20 Best Day Trips From Boston
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30th Jan | 32 min read

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    Do you have a day off that you could spend on a day trip from Boston? Boston's central position in the northeastern New England area gives it an ideal starting point for seeing some of America's most treasured historic monuments and attractions. Boston is a fantastic city to live in, with plenty of interesting history, gorgeous parks, and great cuisine, and it's one of the few locations in America where you can get by without a car. But, with so much to see and do outside of Boston, you may as well spice things up with a little outdoor adventure.

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    1. Portsmouth

    Portsmouth, New Hampshire, grew from a small town in the 1600s, where mast trees were shipped to supply the King's Navy, to become one of the most important ports of the Colonial Era. The city has a tradition of caring for its past, which makes it one of the most fascinating for travelers interested in American history. It continued to thrive as a shipbuilding center into the late twentieth century.

    Portsmouth has become a gastronomic destination thanks to dozens of restaurants, many of which are operated by award-winning chefs and serve both New England classics and a variety of foreign cuisines. Unique boutiques, a vibrant cultural calendar, and a variety of cruise and boat tour options made this city an ideal day excursion from Boston.

    Stop at Discover Portsmouth, a welcome center and cultural gateway with a film about the city's colonial roots, a museum, and displays of local artworks, for a nice introduction to the city and all of its historic tourist sites.

    Visit the 10-acre Strawbery Banke Museum, which is named after the first town on the Piscataqua River at Great Bay's mouth. Portsmouth grew into a prominent port from its establishment in 1623, and the homes grouped here illustrate the city's four centuries of history.

    Market Square is the heart of modern-day Portsmouth, just as Puddle Dock was in the 17th century. The majestic North Church and noteworthy brick structures, including the ancient Portsmouth Athenaeum, frame this large open space. Down Market Street, several well-preserved mercantile blocks lead to Portsmouth's bustling waterfront, complete with a row of tugboats.

    Prescott Park, located close to Strawbery Banke on the Piscataqua River, features lovely perennial and annual flower gardens, a demonstration garden, performance space, public docks, and a place to rest on a seat and enjoy the flowers and harbor views.

    Best time to visit: January, February, March, and November are the best months to visit Portsmouth.

    Distance and driving time: 62 miles, a 1-hour drive from Boston.

    2. Cape Cod National Seashore

    Cape Cod National Seashore, which stretches 60 miles into the Atlantic Ocean from the edge of the Cape Cod peninsula, has long piqued the interest of nature lovers. It's simple to see why so many people are charmed with the natural beauty of this place, from the stunning heights of the coastal bluffs to the serenity of a woodland pond.

    Cape Cod National Seashore is known for its beauty and mystery, and it is home to a wide variety of animal and plant species. Over 450 kinds of animals, 32 of which are rare or endangered, benefit from the park's crucial habitat and protection. Have your camera ready while you tour the park; you're bound to see some of the park's wildlife.

    Swimming, walking, biking, and a variety of other outdoor activities are available along 40 miles of unspoiled beaches, marshes, ponds, and uplands. The coast, wetlands, and woodlands offer a range of environments to explore for the more skilled naturalist. The lighthouses, cultural landscapes, and natural cranberry bogs provide an insight into Cape Cod's past and present.

    The Cape Cod National Seashore offers a wealth of sightseeing and adventure options. Hiking, motorcycling, and resting on the beach are just a few of the things that visitors enjoy. Hunting and fishing are also authorized in specific regions, although only at particular periods of the year. Children can participate in junior ranger and junior lifeguard programs run by the Cape Cod National Seashore management.

    While the seashore currently does not offer any on-site camping options, check out Nickerson State Park and Wellfleet Hollow Campground for nearby overnight camping.

    Best time to visit: The months of May, June, September, and October are perfect for a day trip to Cape Cod. The shoulder months bring good weather for outdoor activities, fewer crowds than the peak summer months, and lower lodging rates.

    Distance and driving time: 114 miles, 2 hours and 34 minutes drive from Boston.

