Best Weekend Getaways from Boston

Tired of jostling for a seat on the T during your morning commute and longing for white sand beaches or green mountains? Plan a weekend getaway from Boston, get out into nature, or immerse yourself in history. You'll find something for everyone in New England.

Quick Answer: Best Weekend Getaways From Boston

‌Best Day Trips From Boston‌

‌Best Road Trips From Boston‌

‌Best Weekend Trips From Boston‌

when you want to go all-in on history: Portsmouth, New Hampshire * For drinking in the ocean: Portland, Maine

Best Day Trips From Boston

There and back in a day and a half? These day trips get you out of the city to beaches, history, and an amusement park.

1. Hull, Massachusetts

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  • Perfect for:‌ beach lovers
  • Highlights of Hull:
    • Nantasket Beach, the longest white sand beach in New England
    • Fort Revere, a revolutionary war fort
    • Amazing seafood restaurants

‌How to Get to Hull‌

Take the commuter rail from South Station to Nantasket Junction and book a cab (there are no ride share services available). Or, take the ferry from Long Wharf. When you disembark, grab a beer at seafood joint Shipwreck’d

before jumping on the free town shuttle down to the beach. Driving? Plan on paying $25 and up for parking. And do NOT park on streets reserved for residents or you’ll pay a hefty fine and possibly get towed.

‌Things to Do in Hull‌

Hull, Massachusetts, is a hidden gem of the South Shore. A popular beach spot for locals, get there early to set up a spot on the white sand beach. You can spend your day kayaking or surfing, building sand castles, or swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.

Leave your blanket and umbrella to grab lunch at one of the main seafood restaurants that line the main drag. The Parrot’s seafood menu will please any foodie and it has some of the best oceanfront views in town. Jake’s Seafood is one of the oldest restaurants in town, located right on Hull Bay where you can watch the boats come and go.

Up the road from the beach is Fort Revere, a Revolutionary War Fort with panoramic views of Boston, the historic neighborhoods Allerton Hill and the Village, and the ocean.

‌Where to Stay in Hull‌

Hull doesn't allow short term rentals, so in that sense, it’s truly best for a day trip. If you don’t want to catch the last train or ferry home you can book a room at the Nantasket Beach Resort sits across the street from the beach. Oceanside rooms have small balconies from which you can enjoy the view.

Nantasket Beach Resort Book Now

2. Sudbury, Massachusetts

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  • Perfect for:‌ history and nature lovers
  • Highlights of Sudbury:
    • Wayside Inn and grist mill
    • Fall foliage
    • Restaurants, art galleries, and artisans market in and around the Sudbury Center Historic District

‌How to Get to Sudbury‌

It’s only a 35 minute drive from Boston, though it feels like going back in time. I-90 West is your straightest shot, though you’ll pay a toll.

‌Things to do in Sudbury‌

Sudbury is a must-see for its fall foliage. Its most famous attraction, the Wayside Inn, comes to life in September. Arrive early, before the crowds, and you can park at the inn and wander down trails to the historical grist mill.

Set up a picnic in a field or book a reservation in the Inn’s dining room (necessary during the busy season). Bread products feature wheat made on-site in the still-functioning mill. On a nice day you can eat outside and gaze on a bust of Longfellow. His poetry collection "Tales of a Wayside Inn" tells the story of the inn’s visitors.

Though you can spend the whole day at the Inn, those searching for a deeper immersion in nature will want to visit the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge. Dine at one of the restaurants in and around the Sudbury Town Center Historic District or visit the artisans market before heading back to the city.

‌Where to Stay in Sudbury‌

The Wayside Inn’s rooms feature classic New England decor, with four poster beds and handmade quilts.

The Wayside Inn Book Now

You can find several cute Airbnb’s in nearby towns, and none in the town itself. Try this adorable waterfront cabin that will remind you of blanket forts and camp outs.

