away from home.
Cost Ferry tickets start at $17/person roundtrip plus additional costs if renting bikes/mopeds etc. For those interested in American history, make sure not to miss out on these two towns near Boston.
These were pivotal sites during Revolutionary War battles between colonists and British forces. Other tourist attractions include Minute Man National Historical Park and Old North Bridge.
11. Mystic Seaport Museum
- Travel Time: 3 hr by car
The Mystic Seaport Museum is truly one of a kind. Visitors can learn more about shipbuilding techniques through interactive exhibits at this iconic museum.
Plus, there’s just a lot to discover in a trove of old-world maritime history if you’re a history and culture enthusiast. There’s also a variety of shops selling souvenirs, so don’t forget your wallet when visiting this popular tourist destination!
Things to Consider
The best day trips from Boston depend on what type of experience you’re looking for. If you want to explore some of New England’s most iconic cities, we suggest you take a trip to Salem or Plymouth.
There are plenty of options for outdoor enthusiasts, like hiking in the White Mountains or biking along Cape Cod’s National Seashore. Or, if you’re looking for something more low-key, you can head over to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket for a relaxing beach getaway.
Boston to Salem Distance
Salem is probably the first place people want to visit when planning day trips from Boston. Luckily, Salem is located only about 30 miles north of Boston and can be reached by car in under an hour, depending on traffic conditions.
You can also take public transportation via commuter rail, which takes around 45 minutes one way and costs approximately $10 roundtrip per person.
Before you embark on your journey, we advise you to research and get the scoop on local travel regulations. These guidelines can vary significantly depending on where in the world and when you plan to go.
Don’t forget — crossing state lines could mean encountering different transportation rules for a smooth (and legal!) trip.
Many attractions have limited capacity, so booking tickets ahead of time is highly recommended to guarantee entry into popular sites like museums or monuments requiring reservations before visiting them in person.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions that visitors desiring to visit Boston frequently ask about day trips from Boston:
What is there to do within 2 hours of Boston?
Boston is a great city to explore, and there are plenty of things to do within two hours of the city. Just 30 minutes away from Cambridge, you can visit Harvard University and stroll through its iconic campus.
In an hour’s drive south, you can find yourself at the beautiful beaches of Cape Cod or exploring the charming downtown area of Plymouth.
A little over an hour away in Salem, Massachusetts, you can experience the history and culture that this coastal town has to offer with its numerous museums and historical site; truly one of the more remarkable day trips from Boston.
For outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of hiking trails around Boston, such as Blue Hills Reservation or Middlesex Fells Reservation, where you can enjoy nature while exercising. No matter your interests, there is something for everyone near Boston.
What cities are 1 hour away from Boston?
Within an hour of Boston, there are several cities to explore. Salem is a popular destination for its rich history and witchy vibes. Lynn is known for its beaches and vibrant art scene. Marblehead offers picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean with plenty of outdoor activities.
Newburyport has a charming downtown area full of unique shops and restaurants along the Merrimack River. Manchester-by-the-Sea boasts beautiful sandy beaches and quaint shops and cafes in town.
Gloucester provides stunning oceanfront scenery with fishing charters, whale-watching tours, and more. Finally, Rockport offers coastal beauty alongside art galleries, seafood restaurants, and scenic walking trails.
Is Cape Cod a day trip from Boston?
Yes, Cape Cod is a day trip from Boston. It’s just over an hour away by car and can easily be reached via public transportation. There are plenty of sights to see in the area, including beaches, lighthouses, museums, and nature trails.
You could even take a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket for the day if you have enough time. No matter your interests, there’s something for everyone on Cape Cod.
Can you make a day trip to Salem from Boston?
Yes, it is possible to make a day trip from Boston to Salem. The two cities are only about 16 miles apart and can be reached in under an hour by car or public transportation.
Many attractions in Salem, such as the Witch Museum, the House of Seven Gables, and the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, make for great sightseeing opportunities. If you’re looking for something more active, whale-watching tours are also available during certain times of the year.
With careful planning and time management, you can easily fit all these activities into one day if you’re looking for exciting day trips from Boston.
So, What Is the Best Day Trip From Boston?
From swimming in the ocean to scaling mountains and exploring historical sites, there’s no shortage of exciting day trips from Boston. But with all these possibilities, it can be hard to decide which is right for you!
That’s why we’ve created a detailed guide on where and what activities await at each destination. Don’t delay planning your next mini-vacation any longer; start making those memories today!