    3. Halibut Point State Park

    Halibut Point State Park, at the Rockport-Gloucester line in Rockport, is one of Massachusetts' most picturesque and scenic areas. The park offers breathtaking views of coastal New England, extending from Ipswich's Crane Beach to the Isles of Shoals in New Hampshire and Mount Agamenticus in Maine.

    The DCR and the Trustees of Reservations operate the park, which was formerly the Babson Farm granite quarry, for aesthetic, historic, and conservation purposes. The Town of Rockport owns and manages Sea Rocks, which is open to the public. Explore the park's paths and tidepools, picnic on rocky ledges, take in the panoramic views, and learn about Cape Ann's ancient granite industry.

    Tours of the quarry are available on Saturdays from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend and include a granite-cutting demonstration. Other programs, such as wildflower walks and tidepool programs in the summer and seabird walks in the winter, highlight the park's natural history. For information on forthcoming programs, check the bulletin boards in the parking lot and at the Visitors Center, or phone the park.

    Halibut Point Trail, a 2.6-kilometer widely traveled circular trail near Rockport, Massachusetts, features magnificent wildflowers and is suitable for hikers of all abilities. The route is open year-round and offers a variety of activities. This trail is also suitable for dogs.

    Best time to visit: The best time to visit Halibut Point State Park is early in the spring or later into the fall.

    Distance and driving time: 41 miles, a 50-minute drive from Boston.

    4. Salem

    Salem, Massachusetts, is best known for a dark moment in history when the town was overtaken by the hysteria surrounding suspicions that witchcraft was taking place there. The Salem witch trials are now known throughout the world and have made this small town a common household name. However, visitors will also find parks such as Breakheart Reservation, recreational activities such as kayaking in the sound and enjoying nearby Singing Beach, and many examples of colonial architecture and beautiful historical homes to explore.

    Firstly, visit the Peabody Essex Museum, a well-known and respected art museum that ranks among the largest art museums in the country. It was created by a merger of the Essex Institute and the Peabody Museum of Salem, and now has one of the largest and most significant collections of Asian art in the United States. There are more than 1.3 million pieces in the museum’s collection, including 22 historical buildings.

    Don’t forget to visit Misery Islands, the name of an 87-acre nature reserve comprising Great and Little Misery Island in the Salem Sound. The islands got their ominous name from a shipbuilder named Robert Moulton, who was stranded on the islands in 1620 during a bad snowstorm. At various points in time, the islands have had buildings, businesses, and residents; however, at present the islands are uninhabited.

    A highlight of visiting the islands are the views that you can enjoy of the North Shore and Salem. There are more than two miles of hiking trails on the larger of the two islands, which take visitors through meadows, to overlooks, across stony beaches, and more.

    Best time to visit: October is a fantastic month to visit Salem. A whole schedule of haunted happenings, ranging from a seance to a costume gala to ghostly guided walking tours, is available in addition to the town's usual plethora of spellbinding attractions. And nothing compares to being in Salem on Halloween. Aside from Halloween, the best times are Spring (March thru May) and Fall (​September and October).

    Distance and driving time: 22 miles, a 34-minute drive from Boston.

    5. Good Harbor Beach

    Good Harbor Beach is the place to go if you're looking for a beach in Gloucester with white sand, huge waves, and beautiful views. This slice of paradise, which faces the Atlantic Ocean, provides plenty of opportunities to explore the shoreline, play frisbee or football on the sand, or paddle out into the clear blue ocean.

    If you're a surfer, you'll be happy to know that Good Harbor Beach is one of the best spots in Gloucester for catching a wave. If you get washed out while swimming out with soft sand beneath your toes, your fall will most likely be cushioned by the sandy bottom.

    The beauty of Good Harbor Beach is that you can walk out to Salt Island during low tide, and if you don't want to do that, the Annisquam River to the right of the beach is a great spot to explore the saltwater estuary and look for critters in the rocks. It's a great site for a long day at the beach, whether you're with family or friends because it has plenty of services including restrooms and showers.

    If you want to see whales while in Gloucester, take a boat excursion around Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary after taking in the panoramic views of Good Harbor Beach. You might see humpbacks, dolphins, and other sea creatures.