Waterfront Airbnb cabin Book Now

3. Salem, Massachusetts

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  • Perfect for:‌ all-around destination
  • Highlights of‌ ‌Salem‌‌:
    • Essex Street and historic houses
    • Peabody Essex Museum
    • Historic waterfront
    • Salem Willows Amusement Park

‌How to Get to Salem‌

The commuter rail from North Station stops in Salem. From there, walk up to Essex Street. With no traffic, it’s a half hour drive from Boston, but you might have to hunt for parking. During the month of October it can take hours just to get from Route 128 to the city — speaking as someone who lived in the city for two years, I strongly advise against it.

‌Things to Do in Salem‌

If your only impression of Salem, Massachusetts are the witch trials, you’re missing out. Truly a year-round destination, the city appeals to travelers of all interests.

Find many attractions on central Essex Street. Take in its historical architecture and stop in at the Peabody Essex Museum, a world-renowned art museum which spans three city blocks. Everything worth seeing is within walking distance in Salem.

From Essex Street, you can wander down cobblestone streets to the old port. History buffs and bibliophiles both will delight in the tour of the House of Seven Gables, site of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s literary masterpiece. Nautical lovers will enjoy the historic waterfront across from the house and admire the modern day boats that crowd the docks.

The Salem Willows Amusement Park features water boats, car rides, and a carousel from 1905 to entertain small children.

‌Where to Stay in Salem‌

The Daniels House Bed and Breakfast, built in 1667, retains old world charm with open fireplaces and exposed beams. Step back in time when you walk through its painted red door.

Daniels House Bed and Breakfast Book Now

Searching for fun, funky, decor? This Airbnb condo will give you that, in addition to a great location on Pickering Wharf.

Pickering Wharf Airbnb condo Book Now

Best Road Trips From Boston

Have more time? These weekend getaways are five hours away, on average. While these might be too far for a single-day trip, these road trips from Boston will get you into a whole new world.

Enjoy New England's natural beauty, join a whale watching excursion, or take a break from hiking to indulge in a craft beer. Each of these options has something special to offer.

4. The Berkshires

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  • Perfect for:‌ Fans of outdoor music, dance, art, and the gilded age
  • Highlights of the Berkshires:
    • Natural beauty and hiking trails
    • Music at Tanglewood
    • Amazing local dining scene
    • Gilded Age mansions

‌How to Get to the Berkshire‌

Take 1-90 west out of the city. There's no direct train from the city but you can take a Greyhound or Peter Pan bus.

‌Things to do in the Berkshires‌

No list of the best weekend getaways from Boston is complete without the Berkshires. Whether you’re there in October for fall foliage or taking a weekend trip to see your favorite act at Tanglewood, the Berkshires has something during every season.

Summer visitors can enjoy live music at the outdoor venue of Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts. Pack a picnic and sit out on the grass lawn while listening to world-renowned artists and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The area boasts nine state forests and three state parks, with hiking trails for all skill levels. And, after a long day hiking you can try the farm to table menu at bed and breakfast The Cornell Inn. Local restaurants draw on the area’s rich agriculture to create menus sure to please.

For history and architecture buffs a tour of one of the Berskhire’s 14 Gilded Age mansions, such as Ventworth Hall, is a must-see. A popular vacation spot during the Gilded Age of 1865-1901, rich families built country estates whose jaw-dropping architecture still inspires awe. Many are open to the public for tours year-round.

‌Where to Stay in the Berkshires‌

The Berkshires refers to an area in Western Massachusetts that covers many small towns. Stay in this charming Airbnb in North Adams, sip coffee on the front porch or warm up in the sauna before walking over to the Museum of Contemporary Art.

North Adams Airbnb Book Now

Black Swan Inn on the Lake, in Lee, Massachusetts, is an upscale inn on a lake tucked at the foothills of the Berkshire mountains. Enjoy a cup of coffee in a lakeside Adirondack chair before heading out on a hike.

Black Swan Inn on the Lake Book Now

5. Provincetown, Massachusetts

  • Perfect for:‌ LGBTQ+ couples and whale watchers
  • Highlights of Provincetown:
    • Shopping and art galleries on Commercial Street
    • Whale watching
    • Sandy beaches and swimming

‌How to Get to Provincetown‌

Two ferry lines depart Boston for Provincetown daily. Boston Harbor Cruises departs from Long Wharf and Bay State Cruises departs from the Boston World Trade Center. The 90-minute ferry ride beats sitting in Boston traffic — without traffic it’s only a little over two hour drive but during the summer it’s a much longer trip.

