Here is your guide to five of the best day trips that are just a short drive from the beautiful, historic city of Boston.
Cape Cod is a little over an hour from Boston. On your way, you’ll find some destinations that can’t be missed. First, stop at Plymouth Rock. Although you won’t see much, this is one of the most important symbols of American History.
The town of Plymouth is home to Plimoth Plantation. If you enjoy history, you’ll love Plimoth Plantation. Here you can experience an authentic English community from the 1600s and learn about the Wampanoag people. The community is so realistic, you might wonder if you really have gone back to the 17th century. For details, visit their website at
Once in Cape Cod, you have many activities to choose from. You could go whale watching, relax on one of the many beautiful beaches, visit a lighthouse, or view one of the many Kennedy’s homes at Kennedy Compound in the Hyannis Port Historic District. If you need more ideas, go to www.capecodchamber.org.
You’ll find Salem, one of my favorite towns in the Northeast, just a half hour north of Boston. Here you can experience the history of the witch trials and watch the award-winning reenactment of the trial of Sarah Good. This is based on the actual original transcripts in 1692.
Take a guided tour of a dungeon, and visit a recreated village, as well as Gallows Hill. If you have the chance, visit during Haunted Happenings in October! If you’d like to visit, details can be found at: www.salemwitchmuseum.com.
Another highlight is touring the House of the Seven Gables, built by Salem Captain John Turner in 1668. The home was inherited by the cousin of the famous author, Nathaniel Hawthorne. The house inspired Hawthorne to write his 1851 novel, “The House of the Seven Gables.” The home where Hawthorne was born was moved to the property and is part of your tour as well. For more information, go to www.7gables.org.
Just another 15 minutes north of Salem, or 45 minutes north of Boston, is Gloucester. Gloucester is well-known for being the town where the famous fishing vessel, the Andrea Gail, sailed from and sank in 1991. It is also home to the Fishermen’s Memorial, “The Man at the Wheel,” a tribute to the more than 10,000 Gloucester fishermen who have lost their lives at sea over the last several hundred years.
The Gloucester Maritime Center, Cape Ann Museum and Hammond Castle Museum are also excellent attractions to visit.
Stockbridge is two hours west of Boston, and it’s a beautiful drive, especially in the fall. Here you can visit the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Berkshire Botanical Garden, or even experience the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Arts and crafts shows are held throughout the summer. Stockbridge is truly a picture perfect New England town, and well worth the drive.
The Chamber of Commerce has some helpful information for visitors here: www.stockbridgechamber.org.
Taking the boat from Hyannis (on Cape Cod) to Nantucket can be a wonderful trip in itself. Ferry information can be found here: www.steamshipauthority.com. When you arrive, you can experience the beautiful beaches, lighthouses, or even rent a bike and ride around the island. The Whaling Museum includes a 46-foot skeleton of a sperm whale that washed ashore in 1998. This is a fascinating museum that has been in operation for more than 70 years. To plan your visit, go to www.islandofnantucket.info.