    At Good Harbor Beach, parking is available but limited, and there is a $30 per vehicle fee. Over the weekend and on public holidays, this price may increase slightly to $35. Be warned that parking places may fill up quickly, so arrive early, preferably by 8:00 a.m., to ensure a good location. If you plan on remaining late, bear in mind that the parking lot at Good Harbor Beach will be closed at 9 p.m, so keep an eye on the clock.

    Best time to visit: August is a fantastic time to enjoy Good Harbor Beach because the weather and water are both warm and perfect for swimming and surfing.

    Distance and driving time: 38 miles, a 48-minute drive from Boston.

    6. Kennebunkport

    Kennebunkport, Maine's picturesque coastal town, is located in the southern section of the state. It is well recognized for being the summer residence of former President George H. W. Bush. Beaches and sea activities, such as sailing and whale watching, as well as swimming and hiking along the coast, top the list of things to do. In this lovely seaside town in Maine, history and food are very significant.

    With over 5,000 miles of pristine Atlantic Ocean coastline, it says a lot when Kennebunk beaches are ranked among the best in the state. Family-friendly Gooch's Beach is a broad, soft-sand beach that is ideal for a day trip with the family.

    Visitors can walk along the lengthy shoreline looking for sand dollars and creating sandcastles; splash, play, and skimboard in the waves, or swim or kayak in the calm seas.

    Visit the Seashore Trolley Museum, a 330-acre living history park with a variety of transportation exhibits and a Visitor Center with a History in Motion exhibition and a museum store. On a 1.5-mile interpretive railway, visitors can enjoy unlimited rides on immaculately restored streetcars.

    People love to discover Kennebunkport from the water, and sailing on the Pineapple Ketch along the rough, rocky coast of Southern Maine is an amazing experience. The legendary Downeaster 38, built in the 1970s, has been restored to its original high-quality beauty and sails morning, noon, and evening.

    Whale watching is a must-do activity for visitors to Maine's coast; after all, being in the presence of a breaching whale is awe-inspiring.

    Best time to visit: Between June through October, when the weather is at its finest, is the best time to visit Kennebunkport. The only drawback is that over this long season, nightly rates will be at their maximum.

    Distance and driving time: 84 miles, a 1 hour and 33 minutes drive from Boston.

    7. Rockport 

    Rockport, Massachusetts has a population of about 7,000 people. This charming New England town is located at the tip of the Cape Ann peninsula, with the Atlantic Ocean on three sides. Rockport's contemporary population consists primarily of fishermen and artists, and it was once home to a handful of Native American communities. Consider a drive to Rockport, if you're searching for a quick and enjoyable day excursion from the Boston region.

    The traditional red fishing shack known as Motif Number 1 is perhaps the most recognizable site in Rockport. The hut is a reproduction of the original structure, which was sadly destroyed in a blizzard in 1978 (crazy New England weather!). That same year, a copy of the original was built.

    The coast of New England is frequently thought of as a rocky location with a history of seafaring and fishing. While this is true, there are some beautiful beaches to be found all along the coast, from north to south. In Rockport, there are a few different beaches where you may go swimming and sunbathing.

    It would be impossible to visit Rockport without sampling the local delicacy: lobster. They're as common in Southie as pubs. Roy Moore's, The Lobster Pool, Blue Lobster Grill, Feather and Wedge, and other iconic seafood shacks across Cape Ann are some of the best places to get seafood in town.

    If you enjoy bicycling, there is something for you, such as riding a bike down the seaside, which brings out the child in everyone. Around Cape Ann, there are some spectacular scenic panoramas, and riding on two wheels is the ideal way to appreciate and interact with the scenery in a manner that motorized vehicles simply cannot.

    When visiting coastal areas, getting out on the water is crucial, and kayaking out of Rockport Harbor is a terrific way to do so. There are numerous spots to launch your kayak and much to see and do along the rugged coastline, including ancient lighthouses, seals, and a diverse array of birds.

    You'll be nearing Halibut Point State Park after a seven-minute drive from Rockport's downtown area. There are walking pathways to explore in this tranquil and gorgeous conservation area.

    Best time to visit: The best time to visit Rockport, according to locals, is immediately before or after peak season, in May or September.