‌Things to do in Provincetown‌

Provincetown, or P-Town to locals, has a bohemian vibe. A safe place for gay and lesbian travelers since the 1960s, this seaside town on Cape Cod retains a small town charm. It’s a place where you can enjoy nature, great food, and the ocean while being fully yourself.

Commercial Street stretches for three miles through the center of town. Walk past historic homes hand in hand with your partner, taking in the local art galleries or grabbing a pastry and coffee at the Provincetown Portuguese Bakery.

Cape Cod is known for its great whale watching. Book one of several charters out of Provincetown. Or, stay ashore to sunbathe and swim at one of the town’s beaches.

‌Where to Stay in Provincetown‌

This tiny home was once an art studio for a renowned local artist, now converted into a charming AirbnB. Wander down the brick path to the renovated home that still features many historic touches.

Provincetown tiny home Book Now

Many historical homes are now guest houses or inns. The Somerset House Inn, conveniently located right on Commercial Street, was built in 1840 by a prominent figure in Provincetown history.

Somerset House Inn Book Now

6. Burlington, Vermont

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  • Perfect for:‌ Beer and nature lovers
  • Highlights of‌ ‌Burlington:
    • Within a 5-hour drive of Boston
    • Food scene and local breweries
    • The bluffs at Ethan Allen Park

‌How to Get to Burlington‌

It’s at three-hour drive up 1-93 to I-89 or you can take a Greyhound Bus from South Station to the downtown transit center in Burlington for around $70 and add an hour to your trip.

‌Things to do in Burlington‌

Burlington, Vermont, is a city nestled in nature, known for its great food scene and breweries. The bluffs at Ethan Allen Park provide a backdrop to the city’s skyline. The 60-acre park has playgrounds, picnic areas, hiking trails, and more. Climb the Ethan Allen Tower for breathtaking views over Lake Champlain and the city, or pitch a tent in a campground and save on a hotel.

After hours of hiking, it’s time to stop in at one of the local craft breweries for resfreshment. Vermont is the state for beer lovers (forget Wisconsin!), it has more craft breweries per capita than any other state. The Vermont Brewer’s Assocation even has an app you can download to find local spots, create beer trails, and earn rewards.

In the city you’ll find Burlington Beer Company, Zero Gravity Craft Brewery, Queen City Brewery, and more. As bonus, most have outdoor seating and allow dogs.

The Green Mountains are just an hour drive from Burlington for those who want to get more off the beaten path.

‌Where to Stay in Burlington‌

Local bed and breakfast The Lang House on Main Street features modern amenities in a 19th century mansion. Step inside to gorgeous millwork, plush fabrics, and leather armchairs that invite you to cozy up with a good book.

The Lang House on Main Street Book Now

Stay on the lake in the old North End and wake up to a stunning view at this lakeside Vrbo. Walk a short distance to Lake Champlain, Church Street Marketplace, and Battery Park.

Lake Champlain lakeside Vrbo Book Now

Best Weekend Trips From Boston

When you have the time for a long weekend, venture a little further afield. While you could head to New York City and grab tickets for a show, not everyone finds it relaxing to travel from one city to a bigger city! These weekend trips combine nature, history, and great restaurants for a perfect weekend getaway.

7. Mystic, Connecticut

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  • Perfect for:‌ families with small children
  • Highlights of‌ ‌Mystic‌‌:
    • Mystic Seaport Museum
    • Hiking trails at Bluff Point State Park
    • Mystic Aquarium

‌How to Get to Mystic‌

Driving to Mystic from Boston takes a little over two hours depending on traffic and where in the city you live. You’ll take I-93 to I-95. Amtrak runs a train out of South Station that gets there in less time and isn’t too expensive.

‌Things to do in Mystic‌

Mystic Connecticut is the perfect weekend getaway for families with small children. At the Mystic Aquarium they can go behind the scenes and paint with seals, pet a penguin, or become a trainer for a day.

