The advantageous geographical location of Boston makes it an excellent starting point for day trips in the northeastern part of New England. The vicinity of the Massachusetts capital boasts beautiful historic towns, luxurious beaches, excellent shopping destinations, natural attractions, and unique museums.
Old Sturbridge Village
Old Sturbridge Village is an open-air museum located 96 km from Boston. Here, with stunning realism, the life of rural New England is recreated as it was in the late 18th to early 19th century. To achieve this, over 40 historical buildings from the region were transported to the museum, including farmers' and villagers' houses, a pastor's house, a prayer house, a school, a bank, a mill, a sawmill, a woolen mill, and much more. They have been carefully restored, with their interiors reconstructed. Museum workers dressed in authentic costumes portray the village residents of that era. They engage in everyday activities such as cooking, crafting, taking care of animals, working in the garden, workshops, and factories, and on holidays, they relax and have fun.
Visitors can not only interact with them but also participate in various workshops and explore interactive exhibitions. For enthusiasts of walks, the museum has prepared several picturesque routes. There are souvenir shops on the village grounds, and at Bullard Tavern and Oliver Wight Café, visitors can taste dishes prepared according to ancient recipes.
How to get there to Old Sturbridge Village
At the South Station Bus Terminal or South Station Transportation Center in Boston, take a Greyhound bus to the New England Truck Stop station in the town of Sturbridge. From there, you can take a taxi to the museum. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Cape Cod is a beautiful crescent-shaped peninsula located on the eastern side of Massachusetts, 120 km away from Boston. It is one of the best destinations for a seaside vacation in the country. Along its coastline, you'll find over 130 beaches with soft sand and pristine waters. Moreover, they are incredibly diverse, ranging from tidal flats perfect for families with children to sections with crashing waves ideal for surfing.
At the Outer Cape of the peninsula, you'll discover the protected Cape Cod National Seashore, an ecologically significant region renowned for its luxurious beach areas, scenic cliffs, wetlands, and forests.
The historic towns and villages of Cape Cod, such as Sandwich, Chatham, Hyannis, Falmouth, Provincetown, and others, exude the charm of old America. They offer breathtaking views, remarkable architecture, cultural and national landmarks, museums, shops, galleries, as well as cafes and restaurants serving the freshest seafood.
How to get there to Cape Cod
The best option is to take direct buses operated by Peter Pan Bus Lines, departing from the South Station Bus Terminal in Boston. These routes pass through the most popular tourist towns on Cape Cod. Alternatively, you can easily reach Provincetown from Boston Harbor by taking a ferry with Boston Harbor City Cruises.
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is located approximately 34 km from Boston. It is a protected area of the Atlantic Ocean situated between Cape Ann and Cape Cod, covering an area of 1,355 square kilometers. Visitors to the sanctuary have numerous options for an exciting time. One of the most popular activities among tourists is marine wildlife watching. There are over 130 species of marine animals here, but the true kings of these waters are the whales. Stellwagen Bank is recognized as one of the best places on the planet to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
Within the sanctuary, visitors can also engage in diving, deep-sea fishing, boat trips, or yachting. Additionally, they can visit various museums and aquariums located in the coastal cities.
How to get there to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
There is no direct transportation from Boston to the sanctuary, and getting there independently may involve multiple transfers. Therefore, the most convenient option is to purchase a tour ticket from the New England Aquarium. Their Whale Watch Center, in collaboration with Boston Harbor City Cruises, offers trips to Stellwagen Bank Sanctuary from April to November.
Wrentham Village Premium Outlets
Wrentham Village Premium Outlets can confidently be called a paradise for shopaholics, as it is the largest shopping center in New England. Located 56 km from Boston, this open-air complex houses over 160 boutiques. It offers a wide range of brands, from luxury names like Gucci, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Armani, Jimmy Choo, Karl Lagerfeld, Max Mara, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, to more affordable options such as Gap, ECCO, Diesel, Banana Republic, DKNY, Levi's, Nike, PUMA, Ted Baker, Adidas, UGG.
It also features an outlet of the renowned American luxury department store chain, Saks Fifth Avenue (Saks OFF 5TH), where visitors can find clothing, footwear, and stylish accessories. The best part is that discounts on all items in the stores at the shopping center can reach up to 65%. Wrentham Village Premium Outlets also offers a variety of cafes and snack bars serving a diverse range of dishes. The space is well-organized and beautifully designed.
How to get there to Wrentham Village Premium Outlets
The easiest way to reach the outlets is by car. The shopping center is located 56 km south of Boston, near Exit 38 on Interstate 495. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes. Alternatively, you can take advantage of guided tour services that offer trips to Wrentham Village Premium Outlets on comfortable buses.
Just an hour's drive north of Boston, on the coast of New Hampshire, lies one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in New England—Portsmouth. It was once a bustling port and a major naval and shipbuilding center. Today, it preserves over 70 historical sites. Among the most popular is Strawbery Banke, an open-air museum featuring over 40 meticulously restored buildings dating from 1695 to 1954. Children will delight in visiting the USS Albacore, a research submarine of the U.S. Navy, which is now located in Portsmouth's Memorial Park. Another wonderful place for a family outing is Water Country, the largest water park in New England.
Culture enthusiasts must visit the Music Hall in Portsmouth, where dramatic performances, concerts, dance events, and film screenings take place. The city is also renowned for its cafes and restaurants offering exquisite cuisine, scenic walking routes, cozy beaches, excellent shopping, and vibrant nightlife.
How to get there to Portsmouth
You can take buses operated by C&J Bus Lines, which regularly depart for Portsmouth from Boston's Logan Airport as well as the bus terminal at South Station. Greyhound Lines also offers daily bus service to Portsmouth from South Station along the same route.
The most enigmatic city in America, shrouded in a mysterious aura, is located just a 40-minute drive from Boston. It was in Salem in the late 17th century that one of the most famous witch hunts in human history took place. Enthusiasts of all things mystical will enjoy visiting the Corwin House, the only surviving structure directly associated with the witch trials. The city also boasts the Salem Witch Museum. For thrill-seekers, themed tours, some of which are conducted after sunset, are sure to captivate. Even for those not interested in the occult, Salem has plenty to offer.
Among its most popular attractions are the House of the Seven Gables (one of the oldest and largest wooden mansions in the region) and the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, which tells the story of six centuries of New England's maritime history. Moreover, the city is home to numerous intriguing museums, picturesque locations for strolling, beautiful beaches, cafes, and restaurants. Exploring Salem Harbor and the nearby islands with their historic forts and lighthouses can be done on a luxurious schooner, an exact replica of a privateering ship from 1812.
How to get there to Salem
The easiest way is to take the Newburyport/Rockport line of the MBTA commuter rail from North Station. Another option is to take a high-speed ferry that operates between Boston and Salem. It departs from Long Wharf Pier.