    Distance and driving time: 43 miles, a 49-minute drive from Boston.

    8. Newport

    Newport has always been tied to the water, from its beginnings as a shipbuilding port to its current status as America's yachting capital. Newport is the ideal tourist destination since it has a rich history, stunning Gilded Age architecture, a thriving art scene, miles of beaches, wonderful hiking trails, spectacular sailing, and numerous festivals throughout the year. There's also amazing food, great shopping, street fairs, sidewalk sales, and a luxury vehicle museum to visit. Allow time to marvel at the spectacular residences that dot the cliffs overlooking the sea.

    One of the best ways to observe Newport from a different perspective is to walk the three-and-a-half-mile-long Cliff Walk. As you pass by elegant houses nestled on the cliffs, the stroll gives wonderful views of the city's eastern shoreline and the architectural history of the city's gilded age. For the most part, the trek is easy, and it is surrounded by wildflowers and rocks of various colors that demonstrate the area's fascinating geological past.

    Ocean Drive is a renowned Newport scenic tour that combines beautiful views of the shoreline with the sumptuous homes that New Yorkers erected as their "summer cottages" where they could enjoy cool sea breezes at the end of the 19th century. Ocean Drive has been recognized as a National Historic Landmark District, and it gives visitors a unique perspective of Newport.

    Fort Adams State Park is a prominent park best known for its annual Newport Jazz Festival, which is held at Fort Adams Point at the entrance to Newport Harbor. It provides panoramic views of Narragansett Bay and the harbor's sailboats. Swimming, picnicking, boating, and other leisure activities are available in the park.

    Thames Street, according to locals, is the epicenter of all activity in Newport. This vibrant Newport street, which is just about a mile and a half long, is bordered on both sides with colorful, thriving businesses, pubs, restaurants, museums, and attractive historic homes.

    Best time to visit: The months of March and May, as well as September and November, are perfect for visiting Newport. Mild temperatures and little rain showers are perfect for exploring the city.

    Distance and driving time: 72 miles, 1 hour and 20 minutes drive from Boston.

    9. New Bedford Whaling Museum

    The New Bedford Whaling Museum illustrates the past of Massachusetts' thriving whaling industry. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's leading museum dedicated to the history of human-whale connection. The Museum looks into the history of whaling around the world, as well as the diverse cultures – and environmental challenges – that it spawned. The World's Largest Ship Model, the World's Largest Collection of Whaling Logbooks, and the World's Largest Collection of Japanese Whaling Art Outside of Japan are all on display at the Museum, which was founded in 1903.


    The experience of life at sea, decorative and fine art exhibits, interactive exhibits for children, lecture series, family events, concerts, and much more are all available to visitors of all ages. The sheer magnitude of the whaling hooks and harpoons, as well as a 65-foot skeleton of a real blue whale, impresses children.

    This museum houses the world's largest collection of art, antiques, and authentic papers related to whaling history. It also has a large collection of marine and local history.

    Don't miss the 22-minute silent film, which features a video of a real whale chase and capture. 

    The New Bedford Whaling Museum also offers a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year. For a full day of activity, visit the Museum during February or April Vacation Week, or visit their visit for more details.

    Best time to visit: This museum remains open throughout the year but the best time is during February or April Vacation week.

    Distance and driving time: 59 miles, a 59-minute drive from Boston.

    10. Concord, Massachusetts

    Concord, Massachusetts is located about 25 miles northwest of Boston. Military, social, literary, and ecological history are all present in the town. On a bridge in town, the first bullets of the American War of Independence were fired. The area offers a wealth of outing options for travelers with little children, from wonderful seafood eateries to a town steeped in history. A trip to Concord over the weekend will not disappoint those who enjoy the natural outdoors. There are numerous natural sites in the town for both aquatic and land-based recreation.

    The wooden bridge, called the Old North Bridge, that crosses the Concord River at the confluence of the Assabet and Sudbury Rivers is a copy of the renowned one that was built on the opening day of the American Revolutionary War. The British infantry was forced to flee across the bridge on April 19, 1775, when 400 colonists outnumbered them. A shot was fired, and history was written.