The Mystic Seaport Museum’s collection of historic vessels has four National Historic Landmark vessels to tour where children can pretend to be a pirate or a fisherman. In the recreated 19th century seaport village they’ll learn about the many trades — shipsmiths, riggers, and woodcarvers — once supported by New England’s ports and harbors.

Kids can easily handle the 3.6 mile trail at Bluff Point State Park, more of an easy walk than a hike. If you brought Fido, rest assured the park is pet friendly.

‌Where to Stay in Mystic‌

Family-friendly Inn at Harbor Marina, nestled right on the water, has both rooms and suites to fit any size family.

Inn at Harbor Marina Book Now

This adorable bungalow is a short walk to downtown Mystic and less than a half mile from the aquarium and seaport.

Adorable downtown Mystic bungalow Book Now

8. Portsmouth, New Hampshire

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  • Perfect for:‌ when you want to go all-in on history
  • Highlights of Portsmouth:
    • Fort Constitution Lighthouse
    • Black Heritage Trail and African Burying Ground
    • The Warner House
    • Market Square

‌How to Get to Portsmouth‌

It's a one-hour drive up 1-95N or you can take a bus from South Station.

‌Things to do in Portsmouth‌

Visit Portsmouth to go “all in” on history. While it’s hard to go anywhere in New England without stumbling across a historical landmark, Portsmouth has several unique sites. Market Square, established in 1762, is where three streets meet to form a hub for the arts, fine dining, and boutiques. Many businesses operate out of storefronts that have been there for hundreds of years.

The museum at The Warner House holds 300 years of local history within its walls. To learn about a once-neglected part of history, take a 1.6-mile guided tour along the Black Heritage Trail and learn about the important African American people and history that helped shape the city.

Fort Constitution Lighthouse, built in 1877 on the grounds of a Revolutionary War fort, is the only mainland lighthouse in New Hampshire. It’s only open select days in summer, so check before you go.

‌Where to Stay in Portsmouth‌

If you like the more personal touch of a boutique hotel, try The Sailmaker's House directly in the city's heart.

The Sailmaker's House Book Now

Stay at the Tugboat Airbnb right on the waterfront and enjoy its whitewashed walls, fireplace, and exposed beams.

Tugboat Airbnb in Portsmouth Book Now

9. Portland, Maine

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  • Perfect for:‌ Admiring the ocean
  • Highlights of Portland:
    • Prouts Neck Cliff Walk
    • Old port, lighthouse, and whale watching
    • Acadia National Park

‌How to Get to Portland‌

Portland, Maine is only an hour and 45 minutes from Boston up 1-95N. The downeaster train runs straight from North Station and drops you at the Portland Transportation Center in two and a half hours.

‌Things to do in Portland‌

Home of the second largest tonnage seaport in New England, Portland, Maine, is an important stop in the East Coast shipping trade. Today’s visitors can take a trolley tour and visit Maine’s oldest lighthouse, or take a walking tour of the old port. Hop on a boat to go whale watching, or drive a short distance to Kennebunkport for other whale watching options.

In search of some light exercise and great views? Drive 15 minutes out of Portland to the Cliff Walk, a 1.1-mile seaside walk around the town of Prouts Neck. You’ll be walking in the footsteps of visitors who’ve enjoyed the ocean breeze and natural beauty since the 1800s.

From Portland, you can drive another two hours to reach Acadia National Park, with 158 miles of hiking trails to explore and the highest rocky headlands along the Atlantic Coast.

Where to Stay in Portland‌ Stay in a historic inn or historic home converted into a bed and breakfast like Fleetwood House. Enjoy coffee on the sweeping front porch and tuck into a four poster at night.

Fleetwood House in Portland Book Now

This studio in a 150-year-old post-and-beam barn has a unique charm. It's in beautiful grounds on the banks of two rivers.

Airbnb in 150-year-old post-and-beam barn Book Now

Whatever your flavor of day trip, you'll find it in and around Boston. From craft beer enthusiasts to beach lovers, there's a weekend trip for everyone. We hope this article helped you discover some of the best day trips from Boston to add to your bucket list!