    The Walden Pond, a 64-acre lake amid the 335-acre Walden Pond State Reservation, is worth a visit. In 1962, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark. A kettle hole is a depression created by retreating glaciers that fill with water to form a lake. Henry David Thoreau made it famous when he wrote about it in his classic work, 'Walden.'

    If you're searching for a peaceful place to visit, go to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, which is home to some of America's greatest authors and thinkers. The natural contours create an amphitheater, and most of the original shrubs and wild species have been left alone.

    Best time to visit: From mid-June through mid-September is the best time to visit Concord for warm-weather activities.

    Distance and driving time: 24.7 miles, a 31-minute drive from Boston. 

    11. Old Sturbridge Village

    Old Sturbridge Village, the largest history museum in the Northeast, is located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. The museum authentically recreates the daily job activities and community festivals of a rural 19th-century town in a living history setting.

    Kidstory, a new learning gallery in the Visitor Center, is a must-see. Children ages 3 to 10 can put on period costumes and envision themselves living in a 19th-century home, working on an early New England farm, or shopping in a country store. The 1600-square-foot area, which features books, games, and puzzles, is intended to assist younger children to connect with the re-created Village.

    Don't forget to pay a visit to the farm, where new lambs are born every spring. Every year, piglets and calves make an appearance. Details on the newest arrivals can be seen on the Village's Critter Counter.

    There's also an oxen team to meet and observe at work. With sleigh rides on winter weekends and an ice-skating rink on the Common, each season offers a unique incentive to visit.

    Throughout the year, Old Sturbridge Village hosts special events and reenactments. The village offers customized excursions for school groups with guides dressed in period costumes. For guests over the age of two, admission to Old Sturbridge Village ranges from $14 to $28.

    Best time to visit: Old Sturbridge Village is open all year, and each season has its own set of attractions. In May and June, the busiest days for school groups are Thursday and Friday. If you want a less crowded visit, October, November, March, and April are the best months to go.

    Distance and driving time: 60 miles, a 1-hour drive from Boston.

    12. Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

    Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, located east of Boston, Massachusetts, between Cape Ann and Cape Cod, is a natural ocean location near an urban world. New England's sole national marine sanctuary, which was historically vital as a fishing ground, today reigns as a major whale-watching destination while also supporting commercial and recreational fishing. Its shipwrecks act as time capsules for the country's marine past.

    Come see the world's largest mammals in their natural surroundings. For those who want to see these majestic creatures up close, tour operators offer whale watching excursions into sanctuary waters, and there are lots of places to glimpse them from the shore as well.

    Underwater diving and snorkeling provide many possibilities for divers and snorkelers of all levels to witness unique coral reef ecosystems or discover sunken remnants of nautical history in the seas of national marine reserves.

    Recreational fishing is a popular American sport that allows individuals of all ages to interact with the aquatic environment. National marine sanctuaries, while protecting underwater ecosystems, also allow for a variety of recreational activities.

    Visitors who choose to stay above the waterline will appreciate the gorgeous surroundings, animal observation opportunities, and boat-accessible fishing areas.

    Mavericks, Waimea Bay, Pipeline, all located on the island of Oahu. These are some of the world's most renowned surf spots, yet they all share one thing in common: they're all located within national marine sanctuaries.

    Best time to visit: The best time to visit Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is in the spring, between April and May, if you want to see a huge blue whale.

    Distance and driving time: 25 miles, a 25 minutes drive from Boston.

    13. White Mountains National Forest

    The vast White Mountains area, which covers one-quarter of New Hampshire (and half of Maine), is a stunning region of soaring peaks and verdant valleys and features New England's most challenging mountains. 

    Hiking, camping, skiing, and canoeing are just a few of the activities available.

    However, keep in mind that this wonderful place is well-known because six million people visit each year to enjoy the 1200 miles of hiking trails, 23 camps, and eight Nordic and alpine ski slopes.

    The Kancamagus Highway, designated as an American Scenic Byway, is a 34.5-mile scenic journey along Route 112 that will leave you speechless. This meandering road runs through the heart of the White Mountain National Forest, and no matter what time of year you travel it, your eyes will be treated to a visual feast.

    Staying in a rustic, one-of-a-kind cabin is one of the greatest ways to get a close look at the White Mountains. There are some fantastic escapes strewn across the region. Some are hidden deep in the woods in distant settings, allowing you to be completely immersed in nature.

    Are you looking for a small rush of adrenaline? The Alpine Slide at Bartlett's Attitash Mountain Resort is a blast! Those who are brave enough to do this can ride the chairlift to the summit of Attitash Mountain and mount their plastic sled in a chute track. Then ride it down the mountain like a bobsled, controlling your own speed with a lever.

    Aside from trekking Mount Washington, there are two fantastic ways to see it. Take the historic Mount Washington Cog Railway to the peak for an exciting train journey. For nearly 150 years, the Cog has been transporting travelers up the mountain. This thrilling ride will take you to the summit in less than an hour, where you may get out and snap pictures or simply enjoy the sights.

    If riding a 150-year-old railway up a steep mountain isn't your cup of tea, why not drive your own car? The Mount Washington Auto Road is a picturesque route that begins at the base and leads to the summit along with a meandering approach. This historic journey is a 7.6-mile ascent that takes around 30 minutes and offers a spectacular perspective of the White Mountains at every bend. Remember that there is a toll at the bottom of the road.

    Best time to visit: From Memorial Day through mid-October, when temperatures are warm and attractions are open, is the most popular season to visit the White Mountains.

    Distance and driving time: 128 miles, a 2 hours drive from Boston.

    14. Provincetown

    Provincetown, Massachusetts, is a seaside town on Cape Cod's northern tip. Provincetown's great inclusivity, as well as its year-round thriving LGBTQ vibe and culture, must be mentioned. Provincetown, Massachusetts, is a popular weekend getaway or day trip from Boston due to its stunning year-round vacation location, which includes sandy beaches, lighthouses, a busy downtown, interesting museums, and restaurants.

    Race Point Beach, which earned its name from the powerful rip tides that come into the point of the cape, is a great place to relax. Although the undertow is powerful, competent swimmers can still swim through it. People come for the sun, as well as to see whales and passing ships. The Race Point Lighthouse is a short walk from the beach.

    Provincetown's Commercial Street is a popular shopping street. Commercial Street is an engaging and pleasurable place to wander since it has lovely gardens and residences, some of which are guest houses, in addition to its many shops and restaurants.

    Herring Cove Beach, on Province Lands Road, is Provincetown's most popular beach. One of the reasons for its popularity is its location: it is located on the bay, which means the water is quiet and ideal for swimming, even for youngsters. Herring Cove Beach, unlike Race Point Beach, has no undertow and the water is warmer.

    Go for an adventure on the Cape Cod Provincelands Trail, a 5.25-mile bicycle and walking trail that begins on Race Point Road at the Province Lands Visitor Center. It's a mountainous loop that links to Bennett Pond, Herring Cove Beach, and Race Point Beach, among other routes.

    Best time to visit: Provincetown is best visited in the spring since there are fewer tourists and more daylight to enjoy the town's natural beauty and rich history. Visitors can also enjoy a popular event when Provincetown awakens from its winter hibernation.

    Distance and driving time: 116 miles, a 2 hours drive from Boston.

    15. Wompatuck State Park

    Wompatuck State Park is a 3,500-acre (1,400-hectare) state-owned public recreation area located primarily in the town of Hingham, about a 35-minute drive from downtown Boston, making it the perfect day getaway from Boston. 

    Forest, streams, and ponds can all be found in Wompatuck State Park. You may enjoy paved cycling tracks, woodland bridle pathways, and hiking trails.

    The 260-site campground (half with electricity) has a network of trails for riding, hiking, and some of the state's best mountain biking. At nearby Nantasket Beach, you may go fishing and canoeing in the reservoir, as well as swimming in the ocean. From mid-April until mid-October, camping is available.

    Cohasset Reservoir is a great place to go fishing, and Mt. Blue Spring is a great place to get some fresh water. The Cohasset Reservoir is open to fishing. A boat ramp is available for car-top boats, however, boat trailers are not permitted.

    Wompatuck State Park has paved cycling trails for 12 miles and woodland bridle paths and hiking trails for several miles. There are up to 30 geocaches within the park's limits, making it a geocaching hotspot.

    Best time to visit: The best time to visit Wompatuck State Park is early in the spring or later into the fall to enjoy the beauty of nature.

    Distance and driving time: 23 miles, a 35 minutes drive from Boston.

    16. Plymouth

    Plymouth, a small coastal town in Massachusetts, should be high on the list of places to visit for travelers who want to experience and savor American history where it took place. European settlers and Native Americans lived here in peace for about a half-century, and it was here that the first written pact among ordinary people establishing a working democracy was signed. 

    Plymouth is also a beautiful, small New England town, where visitors can enjoy the seacoast while getting a taste of its history.

    Within view of the hillside where the original Pilgrims' settlement stood, the tall masts of Mayflower II rise above her decks, a reminder of how this all started. Built in England during the early 1950s, the ship arrived in Plymouth in 1957 and today serves as an important way to relate the tale of European settlement in America. As well as can be determined, the ship is a full-scale replica of the original.

    Don’t miss out on the National Monument to the Forefathers, dedicated in 1889, the 81-foot-tall monument was commissioned by the Pilgrim Society to commemorate the founders of the Plymouth Colony and is thought to be the largest solid granite monument in the world. It was originally designed to be near twice the current height, almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty.

    Visiting the Pilgrim Hall Museum puts the Pilgrims' story into perspective, and of all the places to visit in Plymouth, this is the only one with artifacts from the original Pilgrim settlers and their voyage. Filled with original items belonging to the Pilgrims, this tourist attraction offers well-presented interpretations about them, their motivation, and their lives.

    Best time to visit: From mid-June to mid-September is the best time to visit Plymouth for warm-weather activities.

    Distance and driving time: 40 miles, a 39 minutes drive from Boston.

    17. Glendale Falls

    Glendale Falls is one of Massachusetts' longest and most powerful waterfall runs, with a watershed covering more than five square miles. Glendale Falls is a soothing and scenic attraction fed by more than five square miles of watershed lands.

    The surrounding forest is comprised of hemlock, birch, and beech trees, with an understory of maple, hornbeam, witch hazel, shadbush, and mountain laurel.

    The Glendale Falls Trail is a short 0.3-mile trail that is suitable for even the most inexperienced hikers. It also offers a fantastic payout. You'll begin at the Huntington trailhead. The track is well-marked and somewhat unfrequented, so you might have it all to yourself. 

    While other waterfall walks begin at the bottom and work their way up, this trail starts at the top and takes you all the way to the summit. The view from this vantage point is breathtaking. You'll want to stay a bit to take in natural beauty and even snap a few photos.

    On the north side of the falls, the stone foundation of an 18th-century grist mill run by the long-defunct Glendale Farm can be found. The property was founded in the early 1770s by John Rhoads, a future Revolutionary War veteran. The farm's initial success led to the development of Clark Wright Road, which is now the only way to get to the falls by car.

    Best time to visit: The best time to visit Glendale Falls is April to November when the water currents are often too strong with surrounding greenery brighter than ever.

    Distance and driving time: 118 miles, 2 hours and 4 minutes drive from Boston.

    18. Martha’s Vineyard

    Martha's Vineyard is an island paradise located just a short ferry ride from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Visitors may enjoy beautiful sandy beaches, wedding venues, gorgeous sailboats, excellent hotels, colorful gingerbread homes, historic lighthouses, and farmers markets, making it an ideal day trip destination. 

    Martha's Vineyard is a less congested version of Cape Cod, where you may mingle with the rich and famous on the beaches, dine at the Terrace at The Charlotte Inn, and explore the magnificent Menemsha Hills for an astonishing variety of plant life.

    Edgartown Harbor Light is one of Martha's Vineyard's five lights, located in Edgartown at the entrance to Katama Bay and Edgartown Harbor. The first two-story wooden lighthouse, which functioned as the keeper's residence, was completed in 1828. The existing cast-iron tower took its position in 1939.

    Katama Beach (South Beach) is a three-mile-long spectacular public beach located four miles south of Edgartown. Surfers who enjoy rough waves flock to the sand barrier, and swimmers rush to the protected salt-pond side.

    The panorama that will explode in front of you as you climb the 308-foot-high Prospect Hill on top of Menemsha Hills will steal your breath away. Menemsha is protected for its unique plant habitats, which include marshes, wooded groves, and low, marshy areas with red maples, beech, red, white, and black oaks, dune grass, pitch pine, goldenrod, and beach plum. It's a great place for a relaxing trek, a picnic, fishing, or simply taking in the scenery in silence.

    Aquinnah Cliffs is a mile-long stretch of vividly colored cliffs on the outskirts of the little town of Aquinnah, on Martha's Vineyard Island's western point. The cliffs are made up of intricate layers of gravel, sands, and clays in a variety of colors and tints that are the result of hundred-million-year-old natural labor. Glaciers, the sea, and the land have twisted soil layers into colorful, waving bands perched above the sea.

    Best time to visit: From May to September, the best time to visit the island is when the Atlantic Ocean maintains temperatures in the mid-70s and rarely exceeds 90 degrees.

    Distance and driving time: 90.3 miles, 2 hours and 26 minutes drive from Boston.

    19. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

    The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts. It serves as the most complete basketball library, as well as promoting and preserving basketball's heritage.

    The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honors the more than 300 legendary players who have been admitted into the hall over the course of its 50-year history. All kinds of basketball memorabilia may be found in the 40,000-square-foot facility.

    The entrance of the Hall of Fame is a remarkable sphere-shaped structure that can be seen from miles away. The building hosts frequent events honoring basketball's biggest stars and bringing basketball lovers together. The Hall of Fame store sells t-shirts, hats, pictures, art, basketball equipment, and other mementos to visitors.

    Every year, about 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame Museum to learn about the game, see interactive displays, and play on Jerry Colangelo's "Court of Dreams." The Hall of Fame, which is best recognized for its annual Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game's top, also hosts over 70 high school and collegiate events each year across the country and abroad.

    Best time to visit: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a great destination any time of year.

    Distance and driving time: 91 miles, 1 hour and 25 minutes drive from Boston.

    20. Portland, Maine

    Portland, Maine, is a great destination whether you're planning a romantic trip, a weekend getaway, a day trip, or a family holiday. 

    Portland, Maine, is a city located in the United States state of Maine, set on a peninsula stretching into Casco Bay. Explore the vibrant Portland port, go on a lighthouse tour, see museums, dine at amazing restaurants, get married, and have a good time on the water. This town has a thriving economy based primarily on services and tourism.

    The salty-aired, cobblestone walkways and wharves of Portland's Old Port come to mind when tourists think of the city. It's lined with expensive and funky boutiques and art galleries, 19th-century brick buildings, and some of the city's top restaurants and pubs. The Old Port is well-known for its diverse selection of shops, pubs, restaurants, and nightclubs, and is a popular nighttime destination for both tourists and locals.

    Commercial Street, which runs along the water's edge in the city's downtown sector, is lined with lively restaurants, cafés, bars, and boutiques. Commercial Street, which runs parallel to the water's edge and provides fresh sea breezes, stunning nautical vistas of ships arriving and departing, and fishermen hauling in their catch, is a welcome respite for tourists and locals alike.

    A terrific gastronomic tour will allow you to discover Portland's culinary culture. Maine Foodie Trips offers a range of tours focusing on the delectable meals provided by the region's abundant dairy products, fresh fish and seafood, and organic fruits and vegetables.

    Visit Portland Head Light, Maine's oldest lighthouse and possibly New England's most spectacular. It has a great museum (in the former Keepers' Quarters) that delves into the history of the island, as well as a gift shop.

    Best time to visit: Portland is best enjoyed between June and August. Despite the fact that summer is the peak tourist season, the season's mild temperatures – with highs rarely exceeding 80 degrees – are difficult to top.

    Distance and driving time: 112 miles, 1 hour and 43 minutes drive from Boston

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